Showing posts from February, 2014

For a Dead Moth in Winter

Poetry Friday!
It's hosted today
by Anasta-
sia's Poet Poet.  You may
find a poem to say...
...that's enough rhyming, okay?

Here's my poem with a little video clip - I'm sure the clip will be here.

Ahhh.  There we go!
For a Dead Moth in Winter

On a summer’s night
I saw you fluttering -
Fluttering to meet my kitchen light.

In the morning light
I saw you resting -
Resting from your midnight flight

In the autumn’s blight
I saw you struggling -
Struggling in a silky plight.

In dead winter’s bright
I see you fluttering -
Fluttering as a tree strung kite.

©Donna JT Smith 2/28/2014

Trains for Poetry Jam

The prompt today at Poetry Jam is to write about trains, a train trip, a train station, etc. - some story you have about a train!  And I do have a few train stories, having taken a few long rides from Maine to Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia; and even a day trip ride on our 1950's restored Rockland to Brunswick train.

Prior Train Posts:
A Train to Christmas (my favorite ride - picture me, husband, infant daughter, 3 year old son instead of just Millie and her mom - true story otherwise)
40th Anniversary Ride
Taking Tricky Trains and Tricky Teeth

But I digress.  (Don't you love that phrase?  Who invented that?)

Here is my poem for today with a train theme.

to another era
to a world gone by
step aboard
and see
more clearly
sides of life
with a new eye

back door stories
hidden lives
things unseen on
front door drives
trucks unloading
trash disposing
entries neat
rears awry

under bridges
cans of fire
warming, lighting
keeping dry
graffiti speaks but
not …

Piano Hands

It's Slice of Life Tuesday...March 1 is coming right up on Saturday for those who are offering slices of their daily life for the month of March!  Check in today with Two Writing Teachers to see what's up today.
This weekend I got this picture - well, the full sized one that included a father's watchful eyes and a toddler's gleeful face - of my grandson accompanying his dad on a grand piano.
He lightly touches the keys a couple at a time, and the look on his face is priceless.  You can see here, his open hands over the keys and two fingers tapping the keys beneath, two notes at a time.
Already, at (officially) 2 and a half years old, he is hearing the beauty of music and appreciating the delicate sounds that can be produced with a light hand.
How grand is that?

Déjà Vu

A Déjà vu post for Poetry Friday Poetry Friday hosted by Karen Edmisten- reposted from this past Wednesday.  Visit Karen's site to read more poetry offerings! 
This is a reminder that the deadline for competing in the March Madness 2014 Poetry Tournament is fast approaching!  And it is a reminder to all who would like to vote in the upcoming poetry tournament!
I love to watch the Olympics, but feel so unlike the Olympians.  I am in awe of what they can do both physically and mentally.  I am sooo not them.  They are sooo not me.
I feel I meddle
when I write
of those of mettle
and such might

honed of body
toned of mind
soul and muscle
all aligned

they do not falter
though they fall
they continue
through it all

when defeated
means no prize
above the rabble
they still rise

but when victory
is seized
and Greek history

a medal’s donned
bronze, silver, gold
metals precious
to behold

when I write
of those of mettle
I wish I didn’t

Writers of Kid's Poems Wanted - Olympians

Poetry Jam poem is below this announcement.

Do you write poetry for kids of all ages?  Do you like a challenge?  Do you like writing with a deadline?  Then maybe you should consider signing up for the March Madness 2014 Poetry Tournament coming up in March!
It's not too late to apply as a poet!  There are crazy hard words to incorporate into a kid's poem to be written in 36 hours!  The Challenge is great - the true Poet Winter Olympics!  It is fun, challenging and a good kind of exhausting!
Your short application poem will be judged by Ed Decaria for entry into this amazing event.
And if you don't apply, at the very least, please stay tuned in the month of March to vote on your favorite poems!  Classrooms and homeschoolers are invited to vote also.

Post from Ed DeCaria, founder of March Madness Poetry:
March Madness Poetry 2014: Kids Poetry. Under Pressure. March Madness Poetry (#MMPoetry) brings the excitement of the NCAA Marc…

Winter Daffodil

This is the first time I've ever bought daffodils that were going to bloom in the house in the middle of winter.  I was just drawn to them in the grocery store.  $3.99.  Lots of green.  No blossoms.
And the very next day one stem with a yellow football started up the green highway between the leaves.  And another.  And they opened.  And then a couple more.  And more.  Until now I have 16 bright yellow daffodils looking around the kitchen or out the window - for they do look like they are peeking about.
I'm glad I got my mini-daffodils.  They make a nice sunny spot in the kitchen with a backdrop of white snow.
They make me smile, even though they are a bit daffy.

So here you go. 

Winter Daffodil

So daffodelicate
and daffodelightful;
They're daffodelicious,
More yellow, less whiteful.
Yet they're daffodelerious
If they think it is spring;
There's cold wind galore -
It's not bees with that sting!
Inside where it's warm
They're so daffodeluded

Lavender Light to Velvet Night

Today is Poetry Friday, hosted by Linda Baie at TeacherDance.  You must get over there and see what she has in store this Valentine's Day...lots of links to poems, too!
Happy Valentine's Day!

