Friday, March 30, 2018

Challenges!

It's Poetry Friday and there are so many things going on!  I have my grandchildren and daughter visiting. Got up early to squeeze in this post!

Took a walk yesterday with my grandson and looked at the roots of a spruce uprooted in the windstorm in early March.  The ledge it was perched on was fully exposed, along with its shallow root system.  Sad but interesting!  What a challenge to live with shallow roots on a granite ledge!

I think Pickles may be sneaking in to make some jello later today!
What a challenge to be able to make sneaky Jello...


Tomorrow I will have my grandson pick a Bear poem's author out of an Easter Basket or Bonnet to see who gets the jelly beans!  So it you were planning on writing a poem for this fellow, please do so and get it posted on his Padlet by bedtime tomorrow!  I challenge you to write one if you haven't yet!

On Sunday, the A to Z Blogging Challenge begins. There will be over a thousand bloggers attempting to blog each day, excluding all but the first Sunday of April, starting with A on April 1, B on April 2, and so forth.
If you want to join the fun, the sign up is still open until tomorrow night...like Solar Bear's poem drawing...
Just go to http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2018/03/master-list-sign-ups.html for more information and the links to sign up.  It is lots of fun, and you can post as little or as much as you want about each letter.  I am doing a combination, of a vanity license plate for each letter, plus a poem in a form that starts with that letter (hopefully...if the letters and inspiration both work for me!).

Here are two sample poems from previous years' posts:

From 2012 on the 6th day (more of the post is here):

Font: FutureFont
Tagxedo Theme: Fresh
Poem style: Free Verse


F
ish
silently
weaving
between
green
ribbons 
tying two
worlds
together
they struggle
in the light
and breathe
in the dark
as a mirror to
our world of
breathing 
in the light 
and our
struggle
in the dark
unknowingly
gliding amid
the green
fingers
touching
both
worlds -
land
and 
sea,
    water
       and
               ai
                  r

© 2012 Donna J.T. Smith
And this was from 2015 (more of this post here):
Today I have a Rondeau (for R) for my R sign:
A Rondeau has 15 lines in all, arranged as three stanzas: first a quintet (5), then a quatrain (4), and a sestet (6).  Its rhyme scheme is: aabba aabR aabbaR. The R (refrain) is short and is a phrase from the first line.  All the other lines are longer and have the same metrical length.



Reserved Parking for Sweet Dreamers

Sweet dreamers may park here to sleep,
A vigil we will gladly keep;
Relax, repose, with closing eyes -
You’ll be surprised how fast time flies
While you enjoy your rest so deep.

As round the dial the clock hands sweep
And sun retreats for moon’s slow creep,
The stars call out with shiny cries,
“Sweet dreamers!”
 
Don’t be alarmed if you count sheep,
For as they leap, sweet dreams you’ll reap;
It will not take too many tries
Before succumbing to the prize;
When you awake the birds will cheep,
“Sweet dreamers!”

©Donna JT Smith, 2015 
So those are just some previews. I have been quiet for responding to Poetry Fridays lately, as I have been busy preparing for April...
I took pictures all year, from May 2017 through April 2018 for this next round of poems, and have been scouring parking lots for a few missing letters the past couple of weeks. I have cropped and resized the license plate images, researched poetry forms, written many of the poems, scheduled all the posts (even the blank pages!) so SOMETHING will be up there on the scheduled day, even if I forget to finish or post!
Hope you can join the fun in April! 

I haven't been getting around and commenting nearly enough!! I'm going to try to do much better today if I can squeeze in a few minutes between grandchildren and doing this amazing puzzle with my daughter today!  I love puzzle challenges!


Now off to try to visit a few poetic posts myself! (Right after I make coffee!) Heidi at my juice little universe has more poetry links to visit...stop by when you get your coffee!  Challenges are always easier with a cup of coffee!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Beneath the Sky

Welcome to my Poetry Friday post!  Laura Purdie Salas is hosting today, so make sure you click the link and visit more poetry today!  And go to Ed DeCaria's Madness Poetry to vote on the newest round (4), where Laura has her new poem up!
I am up in Northern Maine where the snow is deeper and the air is colder and winter hangs on the longest.  But I love it up here.  There is a lot of sky. 

