Welcome!

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

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Poem Potpourri

Buffy Silverman posted some refrigerator poetry she and her daughter did, and one line caught her attention as she was editing her composition.

I too liked the sound of that line and decided to do something with it - though not sure what.  Then this morning I came up with a think.  She left our "who", but I'm going back to her original line from her poem:

My think was to add to it, like a progressive poem.
Only maybe using pre-packaged words.  Refrigerator magnets, words from a page on a book, words on book titles... whatever.  Just show the source of your words you used.  Found stuff!

Sign up?  Or just add a line.  Maybe the line doesn't have to be in an order.  Maybe we should just do lines and then try to put them together into a poem.  That might be too hard.  But signing up seems difficult also.  Sometimes I don't have enough traffic to get enough to sign on.

So it will be a one shot deal... throw in your line!

Here's mine:


Ferocious women who never bring you coffee
always leave a wild song...

If you have an interest and a bunch of words somewhere... Next poetry Friday I'll be asking for more lines to add to this for the NEXT poetry Friday.  What else do these ferocious women do to sweeten our lives?  It will be a kind of list poem.  I'll arrange the lines when they come in.

Hope you can join in for a bold, hopeful, joyous Poem Potpourri!

Whoops!  One more Haiku for you... to close December's #HaikuforHealing, and 2016.

Endings start afresh
Bold new chapters yet untold 
Stories meant to be!

Welcome, 2017!



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Party Poetry Friday

It is the end of the year, last day tomorrow.  It's Party Poetry Friday here today though!

I am happy to have had this wonderful year to be writing and reading and getting to know everyone another year more and meeting new bloggers and poets and writers.  2016 has been a pretty good year for that.  There is not much I would do differently about this year, and next year I hope to have as much boldness as this year.  I liked the word BOLD as my OLW this year.  Other years I'd picked a word, but none grabbed me as much as this one.
What will my next word be?  It needs to be one that fits my life now.  My first thought was CONTENTMENT or just CONTENT.  But I don't want to just be a stagnant CONTENT.  I want it to be a BOLD word - a strong CONTENTMENT.  Maybe COMMIT.  I will think about it some more.  I'll let you know.

I hope everyone had a year that was productive and memorable in good ways, and that 2017 will bring even more wellness and joy to each and every one!  I am very optimistic.  Maybe that is the word I need?  OPTIMISTIC/OPTIMISM?

My Bold Haiku 30 for #HaikuforHealing - a prompt and challenge to write a Haiku a day for the month of December given by Mary Lee Hahn.

Bold Is

Urgent surge forward
Steps pushing green blades aside
Walking fearlessly.

Now, for YOU!  Remember to link up today!  Looking forward to hearing everyone's end of 2016 offerings!  Next: on to 2017.  I'm game.




Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas 2

This morning was our official Christmas.  The family was here.  My grandson awoke first and started the day with a HUGE bowl of oatmeal...Bob's Red Mill... with cinnamon, maple syrup and blueberries.  Yum. 

It's not on my list of ok foods, so I then whipped up a couple of crustless quiches for the adults... hamburger, bacon, sausage, onion and spinach sauteed together... eggs, some heavy cream, plain yogurt and grated cheese mixed together.  Meat and egg concoctions stirred together.  Two buttered pie plates to pour it into.  An oven preheated to 375.  About 45 minutes of time to wait.  Then - oh, yum.

After breakfast, presents.  I wrap the presents in a different paper for each person - no name tags, so it was fun to watch the kids pick up presents and hand them off to someone else.  Often they sat right there in front of the person to see what was in the package, ignoring the fact that they could easily have gone and gotten another present that they could open for themselves.  The opening time was extended, relaxed, and fun.  We put the Amazon crackling fire on the tv for ambiance.

Later, we worked on a puzzle, and started a gingerbread house - which my 2 year old granddaughter calls a crackerhouse.  Candies go on tonight - pictures tomorrow.

Haiku 27 - I worked on this a bit, but never really felt like I got to the heart of it.  So I wrote it out thinking that would help.  It didn't.  So I'll just put the "long version" explanation part here and put the haiku at the end.  Maybe sometime I will be able to put it together just right.

Gifts have a season - sometimes you are the recipient of gifts and at other times of your life you are the giver of gifts. In either case you are blessed.  You are blessed in giving to others and blessed both by the gift bestowed upon you and the ability to allow another person to be a blessing to you.
When you receive blessings or gifts from others, you should always be looking for the time coming when you will be a blessing to someone else with what you can give.

