Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2018

#HaikuforHope: Approach of Winter

On Friday, my students and I read a poem by William Carlos Williams, “Approach of Winter.”  I subscribe to a lesson email from Poets.org that is designed for middle and high school, but occasionally the lesson works for my kids, too. You can sign up for the weekly emails here. 

To get in the right mindset to write about the coming of winter, we walked outside.  The plan was to go to the garden, but heavy rain the night before left multiple puddles to navigate, and then it started to misty rain, so we ran back inside.  This didn’t lead into much amazing writing, but I later wrote a small poem about that misty rain.

Approach of Winter
after William Carlos Williams

The mist
like wet dust
tickles my nose
while clouds
hover
in grey sadness
dewdrops
of icy speckles
tasting
of coming cold.

(c) Margaret Simon

In keeping with the December haiku-a-day challenge, I turned thoughts to creating a shorter poem about coming winter.

Stratus clouds hover
yellow billows bending
Sweet sugar promise

(c) Margaret Simon

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura Shovan.

One of the best parts of this Poetry Friday community is the Winter poem swap managed by Tabatha Yeats.  My recipient this year was Matt Forrest Esenwine.  He posted my gift and poem on his site today along with a virtual Christmas party.

I received a handmade journal and a poem from Linda Mitchell.  She is in my writing group. How serendipitous!  She explained that she had gathered words and phrases from one of our Zoom meetings and weaved them together into this amazing reverso poem.  She also hand made the little snowman from cutting paper from an old discarded picture book.

 

 

With my students this week, we explored word wandering.  I remembered first seeing this idea on Today’s Little Ditty when Michelle featured Nikki Grimes.  Some great examples are included in the Best of Today’s Little Ditty, 2014-2105.  Breighlynn wandered with the word bell.

Bell

by Breighlynn

Bell is a shiny word,
the music in my ears
Ding! Ding!
The bell rings for school
for lunch
even playtime
Bells help us learn
just like music.

 

I played around with a few words in my notebook, and each one seemed to lead me to babies.  (Wonder why?)

Small is a tiny word
rolling on the page
where nothing is too small
to be noticed.

Small is my baby boy.
His lips circle and stretch
as he tastes the world.

Whenever you feel small,
think of this tiny miracle
and you will know
the truth
of pure love.

(draft) Margaret Simon

Grandbaby Leo with the blanket I made for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

My friend, Chere’ Coen is a travel writer.  She posted some pictures this morning of a sunrise in Bay St. Louis, MS.  My dear friend Nettie loved Bay St. Louis.  She visited often and took me there once when we made a wrong turn on I10 and ended up going east instead of west.  I remember the sense of peace we both felt as we walked the beach looking for driftwood.  I still have that piece I picked up that day.  Nettie died in October after a battle with colon cancer.  Chere’s photograph made me miss her more and yet, feel at peace.

photo by Chere’ Coen

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

 

On Friday morning at 5 AM, I received a text from my daughter Maggie.  At first glance, I thought it was a screen shot of the weather app.  I started my morning routine, fed the dog, turned on the coffee.  After my first sip of coffee, I opened the text again.  It wasn’t the weather app.  It was an app for timing contractions.  And the intervals were 3 minutes apart. My response, “Seem pretty close together.  Are they getting stronger?”

“Yes.”

“Wake someone up.  I’m coming.”

I met Maggie and her husband Grant at the hospital at 6:30 AM.  My first grandson, Leo, was born at 11:22 AM.  And he is absolutely perfect in every way.

I had heard from others that I would love being a grandmother.  The feelings are taking a while to really sink in.  The best feeling of all is being satisfied with being me.  I’m not sure that makes sense, but I am just so plain happy.

All our lives we seem to be in search of elusive happiness and a sense of contentment.  We are always seeking something, longing for something, wanting something.  Being the mother of a mother makes me completely whole.  I have done my work.

