Saturday, December 31, 2016

Poem Potpourri

Buffy Silverman posted some refrigerator poetry she and her daughter did, and one line caught her attention as she was editing her composition.

I too liked the sound of that line and decided to do something with it - though not sure what.  Then this morning I came up with a think.  She left our "who", but I'm going back to her original line from her poem:

My think was to add to it, like a progressive poem.
Only maybe using pre-packaged words.  Refrigerator magnets, words from a page on a book, words on book titles... whatever.  Just show the source of your words you used.  Found stuff!

Sign up?  Or just add a line.  Maybe the line doesn't have to be in an order.  Maybe we should just do lines and then try to put them together into a poem.  That might be too hard.  But signing up seems difficult also.  Sometimes I don't have enough traffic to get enough to sign on.

So it will be a one shot deal... throw in your line!

Here's mine:

Ferocious women who never bring you coffee
always leave a wild song...

If you have an interest and a bunch of words somewhere... Next poetry Friday I'll be asking for more lines to add to this for the NEXT poetry Friday.  What else do these ferocious women do to sweeten our lives?  It will be a kind of list poem.  I'll arrange the lines when they come in.

Hope you can join in for a bold, hopeful, joyous Poem Potpourri!

Whoops!  One more Haiku for you... to close December's #HaikuforHealing, and 2016.

Endings start afresh
Bold new chapters yet untold 
Stories meant to be!

Welcome, 2017!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Party Poetry Friday

It is the end of the year, last day tomorrow.  It's Party Poetry Friday here today though!

I am happy to have had this wonderful year to be writing and reading and getting to know everyone another year more and meeting new bloggers and poets and writers.  2016 has been a pretty good year for that.  There is not much I would do differently about this year, and next year I hope to have as much boldness as this year.  I liked the word BOLD as my OLW this year.  Other years I'd picked a word, but none grabbed me as much as this one.
What will my next word be?  It needs to be one that fits my life now.  My first thought was CONTENTMENT or just CONTENT.  But I don't want to just be a stagnant CONTENT.  I want it to be a BOLD word - a strong CONTENTMENT.  Maybe COMMIT.  I will think about it some more.  I'll let you know.

I hope everyone had a year that was productive and memorable in good ways, and that 2017 will bring even more wellness and joy to each and every one!  I am very optimistic.  Maybe that is the word I need?  OPTIMISTIC/OPTIMISM?

My Bold Haiku 30 for #HaikuforHealing - a prompt and challenge to write a Haiku a day for the month of December given by Mary Lee Hahn.

Bold Is

Urgent surge forward
Steps pushing green blades aside
Walking fearlessly.

Now, for YOU!  Remember to link up today!  Looking forward to hearing everyone's end of 2016 offerings!  Next: on to 2017.  I'm game.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas 2

This morning was our official Christmas.  The family was here.  My grandson awoke first and started the day with a HUGE bowl of oatmeal...Bob's Red Mill... with cinnamon, maple syrup and blueberries.  Yum. 

It's not on my list of ok foods, so I then whipped up a couple of crustless quiches for the adults... hamburger, bacon, sausage, onion and spinach sauteed together... eggs, some heavy cream, plain yogurt and grated cheese mixed together.  Meat and egg concoctions stirred together.  Two buttered pie plates to pour it into.  An oven preheated to 375.  About 45 minutes of time to wait.  Then - oh, yum.

After breakfast, presents.  I wrap the presents in a different paper for each person - no name tags, so it was fun to watch the kids pick up presents and hand them off to someone else.  Often they sat right there in front of the person to see what was in the package, ignoring the fact that they could easily have gone and gotten another present that they could open for themselves.  The opening time was extended, relaxed, and fun.  We put the Amazon crackling fire on the tv for ambiance.

Later, we worked on a puzzle, and started a gingerbread house - which my 2 year old granddaughter calls a crackerhouse.  Candies go on tonight - pictures tomorrow.

Haiku 27 - I worked on this a bit, but never really felt like I got to the heart of it.  So I wrote it out thinking that would help.  It didn't.  So I'll just put the "long version" explanation part here and put the haiku at the end.  Maybe sometime I will be able to put it together just right.

Gifts have a season - sometimes you are the recipient of gifts and at other times of your life you are the giver of gifts. In either case you are blessed.  You are blessed in giving to others and blessed both by the gift bestowed upon you and the ability to allow another person to be a blessing to you.
When you receive blessings or gifts from others, you should always be looking for the time coming when you will be a blessing to someone else with what you can give.

To Give

Gifts have a season -
Bestowing or receiving;
Each state a blessing.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Eve tonight

Because my family will be here tomorrow for our "present" Christmas, tonight is essentially Christmas eve in our worldly sense.  Yesterday we did not celebrate Christmas as we had thought we would originally.

We planned to be at church bright and early for Sunday School, then church, then dinner with my brother and sister-in-law and son, then all of us back at church for the evening.
But upon waking, my husband's gout had kicked back in and he was not able to walk.  He slept until 2:30 pm, having been awake most of the night.  I got up as usual thinking I might just go down to church anyway.  Our church is over an hour away though, and it had been raining the day before... temps were down in the teens, so roads were very slick out here on the island.  It was decided that I would stay home and make sure my husband could get what he needed and get to where he needed to go.
Creatures stirring
I made coffee and a small breakfast, then sat in the living room with my Bible.  The animals had been stirring for quite some time.  The cat, Noah, loves to tease Ginger, and they were playing a game of Hide and Seek amongst the gifts under the tree.  I noticed that one gift would need to be rewrapped, having been chewed open on the back corners under the tree.  Thank you, Noah.  And the front corner had been nibbled on.  Thank you, Ginger.
I rearranged the gifts, taped over holes, and pulled out the Bible again.  And I started to read softly aloud from Luke.  As I did, the animals began to settle down.