To Give

Gifts have a season -
Bestowing or receiving;
Each state a blessing.





Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Eve tonight

Because my family will be here tomorrow for our "present" Christmas, tonight is essentially Christmas eve in our worldly sense.  Yesterday we did not celebrate Christmas as we had thought we would originally.

We planned to be at church bright and early for Sunday School, then church, then dinner with my brother and sister-in-law and son, then all of us back at church for the evening.
But upon waking, my husband's gout had kicked back in and he was not able to walk.  He slept until 2:30 pm, having been awake most of the night.  I got up as usual thinking I might just go down to church anyway.  Our church is over an hour away though, and it had been raining the day before... temps were down in the teens, so roads were very slick out here on the island.  It was decided that I would stay home and make sure my husband could get what he needed and get to where he needed to go.
Creatures stirring
I made coffee and a small breakfast, then sat in the living room with my Bible.  The animals had been stirring for quite some time.  The cat, Noah, loves to tease Ginger, and they were playing a game of Hide and Seek amongst the gifts under the tree.  I noticed that one gift would need to be rewrapped, having been chewed open on the back corners under the tree.  Thank you, Noah.  And the front corner had been nibbled on.  Thank you, Ginger.
I rearranged the gifts, taped over holes, and pulled out the Bible again.  And I started to read softly aloud from Luke.  As I did, the animals began to settle down.

Ginger curled up in her favorite chair, alert and watching me.  She appeared to be listening.  Noah got on the footstool by Ginger's chair.  He curled his feet under his chest in contentment.  I read all of Luke chapters one and two aloud just barely above a whisper so as not to disturb my husband finally asleep in the next room.

These two creatures never stirred until the reading was over.  The cat got down and moved to the dog's bed for a nap.  The dog leaned her head on the arm of the chair.  Soon she too was asleep.  I poured another cup of coffee, and thanked God for another blessed year.

#HaikuforHealing 

Any Day is Christmas

Each time you rejoice,
Whenever you remember -
That is His Christmas.

Make your Christmas any day, any time and any place, and and may it be all of those.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

For Me, For You

*~***~*
For me, for you:

The Gift

There is no more blessed day than this -
 That day
   We were given
      the Prince of Peace,
      the Great I Am,
      the King of Kings,
      the Lord of All,
lowly born
   in a stable
   in a manger -
      - le divin enfant -
   in the manger
   in the stable;
lowly born
      Emmanuel,
      the Comforter,
      the Counsellor,
      the Way,
   We were given
 that day;
There is no more blessed gift than His.



 

Here is Haiku #25 for #HaikuforHealing, right on time:
*~***~*
The Gift

May joy, peace and hope
Come to you this Christmas day
and reside always.
*~***~*
Hope your Christmas brings you a joy and a comfort, and a peace that passes all understanding.
*~***~*

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve Creatures


A double Haiku for Healing today... What a crew I have here!  Can hardly wait for the grandchildren to arrive!


Haiku #23 and #24  I'm current!  Whoo-hoo!

Christmas Eve

And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Wait...only the mouse -

Mouse isn't stirring -
Mama in cap enduring
Indoor reindeer games.



Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS... as you can see, we have already started our MERRY!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Poetry Friday


Haiku #22

Christmas Helpers

Awaiting Santa
Ever watchful dog and cat
Eying evergreen

It is soon to be Christmas Day.  I'm excited for the day after Christmas and the morning after that.  That's when we will be having "presents" day.  Christmas Day will be spent at church, morning and night.  The next evening, my daughter, her husband and children; and my son will be here for the opening of presents.  I've decorated, but I'm holding off on the baking.  I don't do gluten and I don't do much for carbs.  So it should be an interesting holiday again this year.  But I'm not messing up my new way of eating just to join in.  I can have a good time regardless.  I'll watch my grandchildren eat the sugar cookies and candy canes!


But when it IS time to cook, I can thank Jone Rush MacCulloch for some festive and decorative essentials!  I have a new oven mitt and dish towel with cute snowmen on them.  The kids are going to love them AND I can keep them out this year.  Ginger (the yellow lab) has stopped stealing towels and eating them!  This should make life easier!

