Saturday, May 27, 2017

Birthing a Book

Birthing a Book

Writing is like giving birth... same amount of pain and joy... same order.
Thanks  Michelle Barnes and Melissa Manlov for the challenge this month to write about how writing or a book is like something else...  Yesterday I posted Circus for Poetry Friday.  Today is Poem #2:

Birthing a Book

Giving birth to a book
Is no ordinary thing;
Like a true living baby
It makes your heart sing!
Right from the beginning
You knew it was there,
And though not all formed
You gave it your care.
You felt as it moved,
And it gave you a nudge,
And even at midnight
You’d feed it with fudge.
Some times this book-baby
Would make you feel sick
But cozying down
Sweet names you would pick:
That name, for a boy,
This one, for a girl,
Then back to the business
Of taking a hurl,
Until things settled down
And it grew and it grew,
Till the “Precious” you dreamed of
Emerged and came true;
That laborious birth-day
Was a day like no other,
For now you were newly
And truly a mother.

©Donna JT Smith, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Poetry Friday - The Circus



In response to Michelle Barnes' and Melissa Manlov's May challenge to write a poem that explores how writing or a book is like something else, I wrote this poem comparing a three ring circus to writing.  I have been in such a different mind place lately and not had the minutes to myself to write, that this challenge was a challenge.  I knew from the beginning it would be a circus, yet it wasn't coming through quickly.  So I doubted myself, and began to jot down other ideas of comparisons.  They were horrid, so I'd give up, knowing that none were speaking to me; then the circus would return.  Giving up on the idea of an easy flow of words, I let the rough edges of the circus take shape in phrases.  Then the "comparison" poem (kind of two voices) evolved, and I let it do what it had been trying to do all along.  Never fight it.  Poems do not like to be told what to do.


Circus

Step right up and sit right down,
The thrilling Big Top’s come to town!

I wake up, sit down to write…
Some thrilling Big Thought's brought to light!


Juggling rings, plates and balls,
Taming lions, tigers and all,
Throwing sharp knives,
Balancing chairs
Grasping a flying
       trapeze in the air...   
Swallowing flames,
And other such games;
Walking on tightropes
Lights flash in the dark -
Shot from a cannon
       just hits the mark!

Juggling words and phrases,
Taming lines, titles and spaces,
Throwing hands up,
Balancing rhymes,
Grasping a flying
       thought as it climbs...
Swallowing pride,
No corner to hide;
Walking a fine line,
Light glows in the dark,
Shot of caffeine that
       just hits the mark!


At end packing up tents
And daring events
       On to the next town

At end packing up pens
Yet daring again
       To write more thoughts down


One must never forget
       To set up the net

And, just as important,
       To send in
           The clown.


©Donna JT Smith, 2017


A happy ending is always good. 

It's Poetry Friday and Margaret at Reflections on the Teche has loads of links to share today if you are in the mood for a plethora of poetry!

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Poem Today


And She Grew

Step by step

In helical line,

From roots

to shoots,

A journey divine.

Donna JT Smith, 5/18/17

It's Poetry Friday.  Please take some quiet time to read some lovely works of art by visiting our hostess today, Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge.
This was originally written for Laura Purdie Salas' 15 Words or Less challenge yesterday.  It fit in my thinking a few ways in addition to the image of the Arc De Triomphe stairway.  This was one of them.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Poetry Friday

Yesterday was my daughter's birthday.  Last week was her daughter's birthday.  We missed them both, as we are knee deep - "litterally".  Oh, we should have started this better last year.  The house is littered with years' worth of stuff - the dead skin of living in one place for a long time.  We have moved before, but most of the time it was to a same sized or larger house and so it didn't matter that we had lots of stuff.  Twice when we moved we had professional movers.  Oh, my they are fast!  And you just get to sit back and watch mostly.
One time though they moved our trash even.  Never asked anything about it.  Just packed it up and Voilá! instant trash at your new home!
We are not professionals.  And we are older than last time.  We are older and slower than molasses running uphill on snow.  But we will get there.  Slowly but surely.
I took a break and went on a motorcycle jaunt into town for a teacher certification meeting (retired but still working on mentoring and certifying teachers in the district), and then a stop for coffee at Starbucks where I met up with my husband on his bike.
Then back home to pack, watch a little tv and try to get to bed early so we can have another go at it.  No sense not having some fun in between, and making sure we don't get so spent that we have to take a year to recover!

See where the pot is?  See where the azalea is leaning? 

It's trying to stretch over to the lawn to get light.
 

As I sit here between the box of pots and pans being packed, and the already packed boxes, I can see my sorry azalea.  Years ago we set it, pot and all out in the back yard where we were going to plant it.   We didn't get to it that year, and the following spring we were sure it must be dead, having it's roots out of the ground all winter.  We never watered it or talked to it - gave it no attention.  And the purplish leaves of winter got greener.  It spent a couple years, doing this.  We'd discovered when we wanted to move it that it had put down roots through the small openings in the pot and was clinging to life, literally!  So we left it.  The third year, I believe it was, out sprang a single blossom.  And after that each year it sproinged more and more flowers.  It gives us the first flowers of spring every year nowHow can I leave it here?  Should I try to move it?

I wanted to write a poem for it.  I think I have before.  But I'm spent for writing today.  Then "Ding!"  a found poem from the paragraph above.


Sorry, Azalea

As I sit here
I see
my azalea
set pot and all
in the back yard
to plant,
never watered
or talked to,
it put down roots,
clinging to life;
it gives us
the first flowers
of spring now.
How can I leave it here?

By Donna JT Smith, 5/5/2017 And did you catch the finished Progressive Poem?  Go check it out at Irene Latham's!  It is a real treat, not to be missed!

It's Poetry Friday.  I hope you enjoy many more poems that are being offered today.  Go join the party at Jama's at Jama's Alphabet Soup

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spiritual Journey First Thursday

Spiritual Journey First Thursday is here today. You may put your link below on the padlet. I'm REACHing a bit to day with the format, hope it isn't too far a reach...

REACH is my OLW this year. Last year was BOLD.  I felt that these two words are related in many ways and are showing a progression for me.
I was bold last year in my prayers for healing.  I was bold in changing my eating habits and losing weight.  I was bold when I told my doctor that this was a diet that defied contemporary logic of low fat, and was in fact the opposite of what the media and the health industry would have you believe.  I was bold when I told him I no longer needed blood pressure medication.  He laughed.  I was serious. He agreed to try it.  It worked.
I was bold when I signed up for motorcycle classes.  I was bold to actually go and get the license.  I was bold to buy a bigger bike to use this summer.  I was bold to decide to take my son's advice and ride the bigger bike as soon as I got it.  Whoa!  Scary moment alert... bold, bold, bold.  I can't tell you how MUCH last year was a total change to my life.

As of last August, I am a 50 pounds lighter woman who can hold her grandchildren on her lap, who can walk easily and quickly over a mile, and climb stairs without growing faint.  A woman who has gone to the beach in a bathing suit again, who rides a motorcycle and who can kneel at the altar again.  I thank God every day for giving me BOLD.

Now I want to continue being BOLD, but extend my REACH.  I don't expect to REACH this year, all the things I want to do, experience or know.  But I plan to REACH for them.
REACH is an action; you have to do something. (REACH = stretch out an arm in a specified direction in order to touch or grasp something)
I may not necessarily  "REACH a destination" (REACH = arrive at; get as far as.), but I can REACH for all the goodness God has for me, and reaching as far as I possibly can.

If you don't REACH, how can you attain?
If you don't REACH out to people, how can you connect?
If you do not REACH out to God, how can you ever know what He has for you?
If you do not REACH out, you will never REACH your destination, your goal, your prize.

Wondering where REACH is in the Bible?  I was.  I could only think of the Tower of Babel, reaching to the heavens - not exactly the best REACHers...

Then last night, as I was cleaning (I'm taking a 15 min. break every two hours and this is one of them) I reached into the bookcase and pulled out a very old leatherbound book on the shelf that didn't even know I had.

Inside the cover are the giver's and recipient's names:

"This from Nathanial Mayhew to his son
Nathanial Mayhew Jr., Portland"
Mayhew is a family name, so I'm assuming I got the book from my mother when she died -

Wow, this was a REACH into the past: 1828. 
It is a Concordance - Dictionary for the Holy Bible KJV, of course.

So I looked up REACH in it, and this is what I found:

And I saw it - the reference to one of my favorite images in the Bible - John 20:27, where Jesus tells Thomas to "REACH hither thy finger, and behold my hands: and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing".
By reaching out and touching Jesus' scars, the "doubting Thomas" is then convinced of Jesus' identity.  I like that Jesus was not really angry with Thomas for his doubt, and was willing to satisfy him.

John 20:29 - "Jesus saith unto him, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
When we have doubt, we need to reach out, read, pray, touch His wounds, and let your faith flow and grow through that reach.

I want to reach out more this year - to friends, strangers, family and God.  I want to reach out and do things that take me just a little bit out of my comfort zone.  I want to reach for something each day that is challenging, and something that grows my faith.  I want to remember wherever I am to reach out - whether planned or spontaneous.

I'm REACHing out now and wondering how my REACH touches you today.  I hope that there has been enough "meat" to this word to make it worth your meditation.

I hope I have not just made a mishmash of this, that it makes sense on some planet.  I have been kind of exhausted lately.   The move has been delayed a week, and in some respects it is a blessing, as we are not finished doing the sorting and paring down.  Nearly done...but little bits here and there to go still.  I am losing things right and left.  Put something down, it gets swallowed up in a massive sinkhole of Goodwill shirts or buried under the debris headed to the transfer station...or maybe I'm still holding it and have forgotten it is right in my hand...

Please, add your link to the Padlet below.  Click on the + and a box will open.  Paste your link in it.  If you have trouble, leave the link in the comments, and I will add it for you. If this area is too small for you or you are working from a phone or iPad, you might want to go directly to the link for the Padlet and enter the info there.  It is live so it updates here, too. Link for the Padlet: https://padlet.com/djts/FirstThursday2017.
Scroll down through the padlet to see everyone's links for today!
PS - Go ahead - REACH...add an image if you feel brave!

Made with Padlet


Sunday, April 30, 2017

ZOOMWGN #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link to you.


ZOOMWGN

Zoomwagon

We had a station wagon - what?
You don’t know what that is?
Well it’s a kind of longish car
To take kids for a whiz.
You stuff them all loose in the back -
No fastening seatbelt;
They hadn’t been invented yet,
You don’t know how that felt!
We stood in back of Daddy,
And breathed on Mommy’s neck;
But if we got too rowdy
Dad’s hand would sweep the deck!
Sometimes we’d crawl way back to sleep
And peace would reign for miles,
But one would wake for bathroom break
And end the parents’ smiles.
Oh, it was fun to travel
To zoom on open roads
But I’m a’feared it wasn’t fun
For those who drove the loads.

by Donna JT Smith, 4/28/2018

A scheduled post for Sunday...
I have a picture somewhere of me and my four siblings perched on the fins of our 57 Chevy station wagon, looking pleased as punch - though in reality our faces were kind of scrunched up from looking directly into the sun.  That's how you always had to face in those black and white photo ops back in the 50's.
Found a station wagon that at least looked like ours!


And the last of the A to Z Challenge!  I made it!  Xselnt! Yippee! Zowie!

Here is a recap of all - Z to A!  Please visit more if you get a chance!
And that is it until NEXT year.