Ginger curled up in her favorite chair, alert and watching me.  She appeared to be listening.  Noah got on the footstool by Ginger's chair.  He curled his feet under his chest in contentment.  I read all of Luke chapters one and two aloud just barely above a whisper so as not to disturb my husband finally asleep in the next room.

These two creatures never stirred until the reading was over.  The cat got down and moved to the dog's bed for a nap.  The dog leaned her head on the arm of the chair.  Soon she too was asleep.  I poured another cup of coffee, and thanked God for another blessed year.


Any Day is Christmas

Each time you rejoice,
Whenever you remember -
That is His Christmas.

Make your Christmas any day, any time and any place, and and may it be all of those.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

For Me, For You

For me, for you:

The Gift

There is no more blessed day than this -
 That day
   We were given
      the Prince of Peace,
      the Great I Am,
      the King of Kings,
      the Lord of All,
lowly born
   in a stable
   in a manger -
      - le divin enfant -
   in the manger
   in the stable;
lowly born
      the Comforter,
      the Counsellor,
      the Way,
   We were given
 that day;
There is no more blessed gift than His.


Here is Haiku #25 for #HaikuforHealing, right on time:
The Gift

May joy, peace and hope
Come to you this Christmas day
and reside always.
Hope your Christmas brings you a joy and a comfort, and a peace that passes all understanding.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve Creatures

A double Haiku for Healing today... What a crew I have here!  Can hardly wait for the grandchildren to arrive!

Haiku #23 and #24  I'm current!  Whoo-hoo!

Christmas Eve

And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Wait...only the mouse -

Mouse isn't stirring -
Mama in cap enduring
Indoor reindeer games.

Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS... as you can see, we have already started our MERRY!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Poetry Friday

Haiku #22

Christmas Helpers

Awaiting Santa
Ever watchful dog and cat
Eying evergreen

It is soon to be Christmas Day.  I'm excited for the day after Christmas and the morning after that.  That's when we will be having "presents" day.  Christmas Day will be spent at church, morning and night.  The next evening, my daughter, her husband and children; and my son will be here for the opening of presents.  I've decorated, but I'm holding off on the baking.  I don't do gluten and I don't do much for carbs.  So it should be an interesting holiday again this year.  But I'm not messing up my new way of eating just to join in.  I can have a good time regardless.  I'll watch my grandchildren eat the sugar cookies and candy canes!

But when it IS time to cook, I can thank Jone Rush MacCulloch for some festive and decorative essentials!  I have a new oven mitt and dish towel with cute snowmen on them.  The kids are going to love them AND I can keep them out this year.  Ginger (the yellow lab) has stopped stealing towels and eating them!  This should make life easier!

Jone sent the gift along with a collection of her poems in "Solace in Nature", a postcard with a beautiful poem and photo she created, and a beautiful desktop calendar with her gorgeous photos and poems.  They are so, so beautiful!  Although it is a desktop calendar, I think I'm going to rig up some magnets to keep it on my refrigerator.  Since retiring from teaching, I find it is harder to remember what day and date it is!  I miss doing that "morning message" on the big chart!

Jone, thank you so much for your wonderful assortment of poetry and photography, along with the practical and pretty kitchen items!

Now for more fun - and quite possibly more exchanges being shared - head on over to see the Poetry Friday round-up with Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog

Next week I'll be hosting Poetry Friday!  I look forward to seeing (and reading) everyone at the end of year Poetry Party right here!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Snow's Haiku

Today has been a great day for staying inside - for me anyway. 

Haiku #20


Walk salted to stone
Steps swept to weathered boards
Oak stacked to the roof
The nice thing about a Lab is that they love to fetch.  So I can stand on the porch, throw the frisbee or ball - she runs after it or catches it, then returns to the porch for me to do it again.  She is getting low on toys now though.  She has lost two in the snow.  We/she has four left.  

Ginger contemplating her plans for later
The two she lost were in direct violation of what we had as an understanding.  Last night she took it upon herself to go sniffing with the toy in her mouth and she ignored my calls to "Come".  It was dark and she went into the woods.  There are a lot of acres of woods around us, and she is collarless, though micro-chipped.  I had no idea where she went.  I got a flashlight and peered into the woods.  I could no longer hear her crunching as she moved through the snow.  I went and got my car keys and tried to shine the headlights into the woods.  Still couldn't see or hear her.  As I started to back the car up to go in search on the main road, she came panting up the driveway.  She appeared to have had some fun judging by the smile on her face.  I yelled to get to the house, and she did.  Popped up the steps, skipping most of them and waited for me to stop the engine and get to the house.  There was no real look of remorse, but she did go right into her kennel.  She stayed there for about an hour to consider her transgressions.  She never made a whimper or protest.  Just settled in.  It seemed she knew she'd done wrong, but had weighed the consequences earlier and found the adventure worth the time she'd spend behind bars.

Today she has her training collar on again. Time for a refresher course in "Come When You are Called" - or "Don't Just Go Off and Eat Deer Poop When You Feel Like It". 

She hasn't even tried to leave today, though I did zap her once quickly when she didn't respond immediately to my command to come.  She's a smart dog.  Sometimes that's good.  Sometimes it isn't.

The way the game is supposed to go
Haiku #21

It's a Dog's Life

 Wind and flakes flowing -
It's all about going out
In growing soft white.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


I'm behind again in haikuing.  I just get so busy, and start a haiku and then begin playing around with it until it is time to do more stuff and I'm not done with what I WAS doing.

So let me search through my scraps here and see if I have a half haiku or two into which life may be breathed...

Didn't find one.  So I'm looking at this picture I took of three penguins I made to give to my Sunday School kids next Sunday.

They won't read this, so I'm safe.

Two weeks ago I brought a beautiful box and set it on the table for them to see.  Then we talked about waiting.  And I told them they would have to wait to see what was in the beautiful Christmas box until the end of class.
When we opened it it had three small packages of Fimo clay - yellow, white and black.  It didn't look very special.

