My writing...reflections...poems...pictures...projects...life...in Maine.
All material on this website is © Donna JT Smith unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


For Poetry Jam today...
Was going to write a light verse about something broken, but that was not to be.

Broken Vessel

For many years I did not know
You were broken,
Though there were signs I did not see -
Small vague tokens.
Some days I poured and you filled up -
No drop was spilled;
But other times hot liquid flowed
And flesh was killed.
Still I went on not knowing why,
But being gloved
In case of scalding steamy spew;
Yet you were loved.
One day I felt the growing crack,
No slight fissure;
Invisible until the break
From the pressure.
With broken pieces in my hands
I’ll still hold you,
But there is nothing I can do -
I have no glue.

©Donna JT Smith, 2014, all rights reserved

My poetry book..."have to put up" my link or preview each day this week...then you will not "have to put up" with it except on the side bar!   Available through Blurb and Amazon, soft cover, hard cover, pdf and an iBook!  Here's a small preview:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tuesday is Slice Day

Haven't written a slice in a long time it seems.  The slices of my life are just piling up like firewood stacked for winter.  Let's take a log off and toss it in the fire.  See how it catches fire...

Sunday was my birthday.  yea.

But, the good thing was, I determined to have a book in print before my birthday, and I did.  Two days before my birthday, I uploaded my book of fall poems to Blurb (and a version to Amazon).

You can find "The Fall of the Leaves of Fall" here.  My previous post has a preview if you go back to Saturday....

Then, today (it is Monday night as I write this), my husband took me out for an early breakfast and a photography date with our digital SLR's...anywhere I wanted to go...anywhere I wanted to stop!  I had a blast!  I think he did, too...but it was all about ME.
I got some pretty good shots of ocean, trees, red berries, grasses and such.  I'm hoping it will be seed for new poems and writings.  Haven't "developed" my "film" yet, but will get out my card reader and do that in the morning.

Ok...couldn't wait until morning...

We spent the day out - then the finale of a steak dinner at Longhorn.

I had about with a two hour "break" when I went in to school to read with second graders (love that time) - part of my regular routine this year.  Yea, again!

Now, don't forget to get your cup of coffee and head over to read everyone's slice at Two Writing Teachers!  Yea, a third time for another wonderful thing (the first yea didn't count)!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Fall of the Leaves of Fall - My Poetry Book!!

I finally did it!  I set my mind to it this week to complete one project and push the submit button - and I DID it!!  It is an independent...but I think it is still a pretty awesome thing to have a book that people can actually own that I wrote!  It has 14 poems of fall and photos that I have taken in Maine...mostly around my coastal home (though there is no ocean in this one...some other day I'll compile that one).  Some of the poems have been on this blog, some have been on the blog in a little different form since I revised many, and some are new for this book.
Here are a few pages from my new - and first - poetry book, "The Fall of the Leaves of Fall", offered in full color on Blurb.  My iBook is available currently, but I am trying to get a formating issue sorted out - something that happened on their end and didn't show up in any previews.  So I'll post that when it gets settled!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Old Daisy

At Poetry Jam the prompt is to write about a favorite game or something you played as a child.  Well, here it is:

My bike was my horse,
Old Daisy her name,
A blue Schwinn with bell
With manners quite tame,
I rode her up hill
And then rode her down,
All over the country,
Almost into town.
She didn’t eat oats,
She didn’t like hay;
And when offered them
She’d always say “Nay!”
Daisy liked to be brushed
Until her coat glistened
And when I would whisper
My steed always listened.
I yearned for a horse
But my parents were set;
A blue Schwinn named Daisy
Was all I could get.
So Old Daisy and I
Rode off in the sun,
With me pedaling fast
To get her to run.
Old Daisy's at rest now
Where old bike-horses sleep,
Her rusty, bent horse shoes
In some scrap metal heap.

©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Fall of the Leaves of Fall

My emaze experiment in poetry is up to share  for Poetry Friday, hosted this week at "Today's Little Ditty" by Michelle Barnes. 
Taking inspiration from Margaret Simon at "Reflections on the Teche", where she posted students' zenos on an emaze, I decided to try out emaze, too.   (Writing some zenos will probably be the next challenge...)
I have been working this week on writing kind of spontaneously about fall and leaves as I take pictures and use the emaze site.  I used some of their sample titles on the templates, sometimes as they wrote it and sometimes adapted, as a starter to a poem about fall.  The titles really didn't refer literally to fall on the presentation, but they lent themselves to inspiration quite well.

Powered by emaze
 I think I've left time enough for reading before it goes automatically to the next slide.  If it's too much time, just click on the arrow to go at your own speed. The text is kind of small reading it on the page, though, so click on the corner arrows to make it full screen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Poetry Jam - RIP

At Poetry Jam today the prompt is to write about a graveyard.  Like many other people, I've always loved looking at headstones.  I enjoy finding members of my family, but I also like looking at other old headstones and reading their stories.  The older ones were so much more interesting than the "name and number" on the newer ones.  Anyway...I don't have much time today.  Stuff to do.  So, here's what I came up with this morning.  Looking forward to reading others  tomorrow!


