Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Z is for Zoetic

Good Words Alphabetically: Z is for Zoetic

Ah, z end of z month...

I'm going to miss writing a poem and drawing every day.  Perhaps I will continue.  It was a fun re-entry into regular writing for me. Even though AtoZ is concluded, I will have one more poem tomorrow.  Dauntless was my original D word, but I wrote a second D poem, and decided to save Dauntless for last. 

I hope you enjoyed this poetic journey through the alphabet.  I've enjoyed myself, so at least there's that! Maybe I'll see you tomorrow with Dauntless.

 Zoetically Speaking

When I think of words in life,
some that lift and those of strife,
we've little need of high and noetic,
but simpler words, kind and zoetic;
vital to a wholesome soul,
filling hearts with worthy goals,
words of comfort, whimsy, zeal,
joyous words that help to heal,
We should hold words in our hand
for doling out at life's command -
words that keep you breathing, living,
growing you so you keep giving
more of self, decreasing need,
by spreading more zoetic seed.
By Donna JT Smith ©2024


Monday, April 29, 2024

Y is for Yesterday

 A to Z Challenge and National Poetry Month combined in my

Good Words Alphabetically: Y is for Yesterday.  


Yesterdays' Lessons

Yesterday may have been sweet

adventuresome, delightful

Or it might have been disastrous

sadly dark and frightful

But that was simply yesterday

Today’s a day that’s new;

A day to start all fresh again

Because you’re a new you, too. 

Every yesterday you’ve had

Various circumstances

Either good or not so good

Each rhythm changed the dances

One yesterday you learned something

That molded you in ways 

A stronger you with wisdom

That sustained you to this day

skinned knees, sun and friendships 

Arguments and rain

Compounded your resiliency,

And trained your yester-brain. 

A wiser one you’ve grown to be

Fortified from bump and bruise 

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday

Look for wins when you lose. 

By Donna JT Smith ©️2024


Sunday, April 28, 2024

Dauntless at Last





Dauntless and daring,

valiant and brave,

she stepped to the plate

and unsheathed her stave.

She took a strong swing

and penned some good words,

then ran all the bases 

and hoped she'd been heard.

It wasn't applause

from the throngs that she sought,

just the feeling of knowing

her thoughts had been caught

not snatched by wind

nor nabbed with a mitt

but caught and reread

by you where you sit.

Valiant and dauntless,

brave and daring,

she signed her name

to her soul she was baring.

by Donna JT Smith ©2024

Saturday, April 27, 2024

The Progressive Poem 2024 and AtoZ Challenge

If you are here for the 2024 Progressive Poem, you made the trip safely! I will post the AtoZ Challenge poem for today below this....so scroll down if you are here for my Good Words from AtoZ: A Villanelle for Xenial.

Progressive Poem 2024

I was going to try to rewrite this explanation in my own words but,no. This is good. Thank you, Karin Fisher-Golton!

“Poet and author Irene Latham began a progressive poem tradition in 2012 “as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month (April) as a community of writers” in the Kidlitsophere (world of children’s literature blogs). A different blogger poet hosts the progressive poem each day in April and adds to a group poem. Irene headed up the project from 2012 to 2019 (archive here). And Margaret Simon took over the organizer role in 2020 (see that poem and links to later ones here). Most years each poet writes a line, but this year Patricia Franz began with a couplet (a pair of lines) and a call for a real-life world theme. Soon a narrative poem was developing on the serious topic of children with, as Carol Varsalona describes in her April 14 couplet, a “no-choice need to escape.” Most (maybe all) of us are writing outside our lived experience, but as people who write for children, the multitude of children who are impacted by and have been impacted by such dire situations weigh heavily on our hearts. Wishes for catalysts of hope and moments of respite come through.

On April 6, organizer Margaret Simon grouped the couplets into quatrains (four-line stanzas), which gave the poem structure and helped bring focus to the narrative.”

Below is this year’s poem, so far. My couplet is italicized at the end. Next up tomorrow, April 28: Dave at  Leap of Dave.

cradled in stars, our planet sleeps,
clinging to tender dreams of peace
sister moon watches from afar,
singing lunar lullabies of hope.

almost dawn, I walk with others,
keeping close, my little brother.
hand in hand, we carry courage
escaping closer to the border

My feet are lightning;
My heart is thunder.
Our pace draws us closer
to a new land of wonder.

I bristle against rough brush—
poppies ahead brighten the browns.
Morning light won’t stay away—
hearts jump at every sound.

I hum my own little song
like ripples in a stream
Humming Mami’s lullaby
reminds me I have her letter

My fingers linger on well-worn creases,
shielding an address, a name, a promise–
Sister Moon will find always us
surrounding us with beams of kindness

But last night as we rested in the dusty field,
worries crept in about matters back home.
I huddled close to my brother. Tears revealed
the no-choice need to escape. I feel grown.

Leaving all I’ve ever known
the tender, heavy, harsh of home.
On to maybes, on to dreams,
on to whispers we hope could be.

But I don’t want to whisper! I squeeze Manu’s hand.
“¡Más cerca ahora!” Our feet pound the sand.
We race, we pant, we lean on each other
I open my canteen and drink gratefully

Thirst is slaked, but I know we’ll need
more than water to achieve our dreams.
Nights pass slowly, but days call for speed
through the highs and the lows, we live with extremes

We enter a village the one from Mami’s letter,
We find the steeple; food, kindly people, and shelter.
“We made it, Manu! Mami would be so proud!”
I choke back a sob, then stand tall for the crowd.

A slapping of sandals… I wake to the sound
¡GOL! Manu’s playing! The fútbol rebounds.
I pinch myself. Can this be true?
Are we safe at last? Is our journey through?

I savor this safety, we’re enveloped with care,
but Tío across the border, still seems far as stars.

He could not yet come to this new place

But Hermana moon, kiss his tear-stained face


Take it away, Dave!  I fixed his link in my list...it's missing the .blogspot.com, if you are going through another way.

This is the list of participants and links to their blogs:

April 1 Patricia Franz at Reverie
April 2 Jone MacCulloch
April 3 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
April 4 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
April 5 Irene at Live Your Poem
April 6 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
April 7 Marcie Atkins
April 8 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God Forsaken Town
April 9 Karen Eastlund
April 10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
April 11 Buffy Silverman
April 12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
April 13 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
April 14 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
April 15 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
April 16 Sarah Grace Tuttle
April 17 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
April 18 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
April 19 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
April 20 Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
April 21 Janet, hosted here at Reflections on the Teche
April 22 Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading
April 23 Tanita Davis at (fiction, instead of lies)
April 24 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
April 25 (missed day)
April 26 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
April 27 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
April 28 Dave at Leap of Dave   THIS WAS CORRECTED HERE.
April 29 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
April 30 Michelle Kogan at More Art for All


Good Words Alphabetically: X is for Xenial!

The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines. Using capitals for the refrains and lowercase letters for the rhymes, the form could be expressed as: A1 b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 A2. From Poets.org

X is for Xenial

Ah, the Ocean

Ah, the ocean!
A most xenial spot
Like a potion.

Curb all motion
And dwell in thought,
Ah, the ocean!

Is it just a notion,
Or is it not
Like a potion?

A relaxed devotion
Where dreams are sought
Ah, the ocean!

Salt seasoned emotion
With stress unfraught  
Like a potion

Dispelling commotion
Though gray gulls plot.
Ah, the ocean!
Like a potion!

Donna JT Smith ©2024

Friday, April 26, 2024

W is for Whimsy

Good Words Alphabetically: W is for Whimsy


Often we must have a plan to get a good job done
Practical and to the point and mostly not much fun
But sometimes on our straight-laced path we need a bit of whimsy
A bit of “who knows what’s in store”, a touch of something flimsy
Nothing crudely horrible to give us pause to cringe
Just a bit of who knows what, a little bit unhinged
When there’s nothing pressing that needs doing on the dot
that’s the time to take a break and do the stuff that’s not
Responsible and grown up, dependable and sure
To try something that’s more whimsical, silly, fun and pure
Have a wiggly, jiggly giggle, add a whirly twirly spin
Sweep the cobwebs from your brain, let pink cotton candy in.
Get a chocolate ice cream cone. How high you can swing?
Blow some bubbles, pop them too. How loudly can you sing?
Fly a kite, and dig in sand, try standing on your head.
I wouldn't recommend though, to be jumping on the bed...
But do some things just on a whim, a path not trod in years
and see if maybe for a while you'll turn some fears to cheers.
Tomorrow you'll be practical and all grown up again
But today for just a little while get a crayon, toss the pen!