First looking at the image I saw an alligator that I hadn't seen before...
then a duck right there in front of him...so first this:

Driving through
Just passing by
Alligator eats
A ducky sky.

by Donna JT Smith

Took this picture from the car window last night as we drove through the countryside.

And then this:

Beneath the Sky

Fields stretch on
beneath the sky
waiting for 
another try
another spring
to come reveal
The rich brown soil
the farmers feel
between their fingers
testing it
to see if all is
firm and set
for planting on
beneath the sky
No signs of steel 
to rove new furrows
naught disturbing 
sleeping burrows
But spring will come
and with it rising
sun again
on the horizon
when rumble roar
will be the cry
as tractors groan
their summer sigh
for Sun's return
that brightens eye
and farmers' hopes
beneath the sky. 

by Donna JT Smith, 3/23/2018


I had to wait to find a space to get a shot.  Much of the drive looked like this:




Please consider writing a poem for Solar Bear...  His padlet is still up!  And there are jelly beans at stake.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Haibun for a Haibun

Don't get excited!  Photo is from some long ago warm season.
I am going to quote from the comments of Diane Mayr's Random Noodling here to help us out with my post:
Diane's quote:
"There's a guidelines sheet available from the Haiku Society here that you might want to check out. It always helps to read haibun, which you can do in online journals such as Haibun Today. Everyone writes a little differently, but what I try to do is to write a haiku that isn't directly related to the prose portion, but instead takes the reader somewhere else only to end up in the same place."


And here is my comment to Diane that same day: 

"I do love your haibun, and thank you for the link to more. I've spent a bit of time there now, just reading. I wanted to try a haibun for a haibun... "

I went to Haibun Today, and read through a number of Haibun.  I did not go to the Haiku Society link yet...but will. 

My haibun for a haibun:

What's a haibun? I wondered. There didn't seem to be a clearcut way for me to follow any rules to writing one. How can you write without rules? I read more. The first two or three I read, I just didn't get, so didn't like. Then the wonderful December Visitor one. Yes, that one I could see. Funny even. The next five or six began to make sense to me. There was no real rule. Maybe that was the good thing about them. I wondered if they were harder to write than they looked. You can only tell by writing one.

Gate hinges creak
Fenced thoughts spill on open ground
Dandelions grow
 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Madness Poems

Though I realize many of my Poetry Friday friends may have read these two poems, I decided to fudge a bit and post them here for today.  Now to concentrate on the A to Z poems for April!  I will be doing Maine Vanity Plates A to Z with a poem for each!  Sunday, April 1 will be the first one, but no A to Z posts on Sundays in this challenge.  If you're amind to join in, sign up at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2018/03/master-list-sign-ups.html
On of my all-time favorites found on a family van!
 
Solar Bear dressed for spring rain...
 The second poem was my favorite of the two.  The Authletes liked it, but I could have used more student votes on that one.  Ah, well.  I shall try again.

This is my poem for Round 1 (word: imbroglio) a limericky poem, lots of tweakes and to make the rhyming format, there was only one spot I didn't like, but couldn't manipulate enough without starting over:
Licked

Bought a fudgy ice cream on a stick;
Thought I’d ride my bike and take a lick.
  Bike in full command,
  Hit puddles and dry land,
Then I spied a hill that made me sick.

Twirling pedals blurred and madly whirled,
Held on tight, my toes were even curled!
  Lost control of brake,
  Ice cream was at stake;
Down the hill at great speed I was hurled.

