Poetry Sunday: The Waiting Game

 

 

The Waiting Game

 

 

Sitting in the airport

waiting for the plane,

Where is the pilot-

here we go again.

 

 

Waiting for the shuttle,

where are we to go,

Does the driver know the way-

unfortunately, no!

 

 

Waiting for a meeting,

will it be starting soon.

Three hours later and no word yet,

oh lord, it’s almost noon.

 

 

Waiting at the grocery store,

waiting in this line.

Do I really need these items,

my patience is out of time.

 

 

Now the traffic stops again,

I sit and ruminate.

Six lanes going nowhere fast

so I wait, and wait and wait!

 

 

It seems with all this technology,

all the ways to go,

We are not really moving anywhere,

except at a snail’s pace, slow!

 

 

So what to do with all this time,

of waiting and nowhere to go?

 I’ll just make up this little poem,

and remember to just go with the flow.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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I wrote this poem a few years ago while waiting a full day to testify in a labor case for a former employer’s dispute.  It was frustrating waiting in a room for 6 hours with nowhere to go and no phone…..just a book and a pen and paper.

As I wrote it, I thought of all the times I have had to wait in long lines…..the end wasn’t quite developed but I was able to revisit the poem and find a perfect ending recently.

 

These pictures are from a recent trip waiting hours for flights….a perfect illustration!

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about The Waiting Game.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: The Wild Child

The Wild Child

 

A wild, playful child alone in her world

A digger of the earth joined in its holy sepulcher,

In solitude she finds her truth

Becomes her most vulnerable self

Belongs not to the world, but of it

Not to anyone but herself alone.

 

 

She will not sacrifice who she is.

She is everyone, everything, and no one.

She is surefooted now on her personal quest.

Believing in her most precious self.

For she lives her truth-

 

 

Willful, dogged, persistent in her accountability

Integrity flows abundantly, courageously

Loving kindness kindled and generously shared

Delivers on her word and deed knowing limitations

 

This wild child was born a thousand times and lives now, again, and will forever.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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 As I was contemplating recent readings, the term Wild Child came up and this poem poured forth.  It is autobiographical, and it is a song to all of us who are working on our inner selves.  I offer it to all who are called or feel like a ‘wild child’ as I move into my 61st year.

 

And yes those pictures are of me when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  Both pictures hold very fond memories, as I loved to swim, and go fishing.  That was the first big fish I caught, a lake perch.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about The Wild Child.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Expectant

 

Expectant

 

 

Under the dark new moon

Where diamond dust is sprinkled against the black, velvety sky

I plant new seed in fertile soil.

My breath slows becoming one with Mother Earth

Her energy flows through me

Joined with the Universal energy of the heavenly bodies.

Intentions are made, blessed and released

Watered, waiting, expectant.

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

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This poem has a double meaning for me…the expectancy of spring and spring planting, and the expectancy of growth along my personal path as I read, learn, experience and share my life lessons.

As the full moon is upon us, I am reminded that spring planting by the phases of the moon is said to enhance harvests.  Some gardeners suggest sowing seeds for crops that yield an above ground harvest between the new moon and full moon.  Root crops are best planted when the moon is going from full moon to new moon.  While I have never tried this, I have gardener friends who swear by this planting method.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about Expectant.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Dear Kindness

 

Dear Kindness

 

Dear Kindness:

 

You are the best part of me~of all of us.  And we desperately need to let your light shine out from our hearts and souls now more than ever.  I am feeling lost, forlorn and deeply dark within as your light is being overshadowed by hate and fear.

 

You have taught me that to know you, to be part of you, I must make a commitment.  For you are a practice~one I must exercise daily or become atrophied, rotted, forever in despair.  And only with practice can I know you better, can I become more accomplished at letting your light shine.

 

But most of all I must not forget that kindness must be given willingly to all; nature and mankind alike.  None must be forgotten, none must be left out or left behind.  Nor should I forget the most important kindness, to myself.  For without that I cannot hope to bring you to the rest of the world.

 

So as I move forward, dear kindness, I must not lose faith in you.  I must remember that I do not have to live in the dark recesses of a hopeless, anguished world.  Not as long as your light is stoked, fed and tended within….bringing out the best in me!

 

© Donna Donabella 2018

 

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I am bringing you another epistolary poem from a letter I wrote in April of 2016.  This one has been edited quite a bit in light of the world in which we live.  A world that is desperately in need of kindness….for all.  And not easily found.

