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

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.