Jone sent the gift along with a collection of her poems in "Solace in Nature", a postcard with a beautiful poem and photo she created, and a beautiful desktop calendar with her gorgeous photos and poems.  They are so, so beautiful!  Although it is a desktop calendar, I think I'm going to rig up some magnets to keep it on my refrigerator.  Since retiring from teaching, I find it is harder to remember what day and date it is!  I miss doing that "morning message" on the big chart!

Jone, thank you so much for your wonderful assortment of poetry and photography, along with the practical and pretty kitchen items!


Now for more fun - and quite possibly more exchanges being shared - head on over to see the Poetry Friday round-up with Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog

Next week I'll be hosting Poetry Friday!  I look forward to seeing (and reading) everyone at the end of year Poetry Party right here!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Snow's Haiku

Today has been a great day for staying inside - for me anyway. 

Haiku #20

Winter

Walk salted to stone
Steps swept to weathered boards
Oak stacked to the roof
 
The nice thing about a Lab is that they love to fetch.  So I can stand on the porch, throw the frisbee or ball - she runs after it or catches it, then returns to the porch for me to do it again.  She is getting low on toys now though.  She has lost two in the snow.  We/she has four left.  

Ginger contemplating her plans for later
The two she lost were in direct violation of what we had as an understanding.  Last night she took it upon herself to go sniffing with the toy in her mouth and she ignored my calls to "Come".  It was dark and she went into the woods.  There are a lot of acres of woods around us, and she is collarless, though micro-chipped.  I had no idea where she went.  I got a flashlight and peered into the woods.  I could no longer hear her crunching as she moved through the snow.  I went and got my car keys and tried to shine the headlights into the woods.  Still couldn't see or hear her.  As I started to back the car up to go in search on the main road, she came panting up the driveway.  She appeared to have had some fun judging by the smile on her face.  I yelled to get to the house, and she did.  Popped up the steps, skipping most of them and waited for me to stop the engine and get to the house.  There was no real look of remorse, but she did go right into her kennel.  She stayed there for about an hour to consider her transgressions.  She never made a whimper or protest.  Just settled in.  It seemed she knew she'd done wrong, but had weighed the consequences earlier and found the adventure worth the time she'd spend behind bars.

Today she has her training collar on again. Time for a refresher course in "Come When You are Called" - or "Don't Just Go Off and Eat Deer Poop When You Feel Like It". 

She hasn't even tried to leave today, though I did zap her once quickly when she didn't respond immediately to my command to come.  She's a smart dog.  Sometimes that's good.  Sometimes it isn't.

The way the game is supposed to go
Haiku #21

It's a Dog's Life

 Wind and flakes flowing -
It's all about going out
In growing soft white.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wednesday

I'm behind again in haikuing.  I just get so busy, and start a haiku and then begin playing around with it until it is time to do more stuff and I'm not done with what I WAS doing.

So let me search through my scraps here and see if I have a half haiku or two into which life may be breathed...

Didn't find one.  So I'm looking at this picture I took of three penguins I made to give to my Sunday School kids next Sunday.

They won't read this, so I'm safe.

Two weeks ago I brought a beautiful box and set it on the table for them to see.  Then we talked about waiting.  And I told them they would have to wait to see what was in the beautiful Christmas box until the end of class.
When we opened it it had three small packages of Fimo clay - yellow, white and black.  It didn't look very special.

I told them they would have to wait more and find out how this plain, ordinary looking stuff would be special.  It was the story of waiting for Jesus, and how he came as an ordinary baby, not the great king that people envisioned.

The children were to have gotten their penguins last Sunday, but because of the snow and ice storm, many were absent and Sunday School plans changed.  This Sunday is Christmas, but we are expecting that everyone will be in their places... weather permitting... and they will receive their penguins then after a recap of the Christmas story.

I am praying that they don't come away with the lesson that there were penguins in Bethlehem... you never know with 4-6 year olds.
 ************
#18
Penguins at Christmas

No penguins arrived
Bethlehem was much too far
To follow that star

************
#19
Handle with Care

Comforter swaddled,
 Safe from harm; Comforting arms
Return the favor

************

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday's Snow

We had a snow... slippery stuff as it was dusty snow over ice.  That is never a good thing, but top that with no snow plows...
There were cars all over the place that couldn't get up hills or around corners.  For some reason the street crews were not to be seen.  I'm wondering if they heard the weather for the next day, Sunday, which is calling for rain and 50 degrees.  Last night it was 3 degrees below zero, so I think they were waiting for the freeze to be over and hopefully save money with snow melting.
At any rate - here are my two haiku for today.  I'm caught up.  These are # 16  and #17!

