Friday, August 17, 2018

Poetry Friday Bird Challenges

Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering is hosting Poetry Friday and has thrown out a bird-related poem challenge to anyone willing to come along!  Check out the links posted...there maybe a few bird poems today.  Diane Mayr has also challenged anyone interested to select an image from the Library of  Congress (LOC) archives that is bird related. 
So I've combined the two and this is it - I would, of course, search for a gull image - The poem is read from the box at the top to start then head on around the image clockwise.
Aboard a trawler. Selecting fish and cutting off heads. Only mackerel, whiting and occasional flounder or halibut are kept. Thrown from trough into ice-filled hold. Fish heads and non-marketable fish are thrown into sea above which hundreds of seagulls wait hungrily. Provincetown, Massachusetts
Contributor Names
Rosskam, Edwin, 1903-1985, photographer
Created / Published
1937 Summer.
Gluttonous Gulls

Gluttonous gulls 
can't help but call:
 "Come look, come see, 
come one, come all!
Look what I found - 
the heads of fish -
And boy, oh, boy, 
they look delish!"

"Share with you?
I don't think so.
You didn't catch 
these fish, you know."

"Neither did you,
so you'd better share!
Eating them all
is just not fair!"

"Fair to whom?
I found this lot!
And what did you?
I think 'twas naught!"

"Oh, fancy talk
from a common gull
Who's following boats
to snarf up cull!"

"Those fish heads
flying to the sea 
Should all belong
to me, me, me!"

"Oh, really now!
I think you're wrong;
These fish are mine,
so run along!"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"These gulls are sure
 a noisy bunch.
Their only goal:
to grab free lunch."

"If only they would
eat and share,
But seagulls aren't
that sweet and fair."

"Keep tossing heads
and no-name fishes,
Grant these gulls
their gluttonous wishes."

("I didn't sign up
for this fishing trip;
I thought this was
a cruise-type ship!")

"We'll head for shore
as sun is setting,
But they'll be back
for tomorrow's getting!"

by Donna JT Smith, 2018

Wish I'd gotten footage of the people "from away" feeding a gull on the railing beside their table - quite close to the sign saying "Do Not Feed the Gulls".  They were sharing a large platter of fries, letting him have free range of that plate.  She wasn't too pleased when he then decided to take her large piece of haddock off her plate.  She tried to shoo him away, but he came back and got the second piece of haddock, too.  They are brazen, and don't need to be fed.  They take whatever they want, whenever they want.  Nothing is safe unattended.  But if you ARE attending it and feed them, then they get even bolder - and you my friend are going to lose anything that looks as if it may have food in it even.  "Do Not Feed the Gulls"... really.  Visitors get to go home and eat in peace and quiet; we have to live with them later!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Poetry Swap from Iphigene

To the writers who want to be:

Today I am also sharing a poem I received from Iphigene Daradar in the Philippines.  She stalked my blog (very effectively and efficiently, I might add!), and came up with a beautiful summary, beginning with a line I had written in one of my posts recently.


"Life is like
a rushing wind
around me."

I sit to make
lists in hope
to catch life's
gush into a string
of words
to check off.

I write #3
only to hear
a knock,
life at my door
asking me
to go see
beach roses
blooming by
my porch.

I bend down
breathe in
the scent
of pink and white
roses, to notice
the day was best
for a ride to
the coast

Shook it off
stamp my feet
to the house and
finish the list.
ten things to write -
to be done.

I write #5
breeze blew
my paper flew
I run to shut
the window
found a bird

I stop to listen
to its song,
an invitation
to dance -
on the grass
beneath the
softening sun

Oh! Life is like
a rush of wind
sweeping off
my list, telling me
to be at ease
let it be, and

©Iphigene Daradar, 2018

Thank you, Iphigene.  There is no more to say.  Just a sigh and a smile.

Please visit Molly at Nix the comfort zone for more poetry goodness.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Poetry Friday

I read Mary Lee Hahn's post today (and she is hosting!) where she has written a Blitz Poem.  It was so intriguing, I had nothing ready for today, and I had some extra time (having gotten up a mere three hours after going to bed), so I decided to try one, too.  I've not spent much time finessing this, so I'm sure there are cleverer ones to be written than this.  But this was a good experiment in a Blitz Poem and I enjoyed my early hours this morning.