The pictures are of a spring wreath looking out into my March spring garden covered in snow.  The crystal stick is a special rainbow maker from a dear friend.

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about Dear Kindness.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

 All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: I Flow Like Water

 

I Flow Like Water

 

It starts with a drop falling,

A stream melting down the mountainside.

It bubbles up through rock and crevice.

Moving over, around and with each obstacle encountered on its way.

 

 

Each break and fall brings renewed energy

Moving with grace and determination,

It may ebb but does not cling for long

Coursing forward, onward through darkness and light.

 

 

With breakneck speed it joins itself to the larger body

Into the communal whole it tumbles fearless

Merges to the vastness beyond the separate, singular drop

Becoming something greater, brimming beyond its boundaries into the unified flow.

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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I recently have been reading May Sarton’s, Journal of Solitude, and Brené Brown’s, Braving the Wilderness.  Both books have been speaking to me of my path, my inner work.  And this poem was born of that reading and work.  It is how I feel myself evolving.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about I Flow Like Water.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: I Wonder…

 

I Wonder…..

 

 

I wonder what the bird sees when he sees the sun rise.

As he calls across the meadow and the forest far and wide.

Does he see what I see with my wizened hazel eyes?

Yes, I wonder what the bird sees when he sees the sun rise.

 

 

I wonder what the bird thinks as the sun burns bright in the sky.

As the colors shift to azure blue and clouds come rolling by.

Does he think what a beautiful day to go out for fun-filled fly?

Yes, I wonder what the bird thinks as the sun burns bright in the sky.

 

 

I wonder what the bird smells on a warm earth-scented day.

As the flowers open and leaves stretch out to bask in the breeze and play.

Does he smell the aromas of berries ripe and seeds on tall stalks as they sway?

Yes, I wonder what the bird smells on a warm earth-scented day.

 

 

I wonder what the bird feels while grasping the branch so tight.

As the rain pours down, and winds whip round, giving one a fright.

Does he feel the awe beneath him, is he enveloped with delight?

Yes, I wonder what the bird feels while grasping the branch so tight.

 

 

Is there color in his day, and sweet delectable bites?

Is he anxious to be winging and soaring to new unimaginable heights?

Does he feel the astonishment I do when he gazes at nature’s sights?

Yes, I wonder all this as he softly sings me to goodnight.

 

©Donna Donabella 2018

 

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This poem’s opening line came to me one day when I was walking out on a bright lovely morning, hearing the birds singing.  And I wondered……

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about I Wonder.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Dear Truth

 

Dear Truth

 

Dear Truth:

 

My goodness I was glad to see you!

 

To speak your name~well rant it for a good, almost, 10 minutes.

 

You shook me upside down when I heard you speak.  And rung my emotional bell until it hurt from my head to my belly.

 

But you had to come, you had to speak, Truth.  And I am so happy you did.

 

Although next time can you add a dollop of love with your words so they don’t leave me too splayed upon the ground when you are done talking.

 

Yes I am glad you came and spoke, Truth, through me, from me down to my very soul.

 

Truth can set you free they say.  It turned me inside out and landed me on my ass.  But I had that coming.  After all I kept you at bay for far too long, Dear Truth!

 

© Donna Donabella 2018

 

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I am bringing you another epistolary poem from a letter I wrote in April of 2016.  This one was freeing to write.  It seems when I hold back from speaking up, the truth backs up until it bursts free.  I am learning to speak up more and more especially these days.  And especially to those who feel free to lie as a matter of course.

With the #enoughisenough movement, Truth is a friend to many again and speaking loudly through thousands, finally!

The pictures are of a witchball; a gift given to me by a dear friend.  Historically, witchballs were hung in windows to ward off ill fortune and bad spirits.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about Dear Truth.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: The Yearnings of Spring

 

The Yearnings of Spring

 

There is a deep, urgent longing to break this icy dam winter has cast over me.

 

Where my skin again feels the glowing warmth of the sun,

Where bare feet are tickled by cool, soft, new grass,

Where my eyes catch the young, fresh growth of plants emerging,

And I breathe in the earthy scent of the garden thawed.

 

Where my hands cast seeds imagining a future harvest,

Where the heady perfume of new flowers overwhelms me,

Where every buzz and chirp has my heart beating faster,

And where the water splashing the rocks in the pond invites me to play.

 

As I patiently wait for spring to arrive, I dream of merging with nature.