This feeling may pass, especially as Christmas approaches with all its obligations.  Even so, I want to soak it all in.  I want to look at Baby Leo and Be with my happiness.

Circle of soft thread
wraps this perfect gift of love
All is well, is well

(c) Margaret Simon
#haikuforhope

Read Full Post »

Stop the Clock

When it’s time to dance,
you offer your hand, lead
me to step back spin.

(c) Margaret Simon

 

Read Full Post »

You shine in glory
lighten my discontent
with the balm of love

(c) Margaret Simon
Christmas hymn found haiku

Read Full Post »

#haikuforhope: Stardust

One of the poets I am following for this month of daily haiku is Mary Lee Hahn.  She posted this poem today with a link to an article Are we really all made of stardust?  Fascinated both by this physics and my new grandson, I offer this #haikuforhope.

 

Nothing but hope
heart of a heavenly star
born as a child
(c) Margaret Simon

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday roundup is with Elizabeth Steinglass

Laura Purdie Salas is one the most clever poets I know.  In 2014, she invented a new form of haiku, the riddle-ku, when she decided to write riddle+mask poems for National Poetry Month. In Spring of 2019, a new book of riddle-ku poems will be available, Lion of the Sky. 

I received an advanced copy at NCTE.  For reading with small children, the illustrations give pretty strong hints to the answer to the riddle, so I didn’t show my middle grade students the illustrations until they “gave up.”  I was surprised both by the ones they guessed and the ones they missed.  Nevertheless, they had a good time playing along.

Then, of course, we wrote our own riddle-kus. I copied lines from Laura’s book onto popsicle sticks and let the students select a stick and decide how to use the line in their own riddle-ku.

Laura shared her webpage for this book which includes a padlet for students to post their poems.

Sprite+Mentos=Explosion

(This title is a shout-out to another of Laura’s new books, Snowman-Cold=Puddle)

Exploding red hot
lava oozing out on top
Dangerous! Don’t touch!

by Chloe, 3rd grade

Endless Parched Sea

Wide, curvy, golden
I am a sea needing rain
Memories within

by Madison, 5th grade

I wrote a few, too.  The one above with the picture of burning sugarcane fields, but my favorite is this one.  Can you guess what it’s about?

On the waiting page,
I flow from your colored pen
Word patterns counted

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

In the comments, take a guess for each poem.  Thanks!

Read Full Post »

Round up is with Irene at Live Your Poem.

On this first Thursday of December, the Spiritual Journey bloggers are reflecting on our 2018 one little word. Way back in January, I chose the word Explore.  Like previous words, Presence and Open, this word helped me to be more present to the world around me.  Exploration is important in the life of a writer.  To me exploring has a connotation of adventure and daring. While I find much comfort in just being at home, when I am more open to adventure, I reach out and invite joy in.

My students and I enjoy exploring different ways to look at common objects.  The above image was taken through a Private Eye jewelers loupe in the school garden. The Private Eye asks the viewer to use figurative language to describe what you see.  It looks like… and it also looks like…

A rose in bloom
flowing tutu in the sun
a garden dancer

 

Following NCTE in Houston, my friend Dani traveled home with me for a few days before heading back to Montana.  We explored Avery Island and the Tabasco plant, a sculpture garden in New Orleans, and an old cemetery.  Dani was fascinated by the above ground crypts.  Since NOLA is below sea level, bodies are buried above ground to avoid floating away. Exploring is more fun with a friend.

 

Explore was a good word for 2018, but as this year comes to a close, I’m thinking about next year’s one little word.  I feel the need to turn more toward reaching out to others and making some kind of difference.  Explore was a more self-serving word, one that led me to adventures and new places, but didn’t send me outward to others.  I’m ready to look inward to how I can become more generous to others.

#haikuforhope

Hope fills my waiting heart
Gently cradled in wonder
Exploring my world

(c) Margaret Simon

 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »