Friday, August 17, 2018

Poetry Friday Bird Challenges

Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering is hosting Poetry Friday and has thrown out a bird-related poem challenge to anyone willing to come along!  Check out the links posted...there maybe a few bird poems today.  Diane Mayr has also challenged anyone interested to select an image from the Library of  Congress (LOC) archives that is bird related. 
So I've combined the two and this is it - I would, of course, search for a gull image - The poem is read from the box at the top to start then head on around the image clockwise.
Aboard a trawler. Selecting fish and cutting off heads. Only mackerel, whiting and occasional flounder or halibut are kept. Thrown from trough into ice-filled hold. Fish heads and non-marketable fish are thrown into sea above which hundreds of seagulls wait hungrily. Provincetown, Massachusetts
Contributor Names
Rosskam, Edwin, 1903-1985, photographer
Created / Published
1937 Summer.
Gluttonous Gulls

Gluttonous gulls 
can't help but call:
 "Come look, come see, 
come one, come all!
Look what I found - 
the heads of fish -
And boy, oh, boy, 
they look delish!"

"Share with you?
I don't think so.
You didn't catch 
these fish, you know."

"Neither did you,
so you'd better share!
Eating them all
is just not fair!"

"Fair to whom?
I found this lot!
And what did you?
I think 'twas naught!"

"Oh, fancy talk
from a common gull
Who's following boats
to snarf up cull!"

"Those fish heads
flying to the sea 
Should all belong
to me, me, me!"

"Oh, really now!
I think you're wrong;
These fish are mine,
so run along!"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"These gulls are sure
 a noisy bunch.
Their only goal:
to grab free lunch."

"If only they would
eat and share,
But seagulls aren't
that sweet and fair."

"Keep tossing heads
and no-name fishes,
Grant these gulls
their gluttonous wishes."

("I didn't sign up
for this fishing trip;
I thought this was
a cruise-type ship!")

"We'll head for shore
as sun is setting,
But they'll be back
for tomorrow's getting!"

by Donna JT Smith, 2018

Wish I'd gotten footage of the people "from away" feeding a gull on the railing beside their table - quite close to the sign saying "Do Not Feed the Gulls".  They were sharing a large platter of fries, letting him have free range of that plate.  She wasn't too pleased when he then decided to take her large piece of haddock off her plate.  She tried to shoo him away, but he came back and got the second piece of haddock, too.  They are brazen, and don't need to be fed.  They take whatever they want, whenever they want.  Nothing is safe unattended.  But if you ARE attending it and feed them, then they get even bolder - and you my friend are going to lose anything that looks as if it may have food in it even.  "Do Not Feed the Gulls"... really.  Visitors get to go home and eat in peace and quiet; we have to live with them later!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Poetry Swap from Iphigene

To the writers who want to be:

Today I am also sharing a poem I received from Iphigene Daradar in the Philippines.  She stalked my blog (very effectively and efficiently, I might add!), and came up with a beautiful summary, beginning with a line I had written in one of my posts recently.


"Life is like
a rushing wind
around me."

I sit to make
lists in hope
to catch life's
gush into a string
of words
to check off.

I write #3
only to hear
a knock,
life at my door
asking me
to go see
beach roses
blooming by
my porch.

I bend down
breathe in
the scent
of pink and white
roses, to notice
the day was best
for a ride to
the coast

Shook it off
stamp my feet
to the house and
finish the list.
ten things to write -
to be done.

I write #5
breeze blew
my paper flew
I run to shut
the window
found a bird

I stop to listen
to its song,
an invitation
to dance -
on the grass
beneath the
softening sun

Oh! Life is like
a rush of wind
sweeping off
my list, telling me
to be at ease
let it be, and

©Iphigene Daradar, 2018

Thank you, Iphigene.  There is no more to say.  Just a sigh and a smile.

Please visit Molly at Nix the comfort zone for more poetry goodness.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Poetry Friday

I read Mary Lee Hahn's post today (and she is hosting!) where she has written a Blitz Poem.  It was so intriguing, I had nothing ready for today, and I had some extra time (having gotten up a mere three hours after going to bed), so I decided to try one, too.  I've not spent much time finessing this, so I'm sure there are cleverer ones to be written than this.  But this was a good experiment in a Blitz Poem and I enjoyed my early hours this morning.