Yearning to break this icy dam winter has cast over me.

 

© Donna Donabella 2018

 

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Even with the vernal equinox coming this week in the northern hemisphere, the first day of spring never quite arrives according to the calendar.  It shows up when it is good and ready…each year a different date.  And this year winter is unrelenting, and March seems to be the new February, with cold and almost 4 feet of new snow in the first two weeks.  Now we are frigid again with snow piles everywhere….no spring thaw in sight for weeks perhaps.  So as I wait, I am thinking about what I am yearning for when spring finally does show itself in earnest.

The pictures are of native Bloodroot from my garden.  They are one of the first native flowers blooming.  You have to watch for their blooms, and savor them while you can, as they fade fast.

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about the Yearnings of Spring.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Judge Me

 

 

Judge Me

 

Judge me righteous

Judge me Sad

Judge with your allegiance

Judge me Bad

 

 

Call me liberal

Call me snowflake

Call me out

For heaven’s sake

 

 

These words no longer puncture

They cannot hit their mark

They only move to inspire me

To give my fire spark

 

 

To voice a truth being erased

A people’s values labeled fake

Every lie the deception ordained

Now I judge that the biggest mistake!

 

© Donna Donabella 2017

 

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I was recently inspired to speak out again about the most basic hypocrisies in our world and country…..judging others and the erosion of truth. I wrote this poem in response to all the trolling and name calling.  Calling out the trolls and calling for a resurgence of sanity, values and the ‘real’ truth.

These pictures are selfies I created earlier this year when I was taking a course in how to creatively us photography phone apps.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Judge Me.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Outside The Box

 

 

Outside The Box

 

 

Soften the edges

Erase the boundaries

Ease out to see the light.

 

 

Release the strings

And drop the hard surfaces

Holding you in so tight.

 

 

Kick aside the rubble

Of your shattered dreams

That brought the darkness of the night.

 

 

Yes open to everything

Open to anything

Open to your frights.

 

 

Time to let go

And take those first steps

Time to take flight.

 

 

So step up and away

Breathe the new air

Of all possibilities that will delight.

 

 

Just move outside

That box you are bound to-

To find your exquisite, fulfilled life.

 

© Donna Donabella 2017

 

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This poem came to me as I was trying to relax and start a 2 week vacation…..and as I wrote it, my mind, body and spirit eased and I was able to move into the moment and enjoy my time away.  No confines, no worries, no strings….just pure delight.

 

The pictures were taken at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, a most fascinating place east of Phoenix.  The first is of an old homestead carved out of the rock.  The second is the remnants of a dry riverbed.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about outside the box.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: Muddy Waters

 

Muddy Waters

 

 

Muddy waters take me in

Take me down to nourish my skin

Skin made tough

Skin made thin

Through life’s adventures

Through life’s sins.

 

 

So soak it up and banish all ills

Fill me deep, realign my will

A heart made true

A soul made joyful

A powerful voice

Now once again skillful.

 

© Donna Donabella 2017

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I had not written much since last August due to a shoulder injury and due to a need to travel inward….a self-imposed time away. But on a sunny day in early April when I began my new journal habit, this poem flowed forth trying to break the ice damn that had built up.  It was how I was feeling sitting in my garden waiting for it to wake up….and hoping my creative juices would do the same.

 

The pictures above is of my early spring pond a bit muddy, and below my later spring pond full of life and water lilies.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog.

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I leave you with a few additional words about muddy waters.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: A Most Extra-Ordinary Life

 

 

A Most Extra-Ordinary Life

 

 

Though your smile fades from this place

it shines deep inside of me and all

who have known you, loved you.

 

 

Your life’s breath, extinguished here on Earth,

now a forever light that burns brighter through me,

around me and into the ethos.

 

 

I quiet to hear the faint whispers of your voice

telling of a passion for life;

your legacy I now embrace.

 

 

And I will sing your song to capture it forever;

to share it in these words, in a smile,

or a hug or a deed most kind.

 

 

As tears splash this page, they are joyful

celebrating the ordinary life of a most extra-ordinary woman~

whose greatest gift is enduring love.

 

 

©Donna Donabella 2017

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This poem is a remembrance for my Aunt Mary who passed away July 3rd.  A dear friend said to me that dwelling on missing her would only bring sadness and depression….but celebrating her light would bring me solace and peace.  I liked that idea and this poem came to me the next day.  You can read my tribute post to my aunt here.

