Friday, March 31, 2017

SOL Ends and Poetry Friday

SOL17 and Poetry Friday:

Today's poetry is being hosted by Amy at The Poem Farm!  So make sure you drop by - you are invited.

Sky

Just after dawn
dreams scatter without a trace
somewhere in my brain;
 Morning redolent with nature,
 I hear a call so perfect -
 the sound of a bird - 
Is it red bird from his branch?
You wait patiently;    
that splash of pink 
across the sky -
      color into a crescendo of light
just right, but fading be
from the sky above
like a balloon being 
popped but no one hears.
There is so much to admire
before the sun sets;
bless the eyes 
and the listening ears.


Last week I put up a Scavenger Hunt challenge of finding the words to a poem using the clues to their location.  The clues were listed on a padlet that can be found through the link at the top of the page, or by clicking on it in the side navigation.

The poem above, is the poem I created with the lines in order, but not necessarily with the breaks where the original lines were.  The lines could be left just as is, with punctuation added, or with the words flowing in order but not necessarily on a separate line for each.

I believe Linda Baie and Joy Acey Frelinger were two that I heard from that completed the scavenger hunt.

Here are the blogs, the clues, and the words:

A Teaching Life  P 1 L 1 W 1-3 Just after dawn
Friendly Fairy Tales  P 1 L 3 W 1,2 dreams scatter
RainCity Librarian P 1 L 12 W 3-5  without a trace
Michelle Kogan P 1 L 1 W 1-4   somewhere in my brain
Random Noodling P 5  L 2 W 2,3  Morning redolent
Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme P 2 L 41 W 3,4  with nature
Robyn Hood Black  P 1  L 9  W 3-6  I hear a call
Write Time  P 1 L 13 W 1,2  so perfect
Kurious Kitty’s Kurio Cabinet  P 1 L 15 W 2-6  the sound of a bird
Whispers from the Ridge  P 1 L 6 W 1-7  Is it red bird from his branch
Today’s Little Ditty P 1 L 2 W 1-3  You wait patiently
TeacherDance P 1 L 7 W 3-9  that splash of pink across the sky
Jama’s Alphabet Soup P 1 L 28 W 4,5  color into
Live Your Poem  P 1 L 12 W 1-4  a crescendo of light
Robyn Hood Black  P 1 L 2 W 3,4 just right
To Read To Write To Be P 1 L 17 W 7-9  But fading be
Poetry for Kids Joy P 1 L 27  W 1-4  from the sky above
Reflections on the Teche P 3 L 11  W 1-5  like a balloon being popped
Poetry for Kids Joy P 1 L 22 W 1-4  but no one hears
A Year of Reading  P 1 L 5 W 1-6  There is so much to admire
Kathryn Apel P 1 L 12 W 1-4   before the sun sets
A Year of Reading P 1 L 8 W 1-7  bless the eyes and the listening ears


Thank you for playing along with the Scavenger Hunt!  If I do this again, I will make it shorter.  I really wanted to see how many different poems/blogs I could get in, and do it as quickly as possible!  There are lines and words I would change if I were to do it over.  But it is intriguing still as a poetic exercise.  Try it!  Post your clues on the padlet. I'd love to give it a go!

This is the last day of the Slice of Life Challenge.  Except for missing the first two or three days, I made it through the month.  I had decided that I wouldn't have time to post every day this month, so I was going to skip this year.  Then I thought better of it, and began my posting just before the deadline.  And I'm so glad that I did.  There were days when I couldn't get around to as many bloggers as I felt like I should, but then there were days when I got on a roll and let clothes wait in the washer before getting a ride in the dryer, or let the dirty dishes pile a little higher.

There were some great blogs this year.  What a joy to read!
I wish I remembered whose blog I went to that got me to Worcester yesterday.  Someone had gone to see a display of Ed Emberley's work, and I commented about wishing that I could see it, and that we didn't really have much around us.  I Googled Ed Emberley to see where his work might be displayed, in case it would be a moving display.  When I did, lo and behold, I discovered it was right close by-ish in Worcester, MA at the Worcester Art Museum and the showing was until April 9.  I immediately determined that I would go there!
And I did!  What a wonderful educational and inspiring display!  My husband and I both enjoyed our impromptu "field trip", made possible by the SOL community!  How awesome was this to make a date out of a blog reading!
Thanks!





~~~~~~~~AND~~~~~~~~~
The Progressive Poem begins on Saturday... I'll put the links up here to keep track of where the poem is headed for its next line.  Irene Latham is the organizer of this fun event!

~~~~~~~~AND~~~~~~~~~
A to Z Challenge begins tomorrow also, on the first day of Poetry Month!

For those who are wanting more day by day stuff happening, there will be a new challenge that opens up on the first of April.  It is the AtoZ Challenge.  You write to a letter of the alphabet, starting with A, going in order to Z, one letter a day, starting with A on April 1.  No posting is done on Sundays though.  That way all the alphabet is complete on April 30!
Here are some links if you are interested in participating.  Your link is put in the comments each day JUST like you did for the SOL challenge.

This year I am continuing my quest for vanity plates starting with each letter of the alphabet.  I think I have just about all of them now, and a few more.  I have my poem ready for Saturday.  I think, as much as I'll miss the SOL and March, I'm ready for the next chapter! 

Blogging from A to Z
or Blogging from A to Z (Wordpress Site, if you have trouble linking on the first one, go here - it's a duplicate site)

The gracious hosts of the A to Z Challenge are:
Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Alex J. Cavanaugh @ Alex J. Cavanaugh
J
eremy Hawkins @ Hollywood Nuts
Heather M. Gardner @ The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Zalka Csenge Virag @ The Multicolored Diary
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing
J Lenni Dorner @ Blog of J. Lenni Dorner
Here are some pages from other years doing the AtoZ... just to get an idea...
A is for Arms - I did this in 2012 using Tagxedo and all the words from my poem about arms.
A is for Amy Sue - This was 2013 using lobster boat names. 
A is for Animal Hide & Seek - I featured books by Maine authors.  Dahlov Ipcar was my first, being from our town.  She died earlier this year.  Her art and books will be treasures forever. 
A is for Airport - Signs that were strange or funny that I found in 2015
A to Z on a Plate - I found vanity plates in Maine and wrote a poem to each.

