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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Poetry Too Early

I woke up at 2:00 AM and it is now 4:23 AM.  These are not hours one should be aware of.  Or - These are not hours of which one should be aware.  Oh, dear.  I'm getting tired when a preposition at the end of a sentence bothers me. I'm sneezing and coughing and stuffy.  I haven't been sick since a lot of time ago.  I don't think I'm going anywhere tomorrow/today.  Mucinex DM, please kick in.  I want to go to sleep.
While sleepless, I did manage to be somewhat fruitful, crawling out to the computer and writing these for Poetry Friday hosted by Betsy at Teaching Young Writers.  I don't know why, but poetry and poet tree and po-or tree kept floating through my mind.  I stopped them for a bit to mull them over and try them out.  So this is very early morning poetry...and there is no poet tree in sight.  I am not sitting under it.  I'm in the kitchen 'neath a bright o'erhead light.  Oh, I'm tired.  I need to breathe.
I'm posting this and then maybe sitting upright in the living room to fall asleep before the dawn's early light...which should be happening any minute now.  Oh, no.  I hear birds.  It isn't even light yet, and the birds are awake...I'm doomed!

Poet

Poet tree
I sit by thee
and write a bit
of poetry
I'm happy to be
poet me
instead of
little
poet tree.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Poet Tree

I'm a little poet tree
Where poets come to sit by me
And wrestle with their poetry.

I wish that I had words as fruit
And ripened they'd fall at my root
And poets could pick ones that suit.

But I've no words so cannot try it
I only have some shade and quiet
I cannot help a poet write it.

I'm just a peaceful poet tree
Where fruitful poets sit by me
And words submit to poetry.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm out of here.  Ear plugs for the birds.  I mean for me... so the birds can't be heard.  I don't even know where their ears are.  I think the Mucinex is working.  I'm breathing and sleepy.

PS: I wrote another poem that I will wait to post tomorrow.  It isn't about a poet tree, thankfully.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

15 Words or Less: Returning Thoughts

In 15 Words or Less - my response to Laura Salas' challenge for Thursdays....Go there to see the photo prompt and read other responses to it.

Currents of thoughts,
like water through
a trap,
with turning tides,
return
yet untapped.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One More Thing!

This is not a real lobster.  Do not eat it.

We have been doing a special Sunday School program for 6 weeks now, and will in two weeks be at our final day of the program.  I won't go into detail here, but suffice it to say it involves decorations, incentives (food and prizes), weekly letters home, puppets, scripts, activities and songs.  I have been writing and arranging all these for each week and have enjoyed every minute of it.  It is time intensive, though.  It means writing letters on Mondays; printing and snail mailing on Tuesdays; researching for and starting the script on Tuesdays; writing and emailing scripts on Wednesdays; making sure everything is in place for Sunday on Thursdays and Fridays; and getting extra letters for new people on the bus route for Saturdays.  This has left very little time for SOL on Tuesdays, Poetry Fridays, 15 Words or Less on Thursdays, and writing my own project manuscript.

But now, there's one more thing.

When a group of singers came to sing this Sunday at church, the lady that travels with them saw the program in Sunday School and really liked it.  She's an editor of an ezine, and  asked me if I'd write an article about the why's, how-to's and what's of this program.  It will still be for no pay... but it is writing.   Wow.  I am amazed.
And now I am just a little bit busier.  I have one more thing to write...750 words or less...I hope I can be concise.  I hope it can be used.  I think I'd better get busy, I have a script to write first...it's Tuesday.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Double Take

Today is Poetry Friday, hosted by Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup.


Snow finally erased
from memory
I do a
Double take as
Bluettes skim
The new spring grass.





Thursday, May 23, 2013

15 Words or Less Today

Laura Perdie Salas does a "15 Words or Less" writing challenge on Thursdays, which I used to do pretty regularly.  I need to get back to that, because I really like it.  So today I went there and found, as a writing prompt, this gorgeous theater picture all golden and tall.  And so I wrote what it made me think of in 15 words exactly.  It came to me pretty quickly.  About 4 renditions before I could say it in only 15 words.
I love being in old, elaborate, ornate theaters.  I wish we still made them that way. The acoustics are phenomenal, and there's so much to look at during intermissions!

