U is for Unicorn and Ubi Sunt

I am participating in the A to Z Challenge this month, and today's letter is U.
I have spent the past year-ish taking pictures of Maine vanity plates when I encountered them - most all in shopping center parking lots.  I am writing a poem for each one, and this year the poem form begins with the same letter.
I found 3 Maine vanity plates beginning with U for today, and chose an Ubi Sunt.

Ubi Sunt: This is Latin for “Where are they?”.  An Ubi Sunt begins with this type of questioning and speak to the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death.  It seemed to fit "UNICORN".

Unicorns No More

Unicorn, where are you?
Wanderer of dreams -
Never where it seems
To be or not to be;
Here nevermore on cue.

In ages past of mine,
Of long ago and misty,
In shadows gray and twisty,
I saw unicorns with horn
In ferniest glades recline.

Now with eyes paled by years
I cannot see the glistening;
My ears have not the listening -
So soon untuned.
Yet for you, my child, it nears.

by Donna JT Smith, ©2018
Two more unique plates:


  1. Oh my gosh that was some journey you had me on with The Unicorn. Even though I read what the ubi sunt format is, I was caught surprised by the anguish of the ending of the Unicorn. Bravo!

    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  2. Oh, this is beautiful! It reminds me a bit of The Polar Express, that loss of innocence to see/hear the magical in the world. A perfect fit of topic and form as well. Wonderful, Donna!

  3. Unicorn name plate - how cool. I loved the whimsical poem.

    Seema, participant in #AtoZchallenge, Artist, Writer, Wanderer, and Dreamer.
    Under the Ladakhi Stars – Raku House

  4. Upt cmp! That is the most Maine license plate I ever saw, and I may have to create a version of it for myself someday. I love this. Melanie's Stories

  5. Love the vanity plates! I want a "unicorn" one ;-)

    Ronel from Ronel the Mythmaker A-Zing with Everything Writerly: U is for Understanding


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