Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pip and Pup, and I'm Still Up


Pippi and Ginger
Here's Tim's Merry Christmas Pup, Gingersnap - aka "Ginger"!  PIcked her up in Boston at Logan Airport this past week as a surprise on our trip back from Rhode Island.  She's a Yellow Lab from Arkansas...one of a litter that my nephew's dog, Peanut had.  When we went to Arkansas in September for my niece's wedding, I laid claim to one of the Christmas pups from Thistle's Labradors, and I kept it a secret from my husband right up until a few hours before we had to pick her up at the airport.

Ginger has met, but not yet been appreciated by our cat, Noah (which you can read more about on "I, Noah Cat" blog - to the right =>).
Pippi, our aging Golden Retriever, however, is accepting Foster Mom duties very well - letting Ginger cozy up and sleep, and correcting her with low growls and bared teeth when she gets a bit too rambunctious!  Many years back she was the puppy being mothered by our old Golden, Nutmeg, aka "Meg", so it's payback time!

I am tired.  I have not had a puppy for a LONG time.  I'd forgotten it's like having a baby that can already walk and run, puts everything in its pin-filled mouth, and poops and pees at will  without benefit of a diaper.

I haven't had a full night's sleep since she arrived as she whines to go out every few hours.  I've memorized the path from bedroom to leash to crate to front door without opening my eyes.  I've become accustomed to standing outside in pj's in freezing temps because I don't have time to grab my coat (I have not yet put it on my memorized route for some reason).  So far I've always had shoes on.  However, I have stepped in more doggie-droppings in the past 4 nights than I have in my whole life...it's hard to see in the dark with wet brown leaves on the ground...well, and trying to stay asleep through the process.

But all in all, it's worth it for the puppy kisses, and the warm, fuzzy, limp and happy puppy body curled up asleep in a lap.  Babies and puppies...God made them cute, so you'd keep them and love them in spite of all the bother!!

Merry Christmas to all!


Friday, December 19, 2014

A Repost for Poetry Friday AND Deja Vu Blogfest

It's finally Deja Vu again.  I thought I'd never see this day again!  So here's my post that needed reposting - one that had not been vu-ed deja so much.
It was a Saturday... November 8, 2014... to be specific.  Not much traffic that day as I cruised the interspace highway.
If you go to DL Hammons or to the links at the bottom of this page, you will find more little known but treasured links.
It is also Poetry Friday, hosted by Buffy Silverman - so head on over to Buffy's Blog for more poetry offerings!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"An Exercise"

On Friday, for Poetry Friday, Margaret Simon explained how she used her students as "guinea pigs" (so to speak), offering them a writing technique/prompt she had seen done by their state poet laureate, Ava Leavell Haymon, at the Book Festival Wordshop.
Her explanation and results are on her page  Reflections on the Teche here.
I decided to try the exercise, since I had a pen and the back of a large envelope right here handy beside me.



Here's the final, short 6 line poem that I came up with out of some of the words jotted down:

Oh, the luscious feeling
Of sweet love
I hum
So softly enveloped
In the arms of serenity
Blessed I am.

And this - with only a couple of very quick edits, is my "free writing" in 7 minutes.  It was supposed to be free writing - not a poem (complete with rhyming), but this just came out.  It is always a wonder-ing feeling when this happens.  I can never explain why sometimes words are easy and others they are labored over.
Was it the exercise of the writing of the words, the disregarding of the internal negatives thoughts, was it knowing I was going to write something not planned out, that I'd spontaneously would put on paper - and that I didn't have to share it if I didn't care to - like if it was stupid and terrible as the voices had said it would be before I disregarded them?
7 minutes - With the rest of the exercise, it was probably 15 minutes total for prep and both pieces.  I may try it again next week.  It seemed to free up the brain.
Thanks for the exercise, Margaret and Ava!

My Wonder

Days are long in summers lost;
Evening comes at precious cost -
Quick the sun’s last rays are cast,
Now the time is going fast.
As the stars come out to play,
When the moon peeks out a ray,
I alone am left to wonder
At their glory, at God’s thunder.
All around me dark of night
Blankets me and holds me tight
Till my breath it will not come
And my heartbeat slows to dumb;
Then I hear the breath of night
Breathing songs into the white
Of stars and moon, oh, they too sing
And I have heard no grander thing
Than dark and light in chorus lift
Their voices smooth and soft and swift
Drifting to my ears on earth
Offering me a chance for birth
I can only hear them when
My hand is still, and God wields pen.

Donna JT Smith
Nov. 8, 2014
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quiet

My only thought this morning was of winter quiet, though yesterday's winter weather was anything but quiet. It icy-rained alllllll day. Here's hoping that in the light of day, ice hasn't encapsulated the car that wouldn't fit in the garage. That aside, I love the quiet snow gives the world. You could almost picture snow being warm to wrap up in... but it gets pretty hard to think of it that way the more you know snow...
So here's a short poem for today. I have lots to do and little time to write.
Look at the date! Do you see how close we are to Christmas? Well, I am not ready for it.

cold
quiet snow 
lending
night shroud
quietly
elegantly
mending
the loud

Okay, this was supposed to be a short poem, and it ended up being one.  However, I wrote in Pages, then copied and pasted it here. I wasn't happy with it.  So it got longer.  Then I edited and revised in this space.  I cut most of it.  This wasn't even in the original originally.  It was a last minute addition and the only part I kept.  I just say that because I find it strange how poems happen sometimes.  And because I'm proud of myself.  Not for the poem itself, but for the fact that I am getting better at just cutting through garbage.  Just because I wrote it, doesn't mean I have to own it.  That is a hard concept sometimes - a "Yes, but I had more stuff - how can you tell me it isn't worth the cyberspace it was printed on?" mentality that I love challenging.  I love winning that debate with myself!



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Handful of Seasons

Wednesday's Poetry Jam prompt was to write about hands.  This is my second poem...I tried one yesterday, but wasn't too happy with it.  It needs more work.  So I wrote this one this morning.

Handful of Seasons

Spring’s fingers are light
and nurturing
and creep
to make
things grow;

Summer’s thumb is green
and diligent
and keeps
the soil
with hoe;

Autumn’s palm is full
and inviting
and reaps
the fields
below;

Winter’s hand is harsh
and shivering
and sleeps
in drifts
of snow.

©Donna JT Smith, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Poetry Friday Snow Day Thanksgiving

Poetry Friday - the day after Thanksgiving...being hosted at Carol's Corner today. Join in the feast!

Thanksgiving was a great day...
however on the day before Thanksgiving it started to snow and we lost power at 7 pm that night.  Thanksgiving at my house was now in question.  I had all the food, but no way to cook it.  Perhaps by morning we would have power again.  It was not likely though, as being on a peninsula-type island, our power doesn't go anywhere else.  Restoring us does not reactivate the next town or anything.  Ocean and Europe are next in line.
So, no.  There was no power in the morning.  We packed up everything and headed south an hour plus and set up Thanksgiving a bit delayed there.  Turkey got in the oven (well, we actually put him in there, he wasn't so willing) at 11 am instead of 6 am.
But we had Thanksgiving.  My son couldn't make it as he worked at 3 closer to our town.  We brought him a Thanksgiving meal on our way home that night while he was at work.
It was still a wonderful day in spite of losing everything in our refrigerator and freezer.  We unfortunately had to make a quick dive into the cold to get the turkey, whipped cream, vegetables, and other assorted foods to take with us; and that cooled off the refrigerator too much it appears.  Our power came back on at 5 pm on Thanksgiving, but that wasn't early enough to save any food.  The worst thing about that is it would be a great time to clean the refrigerator....but I just did that a couple of days ago to get ready for the turkey et al.
Here's why no power...and the only way off the island.  Fortunately there was a bit of space off-road just on the side of the bridge, or everyone would have been home and powerless on Thanksgiving.

Here's one of my poems from Winter Ways, available on Blurb, on the sidebar.  It seems fitting.  It was packy snow, as we liked to call it as kids.  Great for snowballs, snowmen, snowforts, and losing power with downed trees and wires.

A Question of Snow

Have you crystals?
Are you white?
Do you sparkle in the night?
Are you dry?
Are you wet?
Is your touch the coldest yet?
Are you flaky?
Do you freeze?
Do you rest in boughs of trees?
Are you heavy?
Are you light?
Do you make the winter bright?
Can we build a fort of you?
Can we make an angel, too?
If you've answered yes to all
I am guessing you're
SNOWFALL!


©Donna JT Smith, 2014 all rights reserved

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Poetry Jam - How to Poems

Today's challenge at Poetry Jam is to write a "how to" poem...
and so here is my "How to Write a Poem"...and my "How to Be Six" poem embedded in it.

How to Write a Poem

first write down a bunch of things
all the zany little zings
that just wing
into your
brain
your fenced in frame
of mind.
when your fingers stop and linger
on a gritty, grainy zinger
let it sing
out of your
brain
unfettered frame
of mind.

How to be
How to stop a cat
How to pat a dog
how to clean the refrigerator
how to stuff a turkey
how to make coffee
how to climb a hill
how to try on shoes
how to comb your hair
how to brush a cat/dog
how to open a door
how to close a door
how to calm fears
how to eat a lobster
how to drive
how to crack an egg
how to watch a deer
how to talk to a cat
how to talk to a dog
how to be six

How to Be Six

take away your many years
put aside your grown up fears
look for silly where you are
make a vroom sound for a car
grin and make a funny face
start a rousing game of chase
put an olive on your finger
when its bedtime whine and linger
throw a rock that goes too far
almost hitting someone’s car;
lick your finger, rub your shoe
till it looks as good as new;
put your backpack on your belly,
stick your finger in the jelly;
put on shoes, left on right -
try to tie the laces tight;
put your toys and clothes away,
toss them where the monsters play;
ride a bike, swing on swings,
think of scary, funny things;
ask one question, then another,
when you’re finished, hit your brother;
use a sheet to build a tent
ask just what “inquis'tive” meant;
find a tree to climb real high,
sitting there, become a spy;
watch for strangers and for danger,
then become a forest ranger;
ride your bike so fast you crash,
dig to find a pirate’s stash;
see how deep a puddle is
shake a soda, watch it fizz;
muddy feet and dirty clothes,
clean them off with garden hose;
then
when
you’ve become your best at six
another number has some tricks;
time to see how you will handle
another year, another candle;
grab the next list of “How to...”
seven’s here to challenge you.

©Donna JT Smith, 2014, all rights reserved


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I Am

Here we go - Poetry Jam's prompt today is to write about who you are or are not...your identity.

Mirror Image

I look in the mirror and -
I am 5
wondering what I will
do when my friend hits me
my mother says "hit her back"
I cannot
I will not
"So sit on her"
I can do that
she does not hit me again
I am little
I will not hit my friend
but I will not be bullied.

I am 6
wondering why a stranger
would say, "Hi, chubby!"
I ignore him
my mother and mirror
assure me I am not
he does not know me
in my outgrown red shirt
my happy bare feet
and dirty fingernails
that have built miles of roads
for my Tonka truck.

I am 8
wondering at a stranger who
tells my parents I am so grown up
to give him comfort
on the side of the road,
when he has hit our dog
with his car
as we wait for the school bus
I assure him, "My dog will be all right"
though I am a bit worried
that our dog will die
I do not want him
to feel sad or worried.

I am 10
wondering why my friend
says I
cannot be
in her special club
so I make my own
special club that she cannot
even dream to be in
but I cannot keep her out
I can't be mean
to my friend.

I am 14
and wonder why boys
all seem to want to talk to me
and my father is outraged
when a 21 year old
at the hardware store
asks if
he can date me
he is embarrassed
to learn that
I am so young
I did not ask for this
new kind of attention
I just wanted to buy
some nails for my dad.

I am 17
wondering why a friend
talks behind my back
spreading hate
power dwells
in rumors
but I will not be bullied
I work my way back up
from depths I did not know
existed
she is not a friend
I should have seen that.

I am 21
wondering about the future
wearing a veil
I say “I do”
to someone
who calls me beautiful
I will let him think so
he calls me wonderful
I think “if you say so”
we buy a house
we begin a
happily
ever after
as best friends.

I am 30
with wonderment
I hear our firstborn’s cry
I hear exclamations of “It’s a boy!”
“I know," I whisper
this is not a surprise to me
and two years later
neither is his sister
they are beautiful
and wonderful
who needs ultrasound
when you are given dreams?

I am today
still a child
a little girl
a young lady
a new bride
mother of two
and grandmother
I am who I am
because of all that has been done
because of all I have done
my husband still calls me
beautiful and wonderful
but my mirror says
he is the beautiful and
wonderful one

I am ageless
and wonder what will
be added in the
time that I have
been given.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday - Woo-Hoo Day!

Yesterday afternoon I went in to town to work with second graders (I love that...I just walk in, grab a clipboard and go hunting for students available to do some extra reading or writing...) as a volunteer in my old school (from which I am retired).  That in itself made it a great day.  I have one kid who asks throughout the week if I'm coming to read with him.  I like that.  Someone looks forward to seeing me.  AND then I leave.  I don't have to keep Running Records, score anything, write a report, etc...none of that.  All the good parts of teaching without the paperworky quirky things.
So yesterday was already a great day.
But when I got home, there was a small UPS package waiting for me, leaning up against my front door.
As an aside, I do have to tell you this.  If I hadn't even seen the package, I'd have known someone had been on our front porch by the dog's reaction when I got home.  She was standing over as far away from the door as possible, looking at us from between the open stairs to the loft, barking at us.  She didn't come to the door.  She's a Golden Retriever, and older, and when we come home sometimes she'll bark a little bit, but then comes to the door to greet us with her tail end all wiggly-twiggly.  But when someone has been there - like UPS, FedEx or the oil man, she's hiding out as far away as possible, barking from a safe distance.  She's a great "delayed alert" dog.