Dawn of Fun

At the end of my rope
At the crack of dawn

Dawn to dusk
Dawn of ages

Ages ago
Ages gracefully

Gracefully declined
Gracefully bowed

Bowed out
Bowed to the master

Master of all
Master mind

Mind your manners
Mind your own business

Business trip
Business of living

Living the life
Living the dream

Dream of a future
Dream home

Home of the brave
Home on the range

Range in age
Range of motion

Motion to adjourn
Motion to the side

Side by side
Side of beef

Beef it up
Beef about it

It is a miracle
It has no end

End in sight
End of the road

Road less traveled
Road to nowhere

Nowhere does it say
Nowhere to go

Go on
Go play

Play outside
Play in the rain

Rain cats and dogs
Rain barrel

Barrel of laughs
Barrel of fun

Fun and games
Fun in the sun


by Donna JT Smith, © 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018

First Spiritual Thursday Looking Ahead

Patricia Weaver at Writer on a Horse is hosting this "event", our Spiritual Thursday posts, today.  So if you are of a mind to read what others have to think and say about anticipating their favorite "seasonal" stuff's return, head on over to Pat's and click on a few links.

Sunset with a gull
Romans 8:25 - But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

I am looking forward to the return of ALL the seasons, and ALL the things that go with them.  I should not be counting down, but there are days when I think "How many more seasons of these roses will I enjoy?", "How many more of this or that will there be?"  And I think of my husband's grandmother who lived to be 104, but had begun counting down at about my age now, or a bit younger.  She had 40 more years.
So I have determined not to think TOO much about that and just live a lot.

Looking Ahead to What's Passed

my heart
to the return
of seasons gone before;
and I write about remembered
fall sunsets squeezing gold from setting sun, 
spreading butteryness on waving grain;
I pen of last winter's snowflakes,
sequins on dancing spruce;
I encourage my ink 
to flow in rivulets, 
as spring rains 
carving through 
melted snows,
the thought of 
shocks of green
between my toes 
lures me to compose 
summer words of wonder;
though my pen
over words
expressing earthly loves:
my reasons in seasons,
 watchful weeks
dreamy days;
each minute
my heart knows
there is really 
only one return that
my world
and I await
what has passed before
and will be again.

by Donna JT Smith ©2018

Psalms 39:7 - And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope [is] in thee.

I wrote part of this on Wednesday night and got very busy with much stuff starting early this morning.  And I apologize for not getting back or starting earlier to flesh it out.  You know how it is when you have so much stuff you want to fit into a day, a week, a life... squeezing in the good stuff is important.  Writing is important, too, but doing is more important if you only get to do one of those.

This has not a lot to do with the topic today, I just like it.  I'm always trying to remember to ask boldly.
1 John 5:14 - And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Revised Revisited

An old postcard of my home - When we owned it, the trees had grown up all around it, so it wasn't visible from the road.
Today is Poetry Friday, and our hostess is Catherine at Reading to the Core.  She's sharing a poem planned for the start of school....yipes! Already??

I missed last Friday's poetry, though I did write some.  I read about "Where I'm From" poetry introduced by George Ella Lyon, and tried one.
I also later found this form online:  It would be good for getting started with students.

Though some have seen my original there version on FB, I have revisited and revised it.  At one early point I had accidentally taken out the "lilacs" that I wanted in there, so they are back. Then my brother read it and mentioned "Brown Rim Cookies".  No one else in the world that I knew ever made them, or had heard of them.  So I've included the cookies in the poem and a recipe at the end.  I became an expert at tucking the edges of the linen towel inside a glass, dipping it in water, and applying just the right amount of pressure to the ball of dough so that the edges wouldn't burn.  There were a few "Burned Rim Cookies" before I got it right!
Yesterday, the 26th, would have been my mother's birthday.  So let's just say it is in honor of her.  For she is really "where I'm from" in many, many ways - even to her choice of my hard-working dad, Alex!

Not my actual bike -
Mine didn't have a headlight, but it was probably used when I got it.  My brother got a red bike the same day.