Dawn of Fun

At the end of my rope
At the crack of dawn

Dawn to dusk
Dawn of ages

Ages ago
Ages gracefully

Gracefully declined
Gracefully bowed

Bowed out
Bowed to the master

Master of all
Master mind

Mind your manners
Mind your own business

Business trip
Business of living

Living the life
Living the dream

Dream of a future
Dream home

Home of the brave
Home on the range

Range in age
Range of motion

Motion to adjourn
Motion to the side

Side by side
Side of beef

Beef it up
Beef about it

It is a miracle
It has no end

End in sight
End of the road

Road less traveled
Road to nowhere

Nowhere does it say
Nowhere to go

Go on
Go play

Play outside
Play in the rain

Rain cats and dogs
Rain barrel

Barrel of laughs
Barrel of fun

Fun and games
Fun in the sun


by Donna JT Smith, © 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018

First Spiritual Thursday Looking Ahead

Patricia Weaver at Writer on a Horse is hosting this "event", our Spiritual Thursday posts, today.  So if you are of a mind to read what others have to think and say about anticipating their favorite "seasonal" stuff's return, head on over to Pat's and click on a few links.

Sunset with a gull
Romans 8:25 - But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

I am looking forward to the return of ALL the seasons, and ALL the things that go with them.  I should not be counting down, but there are days when I think "How many more seasons of these roses will I enjoy?", "How many more of this or that will there be?"  And I think of my husband's grandmother who lived to be 104, but had begun counting down at about my age now, or a bit younger.  She had 40 more years.
So I have determined not to think TOO much about that and just live a lot.

Looking Ahead to What's Passed

my heart
to the return
of seasons gone before;
and I write about remembered
fall sunsets squeezing gold from setting sun, 
spreading butteryness on waving grain;
I pen of last winter's snowflakes,
sequins on dancing spruce;
I encourage my ink 
to flow in rivulets, 
as spring rains 
carving through 
melted snows,
the thought of 
shocks of green
between my toes 
lures me to compose 
summer words of wonder;
though my pen
over words
expressing earthly loves:
my reasons in seasons,
 watchful weeks
dreamy days;
each minute
my heart knows
there is really 
only one return that
my world
and I await
what has passed before
and will be again.

by Donna JT Smith ©2018

Psalms 39:7 - And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope [is] in thee.

I wrote part of this on Wednesday night and got very busy with much stuff starting early this morning.  And I apologize for not getting back or starting earlier to flesh it out.  You know how it is when you have so much stuff you want to fit into a day, a week, a life... squeezing in the good stuff is important.  Writing is important, too, but doing is more important if you only get to do one of those.

This has not a lot to do with the topic today, I just like it.  I'm always trying to remember to ask boldly.
1 John 5:14 - And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Revised Revisited

An old postcard of my home - When we owned it, the trees had grown up all around it, so it wasn't visible from the road.
Today is Poetry Friday, and our hostess is Catherine at Reading to the Core.  She's sharing a poem planned for the start of school....yipes! Already??

I missed last Friday's poetry, though I did write some.  I read about "Where I'm From" poetry introduced by George Ella Lyon, and tried one.
I also later found this form online:  It would be good for getting started with students.

Though some have seen my original there version on FB, I have revisited and revised it.  At one early point I had accidentally taken out the "lilacs" that I wanted in there, so they are back. Then my brother read it and mentioned "Brown Rim Cookies".  No one else in the world that I knew ever made them, or had heard of them.  So I've included the cookies in the poem and a recipe at the end.  I became an expert at tucking the edges of the linen towel inside a glass, dipping it in water, and applying just the right amount of pressure to the ball of dough so that the edges wouldn't burn.  There were a few "Burned Rim Cookies" before I got it right!
Yesterday, the 26th, would have been my mother's birthday.  So let's just say it is in honor of her.  For she is really "where I'm from" in many, many ways - even to her choice of my hard-working dad, Alex!

Not my actual bike -
Mine didn't have a headlight, but it was probably used when I got it.  My brother got a red bike the same day.

Where I'm From

I am from
family baseball
on summer Sunday afternoons,
because before I was from anywhere
Alex joined the Coast Guard instead
of the Red Sox farm team.
I am from
backyard football
and driveway basketball
until snow flies. 
As the eldest of four,
I am from
watching my three siblings
when adults are busy;
But still 
I am from the fun of
bare feet and blueberries
marbles and mud,
jump ropes and jacks.
I am from lilacs and ledges, 
chokecherry hideaways;
from butterflies and
grasshoppers and pine pitch
stickiness on fingertips.
I am from
making stick boats to float
down the driveway after a rain,
carving roads under the cedar trees 
for my Tonka truck and
ducking spiderwebs.
I am from 
the terrors of gathering
eggs from feisty hens and
avoiding killer roosters.
I am from
porcelain horses,
used furniture, antiques
and unlimited pre-loved old books:
“Honeybunch, Just a Little Girl” and
“A Child’s Garden of Verse”;
And I am from under my own
‘Land of Counterpane’
 reading and hoping
no one will notice
I’m not yet outside playing
under the apple trees and old elm.
I am from choir and white gloves,
and praying in school each morning;
I am from Bonnie Brae 
and picking Mrs. Foye's 
favorite apples in the front yard
and rubbing dirt off carrots and radishes from 
Mom’s vegetable garden in the backyard.
I am from
sewing machines and fabric
and making my own dresses;
I am from
“Gone With the Wind”,
and pressing down brown rim cookies.
I am from working at summer camp with
kids where I first learn I will be from
hundreds of children teaching me.
I am from new roots
with a husband
and a farm halfway across the country,
away from family and old friends.
I am from
new friends,
real horses,
real fences to mend,
and from my own two children
who mold me into
a mom.
I am not always from
“I know how to do that.”
But I am from
“I want to learn how to do that.”
I am from guns and roses
and motorcycles.
And I am from
a mother and father who know
that small things are big
and big things are small,
and a fall
is naught
at all.
I am from salt air, 