Anyway, there was a small package on the doorstep, and it was my paperback copy of Winter Ways!  When I had torn the package open in my own special way (which will be a blog another day), it looked just right, better even than I'd imagined.  It was shiny covered, just right for holding sized, with real paper pages inside and my poems and my pictures and my name and an ISBN.  No, it does not get any better than that.  Not yet anyway.

I'm still waiting for The Fall of the Leaves of Fall.  I think they lost it, being 4 days overdue now.  For some reason it did not have a tracking number as this one did and the book my grandson got.  So I can't tell you about that one yet.  I do know this one is just the way I had hoped it would look - and I'm being assured FLF will be beautiful, too.

So this is a reminder for anyone out there with any iBook reader for iPad, iPhone or Mac computer...Winter Ways is available as a free download this week and next.  Just click on the book to the right and select ebook for $0.00!
Who knows, you may want your own paperback...
Here it is:
An ISBN! It must be a real book!

The cover - my front yard in winter

Here's Twinkly Sprinkly...

And two more where that came from!

I had a great day!  Now let's go make someone else's day great by reading other Slices of Life over at Two Writing Teachers today because it is Tuesday - WooHoo Day!

Friday, November 14, 2014

And Now It Must Be Friday...

My brain could be back on schedule.  I woke up knowing it was Friday and that I hadn't posted anything for Poetry Friday.

I've been reading lots of poetry for a while now.  You know, poetry is a funny thing.  I wrote "funny think" first and corrected it, but I think I am right.  It's a "funny think".  It isn't really a story, though it can be.  It's just a funny think; something that occurs to you - and mostly all in one sitting.  Oh, yes, you may edit and revise, but by and large the whole "think" comes in one sitting - in one huge think.
I am not a big fan of poems that make you think too hard on the receiving end though.  You know, where a tree frog is symbolic for how someone's life is going, but they don't say it, so I'm left wondering if they truly feel that way about frogs, or maybe I should be feeling that way, or maybe it's really a statement about pond life in general...  I guess I'm pretty superficial when it comes to art.
However I do like some word play and snippets of rhyme and a good rhythm.  And I like a good ending.  It doesn't have to be a happy ending.
Not all of these things are easy to accomplish in a poem, thus the final revisions and editings.  But the "funny think" came first.  And by "funny", I don't mean it has to BE funny...it just is an unusual, unique or "just struck you", interesting way of thinking about something.
This is one of my "funny thinks".  I wasn't sure I would ever write about it, but there he was again in my line of sight when I took the dog out this morning.  And the "funny think" happened.  This is not like the tree frog idea.  It really is just about a bird.

Sorry, Sparrow

I heard a thud on my window,
I knew it was a bird;
Now his body's in my rosebush,
I wish I hadn't heard.

One moment he was soaring free
So sad to see him dead
Windows showing him sky and tree -
Merely mirrored instead.

And now a poor little sparrow
Left in my rosebush thorns
Will not be flying home again.
Where is his mate that mourns?

I have a picture...but out of respect for his relatives, I will not be posting it.
Go read more "funny thinks" for Poetry Friday with Keri at Keri Recommends today!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Oh, It's Thursday?

Goodness...I feel like I've been rude.  I just got so caught up in being distracted that I forgot it was Thursday.  With Veterans' Day on Tuesday, I got off by a day, I guess.  There were things I wanted to remember to do today, and things that I thought were happening today but happened yesterday - so missed them entirely.

Anyway, I wanted to say thank you to Michelle Barnes.  She has my haiku on her site today for the November Ditty of the Month Club offering.  It is part of her collection of monster-inspired haiku this month.  Mine isn't exactly monstrous, but it does have a black cat.  Head on over to Today's Little Ditty and maybe concoct your own monster-y haiku to submit!  It's fun.  Who isn't up for fun...any day of the week...?

Phew!  OK, so tomorrow is Friday, right?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dreams

Poetry Jam has the challenge to write about the word "dream".


Dream

a dream is what is not but is
though all the world is in a tiz
I enter into dream of day
and let my mind in there allay
all fears and worries, roiling strife
and cut through foggy seams of life
and I return much saner, for
my quiet time with secured door
reopening I am renewed 
a world made fresh each leaf a’dewed
and I can see more clearly when
in dreams I’ve taken Peace again

©Donna JT Smith

And my dream, my second book of poetry is now available.
"Winter Ways" is a collection of  Cold and Snowy Poems for young hearts.
The iBook version is free from now through the Thanksgiving weekend!


Winter Ways by Donna JT Smith | Make Your Own Book

Thanks for looking and reading! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

An Exercise

On Friday, for Poetry Friday, Margaret Simon explained how she used her students as "guinea pigs" (so to speak), offering them a writing technique/prompt she had seen done by their state poet laureate, Ava Leavell Haymon, at the Book Festival Wordshop.
Her explanation and results are on her page  Reflections on the Teche here.
I decided to try the exercise, since I had a pen and the back of a large envelope right here handy beside me.


Here's the final, short 6 line poem that I came up with out of some of the words jotted down:

Oh, the luscious feeling
Of sweet love
I hum
So softly enveloped
In the arms of serenity
Blessed I am.

And this - with only a couple of very quick edits, is my "free writing" in 7 minutes.  It was supposed to be free writing - not a poem (complete with rhyming), but this just came out.  It is always a wonder-ing feeling when this happens.  I can never explain why sometimes words are easy and others they are labored over.
Was it the exercise of the writing of the words, the disregarding of the internal negatives thoughts, was it knowing I was going to write something not planned out, that I'd spontaneously would put on paper - and that I didn't have to share it if I didn't care to - like if it was stupid and terrible as the voices had said it would be before I disregarded them?
7 minutes - With the rest of the exercise, it was probably 15 minutes total for prep and both pieces.  I may try it again next week.  It seemed to free up the brain.
Thanks for the exercise, Margaret and Ava!

My Wonder

Days are long in summers lost;
Evening comes at precious cost -
Quick the sun’s last rays are cast,
Now the time is going fast.
As the stars come out to play,
When the moon peeks out a ray,
I alone am left to wonder
At their glory, at God’s thunder.
All around me dark of night
Blankets me and holds me tight
Till my breath it will not come
And my heartbeat slows to dumb;
Then I hear the breath of night
Breathing songs into the white
Of stars and moon, oh, they too sing
And I have heard no grander thing
Than dark and light in chorus lift
Their voices smooth and soft and swift
Drifting to my ears on earth
Offering me a chance for birth
I can only hear them when
My hand is still, and God wields pen.

Donna JT Smith
Nov. 8, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Poetry Friday and Winter Ways

We have already had snow here in Maine - my mother-in-law, up in The County (Aroostook  County to those out of the loop) - is seeing a foot accumulate today.  We were going up to visit for the weekend, but that weather has changed our plans.
I've been busy this week, writing lots and lots and doing the necessary laundry and dishwashing.  No vacuuming, so I think that must be today...cat and dog are of no help...