Where I'm From

I am from
family baseball
on summer Sunday afternoons,
because before I was from anywhere
Alex joined the Coast Guard instead
of the Red Sox farm team.
I am from
backyard football
and driveway basketball
until snow flies. 
As the eldest of four,
I am from
watching my three siblings
when adults are busy;
But still 
I am from the fun of
bare feet and blueberries
marbles and mud,
jump ropes and jacks.
I am from lilacs and ledges, 
chokecherry hideaways;
from butterflies and
grasshoppers and pine pitch
stickiness on fingertips.
I am from
making stick boats to float
down the driveway after a rain,
carving roads under the cedar trees 
for my Tonka truck and
ducking spiderwebs.
I am from 
the terrors of gathering
eggs from feisty hens and
avoiding killer roosters.
I am from
porcelain horses,
used furniture, antiques
and unlimited pre-loved old books:
“Honeybunch, Just a Little Girl” and
“A Child’s Garden of Verse”;
And I am from under my own
‘Land of Counterpane’
 reading and hoping
no one will notice
I’m not yet outside playing
under the apple trees and old elm.
I am from choir and white gloves,
and praying in school each morning;
I am from Bonnie Brae 
and picking Mrs. Foye's 
favorite apples in the front yard
and rubbing dirt off carrots and radishes from 
Mom’s vegetable garden in the backyard.
I am from
sewing machines and fabric
and making my own dresses;
I am from
“Gone With the Wind”,
and pressing down brown rim cookies.
I am from working at summer camp with
kids where I first learn I will be from
hundreds of children teaching me.
I am from new roots
with a husband
and a farm halfway across the country,
away from family and old friends.
I am from
new friends,
real horses,
real fences to mend,
and from my own two children
who mold me into
a mom.
I am not always from
“I know how to do that.”
But I am from
“I want to learn how to do that.”
I am from guns and roses
and motorcycles.
And I am from
a mother and father who know
that small things are big
and big things are small,
and a fall
is naught
at all.
I am from salt air, 

 and polliwogs;

and the freedom to roam
on a blue Schwinn I named Daisy.

I am from hearing an old foghorn

call us for supper.

And I’m from

coming home

By Donna JT Smith, July 22, 2018
A foghorn like ours.


1 c. shortening
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. sifted flour
Combine shortening, salt and vanilla. Add sugar and cream well. Add eggs. Beat thoroughly. Add flour. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls and flatten with water glass (damp cloth over bottom). Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Note:  Mrs. Foye was an elderly woman who would sit on our porch and ask for specific apples from our trees.  Mom was a registered nurse, and she and Dad opened our house up for a while to be a nursing home at Bonnie Brae.  We had patients in 5 of our bedrooms, and we slept in the "summer" rooms over the barn and summer kitchen.

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Ride to Reid

Such a special treat of a poem arrived last week from Becky Herzog.  It was a handmade postcard with  a shape poem - a beautifully flowing outline of a motorcycle, with an equally beautiful flowing poem.  It's perfect.  She's captured it all...the smells, the sounds, the feelings.  Thanks!!!

Some pictures to set the mood...

Reid - Todd's Point

Beach roses ready to bloom

A seagull swoop

A great swing at Griffith Head, Reid

 And the bike:
Ready for a Ride to Reid!
And now the postcard/poem (even the colors are right!):

A Ride to Reid

Smell of seaweed and roses on the air
Salty sea breeze rushing past sun-kissed cheeks
Distant waves crash and gulls cry
Pause to recharge the soul

by Rebecca Herzog ©2018

I told you it was perfect.
This project, organized by Tabatha Yeatts, is so much fun!  I'm late sending my next poem out, but TODAY it goes...and my third, too!
Now visit more poetry goodness with Sylvia at Poetry for Children!  It's Poetry Friday!  Hip-hip - hooray!

A late response poem:

I Can Dream

When I ride
the glide of wind
across my face,
like waves awash across 
the space of sand,
turns sun to
warmth undone.
Breeze sneaks
between glove and
tickling, trickling
up past wrists.
I lean into the curve,
as a gull dipping its
wing carves
a path;
Though I must 
stay grounded
to the earth,
  I can dream, 
can't I?

 by Donna JT Smith, ©2018

Friday, July 6, 2018

In the Middle

Today is officially Poetry Friday, hosted by Patricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect . First Spiritual Thursday, hosted by Doraine Bennett at Dori Reads, was yesterday.  I am late for both.  Our topic here in the middle of the year is "looking back/looking forward".

Oh, my word...
I wrote so much garbage for this day.  I wrote, read, edited, wrote more, cut lots, read know the process.  And then I decided to cut most ALL of it and stick with the poem that was in the MIDDLE and add an acrostic poem.

It's all about the middle anyway. Behave as if you were in the middle, no matter where your life bubble is.  I don't spend much time looking back and assessing my progress.   Maybe I should.  But I mostly start from where I am each day and keep moving.  I think I used to set more goals for the forward motion than I do now.  At this point in my life I've tapped about every stone I could get my toe on.  I like where I've been, and have no real regrets, so it makes life easier to deal with each day.

My goal
In life before my
Demise: to garner
Delight in the
Light of your

by Donna JT Smith

My journey lately has been mostly clawing uphill, but there have been ledges of rest along the way, and I am grateful for them, and for the fact that I don't journey alone - though I will be glad when the journey goes more smoothly and levels off again.  But how can there be a mountain top if there are no valleys?  I've been in valleys before.  Just start climbing slow, steady and straight.  Plow to the post: you'll get there quicker.

