Thursday, July 26, 2018

Revised Revisited

An old postcard of my home - When we owned it, the trees had grown up all around it, so it wasn't visible from the road.
Today is Poetry Friday, and our hostess is Catherine at Reading to the Core.  She's sharing a poem planned for the start of school....yipes! Already??

I missed last Friday's poetry, though I did write some.  I read about "Where I'm From" poetry introduced by George Ella Lyon, and tried one.
I also later found this form online:  It would be good for getting started with students.

Though some have seen my original there version on FB, I have revisited and revised it.  At one early point I had accidentally taken out the "lilacs" that I wanted in there, so they are back. Then my brother read it and mentioned "Brown Rim Cookies".  No one else in the world that I knew ever made them, or had heard of them.  So I've included the cookies in the poem and a recipe at the end.  I became an expert at tucking the edges of the linen towel inside a glass, dipping it in water, and applying just the right amount of pressure to the ball of dough so that the edges wouldn't burn.  There were a few "Burned Rim Cookies" before I got it right!
Yesterday, the 26th, would have been my mother's birthday.  So let's just say it is in honor of her.  For she is really "where I'm from" in many, many ways - even to her choice of my hard-working dad, Alex!

Not my actual bike -
Mine didn't have a headlight, but it was probably used when I got it.  My brother got a red bike the same day.

Where I'm From

I am from
family baseball
on summer Sunday afternoons,
because before I was from anywhere
Alex joined the Coast Guard instead
of the Red Sox farm team.
I am from
backyard football
and driveway basketball
until snow flies. 
As the eldest of four,
I am from
watching my three siblings
when adults are busy;
But still 
I am from the fun of
bare feet and blueberries
marbles and mud,
jump ropes and jacks.
I am from lilacs and ledges, 
chokecherry hideaways;
from butterflies and
grasshoppers and pine pitch
stickiness on fingertips.
I am from
making stick boats to float
down the driveway after a rain,
carving roads under the cedar trees 
for my Tonka truck and
ducking spiderwebs.
I am from 
the terrors of gathering
eggs from feisty hens and
avoiding killer roosters.
I am from
porcelain horses,
used furniture, antiques
and unlimited pre-loved old books:
“Honeybunch, Just a Little Girl” and
“A Child’s Garden of Verse”;
And I am from under my own
‘Land of Counterpane’
 reading and hoping
no one will notice
I’m not yet outside playing
under the apple trees and old elm.
I am from choir and white gloves,
and praying in school each morning;
I am from Bonnie Brae 
and picking Mrs. Foye's 
favorite apples in the front yard
and rubbing dirt off carrots and radishes from 
Mom’s vegetable garden in the backyard.
I am from
sewing machines and fabric
and making my own dresses;
I am from
“Gone With the Wind”,
and pressing down brown rim cookies.
I am from working at summer camp with
kids where I first learn I will be from
hundreds of children teaching me.
I am from new roots
with a husband
and a farm halfway across the country,
away from family and old friends.
I am from
new friends,
real horses,
real fences to mend,
and from my own two children
who mold me into
a mom.
I am not always from
“I know how to do that.”
But I am from
“I want to learn how to do that.”
I am from guns and roses
and motorcycles.
And I am from
a mother and father who know
that small things are big
and big things are small,
and a fall
is naught
at all.
I am from salt air, 

 and polliwogs;

and the freedom to roam
on a blue Schwinn I named Daisy.

I am from hearing an old foghorn

call us for supper.

And I’m from

coming home

By Donna JT Smith, July 22, 2018
A foghorn like ours.


1 c. shortening
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. sifted flour
Combine shortening, salt and vanilla. Add sugar and cream well. Add eggs. Beat thoroughly. Add flour. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls and flatten with water glass (damp cloth over bottom). Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Note:  Mrs. Foye was an elderly woman who would sit on our porch and ask for specific apples from our trees.  Mom was a registered nurse, and she and Dad opened our house up for a while to be a nursing home at Bonnie Brae.  We had patients in 5 of our bedrooms, and we slept in the "summer" rooms over the barn and summer kitchen.