I told them they would have to wait more and find out how this plain, ordinary looking stuff would be special.  It was the story of waiting for Jesus, and how he came as an ordinary baby, not the great king that people envisioned.

The children were to have gotten their penguins last Sunday, but because of the snow and ice storm, many were absent and Sunday School plans changed.  This Sunday is Christmas, but we are expecting that everyone will be in their places... weather permitting... and they will receive their penguins then after a recap of the Christmas story.

I am praying that they don't come away with the lesson that there were penguins in Bethlehem... you never know with 4-6 year olds.
Penguins at Christmas

No penguins arrived
Bethlehem was much too far
To follow that star

Handle with Care

Comforter swaddled,
 Safe from harm; Comforting arms
Return the favor


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday's Snow

We had a snow... slippery stuff as it was dusty snow over ice.  That is never a good thing, but top that with no snow plows...
There were cars all over the place that couldn't get up hills or around corners.  For some reason the street crews were not to be seen.  I'm wondering if they heard the weather for the next day, Sunday, which is calling for rain and 50 degrees.  Last night it was 3 degrees below zero, so I think they were waiting for the freeze to be over and hopefully save money with snow melting.
At any rate - here are my two haiku for today.  I'm caught up.  These are # 16  and #17!

Haiku 16 and 17

Winter Walk 1

Snow lightly settles
On stillness of morning paths
White frames her footprints

Winter Walk 2

Slip - gripping, tripping -
Break stride, glide, side slide, collide
Your seat greets the street.

BTW I did not fall today.  I did, however, fall the day before... in the woods... I was fine - don't worry!  Just tripped over a fallen branch while walking backwards dragging Christmas lights to a little tree.  Never did get to light it.  Extension cord was too short.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Haikus

It's Poetry Friday, and though I'm a little late posting, I couldn't let it go by without a Haiku - or two.  I'm almost caught up.  Christmas may get a little tricky to keep on track, but I'm going to try!

Haiku #14:

Christmas 1

Pause in wonderment -
No garlands, wreaths, nor glitter;
Just a holy night.

Haiku #15:

Christmas 2

Unroll, measure, cut,
Wrap, fold, tape, tie, curl and card
Stack, grab another.

Now to read more poetry this Friday and all week head to Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day 14 of December

Beginning of December last year.
Nearing spring
I have now held steady for a few months.

I am starting up again just a bit more seriously, as I'd like to do a few more pounds.  So going lighter on the yogurt for desserts and back to heavier on the bacon!
This summer
In honor of that, I'm haiku-ing for my health today.

Thursday and I'm almost caught up to one haiku a day for December -
These will be #10, #11 and #12.


No bun, no crackers,
Hold the pancakes, muffins, pies,
Time to break bread ties.

Eating Out

Baconator lunch,
Cheesy eggs and bacon, please,
Chili, bacon side.


Fat feasting - I lose,
Carbohydrate snack - I gain;
Such loss is sweet gain.

Okay, just added this one, because it came to me after loading the images:

Sweet are gray hair years -
Grandchildren, motorcycles,
Time to spend looking.

This is not the easiest thing to do when Thanksgiving and Christmas are holding hands with pumpkin pies and chocolates, and "specialty drinks" at Starbucks!
But not impossible.  I do like bacon.  It's almost a dessert.

....And writing a Haiku.  That's always good for dessert.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Shadows and Squirrels Haiku

This morning, I watched a nice fluffy gray squirrel make his way through the woods.  In summer you can't see them well because of all the foliage.  But in winter the sun shines through the trees, making long shadows earlier in the day than I think appropriate.
I watched him scampering over the snow mounds and through the shadows, to the small stream.  He stopped to get a drink and then burrowed down through the snow to the buried oak leaves.  He fetched an acorn or some other small bit that he sat and nibbled on for a while before moving on.
He was my haiku today.

December's Haiku #8

Squirrel darts and weaves
Through tangled shadow ribbons
Tail trails close behind.

Yesterday I saw a big gray squirrel who was thinking about crossing the road just as I was approaching.  He changed his mind, but then he appeared to lose his mind - as squirrels are wont to do.  He didn't run back in the road as they sometimes will do when changing their mind, but he did start scampering back and forth in the snow on the side of the road for a while before finally deciding to high-tail it back to the woods.  I just wonder sometimes what they are thinking.  I hate when they change their minds at the last minute, and I can't adapt to their last minute decision.

Haiku #9 for December
Squirrel crossing here
Prepare for indecision
Mistakes will be made


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three Haiku

This morning we woke to the sounds of coyotes on the banks on our island's riverside.  They were loud and close, and it makes me nervous when the dog has to go out.  We make sure she has her training collar on and that the barking has died down before allowing her outside.  If it's dark, before releasing her I also scan the area with a flashlight to see if there are any eyes reflecting back at me.

Frozen island dawn -
Roving brazen coyotes
Rouse slumbering geese

I also heard gunshots, so we may be a little short on coyotes this morning.  That would be a good thing.

It sure hurts to land on those winter ice spikes!
Haiku #6:  
Slushy, soupy snow
Soaking my feet yesterday -
Frozen spikes today.

There's nothing like a nice thin layer of water on top of ice to make your evening trip into Starbucks exciting!
Haiku #7
Ice-skimmed, smooth sidewalk
Imitates frozen river
Reflecting moonlight.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Sunday, Monday

Sunday's are busy.  So I didn't get to write a haiku.  I'm going to sit and think about Sunday for a minute and see if there was something that struck me that would be good to write. (Pause...
            keyboard sounds...)

A Sunday Christmas?
"Oh, come let us adore him"?
Or will we stay home?

There.  That was a thought from Sunday.  December 25 is a Sunday this year.  How to celebrate Christmas AND the birth of Christ AND attend church.... hmm...