An Acrostic: 

Beginning, Middle, Ending

Before has not been
Eventually is later
Good times are
In store in
New days
Not yet happened
In time
Nor space
Get ready to race -

Messy life
In a muddle
Desserts combined with
Life's lessons -
Events dealt and disbursed.

Eventually comes,
Nevermore happens;
Despite our dreams and
Inward wishes;
No looking back for
"Got away" fishes.

by Donna JT Smith

I had a cold this week while my grandchildren were visiting.  Twice my 6 year old grandson said to me "I hope you don't die before my birthday, because you are sick and you are old."
I hope I don't either.  I only have to make it to the middle of August... lol!  NyQuil and Mucinex are working miracles.  I think I'll be at the party.  But I guess you never know.  I AM old...with a cold.

Joyful Journey

Here my path lies,
Here the journey,
But the way
Is not the end;
There are others
Following footprints
Be they family
Or friend.
As I reach
that firm foundation
Weathered storms
lie just behind,
New storms quietly
But I look for

by Donna JT Smith 

This still feels a lot disjointed to me.  Sorry.  I have a cold.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Edna St. Vincent Millay

No poem from me here today (I know. Strange, huh?), but if you must read one and you haven't yet, Monday's post, has my poem, Pulse, and a photo - I don't think it was too widely read.  Please bear with me if I haven't been to your site in a bit to comment.  Life is like a rushing wind around me.  When the wind settles to a breeze, I will have more time and energy.  But this week, I promise to reply to all who comment here or on Monday's post...even if I don't get dishes done!

This week we took a trip up to Camden, and drove up to the top of the "mountain".  Mountain is in quotes because we don't have mountains like other people have mountains.  Ours are considerably smaller for the most part.  But when you mostly see sea and forest for rest...well, we make mountains out of molehills.  But still, those molehills are pretty high up and beautiful.

Mt. Battie at Camden State Park has a stunning view of Camden's harbor.  If you are ever up in Maine it is worth a stop to either hike or drive to the top.

At the summit there is a tower, and a plaque honoring Edna St. Vincent Millay (more info here), who was born in Rockland, Maine and often came to nearby Camden. 

All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I'd started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.

by Edna St.Vincent Millay
The poem in its entirety may be read here.

For more poetry today, go to Carol at Carol's Corner and check out the links!

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Late Thought

I was thinking as I was lying in bed.  Now I can't even remember if it was before I fell asleep, or upon waking up too early.  But I guess it doesn't matter.  I got up and wrote down a couple of lines.  I did not do what I usually do, which is think to myself that I will certainly remember THAT thought.   When I finally got up for the day, I remembered I had written something, but had no idea what it was.  So, good.  I would not have remembered my thought in the morning without writing it down.  And I had been smart to just get up and jot it down.  The next step in outsmarting myself will be to have a pad of paper, pencil and flashlight...or an iPad that is still turned on and set beside me.  I am beginning to know myself and my limitations - you would have thought that would have happened years ago.  I still have to remember that I am like that though, for I will argue with myself about how I will surely remember THIS latest and greatest thing.  Then I don't write that something down, but reassure myself that I have that nugget tucked away safely for remembering.  And I never do remember it.

But I wrote this one down - sometime when it was still dark this week.  I left these lines on a document page on my computer:

Waves of the ocean,
Strong pulses of life
Breathe over the sand

And I'm going to think about it now and write more... because I remembered to write it down, and it must mean something to me.

Okay, finished.


Waves of the ocean,
Strong pulses of life
Breathe over the sand
Renewing, embuing
These small grains of land;
And I hum to myself
With a small roar inside,
A thrum that refuses,
To quell the great tide;
The salt of my tears
And dried whispers on breeze
Soon bring me to
Fall on my trembling knees.
Oh, there’s strength in
The falling,
There’s power in tears,
There’s hope in the
Squalling of gulls
Without fears,
And cormorants plummeting,
Seals sliding to depths
 All to be fed
Of oceans great wealths;
And I sit here still,
Shiftless, sifting with hand
Where the pulse of my life
Is renewed in its sand.
by Donna JT Smith, © June 25, 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018


It is Poetry Friday, and though I am a little late posting, I'm very happy to be here!  There's nothing like a bit of poetry to liven up the day.  So after spending a little time here, pop on over to check out more links to poetry at Michelle Kogan's!  (Oh, my word... I forgot to link and here it is just after 4:30 pm... I got distracted in the middle of it!)

