Summer Sweet Swaps 2019

I had a late start to I'm starting it now.  I could have just skipped it, but theoretically and in reality, it doesn't stop until autumn begins, and that isn't for a while yet...especially if you aren't a student or a teacher, or a parent of a student.  I was all of those things (or people), but now I'm retired and seasons according to the rulings of a school district don't apply.  For most of my life they have applied, and it is very freeing to think about summer extending as long as it feels like summer and at least as long as the actual calendar says it is summer and not autumn.

So today, I am celebrating summer and the deliciousness of summer swaps (thanks, Tabatha!).  I received some awesome and encouraging swaps this summer.   The words sent me have been beautiful and just what I needed to remind myself to keep on swimming, riding, being strong.

in no particular order, I received the following precious poetic packages:

From Linda Mitchell:

Salt water taffy with cut out paint chip names on each one...poem prompts! - I've been pretty focused on this type of stuff as we work on the house in Friendship and think of cabinet colors, or colors in my son's home that he's renovating.

From Jone Rush MacCulloch:

Jone sent a beautiful photo she took in Paige, AZ.  It's mounted on wood with her poem on the image.  I have it sitting in the living room area by the tv.  It is such a beautiful, almost abstract image of sandstone.

sandstone walls
echo the ancient
stories of
river sky
vermillion constellations
of secret canyon

©jone rush macculloch
From Carol Varsalona:

You roar ahead full of steam
with bold, determined actions
on your faith-filled life journey

©Carol Varsalona

Twisting, turning, uphill, down
your winding path continues
family first in front view

©Carol Varsalona

Morning light captures
nature's breathless beauty
seaside stillness

©Carol Varsalona

Thanks, Carol!  This was beautiful.  Getting part in the mailbox and another part as a working document was really creative!  So many facets to this one!

From Tabatha Yeatts:

Tabatha sent a swap early on, but for some reason, this is all I can find of it now!  Judging from the carpet, it was when I was watching grandchildren.  When I went to her site to see the post recapping it, I recognized it.  But I have yet to locate it again.  It must be at the other part of the house, maybe having gotten mixed with some craft materials in a bin.  And someday we will come across it again and be very surprised!
I loved how Tabatha's search lead her on a wonderful chase through history!

From Jan Godown Annino:

Jan put a SUMMER acrostic poem on a wonderful fan.  I can't tell you how many times I used it this summer.  It is much warmer in PA than in Maine, and especially before we got our AC in, it was pretty miserable.  I always like to carry a fan around with me, so this was great.  It sat beside my chair for easy grabbing whenever I was overtaken by the heat.

Sifts suns rays through pinewood blinds
Understands creek's insistence that I step in, splash, stay to play
Minds not the sandy porch, the muddy sneaker, grass-stained dress
Misses nothing of winter
Expects respect for the amble, mosey, walk that puddles into hillside nap
Requires nothing, nothing, nothing

© 2019 Jan Godown Annino

From Margaret Simon:

Our House is Just a House 
©Margaret Simon

Our house is just a house
full of stuff we like
arranged on a shelf
pleasing and speaking their stories

Our house is just a house
holding our furniture, a table
from grandmother, a desk from his aunt,
and a sofa we thought was the softest in the store.

Our house is just a house
where the kitchen window
frames a perfect day,
the call of birds, the scent of roses.

Our house is just a house
through faithful tides.
When bits are worn
then carried far away - Love remains.

© Margaret Simon

The perfect leaving a home and making another house your home poem...thanks, Margaret.  I love it.

And now I've decided that I will write a poem about all the swapping and poems.
*Okay, no, I won't.  It decided it would be a found poem from words/lines/phrases from all the shares!

Our House

Our house
sifts sun's rays
in the early morn,
minds not the sandy porch.
Walls echo
speaking their stories.
Memories, old and sweet,
of family,
faithful tides,
seaside stillness,
and seaglass

by Donna JT Smith, 2019, 
with a little help from my friends!

You don't know what and how much these all meant to me.  There were so many times I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, or like Dorothy caught up in the tornado...with things slipping by me or me sliding by them.   Staying grounded was my main focus this past year.  Not sure if'm pretty sure I WASN'T successful all the time.  I tried, though!

More poetry and poetry links may be found this Poetry Friday at  Poetry for Children.


  1. Donna, I am so happy that so many wonderful summer gifts came your way to ease the transition from Maine to Pennsylvania (as you are now settled in). It was my pleasure to send you a swap that capitalized on the wonder of a bold woman who took on many challenges and is now on the way to beautiful possibilities. Your found poem is full of the joy of your new house. I would like to share your poem at my Embraceable Summer Gallery. How about sending me a photo of your new house and I will attach your poem? Stay strong!

  2. What bucketloads of beauty in both images and words came your way this summer, Donna. Wow! And you made such a gorgeous poem (I love the concrete details you chose) that evokes a really clear mood without saying it. Nice!

  3. Oh, my are rich! Rich in poetry and friendship and a sweet, sweet summer! I'm just glad that you can start to enjoy it now. I love all the ideas show cased here. So much fun. Thanks for sharing your treasures!

  4. I can see how these swap poems were anchors for you in a trying time. Bless these poetry friends who were there when you needed them. I love how you brought all there poems together in one new poem!

  5. Oh, my, Donna, what a wonderful treasure chest of swaps you received. Each one special for you, so clever and creative. Then you finale thank you gives joy right back. Happiness in the mailbox is a very good thing.

  6. "Faithful tides" is a lovely phrase and "family first in front view" is accurate for you, isn't it? I loved receiving Linda's paint chip poem prompts! Quite a treat. Glad you are having summer "stay to play" until you are ready for autumn.

  7. Thank you all! These treasures have uplifted me this summer.
    Another shoe has dropped in the past two days, so I am jumping off the grid for a bit. Family first in front view. I will return later. I think it best if I sign off until October 1 for time to recuperate emotionally from all the turmoil and learn to breathe again. Thanks for your patience and prayers in all areas of life. I am not ill, just worn and torn, and bracing for one more wave.

  8. Thanks for sharing all these treasures, that seem to connect and fit so well with you Donna. Enjoy the summer that lingers on whenever you can.

  9. These are each lovely, and it is so good to see them all together. I'm impressed you are able to sweep them all up to share and combine in a lovely poem of your own. Moving is so chaotic. I hope you are able to sort things to your liking as you settle into your new home.

  10. What a lovely gathering of these gifts and poems from your poetry sisters! And then a found poem from these gifts is the icing on the cake! Sharing so openly of yourself this Poetry Friday!


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