 and polliwogs;

and the freedom to roam
on a blue Schwinn I named Daisy.

I am from hearing an old foghorn

call us for supper.

And I’m from

coming home

By Donna JT Smith, July 22, 2018
A foghorn like ours.


1 c. shortening
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. sifted flour
Combine shortening, salt and vanilla. Add sugar and cream well. Add eggs. Beat thoroughly. Add flour. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls and flatten with water glass (damp cloth over bottom). Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Note:  Mrs. Foye was an elderly woman who would sit on our porch and ask for specific apples from our trees.  Mom was a registered nurse, and she and Dad opened our house up for a while to be a nursing home at Bonnie Brae.  We had patients in 5 of our bedrooms, and we slept in the "summer" rooms over the barn and summer kitchen.

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Ride to Reid

Such a special treat of a poem arrived last week from Becky Herzog.  It was a handmade postcard with  a shape poem - a beautifully flowing outline of a motorcycle, with an equally beautiful flowing poem.  It's perfect.  She's captured it all...the smells, the sounds, the feelings.  Thanks!!!

Some pictures to set the mood...

Reid - Todd's Point

Beach roses ready to bloom

A seagull swoop

A great swing at Griffith Head, Reid

 And the bike:
Ready for a Ride to Reid!
And now the postcard/poem (even the colors are right!):

A Ride to Reid

Smell of seaweed and roses on the air
Salty sea breeze rushing past sun-kissed cheeks
Distant waves crash and gulls cry
Pause to recharge the soul

by Rebecca Herzog ©2018

I told you it was perfect.
This project, organized by Tabatha Yeatts, is so much fun!  I'm late sending my next poem out, but TODAY it goes...and my third, too!
Now visit more poetry goodness with Sylvia at Poetry for Children!  It's Poetry Friday!  Hip-hip - hooray!

A late response poem:

I Can Dream

When I ride
the glide of wind
across my face,
like waves awash across 
the space of sand,
turns sun to
warmth undone.
Breeze sneaks
between glove and
tickling, trickling
up past wrists.
I lean into the curve,
as a gull dipping its
wing carves
a path;
Though I must 
stay grounded
to the earth,
  I can dream, 
can't I?

 by Donna JT Smith, ©2018

Friday, July 6, 2018

In the Middle

Today is officially Poetry Friday, hosted by Patricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect . First Spiritual Thursday, hosted by Doraine Bennett at Dori Reads, was yesterday.  I am late for both.  Our topic here in the middle of the year is "looking back/looking forward".

Oh, my word...
I wrote so much garbage for this day.  I wrote, read, edited, wrote more, cut lots, read know the process.  And then I decided to cut most ALL of it and stick with the poem that was in the MIDDLE and add an acrostic poem.

It's all about the middle anyway. Behave as if you were in the middle, no matter where your life bubble is.  I don't spend much time looking back and assessing my progress.   Maybe I should.  But I mostly start from where I am each day and keep moving.  I think I used to set more goals for the forward motion than I do now.  At this point in my life I've tapped about every stone I could get my toe on.  I like where I've been, and have no real regrets, so it makes life easier to deal with each day.

My goal
In life before my
Demise: to garner
Delight in the
Light of your

by Donna JT Smith

My journey lately has been mostly clawing uphill, but there have been ledges of rest along the way, and I am grateful for them, and for the fact that I don't journey alone - though I will be glad when the journey goes more smoothly and levels off again.  But how can there be a mountain top if there are no valleys?  I've been in valleys before.  Just start climbing slow, steady and straight.  Plow to the post: you'll get there quicker.

An Acrostic: 

Beginning, Middle, Ending

Before has not been
Eventually is later
Good times are
In store in
New days
Not yet happened
In time
Nor space
Get ready to race -

Messy life
In a muddle
Desserts combined with
Life's lessons -
Events dealt and disbursed.