Here is a rosa rugosa (beach rose) from in front of our home (near the beach).  I am in love with this rose.  It is the best smelling rose around.  Every time we enter or exit the house - almost all summer - we are greeted by their sweetness.

I have taken many pictures of them, and painted them a few times.  I'm hoping to get better at it!  They are so delicate and fairly glow in the sun!  It is hard for me to capture their essence.  I ALWAYS overdo them!
See... it's not even close.

I'm going to do it right one of these days!

Today, I am sharing a photo I took, and a true thought story poem.  Did you ever have this "wonder", I wonder?


I remember
about colors,
I could
spy a new color.
came into fashion,
and new crayon
names appeared…
I thought,
I’ve never seen
these colors!”
But now I know
they have always
been there;
just waiting for me
to look more

by Donna JT Smith ©2018

Friday, June 8, 2018


Kiesha Shepard at Whispers from the Ridge has our Poetry Friday links today.
Have a beautiful summer day sometime this week!  Looks like rain instead of sun here today! (Whoops!  Sun just peeked through the leaves in the back yard!  Maybe it's a bike day after all!)


"I’m broke,” she said,
And laid in bed.
"I’m sick,” she lied,
And then she cried.

“I can’t do that!
I won’t do this!
Just go away,
And bring back bliss!”

Then as she tumbled
To the floor
And crawled along
To find the door,

She noticed she
Was on her knees,
And knew that someone
Heard her pleas,

Where all along
She should have been
To see her world
Brought right again.

Her smallness, frailties
Her being so

Reminded her that
There’s a force,
A power of
Unending source.

And tapping that
She rose to see
That all was as
It’s meant to be.

No more broken,
No more sick,
No more lies
There is no trick.

“You’re right, you cannot
Do it all
But neither do you
Need to fall.
For there’s a light
And there’s a hand
To help you fight
To help you stand.”

“I’m broke,” she whispered,
“Help me mend.”
“I’m sick,” she murmured,
“But I’ll attend.”

She grasped the light
And saw much more;
She held the hand
To cross the floor,

And all her worries,
All she feared
Dissolved at once
And disappeared.

Once again
The sky was bright
And even stars
Came out at night.

by Donna JT Smith, June 8, 2018

Two more of my poems at GetSparked "Up on the Roof" and "Full Cold Moon".

Thanks, Tabatha!  After reading your comment, I went surfing and found this one, too...enjoy!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

First Spiritual Thursday

This is the first Thursday in June, so the Spiritual Journey Thursday gang meets to think about a variety of topics and how it affects their spiritual life.  This month's topic is Summer.  I tried thinking about this a few times over the past week and a half and nothing really came together in my brain well.  I didn't seem to get a lot of minutes all in one sitting to really meditate upon the theme.  Then I looked up Bible verses with summer in them.  And that is when I began to be able to focus better.

Summer is a promise from God.
Genesis 8:22  While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

This constancy is promised.  We can count on the cycles of seasons and day and night and that summer will return in an orderly fashion.  We don’t get tricked into spring turning to winter, and then autumn leading into summer.  There are not days without a night between (though at the poles they might be a bit shorter or longer than on other places on Earth…).  God gave us the promise of summer as part of a cycle for as long as the earth keeps spinning and rotating around the sun.

Of the four seasons, summer seems to me to be the one that most resembles Heaven....perpetual summer...though without the humidity, of course.  As beautiful looking as winter can be, it is not “heavenly” or “heaven-sent” to me.  It’s a dormant, cold time, when most things at least appear to be dead... unless you like skiing or other winter sports...
Spring is new birth, and autumn is the harvest before the cold, dormant dead of winter sets in.  Summer is the realized potential of all living things -  which seems heaven-like.  Everything is awake, grown or growing, green or greening, and flourishing.

Summer is our promise,
and our warning to harvest and prepare for the promised winter.


When the butterflies
fly home,
And moths
no longer roam,
Snowflakes spritely 
take their place
upon my face.
Memories of warm
sun spun
as lace
I hold dear today.
For soon I fear
the silvered sands
of beach
between my toes
will slip away
And ocean’s white-capped
will be replaced 
with towering drifts -
the rift between
Summer’s reason
Winter’s treason.
As waves sift footprints
from the sand,
So may the sun
release iced land.
And someday I will
come to know
The endlessness of
 summer's glow.

by Donna JT Smith, 2018

Check out the links at Margaret Simon's Reflections on the Teche for more Summer postings. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

It is Friday...It is June...It is a Blessing

A bit of respite in May

Over the past month... and a bit more... we have had one crisis after another to fill our plates.  They have not sunk us.  They have not taken our joy.  But they have taken great amounts of time, energy,  and prayer.  And I have joked that I need a big platter instead of a plate to hold my portion.  But then I set my plate down, opting not to hold onto it.