Whizzing past the trees, a dog, a car.
Landed in a bush, saw twinkly stars;
  Bike and fudgy spewed,
  Body black and blued,
From where I am imbroglio is never far.

by Donna JT Smith ©2018

This was my poem for Round 2 (word: untenable).  It had lots of tweaks to make some able/ible internal rhymes, end of stanza rhymes, reference to the moon with lunatic, the 500 wd. limit, rhythm, etc. so I, personally, enjoyed the complexity of the simple here when I was done:
Sour Cream Dream

They say my goal’s untenable,
Illogical, has flaws;
That it is quite improbable,
As everyone guffaws.
They tease!
A big mistake, impossible!
They say to think it through;
But I know I can do it,
I’d hoped that they would, too.
Oh, please!
It isn’t inconceivable;
I’ve heard it from a spoon!
Some lunatic jumped over it,
But I’ll land ON the moon!
Mm, cheese!
Then they’ll all say “Remarkable!
Is it cheddar, Swiss or Jack?”
When I’m the first bovine to bring
Moon dairy products back!
Ahh, bries! 

by Donna JT Smith ©2018
Solar Bear in mittens an a winter hat...no snow that day...no boots needed!
Don't forget the padlet with the pastel of the stuffed bear...
I am looking for poems - ekphrastic poems to go with the artwork.  Here's the link for info and the Padlet. that I put up last Friday!  There are jellybeans at stake!!
Then off to visit Linda Baie for the Poetry Friday Spring Roundup!!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March Madness Round 2 Poems Ready!

My watercolor cow...no relation to any cows in Round 2...and there are a few!

Round 2 in the Madness Poetry Tournament, held by Ed DeCaria has begun with the second assigned word, and a new authlete "opponent".    I'm in to this round in a bout with J.J. Close - a formidable opponent!  We got our word  on Friday and had 36 hours to write a poem.
Voting for these bouts is now open, and close this Tuesday.

My first round word was "imbroglio" - this round is "untenable"!  Lots of challenging words and fun kid poems in this round!
 
It is not too late:  If you have a classroom or are a homeschooler - register your students as a class, have them read, talk about the poems, and then decide how they'll vote!!  You will feel extra ready for April's poetry month.  They may want to set up a classroom challenge on their own with a word of the day to write to???  Or not.  And of course, any adult can go there to vote.  You will need to register with an email address before being able to vote.  All poems are geared to PreK through grade 12 - but most are aimed at about the 8-13ish age range.


 
You can go here to see list of matchups and words.  Click on each link there to read the poems and to vote:

And don't forget to put your Ekphrastic poem on the padlet for the chance to win a jar of jelly beans.  Drawing is March 31 9 pm...the day before Easter!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Poetry Friday

It is Poetry Friday!  And there is so much goodness going around in the poetry world!  Bear with me (oh, I just got that... a pun... you'll see later)  Read more for a suh-we-e-e-et challenge for you!


Our hostess today with all the link-ups to poetry is Michelle H. Barnes at Today's Little Ditty.  Visit her to find lots of poetic goodness.  On Wednesday, Michelle posted my Golden Shovel poem in response to Nikki Grimes' challenge.  You can read it here if you've a mind to...

Thursday evening the polls closed and I found out that I'd won my bout! Today Round 2 in the Madness Poetry Tournament, held by Ed DeCaria begins at noon with the second assigned word, and a new authlete "opponent".    I'm going on to the next round in a bout with J.J. Close - a formidable opponent.  We get our word in shifts sometime after noon on Friday, so I may not be making the round of poetry links until after Sunday.  We'll have 36 hours from the issuing of the word to write a poem.
Voting for these bouts in the second round starts at staggered times on Sunday as poems are revealed, and close at staggered times on Tuesday. Link to calendar

*UPDATE* The Round 2 voting is now open until sometime Tuesday, March 13.  My first round word was "imbroglio" - this round is "untenable"!  Lots of challenging words and fun kid poems in this round!
 
It is not too late:  If you have a classroom or are a homeschooler - register your students as a class, have them read, talk about the poems, and then decide how they'll vote!!  You will feel extra ready for April's poetry month.  They may want to set up a classroom challenge on their own with a word of the day to write to???  Or not.  And of course, any adult can go there to vote.  You will need to register with an email address before being able to vote.  All poems are geared to PreK through grade 12 - but most are aimed at about the 8-13ish age range.



https://madnesspoetry.com/matchups

Laura Shovan's birthday month is over for this year.  I got a poem a day in for the week before, during and after this year, my first year doing this.
I have a picture and a poem today to offer, and a request for a poem.  Because March 7 was the last day of the challenge... and most people were wiped out by then... my pastel image of a teddy bear, had only three ekphrastic poems written to it.  Thank you Linda Baie and Diane Mayr for your beautiful poems that I will be sharing with the artist.

