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

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"!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I have a few poems about clouds that I've written...one that I wrote AGES ago, I'm not even sure I can find.  It is somewhere in my house, I'm pretty sure.  After we had fire damage and were out of the house for 11 months, I lost track of a few important items.  Some of my writing was included in that.  I think it is still there, just misplaced for the time being.  I really need to go through some stuff and find it again!

So anyway, having just gone on a plane down to Arkansas for my niece's wedding, and going through the clouds, it reminded me then of a question I'd asked my mom when I was a little girl.

Today's prompt to write about clouds at Poetry Jam was perfect timing for me.  And then this image of Brooke Shaden's worked perfectly...the prompt at dVerse (my first link here) - to use one of her photos in her gallery.  I chose her beautiful image of "floating on clouds".

"floating on clouds" by Brooke Shaden


Such things that,
  are logical
    and obvious now
Involving things
  like puppies
    or high jumping cow,
My young brain
  required answers
    of “why” and of “how”...

Are you sure your belly
   has a baby,
    not a puppy?
Why does a cat
  have a kitten,
    not a guppy?
Can the person
  in the TV
    see me as I spy?
What is on
  the other side
    of the azure sky?
Do fish in the sea
  swim under
    islands, too?
Can a horse,
  like the cow,
    leap over the moon?
Could I understand grasshoppers
  if they talked
    very loud?
Could I, very carefully,
  take a walk
   on a cloud?

Learned lessons
  of puppies
    or a high flying cow,
Such things
  seem logical
    and obvious now -
Except perhaps
  walking high
    on a cloud
I think
  treading softly
    should be allowed.

©Donna JT Smith

I was astounded to find that an island was a hill or mountaintop surrounded by water.  I was disappointed when my mother told me we could not walk on clouds.  I was a bit doubtful when she told me that people had human babies and dogs had puppies, and cats had kittens, and no they never got mixed up.  She was about to have my baby sister when that issue came up.  I probably wanted a cat.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Harvest in Maine

Potato House
Abandoned potato house in winter
Russets, Mountains,
Katahdins, Kennebecs
by the
picked and tossed
from stretching
into barrels
wood and
hands with dirt
too deep for
bones and back
so stiff from
trucks rolled in
and barrels
kept them
moving never
child and man
worked side by
harvest was
their family

© Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved
Spring on the farm
Another Day

into wooden barrels
too large to carry
children off school
pickers for a month
to help
bring in the harvest
trucks full of
potato barrels
rumbling up
to the potato house
to drop off their
starchy treasure
white gold
in brown dirt
the barns are empty
and cave in
for lack of
metal and motors
do the job of
hands and wood
new steel buildings
replace the old
stone and wood
and I am sad
when I can’t find
potato house
to take a memory

©Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Most hand picking and barrels have been replaced now and the tradition of calling off school for the month of September for the high school kids is not really necessary any more.  They are not needed for the manual labor on the family farm that they used to do, having been replaces by machines.

Written as a response to the Poetry Jam prompt today on harvest time.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Poet and a Poem Post for Poetry Friday

Today I would like to refer to my post for Wednesday, but I don't want you to have to look back. So I am copying and pasting it here again. It was done for the prompt at Poetry Jam this week, which was to write about the sea. Coincidentally, it is my favorite thing to see, hear, taste, feel and smell, and also coincidentally was the topic of a poem that Lilian Moore wrote and Laura Purdie Salas shared this past week... not so coincidentally, I purchased Lilian Moore's book of poems "Something new begins" - a signed first edition, no less!  I was tickled to find "Go Wind" in it.  I had forgotten it was by Lilian Moore!  I've used that poem many years in April for our month of poetry in first grade.

And here's my re-posting (with apologies for reposting and not writing something new) of my sea poem, "Sea Senses", which can also be found on this past Wednesday's post - also shared here for Poetry Friday:

Sea Senses

The day I moved away inland
I heard its hissing cries
Of angry, sad and crashing waves;
I saw its lowery eyes.

Time passed and one day I awoke,
I heard it calling me,
Wailing, whining, pleading,
"O, please, come back to sea!"
Miles before it came in view,
I smelled its salty tears;
It missed me while I'd lived away
For, oh, those many years!
Sand in my shoes, I tossed them
And sprinted up the dune;
Those smells and sounds meant
It was near, I'd see it very soon!
Atop the crest the vision
Spreading out so wide
I could not see it all at once
My eyes scanned side to side
The water gleamed before me
With twinkly eyes of blue;
Rolling fingers beckoned me
To taste its salty brew.
I tumbled down the bank of sand,
Across its beach I raced,
And dove into its watery arms -
Its cold as ice embrace.
I watched as waves swept up the beach
My footprints to erase
Home at last, home by the sea
I've found my resting place.

As I communed with water
I heard the voice of sea
Whispering, crooning, singing,
"I knew you'd come back to me!"

©2014, Donna JT Smith
The view at the end of the island... good to be home!

Now go check out more poetry posts hosted by ...wait a minute...another coincidence???
Poetry Friday is at Renee's place, No Water River, today and I noticed that she featured Lilian Moore on August 22!  Well, there you go!  It comes around again!