Friday, October 23, 2020

Tree's Valentine


I found this leaf tucked in the door handle of my car.  It looked like the tree had left me a Valentine!

Happy Poetry Friday!  Visit more poems and poetic goodies at Jama's Alphabet Soup!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Spider and Scarecrow

I didn't have extra time today, but I still wrote a poem to go with a quirky watercolor I did a couple of days ago. Sometimes having no time to write is the best time.

Spider and Scarecrow


There was an old scarecrow

all lady-like staid

who had a friend spider

all hairy and grayed

They both spun at midnight

though not the same way

the spider spun silk while 

the scarecrow girl swayed

The moonlight fed both

in the field every night

except on the new moon

when dark wasn't light

but still they enjoyed 

the evenings well spun 

as each of them shared

their own kinds of fun

The spider learned waltzing

despite four left feet

and scarecrow learned weaving

of shawls and silk sheets

While autumn kept creeping

but neither one saw

And then one day - whoosh!

wind made piles of them all!

Ho-hum, autumn's done

Time for snowflake fiestas

and the season of scarecrow

and spider siestas!

by Donna JT Smith, 10-16-2020

Friday, September 25, 2020

Inspiration from Molly's Garden

Sometime this week, Molly Hogan posted a picture on Facebook of her carrots.  Go there to see her great image of homegrown carrots.

I wrote a Haiku for the carrots in the Comments...

Roots try to stretch but
Ridged rocks with stony laughs
Inhibit their reach.
by Donna JT Smith

...but one carrot had a split root, and Molly commented back about its "dancing pants"...

And so I could not leave that alone!  It was eating at me until I wrote this poem.  It wasn't what I'd kind of envisioned.  I was thinking a kind of Gingerbread Man scenario.  But you can't stop a Carrot Top.

Thanks for the inspiration Molly!

Carrot's Top

The day was cold,
the day was spring
and I had not
a better thing
to do today
but plant a ring
   A ring of things
   I call some carrots.

The soil was moist
The loam was brown
and there I pictured
carrot crowns
and so I threw
Some seeds around
   To fill the needs
   of me and rabbits.

Tiny green leaves
An emerald sprout
came up in days
In spite of drought
It would be special
There was no doubt
   It was no plant
   Of mundane habit.

The sun it shone
And then it waned
I waited there
Until it rained
The time to harvest
Was ordained
   I saw orange -
   The time to nab it.

I pulled and pulled
Very slowly
Up came the carrot
Soiled and lowly
I looked at it
It struck me drolly…
   I never knew
   I’d have to grab it!

Two chubby legs
In orange pants
This carrot wore
As if to prance
And that it did
Or was it dance?
   In any case
   Began the gamut

It did a jig
It made me laugh
It wasn’t tall
By less than half
And then I took
This photograph
   Before it jumped
   I quickly snapped it.

Down the path and
Up the hilltop
Past a red barn
To the Big Top
Where it came to
Rest at this stop
   To ask the way -
   A little gambit.

And that is how
And that is when
Carrot said “no”
To julienne
No matter how
The world would yen
   There would be corn
   But not this carrot.

Yes, carrot learned
The life of clowns
Has many ups
Not so the downs
They traveled far
To many towns
   Pulled up its roots
   As was its habit.

I miss carrot
I’m forlorn
The loss of orange
I still mourn
But I do enjoy
Some yellow corn
   And clover is
   Enough for rabbit.

By Donna JT Smith, 9/20/2020

Thanks for visiting!  It's Poetry Friday.  Go have a heaping helping of poetry by visiting the links at Jone Rush MacCulloch's new blog!

Friday, July 17, 2020

A Recap of Some Squiggles

I'm finding balance these days in Squiggles and Poems.
The uncertainty of a blindly drawn line, the discernment of a picture, the writing of a story in poem form... all somehow give me balance as I start my day. Sometimes I start it and am not be able to continue until later in the day.  Not liking those so much, but still it is something to look forward to every day.

I know many of you have seen these posted on FB, but some have not. Here are a couple to give you an idea of what I'm doing.  I took a break in June.  Life got very busy and uncertain - more uncertain than it already was - as I prepared to travel to Maine to help care for my dying sister.  I did not know how long I would be here in Maine.  She died three days after my arrival, and COVID19 made it an interesting funeral with close friends and family gathering at the grave site or checking in on ZOOM.