This bear was won by my daughter when she was little, when she guessed the closest on the number of jellybeans in a jar at a Hallmark card shop.  He is a large bear, and when when she got older and wanted to put him in a yard sale, I snatched him up and took him to school.  He became Solar Bear, and we dressed him in either clothes from Lost and Found, or in the students' winter outdoor clothes so he could have his picture taken for our weather report posted on our school web page.  He did that for a number of years.  On day our art teacher, Jackie (McKeon) Johnson, took him down to the art room and did his portrait!   And that is what you see here.
Now I'm retired, and he sits in a chair in the bedroom, still dressed in a school t-shirt and "Lost and Found" pants (who could lose their pants??) so he doesn't get lonesome.

I'm wondering if anyone out there would like to give a go at writing an ekphrastic poem using the acrylic of our bear.  I'd love to be able to have more poems to share with Jackie.  She's such a talented artist and art teacher!  If his sweet face gives you some poetic words, either write them in the comments, or in the Padlet below!

Now here's some sweetness to add to the pot!  Remember those jellybeans way at the top of the page?  I'll give you a second to go check again....

Yes, those.  On the last day of March, I will draw a name from the "jar" of poets who submitted a poem for Jackie's pastel of Solar Bear, and that poet will win a jar of jellybeans, just like this!   Yum!  Gluten, dairy, fat and gloom free!

Woo-hoo again!  Looking forward to seeing what sweetness ensues!

Jackie's Website is here.
Here's my poem (I'm not putting my name in the jar):
The Luckiest Bear

 In the Hallmark card store
 Beside the jellybean jar
 He sat in the window
 Staring sad and far
 He was waiting patiently
 For someone who would know
 The number of the jelly beans
 And with them home he’d go
 To a home where he could lounge
 On a soft, warm bed
 And find a cushy pillow spot
 To rest his polar head.
 Then there came a little girl
 Who marched into the store
 And she wrote down a number
 Then went back out the door.
 The next day she returned
 And squeezed him oh, so tight
 For she was the lucky guesser
 And got the number right!
 She carried him out to the car
 Buckled him in carefully
 For he was an extra large bear
 Almost as big as she.
 When they got to the house
 He was placed upon a chair
 Where he thought to himself
 I am the luckiest bear!
 But she’d better not forget
 To tuck me into bed
 And read me a bedtime story,
 Give me a big hug instead
 Of leaving me right here
 In this chair for the night -
 And she didn't forget
 Any day of her life
 At least until when
 She had turned ten
 And he was then
 On the chair again.

by Donna JT Smith 3/6/18

Click on the square with an arrow up in the right corner to make the Padlet large enough to work on.  Then click the + in the bottom corner to add a poem.  I made each entry so that you can like them and comment, too.
Made with Padlet

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Plethora of Madness Poetry

Today is a voting day for Round 1 in the Madness Poetry Tournament, held by Ed DeCaria.   I've now been to all 32 match-ups, read the two competing poems of each, and voted, plus made comments...
been busy!  But this is well worth the time and energy.  First, these poets have put their words on the line - with 36 hours to write a poem using a given word.  Second, I learn a lot about poetry the more I read it.  Third, there are some words out there I evidently need to learn...like my own challenge word "imbroglio"!
Fourth, it gets your mind mellow and energized at the same time!
So go there today and most of tomorrow.  Sign up to vote (you will need to enter and verify your email), and read and vote!  This is time you won't feel you have wasted!!
And if you have a classroom - register them, have them read, talk about, and vote!!  You will feel extra ready for April's poetry month.  They may want to set up a classroom challenge on their own with a word of the day???  Or not.  But some of these poems are just so funny!  You need to take the time from something else today and tomorrow...and then await the results of the voting!  Then do it all again for the second round, third round....ever narrowing down the number of poets and poems in the running...until a champion is announced and receives the coveted "The Thinkier" trophy.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Wrap Up of Laura Shovan's Challenge