By Donna JT Smith ©️2024


Thursday, April 25, 2024

V is for Vibrant

Good Words Alphabetically: V is for Vibrant

I wasn't as taken with the picture.  Wanted an instrument in it, too.  But I liked his eyes and smile, so just went with it.  If it's a different picture in the morning, that means I tried something else, but I'm too tired to fuss with another right now.  Time for bed.  See it in the morning!
Okay - made my new image!  I'm good.
Music Man

Bright notes played
he plucked
the strings
with vigor and with vim
And all the while
drank in the notes
feeding him.
Sparkling eyes
broadest smile
In touch with
rhythmic needs
He plays for all
his vibrant sound,
sows earth with
music seeds.
Bring your hunger,
bring your heart,
bring your children too.
Drink it in
these nourishing notes
They help a body

By Donna JT Smith ©️2024


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

U is for Undaunted

Good Words Alphabetically: U is for Undaunted

This poem is something that happened to us traveling with a toddler.  Traveling home from Minnesota to Maine for Christmas.  We spent Christmas eve in the train station in Chicago.  And although we weren't in the best situation, neither were the hundreds of other folks waiting there with us for trains that were stopped because of the snow.  We ended up getting to Maine the day AFTER Christmas.  It was a long trip with a 2 year old.  But a wonderful angel shared her homemade Christmas cookies with our son, and suddenly out of the blue, a gentleman pulled out his French horn and began playing Christmas carols.  It was magical as it echoed through the high-ceilinged station.  It was my most memorable Christmas ever, and I bet everyone in there remembers it, just as I do.

Christmas Eve in Union Station Chicago

The snow was snowing
From dark clouds
The wind was roaring in
The moon was hidden
Bad weather for the win

The train was cancelled
There were no rooms
To rest a weary head
You’ll have to wait
For hours and hours
Is what was grimly said.

But waiting in the station
Came a song
Lone French horn notes
Announced a king and
right had conquered wrong

And all the world was hushed
that night when thousands
Paused their plans
A silent, holy night
Was filled with hopes
And dreams of man.

By Donna JT Smith ©2024

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

T is for Table

Good Words Alphabetically: T is for Table

A part of the A to Z Challenge

I don't know why I couldn't get started with "tender" or "tapestry" or "thoughtful" last night.  And nothing was coming this morning...then "table" arrived.  And table it is. I love my table.


Tables are great places to meet
Places we can tuck our feet
Where lovingly the food is served
Where all that’s given is well-deserved

Tables give a spot for tea
A place to whisper - two or three,
A site to sit and read a book
A cozy quiet between-meal nook

They’re a haven for a long lost friend,
A place to patch things up and mend,
A slate, a surface to begin again,
A place to smile and remember when.

Card games, puzzles, crafts and soup,
Medicines for kid’s with croup,
Bags of groceries, stacks of mail
Something heavy, something frail

Pie crust rolling, bread dough rising
Computers, papers, enterprising,
All supported by this able,
Talented, tasteful kitchen table.

By Donna JT Smith ©2024

Click to see other participants of the April 2024 AtoZ Challenge.

Monday, April 22, 2024

S is for Salubrious

Good Words Alphabetically: S is for Salubrious

I KNOW you didn’t see this one coming, did you?

My husband used to say “And how are you this lugubrious day?” Now that sounds like it must mean “this FINE day”, but it seemed wrong to me, so I double checked one day. Perhaps he’d started saying it as his mind was beginning to go, because he didn’t often use words incorrectly. At any rate, when faced with the reality of its meaning, he never said it again.
When I saw salubrious today, I wish I’d given him this option. I think this is what he was going for and why what he said seemed vaguely correct.

Salubrious means favorable to or promoting good health, healthful.
Lagubrious has a much different meaning: melancholy, sad, mournful.

Little Changes

Even on sad, dreary days
weighty and lugubrious
I want to find the shimmery
glowing bits salubrious.
When things are not the happiest
And nimbus heavy looms
There’s either still or soon to be
Some shaft that blinds the gloom.
Bits of stars between the clouds
Geese nesting murmuring low
Raindrops glistening on a bud
Or tree leaves’ whispery show.
Look beyond lugubrious
And hum a song or two
Salubrious days will find their way
To join in tunes with you.
Every day and all the ways
Breathe deeply, look for sweet
It matters not the harshest path
Nor weather that you meet.
It’s what you make of circumstance
Of heavy fog you see
Is its intent to cloud the mind
Or is it brewing tea?

By Donna JT Smith ©️2024



Saturday, April 20, 2024

R is for Rocking

Good Words Alphabetically: R is for Rocking


Words from a Rocking Chair

I rock in chair on days of sun
And rock until the day is done
I rock in peace as evening calls
And rock with thoughts through salty squalls
I pick up pen and pen complies
I write in truth forbidding lies
I do not know why thoughts are spilled
some may be loved, some reek unskilled
But either way they lie on page
Fulfilling peace, instilling rage
I have to write, I write to speak
My rocking chair and I must squeak

By Donna JT Smith ©2024




Z is for Zoetic

Good Words Alphabetically: Z is for Zoetic Ah, z end of z month... I'm going to miss writing a poem and drawing every day.  Perhaps I wi...