I think May deserves a poem to celebrate its ending, its tenacity and its victories.

May Be June

We were clearly tempest tossed
well before May had begun

But as patterns crissed and crossed 
there were signs of more to come.

We smiled despite the cost
as we set our course to run.

Till races nearly lost,
instead turned races won.

Now June arrives all glossed
and we're ready for the sun.

Can May's near-holocaust
be traded for some fun?

by Donna JT Smith - June 1, 2018

Reason to Celebrate

May was great -
Great with trials
and tribulations.

Cannot wait -
Wait for hints
of revelations.

Why that day?
Day requires 
deep inhalations.

In the end,
End rewards
all faithful patience.

by Donna JT Smith, 2018

Not a masterpiece...
but a poem that sums up May for me.

No, two poems for May.  It deserved at least two.

I am not going into the details of all the piles of garbage - but suffice it to say our daughter walked away with only minor injuries after her car struck a tree head-on, totaling it.  And that was a total blessing, setting the perspective straight on all of the rest.

I have not written a posted since May 5th.  I have written a little since then... poems, but for other's been hard to focus on writing, though it certainly was a full month for thoughts, just no time to write them.
GetSparked 37 is underway, and I submitted two inspiration pieces - one poem and one art piece to my exchange partner.  Since May 23 I have worked on 2 pieces: one a watercolor and one a poem as responses to my partner's inspiration pieces I received.
I actually completed two poems for her image.  The first one I completed, then decided to keep it instead of publishing it online.  So I had to create another one.  My second one was a bit fanciful and literal, and I decided to go with that one.  Today is the day for completing the response pieces - which I have done - and we now have the week to submit our work to the website.  I'll let you know when mine gets up there later today - probably tonight.

And now I'm working on Tabatha Yeatt's summer poetry exchanges.  I have 5 poems to write in the next couple of months, so I am beginning the thinking and drafting of my first now.

Poetry Friday is being hosted by Buffy at Buffy's Blog.  Enjoy the twirling seeds of the beginning of summer!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Rat's Nest Infestation

Rat's Nest Infestation

nothing today
much more than 
to say
not sad
nor depressed
just empty
with each daily issue
no need of a tissue
  i'm okay
some sun
with a twist
of a key could assist
might unwind 
in my mind
this rat's nesting
replace infestation
with pure relaxation
that would be cool
with no one to fool
 and nothing
to say
 i'm really

by Donna JT Smith, ©2018

Sorry to have missed Poetry Friday yesterday, though I did write this.  Good title, huh?

It was a mind busy day.  There have been lots of them lately.  I'm still joyful, and okay.  Just pensively pent up.  So many things I cannot fix for others.  It tears my heart.  I need to let go.  Breathe.

Now, today, I'm out for a bit on my own in SB wanting, waiting, writing for a story to happen.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

First Spiritual Thursday - Celebrate

What manner of celebration is this?
Today's post is hosted by Violet Nesdoly who is encouraging us to share how we observe or celebrate a special day: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, a birthday, anniversary...

I'm having trouble with this today.  Is it because often, the actual date for the even and our celebration do not occur on the same day?  I began to think about my conversation with my daughter about how it is not important that you see the person on that special day, as much as you celebrate with them when you ARE with them.

With families spread over miles and years, it has been difficult to keep things rounded up neatly to do what is expected in the expected time frame.  But as Christmas is not really December 25, and Easter doesn't have a set date... why do we care?  The important thing is that we DO care, just not that it has to be some particular day.

I celebrate every day the fact that I gave birth to two wonderful children.  I celebrate the fact that my husband was born, and that I was, too!  The dates are not the important thing to me, so we sometimes wait until it is convenient to make the more "public" celebration when it fits.

There are so many ways that I find joy and celebrate, that I actually find regular days to be more celebratory than an actual special day.  I'm feeling at a loss with this topic today.  Maybe it is the personal intricacies and complications lately, that make me feel empty headed right this moment.  Let me try a poem instead and see what comes of it.


