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My writing...reflections...poems...pictures...projects...life...in Maine.
All material on this website is © Donna JT Smith unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What I Learned From My Mother

I learned from my mother how to
grow carrots as big as my little finger
and how to scrub the dirt off a carrot with my shirt
so I could eat it fresh out of the garden
any time I was hungry.
I learned it’s okay if you laugh at a funeral
because you don’t want to cry.
I learned how to type and sew and knit and crochet.
And I learned how to iron shirts and tablecloths.
I learned that you didn’t want to get
your hands near a wringer washer
or your fingers too close to a sewing machine needle.
I learned not to panic when someone or your
dog got hurt,
and that you could and should
comfort the injured.
I learned how to spell and do my homework and
go to bed when you were making too many mistakes.
I learned that you would do better
with a fresh brain,
than with a tired one.
I learned to make roads in dirt for Tonka trucks
and rivers to drain puddles and how to repair
broken porcelain horses.
I learned how to speak kindly
and share even when it wasn’t what you
wanted to do.
I learned how to pick up a hen
to get an egg from her nest.
I learned how to bake brown rim cookies and use a wet
towel and a glass to flatten them just right
before baking.
I learned that I could be a teacher
if I wanted to,
and that I would be a good one if I did it.
I learned how to draw perspective.
I learned that it was possible to learn things outside of school.
I learned that I could know the names of
butterflies and moths and know any other thing I wanted
to know by reading books or observing.
I learned that reading could take me to the Alps.
I learned that I could dance.
I learned that your family name is important to keep untarnished
not only for you, but for the rest of the family.
I learned that it was expected that you would stand up
for any family member if they were
being criticized or treated unkindly
no matter how much your brother had
just been mean or unfair to you the day before.
I learned that it was okay to make mistakes and
that some of the worst mistakes can
lead to wonderful fixes.
I learned from my mom that you can do anything
for a day,
and that life is made up
of mini adventures that you
can not only handle,
but enjoy.
I learned that no matter
what life has dealt you,
you are the one that chooses to make
the lemonade.
I learned that you never stop missing
a mom.

Sun Feb. 26, 10:19 pm
Donna

When I read this Poetry Friday entry at Dori Reads: Poetry Friday: Julia Kasdorf
I wanted to write What I Learned From My Mother.  It was an enjoyable exercise and took me back to so many great childhood days with mom.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thanks for this Moment

Thank you Diana at One Literacy Coach for my inspiration today...actually yesterday, but I'd already posted.  It was a quiet rainy morning, and I relaxed and had my coffee, my cat, my dog, my book and a quiet house with a nice fire going in the woodstove.  Could a moment in time be better?

Maybe with chocolate.
But that's for another post.

I'm thankful this moment
For this daily slice
I treasure this minute
So cozy and nice.
As rain hits the rooftop
It patters o'erhead
The dog sleeps so soundly;
The embers glow red.
Its warmth stops the cat
He finishes cleaning
It's time for a nap
For curling, not preening.
So I curl up too
My coffee mug steaming
Reading my book
And so close to dreaming
I'm thankful this moment
For a quiet retreat
This moment of time
When all feels complete.

Be happy I didn't end it this way...like I was tempted...

The quiet surrounds
Thanks for the moment.
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a rodent.

Thanks, MsMac, for hosting Poetry Friday today.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

February


President's Day, was a couple of days ago.  I guess it's officially George Washington's birthday that the nation celebrates on President's Day, but it seemed to me, when I was younger, the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln were combined to make Presidents' Day.
In February we celebrate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (born February 12) and George Washington (born February 22).   When I was a little girl, we had those two days off, even if they were in the middle of the week. Monday holidays had not been invented yet.
Combine two days off in the middle of the week, Valentine's Day, being short by a few days, my brother's birthday and getting to be closer to spring - well, February was quite a wonderful month.
Oh, and sometimes it was a day longer, but still shorter than the other months....Leap Year!
Which it just so happens to be this year.  Wow, an additional day this year.  Will we be able to handle it?
Still...
One day it is Groundhog's Day...the next it's the kites of March!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Friendship


I am on my way up to Gull Haven...