A month before her death, before I knew she was in her last days, I wrote this.  Although it is not really a squiggle, it is based on the way I do them.  The balloon is a story from our lives that I recounted at the funeral.  It's kind of a floating poem...

Blue Balloon

It bobbed a bit, then left her grasp;
Away, away it lifted.
Rising high she felt a tear
As far, too far it drifted.
She should have tied it tight and fast
Too late, so late to think of that -
Escaping on the evening breeze
So blue, a true blue acrobat.
She watched it soar to clouds aloft
And touch, just touch day lingering
She felt a string wrap round her wrist
And fasten fast, deft fingering
The eldest relinquished her balloon
And calmly calmed with whisper.
She gave away her own of red
In love, love for small sister.

By Donna JT Smith, 5/14/2020

I will miss her.  We never had as much time together as we should have. 

And on a funner note, here is a true Squiggle and a Poem:


Bopping through the field of green
Catching anything that’s seen
Butterfly, spry grasshopper,
Caterpillar - those’ll stop her!
Anything that crawls or flies
Can’t escape her wondering eyes
Scoop with hands or swoop with net
Nothing’s been too speedy yet!
Drops them in her terrarium
So she can proudly carry ‘em.
It isn’t very many days
Before she’s learned about their ways,
And then she sets the critters free
So they can hop from grass to tree.
She thanks them kindly for their service
Apologizing if they were nervous,
She only means to study them,
Not forever buddy them!
Every day new ways to learn
At every step, at every turn.
Wondering at all things true
Keeps her eyes a sparkling blue!

By Donna JT Smith, 7/17/2020

I decided to remain in Maine for the summer, staying with my son and a houseful of dogs.
Hope your Poetry Friday is full of Wondering!
See more links to poetry at Jan's Bookseedstudio!

Friday, May 29, 2020


It's Poetry Friday.  
I've not been here in a while - posts have been sporadic, visits to other blogs have been scanty.  
I apologize for being neglectful.  
It's been, as with everyone, a different time, different in so many ways for so long, that I've come to expect the unexpected at every turn.  But there are breaks in the difficulties that make you remember you know how to smile and how to laugh, and when to dance. Lol, dancing has been a long time coming!  But I kicked (albeit gently) a soccer ball with my grandson.
I've posted mostly on FB lately, not a venue I had been using much.  But I've done a Squiggle and a Poem every day up until this week when I missed a day.  Playing catch up.
I hope everyone is well and safe!  
I am fine and recovering and mostly feeling positive.  
Sometimes though, a myriad of things attempt to weigh me down.  I'm still getting up.


ever clouded
the way is not clear
and I fear
that I hurt as much
as I hurt
I would wish away
the hurt
I would wish away 
the cloud
so loud
fearsome thunderous
it is
I would wish
the tears of strain
would not sting
but they do
that the skies 
would blue shine
and I could see
you seeing
but it's clouded
and it hurts
I want the hurt
to not be
never clouded
except for
that one cloud
over there
in the shape of a heart
that can stay

by Donna JT Smith, 5/29/2020

More Poetry Friday links may be found at Mary Lee Hahn's A Year of Reading.

Friday, May 1, 2020

A Squiggle and a Poem

For much of the month of April I have been doing a Squiggle and a Poem...

The process involves very little time.  I simply get my iPhone, go to Notes, get the Markup open and make sure I'm on black marker.  Then I close my eyes and make a squiggle on the screen.  I give myself about a minute to make some sort of sense to the squiggle and then begin using other colors to fill in the image I came up with.  When it is done, a poem emerges and I write that, often on my iPhone in the notes, sometimes on the computer or paper.  The poem is usually in one quick burst, though somedays I have to get up and get more coffee!  Or, as with this one, I got interrupted by who knows what, and it never got finished.  I finished it mostly last night, with just the last few lines of the poem eluding me until this morning.

Slick Kicks

I got new slippers, they’re the best,
Not beat up, torn up like the rest!
They keep my tootsies fireplace toasty,
Wrap my toes all cozy, roasty.
Don’t know why they call them slippers,
‘Cause on the bottoms they’ve got grippers.
“Take off those slippers, hop into bed;
Can’t sleep in slippers”, momma said.
So I slip them off, leave ‘em on the floor
Beside my bed always ready for more
Comfy foot time when I’m awake;
They even dance and shake, shake, shake!
These pantofles are the best thing yet.
You’ll have to look that up, I bet!

