Sunday, March 31, 2019

A is for AM I L8T

It is the first day of the AtoZ Challenge!  Welcome.  This year I am continuing to write a poem a day (except for Sundays - but I may have one non-A to Z poem) using the vanity plates I spied since last year.

Today is the letter A, and here are the plates I found:


I chose AM I L8T...


How can it be?
Really, AGAIN?
I set my clock
For half past ten.
So much time before
my date
But suddenly
I'm running late.
The cat needs food,
the dog does, too.
Now where'd it go?
I need my shoe
Oh, real cute dog,
thanks a bunch!
You had to eat my
shoe for lunch?
Different shoes,
Pick a dress.
Comb my hair -
I look a mess!
Now I'm really
in a rush
Where's my toothpaste?
Where's my brush?
Coat and purse.
Find the door.
Pick my keys up
Off the floor!
Wait... I think there's
one more thing -
The alarm was set -
it didn't ring!
The sky is dark?
Well this is great -
I have 12 hours
before I'm late.

by Donna JT Smith

Have a calm, running on-time day!  See you B-for you know it!

Visit more AtoZ contributors by heading to AtoZ Challenge List

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Poetry Friday and #AtoZChallenge

I am gearing up for April's AtoZ challenge (my 8th year participating), attempting vanity license plates in Maine again.  We haven't been there for a few months, and everything has been up in the air, so I don't have every letter I need.  Vanity plates are rare in PA, so there will be no filling in with those!  I did however find a great site to generate a plate...Acme License Plate Maker.  It's fun; you should try it!
Here's the link to the AtoZ Challenge if you think you might want to try or at least read some alphabetical posts!

I am filling in with the 7 I am missing this year, with generated plates or plates from a previous year for which I didn't write a poem previously.  I'm all set to write.  Wrote my first - A is for... - and set it to automatic, so I don't have to worry about starting!  Usually by now I have most all of them done and set to publish without me giving it another thought.  Too many thoughts lately, to get to autopilot yet.

I am doing Laura Shovan's birthday month challenge each day, so that has taken me in directions away from license plates and alphabets... but lots of fun!

For today, here is a poem I wrote this week.  It's one of the rare ones I haven't done for a challenge lately...just for me.

I am late, of course, for Poetry Friday over at Sloth Reads.  Meant to post this yesterday, but I'll link anyway.

Remembering Blue

The sky was always blue, it seemed to draw deep from a well;
then, too, the ocean gleamed cobalt as far as I could tell.
Blue willow plates, blue checkered drapes, and even music's swell
was Blue on Blue and Blue Danube; and where the lupine dwelled
she tapped the stone and called for me to listen for a spell
to Bluejays and the Indigo; she knew their calls so well.
Her eyes of Celadon were fierce, but the dreams she had came true,
for she could sit mid sapphire patch, and eat the sweetest blue.
How can it be that artist's hue is cold or shedded tear?
Every clear sky day I spent was watercolored cheer.
Cerulean waves of memories wash over where I played.
from Haint blue skies above the fields to muted Glaucous shade.
Royal blue my bicycle, Navy ribbons tied my hair,
Alice Blue Gown was her song;
still her blue is

by Donna JT Smith ©2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Poetry Friday on Saturday

So busy yesterday.  Wishing I had my motorcycle here!  It was SO warm the past two days.  The torrential thunderstorm last night erased all traces of icy snow that was remaining in tucked away spaces.  The snow doesn't get as dirty here as in Maine.   And by dirty, I mean "dirt".  Because of plowing much dirt is taken up in the snow and as the piles melt, the dirt begins to be exposed until the former snowbanks become dirt banks.  Here no one really plows or shovels anything.  They leave it because it isn't that deep, but it really is enough to make driving hazardous.  Hence the snow days for kids when we would have gone easily.  Maine owns snowplows and front end loaders.  Pennsylvania does not, or at least where we are doesn't.

Here's a picture I took yesterday.  It is springing here. Snowdrops in my garden...


We came this way
the first of fall
survived here 
through the snow
We had not glimpsed
a spring as yet
nor still the summer's glow.  
But now the silent gardens wake
and prophesy a blessing
relax renew refresh yourself
cast off your cold distressing
and wrap yourself in warming sun
in comfort as revealed
in snowdrops as reminders
of the future
snow concealed.
by Donna JT Smith, ©3/16/2019

Friday, March 8, 2019

Poetry Friday - Maine Grandma

It's Friday.  Poetry Friday.  A day of poem fun.
Join the fun at Reading to the Core
where Catherine Flynn hosts with links galore!
It's International Women's Day, so expect some poems to highlight women and their achievements today.

