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All material on this website is © Donna JT Smith unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Slow Village

This is the Valiant and Very Vivacious beyond belief A-to-Z April 2015 Challenge!!!!  And I am an A to Z Participant.  And it is Day 22, Letter V!

Again this year I am writing a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month.  It's my FOURTH YEAR in a ROW of writing a poem a day for the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year, is signs I've photographed and poems to go with them.
Click here to find more AtoZ links!

Road sign as I enter my real childhood town.

Slow Village Ahead

A village of slow
   slow people, slow mail,
Slow cars, slow children
   slow days and slow sails.
The living is easy,
   time slows to a crawl
And even the speech is
   slowed down to a  d r a w l.

I lived there one time,
   a long time ago;
 And I can attest to
   the time going slow;
But I moved away and
   now time wooshes fast
How I wish to return to
   that slow village past -

Where summers were long
   and a week was a year;
And birthdays were spread out -
   instead of too near.
A village of slow
   of long, leisurely days
Is something for which
   my heart and soul craves.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

History/Background for this poem:

I was sitting in the parked car waiting for my husband to come out of the optometrist's office.  I was editing a few pictures I had taken for the A to Z, and watching two men getting a building all set up to redo the front where a new business was going in.  Two guys trying to fold/roll up a sign they'd taken off the building was a hoot to watch.  But that's another story.  There were many on that street as I sat there.  I should sit there more often.

So I was there waiting and working a little on my iPhone.  Then I said to self, "You should write one of the poems now, and then you would have another scheduled to go!"

To which I replied, "Yes, but I don't like to write on my phone.  I make too many mistakes and it gets too frustrating for a poem writing."

"Then find a piece of paper.  You have a pen in your purse."

So I began fumbling in the car door pocket beside me.  I felt a crinkly paper and pulled it out.  Ha!  A grocery store receipt!  And it's long.

Now I need a flat hard surface.  The only thing I could find was a box in that same door pocket - a box that still had two hand sanitizers in it.  So I turned it over to the flat back and began writing the above poem on the receipt.  Which came out in 5 minutes, with 7 quick edit spots.

Here it is:

I had every intention of this being a cute, silly poem about calling the people in the village "slow"... but that is not what came out.  I apologize to all who would have liked it to be more upbeat and tongue-in-cheek.  I was fascinated at how quickly it took its place on the back of a receipt.

I was going to write another poem, but by then my husband had come out, and besides, the next piece I pulled out was only 2 inches long...my first thought?  A haiku would fit.

I told my husband about finding the receipt to write on, and when we got home, he went in his office and came back with a little moleskin notebook that would fit in my purse.  "Here, put this in your purse, then you will always have paper."  Isn't that sweet?

It's in my purse.  I don't know if anything can replace a scridge (this should be SCRAP) of paper though!

PS:  I just checked to find out if scridge had a 'c' or a 'k' in it and found that it is scridge, but that scridge is actually the rough edge on paper that has been torn out of a notebook, not a small piece of paper.  So this is totally misused by me, and has been for a while.  I am not too old to learn this, so I am changing my ways.  But I do so like that word.

PSS!:  I just figured out what I was really thinking of!  SMIDGE!  Or some would say a smidgen... Duh!  Hey, scrap + smidge = scridge.

Now don't forget to check out the Progressive Poem...we are nearing the end of the poem. Today is Tabatha Yeatts' turn, so head on over there in a few minutes and see what she has added to the mysterious mix.  What will happen next to our Delta Girl turned mermaid with the turquoise bracelet from her grandmother?  I'm getting antsy/nervous/excited/afraid about my line on Wednesday the 29th, so this afternoon, with my extra energy, I started drawing her, to get an idea in my head - something concrete.
Delta Girl today - tomorrow some additions and changes...

Here's my rendition of our girl in draft.  I just wanted to try it out.  It's not really finished - parts are missing and some other stuff I'd still change - not all quite to my liking, but I just feel like I'm warming up to drawing.  It's relaxing to me and when something comes out the way I would like it to be, it is satisfying - like finding the right word in your writing.

Is it time for W yet?

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Utility Work Ahead

This is the Ultimate, Unbelievable and Utterly Underestimated beyond belief A-to-Z April 2015 Challenge!!!!  And I am an A to Z Participant.  And it is Day 21, Letter U!

Again this year I am writing a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month.  It's my FOURTH YEAR in a ROW of writing a poem a day for the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year, is signs I've photographed and poems to go with them.

