Friday, November 27, 2015

Coyote Moon

It's Poetry Friday!  Hooray!

Last week I had this idea for a poem to go with a picture.  Actually, I had taken the dog out, and heard a band of coyotes across the road, down in the river flats just below our house.  They sounded very close and were probably on our neighbors property just across the road.  There are lots of trees out here, and lots of dark with no street lighting in our village (if we were even in fact in the village).  The sound of coyotes when you are out by yourself in nowhere is beautiful but eerie.  I brought the dog in.  Later in the evening when the moon came into view of my big windows, I got this picture with my iPhone.

Later I put the two events together, along with a third event that occurs regularly here: the sightings and sounds of owls.

I immediately thought "gotta write something about this".  And it was so clear in my mind that I knew I'd be doing that for Friday last week.  And then Thursday night and Friday morning do you think I could remember what the great idea was?  Of course I couldn't.  I should ALWAYS be unsurprised and expecting that of myself by now.  But somehow I always think "I couldn't possibly forget this - not this time, heh-heh!" and take myself seriously.  Seriously, how could I do this more than twice before I'd remember the kind of person I am?

Anyway, I finally DID remember when I was scanning my pictures and came across the one I've posted below.  What a relief!  The poem did not come as easily as it probably would have if I'd written it right away.  But still, I enjoyed the journey.  It started out simply, got extended with garbage, and continued with some potential parts.  I cut out the garbage and the simple beginning and worked on and reworked the potential parts, until a reflective, reverso poem emerged.  It was a bit tricky in some parts and had to be tweaked quite a bit.  That included zapping some lines I thought should be there, but really only because I liked them.  The poem didn't.  Once I got rid of them, the flow was much better, and it made sense and said things in an uncontrived fashion forward and backward - the most difficult thing about a reverso or mirror poem.

Reflections of a Coyote Moon

With the night

in tune 

to the moon, 
coyotes croon -




go gliding

on a hunt.

Smallish creature,

one of tasty feature,

snatched -







one of tasty feature,

smallish creature

on a hunt.

Go gliding,




coyotes croon

to the moon

in tune

with the night.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015


The unfortunate thing about this remembering of potential poem is that I saw turkeys - 16 of them - on my foresty lawn last Friday morning also, and I thought (and so did they) that surely I would write a Thanksgiving turkey poem in their honor today.
But then I remembered the idea about the moon and coyotes at a time when it seemed such an exercise in futility to remember it!   So it seemed only right to post the reverso poem now that I remembered what I was going to write about.
So now NEXT Friday, stay tuned for a turkey strut!

(Unless I don't because something else comes to mind.)
16 turkeys in the yard...
I think I overheard one turkey asking another "Are we eating as we meander or meandering as we eat?"
As they pecked around in the leaves and grass, Mr. Thomas Turkey (I'm sure that's what his ID tag said) saw some movement (probably from us in the window watching).  He, Old Big Tom (that's what his friends call him), stretched his neck up to look around.  Two more joined him.  Then a few more, until the whole flock had their heads in the air looking around.  We kept very still and one by one they resumed eating and meandering or vice versa.  Then the one who had first thought he discerned danger, decided he was wet to the down feathers, and shook like a dog.  After he had that great idea, they all took turns shaking the water off their feathers, some stretching their wings out, too.
And as suddenly as they had appeared, they disappeared, walking off into the woods...kind of like in "Field of Dreams"...gone without a trace, invisible in a matter of seconds as they blended into the browns, grays and blacks of the woods.  But I heard them exclaim as they meandered out of sight, "Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!"

Head on over to Carol's Corner to read more poetry today...spend the weekend!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Here's my Slice of Santa Life today.  Join others over at Two Writing Teachers where others are sharing slices of their lives, too.

This week was the beginning of the Christmas season for my husband and me.  Kind of.  This has happened over the last couple of years.  I don't know why, but suddenly we have become the color, size and age to be the Claus Couple.
On Sunday, it happened again for the first time since last year probably almost to the day.
We were greeted at Cabela's as Mr. And Mrs. Claus!  Two years ago, we were stopped in a restaurant while eating breakfast, by a grandmother and her granddaughter who wanted to meet us.  The granddaughter was convinced she was meeting Mr. and Mrs. Claus - THE Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  And we had no reason to burst her bubble.  What a compliment!  Except maybe for the weight issue.
We are often greeted in a Starbucks, with "Hello!  It's Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus!"  Not that we go to many Starbucks, but... well, yes, we do... so it has happened a few times in Starbucks.
This year, as I said, we were in Cabela's, which we frequent.... frequently.  I like being redundant and saying things more than once.  Speaking of which, we were called the Clauses twice while we were there.
Even though we are never dressed in our formal red and furry white attire, traveling incognito, we seem to be recognized.  Sitting in Cabela's, in the camouflaged chairs, it almost seemed like we should be doing photo shoots and asking kids what they wanted for Christmas. 