It is such a dilemma when Jesus gets in the way of celebrating His birthday.

Seems really like this would be a most special way to celebrate and remember why this holy day exists.  Just a thought.

Haiku #4

"Splurch, crunkle, skinch, plick!"
Frozen snow icily talks
To boots overhead.

I don't know if you have ever listened to footsteps on a frozen snow, especially frozen slush.  You cannot walk quietly in chunky snow.  It protests SO much!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Haiku Two That Should Be Ten

 Haiku #2 (and #3 at the end - I'll write two a day for a bit to catch up!)

Stone Cold

Cozy Saturday
Drifts away like frozen breath
Of a dead boiler.

And you can guess how we spent Saturday morning.  It was 16 degrees last night and sometime in the night the boiler stopped circulating the nice warm water as we slept. 

I hate that slow awareness that comes to you as you waken and realize that something is amiss.  Your nose is colder than it should be.  Your legs and feet are starting to feel the cold seeping in between the threads.  The spaces between threads shouldn't be that large - you have good thread count.  Why does it feel like there's a draft?  Okay.  Something is wrong.  Do I want to know that we have no roof?  Do I want to know that the front door is wide open?  Do I want to know that the boiler isn't working and it is a Saturday so it is an emergency call?  Do I want to know it is not enough degrees outside?  Do I want to know it is not enough degrees inside?  And then that is enough self-questioning to be fully awake and need to know some answers.  The day has started whether I want it to or not.

I called the Heater Guy and made coffee.  Then I put on a throw, some warm socks and a cat; turned on the TV; and settled in to wait for the world to be fixed.

Three Hundred Dollars

A pretty penny?
Noses, toes, fingers rejoice -
Nay! A mere pittance!

It is fixed now.  Bring on another day!  I can take it!  We are putting a bow on the boiler and we will go to the basement on Christmas morning to look at our early gift.  I am so glad this wasn't Christmas eve.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Glad Tidings

It's Poetry Friday, and I have been busy writing a poem for my Winter Swap partner.  And while I was writing and revising... I had to stop and write this one.  It kept intruding on my thoughts.  I was glad that it did.  So here it is.  And then go visit more poetry gladness at Jone's Check It Out!  And sign up for the Friendship Friday postcard exchange while you are visiting her!  I may have to steal that name for something, as we will soon move to Friendship, Maine.  Nice name, huh?
My moving blog is at Gull's been a 5 year process, but it seems that it will actually happen almost in time for my husband's retirement at the end of December.

Glad Tidings

Prepare in the morning,
Prepare in the night;
Keep your heart open,
Prepare for its light.
For ever and ever,
For always, in spite
Of good times or bad,
Of happy or sad;
Remember to look for
That moment of Glad.
You’ll find it in something
So small
Barely showing.
It starts where your heart is,
And then overflowing,
It tickles your soul and
The next person’s toes
Till they too are smiling -
And onward it goes.
It’s there for the finding
Down roads ever winding.
Prepare for
The Gladness;
Be always aware -
It's surrounding
Take it,
Then share.

Donna JT Smith, Dec. 9, 2016

So, there it is. Phew!  My mind is at ease again!  Now I can have a cup of coffee and get back to other things! 🎄

In commenting on other Poetry Fridilians posts, I ran across Mary Lee Hahn's challenge to write a haiku a day for December.  I'm going to do this for the rest of the month, IF I can make myself sit still long enough.  But, hey, a haiku is short.  How hard can it be? LOL!
But here's my first on the 9th.  I just took the dog out, so you can see where my mind was.  It's cold out there without the winter coat now.   I don't change seasons easily.  It takes a long time for me to remember that I need to dress differently!

Wind’s chilled whispering
Tousles hair, flaps sweater,
Suggests coat and hat.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Children's Writers Notebook

This is how "off" I am lately.  I started this post yesterday, but never published it.  I was so tired and unmotivated!  I am putting it up today regardless of the fact that it is Saturday now. I was sick last week, and thought I was getting better last Sunday.  Guess I tried to pretend too long and too hard, because now I'm sick again - or still.  There is actually a poem on this page.  After you get through my fog you'll come to the dog...


It's Poetry Friday.  I've not been as "on" lately as in the past.  Seems like I have "stuff to do" all the time.  But I'm giving it a go today, although I am late.

Last week I went to Barnes & Noble just to browse, and I came upon this book (actually I found 2 books, but I haven't started the second one).
The book is called Children's Writer's Notebook and features 20 Great Authors & 70 Writing Exercises, by Wes Magee, published by Metro Books in NY and somehow also affiliated with Quid Publishing in England.  At any rate, that, for me, is not the important part.
The important part for me is that it "saved" my writing drought - or what I see as a drought.
I have written some, but not much since the middle of October, feeling like I want to write something that has not gelled yet.  Heck, it hasn't even been a liquid thought yet.  There is just something there that I can't start - because I don't have the foggiest notion of what it is.

I started NaNoWriMo, thinking maybe just the nudge there would be what it took to start.  I started and restarted and started yet again,  Nothing sounded like it had anywhere to go.  I was stuck with a place or a character who didn't know what they wanted to do in life...or my story.

Then I found this book.
And I've been writing in it.  
And I've been extending it to documents because a page in a book isn't enough room sometimes.  And it gets messy - but I like messy when I'm writing and I miss that on the computer.
Sometimes it isn't what the prompt was exactly about.  Wow!  That one was hard for me to deal with.  When asked to write about one thing and then taking off on another version of the prompt felt like cheating, until I lectured myself about how these were not being "graded" by anyone, and that there was no one who cared that you didn't write to the prompt exactly.  The goal was to write  s o m e t h i n g - A N Y T H I N G !!
I also came up with the realization that most of my writing transformed into poetry as I wrote. This WAS NOT what I had in mind.  Then I stopped writing in it.  I was now at a crossroads - again.  Would I keep writing and letting the poems keep happening, or would I try to write prose to hopefully develop part of a story as I had planned.