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Ride to Reid

Such a special treat of a poem arrived last week from Becky Herzog.  It was a handmade postcard with  a shape poem - a beautifully flowing outline of a motorcycle, with an equally beautiful flowing poem.  It's perfect.  She's captured it all...the smells, the sounds, the feelings.  Thanks!!!

Some pictures to set the mood...

Reid - Todd's Point

Beach roses ready to bloom

A seagull swoop

A great swing at Griffith Head, Reid

 And the bike:
Ready for a Ride to Reid!
And now the postcard/poem (even the colors are right!):

A Ride to Reid

Smell of seaweed and roses on the air
Salty sea breeze rushing past sun-kissed cheeks
Distant waves crash and gulls cry
Pause to recharge the soul

by Rebecca Herzog ©2018

I told you it was perfect.
This project, organized by Tabatha Yeatts, is so much fun!  I'm late sending my next poem out, but TODAY it goes...and my third, too!
Now visit more poetry goodness with Sylvia at Poetry for Children!  It's Poetry Friday!  Hip-hip - hooray!

A late response poem:

I Can Dream

When I ride
the glide of wind
across my face,
like waves awash across 
the space of sand,
turns sun to
warmth undone.
Breeze sneaks
between glove and
tickling, trickling
up past wrists.
I lean into the curve,
as a gull dipping its
wing carves
a path;
Though I must 
stay grounded
to the earth,
  I can dream, 
can't I?

 by Donna JT Smith, ©2018

Friday, July 6, 2018

In the Middle

Today is officially Poetry Friday, hosted by Patricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect . First Spiritual Thursday, hosted by Doraine Bennett at Dori Reads, was yesterday.  I am late for both.  Our topic here in the middle of the year is "looking back/looking forward".

Oh, my word...
I wrote so much garbage for this day.  I wrote, read, edited, wrote more, cut lots, read know the process.  And then I decided to cut most ALL of it and stick with the poem that was in the MIDDLE and add an acrostic poem.

It's all about the middle anyway. Behave as if you were in the middle, no matter where your life bubble is.  I don't spend much time looking back and assessing my progress.   Maybe I should.  But I mostly start from where I am each day and keep moving.  I think I used to set more goals for the forward motion than I do now.  At this point in my life I've tapped about every stone I could get my toe on.  I like where I've been, and have no real regrets, so it makes life easier to deal with each day.

My goal
In life before my
Demise: to garner
Delight in the
Light of your

by Donna JT Smith

My journey lately has been mostly clawing uphill, but there have been ledges of rest along the way, and I am grateful for them, and for the fact that I don't journey alone - though I will be glad when the journey goes more smoothly and levels off again.  But how can there be a mountain top if there are no valleys?  I've been in valleys before.  Just start climbing slow, steady and straight.  Plow to the post: you'll get there quicker.

An Acrostic: 

Beginning, Middle, Ending

Before has not been
Eventually is later
Good times are
In store in
New days
Not yet happened
In time
Nor space
Get ready to race -

Messy life
In a muddle
Desserts combined with
Life's lessons -
Events dealt and disbursed.

Eventually comes,
Nevermore happens;
Despite our dreams and
Inward wishes;
No looking back for
"Got away" fishes.

by Donna JT Smith

I had a cold this week while my grandchildren were visiting.  Twice my 6 year old grandson said to me "I hope you don't die before my birthday, because you are sick and you are old."
I hope I don't either.  I only have to make it to the middle of August... lol!  NyQuil and Mucinex are working miracles.  I think I'll be at the party.  But I guess you never know.  I AM old...with a cold.

Joyful Journey

Here my path lies,
Here the journey,
But the way
Is not the end;
There are others
Following footprints
Be they family
Or friend.
As I reach
that firm foundation
Weathered storms
lie just behind,
New storms quietly
But I look for

by Donna JT Smith 

This still feels a lot disjointed to me.  Sorry.  I have a cold.

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...