Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday's Found Poem: Haiku

Psalm 139

Thou knowest my thought
Made in secret, unperfect;
Precious are thy thoughts!

by Donna JT Smith

Found poem: a haiku from Psalm 139, KJV Bible.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Poetry Friday

The moon is gorgeous tonight. I'm feeling better. So good day all around.

A lemon haiku for today:

lemony moon rose
tonight's journey well crafted
across starry maze

by Donna JT Smith

I had a package from my Winter Exchange in the mail when I returned from PA!  Michelle Kogan sent me a too-cute package which I meant to take a picture of before ripping it open.  It was red tissue with straw raffia ribbon.  I set it aside to take a picture at least with the wrapping, but before I could do that, my cat discovered it and ate half the straw.  Then he threw it up on the basement stairs for me since it didn't settle well he said.  So I didn't get a picture of the wrapping.  It was gross by the time I got to it.

But the insides are still wonderful!

So I took two pictures...

Inside was a small handstitched journal with a beautiful picture by Michelle on the cover.  I am going to have to decide carefully what it is that I want to write in it.  I don't know that it feels enough like a "draft" book!  I may have to save it and carry it around for "fancy lines" that come to  me on the go, or "done deals" that I just want all in one place.  Decisions!
Thank you, Michelle, for the beautiful journal!

And then there is the colorfully illustrated poem, An Ode for a Northeastern Wood Turtle:

My favorite lines:
"If you see me in the wild, take my pic,
draw my portrait, my vivid neck - quick!"
A great warning plea from the turtle...scram!

We have wood turtles around here, and I always feel bad for them as I see them crossing the road.  Most people are pretty careful though and they are slow enough to avoid, so you hardly ever find one hit by a car!  We have local handpainted signs up along the road warning people from away about the turtles.  We even have a welcome turtle who greets visitors to our town.  Many a picture has been taken beside the turtle, who also gets dressed up on occasion for weddings, birthdays and new babies in town!

Thanks, Michelle, for your thoughtful gift, and amazing ode that reminds us of the wood turtle's plight!  Thanks to Tabatha Yeatts for creating and organizing this fun winter sport!

My winter exchange partner will be waiting for a package for just a tiny bit longer... so if you don't have anything yet, it could be me for whom you are waiting!  It's coming! I haven't forgotten!

And on a side note:

I got a copy of the book of poems I wrote for my grandson this Christmas. It needed a few edits, which I did and reordered for him.  He doesn't read my blog, so I'm safe saying it!  I received the book I made for my grand daughter a couple of weeks ago.  Both are books of poems which I hope they will enjoy over the years.  I have made my "photo" book into "trade" versions and ebooks.  The picture books are large, and relatively expensive, so the trade books are the way to go it appears.  The kids got the "photo" books, since they were a special gift.  You can take peek at the book "It's in Our Nature" here, and It's All About the Little Things here. I have to talk with Amazon Kindle and get the ebook for Kindle straightened out, but the iBook transferred just right for my iPad!


Please visit Lisa at Steps and Staircases for more links to poetry today and all week!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Spiritual First Thursday

Today's hostess, Irene Latham, is gathering us to reflect on our OLW for this year.  Mine is REACH.
It was a "stretch" for me to pick this word.  I don't see myself as a "REACHER".  And now looking at that word - with the er - it reminds me of the word "TEACHER", and perhaps I am wrong.  Perhaps I've always been a reacher, at least as soon as I became a teacher.

This past Sunday at church a boy, about 10 years old, sat next to me.  He had intended to sit in the pew in front of us as he usually does, but it was filled.  He is one that sometimes comes to church with another family, and he has energy to spare, and not many boundaries in his life.  When he comes to church, he sits in the pew with two other boys right in front of us.  Having him sit in front of me is always a challenge, to me - he's fine with it.  I want to tell him to sit still, be quiet, stop poking others, etc.  But I resist. I'm always quiet and try to focus on the message instead, despite the flurry of activity in my peripheral, and not so peripheral, vision.

But this afternoon, as he came in, he unexpectedly plunked down beside me, disappointed that he wasn't sitting in the pew ahead of me that was already filled with three boys his age.  He stretched a few times, and wiggled a bit, but for the most part was able to sit pretty still.

At the end of the service, as he was getting up, I asked him if sometimes he had trouble in school sitting still.  He said he did.  I told him some "grounding" techniques and asked if he'd heard of doing those before.  He had.  I suggested that he try them at church and told him how I appreciated how still he had been beside me and that sometimes when he is laughing and moving around during church, it is hard for me to pay attention.  He appeared to be listening.  I smiled and thanked him again and he smiled back.  Then I asked him if he had any trouble with eating chocolate.  His grin got wide, "No.  No, I don't have ANY problems with chocolate!"  Ah, he WAS listening.

I repeated my thanks for sitting so still during the service, reached into my bag and handed him the chocolate mini M & M's I had stashed in my bag for months - I guess for just this occasion!  And I told him he was welcome to sit with us any time.

He probably never will. And it may even take a few years for him to reach into the recesses of his memories and pull out this event again.  But maybe he will someday, and he will understand that someone reached out to him and tried to help.  Sometimes your reach isn't felt immediately.  Sometimes it is cumulative reaches.  Sometimes it is a delayed realization that you were reached for.

Sometimes I'm not even sure when I've reached or touched.  And I don't need to.

I've found since I had the word REACH, when in doubt about whether or not I should REACH OUT, I've begun to default to REACH.  And it feels good.  It goes well with the word BOLD from the year before, and both are beginning to mold my life into more active, fun and unexpectedly rewarding days.


When you try
to touch the sky,
sometimes you do,
but even if you don't,
you are happy that you
slowed down and stretched
up high and smiled
with the sun or rain
on your face. 

by Donna JT Smith, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday's Poetry Friday

I know it is not Friday.  It is Saturday.  But all day yesterday I was driving back from PA alone, and could neither post nor write.  I did write these two poems to go with Laura's 15 words or less on Thursday with the picture of the empty bike rack.  I was busy that day too, so never got to put them on her site.  And I'm kind of sick today, so this is getting late in the day.   It's hard to concentrate.

First thought was of why a bike rack would be empty in summer...
then fall..

Summer Bike Rack

Feet pumping
Heart thumping
Tangled hair
Without a care -
Empty rack
Till they're back!

Fall Bike Rack

Empty rack,
Winter's back!
Sled replaces,
Bike races;
Leaves swirling
No whirling
And steel!

Well, let's see who's hosting today.  I just have to hold it together for a few more minutes, and I'll have a  post.
Okay, got it!  Mary Lee Hahn is hosting the roundup at A Year of Reading.  Please treat yourself to some tea and poetry today and all week!
Now I'm going to lie down.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Found Poem: Psalm 116

Psalm 116

I love the Lord
He heard my voice;
Gracious, merciful Lord,
I offer thanksgiving.
Praise ye the Lord!

by Donna JT Smith

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday's Found Poem

Today's found poem is from Psalm 100: 1-5 in the KJV Bible.  It developed nicely into a Haiku today.

 Psalm 100: 1-5
Make a joyful noise,

Serve with gladness, Come singing:
His truth endureth.

I hope you have a wonderful day!  Do something good or fun, or both, that you have fond memories of for a long time - perhaps for even longer than the winter!

Saturday, November 18, 2017


I told you I'd tell you about the Metaphor workshop today, but unfortunately I was only able to attend for about an hour.  I kept hearing an insistent buzz from my cell phone across the room, and finally went to see what was up.  We had a family emergency that I couldn't deal with there.  It would require extended time out of the class, so I had to excuse myself.  Rachel said she would send me the comments on my poem, as well as the comments on the other participants' poems.  So I am awaiting those in snail mail.