I have to think about this.  Or I have to NOT think about this and just DO whatever happens.

I think it is time to go back to my book and just do whatever comes out of me.  Crud.  I'd hoped to find my story I was looking for.

Till then, here's one bit of writing that came out of the practice:
Challenge #3 Write about a dog doing silly things on its walk. Four lines with a rhyme scheme ABCB with syllable count: 5, 6, 5, 6
So I wrote this.  It is not great, but it is something.  I've messed with it a bit more in typing it here.  This is one of the examples of really not sticking with the plan.  The dog was supposed to be doing silly things on its walk - but I just stuck with one focus really.  Since a writing challenge is supposed to get you thinking and writing, I guess it is okay. 


Sniff, sniff! Round the tree
Dog sniffs, then he harkens,
"That's my bark," he says;
His furry face darkens.

He scratches his head,
Puts a paw to his chin;
How did it get there?
His poor head starts to spin!

"My bark stuck like glue
Up the sides of this trunk
Must be brought back down
Or my bark will be sunk!"

Then Dog spies a cat
Whom he chases with glee
Right up to the tip
At the top of the tree

There the cat trembles;
As she shivers and shakes
The bark becomes loose,
And that's all that it takes.

The bark starts to drop
Where below on the ground
Dog scoops up bark chips
Putting bark in a mound.

Dog looks at the pile
Smiles and smacks his long lips
Then eats them all up
With two kinds of chip dips.

Dog with full tummy  
His bark safely inside
Sniffs at the tree trunk
Then embarks with great pride.

Dog is now happy,
Though the tree is quite bare,
As a trembling cat
Now shakes leaves down from there.

I wonder if this
Is how autumn began
With dog bark, scared cat,
And a tree shaking plan.

Notes: There are a few things I wanted kids to "get" or learn when I wrote this. (No, that's maybe not true - I never set out to "teach" something with a poem.  The poem just happens and then I see what all is in there most of the time!)  First the obvious three meanings of bark - tree, dog and ocean vessel (which kids around here are more likely to hear since we are a historic shipbuilding area).  Embarking was a fun word to put in there... and of course the phrase "barking up the wrong tree" would have to be worked into the poem.  And no poem party would be complete without chips and dip.

Okay, now I have to get back to my challenge/inspiration book... I have a cold/flu/fuzzyhead right now, so my current challenge is looking like a cup of tea and my inspiration is going to have to be Netflix or Hulu!

And you need to go visit Michelle Barnes' site to see about that anthology of hers, and to visit our hostess, Brenda Davis Harsham, at Friendly Fairy Tales to read more poetry today and all week!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Change of Heart

Thank you Michelle H Barnes and Kenn Nesbitt for the October prompt of writing a poem to and for your mother.  I have written other poems that have my mother in them, but never this one.  I guess I feel like she's been gone long enough to write it, but now I wish she'd known that I realized all she'd done for us.  So, though belated, and I can't see her face as she reads this in Heaven, here it is, for You, Mom:

Change of Heart

I cannot imagine
A stronger woman, wife, mother.
I was, and still am,
Determined to be like you.

You were not
Brought up the way most
Kids were.
In a tough life
You grew all
The more determined
To survive and thrive;
A different person
Than those around you.

I would never be abandoned;
I would get no coal at Christmas -
Jokes would be funny not hurtful;
My questions would have answers.

As a child,
I could not comprehend
The enormity of the difference
In my life
Made possible
By your young heart’s decisions;
But now I know.
Thank you for
Not just surviving,
But loving life,
Changing lives,
Loving me more
Than you should have been able.

Determined to be like you,
I was, and still am
A stronger woman, wife, mother -
I cannot imagine.

by Donna JT Smith

On Irene Latham's post today, she mentioned titles and how we come by them.  I realized this poem had undergone a few title changes on paper and in brain before I settled on its "meant to be" title.
I went through something like this:
"Change"... "Never Too Young to Change Lives"... "Changing Lives"... "Changing Hearts"...  and finally - "Change of Heart" - which felt right and to the point of what I wanted to say.

Go visit more poets and poems at Irene's place "Live Your Poem" today to celebrate Poetry Friday!

Friday, October 7, 2016

No Poem?

No Time for a Poem

Porridge for breakfast,
Spaghetti-Os for lunch,
Hot dogs and broccoli
For dinner to munch;

Throwing the frisbee,
Endless sweet talk,
Seeing a deer
On a long walk;

Puzzles and cars,
Winnie the Pooh,
Books and paint brushes,
Laughter and glue!

Sorry, I'm busy -
I can't write a poem
For I have my grandkids
Right here in my hoem.

Forgive me for slacking -
Not writing a lot -
There are songs to be sung
and hugs to be caught!


But I do want to mention - a Woo-hoo!
Nancy Drew Anthology is now available on Amazon in paperback.  My poem, "The Missing Mother's Message" is right in there with other poems from other poets.

Friday, September 30, 2016

I Got A Round to It

Oh, back a couple of days ago, I saw Michelle's post about YOU JUST WAIT: A POETRY FRIDAY POWER BOOK by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong and the shape poem prompt.  And I started fiddling about with this round poem.  I wanted to fill it with all sorts of references to round in many of its meanings also.  See how many you can find... though some of it is in the actual meaning of the text, too!  Good luck.  I don't know the answer - just warning you!

Making the Rounds

orbicular eggs
release tadpoles roly-poly polliwogs
 apostrophic black body-heads sporting long tails 
springing slipping from translucent globes of black egginess
glueless globs of jelly attached to discoidal green waterlily pads afloat
tugging the mud hugging the shallow pond’s curves beneath the radiant sun
reflecting and illuminating each concentric ripple single pebbles have created as
they are cast into the green water by a fresh-faced rosy-cheeked young tadpole perched
on the crested banks round after round of rounded stones plunking in the water missing
the mass of eggs that old mother frog with bulbous eyes warily watches from her domical
log singing her riveting resonating rounds of ribbits and croak-its rising skyward till the rock
tosser abruptly stops listens sits and erupts in a rousing round of gleeful applause for the
frog mother’s songs and rising sounds of spring and the rolling in of the next cycle of summery
sun just around the corner though soon enough ‘round that bend in the road will be tossed a
curve ball the fall when all will stall searching for havens of hollows to curl snug as a bug
or far flung warm sun as their space of safety before lacy discs of white spiral circuitously
to the revolving sphere of earth spinning around to springtime and globus frog eggs again 
renewing the cycle of roly-poly polliwogs and tiny tadpoles whose mothers bubble up in
song filling the drops of dew with robust ribbits and croak-its heavenward helicals
of song in the new sky cycling blue to purple hue before it is hushed in
 dark sapphire and the sparkle of overarching pinpointy stars
greets the next round of apostrophic tadpoles
roly-poly polliwogs released from
orbicular eggs

by Donna JT Smith

Okay, Tabatha - I did it!  It's a tongue-twister!

Then - just so you know - The Nancy Drew Anthology is being released tomorrow by the independent publisher Silver Birch Press in Los Angeles!  My poem "The Missing Mother's Message" is included... (yay!) 

Now go enjoy more poetry at Karen Edmisten's blog.  Visit today and all week!

Friday, September 16, 2016

News, Views, Clues, Woo-hoos!

It's Poetry Friday!
Hip-hip, hooray!
Such a special day
When get to say...
Here's all the news,
  and woo-hoos
Coming your way -

Now I have to remember all that I needed to say... and the rhyming MUST stop for now - quite enough... Okay.

Last Friday I left you with this teaser:
Next Friday: Sharing Buffy Silverman's Summer Poetry Exchange poem, maybe my anniversary poem, and a bit of news about a poem...
I have to add one item that slipped my mind.  The refrigerator magnet got forgotten in a shuffle.

1.  News - Tabatha Yeatts won the refrigerator magnet!  Not sure if she's sharing it today, too, but here it is.  It's the picture she sent, and my poem to go with it.

The term, "Ice-olated", is from about 30 years ago or more, when my son was 5 or younger, and used it when he was being a superhero and wanted to "isolate" me, or encapsulate me in ice - his meaning.  I loved it, and had to use it some day.

2. I'm skipping my anniversary poem that I said I would do.  But will say that last Friday, for our 44th wedding anniversary, we traveled down to PA to the Sight and Sound production of "Samson".  It was fantastic.  It was our second time going to a production there, and it was as impressive this time as the first.  The pillars crumbling at the end was especially well done!

3.  Views - Buffy Silverman's poetry exchange poem came to me just after posting a couple of Friday's ago.  She sent me a beautiful poem and some milkweed seeds.  I think I will be planting them this fall up at Gull Haven where we will hopefully be living by the time they are in bloom!

Casting off her striped skin
for a green-and-golden case,
she reassembles puzzle pieces;

gone are the sticky feet
for clinging and climbing;
the jaws that unstitched milkweed leaves;
the anchor that clasped
while she twisted and turned,
devouring one leaf after another.

Here are the skinny black legs
that will linger on soft petals,
the antennae not yet sniffing sweet nectar;
the two dark strands, waiting to be zipped
into a single straw, curled and uncurled
that will savor and sip

when her tiny wings
swell and flap
into the future.

by Buffy Silverman, 2016, all rights reserved

How amazing to be a butterfly that has just emerged to a new life!  I often wonder what they think of this transformation - or if they do at all.
Thank you, Buffy, for a gorgeous poem full of the marvelous, mysterious ways of these milkweed munchers!  Thanks for the seeds, too!  September's treat at school was always the releasing of butterflies for their trip to Mexico.  Hope I can attract some to our new home.

3. Woo-hoos - Silver Birch Press is including my pantoum, "The Missing Mother's Message", in their Nancy Drew Anthology that is coming out later this month!  I'm very excited about seeing my poem in print in a real live book.  I am pleased as punch.  Oh, and it has a wonderful cover, that I cannot show just yet.

It will be available online through Silver Birch Press soon.  Here are some links to where the anthology may be purchased - for those interested in reading Nancy Drew inspired poems!  I'll post these links again when the Nancy Drew Anthology is actually available! 
 (yes, only one "s" here in "pres".

Thank you for reading!  I know this was longer than one post.  Each item could have been one post, but it all had to be said now!

Stop by for more poetry goodness at Michelle's place - Today's Little Ditty!  You won't be disappointed!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Yesterday or Tomorrow?

As I visited Poetry Friday offerings ... a bit late because my husband and I made a quick decision to go to PA and see the Sight and Sound production of "Samson" for our anniversary Friday night! (amazing, amazing, loved it, loved it)... I went to Carol Varsalona's poem "Summer Moved On", and as I was commenting, I found I was beginning a poem.  So I stopped and moved it over here!
I should keep track of how many poems I've written because I've read a post and my comment to it became a poem.  It has happened a number of times.  I thought it was a fluke probably the first time, but now I'm realizing what rich soil I'm blogging in!  There is inspiration and motivation and instigation wherever I look, listen or read!

Yesterday or Tomorrow?