I can see the earth this morning!
March is ending like a lamb here.  I'm looking forward to the green beginning in the midst of all the white and browns of winter.  Every day there is a new patch of dead brown leaves or grass showing.  Can't be far off now!
See you in April!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tomorrow's Poem

Tomorrow I will post the Scavenger Hunt Poem for Poetry Friday!

Tomorrow is the last day in March.  I can hardly believe it.  March has gone by rather quickly.  Though I don't like the late snows of March that well, I do sort of hate to see it go.  I like the month of writing and reading, of visiting and having guests over.  The SOL community is such a welcoming and fun group to be a part of. (yes, I know that's a preposition at the end)  I wish it could go on forever.  But I know we'd most likely run out of steam eventually. 

For those who are wanting more day by day stuff happening, there will be a new challenge that opens up on the first of April.  It is the AtoZ Challenge.  You write to a letter of the alphabet, starting with A, going in order to Z, one letter a day, starting with A on April 1.  No posting is done on Sundays though.  That way all the alphabet is complete on April 30!
Here are some links if you are interested in participating.  Your link is put in the comments each day JUST like you did for the SOL challenge.

There are all kinds of blogs and posts happening for the month of April.  I have done this challenge for a number of years now, (oh, just looked it up - started 2012) combining it with Poetry Month, writing a poem a day in April.  This year I am continuing my quest for vanity plates starting with each letter of the alphabet.  I think I have just about all of them now, and a few more.  I have my poem ready for Saturday.  I think, as much as I'll miss the SOL and March, I'm ready for the next chapter!  Onward to A!  Oh, it would have been so awesome to find a license plate that said "APRIL"!

Blogging from A to Z
or Blogging from A to Z (Wordpress Site, if you have trouble linking on the first one, go here - it's a duplicate site)
 
The gracious hosts of the A to Z Challenge are:
Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Alex J. Cavanaugh @ Alex J. Cavanaugh
J
eremy Hawkins @ Hollywood Nuts
Heather M. Gardner @ The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Zalka Csenge Virag @ The Multicolored Diary
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing

J Lenni Dorner @ Blog of J. Lenni Dorner
Here are some pages from other years doing the AtoZ... just to get an idea...
A is for Arms - I did this in 2012 using Tagxedo and all the words from my poem about arms.
A is for Amy Sue - This was 2013 using lobster boat names. 
A is for Animal Hide & Seek - I featured books by Maine authors.  Dahlov Ipcar was my first, being from our town.  She died earlier this year.  Her art and books will be treasures forever. 
A is for Airport - Signs that were strange or funny that I found in 2015
A to Z on a Plate - I found vanity plates in Maine and wrote a poem to each.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Gearing Up

It is almost April!  I love April.

The osprey come back in the first 8 or so days of April.  I love seeing them arrive and start fussing with their hodgepodge of a log home.  The couple always arrives one or two days apart.

No snow lasts for long.  Even blizzards in April melt quickly even when they are deep.  A good snow in April even helps the mountainous snowbanks in the shopping malls melt more quickly.

The snowbanks now are coated in black, gray and brown dirt scooped up and plunged into the snow as the snowplow shoves it to the side of the parking lots.  They look like scoops of ice cream with sprinkles.  Or chocolate chip ice cream...or maybe vanilla ice cream with chocolate cookie crumbs in it.  Kind of.

These snowbanks don't melt well in the sun for some reason.  You would think they would, for as they melt the dark dirt gets more concentrated on the surface of the snow, and dark draws the sun's heat.  But it doesn't seem to.  Those snowbanks last and last and last.
You can almost count the storms by reading their layers...



Snow Banking

I need to make a deposit
said the snowplow in the street
and promptly scooped the snow up
and dumped it at my feet.

By Donna JT Smith

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Squawking

SOL17

Today I tried to write a post about the squawking crows, and ended up writing another poem.   I'm not putting the crow poem here; it is being filed with the geese poem and a couple others waiting to see if my motivated self actually does something with them, or the procrastinator wins with another cup of coffee.

Instead then, I started writing a post squawking all about me and blah, blah, blah!  You know how you think you want to say something, and then you realize it is just to hear your self talk?  That was that.  Eeesh!  I hate that.  No one wants to hear that.  So I shut myself up and deleted it.  You wouldn't have enjoyed reading it.  I didn't enjoy reading it.  Sometimes you just have to shut up.

I had three long paragraphs.  And I've just deleted them.  Now I have three short paragraphs.  And I'm much happier with them.

My photo of a nice winter beach day

If you don't have nuthin' good to write, 
don't write nuthin' at all.

But if there's a glimmer
the least little shimmer
Than let it all on the page fall.
I don't want to write
About any plight
Like ships torn asunder at sea
So you needn't wonder
If that sort of blunder
Is really the story of me.

by Donna JT Smith

Monday, March 27, 2017

Glasses

This started out as a post about the crows.  But as I sat here waiting for the coffee to brew and then having to feed the cat who would not let me type anything until he was happier, I glanced at a glass.  This glass was one we got free at our mall here in our small, happy town.  I started thinking about all the free glasses we've gotten at the mall.   The Mall is a section of the transfer station, where people leave things that have not seen all the use they are capable of for others to pick up and take home.

We visit this section each time we go there.  We've gotten ice cream sundae cups, bikes for the grandkids, books and frying pan lids and a kitchen table, which I am hoping to use in Friendship next month... I've brought them mugs, clothes and plant pots.

Mostly we get small juice glasses.  We started picking up small glasses just for ourselves for reasonable portions of any drink.  We picked them because they felt good in the hand, and looked pretty on the shelf.  They are now taking up quite a large portion of our cupboard, and we find that we like them better than our huge glasses.

