Friday, September 4, 2015

Spark for Poetry Friday

It's Poetry Friday - somehow I missed posting last week.  It's been busy - traveled by train down to Maryland for my nephew's wedding on the ocean for the weekend and that threw off my writing, plus this:
For the past ten days I have been ruminating over an image sent to me by a Spark participant. Has anyone else out there done Spark?  This is my first time.  Amy Souza at Spark organizes this meeting of artists - pairing an artist with a writer.  I sent my partner a poem, to which she will give an image response, and she sent me an image, to which I respond with a written piece.

The image she sent to me is of the ocean with just a bit of sand in the foreground, and the ocean goes on to blend with the gray cloudy sky.  It is hard to see where one stops and the next starts - a very intriguing picture by the sea.  (Fortunately for me, I love ocean scenes!)

Later this morning I have to send a poem response to this image.  I have had ten days to write.  And I have 4 poems now.  (Never give me too much time!  I have written, rewritten, jotted notes, more notes, revised, re-revised...and finally said, "hey, do the laundry!").  I had my daughter, my husband and a friend read them yesterday, to tell me which they think best goes with the image, or which they like best.  I have had 3 different answers.  They each picked two, so they have hit on all four of them.  This was not as much of a help as I'd hoped!  I should have known better.  Now I am almost right back where I started!

These are the names of the poems I wrote:

Beach Girl
How Have You Left Me?
There Is a Fish

These are the picks, first and second choices:

Husband: Beach Girl and How Have You Left Me?
Daughter: Aquasphere and Beach Girl
Friend: Aquasphere and There Is a Fish

This is my deduction: Not "How Have You Left Me?" and "There Is a Fish", right?  And their were two firsts for "Aquasphere", though that wasn't my husband's favorite...

So with that information, I am going to use "Aquasphere", I guess.  It got two firsts.  I liked "Beach Girl", too, though.  I'd ask on here, but I need to wait until I've posted it for Spark.  So today for Poetry Friday I am going to post "How Have You Left Me?"  I won't post the image with it.  I have one of my own.

How Have You Left Me?

Have you deserted
  in thinnest of air?
I cannot see you 
  drifting out there.
Where have you gone -
  slipped off into sea?
How can I know just
  where you might be?
Nowhere remains
  any footprint of you,
No clues to find
  in all this wide blue.
How can I follow,
  if follow I must?
Does promise, as you,
  dissolve into dust
To swirl off away
  becoming a dream?
I’m no longer one piece,
  but rent at the seam.
When you come back
  you must know that I'll be
Saving your seat
  by the sea
   next to me.

by Donna JT Smith, Sept. 2, 2015
Spark 26 Option 3

Please visit Linda Baie at Teacher Dance today, for more wonderful poetry offerings this fine Poetry Friday!  (Heaven help me, I was about to revise this one more time!  I stopped myself, so when you don't like one of the lines, I'll know which one and reprimand myself for not changing it when I had the chance.)


  1. Such a wistful poem. Love the ending.

    1. This was in response to the image that Trisha Carter sent me in the Spark exchange. The ocean just seems to bring up a variety of emotions.

  2. Choices! Choices! The plague of artists and consumers everywhere! Judging by titles alone (which isn't much, I grant you), Aquasphere does seem like a good match for the art you described.

    But I'm glad you chose to showcase the lovely How Have You Left Me in this post. I hope we'll get to read the others as well... eventually.

    1. I will have to share "Aquasphere" sometime. I decided to go with Beach Girl... It was so hard to decide!

  3. Hi, Donna--
    I have done SPARK a few times and really enjoyed it, but you're right--don't linger too long or you'll have competing drafts. I think it's because the image comes from another intentional creative, and we feel more responsible to interpret it in ways that might not be natural or sure for us, in case we're missing something the artist intended.

    What do you think? Don' t forget to post a link to the final match-up!

    1. Yes, having another's work there does make it a bit more intense. I thought I'd be ready after doing Laura's 15-Words or Less challenges, but I guess even those I sometimes end up with multiples for, come to think of it. .
      I'll post these on Friday, but here's the piece I ended up submitting and the image I was working from:

      And this is my "Inspiration piece" sent in for the artist's interpretation:

  4. Donna, Beach Girl is a great poem. Do you have a photo/poem offering for Summer Splashings before I finish putting together the last pieces of the Summer Splashings Gallery?


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