Anyway, after putting "The Fall of the Leaves of Fall" poems together in a photo quality book, I've decided to put "Winter Ways" in a trade book format.  This will mean a much better price point than the FLF book.  "Winter Ways" will have new poems, geared for the youngish and young at heart.  I'm sorry that most people don't go for rhyming books, but that seems to be what my brain does a lot of, so a lot of these are using that format.  I have written and rewritten and slept on it, and rewritten, hopefully to get the rhythm and reason for the rhymes to work out together.  There is nothing worse than making a rhyme for a rhyme's sake... except maybe reading it later and noting that the rhythm is off!

I have copied a page out of "Winter Ways" and am posting it here for Poetry Friday.  I know.  I'm late.  But I've been busy.
Hope you like it!  It's time for snow!

with Diane Mayr.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Rock Pebble Stone



Today's Poetry Jam challenge is to write about pebbles.  I have lots I could write about pebbles.  I love them.  I don't have tons of them, but I do have a few favorites I have picked up over the years.  One of my oldest is my wedding rock.  My best friend gave me this rock for our wedding.  It is a rather large rock that has followed me around since 1972.  It has a line of quartz that runs through it - a ring - so it is considered a wishing rock.  Then I have rocks that I collected with my mother when we took her to Newfoundland on her last trip before she died - the one a doctor told her not to go on, and she got a second opinion on that!  They are sharp red rocks that shattered off the face of a cliff there.  I'm surprised we made it through security with them, they were that sharp!
Then I have shiny quartz and mica pieces and smooth white pebbles from Nova Scotia.  I try not to collect rocks anymore from beaches.  It doesn't seem right to deplete them, and could cause more erosion if everyone did it.  So I haven't gotten a beach rock in years.
I got a beautiful green rock from my daughter for my birthday one year.  Seems like it wasn't long ago, but I'm afraid it was probably 10 years ago... She was out walking with a friend and they came across this rock.  She knew I'd love it, and she brought it home and wrapped it up.  She was right, I loved it.  Her friend thought she was crazy - so I guess the friend must have thought I was, too!
My grandson brought me two rocks from the driveway.  I thanked him and set them on the table.  At church, I reached in for my Bible, and my hand touched something rough.  He had slipped the rocks into my church bag sometime before he left.
You can see all the rocks mentioned above, except for the white pebbles, in the picture - oh, and the acorn my grandson gave me, too, put there for size reference!

So, that's the history - my grandmother collected rocks, I collect rocks, my grandson collects rocks.  I have a picture of him on his way to Disney World this week, wearing his new sunglasses and holding up his treasure - a new pebble, stone or rock, whichever you like!

My Grandmother

Though she collected rocks, you see,
She never read a book to me.

While walking on the beach
Or when she went on trips
She'd find a special rock
To slip in her pocket if it were small,
Stash in the trunk if it were large,
Or just carry it in her hand
Walking back home.
I'd see her carefully
place the rock
on her garden wall
Or in a special nook
Rock, pebble, stone
She never read a book.

She came from Newfoundland
I did not see her school pictures
In any photo book she had
No pictures of her classmates
As I had for my parents
and grandfather.
Had she gone to school?
Perhaps not
Or not for very long
Sometimes back then for girls
School were locked
Stone pebble rock
I only heard her talk.

Each piece she had
Told a story
Of who or where she was,
Places where she grew up
Places she had loved
Maybe they were her books.
Reminders of days
Of what she'd heard or seen
Rock stone pebble
A bit of where she'd been.

Though she collected rocks with me,
She never read a book, you see.

©Donna JT Smith

Friday, October 31, 2014

FAILED!

It was a sad day yesterday.  My Mac has been shutting down randomly for the past few weeks.  I've tried figuring out what I had open when it would happen.  Finally, reading the crash reports and watching my usage, I determined it had something to do with my graphics card perhaps, as iPhoto and websites seemed to aggravate it.

I took it in to a Genius at Apple (where my husband and I worked for a couple of years), told him my computer's symptoms, and he said it was probably the video card.  To confirm it, he plugged it in and ran a test on it.  Suddenly, the screen flashed a huge FAILED from one side of the screen to the other.

There was nothing that could be done, short of a video card transplant.  So it has been sent in to the Apple Hospital to receive a new internal organ.  It will be back home in a few days.  Today I am working on my husband's old Mac.  I was going to just go without and maybe do laundry and clean the bedroom...but then I decided, nah!  Starbucks, a venti decaf latte and an old Mac sounded better.

So here I am latte-d and late, but here, online.  Happy.  Guess I'll write a poem for Poetry Friday - what's left of it!  But my friend, Linda Baie, is hosting so I don't want to miss it!

Computer o' Mine

We've ridden in cars
on trains
and on planes;
You've held all my pics
of fall
and of squall,
We've caught words mid-air
to write
and delight,
You've saved and found files
once missed
on some disk,
We've worked overnight
from sup
to sun up;
I'm missing you now,
it's bad
feeling sad;
I've bought you a card
that's swell
to get well!

(that would be a swell, getting well new video card...)

Ok, so not my best work.  But I'm sure my computer will appreciate it when it gets back after getting my "get well card"!
I should take it back in to the Apple Store and let them hook it up again, just so it can see the sign that says, A+!  No more failing grades!  Now that would make it feel really good!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Broken

For Poetry Jam today...
Was going to write a light verse about something broken, but that was not to be.

Broken Vessel

For many years I did not know
You were broken,
Though there were signs I did not see -
Small vague tokens.
Some days I poured and you filled up -
No drop was spilled;
But other times hot liquid flowed
And flesh was killed.
Still I went on not knowing why,
But being gloved
In case of scalding steamy spew;
Yet you were loved.
One day I felt the growing crack,
No slight fissure;
Invisible until the break
From the pressure.
With broken pieces in my hands
I’ll still hold you,
But there is nothing I can do -
I have no glue.

©Donna JT Smith, 2014, all rights reserved


My poetry book..."have to put up" my link or preview each day this week...then you will not "have to put up" with it except on the side bar!   Available through Blurb and Amazon, soft cover, hard cover, pdf and an iBook!  Here's a small preview:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tuesday is Slice Day

Haven't written a slice in a long time it seems.  The slices of my life are just piling up like firewood stacked for winter.  Let's take a log off and toss it in the fire.  See how it catches fire...

Sunday was my birthday.  yea.

But, the good thing was, I determined to have a book in print before my birthday, and I did.  Two days before my birthday, I uploaded my book of fall poems to Blurb (and a version to Amazon).
Yea!

You can find "The Fall of the Leaves of Fall" here.  My previous post has a preview if you go back to Saturday....

Then, today (it is Monday night as I write this), my husband took me out for an early breakfast and a photography date with our digital SLR's...anywhere I wanted to go...anywhere I wanted to stop!  I had a blast!  I think he did, too...but it was all about ME.
I got some pretty good shots of ocean, trees, red berries, grasses and such.  I'm hoping it will be seed for new poems and writings.  Haven't "developed" my "film" yet, but will get out my card reader and do that in the morning.