As each of the grandchildren became old enough, they use these when they visit.  This last visit they were able to pick the glass they wanted to use at each meal.  For some reason I get so much pleasure in having them pick the glass they would like. So far no fights have happened and they aren't just stuck on one glass - like a dirty one, so I would need to wash it!
Group shot
I decided to take a picture of the one my husband got this weekend at the mall.  It is really very pretty.  Then I took out the rest, too!  Maybe a group shot would be nice.  So I got the family together in a reunion pose.  But as I was setting them out, I noticed that the light through each glass was magnificent, and decided to focus on that instead of their meager start and purpose.
Newest addition
When I took the picture, I had to take more.  Look at the light through the glass!  Do you think they made the glass to look pretty or make the the glass so that its shadow would be pretty?  Do you think the glass designer knew?  Have you ever looked at your glasses this way?  I hadn't.  Now I'm thinking it is the next step in picking out a glass.  Right size, right feel, right look, right shadow.


You know you have to go back and look at them again.  I did.  I haven't even put them away yet.  I want to look some more.  The fancy ones don't have quite as nice a shadow as the plainer ones do, but there's still a shine inside.
Fancy glass... still pretty.
Interesting.

A bit like life and people, don't you think?  Go talk to someone who doesn't look like they have much that looks out of the ordinary about them.  See what shadows they are own.  I'm always surprised.
Plain glass... shadow looks like a clam shell?






Sunday, March 26, 2017

Geese Murmurs

SOL#17

This morning as I took the dog out at the cold, gray crack of dawn, I could hear the geese gathered past the trees, at the foot of the hill, at the river.  They were murmuring in those low almost human "voice in the distance" sounds they make.  It sounded as if they were quietly taking attendance.
 
"I'm here.  You there?"
"Yup, I'm here.  Where's Joe?"
"Joe, who?"
"You know."
"Oh, yeah.  He's here."
"I'm over here."
"Hi, Joe."
"Babs with you?"
"Yeah, she's here."
"All here."
"Yup, all here."

And then quiet.
They must have determined that they are all accounted for after the dark night.
No coyotes had supper here last night.

Then there were the crows. They'll have their day here tomorrow.

Have a good day.  Touch base with friends today.  Make sure they know you are here and all is right.  Then take a nap.

I wrote a poem today about the geese, but decided not to publish it here.  Maybe you will read it someday when I become a famous poet and my book is in your library.  Or maybe just my grandchildren will read it.  That's good enough for me.




Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sharing My Ditty Ode

You may have already seen this if you visited Michelle Barne's blog this week.  She has a challenge to write an ode to an inanimate object at Today's Little Ditty this month.

I happened to be sitting in the kitchen beside a big box of tissues when the call for an ode came through.  Those tissues seemed open to the idea for an ode just for them.
So I oded them.  I also acrosticated them.

Guidelines for the Ode to an Object:
Choose an object (a seashell, a hairbrush, a bird nest, a rolling pin). It should not be anything symbolic (such as a doll, a wedding ring, or a flag). Write five lines about the object, using a different sense in each line (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Then ask the object a question, listen for its answer, and write the question, the answer, or both.
An Ode to a Tissue (and an acrostic)

The faintest whiff of clean, starched sheets 
In white, you lie flat, stiff, well pressed, waiting as
Shaking fingertips flounder, feeling for your straight, thin edge
Silently you caress my face, no, you are quietly humming
Unduly seasoned with salt from my tears.
Eternally crumpled, rolled up in a ball, do you have any regrets?
Shush, so happy to help.
Donna JT Smith 

This may seem like cheating to put this up today, but I have places to go and things to do today.  I hope you are able to try out a few lines at least of the scavenger hunt sometime this weekend.  I will post both poems next Friday!
The link to the padlet with the clues is at the top of my page just above the pages tabs and below the title. AND it is to the RIGHT in the navigation bar along with a QR code for accessing it on your mobile device quickly and easily to take with you on your phone...  I don't know how necessary that is, BUT since it can be done, why not do it?  That's my motto.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Poetry Friday


Today is Poetry Friday, and Catherine is hosting at Reading to the Core.
The game is afoot!

I'm posting the Scavenger Hunt I quickly put together when Tabatha Yeatts thought maybe I could challenged me to make an online version of what her very gifted and talented and obviously LOVING daughter did for her birthday!  I cannot help but steal a good idea, or fall for a challenge, so I did. 
See here for historical, birthdatical references...
Click on the cake!

To post clues, I stole Michell H. Barnes idea of using a padlet.  She uses one for people to post poems, I thought it might work for a Scavenger Hunt.  Let's see!

I will be posting POSTED a second scavenger hunt on the padlet, too, after some poems become available through the Poetry Friday linkups today.  So if you have done the first scavenger hunt and want more, there will be IS a new one very soon!

If YOU want to make a hunt for the rest of us to solve, create your own box on the padlet with the clues.  Click anywhere on the padlet to create an editable box.  See how I formatted it, with:
  • name of blog linked (you don't need the date)
  • P for # of poem on the page
  • L for which Line to go to in the poem
  • W for which Words in that line to use. 
In creating a hunt, please limit your poem selections to those listed as participating in Poetry Friday this week.  It will enhance our readings and visits to the bloggers here this week!

My suggestion, from the limited experience I've had, is that you should try a short poem first...maybe only 4 lines.  It can be time consuming and your family will not know you anymore.  I only made this one long because I have CLIGS - "Can't Let It Go Syndrome" - or maybe I just wanted to see how many I could get... ok, maybe that's the same syndrome.

When you are in a hunt or if you are making one, remember these rules for Poetic Success.
  • Click on the links in order.  
  • Look for the poem, line and words.  
  • Copy them down in the order given. Tah-dah... a poem.  The first one has 9 lines
  • If you have done the poem, you can post the completed poem on your page.
  • Then in the comments in the padlet box where you found the clues, or in the comments on this page, put a link to show where your poem is so others may cheat check to see how you did. (See the comments box on the padlet to see how I put mine in)
The link to the March Scavenger Hunt padlet is at the top of this blog right under my header.  Click on that to get started!

My second hunt will be up later today or Saturday.  I need time to see what's there!  If you post a hunt to the padlet, I will see if it works out to post it also on my page one of the days this next week for extra coverage and opportunity.
Don't forget to wear a badge if you do either part of a scavenger hunt.  You may wear it for the rest of your life.  Or your blog's life anyway.

Questions?  Comment so I can help out.  Broken stuff?  Let me know so I can fix it!

