Showing posts from 2014

Pip and Pup, and I'm Still Up

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 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 …

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 …


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 minu…

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

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

©Donna JT Smith, 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 a…

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
your fenced in frame
of mind.
when your fingers stop and linger
on a gritty, grainy zinger
let it sing
out of your
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 rousin…

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

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 f…

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 whe…

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?


Poetry Jam has the challenge to write about the word "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!

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 exerci…

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 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 re…

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 c…


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 ven…


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:

The Fall of the Leaves of Fall by Donna J…

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).

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" m…

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!

The Fall of the Leaves of Fall by Donna JT Smith | Make Your Own B…

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

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.

 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 clic…

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!


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

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!

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…

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
and salter
and duster
of all
the world
i am

©Donna JT Smith

It's Never Really Magic

It’s never really 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.

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, …


I have a few poems about clouds that I've 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".


Such things that,
  are logical
    and obvious now
Involving th…

Harvest in Maine

Potato House Russets, Mountains,
Katahdins, Kennebecs
by the
picked and tossed
from stretching
into barrels
wood and
hands with dirt too deep for
bones and back
so stiff from
trucks rolled in
and barrels
kept them
moving never
child and man
worked side by
harvest was
their family
© Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved 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
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
potato house
to take a memory

©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Most hand picking and barrels have been replaced now and the tradition of calling off school for…

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 …

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 be…

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,
tight, lean,
hip-hugging me
favorite jeans.

©2014, Donna JT Smith

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

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!

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
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 sof…

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 …


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 bi…

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

Home Made


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 i…

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

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

©2014, Donna JT Smith


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!
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,…