Ok...couldn't wait until morning...


We spent the day out - then the finale of a steak dinner at Longhorn.

I had about with a two hour "break" when I went in to school to read with second graders (love that time) - part of my regular routine this year.  Yea, again!

Now, don't forget to get your cup of coffee and head over to read everyone's slice at Two Writing Teachers!  Yea, a third time for another wonderful thing (the first yea didn't count)!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Fall of the Leaves of Fall - My Poetry Book!!

I finally did it!  I set my mind to it this week to complete one project and push the submit button - and I DID it!!  It is an independent...but I think it is still a pretty awesome thing to have a book that people can actually own that I wrote!  It has 14 poems of fall and photos that I have taken in Maine...mostly around my coastal home (though there is no ocean in this one...some other day I'll compile that one).  Some of the poems have been on this blog, some have been on the blog in a little different form since I revised many, and some are new for this book.
Here are a few pages from my new - and first - poetry book, "The Fall of the Leaves of Fall", offered in full color on Blurb.  My iBook is available currently, but I am trying to get a formating issue sorted out - something that happened on their end and didn't show up in any previews.  So I'll post that when it gets settled!





Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Old Daisy

At Poetry Jam the prompt is to write about a favorite game or something you played as a child.  Well, here it is:

My bike was my horse,
Old Daisy her name,
A blue Schwinn with bell
With manners quite tame,
I rode her up hill
And then rode her down,
All over the country,
Almost into town.
She didn’t eat oats,
She didn’t like hay;
And when offered them
She’d always say “Nay!”
Daisy liked to be brushed
Until her coat glistened
And when I would whisper
My steed always listened.
I yearned for a horse
But my parents were set;
A blue Schwinn named Daisy
Was all I could get.
So Old Daisy and I
Rode off in the sun,
With me pedaling fast
To get her to run.
Old Daisy's at rest now
Where old bike-horses sleep,
Her rusty, bent horse shoes
In some scrap metal heap.

©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Fall of the Leaves of Fall

My emaze experiment in poetry is up to share  for Poetry Friday, hosted this week at "Today's Little Ditty" by Michelle Barnes. 
Taking inspiration from Margaret Simon at "Reflections on the Teche", where she posted students' zenos on an emaze, I decided to try out emaze, too.   (Writing some zenos will probably be the next challenge...)
I have been working this week on writing kind of spontaneously about fall and leaves as I take pictures and use the emaze site.  I used some of their sample titles on the templates, sometimes as they wrote it and sometimes adapted, as a starter to a poem about fall.  The titles really didn't refer literally to fall on the presentation, but they lent themselves to inspiration quite well.

Powered by emaze
 I think I've left time enough for reading before it goes automatically to the next slide.  If it's too much time, just click on the arrow to go at your own speed. The text is kind of small reading it on the page, though, so click on the corner arrows to make it full screen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Poetry Jam - RIP

At Poetry Jam today the prompt is to write about a graveyard.  Like many other people, I've always loved looking at headstones.  I enjoy finding members of my family, but I also like looking at other old headstones and reading their stories.  The older ones were so much more interesting than the "name and number" on the newer ones.  Anyway...I don't have much time today.  Stuff to do.  So, here's what I came up with this morning.  Looking forward to reading others  tomorrow!

R.I.P

Lying next to Hester
There is Reverend Brown
With their youngest daughter
Who was sadly drowned.
Neath the maple, John Dean
and his wives, all eight,
In the shade are resting
Dates on every slate.
Mary Jo and Edmund
married early on;
Sixty years together,
Ninety they've been gone.
Sickness took the Maynards;
Ocean swallowed ten,
All of them a’fishing,
Never seen again.
Bodies in the dust bin
Back to soil from soil
But now comes the question
Where will each soul toil?

©Donna JT Smith

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Little Something I Just Had to Try

Today is Poetry Friday hosted by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect!  And for the event I have A Little Something I Just Had to Try...

Laura Purdie Salas has a 15 Word Thursday to write to a picture in 15 words or less.  There were some really awesome lines in the offerings, and they got me excited about writing a "found poem" using lines from those poems - excluding my own, which is here:

old spruce
draws close her counterpane
in autumn’s wane
she knows
the cold to come

(The image looked to me as if the spruce was gathering leaves to cover herself from the coming winter…)

I took lines from the poets posting Thursday on Laura's page.  Go there to see the original posts/poems.  See if you can match up the lines to the poets!
a maple leaf sky this morning in Maine...


Two Worlds

Squirrels, splashing energy -
Bits of gold and green -

Kicking leaves
;
Amid the clutter

Crackling under feet
,
The cold is snapping!

Orange-gold leaf kites

Falling into my life,

With a sigh,

In whispering waves
;
Woven quilt of rustic colors

For winter napping.

Old dog watches the road
 -
Watching,

Awaiting

Winter’s wrath.


The "found poem" or "composite" was created by lines from these poets:
(Sorry, I don't know these last names or websites, but will add a link if you send it to me.)
Kristi Veitenheimer
Jessica Bigi
Martha
Cindy B.
Amelia
two students: Tyler and Vanissa

Awesome lines!  Thank you for your inspiration!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Did You Ever Feel Like Dirt?

Today at Poetry Jam, the challenge is to "write a 'If I were' poem. Feel free to be whoever or whatever you’d like to be. What would you do? How would you feel?"

Did You Ever Feel Like Dirt? 

i am
the salt
the dust brought back
the ashes returned
deep i am
giving life
accepting death
hands sift
roots permeate
rocks tumble and
crumble
becoming
grower
and salter
and duster
ashes
of all
the world
i am



©Donna JT Smith

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's Never Really Magic

It’s never really magic.

Magic?

Someday the Magic will be revealed
When all the volumes become unsealed
And we will then know the reasons why
And know the height and the breadth of sky
Someday the Magic will be revealed
The everlasting then unconcealed
My eyes beholding, I’ll gasp for breath
But in that Magic there is no death
Someday the Magic will be revealed
My guilt, the sentence are all repealed
The day will dawn and atop the mount
I’ll drink from Heaven’s eternal Fount.
Someday the Magic will be revealed -
Our praise to Whom we have long appealed.

©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

For more poetic interpretations of magic this week, visit Poetry Jam.

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Tuesday?

I hardly know what day it is any more.
We spent three days in Arkansas last week, returning on Monday just before midnight (well, actually by the time we drove home from the airport it was just beginning Tuesday).  So that's the day I started my week.  Along with being retired, so not having to make a daily calendar in the morning with first graders, I get lost in my days easily.
We attended the wedding of my niece.  I'm hoping that my parents (her grandparents) could see it well from their front row seats in heaven. 
Arkansas was too hot and humid, though.  I don't think I'll ever be able to move out of Maine to a warmer climate.  I will just stay here and pull on another sweater and throw another log on the fire.
This past Saturday, my siblings and I worked at my brother's antique auction.  My parents used to run the store and have auctions there.  I'm pretty sure they watch over us as we work together there, continuing the work they started many years ago, hopefully with smiles.
September was the month that they both departed this earth.  It is hard to believe it has been 13 years for Dad and 11 years for Mom since they passed away. 
In addition to my niece getting married in September, this month was also my husband's and my 42nd wedding anniversary, so there are and will be some happy memories  to replace some of the sadder ones.
I've begun volunteering one morning a week at the high school in the Career Center this month, just completed a workshop to help mentor new teachers, started mentoring a new teacher and begun working one afternoon a week reading with second graders.
September has been busy.  I've also been writing.  This is the first day in a long while that there hasn't been a poem posted here.  I feel out of sync.