Haiku 16 and 17

Winter Walk 1

Snow lightly settles
On stillness of morning paths
White frames her footprints

Winter Walk 2

Slip - gripping, tripping -
Break stride, glide, side slide, collide
Your seat greets the street.


BTW I did not fall today.  I did, however, fall the day before... in the woods... I was fine - don't worry!  Just tripped over a fallen branch while walking backwards dragging Christmas lights to a little tree.  Never did get to light it.  Extension cord was too short.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Haikus

It's Poetry Friday, and though I'm a little late posting, I couldn't let it go by without a Haiku - or two.  I'm almost caught up.  Christmas may get a little tricky to keep on track, but I'm going to try!

Haiku #14:

Christmas 1

Pause in wonderment -
No garlands, wreaths, nor glitter;
Just a holy night.

Haiku #15:

Christmas 2

Unroll, measure, cut,
Wrap, fold, tape, tie, curl and card
Stack, grab another.

Now to read more poetry this Friday and all week head to Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day 14 of December

Beginning of December last year.
Nearing spring
I have now held steady for a few months.

I am starting up again just a bit more seriously, as I'd like to do a few more pounds.  So going lighter on the yogurt for desserts and back to heavier on the bacon!
This summer
In honor of that, I'm haiku-ing for my health today.

Thursday and I'm almost caught up to one haiku a day for December -
These will be #10, #11 and #12.

#10
Bunless

No bun, no crackers,
Hold the pancakes, muffins, pies,
Time to break bread ties.

#11
Eating Out

Baconator lunch,
Cheesy eggs and bacon, please,
Chili, bacon side.

#12
Mantra

Fat feasting - I lose,
Carbohydrate snack - I gain;
Such loss is sweet gain.

Okay, just added this one, because it came to me after loading the images:

#13
Sweet are gray hair years -
Grandchildren, motorcycles,
Time to spend looking.


*****************
This is not the easiest thing to do when Thanksgiving and Christmas are holding hands with pumpkin pies and chocolates, and "specialty drinks" at Starbucks!
But not impossible.  I do like bacon.  It's almost a dessert.

....And writing a Haiku.  That's always good for dessert.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Shadows and Squirrels Haiku


This morning, I watched a nice fluffy gray squirrel make his way through the woods.  In summer you can't see them well because of all the foliage.  But in winter the sun shines through the trees, making long shadows earlier in the day than I think appropriate.
I watched him scampering over the snow mounds and through the shadows, to the small stream.  He stopped to get a drink and then burrowed down through the snow to the buried oak leaves.  He fetched an acorn or some other small bit that he sat and nibbled on for a while before moving on.
He was my haiku today.

December's Haiku #8

Squirrel darts and weaves
Through tangled shadow ribbons
Tail trails close behind.

Yesterday I saw a big gray squirrel who was thinking about crossing the road just as I was approaching.  He changed his mind, but then he appeared to lose his mind - as squirrels are wont to do.  He didn't run back in the road as they sometimes will do when changing their mind, but he did start scampering back and forth in the snow on the side of the road for a while before finally deciding to high-tail it back to the woods.  I just wonder sometimes what they are thinking.  I hate when they change their minds at the last minute, and I can't adapt to their last minute decision.

Haiku #9 for December
Squirrel crossing here
Prepare for indecision
Mistakes will be made

************************

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three Haiku

This morning we woke to the sounds of coyotes on the banks on our island's riverside.  They were loud and close, and it makes me nervous when the dog has to go out.  We make sure she has her training collar on and that the barking has died down before allowing her outside.  If it's dark, before releasing her I also scan the area with a flashlight to see if there are any eyes reflecting back at me.

Frozen island dawn -
Roving brazen coyotes
Rouse slumbering geese

I also heard gunshots, so we may be a little short on coyotes this morning.  That would be a good thing.

******************************************
It sure hurts to land on those winter ice spikes!
Haiku #6:  
 
Slushy, soupy snow
Soaking my feet yesterday -
Frozen spikes today.
 
******************************************
 

There's nothing like a nice thin layer of water on top of ice to make your evening trip into Starbucks exciting!
Haiku #7
Ice-skimmed, smooth sidewalk
Imitates frozen river
Reflecting moonlight.