I drew this awesome picture in Canvastic....so I wouldn't have to use any one else's photo to illustrate it...I think it sets a classic tone for whole blog today.   I think you should look at Laura's picture though, too, as you may find that hers is a bit more to your liking!

songs and
declarations rise
leaving golden
voiceprints
where they rest
evidence
that they
were here

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And then I found this one in my head...
          popping around....
                   so I wrote it down here...
                            stopping the popping...
"The pop stops here!"

I'm going to make a poster of that to put above my workspace!
Sometimes you jut have to write stuff down so you can relax again.
Here's the second 15 worder to go with the photo/exquisite drawing.

tragedy’s
golden backdrop
comedy’s
shining stage
drama’s
opulent setting
audience’s
stunning vehicle
to virtual reality

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Found Poem in the Midst of Our SOL

I've taken most of our Slice of Life post titles and written a found poem...It's a triple part slice of life poem of appreciation...a gift of acknowledgement to slicers out there.  I apologize if I could not fit yours in this poem.  Some titles were just not fitting in the three categories to my liking, so I had to leave them out. I have read almost all the posts today and found so many good ones.  Lots about connectedness and connections in life, lots of reflective pieces on the past school year and Oklahoma.  Now I'm going back for commenting.  Wow.  What a group.  What wonderful slices.  Just thought you should know.  I appreciate you.
See what I'm talking about.  Visit the "rest of the stories" here at Two Writing Teachers.


A Triple Slice of Life - Appreciation Feedback: A Gift of Acknowledgement


Oklahoma strong
Storms
Swarm
This close;
All gone,
New game.
Material Girl through a new lens

Praying for Oklahoma,
The bitter with the sweet

Connectedness
.

The Great Divide -
Should have been...

Beginning to reflect...

What about respect
?

Thinking about purpose for students,

Risking mediocrity
;
Tales of words, rich - glorious - sound stretching words
...
Clerihews and limericks.

Mind flip -
Saturday mornings
Searching

My secret keeping place
,

Walking

(I am not much of an outdoor person)
,
Summer reading

Once a year
 -
No Regrets.

Friday, May 17, 2013

This is Not the Poem

I came across a link yesterday purely by accident and just in time.  I could have dismissed it.  But I didn't.  I pursued it.  And in one day I got an answer.  One day.  Actually in less than 24 hours I got a yes.  It's not a huge deal but it is.
Anyway, when you are done here, hop on over to the next Poetry Friday host's site to catch some more poetic blogging entries.  They're at Ed DeCaria's Think, Kid, Think!

My husband had a birthday
On the 15th day in May
And I wished for him a good one
I sang his praise that day

As I poked around my blogroom
I noted one old link
I'd followed for a while
But they'd drifted off, I think

They hadn't posted in a while
Since April's end last year
So I went off to take a peak
Don't know what drove me there

This poster only wrote for May
Then came to a dead stop
They only wrote for A to Z
Existing for one hop.

I don't know why I did it
But I clicked the site a bit
And found a little book link
That said to click on it

And that is where I found
A magazine online
Submit your finest work
You haven't lots of time

Have you a work in words?
Do you have aught to say?
The deadline is approaching
Submit it right away

And so I rushed a copy
By email, not by post
They really liked my poem
Though I don't want to boast

They said that it was good
They said they'd like to use it
So I'm going to have it published
Where others may peruse it

As soon as it comes out
I'll tell you where to find it
I had to tell someone, so
I hope you didn't mind it!

It isn't a paper copy, and it isn't for money, but it's published by someone other than myself!  So I'm pretty ecstatic.  I'll give you details when it comes out.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Birthday!

It's a pretty day!

My birthday card to my husband today:

Happy birthday to the one
I love the most in all the world!
I'm so happy that you were born;
I would not be the me I am today
If not for that wonderful day!
Your day is worth celebrating
To me and to all who know you.
Even if you don't want to acknowledge
The passing of years,
I still need to celebrate the fact
That you came into this world 
On this day in May
And that meant 
You would come into 
My world someday,
And we would make 
Our world
Together.

I know he always reads my blog.  He's one of my secret readers who never comments!  We have no cake today.  I gave him his present yesterday.  The only thing left is this page and my e-card.  Those e-cards take him days to open for some reason.  He just sees that they are there and then leaves them unread until I bug him about it.  Here's my official bugging him about it #1.  It's a pretty day for a birthday.
Here are some flowers I picked (to photograph) for you!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ten Things (or so) That Make Me Really Happy

It's Slice of Life Tuesday, so head on over to Two Writing Teachers, Stacey and Ruth's for some great blog reading.