Out of sync,
Forgot to blink.
My fingers fly,
But not as spry;
I think, I think,
No thoughts to link.
Oh, poet's world
Of poems unfurled,
The moment's gone;
I'm just a pawn
With pen in hand
In foreign land.
No rhymes today;
I've sailed away
And let them sink -
No sound but "clink"!




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Clouds

I have a few poems about clouds that I've written...one that I wrote AGES ago, I'm not even sure I can find.  It is somewhere in my house, I'm pretty sure.  After we had fire damage and were out of the house for 11 months, I lost track of a few important items.  Some of my writing was included in that.  I think it is still there, just misplaced for the time being.  I really need to go through some stuff and find it again!

So anyway, having just gone on a plane down to Arkansas for my niece's wedding, and going through the clouds, it reminded me then of a question I'd asked my mom when I was a little girl.

Today's prompt to write about clouds at Poetry Jam was perfect timing for me.  And then this image of Brooke Shaden's worked perfectly...the prompt at dVerse (my first link here) - to use one of her photos in her gallery.  I chose her beautiful image of "floating on clouds".

"floating on clouds" by Brooke Shaden


Logic

Such things that,
  are logical
    and obvious now
Involving things
  like puppies
    or high jumping cow,
My young brain
  required answers
    of “why” and of “how”...

Are you sure your belly
   has a baby,
    not a puppy?
Why does a cat
  have a kitten,
    not a guppy?
Can the person
  in the TV
    see me as I spy?
What is on
  the other side
    of the azure sky?
Do fish in the sea
  swim under
    islands, too?
Can a horse,
  like the cow,
    leap over the moon?
Could I understand grasshoppers
  if they talked
    very loud?
Could I, very carefully,
  take a walk
   on a cloud?

Learned lessons
  of puppies
    or a high flying cow,
Such things
  seem logical
    and obvious now -
Except perhaps
  walking high
    on a cloud
I think
  treading softly
    should be allowed.

©Donna JT Smith

I was astounded to find that an island was a hill or mountaintop surrounded by water.  I was disappointed when my mother told me we could not walk on clouds.  I was a bit doubtful when she told me that people had human babies and dogs had puppies, and cats had kittens, and no they never got mixed up.  She was about to have my baby sister when that issue came up.  I probably wanted a cat.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Harvest in Maine

Potato House
Abandoned potato house in winter
Russets, Mountains,
many
more
Katahdins, Kennebecs
by the
score
picked and tossed
from stretching
field
into barrels
wood and
steel
hands with dirt
too deep for
cleaning
bones and back
so stiff from
leaning
trucks rolled in
and barrels
rumbled
kept them
moving never
grumbled
child and man
worked side by
side
harvest was
their family
pride.

© Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved
Spring on the farm
Another Day

into wooden barrels
too large to carry
children off school
pickers for a month
to help
bring in the harvest
trucks full of
potato barrels
rumbling up
to the potato house
to drop off their
starchy treasure
white gold
in brown dirt
the barns are empty
and cave in
for lack of
need
metal and motors
do the job of
hands and wood
new steel buildings
replace the old
stone and wood
and I am sad
when I can’t find
a
potato house
to take a memory
photo

©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved


Most hand picking and barrels have been replaced now and the tradition of calling off school for the month of September for the high school kids is not really necessary any more.  They are not needed for the manual labor on the family farm that they used to do, having been replaces by machines.

Written as a response to the Poetry Jam prompt today on harvest time.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Poet and a Poem Post for Poetry Friday

Today I would like to refer to my post for Wednesday, but I don't want you to have to look back. So I am copying and pasting it here again. It was done for the prompt at Poetry Jam this week, which was to write about the sea. Coincidentally, it is my favorite thing to see, hear, taste, feel and smell, and also coincidentally was the topic of a poem that Lilian Moore wrote and Laura Purdie Salas shared this past week... not so coincidentally, I purchased Lilian Moore's book of poems "Something new begins" - a signed first edition, no less!  I was tickled to find "Go Wind" in it.  I had forgotten it was by Lilian Moore!  I've used that poem many years in April for our month of poetry in first grade.



And here's my re-posting (with apologies for reposting and not writing something new) of my sea poem, "Sea Senses", which can also be found on this past Wednesday's post - also shared here for Poetry Friday:

Sea Senses

The day I moved away inland
I heard its hissing cries
Of angry, sad and crashing waves;
I saw its lowery eyes.

Time passed and one day I awoke,
I heard it calling me,
Wailing, whining, pleading,
"O, please, come back to sea!"
Miles before it came in view,
I smelled its salty tears;
It missed me while I'd lived away
For, oh, those many years!
Sand in my shoes, I tossed them
And sprinted up the dune;
Those smells and sounds meant
It was near, I'd see it very soon!
Atop the crest the vision
Spreading out so wide
I could not see it all at once
My eyes scanned side to side
The water gleamed before me
With twinkly eyes of blue;
Rolling fingers beckoned me
To taste its salty brew.
I tumbled down the bank of sand,
Across its beach I raced,
And dove into its watery arms -
Its cold as ice embrace.
I watched as waves swept up the beach
My footprints to erase
Home at last, home by the sea
I've found my resting place.

As I communed with water
I heard the voice of sea
Whispering, crooning, singing,
"I knew you'd come back to me!"

©2014, Donna JT Smith
The view at the end of the island... good to be home!

Now go check out more poetry posts hosted by ...wait a minute...another coincidence???
Poetry Friday is at Renee's place, No Water River, today and I noticed that she featured Lilian Moore on August 22!  Well, there you go!  It comes around again!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sea Senses

Poetry Jam today would have us think of the sea and write about it.  I have so, so many ocean poems.  It's my favorite place to be, smell, see, taste, feel, hear.  I wrote a new one for today, though.  So one more for my collection...


Sea Senses

The day I moved away inland
I heard its hissing cries
Of angry, sad and crashing waves;
I saw its lowery eyes.

Time passed and one day I awoke,
I heard it calling me,
Wailing, whining, pleading,
"O, please, come back to sea!"
Miles before it came in view,
I smelled its salty tears;
It missed me while I'd lived away
For, oh, those many years!
Sand in my shoes, I tossed them
And sprinted up the dune;
Those smells and sounds meant
It was near, I'd see it very soon!
Atop the crest the vision
Spreading out so wide
I could not see it all at once
My eyes scanned side to side
The water gleamed before me
With twinkly eyes of blue;
Rolling fingers beckoned me
To taste its salty brew.
I tumbled down the bank of sand,
Across its beach I raced,
And dove into its watery arms -
Its cold as ice embrace.
I watched as waves swept up the beach
My footprints to erase
Home at last, home by the sea
I've found my resting place.