By Donna JT Smith, 4/30/2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Progressive Poem is Here - Jessica Bigi

Having started this poem on April 1 with a two line dilemma and deciding to free myself up of the choice, Irene, our second poet and originator of the Progressive Poem back in 2012, got to select the first line.
Then she offered her two lines to the next poet.  And on and on it's gone.  The poem has come a long way, and has a nice flow.  It meanders with sights, sounds, smells, animals and now people...
Each poet has offered two of their lines for the next poet, so it's a Progressive Poem with a choose-your-own-adventure flavor.
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

It is Jessica Bigi's turn to select a line offered by Robyn Hood Black.  Here are the two enticing lines choices:

OPTION 1: I free up my banjo, quicken my pace

OPTION 2: I offer a wave but keep to my plan

Drum roll....
Jessica picked Option 1, so the poem reads so far...

Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake.
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn.

Deep into nature's embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold.
Hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees.

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty's sake.
But wait, what's that delicious smell?
Something familiar, I know so well.

It's a campfire. I follow my nose. I see
a circle of friends waving at me.
I free up my banjo, quicken my pace

And now Jessica Bigi offers two lines for Fran to choose the one that she thinks best suits where she'd like to go with the poem...Either way, this traveler is going to sit a spell it appears!  And maybe that's a very good thing!  We are so close to the end of our journey!

Option 1:
Find a place to sit and gaze into space

Option 2:
Find a place to sit and unlatch my banjo case

Only two more poets until we reach our destination...completed poem!
Now it's off to see what Fran Haley at lit bits and pieces makes of this!

Here's the progression of the poem:

1 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
2 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, deowriter
4 Liz Steinglass
5 Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at
7 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel, hosted at Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth,
24 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
28 Jessica Big at Mainely Write     
29 Fran Haley at lit bits and pieces
30 Michelle Kogan

Friday, April 10, 2020

Hello, My Name is Violet!

Have a happy Poetry Friday everyone. 
 Lift your eyes to the sky and look down by your feet.
You are sure to see something to catch your eye,
and help to remind you that we will be okay.
That is all.
Stay safe and smile at someone.

 Hello, My Name is Violet!

Hello, purple butterfly
Are you looking for a flower?
It’s quite early in the spring
We might just have a shower.

Hey! You are not a wing borne zipper,
But a violet sunlight sipper

You looked for all the world to me,
As you hovered over there,
To be a lovely butterfly
Just flitting in the air;

Spring’s gentle breezes fluttered you
And made your petals flounce
You may not be a butterfly
But you’re as pretty ounce for ounce.

By Donna JT Smith, 4/5/2020

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Joyful Stuff in Trying Times

I am sharing my post here today, because every time I go back to edit something on that page today it loses one of my embedded things, and this last time it looked like it was going to delete the MrLinky I'm staying put right here. Ha! In isolation!

One of the greatest joys of this time in self-quarantine has been the time to reconnect to God. And I count the self-quarantine time as starting Jan. 9  My "isolation" felt like it started the day I fell down the stairs and broke things that needed putting back together. It's the day I began regaining my joy. Life slowed down. It was painful and lonely. At rehab I'd kept asking to go outside even for a minute, but no one was available to help me get there and they kept telling me it was too cold. "yes, I know you are from Maine, but this is cold even for you." I'm sorry, how do they know that??? Me who stood outside at bus duty at 0 degrees and lower in Wisconsin winters?? And I wouldn't be out there long. One person even asked if I had a coat, and I smiled and said YES! But then they turned around and it was over. No trip outside. Everyone was busy and I couldn't do it alone. I looked out the window again. Pieces of joy shattered around me.

When those moments happened, I tried to scrape up some of the pieces and move on to others and their needs. I met some wonderful people going through rehab, and many of them were discouraged and lonely. I began reaching out to patients there to see if I could help with their joy, and it helped my own joy to grow.
There's joy in helping others through difficult times even when you yourself are going through difficulty.