I have not blogged every day in May, but I think I'm going to take some prompts from Jenni at Story of My Life, where she has a challenge to Blog Every Day in May.  I'm not going to actually DO the challenge, as May is just too busy AND I've missed almost half of May now anyway.  I got the idea of just hopping in in the middle from Mary at Mary-andering Creatively, since she just started it yesterday.  I'm just adding my own twist now in addition to coming in late...

The Challenge today is to write 10 things that make you really happy.  I'm going to start listing, but I'm afraid there may be 100 things that make me really happy.  I don't know if since I'm not really doing the challenge, that I will stick with 10 things, or not.  I might be finished writing now.  Maybe I'll just be a channel for others to go to her site.

But here goes.  I think I will start.  Wait.  Should I do it randomly, or put number one as my happiest thingy, or my least happiest thingy - though it wouldn't be least anyway because I have more than 10 and least would be like the 99th-ish?  I'd best start with the happiest maker, or I'd never get to it the other way without listing all 100 things.

1. My husband, even though sometimes, rarely, we aren't happy with each other.  Most of the time we are happy and very.  And the rare times are just that - rare and short-lived.  So, though he is not technically a "thing" that makes me happy, I'm still going to let him make the list of top ten...or the list of top one, if I stop here.

2. Wildlife walking through or using my yard as if I didn't live here.  Turkeys, deer, moose, owls, grouse, robins, chickadees, phoebes, mourning doves, squirrels, butterflies, dragonflies and hawks.  I'm not even upset about the occasional snake.  I do, however, hate the bees, mosquitoes, wasps and ants...oh, and spiders.  But we aren't talking about them right now.  Just the happy critters.

3.  My grandson's "hewwo".  I actually could put this first on the list, but my husband was first in my life and without him we would not have our grandson...I'm going to try to put an audio file in here.  He's so cute.  And I am not just saying that.  He is.

4. Pancakes.  I don't think these are going to be in order now.  I have a feeling there will be something that makes me happy even more than pancakes...oooh, besides them being blueberry pancakes with REAL maple syrup!  Now that makes me happier.  We'll go with that, so that the next thing really will be less happy making.

5. Spying a flower in the woods.  I don't care which kind.  They all are like little treasures that only you got to see.  Well, unless you are in a park on a trail and then others will and probably have seen it.  But I'm a pretty good pretender, thanks to my mother, who told me everything should be an adventure.  She was an adventurer in our backyard.

6. My mother then, should probably get to be on this list, again not as a thing, but the things she did.  Even though she's passed on, she is an incredible influence on my life.  She's still here when I need her.  I just ask myself, "what would Mom have done?".

7. Sitting by the ocean makes me happy.  I don't seem to do it long though.  I think actually I need to be walking by the ocean.  Sitting makes me antsy to be looking at the beach instead of sitting on it.  There are so many things to discover that have washed ashore.  I love finding beach glass, interesting rocks, creatures and even pieces of creatures... shells, that is.  And I love the sounds of the waves and the gulls.  I usually have to walk in the water some, even if I'm going to get wet and have no towel or way to get the sand off my feet.  It's not going to kill me to track some sand in my shoes!

8. The sound of the ice cream truck makes me happy in a way.  I don't think it deserves to be on this list though.  The ice cream it trucks around is terrible and expensive.  And now that I think of it, it actually always brings me back to a day when I was a kid and it was coming past the end of our road.  I finally got to my mom who gave me some money for an ice cream...but the truck was gone before I could get down the road.  I hate ice cream trucks.

9.  Ice cream makes me happy.  All kinds.  Plain or sundae.  In a cone or in a dish.  Just not melted and sticky on me or the table.

10. Book smells make me happy.  I don't like the smell of musty, old books, though.  Just new books.  It makes me think of the old Trixie Belden mysteries I used to buy, and the book orders from Scholastic and Troll.  We didn't have much money when I was a kid, but there was one thing my parents WOULD buy me and made sure to provide for me, and that was books!  I read anything and everything I could get my ready little hands on (oh, I thought that was going to be so clever when I wrote it...like greedy - read-y as in reading a book...but no, now I see it is "ready" which is a real word making it a not so clever and somewhat confusing usage of the word "ready".  I guess it could be "ready to get the book in my hands and read it" meaning.)