Next month is:
  • Poetry Month 
  • and the AtoZ Challenge.  I will be posting a poem a day - and my theme this year is again Vanity Plates in Maine.  Oh, we have more!  I will post a plate and a poem a day all month long.  
  • And we'll try to get a Scavenger Hunt in, too.  
  • Oh, and the Progressive Poem.  
  • Oh, and a trip to PA for my grand daughter's birthday 
  • and my daughter's birthday, kind of.  
Wait.
  • AND I'm moving?  
Ok, no problem.  I've got this.  I forgot my poem.  Double Haiku.

The Writer

🌹
Where are you going
bags packed with punctuation,
words, white space and heart?
🌹
To scribe my story,
 of unpacked thoughts and burdens
on white space, with heart.
🌹
 by Donna JT Smith

Hope to have something for ME to solve on the padlet!  I have extra time now!

Insecure about Social Security

SOL17 (if you were here earlier, Blogger messed this up big time... or Padlet did.  This is alllll new...and good.)

It is Thursday and my husband is on his way to the Social Security office AGAIN.  We have tried and tried to get our SS untangled, but they keep tangling it up again.  We get letter after letter from them explaining how much we aren't getting THIS time, and how much they are taking out for the prior months (that they've made mistakes on).  I did not know that retirement was going to be a full time job at the Social Security office, but so far it has.  And it seems to be a money loser.

I'm hoping when their fixes to their mistakes finally catch up with their paperwork that they will repay the back-pay money they took out.  I'm not too optimistic about it.  At this point, I'll be happy to simply stem the flow.

I can't tell you how weird it is to both be retired now.  It is both weird and scary.  We shouldn't be scared; we prepared for this.  We have funds set aside in various nets.  But there is something about sitting here in the boat with your nets full, releasing them one by one and hoping that you don't run out of them before YOU have run out; or hoping that the boat won't sink, leaving you without boat or nets.

I have to put that aside.  Those worries are not for me to deal with.  The worrying time is done.  Now it is time to just do.  We WILL be fine.  I have my assurance of that.  I just need to hold up my faith to ward off the worry.  Set worry in its place...the backseat of life.

No Worries, No Regrets

I shall not give over to worry
that stalks in the shadowy dark;

I will cling to the hope of tomorrow
and pull myself up to embark

on the journey of life that awaits me,
a future to flame from a spark;

be gracious in walk and grow kindness,
embrace what is tried and found true;

don't ever regret to go boldly
and reach for the good that is new.

the good in tomorrow is out there
past worries just waiting for you .

by Donna JT Smith
My OLW last year - BOLD  and this year's word - REACH both helped out today.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Poem and Keep Scavenging

SOL17 - 22

Hey, Hunters of Slices, Hunters of Poetry!  I didn't have any idea of today's post until last night, late.  Oh, and I just found my "Ode to a Tissue" posted at Michelle H. Barnes Today's Little Ditty.  Hope you can visit her.  It's tear-jerker - well, in a way...

Whilst reading last night instead of going to bed as I was supposed to be doing, I came across a cinquain Mrs. Surridge on her blog, Stuff, wrote about her pillow (I'm sorry, Mrs. Surridge, I don't know your first name!  I've looked and looked for it.  I feel like I should know you better!).

Her pillow was soft, fluffy, good for lounging, very welcoming - such a nice "friend" when you are in need of relaxation.  It was a lovely read.

But then she just had to ask, "Does that give away what I'm thinking?"
"Yes, I believe I know what’s on your mind" - sleep! (as I should have been doing right then); but then, came the "aha" moment and I added "….or what your mind’s on,"  as in your mind/brain is lying on the pillow!

And then it started, my mind was evidently not ready for the pillow yet.  With her poem, her picture of her pillow and my comment, a different view of that friendly pillow evolved:
A pillowcase I made; my grand daughter uses it when she visits!
Pillow Fight

My pillow’s on my mind
And I just want some sleep,
My mind’s on my pillow
While I’m still counting sheep;
They’re soft and they’re fluffy
But I can't keep from blinking;
My mind’s on my pillow,
I need to stop my thinking.
I have to get some rest
And end this endless night;
You, my dearest pillow,
Have provoked this mindless fight.
And now you must desist
And let me get my rest;
I’ve tossed and I’ve turned
While you have done your best
To keep me from my sleeping
You’re lumpy, scratchy, hard -
I'm thinking I’ll just go throw you
Right out into the yard!
What’s that I hear you saying?
You’ll try to be more billowy?
You want just one more chance
To behave a bit more pillowy?
Okay, I'll give you one more try
You must let me catch some z's,
To close my eyes and count my sheep
And end this pillow fight, please!


by Donna JT Smith

There.  Done.  Sleep.
Don't you love it when one post leads to another?  The beauty of SOL...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you are wanting to do the
https://mainelywrite.blogspot.com/2017/03/scavenger-hunt-for-world-poetry-day.html
click on the logo.  
It will take you through time, back to yesterday, where all the directions were, and all the clues were.  I will have the same hunt posted for as long as anyone wants to do it.  There's no time limit on it, though on Friday I will have links to all the places the poems have been posted, AND I will have a new one up.  You are free to do this one still.  It's good practice!

Friday's will be longer, AND I will have a padlet to use, so that you can post your own clues there.  More on that Friday.  But be thinking about creating your own poem from this Friday's

We have a few people who hunted down the words to yesterday's poem.
Here are links to their poems on their blogs:
TabathaYeatts:The Opposite of Indifference     Musings     Person 3?

Congratulations!
And don't forget, you get to wear a badge when you finish hunting down the words!

 Happy hunting, happy slicing, happy happy!

And just for fun... notice that at the top of my blog there is a link to the Padlet already.  AND I have included right here, a QR code to get to the padlet on your mobile device.  Just a fun think thing to try.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Scavenger Hunt for World Poetry Day

SOL#17, Day 21 -
It is World Poetry Day!  And one day into Spring!  So there has to be a poem today.  Today there will be two poems then, in a fashion.

First, today I am sharing a website that I used pretty frequently with my first graders, and then some with older students when I taught technology at the elementary schools.
I am sure that teachers have been here before.  But just in case you haven't, here is a treasure trove of Poetry and Writing resources and tools.  I used to use the interactive parts with my students in computer lab, as a whole group activity in the room, or in a writing center.  I also just like to play around with it myself.  There is a cool "found poem" part that has a large word bank with the option of creating your own "magnetic" word to use.  Then you can save it to work on later, save it as a .pdf or email it.