We are making progress in our sorting and paring down and will be moving on Monday! There are piles of things to keep us organized... yard sale items, Goodwill things, give-aways for friends and family, some with question marks, lots for trash.
But we did take about an hour off yesterday and went for a refreshing and invigorating motorcycle ride down to the beach, and then to the docks.  It was a beautiful day for a ride!
I'm sorry to see the end of April here already.  It has been a fun month of poetry.
For those who asked or wondered, I took all the pictures of vanity plates, beginning at the end of last year's AtoZ Challenge.  I have many pictures that didn't get put on the blog.  Maine has a lot of vanity plates - and these were taken only in our local area in probably about a 50 miles radius!
The Progressive Poem has reached its conclusion today!  Let's see what the surprise ending is!  Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids is supplying the last line today!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

YOGA #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link you.

YOGA - an Acrostic

Yoga says Clear your mind; Become
One with the universe, But
God says, I am His creation;
And I must meditate on His Word.


Donna JT Smith  4/14/2017 

I'm betting this is a plate from a yoga instructor! I would have liked this one to be posted on a Sunday, but Z is for Sunday and it isn't Z and it isn't Sunday...

Only ONE more letter to go!
See you tomorrow for the end of the alphabet: Z!  (the only A to Z post on Sunday!)

Here is a quick list of the A to Z Challenge posts, so far: 
We have one more day in the Progressive Poem.  Check out what 30 poets have created - well, 29 today.  The last day is Sunday, and the poem comes to a conclusion.  We have been all over the stage with this one.  Check out where Charles at Poetry Time has taken the poem today!

We are moving by bits and pieces, out of the house and to our small home up the coast.  Some things are in a pile for a yard sale, some for Goodwill, some for friends and family, some with question marks, lots for trash.  This will feel good when it is done.  Right now it is just exhausting!

Friday, April 28, 2017

XSELNT #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link you. 



Still paring down and sorting, so I apologize for not getting around as much as I should!  We are going from about 2000 sq. ft. to 900 sq. ft., and on top of that we have been married for - well, let's see... this September it will be 45 years.  So we have plenty of stuff, even after the flooded basement and the soot damage from the fire 10 years ago.

Ok.  I'm on limited time.  I'm going to try to finish the A to Z tonight and schedule the posts just to be safe.  So I need to stop gabbing and get writing.  Below are my "Maine Vanity Plate and a Poem" for X.  Below that you will find my list of previous plates in case you missed them.

XSELNT

What part of speech
Is excellent?
Is it a noun or verb?
It can't be one of those things
For "to excellent" is absurd.
It cannot be a person,
a place we go, or thing.
So what is left for it to be?
I think I know it,  "Ding!"
Things can be so excellent,
As can friends or where you live;
It means the same as "Wicked Good",
So, it's an adjective!

By Donna JT Smith, 4/27/2017

Only two more plates to go!  Collect the whole set!  This Sunday is the last poem.  In order to get 26 this year, we have to post on Sunday, April 30.  I'll have mine scheduled to go, so check back for Y and Z!

Yesterday I used the definition of "excellent", "wicked good" as mentioned in the poem.
It is also Poetry Friday, and being hosted by JoAnn at Teaching Authors.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

WCKD-GD #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link you. 





Wicked good... a phrase often heard in Maine... means ultra good, the best, way cool!

Wicked Good

I think that I shall ever grow weary of
sliding on seaweed covered rocks hiding sidling crabs,
watching wind worn gnarled scrub pines survive a'salted by the sea,
staring up at regal King's pines shooting plumage straight to waiting clouds,
dodging silky seagulls swooping, snooping, scooping eating lunch for free
rolling along on acres of northern fields of bobbing potato blossoms
stumbling over farm grown rocks popping up faster than any other crop
spying on deer feasting on grasses, daffodils and any ornamental plant
breathing in, breathing out, listening to the whispering of waves nonstop
It's more than good;
It's wicked good.

by Donna JT Smith, 427/2017