 

I am joining  Poets United for their Poetry Pantry linkup.  July 12th was my 3rd blog anniversary….what an amazing 3 years of creativity it has been.

 

The picture at the top is of my Aunt Mary with a few sweet peas, snapdragons and lavender.  The vase below is more of these same sweet flowers.

 

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I leave you with a another image about an extra-ordinary life.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday: This is for us…..

 

 

This is for us……

 

 

I scratch the earth

to plant a seed,

and watch it grow and bloom and green.

 

 

And I scribble these words

across a page,

to capture my heart as I wrinkle with age.

 

 

You splash fine colors

on a canvas blue,

with red and orange and all manner of hue.

 

 

And you scramble an egg

whipped together with ease,

adding onions and herbs to create a feast.

 

 

We dance upon life’s stage

whirling round,

playing on our heartstrings melodious sounds.

 

 

Oh this beauty of creation

we bring to life every day,

brightens our world in moments we give love away.

 

©Donna Donabella 2017

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It has been almost a year since I have written here on this blog….since I injured my shoulder and had to listen to my body and really rest which meant no writing or gardening (I am right handed and the injury was to my right shoulder).  I learned to be more left- handed….and it has been a good rest.  I have discovered much about myself and my journey while away.

 

I had no clue when and how I would return to this blog and writing poetry.  But the day my beloved Aunt Mary passed (July 3rd) I wrote a blog post on my other blog and 3 poems.  This poem is one of them.  It seems the floodgates are open again.  This poem is based on my interpretation of a quote I used on my tribute post to my aunt.  It captures my essence and my purpose these days and how much Aunt Mary has influenced my life.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

… so this is for us.
This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love
and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know
because the beauty is in the act of doing it.
Not what it can lead to…
~Charlotte Eriksson

 

I am joining  Poets United for their Poetry Pantry linkup.  The roses here have been blooming in my garden for weeks in honor of my Aunt Mary Rose.

 

 

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I leave you with a another image about creating.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Inner Critic

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Inner Critic

 

 

Inner Critic (IC)~You can do better, Donna.  

You know and so do I.  

I don’t want to hear excuses.  

I just want to see results.

 

 

My dear Inner Critic, I know you mean well,

but I beg to differ with you.  I

am not perfect, even though you want me to be.

I just can’t.  No, I just WON’T be perfect!

And no amount of haranguing will make it so.

 

 

IC~Look, all you need to do is work

harder and longer.

More effort that’s what you need.

 

 

It won’t matter, don’t you see,

because I am flawed.  I do try

my best, but in the end I will make mistakes.

I will fall face down many times over. But I WILL pick myself up.

 

 

IC~But why fall?

Do you want to get hurt, scraped, embarrassed?

Don’t you understand, I am trying to protect you from this.

 

 

I know you are.  You are, after all, part of me.

And you mean well.  But no, I do not fear the fall,

because I know it will happen.  And when it does,

I will learn to fly again, and fall, and fly, and…..

It is the inevitable cycle.

 

 

IC~ARE YOU CRAZY?!!

What is wrong with you?!

That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard….

 

 

Maybe so, but it is my sacred life.

And as part of me, you will just have to accept it.

No more shouting.  No more belittling or bemoaning.

Understand this-I AM STRONG.  I am enough.

And I am flourishing just fine the way I am at the moment.

 

 

Now come on, let’s go have some fun!

 

 

IC~OK, but I still think…….

 

 

No thinking my dear Inner Critic,

and no talking.  Let’s just be for now….

In this moment….time to enjoy life!

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

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I read a prompt a while ago where they asked us to have a conversation with our Inner Critic.  I have had a long-standing Love-Hate relationship with that part of me, with me losing more times than I care to count.  So I thought it was about time we had it out….after all this Inner Critic was holding me back and I was letting it.

 

As a reforming perfectionist, I am dedicating this poem to all of us who have been caught in Perfections trap.  And most especially, I dedicate this to my lovely niece, Natalie on her 13th birthday, today!  Like her Aunt Donna, she is a perfectionist.  A wonderful goal to to try to reach, perfection, as long as we don’t let it hold us down and make us feel bad about ourselves, as I have done.  So here’s to you my dear niece!  I wish for you the means for working with your Inner Critic, and not letting it get the best of you.  Oh and she is a most gifted and creative poet as well!