It just dawned on me as I was sitting at the computer, that the dumpster is there, and the walls are being dewalled.  The wrinkles are coming off.  We are getting our blank slate this week!  So I'm getting in the car and heading north a ways and see if I can get some pictures for the Gull Haven blog.  Yippee!

As soon as I get there, I'll add a photo or two to this page and some to Gull Haven from my phone.
Then grocery shopping and maybe some bead shopping just before the groceries.  Wouldn't want ice cream to melt...brb!!
*************************
And I am back.  It was a gorgeous February day!  47 degrees and sunny there, although it sprinkled on the way there.  But that's Maine.  There have been times when it is snowing like crazy at our house, and nothing anywhere else...or just the opposite!  Looks funny on the weather map.  Our peninsulas and islands get different weather than a lot of the state.

I went in the house and talked to the man working on the house.  They've filled a dumpster and need to empty it to finish up.  Maybe 3 more days until the walls are opened up.  It was great to hear him say that the house was really well built.  We had hoped that would be the case.  It was a pretty good bet since we bought it from the daughter of the boatbuilder who built it in 1900. 

It was so exciting to smell the fresh air in it.   The walls were holding onto some musty smells from years of being used as storage space.  It was nice to see the sunshine through the walls.  The downstairs windows were opened up to let the breeze through, and it made the view so crystal clear; no viewing through two layers of dirty windows. 
The sky was clearly doing its best to make the water look good!
February 22, 2012


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Heart to Heartwood

I spent quite a bit of time writing about this picture, only to have it deleted.   I sat down and tried to remember the poem I'd written.   I think I have it all.  I first tried to think of all the rhymes I used and then tried to remember some of the phrasing.  I'm pretty sure I have all but one stanza.  I think there was one more.  But obviously it wasn't important or necessary or I'd remember it, right?  And I've rephrased some of it now, I'm pretty sure.  And this is the way you edit!  No, this is the way you remember to save it as a draft when you are typing it to yourself as an email on your cellphone and stop to check the date.

I took this picture while I was out on my "summer day" at the beach in January.  It's my second roots picture and poem.  I'm seeing a trend here.  I like roots.  I'd best get my camera refocused for a little variety, though.

Its fingers reach up to the sky -
They once caressed the earth;
It floated to its place of rest
Now sand supports its girth.

As smooth seat or a playground,
Old and young will find
It comforts and consoles them,
Their tight souls to unwind

In heart to heartwood talks
A burden that's revealed 
Becomes embedded in its core
And in its rings concealed

The weight of all those cares
Will keep it in this spot
But should it ever drift away
It would not speak my thought.



Donna Smith
2/9/2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I See

From Every Day Poems on Facebook
"Can you find a poem in this photo? If I were to find one, it might be in the woman's stance, or perhaps from an imagined figure in the air above her, or maybe in the folds of that voluminous skirt.
Share your poem, or a link to it, right here in this comment box, so we can easily find it and celebrate each other's words..."   
So I wrote this:

I am still here;
I watch from afar,
I see your loneliness,
I see your scar.
It's still alright;
You can still laugh,
You can still love,
Make whole your half.
Step out of the dark
You'll make your way
There's more for your life
Than you see today.
Did you feel my nudge
As I pushed you to go?
I want you to live.
I want you to grow.
Yes, I will be here
While you are still there;
Step forward knowing
I'll always care.

Donna Smith
2/8/2012


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Downed and Upended

I drove past this beautiful hemlock blown over in one of our coastal storms. Their root systems being as shallow as they are and their full-time foliage makes them prime candidates for tipping over in a brisk wind.

Downed
Upended
Downhearted
Uprooted
Down trunk
Up roots
Down branches
Up rocks
Down shade
Up dirt
Down nests
Up tunnels
Down squirrels
Up worms
Downfallen
Uplifted

Donna Smith
2/7/2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sick or Tired?

Waves overcome;
The spinning
Confuses;
Taking to bed
Before
Sanity
Loses.
Clarity slips;
Tho brain
Pursues it;
Time slips away
Before
One can
Use it.


Is this the second wave of stomach flu that people are getting around here? Others have had it multiple times.  Maybe that's what I'm feeling today.  Make way for my nap... I should know shortly!