When I finally got home with my daughter and grandchildren, I had a bed in the living room downstairs. There were very quiet times with the cat when everyone was gone. But the times they were there, I got great joy from the talks, the fashion shows, the Lego spaceships, the Sunday devotionals my 8 year old grandson would read to me from his book.
Oh, there's so much joy being a part of other's lives.

Then just as I was able to use a walker and could set the wheelchair and scooter aside...COVID19 struck. Because my upstairs in-law apartment had been vacant for 2+ months, it was a good place to try to get to and stay put. So with cane in hand and sturdy railing and daughter to help, I got up those dreaded stairs. I would not be coming down anytime soon. But I made it up there again finally.
There is joy in doing difficult things.

Up here, I began my own PT. I used the walker, progressed to just cane, and then the cane only half a day...and then decided I could go downstairs to take a walk outside - distancing of course. There's joy. I found some. There was a breeze and sun, and it was almost too warm for the coat. I didn't go anywhere. The stairs had been enough to do.
So now you know -

There's joy in a breeze,
joy in the sun;
joy in the living
each moment begun.

Joy's found in rain
it's pattering voice
tells you to listen -
you're given the choice.

There's hope to be found
keep faith not despair
re-open your heart
He'll place the joy there.

by Donna JT Smith, 4/2/2020

 *This is not the post I started. Not the poem. Everything is different. I had different things that have given me joy in my time upstairs...but I guess this is the one I was supposed to write. Let's see if it saves...

**Click on the link or use the URL, if you would like to see a VERY encouraging informative video done by a NY doctor who is up close and personal with COVID19 every day watch this.  It is long, so have your coffee or tea beside you.  You will want to watch it.  It will give you much hope and insight!
I would embed it, but that hasn't gone well for me lately!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Spiritual Thursday: Joyful Stuff in Trying Times

Okay, a very bizarre thing just happened, and I will try to recreate my post in the morning.  I had this written and scheduled to post.  Then it absolutely disappeared.  The whole post. Lots of words. Wrote a haiku (which I will try to remember...)

All I can remember are the first and last lines now...  I'll think some more...

Blue sky buoys notes
Overwhelming joy

I had found this on YouTube and was coming back to link to this when it all disappeared.  I came back to a blank page.  The title had changed and the words were all gone, and it was no longer scheduled to publish.  I scanned through my tabs to make sure I was on the right page and there was no other page open.  None.  I have no idea, but I will try to come back and write it again.

Here's what I was linking when I lost it all....oh, and this just disappeared and I retrieved it again!

So here's the Linky, and hopefully tomorrow morning early I can gather the thoughts together again.  I'm too tired now tonight.  It's almost 10.

And now the Linky has disappeared....let's go get it again.

I really don't understand what is going on tonight. It's like this post REALLY doesn't want to go up. It's literally trying to STEAL MY JOY!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Progressive Poem Starts Here

I can't believe it is April 1 already!  And that means it is the first day of the Progressive Poem.  Irene Latham who began this poem project back in 2012, has handed it over to Margaret Simon to organize.  I am so grateful to both Irene and Margaret for this wonderful April collaboration to kick of National Poetry Month.
Each day in April a different poet will add a line to this poem begun here today.  No one knows where it will go or how it will get there, but it always gets there beautifully!

I wanted senses or movement in my line to begin this journey.  So I scribbled down a number of potential lines to start us off.

And then I came up with an idea for getting the ball rolling…

I selected TWO of my lines.  We will only USE ONE of them, but let’s let the SECOND PERSON DECIDE which of my two lines they will use.  That second person just happens to be Irene Latham!  
So Irene will have the opportunity to decide which line speaks to her more, and then write the next line of the poem.

YOU don’t have to do that for your turn, but I suppose you could.  No one will ever know beforehand if you are giving a choice of two lines or not.  I just thought it would be fun to change it up on the first line!

Here’s LINE CHOICE A:   “I feel the taste of green upon my toes, my toes”

and  LINE CHOICE B:   “Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway”

I’m always fascinated with the direction these group endeavors take.  Where will the poem go this year?  What will you do when it comes around to you?

Ready, set... let’s have some poetic fun!  Now I’m excited to see which line Irene's pen is inclining toward...which one will be first!