So there's my 10 things that make me happy.
I think number 23 would be my rose bushes out in front of our house.  They look scraggly most of the time, but when they are blooming.  Wow.  What a wonderful, sweet smell as I walk up to the front door.  I probably should make them like number 6 or 7 instead.  Well, I'm not going to keep this up, because now I'm thinking of other things, like my cup of tea with cookies, listening to Celtic music, making jewelry, sewing, baking bread...this is never going to end if I go past 10 or start second guessing myself.  So just assume, if something you know I like didn't make it to this list, it's just that 10 is not enough, and I can't always remember all the things that make me happy until they do it.  I'm happy now, and nothing is going on except my cat cleaning himself right here on my table beside my computer as I type this.  Computer #16, Cat #32.  The computer doesn't throw up hairballs.  Yet.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Harbor Spring

In a somewhat cheating fashion, I wrote part of this yesterday and posted it.  Then this morning, I fully intended to just use Thursday's post as my Poetry Friday offering.
But the poem had other ideas.  Instead, I cut and pasted just the poem into a new post.  Then, like I said, the poem had still other ideas because just after I did that, it decided to grow new limbs.  So I've put additional lines to the poem, per its request.  Thank you so much poem for making me late for both posting AND my shower.

Harbor Spring

It’s time...
One by one they slip back
Into the waters again
happy greetings abound
around the harbors
and coves
the docks awaken
to the sound of boots
to the curl of ropes
to the scuff of traps
to the rumble
of men and boats
activity not
seen or felt
for the long, deep
cold days
on shores
...it’s time!
The smells
of bait
of salty air
of fuel
and musty
foul weather gear
all mingle
together
to make
the sights and
sounds fully
real
...it's time!
Hands grip
faces set
seaward
legs brace
remembering rhythms
an arm extended
to the sky
to the shore
a salute
a wave
a see you later
gotta go
and she's off
...it's time!

©Donna JT Smith, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Keeping on Track

I am trying to stay on track with a project I'm doing...
So first I had to get this little boat to keep by my computer as a reminder to stay focused.  It's on my keyboard even as I type.  As long as I don't need the numerals two, three and four, I'm all set.  I guess I should move it a little to the side or middle.

And then I made this cute Tagxedo, to remind me of what it is I'm supposed to be focusing my attention on...

I had to draw the boat shape first.  Then I listed the names, decided on a font, etc., etc., and so forth.
Not sure, but I might be distracting myself from the important task.  I'm going to get right back to it now.
Just have to start the wash.  Oh, right, the paper shredder area needs vacuuming, too.  It was too full when I tried to empty it after shredding paper this morning.  I'll just quickly pop in the den and finish that job.
And then - then you will see work on my project like I have never done - yet.
Is there anyone else in this boat with me?

Oh, no.  A poem just came.  At least it's on topic.

Harbor Spring

It’s time...
One by one they slip back
Into the waters again
Happy greetings abound
Around the harbors
And coves
The docks awaken
To the sound of boots
To the curl of ropes
To the scuff of traps
To the rumble
of men and boats
Activity not
Seen or felt
For the long, deep
cold days
On shores
...it’s time!

©Donna JT Smith, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stop Moving, May! I Want to Bask!

May is just tooling along, just like March and April did.  What is with these spring months?  They just keep moving along like we are in a hurry.  Today is another beautiful day, and it is going to be tomorrow if I blink.  I would so like the days to slow down so I can enjoy them a bit more.

These are the days I was looking forward to savoring as a retired teacher.  I no longer have to keep tabs on where each student is, what assessment I still have to give someone, do I have a good piece of writing from each person, and have I written all scores in the 20 places they need to be recorded (even though they told us having the "system" would make it easier - somehow it just added places to put information without cutting any of the others out).

I want to bask in the sunshine of these days of not having to sort and pack up a thousand books to store over the summer - along with every other little scridge of paper, every block, every pencil, crayon, calendar piece, and oh, so many other little pieces of vital equipment you will need for teaching the next year.  No more do I need to make sure everything is stored on shelves or the moving storage cabinets or in boxes stacked on top of tables or desks.  This time of year was building up to the grand finale and your stuff is in the way for washing the floors over the summer.
 