And If you get a chance, stop by Laura Shovin's Author Amok and read her clothing poetry by guest hosts. I hosted this past Wednesday with totus and skirts poems.



Go here to visit more unbelievable U posts!

Phew!  I did it.  I got a U poem.  And it's an A-okay double limerick for the sign above:

            (F) U T I L I TY
                WORK
               AHEAD

There once was a sign read: Utility -
It was really an act of futility;
There was no real Work,
Just made up by some clerk
So consumers would halt car mobility.

While waiting in line for the cars Ahead
The shop windows captured their gaze instead;
Seeing things they could buy,
That they used to drive by,
They decided to stay there and spend some bread.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

There is a town nearby that did something similar with pedestrian speed bumps, slowing drivers down through town so that they would have time to "see the sights", so to speak.  I won't mention any names.

V is Very close to being here....W...X...Y...and I found my Z picture, finally.  April is almost over.  And then I will ZZzzz.

But before that happens today is also Poetry Friday!  You can find links to more things poetic if you head to Renee LaTulippe's blog, No Water River .

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Trail X-ing

This is the Talent-laden, Triumphant and Totally Thought-provoking beyond belief A-to-Z April 2015 Challenge!!!!  And I am an A to Z Participant.  And it is Day 20, Letter T!

Again this year I am writing a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month.  It's my FOURTH YEAR in a ROW of writing a poem a day for the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year, is signs I've photographed and poems to go with them.

I'm hoping you can also stop by Laura Shovan's spot at Author Amok and read my guest host post about skirts today, and check out the previous guest posts on more clothing related topics!  It's a month of fun clothing poetry she's offering!
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2015.html
To visit more blogs in the AtoZ Challenge, click the T!


Trail kissing?
Are you serious?
Is this a lovers' lane?
Or do we kiss 
The trail we tread?
This seems a bit insane!
Maybe this trail
Is where we make
Our "x" to mark the spot
Where we have
Buried treasure hidden
Inside a golden pot.
 Or
It could be
That we're x-ing out
This trail and where it led,
So we don't
Have to follow it,
And we can stay in bed. 

©Donna JT Smith, 2015


Unless I get very bUsy, it will be Useless to go visit U.  YoU won't know Until tomorrow if I Used the Unclaimed U for a Unique poe-Um, or if I Ushered it out the door.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Slowly State Law

This is the Super, Sumptuous, and Seriously Stupendous beyond belief A-to-Z April 2015 Challenge!!!!  And I am an A to Z Participant.  And it is Day 19, Letter S!

Again this year I am writing a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month.  It's my FOURTH YEAR in a ROW of writing a poem a day for the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year, is signs I've photographed and poems to go with them.
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2015.html
Click on the badge to go to more links for the AtoZ Challenge!
First, let me say this - read this A to Z Challenge post.
Then, let me say this - go visit me at Laura Shovan's at Author Amok today.  I'm guest hosting for her clothing themed poetry extravaganza today!  My topic is skirts, and I have some original poems, new and old, and some very old work by my favorite childhood poet.
Thirdly, I want to say it is Earth Day!  Celebrate!  The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970.

It is just Such a buSy day!  I Simply could not Select juSt one poem today.  I had to write two poemS here, becauSe I had two pictureS for S.  I did the firSt one and then saw the Second Sign aS I was parked in town.  The Second one really Struck me funny when I read it aS a command, inStead of a picture telling you what the State law is about pedeStrians in a croSSwalk.

Slow?  How So?

A simple cane would do
To tell cars you move slow;
I don't think you need a sign
To warn them this is so.

Or does this sign proclaim to us
Your brain is what is slow,
And we should take with grain of salt
All that you say you know?

No, that can't be the way it is -
I think you must be saying
That Maine life is relaxed, laid back;
So slow down if you are staying!

©Donna JT Smith, 2015


Here you go - found a better one!

State Law...

"State law - within crosswalk"
Seems a silly-ish demand...
It doesn't say which one to state -
If it's for sea or land.
I could say stop on red -
I could say green means go;
Maybe I should say something
That some people don't know.
Like what the limit is on fish,
Or when to wear a helmet;
Wear your seatbelt in the car -
A cook should use a hairnet.
I'll state a law as I go past,
Though I'm not sure they'll hear it,
For traffic noise is louder
As you step across quite near it.
So why I need to mutter laws
Makes no sense that I can see
To "state law - within crosswalk"
Seems an awful law to me.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Reserved for Sweet Dreamers

This is the Regal, Remarkable and Really Royal beyond belief A-to-Z April 2015 Challenge!!!!  And I am an A to Z Participant.  And it is Day 18, Letter R!