This first poem came to me as I sat looking out the front windows at the snow in the later evening, just as the sun had been rumored to set (but since it was snowing furiously who could tell that there really was a sun today).  I was thinking about puzzle pieces and how you can look at a picture and think, hey, that's light blue, but then you hold it up beside something you know is blue, and it isn't, it's lavender.  And that is what color the snow looked in the evening light to me.

Lavender Light

when crimson has set
but dark is not yet
it’s lavender light
before velvet night
lavender snow
on lavender trail
lavender trees
in lavender veil
it’s a lavender eve
when the sun's taken leave
and the snow keeps on falling
sweet lavender’s calling
watch it and see
how long it ca…


These happy flowers will be out soon.  They are the first to spring up here, seemingly waiting under the snow for spring to arrive and melt the snow down to where you can see their sunny faces!  And if you would like to read more dandelion poems, head over to Poetry Jam, where Alan has links to other original dandelion poetry.  Check back throughout the week as more poems are added!
Find out more information about this flower, and other names it can go by in other countries here.
If you want to see how my husband and I learned to become responsible homeowners, you can go to The Lawn Less Mowed. There are dandelions involved.

How to Know a Dandelion
green teeth as lion’s ilk,
hollow straw of
bitter milk,
yellow burst with
sunny face,
hoary head for
seedy race
©Donna JT Smith, 2014 ******************** And here is an older poem I'd written and posted for the 2012 A to Z challenge for the letter Y, that is also about a dandelion.  It is written as a Yadu* - a tricky form.
Y is for Ye…

Mouse Trails and Constellations

The  Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted at Two Writing Teachers.
Go there and check out what's going on today in people's lives.

Before the last two snows this week, we had a bit of warming and rain, and lots of the snow melted.  When it did, it revealed in the snow, down at the grass level, the trails of a mouse, or mice.  Then on a recent drive, in the fresh snow, I could see animal tracks all along the edge of the highway up past the ditch on the tree line.
I am always fascinated by all the activity that the animals carry on doing through the winter.  You know it happens when there is no snow on the ground, too - and quite possibly more so.  But in winter it is like a little time line, a recording of what has gone on, visible now because of the imprintable snow.
When I look at the mouse trail, I wonder what made the mouse turn in a particular direction and then come back.  Was there a little tender piece of grass, an acorn, a bit of lichen?  I know at one point the trail came …

Monarch Journey

Poetry Friday is being hosted today by Renee LaTulippe at No Water River.  Because I've been getting updates through email about Journey North for the past few days, and I read Michelle's Poetry Friday post on Today's Little Ditty, I decided to go with a monarch butterfly poem today.
My class used to do a Monarch butterfly project with Mexico.  You can find information about the Journey North program here:
The program involving school communications starts in the fall and picks up again in the spring.  Lots of good information on their site about the overwintering and the numbers of monarchs spotted.  Classes can send in Monarch sighting reports at any time though, to help with the tracking of these beautiful butterflies.
In years past the children of Mexico used to kill the butterflies, thinking that the butterflies were destroying the trees they covered when they wintered there.  That activity has stoppe…

Mirror Image

As a response to Mirrors at Laura Purdie Salas' challenge for 15 Words or Less, I wrote this:

To My Husband:

I Cannot Imagine

This is linked through Poetry Jam in response to the prompt to write a tribute to someone.  I immediately thought of my grandfather on my father's side, who came to this country from Newfoundland as a young man starting his new family and a new chapter of life. I actually wrote two.  So take your pick.  I worked on these simultaneously - I don't know what that says about me - perhaps I am ADD?  They just had to both be done, and now I'm not sure that I'm finished.  There is something nagging at me about them, but I don't know what yet.  There may be another poem in me that is trying to work its way through my brain.  Could get painful!

I cannot imagine
the cold
the fear
the determination
of setting foot on a floating world
of raising a club
to kill a seal
when you were yet a boy
but you knew
your family needed you
to put good bread on the table
to heat the cold house
to keep out the wild winds

you made your father proud
though he never said
and warmed your mother…

I Missed Groundhog Day

I wasn't teaching first grade on this Groundhog Day, so I missed it.  Every year I've checked to see what Punxsutawney Phil predicted for the coming of spring.  But this year, because I'm not teaching (and it is the second Groundhog Day of not doing so), I didn't check.  The first year after retirement I did check.  It seemed the thing to do.  But this year I just let it slide.  Maybe it has something to do with not caring as much about the driving weather now.  If it is too "anything but wonderful" for driving out there, I just stay home and watch it weather at will.

I'm not sure the groundhog is the best predictor of the coming of spring, since any particular day can be whatever and doesn't mean that tomorrow won't be different.  If the groundhog sees his shadow (which I guess he did) on February 2 (meaning there will be more cold for longer than we would like), yet on February 1 or 3, only one day before or after, clouds cover the sky and he ca…