Poetry Friday round-up is at Karen Edmisen’s site.

My debut children’s poetry book, Bayou Song: Creative Explorations of the South Louisiana Landscape, is coming soon. June 18th is the official release date. I can hardly contain my excitement as well as my apprehension. There is a small section of my body that hits a nervous button every time I think about placing my heart in the hands of others.

One way that we poets get over a hump of “I have no clue what I am doing” is by emulating famous poets. Artists do this, too. Copy the masters. Steal like an artist. Whatever you want to call it, there is comfort in writing alongside someone who has done it right and done it well.

In Bayou Song, I wanted to honor the grand oaks that surround me. I wanted to write like Emily Dickinson in “The Mountains Grow Unnoticed” as she honored the majesty of mountains.

The Mountains—grow unnoticed—
Their Purple figures rise
Without attempt—Exhaustion—
Assistance—or Applause—

In Their Eternal Faces
The Sun—with just delight
Looks long—and last—and golden—
For fellowship—at night—

Emily Dickinson

Grandmother oak in the morning. Photo by Margaret Simon

From Bayou Song: Creative Explorations of the South Louisiana Landscape by Margaret Simon, copyright 2018.


The Live Oaks–
Grow Unnoticed

The Live Oaks–grow unnoticed–
Their Moss covered figures rise
Without effort–Collapse–
Comfort–or Celebration–

In Their Draping Arms
the Raccoon–with sheer impulse
climbs high–and hidden–masked–
finds home–at night–

Margaret Simon, (c) 2018 after Emily Dickinson

Bayou Song’s Book Blog Tour begins next week. Join the journey.

Friday, June 22:
Michelle Kogan

Tuesday, June 26:
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core

Friday, June 29:
Ruth Hersey at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

Friday, July 6:
Kimberly Hutmacher at Kimberly Hutmacher Writes

Friday, July 13:
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise

Tuesday, July 17:
Laura Shovan 

Tuesday, July 24
Amanda Potts at Persistence and Pedagogy

Friday, July 27:
Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink

Monday, July 30
Linda Baie at Teacher Dance

Friday, Aug. 3
Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work that Matters


Poetry Friday round-up with Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge

With more time in my day these days, I’ve taken the opportunity to join my friend Marcie while she sits at A&E Gallery, a local co-op art gallery. Marcie is a collage artist. We work side by side on art journaling. She does beautiful work and posts it on Instagram. She is currently working on a Postcard-a-Day project. She posted this beauty.

I have full on envy of her talent; nevertheless, I enjoyed her invitation to play with this medium. In January, I started art journaling in a book I made from an old discarded book. Each month I collage a few pages and work on a heartmap.

My son-in-law found an old electric typewriter at an estate sale for $15 and gave it to me this week. It’s quite a clunker, but it works. Michelle Haseltine inspired me to do typewriter poems. She’s been writing them every day for a while now. You can see them on Instagram and Facebook.

With my art journal, some words and phrases, and a sense of flow, I played with poetry. These are far from any kind of masterful poetry, but the point is to Play!

Do this! Allow yourself some open space and freedom. Leave behind the critic and the voice who says you are getting nothing done. Just be present and play!

Round up is here today!



Today I am hosting the roundup of Spiritual Journey First Thursday posts.  The theme I chose is Summer.

I am embracing my summer. I’ve been to the lake to visit my parents and my brother, and I just returned from a beach trip with my middle daughter (work for her, fun for me).  On the long drive home yesterday, I listened to a podcast I had not tuned into before, “The Simple Show.” The show seems to be designed for women in the midst of careers and raising kids.

While I am not in that stage of life, I did glean a few things from their discussion of Grown-upping the summer.  One of the co-hosts has 4 simple goals for the summer: Learn something new, enjoy something, do something good for you, and finish something.  I could do this.

While I was at the beach, I learned something new...stand-up paddle boarding.  I even joined a class of paddle board yoga.  It was amazing to do yoga in a grove of water lilies.  I think there should be a paddle-board outfit on the bayou.

I am enjoying…flowers.  My kitchen table glows with a bouquet of white and pink lisianthus I bought at the farmer’s market last Saturday.  Flowers are a simple way to bring joy inside.

My view this morning

I am committing to walking every day. Walking is simple.  Walking is sacred.  Walking is good for you.

The goal of finishing something is a bit of a challenge.  I am working on a new book of poetry about the first African American female physician in the state of Louisiana.  This challenges my research and writing skills.  I’d like to finish it by the time school starts back or at the latest by September.  The good news is I am more than half-way there.

Summer is also a time for quiet meditation, reading, and connecting with my family.  Summer has a slowed down sun-kissed feeling. What are your goals for the summer?
Click here to add your link or read more Spiritual Journey posts.

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .


My One Little Word for 2018 is Explore! I’ve decided to thoroughly embrace this word this summer.  I am currently on an exploratory adventure at the beach.  My daughter is an account executive for an advertising agency, so she had some meetings here and invited me to tag along.  What a treat!  Our first day we ventured out to an inlet lake that is surrounded by sand dunes.  We did stand up paddleboarding.  The day was hot and sunny, but we did it.  I felt a sense of pride that I was actually able to make the paddleboard move in a somewhat straight line.  On Wednesday, I’m going to try paddleboard yoga.

