Category Archives: Poems

The Birdie Fashion Show

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I had a front row seat last week
for the Birdie Fashion Show.
I waited for the fun to start
with bated breath held low.

The robins all around me
hopping to their seats.
They chirped and bobbed and glanced 
about to see the new Spring treats.
                                                                          
As the sun, a spotlight true,
burst onto the darkened spot,
A cardinal fluttered down he flew,
his feathers fluffed, a deep red hue.

That was not enough, you see,
he turned this way and that,
And then he raised his royal crest
to show his wondrous hat!

Next came the little lady, 
her garb so brown and muted,
She swirled and twirled so all could see- 
her style was not disputed.

Again, the bold and dashing male
come to strut his stuff.
He took the stage, his feathers spread,
he was so sleek and daring. 

His mate, so shy, was not about
to be outdone by this display,
She alighted on the iron bar and tipped her head to say, 
"My crest is just as elegant, as his on any day!"
                                            
Alas, the little birdies had to flit away,
and all around the cheers were heard for those who had to go.
With heavy hearts, we turned away,
with hope again, next Spring to see, the Birdie Fashion Show.
                                   ©Barbara J. Donaldson, 2020. All rights reserved

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This is an image from the internet, labeled for use with modification.  

The idea for this poem came to me last week as I looked up from my work in my new office (my kitchen table). A male cardinal alighted on the back of my wrought iron porch chair and showed off for me. On the rim of a clay pot, his mate awaited her turn. She and the male took turns, on right after the other, landing on the chair and having their own private fashion show. I was not fast enough with my camera…

Bad Hair Day

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Peeking out of my window, a faithful friend beckoned me.
“Come visit today," she seemed to say.
So reaching and grabbing my jacket so dusty,
Gaily, I waved and went slipping away.

Enjoying the company one of the other, 
“Oh, help me, please,”  silent eyes did plead.
So pitiful her imploring was, I scarcely could recover,
I decided right then, I could help my friend, help her to be freed.

Touching her fingers to wild, messy tresses,
“Could you, would you, help me please?
So tangled and matted and tattered and knotted," Oh, how she stresses!
I’ll do my best to fix this mess, I answered with unease.   

Running to go, to grab what's needed,
“Don’t be long,” she exclaimed and pleaded.
So knowing how quickly I’d return, her words I never heeded. 
I found the things so very quick, my task was soon competed.

Beginning to comb, this way and that, from every side and angle,
“Ouch! Be careful.  You're hurting me," she whimpered and did whine.
So gently I pulled, I pulled at the mats, I tugged at the tangles;
I snipped at the snags;  I combed at the locks 'til beauty did shine. 

Gathering dead and damaged hair,
“I'm feeling so much better,” the happy chorus refraining.
So I walked all around to inspect the repair,
I smiled to myself with my pride never waning.

Whistling cheerfully, strolling back home,
“Thank you, oh, thank you,” came floating along.
So I pondered how glorious my yard to behold,
and heard all the chirping, 
                 the rustling of leaves, 
                                   the joyful, the jubilant 
                                                         song of the spring.  

©Barbara J. Donaldson, 2020. All rights reserved





The comb...

When Fear Comes a Knockin’

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A visitor so unexpected
knocked upon my heart today.
Why, oh why, 
did he come to stay?

Where sunshine e'er beamed,
 lowly clouds are looming,
black and gray and
 darkness, deep glooming.

The stranger shrieking
shatters the joy;
 cackles with glee,
cheers to destroy.
 
Silently smirking
evil 'n devilish delight.
Where, oh where, 
shall my soul take its flight?

I, so weak,
so weary, so frail.
All my struggles can 
nothing avail.

"Fear, go away,
dreadful disease,"
I beg and I plead,
"Begone, won't you, please?"

The darkness oppressive,
the sadness so greedy.
Hope, is there any,
for me, poor and needy?

Turn from the darkness
Turn to the Light.
Turn to the freedom.
I do with delight.

Light for the darkness
Sun for the sadness.
Hope for the helpless. 
Joy for the blackness.

When Fear comes a knockin'
at the door o' my heart,
I'll turn to the Light, 
right there from the start.

Freedom is mine!
How will this be?
I know, I know.
Oh, can't you see?

What time I am afraid,
I will trust in thee?


©Barbara J. Donaldson, 2020. All rights reserved







What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 

Psalms 56:3

Quietly

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Quietly,
Quietly,
she waits.
Alone.

No longer does laughter
fill the air;
No longer does door
on hinges swing.

Quietly,
Quietly,
she waits.
Alone.

No longer does she
move with ease;
No longer does laughter
ring so free.

Quietly,
Quietly,
she waits.
Alone.

No longer does the
doorbell ring;
No longer does the 
guest swing in.

Quietly,
Quietly,
she waits.
Alone.

Brrring! 
shatters quietness;
Brrring! 
fractures aloneness.

Quietly,
Quietly, 
she smiles.
Connected. 

Hello?
Oh, beloved voice;
How are you?
warms lonely heart.


Quietly,
Quietly she speaks; 
Quietly, quietly
loves, lives.


 

My sweet, sweet mother

This poem was inspired by a phone call I had this morning with my sweet, sweet mother, now 86, who lives 450 miles away. I asked, “How are you doing, Mom?” I heard a shocking reply. I didn’t realize how hard mandated seclusion is for the elderly, for my mom who never seemed elderly.

Please, please, please visit or call your parent or friend or neighbor today! Help “shatter the quietness and fragment the aloneness” for them.

“Pure religion and undefiled is this, To visit the fatherless and widow in their affliction…” James 1:27a

I plan on writing about the conversation tomorrow in my blog. See you then!

Perched Upon a Split-Rail Fence

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Perched upon a split-rail fence,                                                    

American_Robin_2006

American Robin

The gray-brown bird with rusty breast

Glances left, glances right,

His beady eyes, inky night.

 

“Trill-ill-ill,” the song he sings,

A friendly sound to welcome Spring.

Tail feathers spread, a fragile fan

Work up and down like a dutiful flagman.

 

His act repeats with joyful glee.

“Trill-ill-ill,” the merry melody rings he,

The gray-brown bird with rusty breast

Perched upon a split-rail fence.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

In the Center of the Room

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In the center of the room,

with armchairs, devan, and loveseat

quietly encircling,

lies the cat.

 

The tabby cat,

with soft white bib

and matching socks,

shyly hides his face.

 

Wiry, white whiskers

poke out here and there;

while sentinel ears stand erect,

in spite of hiding mittens.

 

Curled in a crescent moon,

the Tabby rests content,

with slow, slumbering breath,

in the center of he room.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

Simple Pleasures

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A lazy start to the day,

Snuggling in flannel sheets, cozy and warm.

 

Steaming coffee, rich and smooth,

Its inviting aroma hovering in the air.

A hurry-free breakfast,

Its colors feeding the beauty-thirsting soul.

 

A to-do list, the schedule for the day,

Full of washing,

And cleaning,

And planning

for the anxiously-awaited guests.

 

A conversation, written in words, sent as a text.

The video of a granddaughter

Smiling,

Toddling,

And saying, “Hi!”

 

A porch with pansies on its step,

Petals-golds, purples, violets, ambers-

Politely calling, “Spring, spring, spring!”

Robins, hopping in the lawn,

Cheerily chirping in reply.

 

Sunshine dancing on the ground,

Clouds floating in the sky.

A restful day,

A peaceful day,

A day to remember.

 

A day to remember 

the One

Who made this

Friday Good.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

Satisfaction

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Today, I presented a professional development session to the K-2 teachers in my building.  I tried a new deliver technique where each grade level team was given, after a brief overview, a specific task to research, discuss, and into which to dig in.  Being unsure of how the new format would be received, I was a little nervous, but yet, I felt confident that I want to model with teachers what I want them to do in the classroom.  Constructivist, collaborative learning is so much more powerful than sit-and-get lectures.

When the session was over, satisfaction settled down on my shoulder and gave me the inspiration for this slice.  I decided to play with comparisons for “satisfaction.”

 

Satisfaction

settles soothingly

like a blanket

swathes me

on a frosty morn.

 

Satisfaction

tarries tenderly

like the rosy glow

lingers

in the darkening sky.

 

Satisfaction

pads peacefully

like the brook

bubbles

beside the shore.

 

Satisfaction

chats contentedly

like the wind

whispers

to the trees.

 

Satisfaction

rests refreshingly

like the whiff of boxwoods

on the wings

of the wind.

 

Satisfaction

pauses patiently

like the reluctance

to close the cover

when the story ends.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

 

Weary Eyes

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My eyes are bleary,

Yes, weary.

Long hours I’ve spent

Staring at text,

Editing,

Suggesting,

Commenting.

 

My head is achy,

Yes, shakey.

Long hours I’ve spent

Thinking,

Writing,

Typing,

Encouraging.

 

My thoughts are jumbly,

Yes, tumbly.

Long hours I’ve spent

Considering,

Contemplating,

Postulating,

Populating.

 

My eyelids are droopy,,

Yes, loopy.

Long hours ahead

I”ll spend in my bed.

So off I’ll go,

Not a bit too slow.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved