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Poetry Friday round-up is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

Photo by Molly Hogan, mbhmaine at Nix the Comfort Zone.

The world
inside a crystal ball
feels mystical
and magical,
a fairy tale land
where princes
fall in love
with glass slippers.

The world
inside ocean waves
feels treacherous
and terrifying,
a tossed ship
where pirates
set traps
for fair maidens.

The world
in a child’s mind
feels exciting
and thrilling,
a shore of seashells
where girls and boys
gather treasures
to share.

The photo above took my breath away.  I saw it on Molly Hogan’s blog and thought, “I want to write a poem about this.”  I also went to Amazon to buy my own crystal photo ball.  I changed my header image to one of the bayou with the ball placed on my deck railing.

I had an email conversation with my virtual-poetry-writing-photographer-friend Molly Hogan about exchanging photos and writing poems about them.  The idea grew into something we’d like to share with the Poetry Friday community.  We are calling it “More than Meets the Eye.”

I am hosting the Poetry Friday round-up on Friday, May 25th and would like to invite poets to fill out the form below and I’ll match you with someone to exchange photos with. I’m going to make an effort to match you to someone in a totally different geographical location. Your charge will be to write a poem about the photo you receive and post it on your blog on Friday, May 25th.  The photos should not include people. (People tend to complicate things.) There are no other rules except that the writer should give proper credit to the photographer and vice versa. Please sign up by Friday, April 27th.

#NPM2018: Star

Star by Sarah Hazel

In a field of bluebonnets,
cockerpoo smiles for the Sky.
Royal Star of prairie grass.

Joy twinkles in his Star-eyes,
Inspiration for Sarah’s
hand to oil majestic poise.

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

This pet portrait looks just like my childhood dog, Lucky.  I was drawn in immediately, but the poem was elusive.  When I struggle with a poem, I often turn to form to guide me.  This one became a septercet, stanzas of three lines with seven syllables each.  Jane Yolen created the septercet.

Words are another hurdle, so I Googled bluebonnets and collected words.  The dog’s name is Star, but I decided to also capitalize Sky as if it is a character in the poem.  Sarah is the artist, and Joy is one of her daughters.  To see more of Sarah Hazel’s art, click here. 

 

 

 

 

National Poetry Month 2018

Pileated woodpecker by Ralph Fletcher

When I saw this photo from Ralph on Facebook, I knew I had to write about it.  And yesterday, April 17th was National Haiku Day, and I forgot, so here’s a quick haiku fo honor Mama Woodpecker.

Knocking down walls
wood thin, cleaning out closets
woodpecker nesting

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

Click over to Ralph’s photography page to see a video of this mother nesting.

 

#NPM2018: Bees Play

National Poetry Month 2018

 

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

 

My students and I have been writing to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s daily prompts at The Poem Farm.  I usually write alongside my students, so some days I have three poems done because I teach 3 different groups of kids.  On Monday, when we were writing using word play, I started writing at school number one about bees.

Dawson, 4th grade, helped me think about rhymes.  He told me that bees carry pollen in their mouths and spit it back and forth with other bees until it becomes honey, thus “honey primers.”

I turned to bee research and RhymeZone.

At school number two, Chloe, 2nd grade, told me that a bee’s dance is called a waggle.  Google confirmed it.

Last month, I had a bee incident in my classroom at school number 2 that caused a curse word to come out of my mouth, thus “cursing singer.” This incident happened in March, so I sliced about it here.

My students responded with pleasure at my completed poem.  They exclaimed “Boomchakalaka.”  Great word play for the ending!

 

Bees
hullabaloo
on flowering trees
humming,
drumming,
buzz-strumming.

Bees
hokey-pokey
through pollen fields
persnickety climbers,
expert mimers
honey primers.

Bees
waggle-dance
in the hive
insect communication
tapping out dictation
pointing to a destination.

Bee–one bashful bee
squirming
in my hair
angry stinger
hand slinger
cursing singer.

Boomchakalaka!

I am writing ekphrastic poetry this month for National Poetry Month.  Michelle Kogan is an poet-illustrator I’ve met through Poetry Friday.  Usually I start with the image to inform the poem.  This poem came before the illustration, but I knew Michelle would have one that fit just right. Thanks, Michelle.

Towering Tulip by Michelle Kogan. Click image to see Michelle’s website.

National Poetry Month 2018

Horse Races

This drawing has been in my files since the beginning of the month.  I’ve passed over it again and again, not because I don’t love it, but because I have no experience with horse racing.  I mean, none!  I’ve never been to a horse race.  I’ve never watched horse racing.  It is a total foreign experience to me.

To enter into this drawing, I turned once again to Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge and PoemCrazy.  She writes, “Poetry is a form of deep ecology, allowing us to experience the interdependence of everything on earth.”

Horse Race

Can you feel the beat
of the earth beneath
their feet?

Pounding horse hooves
in the wake
of the news.

Head down, focused strength,
we’ve all been there,
not knowing the outcome,
energy in the air.

Hold on tight.
This ride will be breathtaking.
Don’t let go.
The race is earthshaking.

Ride it out!

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Poetry Month 2018

Still Life by Sarah Hazel

My good friend, Sarah Hazel, is an artist in Houston, Texas. She answered my call for paintings for this poetry project. You can find her amazing oil paintings here on her website.

I get my inspiration for writing from many places. From Poets & Writers comes The Time is Now with a poetry prompt each week. This week we were prompted to write after e.e. cummings Spring is like. I borrowed the line “Spring is like a perhaps hand.”

Spring is like a perhaps hand
holding high
a watering hose
drenching earth new,
green-blown grass,
soil growing soft
and sensual.

Spring is like
a perhaps hand placing
flowers in a vase
centered
on a plate of green salad,
tall and tender
without thunderous applause.

National Poetry Month 2018

 

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

My dog lies heavy as the storm moves through.
Worry keeps him close.
Rain streaks the window with tears.
We are safe inside.

Infinite line of tangled roots and vines,
God’s garden grows wild.
Endless labyrinth of life to life.
We are safe inside.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

Commentary: In this poem, I began with what was happening in the moment.  A storm was pounding, and my dog was afraid.  I held him on my lap.  As he relaxed, much like an infant, he became heavier on my lap.  I then moved to the drawing for interpretation.  I saw the white lines as the lines of connection of humanity.  When I looked for a synonym for connection, I found labyrinth which alliterated with life to life.

From PoemCrazy #25: “there may be a measurable field of energy for the buzz of life around moments and things.  Poems are alive this way. When a poem comes to me I have to tend to it like a small fish, a possum, a snake or a puppy, depending on the poem.  It’s often kicking and unruly.”