Archive for March 19th, 2018

Paint chip poetry took me on a journey to a place far away.


With my students, I randomly grabbed a paint chip. On the back of each paint chip I had written an unrelated word. The instructions included using the given word, the color, and the color name in a poem of any form.

When my selected paint chip gave me “Oceanside” and “traverse”, I wrote a septercet. A septercet is 3 lines of seven syllables each. Jane Yolen created the form. Learn more about this form on Today’s Little Ditty.

Ocean liner traverses

Waves along the deep blue sea

Opening horizons far.

–Margaret Simon

With my second group, I chose the paint chip “Blue Nile” with the word “periwinkle.”

I wrote another poem with them, but soon saw how they could be combined into one poem.

Ocean liner traverses
waves on periwinkle seas
opening horizons far.

Come with me to River Nile.
Touch the shores with tender toes.
Dream an impossible dream.

–Margaret Simon


Jasmine doesn’t often choose to write with us and even more seldom shares what she writes, but today was different.  This exercise worked for her.  The given words and colors allowed her to express something hidden deep within.  Poetry is like that.

My Friend, Out of Reach

My friend, out of reach
Periwinkle, the color of her hair
Her eyes, sparkling blue Nile
Out of place, she is in this cruel world
Different sides of the river
We can never cross
For she is my friend, out of reach.

Jasmine, 6th grade

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge


I’ve had a poem accepted for publication in the journal, the Aurorean.  My poem is titled, “Aubade to a Tulip.” The journal is currently taking pre-orders at this link. 

Years ago I submitted to the Aurorean and was published in the Fall/ Winter 2009-2010 issue with the following poem.

December 27th: Putting the Old Dog Down

On this cloudy humid morning I watch
a great blue heron swoop toward the bayou.
He jumps in like a child in summer,
emerges with the catch of the day.
Standing on the bulkhead, he swallows
the fish whole, looks left then right,
rises–his blue wing-tips all the bluer.

Fog lifts over the road to the vet’s office.
Wrapped in a shred of flannel sheet,
I hold her close, look into eyes of trust
while the poison needles in.
I let her go.

The camellia’s first blossoms blanket
the lawn in pink, resurrection fern fans the air.

Margaret Simon (c) 2010

I am grateful to the Aurorean’s editor Cynthia Brackett-Vincent for placing her trust in me as a poet and once again giving wings to one of my poems.

Bayou Teche blue heron, photo by Margaret Simon


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