Again this year I am writing a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month.  It's my FOURTH YEAR in a ROW of writing a poem a day for the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year, is signs I've photographed and poems to go with them.
For more AtoZ fun click on the R!

Tomorrow, meet me at Laura Shovan's Author Amok for my guest post!  The topic for April is Clothing Poems... I'll have a few originals and a few oldies and some good links, to boot - no I'm not doing boots.

Today I have a Rondeau (for R) for my R sign:
A Rondeau has 15 lines in all, arranged as three stanzas: first a quintet (5), then a quatrain (4), and a sestet (6).  Its rhyme scheme is: aabba aabR aabbaR. The R (refrain) is short and is a phrase from the first line.  All the other lines are longer and have the same metrical length.


Reserved Parking for Sweet Dreamers

Sweet dreamers may park here to sleep,
A vigil we will gladly keep;
Relax, repose, with closing eyes -
You’ll be surprised how fast time flies
While you enjoy your rest so deep.

As round the dial the clock hands sweep
And sun retreats for moon’s slow creep,
The stars call out with shiny cries,
“Sweet dreamers!”
 
Don’t be alarmed if you count sheep,
For as they leap, sweet dreams you’ll reap;
It will not take too many tries
Before succumbing to the prize;
When you awake the birds will cheep,
“Sweet dreamers!”

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

I cannot believe that we are on S tomorrow!
Tomorrow is also Earth Day.
And remember, I'll see you HERE again with some silly S stuff.
And don't forget I'll be guest host at Author Amok at Laura Shovan's!  Exciting stuff...oooohh! And my clothing topic begins with an S!  Ha.  Just realized that.  I mean, I am so clever.  Look how I put all this together to be a super-well-thought-out, incredibly and meticulously organized day. Yup.  That's me.  Or I...

My SOL, hosted at Two Writing Teachers, for Tuesday - I have begun reading with a child who is homeschooled, but whose mom is concerned about his progress.  Ah, to be teaching and not testing.  I am loving this time doing what I love to do, but not the ugly parts!   I don't even have to do recess duty or bus duty!
Finding printable books online, scouring the public library for appropriately leveled books, and dumping boxes of books from past teaching days or books soon to be a grandchild's... is there anything funner?  Yes.  Making up activities and games.  Watching the osprey via web cam as they return to their nest.  Finding out interests for later motivations and inspirations.
And R is for Reading directions, too.  My daughter sent me this text and picture:
First he built for fun then he asked me for the instructions and made this truck!
I know it's only 4 pieces...but he's only 3...and he "read" the directions.  Give the kid a break!  I am his grandmother, and I declare him a genius!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Quit Zone

This is the Questionable, Quacky and Quirky Quintessential Gala beyond belief A-to-Z April 2015 Challenge!!!!  And I am an A to Z Participant.  And it is Day 17, Letter Q!

Again this year I am writing a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month.  It's my FOURTH YEAR in a ROW of writing a poem a day for the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year, is signs I've photographed and poems to go with them.

On Wednesday, I will be guest at Laura Shovan's Author Amok, where she is posting clothing poetry for the month of April.
Click the Q to Quickly access mass Quantities of Quality AtoZ bloggers!


Quit Zone

This zone is set for
You to quit in
It's like a mini quitting
Sit-in.

Quit your braking
In this zone
Quit your lying
And don't moan.

Quit your lessons,
Quit your doubt,
Quit complaining
And don't shout.

Quit leaving food
On your plate;
Quit eating meat,
Quit sleeping late.

Quit your running,
Quit your meanness,
Quit eating fat -
Stick to leanness.

Quit perservering;
Procrastinate -
No, just "quit the quitting"
For goodness sake...

     What?  It isn't quit?

         The word is quiet??

             But I'm not done
         
               I must quit diet...

I guess I have to
    rethink this,
      To quit this poem
          or be remiss?

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

Always read carefully.  As Gilda Radner as Emily Litella would say, "Nevermind!"