My poem today is a found poem from 6 blogs today.  As I was visiting I pulled out phrases from each of the sites and composed this poem:

Beautiful sun glistening
Scoffing at the wind
Sending warmest wishes
Tossed on an updraft
On a frosty March morning
The welcome mat's out, Spring,
Come back!

These lines were taken from my post, Mainely Write on 3/20, Reading to the Core 3/17, Life on the Deckle Edge 3/16, Crackles of Speech 3/17, Live Your Poem 3/17, Violet Nesdoly/Poems 3/17, Dori Reads 3/17

It was an experiment in found poetry - lines found on each of the above sites.

You do not have to read the rest of this post, unless you want to.  This is an experimental challenge in Found Poetry, a scavenger hunt, below.  Another way to celebrate World Poetry Day, if you have time.

I will link to it all this week at the bottom of my posts for those looking for it again when they have free time!

********************************
Then I adapted the plan, with the help of Tabatha Yeatts and Linda Baie as guinea pigs...very cute and kind ones...it's just an expression.  I don't know why we couldn't have used butterflies or bunny rabbits more in experiments.  But I digress.

So to further celebrate World Poetry Day I have a
It is the first hunt of Poetry Hunting season (April being Poetry Month...)!
I have set up a Padlet to use starting next week for anyone who wants to submit a list of clues to their poem.  That will open on Friday.

Where did this come from?  Who is responsible for challenging me to do something, anything... with this?  Well, here is the short history of the

It all started when Tabatha Yeatts was born.  It would seem that the hunt should have a long history, but it doesn't.  It also has to do with a daughter of hers, who gave her a very special gift for her birthday.  This may have been done before, but I don't know of it, so there.  I have adapted this concept, so that many can play at once.  Literature is all around us.  So we are going to use the literature that we all have right here on our blogs!


Here's what you have to do to join the hunt:

1. First get yourself something to drink and maybe a snack.  Do not do this challenge until you have had sustenance. 

2. Make sure you are connected to the Internet and you have your computer in front of you - just like you do now.  Done!

3. I've linked to the pages where the poems are found.  You don't have to go looking for them!  Yay!  This time.

4. Below you will find the clues to a poem.  Read them, memorize them and then eat the paper so no one...

5. Do not really eat the clues, as it is not on real paper and you could get hurt.

6. Read the clues, and keep this page open so you can refer to them. 

7. Get something for recording the words as you find them. Paper and pencil, or open a document to copy and paste the words as you find them.

8. Now, get ready to FIND THAT POEM!  Look at the first clue.  It will tell you the blog's name.  It is one that was listed in the Poetry Roundup listing on March 17 (or 16). Open that blog post. You just have to click on the name; it is linked.

9. Read the next part of the clue.  Look for the P - it stands for Poem,.  It will tell you which poem it is on their page.  Some people have more than one poem listed.  Find the correct poem.  The number after the P is the poem number (1 would be the first poem on the page, 2 would mean the word will be in the second poem, etc.)

10. Once you have the correct poem, look at the clue again.  L stands for Line.  Count down the correct number of lines.  Titles don't count as lines.  If the L is 0, then that will mean the words are in the title line!  Sometimes there is only a part of a poem on the page, and you may have to click another outside link to get to the rest of the poem to get to the correct line where the rest of the poem is.

11. When you are on the correct Line, check the clues again.  W stands for Word/Words.  It is the number of the word or words being used.  So if there are 7 words in the line, and it says W3-5, you would use only the third, fourth and fifth words of that line.

12.  Take a sip of coffee, water, etc. 

13.  Carefully copy those words down in order.

14.  Do not do the directions in any other order.

15.  Do not do the clues in any other order.

16.  All clues are in the correct order to complete the FOUND POEM. 

17.  Post the found poem on your page.

18.  Put the link to your page here in comments so others may see it, when you have completed the

19.  Take one of these badges to show you are a Scavenger Hunter Extraordinaire.  Display it proudly!
The Badge - either
20.  Towel off and get another coffee - or water.

NOW for the clues!!!
  1. A Journey Through the Pages - 3/17/17 -  P4  L1 W1,2
  2. Life on the Deckle Edge - 3/16/17 - P1 L2  W 1-4
  3. Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference - 3/17/17 - P2  L3  W1,2
  4. A Word Edgewise - 3/16/17 - P1 L7  W 2-5
  5. A Teaching Life - P1  L16  W 2,3 
  6. A Day in the Life 3/17/17 - P1 L 7 W 3,4 
  7. Kathryn Apel 3/17/17 - P1 L 5 W 3-9 
  8. Random Noodling - 3/16/17 - P1 L2 W 2-4 
  9. Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet - 3/16/17 - P1 L1 W 2-4 
This is a 9 line poem when you are finished.  I have double and triple checked it for errors... but I suppose I could have done something really not good.  If you keep coming up with something not making sense, leave a comment explaining.  I will need to fix it!

Stay tuned for the next
Don't forget to post
1. the poem on your site
2. leave your link in the comments so people can to there and see
3. let your blog wear the badge with pride - so far it is not on a shirt, so only your blog can wear it.

On Friday, I may try another, if this goes well...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Once Flaky, Now Shiny

#SOL17 number 20...
And it is officially Spring today...

Just look at the beautiful sun glistening on the waves...the white caps...

Snow banks at the parking lot, shining in the sun
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And here is another shot.  Note the way the waves break on the shore.
Looking out across the school ball field
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And here you can see the reflection of a mast of a sailboat on the glassy, calm waters. 
Ball field light pole reflection on frozen snow
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I love how the waves rush in, crashing at shore's edge.
Plowed banks silhouetted against the frozen field, trees against the sky
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
What?  Aw... snow?  Really?  I thought it was spring!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The sun shining on the snow, melts it just a bit and then it refreezes.  It is not the fluffy stuff of shouting "Merry Christmas".  It is not packy.  It is packed... solid.  It is icy.