I didn't win my Madness! Poetry 2019 bout with Anna Best, so I guess you could say I've been Bested!  Congratulations, Anna!  Oh, well, I'll apply again next year.  I like getting a word to work with, and like the fun of writing on a deadline.

I wrote two poems for this prompt.  Our word was "lax".  The first poem is the one I submitted for the competition.  The second one I set aside - seemed too "safe", and went with the first, which was a faster pace (though it had some words that I tried to explain in the comments in case people weren't familiar with them).

"Maine Grandma" is my tribute to some strong women out there!
Here I have been made a queen, by a small strong woman aged 4.

Maine Grandma

Wha’choo sayin’
grandma’s lackin’?
Careful ‘bout
unjust attackin’!
She’s some strong,
been livin’ long.
Don’t go sayin’
nothin’ wrong,
Or ev’n just
a dight unmindful!
She’s of a mind
to be remindful!
Wallop you
for all that sass!
What you sayin’?
I’M slapdash?
You say it’s me
who needs the fix?
My grammar’s all
a gaumy mix?
Lacks syntax?
I may be slipshod
in my speech
But not
in grandma’s
honkin’ reach!

By Donna JT Smith©2019

(Maine dictionary:

Gaumy (also gawmy) = awkward, untidy, slovenly

Honkin' = wicked big

Wicked = very )

Sea Cell

The inattentive way she walked
worsened as she texted-talked.
Spellbound, unaware she strode,
both feet set on auto mode
taking her along the shore,
minding not the ocean's roar!
Waded in up to her shin;
charging waves tugged body in.
She floated lax (but up-stretched hand)
till tide returned her to the strand,
heedless that her utter lack
of effort swept her out and back.
No sand or water in her phone;
her texts and selfies dry as bone!
Alive to chat another day -
a lion’s lair the next foray?

By Donna JT Smith©2019

Which did you prefer?  Which would YOU have submitted?
My son and daughter were split on this.  No help there!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Spiritual Thursday - Balance


I don’t know why this is a hard one for me to write about.  But just as soon as that sentence hit the page, I realized why - because in so many ways my life feels like it is no longer in balance, or feels like it is struggling to warp or trying to wrangle a rein out of my hand. I have been struck with a dizziness one might have walking on a tightrope, or standing on a ledge.  It's a new feeling because I have felt quite "balanced" for most of my life.

Aside from all the greater issues threatening to upset the balance, the smaller decisions even seem looming - things like having to weigh the necessity of each item in our lives (and then try to remember what our decision was!): move it to PA, pack it for the someday of “back to Maine” (and where to put it since the house isn't finished), sell it, toss it, or give it away?  Rent Georgetown home/sell it?

Balance has been an issue in our church life.  Recently we became members and started attending our new church in Maine which is closer to the home we had INTENDED to be in by now - but the house is still unfinished.  There have been some health issues with the pastor’s sweet wife that have put them off balance.  I try to balance with them, but it is hard from this distance now.  I pray balance.

Then, since we have relocated for a while, we had to find another church in PA for our time here.  The members at this church are searching for a new pastor after the death of their pastor.  They also have been thrown off balance for a time.  I pray balance.

Balance.  There is almost nothing or no one in our lives right now that has not been upset, toppled, or unsteady.  When others in your life are at that "unbalanced" state, you also lose a bit of your balance.  Everyone affects everyone else.  Everyone needs to stay strong for everyone else.  We need each other to hold onto and steady ourselves and steady others in doing that.  Otherwise it becomes a domino game.

Not that some of it isn’t good still.  There’s just nothing that is still as it was only a year ago, and some situations are hard to understand or accept.  Things have hopped on or jumped off our seesaw.  But there is still a fulcrum in our lives and the seesaw has not fallen off its center. We have just gone up and down, changing our perspective on things as our views change, even if we haven't moved much horizontally.

We still seek to maintain our balance.  But whether our toes touch the ground, or are dangling in midair, we are trying to remember to enjoy the ride.  The views have just changed, and we will look back someday (or someone will!) and smile at the work that was being done while we were distracted with making sure we were landing on our feet.