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog, and Sanaa@A Dash of Sunny for her Prompt Nights every Friday.  This week’s theme is ‘The Hidden Realm’, that safe haven I find inside as I heal and discover my true self.

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I am using pictures of Columbines, and faded Columbine petals that represent Anxious, and Resolved To Win, in the Language of Flowers!

 

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Inner Critics.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

Inner Critic

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Finding My Core

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Finding My Core

 

 

I stand here at my center

while all around me seems to be falling apart.

Senseless violence.

Memories of loved ones, now gone,

bubble up to open the wounds of my heart.

 

 

And it is in these times I seek my core,

a need to express my true self.

Nothing dancing off the tongue,

but words conjured up from deep inside.

 

 

They express the swirl of emotions.

They provide a base of stability to stand on.

They yield a sliver of light shining in the dark.

They form new boundaries, places to explore.

And they heal the wounds that can break me in two.

 

 

Words call me home when I find this core.

So I seek this poet’s heart to find the words

that make a dwelling place for me.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

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This poem came to me recently in the aftermath of yet more killing, carnage and fighting in the world.  I felt the pain deeply, and needed to connect to my inner core. Where I am reminded, that a beautiful sunrise means each day starts anew and anything can happen.  The sun represents for me healing light, and connecting to my true self.  It is always shining deep inside me, I just have to be aware of it….especially if I lose focus.  And with all the pain and suffering in the world it is easy to lose focus especially for this highly sensitive person.

 

The flowers pictured here are native Rudbeckia hirta that shine throughout my garden like the sun all summer.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog, and Sanaa@A Dash of Sunny for her Prompt Nights every Friday.  This week’s theme is “Hate’s a parasite that rots the Soul. ”  We are to write a poem which helps dispel hatred.  This is my take on the theme, and how I deal with the hatred I am finding more and more around me.

core collage (1)

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about finding my core.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

core

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Wildlife Lessons-The Magic of Toads

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“I believed then – in a deep, easy way that is impossible for me as an adult – that there was more to this world than meets the eye. Trees had spirits; the wind spoke. If you followed a toad or a raven deep into the heart of the forest, they were sure to lead you to something magical.”

~Jennifer McMahon

 

 

 

When we had the pond built, almost 20 years ago, we had high hopes that lots of critters would visit or make a home there.  And we have seen our fair share of critters come to the pond….frogs, insects, turtles, snakes, birds….and the list goes on.  The most consistent visitors making a home, in the pond, has been the frogs laying many eggs every year (see picture above).

 

 

But my favorite, yet elusive, visitor to the pond has to be the toads.  Although we hear the toads, we only see them from time to time as toads are generally nocturnal.  The American toad (Anaxyrus americanus, formerly Bufo americanus) is the species of toad found here.  They love areas with moisture and plenty of insects…..which is exactly what you will find in our garden.

 

 

We heard the toads again in early April, and they seemed quite close each night calling with that amazing long, trilling sound.  So imagine my surprise when we saw them not soon afterward…..

 

 

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I was so surprised because we had never seen two at once, and certainly not in this amorous embrace.  Of course in this position it was quite evident that the large rust colored toad was the female and the smaller the male.  The female makes her home just outside the fence in a small garden we have, and we see her burrowing herself in for the winter, or uncovering herself as spring warms the ground.

 

 

 

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We see the smaller male toads here and there, in the garden and pond and even some tiny young toads.  But we have never seen the making of those little toads.  Not wanting to intrude on these two, I took pictures and quickly left them alone.

 

 

 

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It is interesting to note how the mating ritual takes place.  Males go to shallow ponds, and call to females.  When the female arrives, the male actually grabs or hugs her (the lady must be willing if the smaller male can grab the female twice his size) until she discharges her eggs.   As the eggs come out, the male fertilizes them by discharging fluid with sperm onto the eggs.  I actually witnessed her continuing to push out two long strings of eggs looking like a necklace of black pearls.  See them draped all along the vegetation above.

 

 

 

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If you look closely, you can see the eggs are covered with a jelly like substance in long tubes. The toads found the perfect spot for the eggs; shallow water with vegetation near the irises that had not bloomed yet.

 

 

 

developing toad eggs

Like frogs, once the toads lay the eggs they leave them to develop on their own.  Eggs begin to hatch in a few days.  The process can take up to 10-12 days before the eggs become tadpoles, and then they fully develop into toads in about 2 months time.  American toads usually survive only a year or two in the wild although we have seen the large female here for a few years. Most tadpoles don’t survive very long becoming food for snakes, and frogs.