Eventually comes,
Nevermore happens;
Despite our dreams and
Inward wishes;
No looking back for
"Got away" fishes.

by Donna JT Smith

I had a cold this week while my grandchildren were visiting.  Twice my 6 year old grandson said to me "I hope you don't die before my birthday, because you are sick and you are old."
I hope I don't either.  I only have to make it to the middle of August... lol!  NyQuil and Mucinex are working miracles.  I think I'll be at the party.  But I guess you never know.  I AM old...with a cold.

Joyful Journey

Here my path lies,
Here the journey,
But the way
Is not the end;
There are others
Following footprints
Be they family
Or friend.
As I reach
that firm foundation
Weathered storms
lie just behind,
New storms quietly
But I look for

by Donna JT Smith 

This still feels a lot disjointed to me.  Sorry.  I have a cold.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Edna St. Vincent Millay

No poem from me here today (I know. Strange, huh?), but if you must read one and you haven't yet, Monday's post, has my poem, Pulse, and a photo - I don't think it was too widely read.  Please bear with me if I haven't been to your site in a bit to comment.  Life is like a rushing wind around me.  When the wind settles to a breeze, I will have more time and energy.  But this week, I promise to reply to all who comment here or on Monday's post...even if I don't get dishes done!

This week we took a trip up to Camden, and drove up to the top of the "mountain".  Mountain is in quotes because we don't have mountains like other people have mountains.  Ours are considerably smaller for the most part.  But when you mostly see sea and forest for rest...well, we make mountains out of molehills.  But still, those molehills are pretty high up and beautiful.

Mt. Battie at Camden State Park has a stunning view of Camden's harbor.  If you are ever up in Maine it is worth a stop to either hike or drive to the top.

At the summit there is a tower, and a plaque honoring Edna St. Vincent Millay (more info here), who was born in Rockland, Maine and often came to nearby Camden. 

All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I'd started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.

by Edna St.Vincent Millay
The poem in its entirety may be read here.

For more poetry today, go to Carol at Carol's Corner and check out the links!

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Late Thought

I was thinking as I was lying in bed.  Now I can't even remember if it was before I fell asleep, or upon waking up too early.  But I guess it doesn't matter.  I got up and wrote down a couple of lines.  I did not do what I usually do, which is think to myself that I will certainly remember THAT thought.   When I finally got up for the day, I remembered I had written something, but had no idea what it was.  So, good.  I would not have remembered my thought in the morning without writing it down.  And I had been smart to just get up and jot it down.  The next step in outsmarting myself will be to have a pad of paper, pencil and flashlight...or an iPad that is still turned on and set beside me.  I am beginning to know myself and my limitations - you would have thought that would have happened years ago.  I still have to remember that I am like that though, for I will argue with myself about how I will surely remember THIS latest and greatest thing.  Then I don't write that something down, but reassure myself that I have that nugget tucked away safely for remembering.  And I never do remember it.

But I wrote this one down - sometime when it was still dark this week.  I left these lines on a document page on my computer:

Waves of the ocean,
Strong pulses of life
Breathe over the sand

And I'm going to think about it now and write more... because I remembered to write it down, and it must mean something to me.

Okay, finished.


Waves of the ocean,
Strong pulses of life
Breathe over the sand
Renewing, embuing
These small grains of land;
And I hum to myself
With a small roar inside,
A thrum that refuses,
To quell the great tide;
The salt of my tears
And dried whispers on breeze
Soon bring me to
Fall on my trembling knees.
Oh, there’s strength in
The falling,
There’s power in tears,
There’s hope in the
Squalling of gulls
Without fears,
And cormorants plummeting,
Seals sliding to depths
 All to be fed
Of oceans great wealths;
And I sit here still,
Shiftless, sifting with hand
Where the pulse of my life
Is renewed in its sand.
by Donna JT Smith, © June 25, 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018


It is Poetry Friday, and though I am a little late posting, I'm very happy to be here!  There's nothing like a bit of poetry to liven up the day.  So after spending a little time here, pop on over to check out more links to poetry at Michelle Kogan's!  (Oh, my word... I forgot to link and here it is just after 4:30 pm... I got distracted in the middle of it!)

Here is a rosa rugosa (beach rose) from in front of our home (near the beach).  I am in love with this rose.  It is the best smelling rose around.  Every time we enter or exit the house - almost all summer - we are greeted by their sweetness.

I have taken many pictures of them, and painted them a few times.  I'm hoping to get better at it!  They are so delicate and fairly glow in the sun!  It is hard for me to capture their essence.  I ALWAYS overdo them!
See... it's not even close.

I'm going to do it right one of these days!

Today, I am sharing a photo I took, and a true thought story poem.  Did you ever have this "wonder", I wonder?


I remember
about colors,
I could
spy a new color.
came into fashion,
and new crayon
names appeared…
I thought,
I’ve never seen
these colors!”
But now I know
they have always
been there;
just waiting for me
to look more

by Donna JT Smith ©2018