As I communed with water
I heard the voice of sea
Whispering, crooning, singing,
"I knew you'd come back to me!"

©2014, Donna JT Smith




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blue Jeans

From Poetry Jam, comes the challenge: "This week write a poem about jeans: someone who looks good in jeans, tattered jeans, jeans that you have to lie down to button up, comfortable jeans, stinky jeans."
"BONUS- Write a poem small enough to fit in the pocket of jeans. 20 lines or less."


I have written a poem small enough to fit in most pockets of jeans.  It is 20 lines or less.  However, I don't know if it would still be able to fit in a pocket of my poem jeans.  There wasn't much extra room...the late 60's early 70's weren't "big on" baggy jeans!

I remember
when I wore
my authentic
surplus store,
real sailor,
Navy blue,
deepest ocean
cobalt hue,
bell-bottomed,
tight, lean,
hip-hugging me
favorite jeans.
         Groovy.

©2014, Donna JT Smith

I don't own any jeans now.  But I do have an incredibly comfy jean skirt with awesome pockets!


Friday, August 29, 2014

The Fall of Leaves

Sitting in the car with the door open, I can hear the leaves on the breezes. There's a cool crispness to the air - a definite change.

Have you heard
them chatter
Of changes
in their matter?
The leaves are green
What can they mean?
When the breeze
Shakes the leaves
It's different now
Than summer's bough
Though still the green
They've lost their sheen
As they crispen
If you listen
Noise of a rattler
Autumn's tattler
Draining green
Leaving unseen
Colors burning
Slowly turning
Before their fall
Their curtain call
Branches green
Bowing to lean
Have you heard
them whisper
Of changes
Due for winter?

Copyright 2014, Donna JT Smith

Poetry Friday is being hosted by Jone McCullough at Check it Out. So check it out for some super links to poetry today!

BTW: Thanks for the kind words Linda at Teacerdance and for sharing my poem in your post today!  I loved using your words to mold a poem into a Blog-gem for you! Thanks for using such a great bunch of words from which to choose!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to School

For Poetry Jam, we are writing a poem about going back to school.  And here is mine.  I have been a student, a parent of a student and a teacher...all my life I've been going to school and having first days.  Retired now, I'm waiting for my grandchildren's first days of school that will be coming up in a few years (or a few breaths it seems).

I hurry down the aisle
for a good seat
on the bus
with a friend
oh, so good to see
a friend
I saw two days ago
wearing summer torn shorts
running barefoot
on the dusty, gravelly driveway
soles of feet tough as
sneakers
but now we shine
and sit on the edge of the seat
ironed dresses
new lunch boxes in hand
what’d you bring?
bologna and cheese
but I have a cookie, too
what about you?
I have a whoopie pie
I have been out-desserted
I’m going to ask for a nickel tomorrow
and hope I can get
a whoopie pie at Walter’s store
while I wait there for the bus
we will still be shiny tomorrow
but not as much
as today
our feet are already
growing softer
in our new shoes.
and our new shoes
are already dusty.

the smiling, freshly pressed
teacher
waits at school
with shiny, new shoes
and knows she will
be dusty by
day's end
her feet
will hurt
and she will need
to sit down,
wrinkled,
but happy
because
she still remembers
the excitement of the first day
of school
and because she remembered
to pack a whoopie pie
this time.


©2014, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Friday, August 22, 2014

Poetry Friday


Today is my favorite day: Poetry Friday!  And it is being hosted today over at Irene Latham's Live Your Poem.  Go there for some great links to some tasty poetry treats!  You won't be disappointed!
It has been a beautiful summer of poetry, thanks to Tabatha's Summer Poetry Swap.  I did the swap for the first time this year, and had such a blast writing and reading poetry!  It was  amazing to get mail in a mailbox that you wanted to read!  Real live people sent it, too.  Most of our mailbox fare is made up of bills, sales flyers and veterinarian/dentist/automotive reminders, so I don't look forward to mailbox time like I used to in the olden days.
I want to thank Buffy Silverman for poem swap 1, Linda Baie for poem swap 2, Mary Lee Hahn for poem number 3, Joy Acey for poem swap 4, and Anastasia Suen for poem swap 5.

And from me, to all:

My Wish

If ever I could wish
for the very bestest gift -
One that would fill my dish
And give my spirits lift -
By wave of wand and swish
What would appear to me,
Delightful and delish:
Some homemade poetry.

©Donna JT Smith, 2014


And here they are, some tasty bits of homemade poetry:


Poem #1 from Buffy, published here by permission:


Sapsucker Rap

Bill drumming
and tapping
ripping and rapping,
peeling the bark
of sweet birch trees.

Sap oozing
and flowing
dripping then slowing,
luring an army
of ants and bees.

Feast crawling
and jiggling
writhing and wriggling,
no place to escape
no path to retreat.

Tongue licking
and lapping
prodding and slapping,
sap covered ants
a six-legged treat.

Buffy Silverman, 2014 all rights reserved

I apologize, Linda, for sharing your poem without permission, earlier on.  You very graciously did not call me on it!  And I now, with permission, will share it again!

Transformation

Tiny fingers
tiny toes,
until arriving
no one knows
that a grandchild,
by giving the names
'Gran and Gramps',
start a magical dance,
seeming by chance.

It rearranges you
into

lullaby-singing (no matter the voice)
mud-puddle-jumping (not given a choice)
cookie-baking (a sugar success)
finger-painting (in spite of the mess)
toy-truck-racing (vroom sounds just right)
picture-book making (easy to write)

KIDS,
all over again.

by Linda Baie, 2014, all rights reserved

and Poem #3 from Mary Lee Hahn, by permission:

Summer Wish

When thunderheads tower
and chicory flowers,

when mulberries fall
and milkweed gets tall,

when goldfinches glitter
and flash at the feeder,

let there be monarchs, please.
And bees.

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Poetry Swap #4 Joy Acey sent me a wonderful chapbook collection of her poems.  Too many to put here, but a "Joy" to read - she "acey"d it!

And finally, Anastasia's:

10,000 Steps a Day

Oh, pedometer,
you count the steps I take, but
not the worn out shoes!

©Anastasia Suen, 2014, all rights reserved.

Thank you one and all for "the bestest gift" - a delish dish of homemade poetry!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Path

Path - a poem in response to the Poetry Jam prompt to write about the word Path this week...