 

You can see the development of the eggs above over a 10 day period.  We have not seen the toads yet, but they should be emerging sometime this month we hope.

 

 

 

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Here are some additional facts about the American Toad:
  • Toads don’t cause warts, but the American toad produces a toxin that can be harmful if swallowed, or if it gets in your eyes.  So be careful if you handle toads.  We leave them alone.
  • When the tadpoles are ready to leave the pond they emerge usually in groups.
  • Tadpoles have several ways to keep predators at bay. They swim close together in schools, and stay in very shallow water that is thick with vegetation.  We have lots of that especially around the cattails so perhaps we will have several surviving toads emerging soon.

 

 

Special Note:  I wrote a poem about our toads and you can find it here….Ode to A Toad.  The picture at the end of the post is of our House Wren feeding its babies recently.  The wrens have fledged, but we still hear the Wren’s song in the garden.

 

 

 

What wildlife lessons are you learning as summer begins?

 

 

 

With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday.  I am also linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week.  Please check out all these great blogs.

 

 

 

I leave you with another thought about studying nature.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

 study nature

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-16.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Box Full of Darkness

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Box Full of Darkness

 

 

I open this box again.

Its dark demons still survive there.

The bruises, the slaps, the cuts-

Pain still runs deep in the scars.

 

 

You told someone recently you remembered me fondly.

And my snort of derision was a surprise.

Maybe a slap back.

But this ‘box full of darkness’ has risen again.

 

 

No longer all neatly wrapped and stored in the attic of my heart,

Where it had burned a hole.

White hot with searing anger,

With anguish and betrayal.

 

 

And as I gaze upon this box, I know it is never forgotten.

But it no longer defines me.

Abused, Used, Victim!

No this box I hold, shows me I am a survivor.

I have risen.  Strong of heart, shame resilient.

 

 

And while I may feel some residual pain,

And a tear may appear at the corner of my eye,

This box, oh this holy, blessed box is your gift to me.

One you never knew you gave me,

Perhaps the only one you ever gave me.

 

 

And so I keep this ‘box full of darkness’

Neatly wrapped in the attic of my heart,

Where now it holds a special place on the altar of my soul.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2016

 

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“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” ~Mary Oliver

 

I read this quote some time ago, but could not wrap my brain around it.  How could darkness be a gift?  And then when I was doing some inner work, something happened to bring the quote’s meaning home.

 

So as the ah-ha moment penetrated, I wrote this poem.  A victim of domestic abuse from decades ago, the poem is based on these painful memories.  And they have not, nor will they ever be forgotten or define me.  I have forgiven, and moved on…..and this beautiful box full of darkness is now not something that holds me down or holds me back.  No, instead it has freed me.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog, and with Sanaa@A Dash of Sunny for her Prompt Nights every Friday.  This week’s theme is “Passion makes the world go round”.  Although this is a painful and dark poem, it is dealing with subjects passionate to my heart….forgiveness, letting go, resilience and healing.  All important things happening in my life right now that I am passionate about on my journey.

box collage

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about a box full of darkness.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

box full of darkness

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Finding The Compassion We Need

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“Today I began to criticize myself and look at myself with a judgmental eye… but then instead of going all out in that direction, I stopped and I began to understand me. And then I began to be patient with me. And then I began to feel a softness in the middle of my chest. So then I concluded that I can understand and be patient with me, just like how I am always understanding and being patient with everyone else. Why? Because I deserve that, and more.”

C. JoyBell C.

 

 

Recently I was able to participate in two online courses about self-compassion.  Even though I felt that I had made great strides in this area, when both of these courses almost simultaneously hit my Inbox, I thought I would explore this topic a bit more.

 

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Surprisingly at first, I encountered all sorts of resistance within.  But this only confirmed, I needed more work on self-compassion, and  I knew I was going to learn more about this very important topic.  As the above quote says we deserve understanding, patience and above all else love.  And not from outside ourselves….no we must seek that love inside first.

 

 

In life we all face circumstances that are difficult to handle…challenges like the death or illness of a loved one….pressures at work or of losing a job.  Busy schedules where we try to juggle more than is humanly possible.  And with these trials, we also find failure.  All of these can seem to happen at once until we fall into a heap thinking we can’t handle much more.