I treasure ordinary moments
much more than special days
I want to make the most of all
avoiding hype and craze;
 I breathe in deeply when I see
the ocean or a tree
I look around and see the birds
and marvel how they're free
no cares, no need
to send a card
no deeds
beyond the yard
There's nothing in 
the nest to wrap
Nothing to state
 they're late for hap
A calendar does not exist
with anniversary, birthday list...
I smile to watch
the sun go down
and stretch on rise again
I stare at stars and peek at moon
while picking up my pen
to write a note, a word
or two and buy some Christmas gifts -
but "Look!" there snow that's piling up
where drafts blow making drifts
Then I want to stay inside
and watch it for a while
Or maybe go outside a bit
and build a snowman's smile 
Can anything be better than the
family gathered round?
Who needs to have a reason
for love and joy's surround?
Give me the dew, the frost, the rain
Give me a grandchild's laughter
And I will be happy celebrating
Well into the hereafter. 

by Donna JT Smith, 5/3/2018

Okay that's what came out. Maybe I'll read it!  Then perhaps I'll edit it someday, or maybe add to it.  But I THINK that addresses how I'm feeling right now, if it doesn't address the actual topic.  I apologize.  God's goodness is so finely wrapped around my life and my surroundings that I have trouble sometimes isolating the spots.  And we just don't put much emphasis on celebrations.  We are not organizers of fun.  Fun just is.  Goodness, that just made me smile!  Fun just is.  Celebrations are all around all the time.  Well, if this didn't speak to the topic or to you, it is A-Ohhh-Kay! because it was another little celebration for me all on its own! LOL!
You have a great day!  I'm gonna have me another great day!

Yesterday we celebrated 80+ degrees in Maine by taking the motorcycle for it's first to the beach!  Hopefully, tomorrow my husband will be on his bike, too.


May 1 Day 1

Yesterday we drove down the road to the beach.  It was a spectacular afternoon, and just the right air to clear the head of all that was cluttering and muddling thoughts.

Shadows of Roses to Come

As breezes blow
They take the snows
Crisp shadows grow -
Slow by rows
The full of green
begins to show
Till soon
the sweet
 of roses.

by Donna JT Smith, 5/2/2018

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

It is May


I've always liked the sound of that.  Short.  Rhymes with lots of words...even ballet and buffet; José and olé; relay and ándale...just to name a few of the less used ones.

It's a long month - one that finally, in Maine anyway, gives us the spring we were hoping to see - the one that everyone else has been exclaiming over for two months now it seems.

Ah, May.  I have created a tissue art on canvas for today.  May Day.  I remember when we used to make a May basket and filled it with Mayflowers that we picked, then hung it on a doorknob, knocked and ran away.  If the recipient caught you they could hug you and give you a kiss.  I guess, depending on whose doorknob you hung it, you would either run quickly or slowly.  We were pretty speedy when we hung it on the doorknob at Mrs. Russell's house.  But we'd hide to see her smile!

There will be flowers
I have no doubt,
But when they'll bloom
God figures out.

by Donna JT Smith, 5/1/2018

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Z is for Zuchini and ZaniLa Rhyme

I'm Going to Miss This

It's the last day???
Tomorrow is M-A-Y?????
Where has the time gone?
I'm going to miss this.
Now I'll have to do dishes
and laundry
and comb my hair...
It just won't be
the same
Without a form
to tame.
I'll probably get over it.

This month I have been participating in the A to Z Challenge and incorporating National Poetry Month
by writing a poem each day.
There has also been a poem growing one poet at a time with the Progressive Poem - check out the ending today at Dori Reads.

Today's letter for the AtoZ is Z.  I have spent the past year-ish taking pictures of Maine vanity plates on cars in parking lots in Maine.  This year each poem form also begins with the same letter.  I found 2 Maine vanity plates for today, and chose a ZaniLa Rhyme for ZUCHINI.

The ZaniLa Rhyme, a form created by Laura Lamarca. The rhyme scheme is abcb, with a syllable count 
of 9/7/9/9. Line 3 contains an internal rhyme and is repeated in each odd numbered stanza. 
Even stanzas contain the same line but reversed phrases of internal rhyme. 
It has a minimum of 3 stanzas. 



O, vegetable beneath verdant leaves,
Zucchini so prolific
Amazingly you grow, where I sow -
I guess that’s not so scientific...

Impersonator of cucumber
With very subtle flavor
Where I sow, amazingly you grow,
No green thumb of mine in your favor!

You hide in plain sight in the garden
A bit of a green recluse!
Amazingly you grow, where I sow -
Under cover your number’s profuse.

You start out so smallish and cute
Poof!  Next day you’re gigantic!
Where I sow, amazingly you grow,
By August I’m zucchini frantic!