“I feel the taste of green upon my toes, my toes”
“Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway”

1 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
2 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, deowriter
4 Liz Steinglass
5 Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at
7 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel, hosted at Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth,
24 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
28 Jessica Big at Mainely Write     
29 Fran Haley at lit bits and pieces
30 Michelle Kogan

Friday, March 13, 2020

Madness is

* Edited to update: All schools are closed for the next 2 weeks in PA.  So after cleaning up the kids and getting their school clothes in the wash, I came down to visit them. My daughter works at a school, so she is off, too.  I can come and go to see them these two weeks, but I'll still mostly be upstairs.

I've hobbled upstairs to the in-law apartment for staying a bit more "germ safe" until I get more mobile.  No one's been here since my fall Jan. 9, so it's kind of a safe haven for me.  I'm canceling my PT.  Most things are really buttoning up and only essential travel, etc.  The libraries in the next county - a couple of miles away - are closed for the next 2 or more weeks.  So, being in the more "at risk" groups, I'm sequestered away for a bit.  Everyone just cover your coughs and wash your hands till we get on the other side of this Madness...

Today is the last day for voting on Round 1 of Madness! Poetry... Matt, who is hosting Poetry Friday today, has a lot about the event, so I won't go into detail here...He's also got a lot of other great stuff going on, so check in at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.

I'm a bit behind, but pleased with my student appreciation votes!  Voting closes today between 5 and 5:30 pm so hurry on over if you haven't checked it out yet.

There are some - no LOTS - of outstanding poems this round.  If you have not gone there to vote - you must!!  I'm telling you, there is no better way to get yourself, and your classroom psyched for Poetry Month in April, than to kick off with this!

Here's my bonus poem using all 64 words in the current round of competition (it is not a competition poem - I just had time on my hands and my word started me thinking this):

A Conversation

She looked at me askance,
Her doubt so real and sure,
“Are you an apparition
Or your substance solid, pure?
Are you a cloud? Are you fog?
Are you really here?
And if you are, please tell me
Are you cause for fecund fear?”

“Do you think me unbecoming
My misshapen features daunting?
Perhaps I am a mite macabre
But I’m handsome as a haunting!
You yourself aren’t much see,
You’ve nothing much to boast
You hardly warrant wrested time
I’m so aghast,” said ghost.
“May I be frank about your flaws
So many come to mind;
festooned with hair and clothing
Your skin like orange rind -
You really lack a luster
Your gait is not as spry
For mine is windswept, exuberant
And you will never fly!
I’ve pigeonholed your lifestyle,
You friends are all riffraff
And if you weren’t so sad a sack
I’d be inclined to laugh.”

“So you ARE a ghost” she whispered,
Feeling just a mite hoodwinked.
“In the daytime I won’t see you
For with darkness you are linked?”

“My labile image will cease to be
Unmoored it sails away,
But you, my dear, will be cloistered here
Contented in your way!
One might think you a martyr
For cleaving to this earth
And though you are exuberant
I think you have no worth.”

“Well, that may be my trenchant friend,
But I think that you are wrong.
My repertoire is greater than
Your decrepit little song -
Gamboling on the earth at night
Submerged in dankest places
Bearing overtures so sad and slouched,
Conspiring in their faces.”

“Well fine, I’ll leave you be now
A bevy of souls awaits…
And if I swoop on over there
I might get through those gates…”

By Donna JT Smith, 03/09/2020

Friday, February 28, 2020

Are You a Pluviophile?

"To be a poet is a condition, not a profession."
Robert Frost
Here is a poem for Poetry Friday!  Thanks, Karen Edmisten, for hosting today!


Fresh the drops that slowly soak
Into earth with gentle quenching
Crash and suddenly it pours

Kettles, buckets in great


Electric flashes pierce the sky

Then just as quickly as they came
Rumbles pass

Into the night and

Cease their
Knightish horseless battle

Leaving merely an

Esoteric essence,
Sweet tattle of spring

By Donna JT Smith

The prompt for Saturday, Feb. 29: 
Here's a heads up for tomorrow - the last day of Laura Shovan's birthday month treat of poetry writing about all things "water".  If you are not a member of this group but would like to try this, let me know where you have posted it on your blog or FB so we can all go read it! Or put it in the comments here.

Some new(?) vocabulary and music to "get you into the spirit" with the "rain" theme:

Are you a Pluviophile?  I did not know about this...

Pluviophile = a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.