 

 

DSCN4421And what I have discovered in these impossible moments, is that I need to turn inward, and tap into my hidden reserves.  What powers these reserves, and allows us to survive?  Quite simply it is love.  Not just love from others, but love of ourselves….really the most important gift we can give to ourselves and others.  For when we love ourselves, the tribulations of life can seem to melt away, and our capacity to love others increases tenfold.

 

 

One of the most important things we can do when building our self-compassion, is to identify the barriers to love we have created.  For me the need for perfection used to bog me down.  Starting from childhood, and on into my adult life, I would berate myself for making, what I viewed as, stupid errors.  I have had a long history of putting myself down that was perpetuated by some well meaning adults and teachers who continually pointed out my mistakes.

 

 

DSCN4542Changing an answer on a final that resulted in a grade of 98 instead of 100% would put me in a tailspin where I would call myself ‘stupid’, say ‘how I knew better’…’what was wrong with me’…and causing me to obsess on this mistake for months.  Nothing was acceptable to me but perfection.

 

 

And there were other thoughts and emotions that built up barriers causing more negative talk.  The list can be endless:  resistance, worry, fear, self-doubt, procrastination and frustration to name a few that have plagued me.  I have worked hard over the past 5 years or so to break through these self-imposed barriers.

 

 

DSCN4478What did I do?  It really is quite simple, and a bit brave, if I say so myself.  I recognize these moments where I engage in negative self-talk, and I stay in the moment with them….I feel them, where they reside in my body, and then I give myself a bit of self-love.  I tell myself, out loud usually,  ‘I am doing the best that I can in this moment’.  Then I recognize that indeed I am doing my best….and I let go of the emotions tying me down.

 

 

Sometimes when I would rush and drop things or make a mess, I would look at why this was happening….and again this would require me to stop, focus and be in the moment.  It became easily apparent, that I was rushing because of time constraints or wanting to finish…. so I would tell myself to take it slow and be in the moment more.  And when I slowed, and focused, I would enjoy the task.

 

 

DSCN4664Each time I focused and stayed in the moment I sensed an easing of these negative emotions and self-talk.  There are many practices to help with this process, and I have learned some new techniques, from the courses I took recently.  I highly recommend Open Your Heart To You from Sandra@Always Well Within, and Self-Compassion taught by Kristin Neff & Brené Brown@Courageworks.  Check these courses out to see when they will be offered again.

 

 

We can easily turn our self-doubt around, and embrace our own inner love.  We just have to have a little courage to stay in the moment, and break through any barriers we have encased around our own hearts.  And you can start by smiling at yourself a bit more, and realizing that you deserve love too.  Speak to yourself as you would a good friend…..you wouldn’t berate them, right?  Give yourself a few words of encouragement by being your own best friend…..you will be amazed at what that self-compassion can do for you!

 

 

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How do you give yourself the love and compassion you need and deserve?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of different purple irises that bloomed in my garden this spring.  In the Language of Flowers, they symbolize ‘Compliments to you’.  I can’t think of a better way to express self-compassion.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words self-compassion.  I welcome you to download this photo and share it.

self compassion

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Bride’s Feather

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Bride’s Feather

 

 

Behold the sight of creamy white,

Like feathers standing, stretching, bending.

Fireworks of plumes exploding-now dancing on the wind.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2012

 

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The plant profiled here is called Bride’s Feather, Goat’s beard or Aruncus dioicus.  Its unusual blooms look like fluffy feathers.  And it is a pollinator magnet.  You can read more about it here.  This native plant grows in my summer garden, and is pictured throughout the post.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading some of my wildflower poems, over the last several weeks.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.

brides feather collage

I am also linking in with  Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about this beautiful native plant.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

goats beard

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Wonderful Viburnum

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Wonderful Viburnum

 

 

Branches covered in snowy white,

Red and blue berries later delight.

Thick scarlet leaves escape from my sight,

To return bright green in the spring’s sunlight.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2012

 

 

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In spring, I love seeing shrubs flower.  One of the most beautiful is the native viburnum, Viburnum dentatum, that blooms right off my patio.  The white flowers turn to blue berries in late summer, and are devoured by birds.  I wrote this poem in honor of this very important native shrub.  You can read more about it here in my garden post.  The pictures here are of that wonderful viburnum that blooms profusely in my garden each year.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog, and with Gillena@verses for her Monday WRites meme.

viburnum collage

I am also linking in with  Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about wonderful viburnum.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

viburnum

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.