Next spring I’ll plant tomatoes and corn
No magical zucchini
Amazingly you grow where I sow;
You’re an amazing green Houdini!

by Donna JT Smith © 2012


This one ALMOST made the cut... But zucchini was easier for this format!  But back in 2012 I did write a poem for Z that fits it.  Here is an oldy for the last day of the AtoZ:


Zip zap zing
Who says z's are not the thing
To make a poem sing?
Zombie, zilch, zits
These are just the pits,
But zooming, zesty, zealous
make plainer words
Quite jealous.
And then you always have
The z that's in the middle
Wizard, lizard, drizzle.
Pizza, razzed and fizzle
And if that's not enough, friend
You have them at the end then
Like whiz and fizz and jazz
Which give this poetic spaz
 Some dazzling razzmatazz! 
 © 2012, Donna JT Smith

It has been a fun month of reading and writing!  Thanks to everyone who has visited my blog and special thanks to those who have taken the time to comment.  I do appreciate it!  And immense thanks to those who now follow me.  I hope we can continue to be blogger buddies!  Best of luck in your writing this year!

See you next year Alphabet! 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Y is for YA YA and a Yadu

I am participating in the A to Z Challenge this month, and today's letter is V.
Click here for the list of blogs participating.

I have spent the past year-ish taking pictures of Maine vanity plates when I encountered them - most all in shopping center parking lots.

I am writing a poem for each one, and this year the poem form begins with the same letter.  I found 4 Maine vanity plates for today that begin with Y, and I chose to write a Yadu or Yatu.

The yadu (also spelled ya-du and yatu) is a Burmese form of poetry which consists of up to three stanzas of five lines. The first four lines of a stanza have four syllables each, but the fifth line can have 5, 7, 9 , or 11 syllables. A yadu should contain references to the seasons.
It has a climbing rhyme. The rhyme is on the fourth, third, and second syllables of both the first three lines and the last three lines.






This was not an easy pattern to follow.  I had to keep the format right in front of me for the whole time.  Now it seems not as difficult to remember, but it is hard to keep the flow with this pattern.
It IS done, though!  Yah, yah - ya ya - yeah, yeah, yay!


Almost summah!
Oh, yah, yah, yay!
Not fah, ya know
Till this snowin’
Stops blowin’ and tulips pop!

Then comes the sneeze
Caused by breeze through
The trees and grass;
Pollens pass by
En masse to nasal passage.

Almost summah!
Oh, yah, yah, yay!
Not fah, ya know
To nose blowin’
eyes flowin’ and tissues pop!

by Donna JT Smith, ©2018

These were all fun plates!

I can't believe tomorrow is Z - Z last day of A to Z!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

X is for XLCIOR

It is Poetry Friday, so you can read lots and lots of poems today.  Stop by to check out the links left with our hostess today, Irene Latham, at Live Your Poem.
The Progressive Poem has been "growing and growing", too!  It is nearing its conclusion...
Buffy Silverman has the next line at - Buffy's Blog Go check it out!

I am participating in the A to Z Challenge this month, and today's letter is X.
Click here for the list of blogs participating.
I have spent the past year-ish taking pictures of Maine vanity plates when I encountered them - most all in shopping center parking lots.  I am writing a poem for each one, and this year the poem form begins with the same letter.  I found 1 Maine vanity plate for today, and chose a HexSonnetta - the closest I could come to X for a poem format.

A HexSonnetta has two six-line stanzas and a finishing rhyming couplet.  Its rhyme scheme is
of iambic trimeter per line.  The first stanza is the theme of the poem, with the second stanza changes the tone of the poem, to introduce a new aspect or give added details. The final couplet can be either a summary or the resolution to a problem presented. It should tie together the whole, maybe appear as a “twist” at the end.

I was so excited to find this butterfly to go with my plate!
Callicore excelsior, the superb numberwing or excelsior eighty-eight, is a species of butterfly of the family Nymphalidae. It is found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia.[2]
Adults are black on the upper surface of the wings, with a metallic deep blue sheen on the hindwings, and a broad arc of orange or red on the forewings.

Excelsior - topside

Excelsior - underneath


It flutter-floats forward
on any wispy breeze
any way it pleases
zigging-zagging onward
through the summer upward
clear to the tops of trees

Then ignoring flower
becoming intrusive
seeks salts so elusive
taste for salt or sour
to replenish power -
finds humans condusive.

It's here for a season -
And add to the reason.

by Donna JT Smith, ©2018

*I totally forgot the last line on this stanza.  I had to redo that stanza, even though I liked it as was!  I found more info that I want to incorporate.