This morning while she was in meetings, I ventured out to Grayton Beach State Park. Even in the rain, this was a beautiful area.  I was alone on the trail of crystal sand dunes, of bending sand live oaks, and of tall pines that look like tall umbrellas. The dunes set off a lake (Western Lake where we went paddleboarding.) that is a unique salt water/ fresh water ecosystem.  The dunes themselves are preserved. Here are a few of my pictures.

Grayton Beach sand dunes


Sand live oaks grow in sculpted shapes.

The sky itself looks like an ocean.


Hanging out with women in the advertising business has taught me some new terms to add to my lexicon:

  1. cranking: This is another word for getting on the computer and getting work done.  Best done when it’s raining and you can’t go “content gathering.”
  2. content gathering: This is a term for going out and taking pictures so that you can post them on social media to show others how fun it is to be here.
  3. content: a picture that could be used to promote a place.  One of my pictures was used on Instagram as “content.” Follow @Southwalton

And the best way to have a team meeting is when everyone is in PJs and passing around a bottle of wine.  (I think I may have gotten into the wrong profession.)  In addition to being a relaxing trip to the beach, I have enjoyed time alone with daughter number 2 and learning about the work she does everyday.  It’s not always at the beach, though.


Poetry Friday round-up is at Buffy’s Blog.

Summer is here!  I’ve been enjoying long mornings to walk and swim, pick blueberries, just lingering, not rushing.  I remember a Ditty Challenge a while back from Nikki Grimes about writing a wordplay poem.  The word linger keeps coming up for me.  I paired a wordplay poem with an image I took at the lake in Mississippi where my parents live.  A lake is a perfect place to linger.


See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

Living near nature puts you in touch with the sanctity of all life. I am spending Memorial Day weekend at my parents’ home on a lake in Mississippi. They watch the birds that come and go like they are their own family. Mom called me a few months ago to tell me the goslings had hatched. And now those babies have grown and still come by every afternoon. When years ago the Canada geese were invasive and leaving behind a stinky mess, now they are part of the nature of things that live with my parents. They cry out, “The babies are here!” My father says he has new respect for the species because the father stays with the mother and goslings.

Two Canada Geese families

Around Easter, I noticed a new contraption in my neighbor’s front oak tree. I couldn’t tell what it was, but there was a metal ladder, a wooden platform with a small umbrella set above it. What could this project be?

We saw our neighbors at the Boy Scout banquet last week and Svitlana shared with me her story. She had rescued a baby owlet and the mother owl. They had both been injured in a storm. Ric made a platform for her to place a basket on. She cared for the mother and child for about 6 weeks. She fed the mother who then fed her baby. I was enthralled by her story. She sent some pictures to me.

Svitlana rescues an owlet.

Mother barred owl in basket.

In her poetry, Mary Oliver reminds me to pay attention. We are all part of the family of things. Nature can guide us to ourselves and to God. I want to live in this knowledge and appreciate the sanctity of nature.

Poetry Friday round-up is here!

Last month I invited Poetry Friday peeps to participate in a photo exchange, “More than Meets the Eye,” in which we’d send a photograph from our own geographic area for our exchange partner to write a poem about.  Please take some time to read other posts by clicking the Inlinkz at the bottom of this post.

I exchanged photos with Molly Hogan.  She sent me photos from a tidal pond in Maine.  I selected the photo of Greater Yellowlegs, a breed of sandpiper.  Here is Molly’s email explaining the setting:

Choosing is hard! I thought at first, I’d choose from one of my favorite places, but I changed my mind and am sending two from a new discovery. I often drive down to visit Popham Beach in Phippsburg, Maine. Driving back from walking there last weekend, I noticed a beautiful small pond? lake? off to the side. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it before! At any rate, there was a small paved area I could pull into, and I did so. Then I noticed a trail and saw the signs: Spirit Pond Preserve and McDonald Preserve. It was such a misty, ethereal morning, that the name Spirit Pond seemed…well….heaven sent!

I did a little research at home to discover that Spirit Pond is a tidal pond fed by the Morse River. The small paved area I had used is to provide access to the pond for local clammers. As I checked a spelling this morning before sending this, I found an entire new rabbit hole of information about some runes that were reportedly discovered at Spirit Pond in the 1970s that were considered as possible evidence of Nordic activity. Then, there was some mention of those runes having possibly been brought to Maine by the Knights Templar along with the Holy Grail! Yikes!

Allaboutbirds.com describes the Greater Yellowlegs, “A common, tall, long-legged shorebird of freshwater ponds and tidal marshes, the Greater Yellowlegs frequently announces its presence by its piercing alarm calls.”

With this information and a prompt from Poets & Writers to write a love poem that uses animal behavior as a lesson in how we interact as humans, I wrote my first ever sonnet.

Spirit Pond by Molly Hogan


A Sonnet for Sandpipers

If I should hear alarming calls from you
within this holy place where we find rest,
I’d come to you like two birds often do;
We’d dance in water pools; close-by we’d nest.

From Nordic days, your charm & elegance
will lead a waltz across this Spirit Pond.
Where Knights themselves discovered sacred dance,
you kiss the sunlight at the break of dawn.

We’ll wade along a shore in misty haze
and build a nest on hummock safe & high.
In Maine, where nights are cool, we’ll spend our days
aloft on air uplifting wings to fly.

No fear how high or far away I roam
I know without a doubt, you are my home.


–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved