Friday, August 14, 2015

Poetry Friday - Two Swaps

Last week, I was excited by the arrival of two more poetry swaps in my mailbox.  I'm beginning to like getting the mail...

Both poems today, have a very "Made in Maine" feel to them, maybe because they aren't from so very far away - one from Heidi Mordhorst (of My Juicy Little Universe) in Maryland, and the other from Diane Mayr (at Random Noodling) in New Hampshire.   I really enjoyed the images attached to these two poems, too.   They, with my recent picture taken at the beach nearby, prompted my own poem which I am posting at the end.

Here is the swap from Heidi Mordhorst, who has written an Ode.  I believe if you click on the image you will see it larger.  I've written the poem below, just in case that doesn't work.
Ode on a Grecian Yearn
                     for Donna JT Smith
Get thee behind me, Keats, thou sire
of purple-passion'd phrase and exclamation!
Who hath spoiled the joy of Poesy?
O flowery Romantic, it is thee!
My Grecian urn is plain red clay
beside the olive tree.  The day
is new and blue; the view is vast
with truth.  Only the bee is fast.
The rocks are rough; the sea is rippled smooth.
My Grecian yearn is slow and wide
and deep.  I count small steps, not strides.
Let green be silver, yellow, lime.
Let minutes tickle by in thyme.
Stone and salty water burn and soothe.
©Heidi Mordhorst
Summer Poem Swap 2015
Thank you, Heidi, for this beautiful poem.  The image is much like the views from any hilltop (or mountain, as we would call it) in Maine.
I like this ode in its whole, and many pieces in particular stand out as so meaningful to me.  But perhaps my favorite one to say is "The day is new and blue; the view is vast with truth..." because I feel that inside when I see the blue sky and land stretching before me.
But there are so many parts that ring true to me that I hate picking out just one part.
"Stone and salty water burn and soothe."  Lovely, Heidi!  Thank you for a soothing, yet invigorating poem that will be read over and over.

Diane's poem reminds me of how as a child, though I may not have had a "lobster purse", when traveling with my grandparents, they were sure to stop at "tourist traps" and get a few trinkets for me.  But my favorite things ultimately were the sparkling "mermaid glitter" reflections and collecting rocks and shells.  Postcards, back then, were also a big part of sharing summer fun with family and Diane has pretty much captured many of my snippets of memories!  And what a gorgeous image!  I love how the seagulls seem to be reflected in the waves, as well as the glittery sunlight.  Thanks, Diane!  I love it!

Hazy Day at the Beach
When the Haze Sweeps In

When the haze sweeps in,
And the waves crash low;
When the sand is wet,
And the seagulls crow,
That is my favorite
Time to be still
Sit and just listen
Ignoring the chill.
And I become one
With the sea and the shore;
Revisiting childhood
Through its reopened door.
Glistening rocks,
Shells no one owns,
Sticks worn down smooth,
Or maybe fish bones,
Treasures the haziness
Hides in her beaches -
Pleasures the mind
Once again reaches;
When roaring waves crash
 Breaking open the door,
My senses long hidden
Are bidden to fore.

by Donna JT Smith
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful Poetry Friday!  Keep enjoying by visiting the poetry roundup hosted by Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe.  Hey, isn't that who sent me a poem for the swap?  I believe so!


  1. Each one of these poems is such a lovely reminder of the sea, and summer, and our love of both. Thanks for sharing, Donna.

    1. All my swaps were so much fun! Can't get enough summer and sea!

  2. Thanks for sharing my sequence, Donna. I'm glad to find that it stirred up some memories.

    Heidi's ode was a hoot with its puns and truths. I like this, " My Grecian urn is plain red clay
    beside the olive tree..." Ah, simple things, simple beauties.

    Your poem is full of phrases that sound lovely read out loud, "Treasures the haziness
    Hides in her beaches." Well done!

  3. I have to say, Diane and Donna--we have hit the ball labelled Evocative out of the park! What is it about this time of year and memory, nostalgia, yearning? It almost matters not where. My photo is of the place we stayed in Greece, on the island of Alonissos--hence the whole Keats/urn/yearn thing. Except for the Maine details, Diane's piece is any beach boardwalk (before selfies and Instagram), and Donna's slows everything down even to the pace that we can feel the memories arriving. I love the SumPoSwap.

    1. The Swap has been awesome!
      And yes, what is it about the close of summer that makes us "wax nostalgic"? Sigh. Must be the closing of doors and windows!

  4. Great job Donna. I love all three poems. Oh, I wish I was at the beach, it is 108 in Tucson today. Yikes.

    1. Oh, so sorry to hear about your hear. Seems hot here but it is 74. Guess not!

  5. Donna, this trio is filling my bucket with summer thoughts. I thought the Long Island summer this year was filled with wonder but then I went to Cape May and found powerful images. Now I see that New Hampshire, Maryland, and Maine are filled with the awe of summer days. This is the spirit I want to capture in my new gallery, Summer Splashings. Will you let me offer the gallery your sweeping poem of the Maine shore?

    1. I will put that together and send it off to you!

  6. Lovely. All of them. Your lines

    "Revisiting childhood
    Through its reopened door."

    hug my heart.

    1. The ocean was such a big part of my childhood that it truly feels like opening a door to memories when I am there. I am fortunate enough to be able to do that often where I live.

  7. You make me long for the ocean. And Maine especially… I love that part of the world, in summer anyway! Every time I read one of these poetry swap posts, I wish I was participating!

    1. The swap Tabatha organizes is lots of fun. You must sign up for next summer, or maybe the single swap she has in December.

  8. Diane really captures the sensations and feelings of being at the beach! I like the spinning postcard rack and that "mermaid glitter." It reminds me of how my grandmother called my daughter's freckles "fairy dust." And Heidi's "Let green be silver, yellow, lime" reminds me of the same daughter, painting, and pulling out all the hidden colors in something that seems obviously just plain green. Like Mary Lee, your childhood door, reopened, touches me. Thanks for sharing these, Donna!

    1. The swaps have been so much fun, Tabatha! Thanks for organizing them.

  9. I also love "the day is new and blue." Your "revisiting childhood through its reopened door." Memories of the beach and the peace of just listening and watching.

    1. I could sit by the ocean for hours! I'm especially fond of stormy days!

  10. Feeling swept away by all three of these creative breezes! Thanks for sharing your swaps as well as your own hazy day. Beautiful x3.


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