Meanwhile this week I helped a friend compile a book in Blurb, and because I was going to help her, I refreshed my skills in Blurbify by writing and assembling the book I was going to make for my 3 year old grand daughter for Christmas.  Here's a page from it:

Just a little while ago
Some eggs were slowly hatching
Now you see chicks everywhere
Pecking, eating, scratching!

I am now editing out the dedication page and making it available for sale on Blurb by the end of the day today.  Of course the pictures and text are clearer in real life, since I've pixeled it down some for a web page.  Each page has an image, a short poem, and a question for young reader "audience".  I'm excited to give it to her, and will have to think about ways to separate it from the hubbub of some glittery toy so she notices it!  I should have added a princess page - that was a mistake

Michelle Barnes is celebrating the availability of her second amazing anthology of poems from her Today's Little Ditty blog challenges.  You can pick up a copy here:

The Best of Today's Little Ditty 2016 is available 

 in paperback for $9.95 or as a Kindle ebook for $5.95.

Click HERE to purchase at
It is beautifully illustrated by Teresa Robeson. Read her interview with Teresa here.
Today of course, is Saturday, but because I MEANT this to be posted on Friday, I'm linking it to Poetry Friday where it is being hosted by Jane Whittingham at Raincity Librarian. Go there to connect with lots of great links to poetry and poets!

My Five Word Thankful thought for today:

Brought to You By the Letters

Alphabet's versatility =
messages for posterity

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Acts 1: 4-11

Acts 1: 4-11

wait for the promise
it is not for you
to know the times
ye shall receive power
and be witnesses
unto the uttermost part of the earth.
he was taken up
out of their sight
they looked stedfastly toward heaven
two men in white apparel said
“why stand ye gazing 
up into heaven?
Jesus shall come
as ye have seen him go”

This was an answer to prayer this morning.  I love when that happens.

THIS morning (Monday), I looked at it again, and decided to tweak some more, just for fun and see if I could condense further.  And I like it better now.

Acts 1: 4-11
wait for the promise -
it is not
for us to know
the times -
receive power,
be witnesses
unto the earth;
Jesus shall come
as seen go 

And He is still a help to me.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Metaphor for Today

Today I have a metaphor workshop. As preparation prior to the workshop, this past week we were sent some readings to do about the topic, and copies of all 12 participants' poems.  We are to find positives in each poem, making note of rhythm, line breaks, word usage, etc.

As I read, I am getting a better handle on what they are talking about in writing poems of metaphor.  As I read the other poems, I am getting scared.  Mine is nothing like the others.  The others are more "grown up", more sophisticated; and some I just don't understand.  I feel like the Grandma Moses in a group of Rembrandts!

I'm already thinking of edits to my poem, not Rembrandt quality, but at least more to the point of the workshop!  I have written a couple or three short poems using metaphors that I think may be closer to what I should be trying for.

This growing is painful, or exciting...I'm not sure.  Ha!  I think I had those emotions in childbirth, too!  Now there's the beginning of a metaphor for you.

The Birth of a Poem

She thought she knew
Before it grew;
Excitement brewing,
Thoughts all stewing,
Then came the clue
There'd be pain, too!
Sometimes a flow,
Then times more slow;
But this she knew,
There was joy, too.

Donna JT Smith

I'll let you know how Grandma Moses felt or did next Friday.
Until then, keep perusing the list of poems at Jama's Alphabet Soup for Poetry Friday this week!  Jama's serving some delicious doughnuts!


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Found Poem 2 Peter 3: 1-28

Sunday's Found Poem from the KJV Bible:

2 Peter 3: 1-28

I stir up 
The Lord will come
as a thief in the night;
heavens shall pass,
earth burned.
What ought ye to be?
Diligent, without spot,
Grow in grace,
and the knowledge 
of Christ - 
to him be glory
for ever. 

By Donna JT Smith, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017