Move over, Santa Claus, the Santa Smiths are in town for Chrismith!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving Sunday

Today is the culmination of our Puppets in Space Junior Church program, and the youngsters are having a Thanksgiving dinner served to them on real dishes...real turkey (I cooked one last night along with about 10 other women), real mashed potatoes fresh from a potato farmer in northern Maine, squash, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pies.  Oh, and milk in a real glass glass.
So many of the kids don't get to sit down with a real home-cooked meal on real plates nowadays.  We want it to be a real special day for them.  Love to see their eyes bug out when they see the heaping plate set before them!
Then they eat as much as they can hold and waddle out to the bus to take them home again.
I am hoping and praying that we will see some new faces gathered at our tables later today, as we have invited many from the community to join in our church service and then share a meal with us.
The only regret I have is that I have a wheat allergy, so cannot eat there.  Oh, and neither can my husband who is sensitive to some other foods that are included in the menu that give him gout.  Other than that, hey, it's a wonderful meal, wonderful time, and wonderful people!
Ready to cut up and take to Sunday's Thanksgiving meal.
Give Thanks

Give thanks to the Lord
For all He provides;
His blessings abound
Where e're He resides.

He shelters and keeps us
But when there is strife,
We rest in his arms;
He holds our new life.

No fears and no worries
Should darken our door,
For he is our refuge,
Our comfort, our cure. 

Give thanks to the Lord
In good times or grief
For evermore he is
Our source of relief.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

In case I miss saying it to you before Thursday, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  As the Pilgrims did years ago, we will be thanking God for all His blessings, and praying for blessings on others.

Friday, November 20, 2015


I am posting this from my iPad from the coziness of my bed.  The weather is not pleasant.  I can hear that.  The sky is not shiny.  I can see that.  But it sure is warm and toasty and rosy here in bed!  Think I'll just stay here today.  Somehow I'm going to have to get coffee....

I finally got up!  I love my three ever changing panels of scenery each day.

Wind whistles, rain knocks -
November's dark reveille;
I snuggle deeper.

Poetry Friday awaits! I'm reading from bed....just a bit longer, I'm sounding like that whiny old wind out there.
The dog is going to be crazy about all the new toys that have fallen from the trees. She's the "fetchingest" dog we've ever had!

Time for virtual visiting!  Meet you over at The Miss Rumphius Effect where poetry is being rounded up today!

Update for me...
I just remembered what I wanted to write about this week.  I had this idea...that I didn't write down...and I know better than to do that because it never works out.  
I'm going to write myself a note, or maybe just start writing it now.  I can't believe I remembered.  Without coffee.
Ah, just add milk!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Ekphrastically Speaking

Today is Poetry Friday and I am WAY late in posting for it!  But I was deciding.
I wrote a couple ekphrastic poems to submit to Silver Birch Press for their series "Looks Like Me", in which you pick a portrait by a famous artist and write to that picture including yourself, and perhaps including a photo of yourself that looks like the image somehow (though that is not necessary).  I am happy to say that the one I chose to send to them was accepted for inclusion on their web publication sometime later this month or in December.  I'll know later.

The following ekphrastic poem was written about Steve Henderson's painting called "Child of Eden".  (I liked the painting so much that I later purchased a copy of it on canvas.)

I am putting a picture of Steve Henderson's painting, the poem that I wrote to it, and a photo of myself (above) at about the same age as the girl in his painting - probably 4 years old.

So here is the painting, and the poem is below it.  Steve Henderson, graciously granted me permission to use his work with my poem.  Isn't it beautiful?  I smile whenever I look at it.
It reminds me of when I was a child and my mother had vegetable gardens.  She always had radishes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, corn...and I'll think of a few more in a minute...but the best thing was, we could go out in the garden and pick anything we wanted to eat.  We'd brush it off the best we could with our hands and on our shirts, then crunch away!  What a sneaky way to get vegetables in us!

Child of Eden by S.Henderson
The Color of Radishes

erupts from the earth;
my fingers fumbling
grasp its green tuft
pulling, wiggling,          
the red globe
with long
thready root
is revealed.
Shirt-rubbed to edible,
I laugh at its bitterish,
biting-back taste.
I uproot more.
With earthy fingers,
my roots-up arrangement
is lifted -
Her hands reach down
to scoop up
this nosegay of
Rose Madder,
Davy’s Gray,
Terre Verte
with VanDyke highlights.
She smiles -
planting seeds
for me.

©2015, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

And by now you have probably already gone everywhere for Poetry Friday.  But in case you haven't....
Poems are being rounded up by Bridget Magee at Wee Words for Wee Ones!  She is such a brave soul today!  All looks to be going splendidly over at her Linky, so go visit and try  some delicious poetry today!

Monday, November 9, 2015


Congratulations, Irene, on your tenth blogiversary!  Thanks for inviting me to this totally WILD celebration of ten years of blogging!

One of Irene's blog posts back in August this year she told of seeing the wild ponies of Chincoteague and Assateague at the annual Pony Penning Week.  As a young girl I'd read and seen a movie about this event and was fascinated with it.  I'd wanted a horse all my life and finally as an adult, I bought my first horse... but that's a blog post for another time.

With my new pencils just itching to be used, I decided to try a horse and a WILD haiku in honor of Irene's 10th blogiversary:

It's going to be quite a WILD day!  Enjoy every moment! Congratulations, Irene Latham!  And continue to live your poem!
Live Your Poem has more wildness going on with wild links galore!  Check 'em out!

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...