 *********************************



Monday, December 12, 2016

Sunday, Monday

Sunday's are busy.  So I didn't get to write a haiku.  I'm going to sit and think about Sunday for a minute and see if there was something that struck me that would be good to write. (Pause...
            keyboard sounds...)

A Sunday Christmas?
"Oh, come let us adore him"?
Or will we stay home?

There.  That was a thought from Sunday.  December 25 is a Sunday this year.  How to celebrate Christmas AND the birth of Christ AND attend church.... hmm...

It is such a dilemma when Jesus gets in the way of celebrating His birthday.

Seems really like this would be a most special way to celebrate and remember why this holy day exists.  Just a thought.

**************************
Haiku #4

"Splurch, crunkle, skinch, plick!"
Frozen snow icily talks
To boots overhead.


I don't know if you have ever listened to footsteps on a frozen snow, especially frozen slush.  You cannot walk quietly in chunky snow.  It protests SO much!



 


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Haiku Two That Should Be Ten

 Haiku #2 (and #3 at the end - I'll write two a day for a bit to catch up!)

Stone Cold

Cozy Saturday
Drifts away like frozen breath
Of a dead boiler.

And you can guess how we spent Saturday morning.  It was 16 degrees last night and sometime in the night the boiler stopped circulating the nice warm water as we slept. 

I hate that slow awareness that comes to you as you waken and realize that something is amiss.  Your nose is colder than it should be.  Your legs and feet are starting to feel the cold seeping in between the threads.  The spaces between threads shouldn't be that large - you have good thread count.  Why does it feel like there's a draft?  Okay.  Something is wrong.  Do I want to know that we have no roof?  Do I want to know that the front door is wide open?  Do I want to know that the boiler isn't working and it is a Saturday so it is an emergency call?  Do I want to know it is not enough degrees outside?  Do I want to know it is not enough degrees inside?  And then that is enough self-questioning to be fully awake and need to know some answers.  The day has started whether I want it to or not.

I called the Heater Guy and made coffee.  Then I put on a throw, some warm socks and a cat; turned on the TV; and settled in to wait for the world to be fixed.

Three Hundred Dollars

A pretty penny?
Noses, toes, fingers rejoice -
Nay! A mere pittance!

It is fixed now.  Bring on another day!  I can take it!  We are putting a bow on the boiler and we will go to the basement on Christmas morning to look at our early gift.  I am so glad this wasn't Christmas eve.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Glad Tidings


It's Poetry Friday, and I have been busy writing a poem for my Winter Swap partner.  And while I was writing and revising... I had to stop and write this one.  It kept intruding on my thoughts.  I was glad that it did.  So here it is.  And then go visit more poetry gladness at Jone's Check It Out!  And sign up for the Friendship Friday postcard exchange while you are visiting her!  I may have to steal that name for something, as we will soon move to Friendship, Maine.  Nice name, huh?
My moving blog is at Gull Haven...it's been a 5 year process, but it seems that it will actually happen almost in time for my husband's retirement at the end of December.

Glad Tidings

Prepare in the morning,
Prepare in the night;
Keep your heart open,
Prepare for its light.
For ever and ever,
For always, in spite
Of good times or bad,
Of happy or sad;
Remember to look for
That moment of Glad.
You’ll find it in something
So small
Barely showing.
It starts where your heart is,
And then overflowing,
It tickles your soul and
The next person’s toes
Till they too are smiling -
And onward it goes.
It’s there for the finding
Down roads ever winding.
Prepare for
The Gladness;
Be always aware -
It's surrounding
Abounding;
Take it,
Then share.

Donna JT Smith, Dec. 9, 2016

So, there it is. Phew!  My mind is at ease again!  Now I can have a cup of coffee and get back to other things! 🎄

In commenting on other Poetry Fridilians posts, I ran across Mary Lee Hahn's challenge to write a haiku a day for December.  I'm going to do this for the rest of the month, IF I can make myself sit still long enough.  But, hey, a haiku is short.  How hard can it be? LOL!
Right.
But here's my first on the 9th.  I just took the dog out, so you can see where my mind was.  It's cold out there without the winter coat now.   I don't change seasons easily.  It takes a long time for me to remember that I need to dress differently!

Wind’s chilled whispering
Tousles hair, flaps sweater,
Suggests coat and hat.