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All material on this website is © Donna JT Smith unless otherwise noted.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Seaman's Woman

I watch the way your
Work gnarled hands
Comb through your
Tangled thinning strands
You reach for your storm-worn jacket
You grab your lunch
and kiss me "Thanks"
Your boots walk heavy
on the planks
I begin my waitful watching.
Sun warms the day
but not the seas
Over the side legs
swing with ease
Though slower than the day we wed.
Our grandson follows
quick behind
Hops in two young legs
At a time.
And runs his hand through tousled locks.
The day begins
for you anew
But it's no longer
mine to view
My life of sea is here on land.
I know the seas
that call your name
I've known that voice
and heard the same
I've baited and wrestled with ropes.
Side by side our
lives together
With winds, waves and
storms to weather
Until Salt and Sweet brought new tides
With life's new
challenges in hand
Though my sea heart
was grounded on land
It beat with you as you kept the tides.
Till you returned
from cold wild sea
For supper and
warm bed with me
These days and years skimmed by.
A son of the sea
Sweet left to marry
But Salt remained
to help you carry
Our name and all the load.
Son of Salt growing,
filling your boots
Puts down his
seaweed roots
And feels that tug on his oar-locked heart
Mirroring your moves,
Old Salty, beware
Your grandson watches
what you share
Becoming his own man of the sea.
And he will be strong
and happy as you
If he finds
his sea-woman true
To share this salt and sweet life.

Donna JT Smith, 2013

I should be writing about my trip and my grandson...but I guess in some respects I am. I started this poem a while ago, finished it, and then reworked it into this rhyming format, which I finished today. Though not men of the sea where I'm visiting  in Pennsylvania, the plot is still the same.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Taking Tricky Trains and Tricky Teeth

Today is taking the train day for me.  I am driving down to Providence and then hopping a train for Philadelphia, then the SEPTA train out to the wilds of Pennsylvania for a visit with my daughter, her husband and their son...my grandson.  My daughter is having her four wisdom teeth out tomorrow, so I am going to be there to take care of both babies - daughter and grandson - and in some respects then my son-in-law (not that he can't take care of himself).

I had three wisdom teeth taken out when I was a bit younger than she, and it wasn't much fun as I recall.  I had one that was really difficult to remove, and I think she has two that are going to be tricky.  I'm not sure what they had to do to mine, but twice now 40 years after the fact, I have had what are either bone chips or tooth chips erupt from my gums.  They have been tiny but painful.  I'm hoping procedures have come a long way since then!

While I am on the train, I will try to update or post some pictures.  I would like to be leaving out of this area, but the Downeaster takes me into North Station, and I want to be at South Station for the connecting train.  To do that, you either have to catch a cab or the subway.  I have done the cab before, and it isn't bad.  There are usually lots of them out there waiting.  But I still don't like it.   I get nervous that I won't catch my connecting train.  And we won't even think about the subway.  I just don't like subways.  And I really don't like them alone.  I'm pretty sure I'll end up somewhere...but not sure where.  I don't travel well underground.  I don't travel well ABOVE ground, for that matter.  That's why I'm not flying there.

So, I have a few last minute things to attend to before we head south.  Brush my teeth and pack my toothbrush is first on my list.   I've already packed my banana, my water and my eticket.

Catch you later!

Friday, February 15, 2013

The House with the Straightened Wall

Today is Poetry Friday, and it's being hosted by Linda at TeacherDance.  Pop on over and read some great poetry and check out links to poetry related blogs by some pretty great teachers, poetry lovers and poets! 

The house with the straightened wall
Stands proudly
And tall
By the sea

The house with the straightened wall
Contentedly
Waits
For me

The house with the straightened wall
Sees its time
Is soon to
Come

The house with the straightened wall
Joins my whispery
Joyful
Hum

© Donna J.T. Smith, Feb.14, 2013


It's Poetry Friday and this is my poem about the house we are renovating, Gull Haven.  It sat quite sadly for a number of years, but is now getting new walls, floors, windows, plumbing, electrical, insulation and love.  It's been a long process, but it is getting close to the time when we'll be able to stay there at least for a few days at a time.  And we'll be there full time when we are both retired.
I posted the first poem here: The House with the Wrinkled Wall.  So this one is like a followup poem to the first poem that I wrote in October of 2011 when we first purchased the house.  By this October we should be finally finished with all the work there...maybe for this summer even.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blizzard

Kitchen window view this morning

I haven't been in a blizzard since...well, a long time ago.  This looks like a scene from "Little House on the Prairie" where the girls lose their way as they try to make it home after being excused early from school, or the time they had to tie Pa to a rope as he tried to find the garage. (Ha!  Just caught this...garage!...I mean barn!)

It's a whiteout, and the temperature is frigid.  I tried to open the door and take a picture, but the wind blowing snow inside keeps me from getting a shot.  So here it is through the windows! 

Garage entry viewed through the den window

And here's a short video...


I'm sitting at the kitchen table looking back into the living room.  I always like the reverse snow globe effect I get in snowstorms!

To counteract any chill from the storm...
mmmm... hot slow cooking oatmeal...with pecans, blueberries, cinnamon, a bit of raw sugar and a touch of Maine maple syrup...with hot coffee on the side...
Doesn't get any better than a Blizzard Breakfast...

Unless it is the pre-blizzard-plain-old-snowstorm chili we had yesterday, or the post-blizzard-pulled-bbq-beef sandwiches slow cooked last night (assuming this is going to get over today - otherwise it will be the continuing-blizzard-pulled-bbq beef sandwiches).  Hope everyone out there is gathering good storm stories for later telling to grandchildren and great grandchildren!

Stay home and safe, but if you MUST go out, remember to tie that rope around you so you can find your way back from however far you get...or someone can just pull you back and tie you up so you don't do anything else foolish!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snowstorm

Rose bush - snow's bush

We are getting a blizzard.  But first a small storm that wasn't supposed to happen.  The 6 inches before the 18-24 inches that will happen tonight.  A few weeks ago it rained like crazy for a few days and we lost all our snow cover.  But fortunately, we are getting more snow.  Two storms are colliding, plus a pre-storm snow that materialized on the weather map somewhere between the time I went to bed and the time I woke up.   Surprise!  Glad I went grocery shopping yesterday!

Thank you, Tara at A Teaching Life, for hosting Poetry Friday today.  I'm in with a storm poem I wrote this afternoon watching the pre-storm turn into the blizzard.

The Storm

A pre-blizzard snow
surprised in the night;
It wasn’t supposed
to start till noon's light.

Yet softly it crept
across the bare ground -
White bits swirling down
beginning to mound.

By window I perch
With steaming hot mug
No flurries inside
I’m warm, safe and snug.

Thrust, parry, repeat
snow battles with wind -
And sharp sword of ice
has travelers pinned.

Snow keeps pounding on
and threatens to keep
Us home bound for days
in drifts past knee deep.

Like rainstorm's rainbow
At storm’s end we’ll see
The shimmer of gems
bedecking each tree.

Till then by the fire
I'll refill my cup
And read a good book
Till storm says "Time's up!"