The primary grades are killers for packing at the end of the year.  First of all, there is just so much stuff...so many little pieces, manipulatives, hundreds and hundreds of books, pieces of paper, crayons, pencils, stickers, erasers, art scraps, number lines, markers...  And surprisingly, the students aren't much help.  I would just try to be civil when a teacher of older kids would say, "Get your kids to help!"   Believe me, I've tried.  And tried numerous ways.  No help.  At all.  No help. 

Oh, yeah, on surface level it looks like they've done what you asked.  There are piles of books. But as to sorting the books according to the level tag on the back -  well, sometimes they couldn't find that big yellow dot with the 13 in it, so used numbers that were somewhere else on the back of the book...like an ISBN number.  So even if most of the books were done correctly, you still had to go through them again to make sure.

Packing a box is another non-helpful chore.  They don't know how to pack things so that you can get more than three items in there, or so that you can actually close the box without bending the top of a book over.  So you have to figure in repacking time.

Then there's the "someone else's job looks more fun" problem, so they leave and try "helping" that person - which in first grade is highly irritating to the person being "helped".  So that's rarely helpful to me either.

There are always jobs you think they can do, like sorting the old crayons and keeping just the long ones and throwing away the rest.  That seems like it will keep them busy a long time, and you can go on to something else yourself.  But for some reason, that job is over in two seconds.  There were 1000 crayon parts in that crate.  How can it take no time?  Ah, I see, they've thrown them all away. They want another job now.  Of course, sometimes you do get the right person for the job, and they sort crayons methodically by size and color, but run out of time, so they have to put them all back in the crate again to get ready to go home.

So, I don't have to do this any more.   My crayons are still in their box.  My books haven't been unsorted.  I haven't scored anything to record anywhere.  I would like to savor my May.  Bask in June's glory.  But these months are going by too fast.  Savoring and basking are never to be mine, are they?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

My Daughter's Birthday

"holding up our present to watch her unwrap it"

My niece just had her first child last night, missing the opportunity to share my daughter's birth date of May 4th.

Though technology can sometimes separate us as we hover over our devices and ignore social contacts sitting right beside us, technology is also marvelous in its ability to bring us together.

And that is what happened tonight.

My daughter lives 8 hours away, so being there wasn't going to happen for us.  But the computer brought us together today.
First, the e-card through Hallmark, was scheduled to be sent months in advance.
Second, the present shopping and ordering was online through Amazon.  Shipped directly to her, I never even saw it in person.
And then thirdly, when it came time for cake and presents, we were there through FaceTime for the whole thing!  We sang "Happy Birthday" with her husband and in-laws.  We watched her blow out her candles.  She offered us some cake.  I got to see her open our gift, and took a couple of pictures of the celebration.  The photos were not as good as I'd have liked, since I used my iPhone to take a picture of the iPad image.  But that's okay, her husband can email me one he took on his phone.

It was almost as good as being there.  I would have liked to have had some cake though.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Robin's Proclamation

Is there anything more cheerful and commanding than a robin's warble on a spring morning?  I wrote, rewrote, re-rewrote, and finally wrote.

Spring robin proclaims
This joyful day to be his
Please share it with me

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I heard a robin,
unstoppable
in his cheery
morning greeting
telling the world
of this glorious day 
that was his
and
in that chirping
message
I also heard
he would share it
with me
if I'd like.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Robin and I do
Hereby joyfully proclaim
This day glorious!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

a robin
unstoppable
in his cheery
morning greeting
proclaims to the world
that the day before him
will be glorious
and it is his
but
he invites all
to share with him
the enjoyment of
this
perfect
day

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Okay, there are four ways I wrote this.  I'm going to stop now! I think I like the last one best. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day

Welcome to May!  May there be many glorious everyday moments for you this month!



May Day
 
the sun rising
copper clouds
stretching
rays

forsythias
pop yellow
waving
flags

noon day sunlight
enfolding
wrapping
warmth

jackets dropping
like fall leaves
springtime
litter

greening, budding
new shadows
changing
views
night time noises
spring peepers
happy
songs

© Donna JT Smith, 2013