It's kinda like lifting your feet, so someone can sweep under them.  Something is being tidied, each time I'm tossed...and someday, when I land I'm going to find out what it was... I'm sure.


Between the mire and glassy blue
Aiming for the perfect pitch
Lisping, listing, existing to
Attain a yet unweathered niche, a
Nest for a sweet rest, a
Comfort in uncertainty
Equilibrium's serenity.

By Donna JT Smith, 3/3/2019

I don't think this is very cohesive today.  But that's what happens when your balance is precarious, LOL!  Thanks, Doraine for hosting today!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Maine Peach Trees

Laura Shovan has the 2019 February Challenge this year in March...
All group members are contributing food topics and then writing to them each day this month.  Here's today's image supplied by Ruth Lehrer, a bowl of fresh peaches; and my poem:

Maine Peach Trees

We had a peach
Tree we could reach
The branches easily.
The peaches never ripened
Though they fell repeatedly
Upon the ground
Where rabbits found
They tasted like tart rocks
They were not much to look at 
But they left nice rounded pocks.

Donna JT Smith, ©3/3/2019

Have a peachy-keen day!
I get my Madness! Poetry 2019 challenge word at 5 pm.  Hope it's not as hard as a Maine Peach.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Poetry Friday

Someday a kitchen...
Life has been hectic.  I have just deleted a bunch of "hectic" and "weights"... they are unimportant in the grand scheme.  It was just venting, but could feel the waves overtaking, so, no.  Sometimes you don't need a public "venting"!!  It was good to write it down and then delete it.  Have you ever done that?  It is good to do, I think.  Just to say it aloud to yourself and then move on (or write it down and erase it).

I have not written terribly much.  But the times I have, it has been weighing on me to write, so much so that I find myself scrambling suddenly for paper and pen or computer so that the words can tumble out of the confines of my brain and into freedom on the page.

Today I am in the back and forth of life, packing up more things to take to Pennsylvania tomorrow, while also packing up stuff to take to our someday home in Friendship, Maine - perhaps.  Every item I pick up or see has a question/poem attached.  "Will you go here, or there, or find a new home somewhere?"  I never dare to use the word "plan" anymore.  Plans have only gone awry lately.  The interesting thing to me is that "awry" in my eyes, is not always that.  Sometimes it is "set aright".  I just have to look for the rightness.

So here's my poem this morning.  I got up extra early to write for Poetry Friday!  My friend, Linda Baie, is our gracious hostess!  Go to her blog, Teacherdance, to read her amazing welcome to spring anagram poem today, and for more links to good stuff - way good stuff!
             Say Thank You

           The business of life
         Has me trapped and worn,
       But all must go on
    Without the forlorn
      Attitude and the frown -
        That's my smile upside-down.
           So I'll stand on my head
         Till my toes touch the sky
       And giggle at how
     The birds in it fly,
       Below heels and soles
         Where sleeping ground moles
            Would normally go
          But then I get thinking
        I'm standing up-down
     And my cold head is sinking
       Where it doesn't go...
         Into cold snow.
           So I must stand up
        Get back in the fight
      This business of life
    Needs more of the light
      To turn it around
        Upright on the ground.
           And not only that,
         I must hold my head high,
      Hum with the birds,
    Stifle my cry,
      Sing to the trees,
        Always ask "please"

          And always say thank you.

by Donna JT Smith, 3/1/2019

On Sunday, Madness! Poetry begins - at least for all the authletes of which I am one (insert excited face here)!  I get my challenge word and 36 hours to write a poem using that word.  Then the poems go up for a vote on Tuesday-Thursday, March 5-7, for the first round.  You are invited to sign up to vote on all of the poems.  Classrooms are especially needed to vote.  What a great way to get a start on April's Poetry Month with a class.  Here's a link to the calendar for your voting convenience.  You do need to sign up in order to vote...go to the corner link to "Get Started"!

Okay, Linda B.  I've left off packing for a few minutes to write to your anagram challenge:

When wolf moon over river’s flow
Stops in spots
Then owl’s slow
And steady wings swing
Overhead and vole, head-over heels,
Is owl flown low o’er river bed
Tasty meal is sent to nest
Where lowest form becomes owlets’ best,
For owlets love the crunch of vole,
But how mom loves to eat voles whole!

by Donna JT Smith, 3/1/2019

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...