February was Laura Shovan's birthday month, and to celebrate, she posts a challenge to poets to write about a designated topic - and this year it was a piece of art we owned.  So we were writing ekphrastic poetry every day (that we could, or felt inspired to).  I accomplished the warm up in the last week of January, the challenge of the 28 days of February, and now I am in the midst of the wind-down first week of March.  Yesterday's ekphrastic was inspired by embroidery done on silk offered by Catherine Wallian Flynn.  It was given to her husband's grandfather by a Chinese officer when they served together in Asia during World War II. The artist is unknown.
Birds of Spring

Cutting through the evening sky
Tumble-flying joy on wings,
Dodging others sweet in song -
Waters flight-touched making rings.

These the flocks of spring to come,
Wings with song strummed in delight;
These befeathered creatures sing
In the fading of the light.

Melting ice begins to flower,
And all about is roused from frost,
Emerging once again the victor -
Proof that spring has not been lost.

By Donna JT Smith 3/2/18

The March Madness Poetry tournament officially opens tomorrow at 8 pm.  This is when the poets will get their assigned word and 36 hours to write a poem using it.  If you haven't registered to participate in the voting community either as an individual or a class of students (home schoolers, too) you can do that at any time!  This should be lots of fun for adults and kids alike, though the poems are geared to kids K-12.  
Here's the schedule for the bouts (click on the link below it to take you to the original page):
  1. Log in with Facebook. (Alternatively, sign up using email and log in.)
  2. For each match-up, read both poems and consider the merits of each.
  3. After deciding on your favorite, click the appropriate button to cast your vote. Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
Things to Consider in Making a Choice
  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete's assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.

Friday, March 2, 2018

March Madness Poetry Begins

It's Poetry Friday, so it is fitting that many poets and poem lovers are gearing up for March Madness Poetry.  I've made the cut for the competition (despite my stupor lately)...
Register yourself (as an individual) and/or your class (even homeschoolers!) to vote for your favorite poems.
There will be an insane number of poems and variety of styles and usage of words at Ed DeCaria's in March!

Today I am sharing the post from Laura Shovan's Wind Down from February's Ekphrastic poetry challenge.  The inspiration is a painting by Patty Gulledge.  I truly wanted to do something serious...but as I looked at the buoys and thought about the rows of buoys lined up to be painted afresh each spring to ready them for duty, the very last line, the punchline of a joke, kept coming to me...
You have to go with what you are given.

Buoy's Team

Like worn out team shirts
After the last game
The buoys were brought in
To repaint and stain
Then strung on a line
By their ropes left to dry
Freshened buoy colors
Tickled the eye
“Are all you ropes good?”
Fisherman asked the lot,
One rope replied,
“I’m a frayed knot!”

by Donna JT Smith


The painting reminded me that I had taken pictures a few years back of buoys being repainted, getting ready for putting in traps again.  Each lobsterman has his own unique paint pattern so they know the right buoys to pull.  I remember my grandfather telling me that it would be dangerous to touch another lobsterman's traps. Fishermen respected property and boundaries.





Now head on over to Renée LaTulippe's No River Water where she has links to more poetry and is hosting Michelle H. Barnes and her ditty anthologies!

More info on March Madness Poetry:
The March Madness Poetry tournament officially opens tomorrow at 8 pm.  This is when the poets will get their assigned word and 36 hours to write a poem using it.  If you haven't registered to participate in the voting community either as an individual or a class of students (home schoolers, too) you can do that at any time!  This should be lots of fun for adults and kids alike, though the poems are geared to kids K-12.  

Here's the schedule for the bouts (click on the link below it to take you to the original page):
  1. Log in with Facebook. (Alternatively, sign up using email and log in.)
  2. For each match-up, read both poems and consider the merits of each.
  3. After deciding on your favorite, click the appropriate button to cast your vote. Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
Things to Consider in Making a Choice
  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete's assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.
Hope you get to play!