I remember it like it was yesterday
It was there just moments ago -
Remember yesterday,
When summer was here?
Did it lag behind us,
Get left in our dust?
Or did it move on past us
When we were not aware
Of it’s changing pace
Its need to race?
Were we the ones
That summer passed
Or could it be we
Went too fast?
No matter which.
The day will come
When we greet summer
Once again -
Either up ahead
Where it has sped
And now lounges
In the sun
Waiting for us to catch up
As we dig a path
Out of snow,
Plant those seeds
In a row,
To show up
Just in time;
Or from behind
It overtakes
Tapping us on the shoulder
To say, “Boo!”
“I’m here again!”
But you knew
It was creeping up;
It never really surprises you -
Except for that
Bit of yellow dandelion
And the shoots of green
That took you unawares
Yesterday -
That dewy morning,
When you dripped
some drops
Of salty tears as the
Butterfly stopped to
And leave a kiss
So you'll always

This poem was instigated by a couple of things:
reading Carol's post on Friday AND somewhere that I can't recall now, the word "yesterday" struck me.  And the two together started to mesh and mush into a question of where we are in the cycle of the seasons... are we the ones moving or are the cycles?  Are they coming up from behind or are they in front of us?  Either way, it seems like only yesterday that summer was here.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Poetry Friday Anniversary Post

It's Poetry Friday!  Today's poetic offerings are being hosted by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm!  Thanks, Amy!

First, I want to post a poem I wrote on the spur of the moment when I was looking for Kiesha Shepard's blog.  I searched and found her From Pens to Paint blog where she tells of refinishing furniture.  While on From Pens to Paint, I came across this post about some end tables she'd painted using "flour sack white milk paint". Some words came to mind which I had to write down.
And these are they:

Flour-Sack White

Flour-sack white cottage
In an unmown field -
Memories still linger
Where the paint has peeled.
Sheets and socks blow gently
Drying in the sun,
Barrel by the backdoor
Expecting rain to run;
Windows bring the day in,
Shifting shadow’s light
On worn bits of treasure
In flour-sack cottage white.
Wide fields, stretched forever,
Dry to golden brown,
As the sun of summer
Earlier sets down.
Autumn days of harvest
Must draw to their end;
Winter winds will whistle,
Milk white days to spend
Inside this hidden cottage,
Snow drifts all around,
Sitting ‘round the fireplace
Waiting for the sounds;
Welcoming the springtime,
Birds’ and breeze in tune;
Flour-sack milk white cottage
Joins the joyous croon;
White sheets slap on clothesline,
Stockings flap like wings;
Through another season
Flour-sack cottage sings.

Donna JT Smith, 2016

Then I can't not mention that today is our 44th wedding anniversary.  The love of my life and I have been married, happily, for 44 years today.  We met on the first day of my Junior year in college - his Senior year, were engaged by Christmas, and married a week before starting my Senior year and his Graduate studies.  When it is right, you just know it, so there is no wasting time.
I made my wedding gown, bought a yellow rose to carry, hand wrote in calligraphy (the best I could learn in a couple of weeks) all my invitations and reply cards, bought three different sized marble cakes to stack and decorate with yellow on my own, found a cute church, a willing minister to marry us and church ladies to supply sandwiches, chips, pickles, lemonade and coffee.  My brother took pictures of the wedding, my dad paid Guy Grube (the minister), we got hitched... and are staying hitched for life!  Staying married was a given.  The D word never got mentioned.  That was never an option.  And so we learned to grow together.

I think today, some or many just assume that divorce is an option if (and there is never an "if" because they will) times get tough.  We did not expect things to always run smoothly, but we did expect that we would see them through together and come out on the other side better for it.  Nowadays we too easily decide to give up.  Early on my parents told me that you can't run away from yourself.  A new place was not going to fix things.  What needed to be fixed was inside you.  And that is how I've lived my life, and so has my husband.  We do not live a drama-filled life, as we are led to believe is the norm from tv... there are no "in your face" moments.  There are no statements or ultimatums thrown out that are hard to come back from.

"If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all..." has always been our motto - thank you Thumper.

That said, though, I must say that my husband makes it easy to say nice things.  I think I chose well in the husband department.  I have a poem started that I wrote for him, but I'm not satisfied with it yet.  So it will have to wait.

I cannot always just make a poem happen, I guess.  Sometimes I can.  This time I can't!  So, again, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all!"

Next Friday: Sharing Buffy Silverman's Summer Poetry Exchange poem, maybe my anniversary poem, and a bit of news about a poem...

Friday, September 2, 2016

Poetry Exchange

It's Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Penny at A Penny and Her Jots.
And today I'm sharing the last poem exchange of the summer, organized by Tabatha Yeatts.  My last partner for this year's round is Carol Varsalona!  She seems to have done her homework and enjoyed the "assignment" in this year's summer poetry exchange.  Carol has kept up with my recent motorcycling adventures, as well as drawing from my April A to Z Challenge where I wrote poetry based on vanity plates in Maine!  Since Carol also has a vanity plate, she used her plate to write a creative acrostic and print it up on a bookmark with plenty of sparkle!

Donna is....


  founD on the road

By Carol Varsalona, all rights reserved

She also found a newspaper article on women bike riders and used the article to create a Found Poem.

"What? Wearing Motorcycle?"
"No confusion,
I'm a woman on a bike
who wears what's comfortable!"
Bold, Blonde,
Biker Babe
Journeying Through Life

By Carol Varsalona, all rights reserved

Carol also supports a charity that brings education and sustainable living to Masese, Uganda.  The women there make beads and string them into jewelry, selling them to raise money to care for their families.  Carol sent along a beautiful string of ocean blue beads - a certain conversation piece to wear and bring awareness.
Thank you, Carol, for your multi-faceted gift!  Sweet, sweet, sweet!

What a great summer this has been!  I'm going to keep on riding until the leaves fall and I get too cold to continue.  Tomorrow my husband and I are riding to the park (I say "park", but I mean ocean) on our bikes, with lunches tucked away in bags on the back.  Maybe I'll tuck a bathing suit and towel in there, too!  We're going to pretend we are tourists...on "Daisy" and "Retired"...
I still can't believe I did this... that I'm DOING this!
Neither can my husband.