Lying next to Hester
There is Reverend Brown
With their youngest daughter
Who was sadly drowned.
Neath the maple, John Dean
and his wives, all eight,
In the shade are resting
Dates on every slate.
Mary Jo and Edmund
married early on;
Sixty years together,
Ninety they've been gone.
Sickness took the Maynards;
Ocean swallowed ten,
All of them a’fishing,
Never seen again.
Bodies in the dust bin
Back to soil from soil
But now comes the question
Where will each soul toil?

©Donna JT Smith

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Little Something I Just Had to Try

Today is Poetry Friday hosted by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect!  And for the event I have A Little Something I Just Had to Try...

Laura Purdie Salas has a 15 Word Thursday to write to a picture in 15 words or less.  There were some really awesome lines in the offerings, and they got me excited about writing a "found poem" using lines from those poems - excluding my own, which is here:

old spruce
draws close her counterpane
in autumn’s wane
she knows
the cold to come

(The image looked to me as if the spruce was gathering leaves to cover herself from the coming winter…)

I took lines from the poets posting Thursday on Laura's page.  Go there to see the original posts/poems.  See if you can match up the lines to the poets!
a maple leaf sky this morning in Maine...

Two Worlds

Squirrels, splashing energy -
Bits of gold and green -

Kicking leaves
Amid the clutter

Crackling under feet
The cold is snapping!

Orange-gold leaf kites

Falling into my life,

With a sigh,

In whispering waves
Woven quilt of rustic colors

For winter napping.

Old dog watches the road


Winter’s wrath.

The "found poem" or "composite" was created by lines from these poets:
(Sorry, I don't know these last names or websites, but will add a link if you send it to me.)
Kristi Veitenheimer
Jessica Bigi
Cindy B.
two students: Tyler and Vanissa

Awesome lines!  Thank you for your inspiration!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Did You Ever Feel Like Dirt?

Today at Poetry Jam, the challenge is to "write a 'If I were' poem. Feel free to be whoever or whatever you’d like to be. What would you do? How would you feel?"

Did You Ever Feel Like Dirt? 

i am
the salt
the dust brought back
the ashes returned
deep i am
giving life
accepting death
hands sift
roots permeate
rocks tumble and
and salter
and duster
of all
the world
i am

©Donna JT Smith

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's Never Really Magic

It’s never really magic.


Someday the Magic will be revealed
When all the volumes become unsealed
And we will then know the reasons why
And know the height and the breadth of sky
Someday the Magic will be revealed
The everlasting then unconcealed
My eyes beholding, I’ll gasp for breath
But in that Magic there is no death
Someday the Magic will be revealed
My guilt, the sentence are all repealed
The day will dawn and atop the mount
I’ll drink from Heaven’s eternal Fount.
Someday the Magic will be revealed -
Our praise to Whom we have long appealed.

©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

For more poetic interpretations of magic this week, visit Poetry Jam.

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Tuesday?

I hardly know what day it is any more.
We spent three days in Arkansas last week, returning on Monday just before midnight (well, actually by the time we drove home from the airport it was just beginning Tuesday).  So that's the day I started my week.  Along with being retired, so not having to make a daily calendar in the morning with first graders, I get lost in my days easily.
We attended the wedding of my niece.  I'm hoping that my parents (her grandparents) could see it well from their front row seats in heaven. 
Arkansas was too hot and humid, though.  I don't think I'll ever be able to move out of Maine to a warmer climate.  I will just stay here and pull on another sweater and throw another log on the fire.
This past Saturday, my siblings and I worked at my brother's antique auction.  My parents used to run the store and have auctions there.  I'm pretty sure they watch over us as we work together there, continuing the work they started many years ago, hopefully with smiles.
September was the month that they both departed this earth.  It is hard to believe it has been 13 years for Dad and 11 years for Mom since they passed away. 
In addition to my niece getting married in September, this month was also my husband's and my 42nd wedding anniversary, so there are and will be some happy memories  to replace some of the sadder ones.
I've begun volunteering one morning a week at the high school in the Career Center this month, just completed a workshop to help mentor new teachers, started mentoring a new teacher and begun working one afternoon a week reading with second graders.
September has been busy.  I've also been writing.  This is the first day in a long while that there hasn't been a poem posted here.  I feel out of sync.

Out of sync,
Forgot to blink.
My fingers fly,
But not as spry;
I think, I think,
No thoughts to link.
Oh, poet's world
Of poems unfurled,
The moment's gone;
I'm just a pawn
With pen in hand
In foreign land.
No rhymes today;
I've sailed away
And let them sink -
No sound but "clink"!