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Poetry: A Color on the Tongue

This is an "extra" poem, not a part of the AtoZ Challenge or any other poem group.  The phrase "a color on the tongue" came to me while reading another blog way at the beginning of the month, or maybe last month.  It wasn't exactly this phrasing, and I don't remember what the actual phrase was or the blogger who had it on their site, but something about it resonated with me and I jotted down the phrase.  It has been fermenting (?) ever since, and I have jotted down parts of it ever since.  It is quite unlike the way I work on poems, in that it did not just come in one sitting.  I have returned to it a number of times and changed its wording and structure.  Today I added the last stanza, and edited the first one (it used to be the last).  And I changed a few words to now make it have a rhyme, which it didn't at first - at all.  But when the first stanza (that used to be last) came to me, I wrote the real last one and returned to the poem to see what else could be changed.  At another sitting, at some point, I realized though I'd said the word "color" there were really only vague references to color in a few spots, so that was changed.  I'm not sure if it is done yet.  But it is for today.

My meaning for the poem was, that in my opinion, poetry should be attainable to all.  If it is too obscure or personal, then it is not for public consumption.
It's like a child who knows how to sound out words reading "Gone With the Wind".  Yup.  Got all the words right.  Any idea what it was about?  No?
It's like me or almost anyone reading a textbook on nuclear physics.  Did you enjoy it?  Can you now apply it to your own life?  No and no.
I want to read, understand and enjoy poetry.  Sad and depressing are not enjoyable to me.  Sorry.  I want uplifting.  I want understandable.  Some hard words are okay...I like learning new things.  I don't even mind crying through a poem - just not as a steady diet.  Nine happy to one sad is about my acceptable ratio.

poetry: a color on the tongue

color on my tongue,
flavor for my ears,
music to my eyes,
still smiling through my tears -
still weeping through the cheers:

poetry attainable
a treasure
a pleasure
...twisting on my tongue
......not just for one

purple passions of the heart
as universal
as communal
...a common story
......a haunting glory

silvery faceted diamond
of prismatic tessellations
of crystalline creations
... refracting bows
......shimmering shows

shadowy tinted mirror
for faces
for places
...reflecting commotions
......echoing emotions

honey rose rays
of sheltering
of sweltering
...enveloping twists
......evaporating mists

poems in living color
colors on the tongue
in a myriad of flavors
as artists' colors flung,
so poets' songs are sung.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Please Don't Leave These

This is the Popular, Pampering and Positively Perfect beyond belief A-to-Z April 2015 Challenge!!!!  And I am an A to Z Participant.  And it is Day 16 , Letter P!

Again this year I am writing a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month.  It's my FOURTH YEAR in a ROW of writing a poem a day for the A to Z Challenge. My first year theme was Animals, the second was lobster boat names, and last year was Maine authors.  This year my poems will be paired with photos of signs I've taken the past few years.  Signs have always fascinated me.  Sometimes it's the mistakes on them, sometimes the different ways the language can be taken, and sometimes it's the surroundings that go with it.
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2015.html
I have two pictures for today, but I decided on the second one for the poem.  I did start one for the Pine Tree.  I'm sure it would have come out clever, if I just could have gotten more clever with it.  I twisted it around every which way, but it never produced a satisfactory poem.  It is a lovely picture though of our dumpster we rented to clear out the old house in Friendship that we purchased 3 years ago.


And this is the picture that did allow a poem to be written without too much ruckus.  It was taken on the SEPTA commuter train on my way either to or from my daughter's home in Pennsylvania... which is another P word.  I gave SEPTA a couple new acronyms.  So that's what ACRO means... like acrostic... acronym... huh.  Just noticed that.  So how does acrobat fit in?  I've got to go look that up now.


Schlep  Each  Possession TAlight 
(SEPTA Means: Please Don't Leave Anything Behind When You Get Off the Train)

..................PLEASE...............
..We don't want your papers,..
..your umbrella, your gloves,..
....your glasses, your goats,....
....your scarf or your doves;....
................................................
...Don't leave paper napkins,...
.........nor coffee top lids...........
.......Please take your shoes;...
....We don't want your kids......
.................................................
.....Make sure you still have..... 
..Everything that you brought;.. 
.........Pick up all your things......
.....Just like you were taught......
..................................................
.....Don't even leave footprints...
.....Or we'll double your fare......
......We're not your mother -......
.....Don't make me go there......
.............................***************
..............THANK YOU...............
..Secure Each Parcel To Arms..

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

I hope you've been placated with P.  It's been pleasant.  Perchance we will see you for Q.  Same place.  Same time period.