Step 1: Write a form of poetry you have never tried before.  Here are two links to a bunch of poetic format descriptions:

Writers' Digest 100 Poetic Forms for Poets
Poem of Quotes: Types of Poems

Or if you don't like "going places", here are a few formats with their descriptions:

Tanka: The tanka is a Japanese form with five lines. The first and third lines have five syllables and the other lines have seven syllables each. The subject of the poem can be nature, as it is for haiku, but this isn’t required.

Ode: An ode is a poem addressed to a particular person, event, or thing, often meant to praise or glorify its subject. The ode is from ancient Greece. If you are addressing something/someone directly, you are writing an ode.

Epitaph: The epitaph is like the elegy, only shorter. It’s the kind of poem that might appear on a gravestone, although it doesn’t have to. It’s brief and it pays tribute to a person who has passed away or commemorates some other loss.

Ballad: A ballad tells a story. It’s an old, traditional form that was passed down orally from one generation to the next. Strictly speaking, ballads are written in quatrains, groups of four lines, and have a rhyme scheme of ABAB or ABCB. The lines alternate between having eight syllables and six syllables. But the ballad is a loose enough form that you can stray from the strict.

Epigram: An epigram is short and witty, often satirical, and have a surprising and funny ending. Epigrams don’t have to be poems, but they often are.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Epigram“:
Sir, I admit your general rule,
That every poet is a fool,
But you yourself may serve to show it,
That every fool is not a poet.

Step 2: Pair the poetic format with one of the famous quotes below, your poem #29 Saturday.

OR simply pick a quote you already have about rain and write whatever you like!
The main goal is to use a quote about rain as inspiration and try something new!

Quotes about rain:
  • A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.
    Henry David Thoreau
  • We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.
    Jacques Yves Cousteau
  • Only when the sky cries can we publicly shed our tears.
    Kanashimi Raven
  • Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.
    Bob Marley
  • If the rain spoils our picnic but saves a farmer's crop, who are we to say it shouldn't rain?
    Tom Barrett
  • On a sunny clear day, you can improve your body; on a rainy fogy day, you can improve your mind!
    Mehmet Murat ildan
  • Only a select few are able to see the true beauty that lies behind what just might seem like a rainy day or a grey sky.
    Jessica M. Laar
  • I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.
    Dr. Seuss
  • I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
    Maya Angelou
  • I wonder what ants do on rainy days.
    Haruki Murakami
  • A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods.
    Rachel Carson 
  • Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.
    Bill Watterson
  • A rainy day is a special gift to readers.
    Amy Miles
  • The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And remember -
"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on."
Louis L'Amour

Friday, February 14, 2020

What's Up, Doc?

My last post and first of the new year was my OLW, Faith, post.  remember how I was a little afraid to claim that word?  I really wanted it as a reminder of how God has seen us through so much in the past two years, and having clear, calm faith was hard to come by at some points.
Well, I've tried to focus on Faith ever since that post.

Having taken a serious fall on January 9th - a tumble headfirst down the stairs of my apartment over the garage.  I broke my right ankle and right wrist, and damaged tissue in my left wrist. It meant i would have to use a wheelchair carefully.  I had one good limb. My ankle required surgery for pins.

I have tried to stay positive and trust that all would go well, keeping my faith strong throughout the ordeal.  I have since then been in the hospital for 3 nights, a rehab facility for 2 weeks and a respite care facility for 9 days.  I have now been at my daughter's staying in her livingroom for 5 days, and looking forward to 4 more weeks here.

I have kept busy with poetry writing, ukulele, and on-going rehab.

Laura Shovan has her birthday month of poetry challenges/nudges and here are a few that I have written which have kept me focused and faith-full this month so far.