Yet, also because the sun is stronger now, it is melting in some spots, and then surface freezing, like on the road and walkways.  So just when you think you can walk on it, and not wear your boots because all is frozen solid... that's when you break through into the puddle below.  Ask me how I know.

No don't.  I'm drying my shoes.
It's a sure sign that spring will be coming soon.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Poem time:
An acrostic for SUN

Steady, searing, shining star
Ushered unerringly upward, ultimately
Nudging neighboring nebulose night

by Donna JT Smith

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Flyers

Two Writing Teachers brings us the Slice of Life Challenge for March.  This is #19.  Thank you for all the inspiration and opportunities!

(My post a few days ago - the jealousy post - kept nagging at me.  I had good thoughts for that at one time; they had to do with the signs of spring that I can see.  I think this was it:)

Signs of spring?
In Maine, there are none to be seen outside except maybe the longer days.  We are still deep in snow.  It is still cold.  I need boots, winter coat, etc.  I still keep extra warm stuff in the backseat in case the car breaks down on the side of the road.  It will be a cold wait for help, or a cold walk to anywhere, so we still have emergency stuff in our cars.

But our mailbox has delivered signs of spring!

We got our hardware store flyer in the mail, and there are rakes on sale (and NOT roof rakes for the snow).  These would be the ones for raking up those dead leaves you missed in the fall.  They would be for the clumps of grass and rock that the plow has deposited on your yard.   They have lawn mowers and garden hoses.  They have bags of grass seed and lime, and seed packets.  You can even get leaf blowers, grills, coolers, and wheelbarrows.

The farm store has chicks ready for ordering.   It has wagons for pulling loads of mulch and other stuff around your estate. I didn't see a single snow shovel, generator, roof ice pucks, sled or bag of ice melt.

The fabric store is blossoming, too - all the floral fabrics are out, plastered on the cover and throughout the flyer.  There are lightweight fabrics, gardening tools, birdhouses, garden gloves, watering cans, pastel floral arrangements, pastel ribbons and butterfly wind chimes.  There is not a snowman, snowflake, star, or white flecked tree to be found.

The clothing catalog is sporting flip flops, tank tops and tee shirts.  There are rain boots, shorts and caps.  Stored away until mid-summer flyers are the boots, sweatshirts, snow boots,snow pants, mittens, and hats with fur lined ear flaps!

So there are definitely signs of spring that surround me, but none of them quite work for me yet.  When I see less white than brown, less ice than mud, more sun; when I see the only the tall black-brown covered pile of snow the plow placed skyhigh in the grocery store parking lot - then, and only then, will I declare it spring.  Everything else is just forced - like forcing a bulb to bloom on your counter in the dead of winter.  It does not make it spring.  I don't care what the calendar says.

It is not spring here yet.  Thanks for trying.
I remember the blizzard we got on April Fools Day, I remember the snow in June once... When I see all the pictures of blossoms and green happening elsewhere, I wonder about my choice of habitat.
I like snow, but really?
That green is starting to make me a tad jealous....or is that yearning I'm feeling?

Spring Timer

the earth is covered in white frozen shiny snow
where are those small bits that come up
through the dead brown wet mushy 
grass that is not dead either but 
only acts like it is and how 
can it not be dead in all
this cold deep freeze
oh it looks dead
it acts dead
until
it
isn't
anymore and
it starts to shimmer
and glimmer in a green
sequined vest and glorious
purple, pink, yellow, red hats
and they begin their dance in the
breezes sometimes colder than we think
they should get but they just wink and smile
and keep dancing to the stunning concert of birds

by Donna JT Smith


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dream Remembered

I got up at 6:30 and started brewing the coffee.  Then I sat down to write my SOL.  Strangely enough, my dream came to mind.  I don't often remember my dreams now.  I used to write them down and I remembered them pretty well.  I haven't remembered one in a while.  It is funny though that when you do start to write them, more comes to you.  It did for me as I wrote this.  I first jotted down parts that were clear, then the sequence and more details became clearer.  A dream not written down evaporates.  I wonder if it goes into a vault that we just can't access easily again, or if it just dissipates and can't be reassembled.  Anyway I captured this one as best I could. 

I dreamed last night that:

We were at my mother-in-law's house, but it wasn't hers, it was more like my childhood home.  My brother-in-law, sister-in-law, husband, and an infant were staying there.  It was early morning and we were going to have breakfast, but my brother-in-law wanted to go out for breakfast. We left my mother in law at home with the infant.  I was worried, since she is too weak to be lifting the baby but they assured me that the baby wouldn't cry before we got back.  There would be nothing I could eat at this place for breakfast, but I went anyway. We started driving, but then stopped at a field and started walking across it. Other people were also getting out of cars and walking across the field.

I went on ahead to get a spot in line at the restaurant.

When I got there, there was a snaking line forming. I went all the way from the front of the restaurant to the back where there was a round glassed in room.  The line was moving and
at the end of the line in the glassed in round room were three little girls dressed in ivory satin gowns - there was a sign on one of the dresses telling who she was, but I can't remember now.

The girls went by me as the line moved, and I got a place at the end of the line in the round room.  When the others in my party it was now my husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, two of my husband's business associates, and I believe, my grandson.  Suddenly, I noticed there was a table and chairs in this glassed in round room, and we decided to sit there.  Then someone told me an old friend (who has passed away) was going by outside.  There was a glass door right next to this room that we could have used to come in instead of the front door!  I looked out, saw her right on the sidewalk by the door. I invited her in.  She had lost weight.   She was pushing a baby carriage or was next to one, but left it out there to come in and join us.  I began counting chairs to make sure we had enough.  When I went to talk to her she had gone already.  She hadn't stayed for the meal.  Someone said that there was some discussion about something - maybe somehow something was being done or colored or something, and she left.

This group turned into being at a party or something where there were people everywhere.  Some of them seemed to have displays of things.  Then it seemed that it was just artwork.  I had told someone who was painting that I was interested in painting, too.  I think that person told someone else who began flagging me down from across the room that had turned into a field with a clothes line or wire strung to hold paintings.  It appeared that there was a wall also for part of it.