The path of a bird is not easily seen
Where is he going? Where has he been?
A path of a whale or littlest fish
Is only a ripple made by a swish
The path of a butterfly or buzzing bee
Is not the straight route that a roadway would be
The hidden tunnel of a worm or a mole
Is all dirt and darkness when they take a stroll.
But a mouse or a deer with feet touching ground
Leave footprints in paths that are easily found;
Tracks left behind in the wake that they leave
Are telling connections in stories they weave -
The roots of a life, routes over and under,
Twisting and turning, of blunder or plunder,
Of goodness and grief, of sweet and the sour,
All make up the lives on this earth every hour
Take lessons from airborne and fish in the sea
Stay the true course, let mistaken paths be
Just forge on ahead and do not look back
keep your eyes open, feet on the right track
Make a small ripple or create a big splash
Know that no life is made up of trash
Pick up the litter as you walk along
Skipping and humming a yellow brick song
The birds and the deer, the fish and the whales
All know the value of pathways and trails.
Even the ways that we cannot see
Are paths to a someplace that someone should be!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Almond Gray and Round Blue

It is nearing the first day of school, and though I am retired from teaching (mostly in first grade), I do remember and think of the first day of school at this time of year.
My first thought for almond, was "almond eyes".  And after looking it up here, I found there are six eye shapes.  Mine are almond.  Huh, who knew?  So there you go.
Almond for Poetry Jam today.


Almond Gray and Round Blue

I catch your glance, my gray almond eyes see
Little, round, blue eyes peering up at me.
What will I teach you, blue eyes, today,
When you would much rather run and play?
There are books to explore and learn to read
There are crayons and paints, whichever you need,
Letters and numbers to rearrange
And all manner of things that will be strange;
But you will learn, little round eyed sponge,
As we both take the first day of school plunge.
I caught your glance and my almond eyes see
Little, round, blue eyes smiling up at me.
©2014, Donna JT Smith

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Home Made

 This week's Poetry Jam topic is HOMEGROWN, HOMEMADE, HOME BAKED, HOMESPUN, HOME BREWED or HOME COOKED.

This is also posted to link to Poetry Friday over at "A Year of Reading" with Mary Lee Hahn. Check in for some great reading.  I love "Poem on the Fridge" by Paul Hostovsky Mary Lee is sharing there.  I love putting poems and artwork on my fridge.  Why, right there next to my refrigerator magnet poem about blossoms...I believe I see three poem swap poems!  Talk about home spun, home made...


I started out to do something about maybe baking bread or cookies, but my brain heard it a little differently.  So I went with it.
Maybe it's too literal, but I can't help it when my brain says stuff it wants to say.  You try shutting it up.  I've tried.  Not possible.


Home Made

What makes a home
when is it more
than just a house?
is it wood floor?
is it strong walls?
a nice front door?

Is it a dog?
a purring cat?
is it the roof?
the 'Welcome' mat?
is it some place
to hang your hat?

Is it the people
tucked inside
with all the problems
they’ve denied
and covered up
with family pride?

Is it pure joy
that splits the seams?
the bubbling laughter
shaking beams?
is it the years
and all the dreams?

What makes a home
not just a place
is that it gives
a special grace
and takes you in
its warm embrace.

A place where
they will take you in
no matter what
your life has been;
where even if
you've lost, you win.

A home that's made
of such a love,
caressing like
a kidskin glove,
is prelude to
Home Made Above.

©Donna JT Smith, 2014

You know, even now, my brain is saying "Hey, homespun...is that like in the Wizard of Oz?"
Shut up, brain.  Just shut up.  I'm not doing it.

The darkened clouds commenced to gather
The twister worked up quite a lather
The house was lifted off the ground
and set to spinning all around.

It would have been scary to me
To be poor little Dorothy
And not be able to outrun
A tornado's twisted homespun fun.

©2014, Donna JT Smith

I'm sorry.  I warned you.  I'm weak.




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ordinary PP


Today's challenge over at Poetry Jam was to write a poem about something ordinary.  This morning my toast sat upon an ordinary paper plate...


Ordinary PP

slice
of tree
cradles cobs,
holds hot dogs,
and piles of fries;
shades squinty eyes,
fans you in a breezeless plight,
but in a breeze transforms to kite.
cut some holes and make a face,
or use it as an artist’s base.
short lived lively paper treasure
9 inch, snack-sized, what’s your measure?
white or color, fancy trimmed,
round or square, wavy rimmed,
how could anyone berate
this lowly, imitation plate
with rights to boast?
a morning toast for
white thin
slice!

©2014, Donna JT Smith

Friday, July 25, 2014

24/7

It's Poetry Friday!   Yea!  And it is being hosted by Sylvia at Poetry for Children.  Hope you can drop in and help celebrate at the poetry party! 
Thank you Margaret, for featuring my Poetry Swap poem on your blog, Reflections on the Teche, today.  It was a real treat to write it for you!
My poem is at the end... you have to endure photos I've taken.  Fortunately for you, I did not include all that I took!
Love the cloud reflections!
It was too warm in the house, so tonight before supper, my husband and I drove a few miles down the road to the local State Park and around the island a bit.  We got out at the park and climbed the stone steps to the point that overlooks the ocean.  And I again marveled at the wonderfulness of being on vacation 24/7.  Even when I was working, it seemed that we always lived somewhere that felt like vacation when I got home in the evening.
Minnesota was our horse farm in the country, New Hampshire and Rhode Island homes were in the woods, and now back to real home in Maine, we have been near or on the coast.
I have never "needed" a vacation.

A couple of weeks ago I saw this on our garage:

Luna moth sunning himself - herself?

Last week a I saw this:
Sunset by the dock
A couple of days ago I saw this from my front livingroom window:

Great Horned Owl - up high and very large and very loud!
 And this from my front door window:
A young deer on my front lawn - very quiet, very hungry!
 Then down the road about 6 miles, last night I saw this:
1 mile of beach - you can see a person on the edge of the water

I left a quarter here so someone could use the viewer.

How can you need to "get away from it all" when you are already there?


I thought putting these pictures up would help me with writing a poem.  But the visuals have quite taken over my brain and the words are not doing them justice.  Perhaps it is the variety
of pictures, perhaps the timeframes in which they were taken.  I don't know.  But maybe I'll try again, focusing only on yesterday's photos.

 (time has elapsed here and words have been written and deleted and rewritten)

Okay, here it is.  This started out about yesterday's time at the ocean near our house now,  but became a memory poem about my childhood times at my grandparents' house just a few houses away from where the sunset photo was taken last week.

Sea Memories

There's nothing more I that could want
As I sit upon these boulders
White clouds sail above the sea
And salt spray wraps my shoulders.
I hear the waves crash and hiss,
I watch the cormorants dive,
I smell the seaweed draped on shore,
And feel so much alive.
The taste of salt, the smell of rose
And I am drawn with waves
Back to a simpler, younger time
That my old memory craves;
Ah, yes, there's lobsters in the pot,
Some biscuits, and then tea,
And everyone is gathered round
Our table by the sea.
We eat our fill and grownups chat
The kids run off to play
To climb the cliff and skip some rocks
Way out into the bay
The voices hush and stars come out
It's time to load the car
And head inland to go to bed
It isn't very far
As I watch the seagulls soar and dip
And hear the roaring seas
I'm happy that these kinds of days
Bring back those memories.

©2014, Donna JT Smith