An Acrostic to go with Jessica Bigi's image:

A "how to poem" featuring water given as a prompt by Lisa Vihos:

How to Make a River

Wait for a rainy day,
This may take awhile,
So while the sun shines
Gather small sticks in a pile.
Wait for a rainy day.
If it hasn’t happened yet
Put your boots by the door -
You don’t want to get feet wet.
Wait for a rainy day.
If clouds form, then drops,
Give it time to gather steam.
Watch for puddles catching plops.
Wait for the rain to quit.
Put on boots, grab a stick.
Start at the top of a gravel hill,
Puddle to puddle join them quick!
Don’t wait any longer,
Set the tiny sticks to float.
Start at the very first puddle,
Let each stick become a boat.
Wait for the river flow.
As puddles start to drain
Your stick boats on a journey
In your puddle-jump river of rain. 
    Wait for 
         a rainy day. 
          the bend
With boots 
     and sticks 
          and puddles
The rivers 
       never to 

By Donna JT Smith

And this, in response to Susan Michelle Brisson's photos of frogs:
Creatures in the Night

I opened the windows
To let in a night breeze.
“Close the windows, Mommy.
Please, close them, please.”
“But it’s warm up here, hon,”
And I turned down his bed
“I don’t want them open.”
He repeatedly said.
“Why? What is the matter?
It’s so warm tonight.”
“The creatures will get me.
They might even bite!”
“There are no creatures out there
That will get you,” I said.
“Yes, there are. Shh! Listen!”
And he jumped into bed.
Then I heard the sounds of
Sweet peepers singing
He’d misheard me say creatures
So the thoughts they were bringing
Were visions of armies
And armies of creatures
With certainly scary and
Alien features
No talking about it.
I tried to explain.
But he already had “creatures”
Raging wild in his brain.
So I closed all the windows
No breezes for sleeping;
Tomorrow we’d talk
About frogs and their peeping!

By Donna JT Smith

I just got my staples removed yesterday, and I'm working on putting a small amount of weight on my foot always in the boot, increasing weight gradually over the next 4 weeks.  I have a walker now to supplement the wheelchair and scooter use - house is getting crowded!

Foot up and nap now!
But you can go read more poems to celebrate Valentine's Day and Poetry Friday at TeacherDance with Linda.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

OLW - Faith

It is Spiritual Journey Thursday for January, and we are writing about our One Little Word for the year 2020. Visit Margaret Simon's Reflections on the Teche to get the complete list of our little first Thursday of the month group and read about the words they've chosen.

I remember once thinking things like "How could someone not go to church if they had such a heavy burden?  That's what God and prayer are for."
And then it happened to me.

I picked the word "Faith" for me this year.
I was almost afraid to have this word...maybe I still am a little.There were times this past year that I felt like I was too far away from God.  That things were too heavy, and I was too burdened to have the strength to bring the burdens to Him.
What a ditz.

But here's the thing.  If you ask God for patience, he will give you trials to test your patience so you can get better at it.  How can you learn patience if there is nothing to be patient about?  The same with faith.  Did he give me more things to test my faith when I asked him to grow my faith?  I asked him to do that... and then I was given trials and worries to put in his hand and LEAVE there.  That was hard.  I kept taking them back.
I'm still afraid that I will take them back.

I have been working on - or letting God work on - me and my faith.  I am relearning my leap and relying on Him to catch me.  I contemplated changing my word when I realized I may have brought all this on myself by asking to grow in faith.  But I'm going to be brave and have faith that all that God has been doing is for my good.  I've seen some evidence already, and it makes me smile to see the worrisome things that have been turned around with nothing I've done on my own.
What a ditz.
So yes.  Faith is my word.  I'm going to embrace it... I'm not going to be afraid of it.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  Hebrews 11:1


Faith is knowing
what I can't see
is there or very
soon to be.
It's pushing worry
to the side,
a steadfast stance
no backward slide.
But everyone
has times of doubt
a season of
"What's this about?",
a time we wonder
what will be,
a time we wish
that we could see
what lies ahead,
to see the rest,
to understand how
we'll be blessed.
In all the chaos,
seasons bleak
we sometimes mutter
and faith is weak.
But by and by
when we attend
we see his work,
the woven end.
God always knew
his work was good,
and hoped we'd
trust him as we should.
Faith means we're
keeping step and walking;
praying, asking
ever talking
to the Lord through
smiles and tears,
awash in love,
assuaging fears,
though climbing up
another hill
to swallow yet
another pill.
But then when all
may seem its worst
The rains abate
and sun rays burst.
And even when you've
paid quite dearly
for quiet times
and very nearly
destroyed your faith
and walked away,
just stay the course,
have faith to pray.

by Donna JT Smith, 1/2/2020

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."  Hebrews 11:6

May your faith be gently tested, may you remain strong and steadfast in it.

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...