I went over anyway and this person asked me how many paintings I'd done.  I told him one real painting.  Then he asked me what I'd painted.  I told him it was a picture of a caterpillar.  I realized soon that I'd said the wrong thing, that it was my dog I'd painted.  I didn't correct myself, though, because I already felt stupid when I said I was a painter but had only done one piece!

He laughed when I said one and proceeded to show me empty frames, and a couple of very large paintings that I couldn't make out.  They were dark, almost black, and there was no image that I could see.  I mentioned that I liked the ocean and would like to paint that, but that people were tired of seeing ocean pictures.  He agreed.

Pretty soon I was in a large room where children were getting ready to go home on a bus.  I needed my bag and coat across the room. I asked for my bag.  It was a heavy wool and red.  They found it in a wooden box and passed it to me.  Then I asked for my coat.  I think I asked for the blue wool coat, but there was no coat like that.  I suddenly remembered that I'd worn my purple coat, and they passed that to me.

I think I woke up then and checked the time.  6:30 am.
Time to get up and make coffee.

And that is what I did.

Though it reads as absurd, this dream is full of little significant things in my life, some sad, some happy, some reminders, now that I think about it.  Maybe I'll just write that part for myself some other time.  The dream is way more interesting than the real.


Maybe I should paint a picture of a caterpillar today.
I've never painted a caterpillar before.

I'M BACK!  I forgot a poem!

Dreams a swirl around my head
as I tumble into bed
Waiting to get in and make
all a jumble when I wake.
Silliest of dreams are true
"Things you don't remember" stew
Other things are tossed together
Rain and sun and snowy weather
Whispers, shouts all like a buzz
Nothing like it ever was!
So my dreams just sift and swirl
Since I was a little girl
Some are fun and some are scary
When you go to bed you're wary
But when I wake they fall away
Melted by the light of day.

by Donna JT Smith




Friday, March 17, 2017

A Jealousy Post

Slice of Life and Poetry Friday Post.  See Two Writing Teachers and Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge for more great links!


"I am not inspired for writing green yet.  Maybe a tad jealous. We are so snow covered and cold, even the spring Jo-Ann Fabrics flyer feels out of place!  Tomorrow's post maybe!"

This was a comment I made yesterday.  I quickly copied and pasted it here yesterday.  Then I came back to it this morning and realized I hadn't copied or written where I'd left the comment.  Oh, well, at least I still have the idea!

Maybe.

I'm not sure where I was going with that.  Wish I'd written just a bit more to jog my memory as to the points that were on my mind at the time.

Do you ever do this?  You must.  You are writers.  Writers write down their ideas that come to them at inopportune times so that they will remember them.   You can probably tell the age or stage of a writer by what they do when an idea comes to them.

If you are new to it, you just think.  You don't even know you have an idea (though that happens to all writers at some point).  You don't see that fleck of dust just waiting to be written about, expounded upon.

As you get more experienced you see the dust, and try to remember it.  We all after a dozen times doing this, realize that just doesn't work.  Sometimes even when we know it won't work we try to do this still.

Then comes the stage of carrying a notebook - at least I think this is next... no.
Then comes the stage of wanting to carry a notebook and pen.  You usually have a pen anyway.  So you don't have a notebook, but realize you should.  So you use anything that is paper-like - receipt in your pocket, napkin at McDonalds, the back of an envelope, the border of an advertisement flyer, the program for the musical you just attended, the church bulletin (Heaven help you if you were needing to write in church...) - really, any papery pond.

When you tire of scridges of paper, you may actually go an buy a notebook.  But the trick then is to actually carry it ALL THE TIME.  When you don't, you have to resort to one of your other failing methods.

I was clever here and used a different form of "writing it down" before it escaped.  I copied and pasted.  I had my blogger window open, and pasted it there.  Sometimes I've emailed myself an idea when I only had my phone.

Phones, iPads and other tablets have made it easier to capture your idea and hold onto it until you can publish or post, or whatever it is you want to do with your writing can be done.  The tricky part is still writing enough of it, so you can fill in, flesh out and let it grow.  I did not do that.

But it still gave me something about which to write.
Maybe I'll remember tomorrow.

I decided to do a poem today using the above post.  See all is not lost!

A Found Poem from the Above

Inspired for green
Yet so snow covered
And cold this morning
Not sure -
I wish
A bit to
Jog my memory.
Probably the age or stage;
You don’t even know
That fleck of dust -
See the dust.
Remember it.
That doesn’t work;
Any papery pond
May carry it!
It escaped:
(I had my
Window open)
An idea
To hold,
Grow;
Maybe tomorrow
a poem
is not
lost.

by Donna JT Smith

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Moon

This is a slice of moon...I mean... this is a slice of life post.  It is what I posted this morning over at Laura Purdie Salas' 15 Words or Less.

The moon followed us in the car a few nights ago, and I remembered when I was a child and thought it was following us as we drove at night. I’d just stare at it and try to figure out how this was happening. I was enthralled with the night sky, and still am.

The Stray Moon

Look what followed me home!
May it sleep on my bed
in darkest nights?
…Please?

The moon before the storm on Monday night, was bright and almost full as it followed us. On the way home through the night and into Tuesday morning, the sky became lightly cloudy and lit up the sky in a general way - like putting a lampshade over the bulb.  You couldn't see the source of the light, but the sky, though dark, wasn't as dark as the silhouettes of the trees and buildings.  We could still just make out the trees all night, right into morning.  That moon was so persistent through its veil of clouds.

Have you ever stayed up all night?
If you have never stayed up to see the sky go through its phases, you should someday.
(I hope it is not for a bad reason that you happen to be awake all night though!)
 
It is just an amazing feeling to be awake for the start of a new day, having gone through a sun setting, a dark sky, and back to the gray, to slowly colorful, dawning of the next day.
To me it is very exciting to be driving through the night, and notice the sky beginning to lighten and realize that the earth is turning, returning to face the sun...while someone else is getting ready to face the other way.

Well, enough.  I'm fascinated anyway.  I wouldn't want to do it ALL the time, but those rare occasions still hold a fascination for me.