If you'd asked me three years ago if I'd ever ride a motorcycle, I'd have laughed and not even have taken the question seriously.  Three years ago I was having trouble seeing.  I couldn't drive a car at night.  I could barely drive in the daytime.  My back hurt.  I could not walk or ride long distances easily.  I was having problems with gluten (though I didn't know what it was that was making eating an iffy thing).
Got my cataracts fixed in the fall of 2013... things literally started looking good.
In 2015, I discovered gluten was ruining my life and cut it out... things started working well.
In 2016, I lost 50+ pounds... everything became easier and less painful to do.

I can see, I can eat, I can move!  I am not the same person I was three years ago... but I'm kinda feeling like the person I was 30 years ago.

Thank you everyone for the wonderful poems this summer!  I feel so blessed to be in this group... why, 6 years ago, I wouldn't have said I was a writer (no commenters on anything posted for those first three posts!).  And I didn't know any writers.  But everything has changed.  And I like every single change.


Chameleon, caterpillar,
dandelion, me -
Look at us just one time
what is it that you see?
Look again another day,
scan us up and down;
Do we look the same to you
or have some changed their gown?
Leaves on trees, clouds above
Eggs about to hatch
Nothing stays the same it seems
always there's a catch...
Sprouting wings, changing garb,
gray to brilliant blue,
Cycled lives of wonderment...
What's in store for you?

by Donna JT Smith

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Today is...

Today is...

Today is
lighter than
high clouds
split wide with
seams popping
show blue;
curl up into
my helmet,
dazzling me with
smells of fields mowed,
leaves burned,
roses blooming,
the tide turning;
the sun's warm hand
on my shoulder
makes me smile;
and for the very first time
I am thinking of
more than

  clutch -
    shift -
      break -

by Donna JT Smith, 8/27/16

by Donna JT Smith, 8/27/16

Friday, August 26, 2016

Is It Ever Late?

Happy Poetry Friday!  Today's fun is hosted by Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe.

Now, contrary to the poem below... there is a time-limit here.
Yes, there is such a thing as "late".  So, HURRY!  There are a couple of days left.  Four days before September 1!

I will be assembling materials to create a cool refrigerator magnet for someone!  Maybe it will be you. Get me your offering of a picture and a writing (preferably a poem, but prose is fine) about your refrigerator by end of day August 30 or point to it in the comments!

Next Friday, I will announce the winner and reveal the stone/tile magnet prize featuring your picture, poem or both picture and poem.  Or one I’ve just made up, just for you.  You can tell me which you’d like if your name is the one drawn from my motorcycle helmet.  It's the Great Refrigerator Race... of sorts.


Look at the date
Me thinks the fate
Of leaves can wait
I’ve not yet cleaned my plate
Or slate -
Human condition -
Running late -
Is it innate -
A human trait?
Of all the creatures
We have clocks
Yet we’re the ones
With hurried walks
The others know
The time of day
And simply move
Within the sway
Of trees and breeze
And waves in bay
In harmony with
Making hay
With no confusion
No delay
They go about
Their day to day
Yet still they've found
Some time to play
And I am left with
Lots to do
And little time
To see it through
Perhaps I need
An un-timed event
And see how all
Time-freed is spent -
How slow the hours
and minutes went
When I've pursue a
Timeless bent

Just jotted this... punctuation is not done... maybe more to come or some to delete...
I've been busy lately so haven't been writing much.  Visited grandkids and have been riding some.  Been restless and less sitting as I lose weight.  Down 49.5 pounds as of yesterday... holding steady today.  I am over halfway to where I want to be... though I don't know where I want to be as I am pretty happy already where I am... a lap to sit on for grandchildren... able to walk a long distance... able to hoist a leg over a motorcycle and ride... finding chords on my mandolin that has waited for me in the corner of the bedroom... restless is where I am.  I have a feeling there is something I'm supposed to do soon, but it hasn't presented itself in full yet.  I'm getting glimpses and inklings, but it's too foggy and dim yet.  Meanwhile, I will put in another load of laundry, help some homeschoolers learn to read, try to focus on my houses - cleaning and selling this home and moving to Gull Haven soon (was supposed to be this summer, but looks like maybe this winter).

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tabatha's Refrigerator and a Poem

As you may or may not know, it is Refrigerator Month here, and I'm featuring refrigerator stuff all August long!  If you have a refrigerator "thing" you want to share - a picture, poem, prose - Link at the linky at the "Refrigerator" tab above, or send me an email.  I will put it right here, as I am doing with Tabatha's today!  And I will put all the names in a motorcycle helmet and draw one out for a grand prize of a stone tile refrigerator magnet, featuring something you sent in... or your choice of picture/verse... So far, Tabatha wins... I will check my email again, but I don't think there is another entry and we are half-way through the month!

Emailed refrigerator offering from Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference :

"Another Shot from my Fridge"

"I guess the subject line says it all. We got Walt Whitman finger puppet magnet recently -- I think of him as "Uncle Walt."
Joy's postcard is one that you read rightside up and upside down (it's an elephant upside down). Clever!"

It's Poetry Friday hosted by Julianne at To Read To Write To Be.  Go visit to find more poetry gems by poetry miners!

And now, a refrigerator offering from me:

Ode to the Odorous

Receiver, giver, preserver,
Made of plastic and metal,
Cool to summer's touch,
With pudding to settle
And good stuffs for kettle;
A heart of cold.
What's found beyond her
Closed thick door?
A place to wander,
Sweet calls to ponder
The icy depths where
Sustaining hopes lie
In bits to boil or
bake or fry,
Crispy or dry
For palate shy
or cuisine bold;
But toss the stuff
begun to mold
and gross to hold.
She cannot keep
Forever more
Behind her door
Cleaning is a dreadful chore. 
It must be done -
This is my plea
With sponge in hand
Why always me?
Do none else see?
No one steps up?
No volunteer?
I need your help,
Please come near;
Help me don
My hazmat gear!

Donna JT Smith, 2016

Today's fashion-forward gear.

Your grandma's gear...

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...