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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's Never Really Magic

It’s never really magic.

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My guilt, the sentence are all repealed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

Clouds

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


Logic

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,
many
more
Katahdins, Kennebecs
by the
score
picked and tossed
from stretching
field
into barrels
wood and
steel
hands with dirt
too deep for
cleaning
bones and back
so stiff from
leaning
trucks rolled in
and barrels
rumbled
kept them
moving never
grumbled
child and man
worked side by
side
harvest was
their family
pride.

© 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
need
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
a
potato house
to take a memory
photo

©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!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sea Senses

Poetry Jam today would have us think of the sea and write about it.  I have so, so many ocean poems.  It's my favorite place to be, smell, see, taste, feel, hear.  I wrote a new one for today, though.  So one more for my collection...


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




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blue Jeans

From Poetry Jam, comes the challenge: "This week write a poem about jeans: someone who looks good in jeans, tattered jeans, jeans that you have to lie down to button up, comfortable jeans, stinky jeans."
"BONUS- Write a poem small enough to fit in the pocket of jeans. 20 lines or less."


I have written a poem small enough to fit in most pockets of jeans.  It is 20 lines or less.  However, I don't know if it would still be able to fit in a pocket of my poem jeans.  There wasn't much extra room...the late 60's early 70's weren't "big on" baggy jeans!

I remember
when I wore
my authentic
surplus store,
real sailor,
Navy blue,
deepest ocean
cobalt hue,
bell-bottomed,
tight, lean,
hip-hugging me
favorite jeans.
         Groovy.

©2014, Donna JT Smith

I don't own any jeans now.  But I do have an incredibly comfy jean skirt with awesome pockets!


Friday, August 29, 2014

The Fall of Leaves

Sitting in the car with the door open, I can hear the leaves on the breezes. There's a cool crispness to the air - a definite change.

Have you heard
them chatter
Of changes
in their matter?
The leaves are green
What can they mean?
When the breeze
Shakes the leaves
It's different now
Than summer's bough
Though still the green
They've lost their sheen
As they crispen
If you listen
Noise of a rattler
Autumn's tattler
Draining green
Leaving unseen
Colors burning
Slowly turning
Before their fall
Their curtain call
Branches green
Bowing to lean
Have you heard
them whisper
Of changes
Due for winter?

Copyright 2014, Donna JT Smith

Poetry Friday is being hosted by Jone McCullough at Check it Out. So check it out for some super links to poetry today!

BTW: Thanks for the kind words Linda at Teacerdance and for sharing my poem in your post today!  I loved using your words to mold a poem into a Blog-gem for you! Thanks for using such a great bunch of words from which to choose!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to School

For Poetry Jam, we are writing a poem about going back to school.  And here is mine.  I have been a student, a parent of a student and a teacher...all my life I've been going to school and having first days.  Retired now, I'm waiting for my grandchildren's first days of school that will be coming up in a few years (or a few breaths it seems).

I hurry down the aisle
for a good seat
on the bus
with a friend
oh, so good to see
a friend
I saw two days ago
wearing summer torn shorts
running barefoot
on the dusty, gravelly driveway
soles of feet tough as
sneakers
but now we shine
and sit on the edge of the seat
ironed dresses
new lunch boxes in hand
what’d you bring?
bologna and cheese
but I have a cookie, too
what about you?
I have a whoopie pie
I have been out-desserted
I’m going to ask for a nickel tomorrow
and hope I can get
a whoopie pie at Walter’s store
while I wait there for the bus
we will still be shiny tomorrow
but not as much
as today
our feet are already
growing softer
in our new shoes.
and our new shoes
are already dusty.

the smiling, freshly pressed
teacher
waits at school
with shiny, new shoes
and knows she will
be dusty by
day's end
her feet
will hurt
and she will need
to sit down,
wrinkled,
but happy
because
she still remembers
the excitement of the first day
of school
and because she remembered
to pack a whoopie pie
this time.


©2014, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Friday, August 22, 2014

Poetry Friday


Today is my favorite day: Poetry Friday!  And it is being hosted today over at Irene Latham's Live Your Poem.  Go there for some great links to some tasty poetry treats!  You won't be disappointed!
It has been a beautiful summer of poetry, thanks to Tabatha's Summer Poetry Swap.  I did the swap for the first time this year, and had such a blast writing and reading poetry!  It was  amazing to get mail in a mailbox that you wanted to read!  Real live people sent it, too.  Most of our mailbox fare is made up of bills, sales flyers and veterinarian/dentist/automotive reminders, so I don't look forward to mailbox time like I used to in the olden days.
I want to thank Buffy Silverman for poem swap 1, Linda Baie for poem swap 2, Mary Lee Hahn for poem number 3, Joy Acey for poem swap 4, and Anastasia Suen for poem swap 5.

And from me, to all:

My Wish

If ever I could wish
for the very bestest gift -
One that would fill my dish
And give my spirits lift -
By wave of wand and swish
What would appear to me,
Delightful and delish:
Some homemade poetry.

©Donna JT Smith, 2014


And here they are, some tasty bits of homemade poetry:


Poem #1 from Buffy, published here by permission:


Sapsucker Rap

Bill drumming
and tapping
ripping and rapping,
peeling the bark
of sweet birch trees.

Sap oozing
and flowing
dripping then slowing,
luring an army
of ants and bees.

Feast crawling
and jiggling
writhing and wriggling,
no place to escape
no path to retreat.

Tongue licking
and lapping
prodding and slapping,
sap covered ants
a six-legged treat.

Buffy Silverman, 2014 all rights reserved

I apologize, Linda, for sharing your poem without permission, earlier on.  You very graciously did not call me on it!  And I now, with permission, will share it again!

Transformation

Tiny fingers
tiny toes,
until arriving
no one knows
that a grandchild,
by giving the names
'Gran and Gramps',
start a magical dance,
seeming by chance.

It rearranges you
into

lullaby-singing (no matter the voice)
mud-puddle-jumping (not given a choice)
cookie-baking (a sugar success)
finger-painting (in spite of the mess)
toy-truck-racing (vroom sounds just right)
picture-book making (easy to write)

KIDS,
all over again.

by Linda Baie, 2014, all rights reserved

and Poem #3 from Mary Lee Hahn, by permission:

Summer Wish

When thunderheads tower
and chicory flowers,

when mulberries fall
and milkweed gets tall,

when goldfinches glitter
and flash at the feeder,

let there be monarchs, please.
And bees.

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Poetry Swap #4 Joy Acey sent me a wonderful chapbook collection of her poems.  Too many to put here, but a "Joy" to read - she "acey"d it!

And finally, Anastasia's:

10,000 Steps a Day

Oh, pedometer,
you count the steps I take, but
not the worn out shoes!

©Anastasia Suen, 2014, all rights reserved.

Thank you one and all for "the bestest gift" - a delish dish of homemade poetry!