Maybe I need to get Laura's book, If You Were the Moon?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday

Slice of Life #15.
The storm has stormed through. 
Window plastered with snow
It was piling up nicely...over a foot...
and then it got a bit melty and freezy and now there is a crust and it is shrunken a bit.  But there is still plenty.  Still over a foot, but now with a layer of very packy snow.  The plow came through late this morning and made banks that can't be shoveled, nor can the snowblower handle them.  So we are going with what we've got.  The sun is shining, so I'm sure it won't be long before the snow is much lower, the branches will lift again, unburdened by the snow they are holding, or the snow that is holding them.

My husband has announced that we WILL be going to Starbucks today.  One day confined to the house is enough!  Out we go!

This morning, while awaiting the snowplow, I checked in on Mrs. Frazier's, Mrs. Simon's and Mrs. Surridge's classroom bloggers to see who I had not visited yet. Yesterday, through the storm, I read many posts and wrote something for the students I came across.

This morning I made a list of those I'd missed, and then wrote the last few poems as responses to the remaining writers.  I have enjoyed doing this immensely.  It has been a delight reading their posts, and then a personal challenge to take what they've written and use it as inspiration for a poem/reply.

I am ready for another classroom now.  We ARE only half-way through the challenge!

One of Margaret Simon's students had posted a word cloud as a list of ideas for writing in the SOL.  Here's my response to her post - I'm counting it as my daily poem:

Brainstorm

My brain just made the biggest cloud

Of every thought I said out loud

It clearly knew each thought and word

The ones inside or overheard

It floated up into the sky

So I might catch them as they fly

Then write them down and let them play

Where on my paper they would stay!

by Donna JT Smith

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Marching Home

Yesterday we made an unexpected trip to NY and back, and tried to beat the storm home!
We did it!  Here's our weather map and our dot... we arrived here at 4:35 am a mere 24 hours after I first woke up yesterday morning!


We weren't sure if we were going until 3 pm yesterday.  If we did, we would have to hurry!  The storm was slated to start in NY at 6 am today, and at 9 am for us in Maine.  We made only one stop each way.  Ok, maybe it was two each way.  Short stops.

The trip was quiet.  Not too much traffic on the road even though nothing had started.  Lots of salt trucks out preparing the roads for the storm.  There were signs flashing of the coming storm.  New York warned of the snow storm and said to "Avoid Travel".  Massachusetts said "Snow storm." and banned "tandem trucks and special permit vehicles" from the highways.  And Maine simply said "Winter Weather expected. Plan ahead." 

In Maine, I guess we expect to have winter weather in winter, and we expect it to BE winter weather, like snow, sleet, slush, ice, etc., and we expect people to know what to do about it.  You either keep moving in a reasonable fashion in a storm or know enough to stay home.  We don't need to say anything more.  It is winter.  There will be winter weather.  It will be snow.  What do you think you should do about it?  Do that.

My daughter in PA texted me as we were entering NY and said they had just started a few flakes falling.  Would we make it back before hitting snow somewhere?  We ate a quick burger and left to head back home.  We saw no signs of snow.  Some semi's were still on the roads trying to get where they really wanted to spend the day, and very few cars.  We kept on going, and still no signs of snow, except that the sky was a cloudy bright from the moon shining behind clouds now.

As we got closer to home, I checked the weather map.  Yipes!  I'd been breathing easy because they'd said the storm wouldn't start until 9 am by us.  But already the storm was closing in on us.  Everywhere we'd just been in the past hour was showing snow happening.

We were tired but relieved when we pulled into our snowless driveway.   I took the dog out for a run and a fetch the ball...
then I came in to blog...
I have unwound. 
It is 6:40 am. 
And I am now
going
to
bed. 

(right after this poem...)

March Snow

Winter weather is about to be had
Some will be happy, some will be sad
And others will be decidedly mad
But as for me, I'm going to be glad...

For March is the month when
the snow flies
and dies
March is the month
when spring
comes alive
March marches over
the snow
in a hurry
And mice that were tunneling
rapidly
scurry
For places that won't melt
in strong
springy sun
Though this will be deep snow
when all's said
and done
I think it will melt
in about
a fortnight
If we just endure
this bit of
the white
Soon we'll be thinking
of daisies and
'dillies
And getting the bestest
of springtiming
sillies.

by Donna JT Smith, 6:20 AM - after a long day's night

Tired, going to bed now!  Good morning, see you later!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday Slice

I woke early at about 4:30 am, checked email, and then closed my eyes again. I thought about getting up and making coffee.  I didn't.  I stayed in bed a while longer just relaxing and enjoying the fact that I didn't have to get up yet. I fell into a light sleep, and finally got up about two hours later.  I still did not make coffee, but I did start commenting on classroom blogs.

For the past week almost I have been trying to get to each student blogger and leave a poem, one classroom at a time.  It started as a whimsy of an idea to comment on a few students in Mrs. Surridge's class, but then realized I can't stop at just some of them...that's not fair.

Oh, dear.... my brain was starting up in its storm mode.... why not challenge yourself to see if you can write a few lines of poetry that would somehow relate to their writing that day and do it for each of her students?

So I did.  I was so excited about the challenge of it, and that Mrs. Surridge said the students were excited, too, that I'm trying it on Ms. Frazier's class now, and I've also visited and left responses for Margaret Simon's group!

The comments were worked on this morning, but then I got called away to some other important matters.  I am in the car and just now returning to blog at 7 pm on a 6 hour drive one way.  We will then do a quick turnaround and head back home.  We are racing the snowstorm, hoping to get there and back home before any snow flies!  It's an adventure!

So this is my only opportunity to blog today. If there are errors in spelling, punctuation or spacing, etc. please ignore them for now.  It's not that easy riding on heaved roads and typing on an iPad!

I may be late tomorrow.  I'm sleeping in if we get home early enough! Then I'm waiting for the blizzard to start at 9 am. We should make it home before it starts.  If not, I'll take pictures of the storm in the headlights or from out motel room!

Here's a sample - my response to a student who wrote that they liked fluffy marshmallows:

I like my marshmallows
When they've turned
From white to black
Crisp and burned
Over a campfire
Use a stick
Eat a hundred
Then get sick!

By Donna JT Smith

*Note - we got back home just after 4:30 am Tuesday.  We did in fact beat the storm.  I'm showing weather map image on Tuesday's slice.  I may try to write it now BEFORE I go to bed this morning.