Friday, November 22, 2013


It's getting colder and colder up here in the Northeast corner of the land.  Should have a wood fire going in the stove...but I guess I'll just turn up the heat and stare out the window at the cold and tired rose bush.  Can't wait for spring.  We can skip over winter.  And summer.  Spring and fall, spring and fall...that's all I need.  But that's another poem for another day.  Today is "Rosy".

my toes
and my nose
are really froze
i think that they are doomed
do you suppose
my rosy nose
could smell a rose in bloom
or should
these rosy toes o’mine
go where
it’s warm and days are fine
other posies loom?

It's a comfort to know that closer to the equator and in the southern hemisphere there are some rosy roses and warm noses, and that soon it will return here, too! 
My cat knows how to keep his nose warm.

And now to enjoy more poetry and poetic subjects, go to our Poetry Friday hostess Katya Czaja at Write, Sketch. Repeat.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful for my Childhood

When my parents were young, age 26, they moved from Massachusetts to Maine with their 4 children, to move into their new home in the country, leaving most of the family and both of their jobs behind them. They were so young.  But people were older then.
My dad was fresh out of the Coast Guard and a welder, and my mom was a registered nurse at Mass General, and their work schedules meant they were almost never home at the same time.  They wanted something different for their new family.  They wanted a new fresh branch for the family tree.  It was a bold move, and I'm so glad they did it.  I wasn't glad at the time.  I had no emotions about it.  I'm not sure I even knew we were moving.  We just did it.  And when we got there, we found we had a huge house out in the country.
My dad got a job at the Hyde Windlass in Brunswick, and my mom stayed home, starting the Bonnie Brae Nursing Home in our house.  When Dad was home on weekends, he was the cook for the nursing home.  I think he eventually quit his job to help at the nursing home full time.
It was an interesting life living in a nursing home.  We sometimes helped out by sitting with patients on the front porch and bringing them apples from one of our apple trees.  We mostly talked to patients or stayed out of the way, though I do remember one time that my brother stood on the back pegs of a wheelchair and tipped a patient over.  And I do remember the time I forgot to lock the bathroom door and a patient came in while I was taking a bath in our old claw foot tub.  You'd think we'd have had more than one bathroom for a family of 6 and nursing home patients.  Mostly they used bedpans and big wooden commodes though, and had sponge baths, so the bathroom traffic wasn't that bad.  There was also a double outhouse in our attached barn.  No one used that though.  Years earlier, it must have been a luxury, though, to have an outhouse almost in your house!  No outdoor treks in the winter!  My brothers got locked in there almost as soon as we moved in.  Not sure how.  But there were lots of things my brothers did that I couldn't understand.
This was the house with Walter Reed's Gulf Station at the end of our driveway.  The place where my brothers decided to buy cigarettes and say they were for my parents.  Their mistake was in buying the wrong brand.  Walter called my parents and said, "So you've changed to Marlboro?"  So though I didn't understand the whys or hows, I still learned lots of things from my brothers.
This home was where we played sports as a family every Sunday.  Sometimes it was basketball at our hoop on the barn on the dirt and grass.  If the basketball landed on the big wooden platform in the weeds, we were not to go get it.  That was the cesspool, an old fashioned sewer system of sorts, and they didn't want us to somehow fall in.  Sometimes we played football in the big flat part of our yard below the hill and apple trees and before the hay field.  I broke a bone in my foot stepping in a hole left when we pulled up the grape vine arbor.  No one believed me at the time, and I just finished the game.  It hurt for years off and on, and then when I was in college, they had to x-ray my foot for another injury, and they told me I'd broken my foot once - which I knew.  Baseball was our summer sport.  We used some combination of the two apple trees and the elm tree as our bases.  They were in a straight line, so it made for a triangular playing field instead of a diamond.  Our bat was usually a stick, a vacuum cleaner wand, or some other straight but not regulation bat item.  The ball, likewise, was a rolled up sock, paper, or other material wrapped in electric tape or just rolled up tightly (no duct tape then).  Our home base was the grape vine arbor mentioned before, and later when that was taken down it was something else we just put on the ground. Our Manx tiger cat, George, used to like to follow us around while we played football or baseball.  He would wander back and forth trying to keep up with the game, talking all the while.
Some Sundays I just wanted to finish reading a good book, like Honey Bunch, Just a Little Girl, or Heidi, but it didn't matter, we were all herded outside for the big game.
Looking back, I'm glad my parents made us play the family games.  I'm glad they had the boldness to pick up and move us. 

I found this last night.   It's by Anne Voskamp, the author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, which I have now added to my must read list.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Limerick Rebuttal

Yesterday for Poetry Friday, Greg Pincus at GottaBook wrote a limerick about a time-eating poem...I just couldn't let it lie...not lie like not lie down there and don't anything about it.  So my comment had to be a relimerick.  (Does this ever I have gotten another thing in my head that I will have to write...just a minute...I have to bring up Pages and jot a note about another poem I want to right back).

Good.  Done.  But now I can't stay here long.  I have to go write it.  You didn't think I could write it that fast, did you?  That was just a note to help me remember what I wanted to write about.

A N Y W A Y - - Like I said Greg wrote a poem and I liked it, so I replied in my comments with this that is written below that came to me.  So read his first and then come back.  I can wait.  But not long.  I have to go write something else that I wrote on a page in Pages.  I don't remember what, so it's a good thing I wrote it down when I did, and that I remember that I did that, as sometimes I forget that I wrote a note down and find it years later.

Okay.  Are you back from GottaBook (linked again in case you didn't go there yet)?  This is too big a build up now.  My poem is not that good.  I should write more and profounder stuff for this big a build up.  Sorry.  But here it is anyway....duh, da-da-daaaah (horn proclamation noises):

Though what you are saying seems sage
I balk at what’s written on page
Though your poem brand new
Will stay timeless, ‘tis true
I don’t need it helping me age!

That's it.
Thank you for your time... and you don't look a day older!

Friday, November 15, 2013


Poetry Friday is being hosted by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Pay her a visit, and enjoy the poetry banquet.

Do you remember sleepovers?
We had sleepovers with friends and cousins, and they always went the same way. 
Food, playing, laughter, whispering, getting scolded for still being awake - really, what did they think would happen? - scary stories, pillow fights, and 3 am.
I can still bring up memories of those late nights - early mornings - the first time you knew that night really did become morning again - the wonderful feeling of being awake when no one else in the world was (or so we thought).  It was an experience that could only be truly appreciated in childhood.  You see the same late to early hours in motherhood, but somehow they aren't as exciting then.


Up to the bedroom
Scampering in haste,
Squealing and giggles,
There’s no time to waste;
It’s sleepover night,
There’s big fun in store,
Throw down sleeping bags,
Toss pillows galore;
Yankings of blankets,
Punches of pillows,
Fighting with feathers,
Laughter in billows,
Chips in pajamas,
Graham crackers in hair,
Flashlights in bedsheets,
And whispers to scare;
Reprimands called out,
"Keep quiet up there!"
More stifled giggles -
Were they not aware?
It’s sleepover night,
There’s no time to sleep,
So much to be done,
Night watches to keep;
But just when it seems,
The daylight will come,
Eyelids are drooping,
Heads nod one by one;
A spidery pile
Of legs and of arms,
No one is stirring
Nor hearing alarms,
For sleepover night
Is not what it seems:
It’s stay awake night,
And good morning dreams.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanks for This Week

I had thought I might be able to do a "Thankful for..." post each day this month, but things just got complicated right away in November, and I let half a month go by without doing that.  But last Wednesday my car wouldn't start, and I've been without my trusty steed for a week.  When I thought about it though, there were still some thankfuls in the whole thing:

Unfortunately, my car got sick.  Thankfully, it was right in my driveway, not out on the highway.  Unfortunately, I had to have the car ambulance take it away on a stretcher.  Thankfully, I had an emergency roadside assistance plan, so the tow was free (though I wondered if my driveway would be considered roadside (thankfully, it was)).  Unfortunately, it needed a bunch of repairs caused by a tensioner failure which would cost mega bucks.  Thankfully, they took some of the labor charges off since they had to do some recall work which would involve some of the same labor as the repairs. Unfortunately, it would take a few days to get to the repairs.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful grown son who saw to it that I got around to do my errands.

Unfortunately, I can't think of anything really that is terribly unfortunate (or is that fortunately?)...thankfully, my thankfullys far outweigh my unfortunatelys.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I Saw the Stars Tonight

There are still so many things I'm discovering that I didn't realize I was missing.  Yesterday I noticed that our side windows in the car were tinted.  Huh.  Then last night was a moonless night, and I looked up.  I had thought for a while now that I just didn't have quite the same fascination for the sky that I'd always had.  Try looking at the night sky through sunglasses.  That's what I was seeing for years.  I literally cried for joy when I realized I could not count the stars again.  I didn't want to come inside ever.  And I find myself excited about seeing them tonight.
PS for those unsure of the correctness of the "I" in the photo caption...see Grammar Girl.  I is correct....I am correct that I is correct.
I didn't take this picture.  That's not I in the picture.
I saw the stars tonight
and I remember them;
I remembered how they filled
the space of space
three dimensionally,
some small, some bright,
some clustered tightly
daring you to look at them
teasing you by
but springing back
to full dance
when you glanced away.
I heard them singing
to me as
I traveled the road -
the glittery plane of
white Milky Way -
cutting through the dark sky.
Tonight I saw the stars again
and I remembered them
and I cried
for joy;
they were still there;
I could not count
the stars.

©Donna JT Smith

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...