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Archive for August, 2022

Poetry Friday Round-up is here. Scroll to the end to find the link up and join.

Today is my birthday. I am turning the age of the year I was born. Can you do the math? I have to admit I am not a fan of birthdays. Being born in August has never appealed to me. It’s always hot and usually rainy. But with daily rain comes daily rainbows. Over the last few days I’ve seen a few big ones. I stop my car and get out to take a picture. I wish the pictures could show the colors and size, but you’ll have to just imagine it.

My Heart Leaps Up

William Wordsworth – 1770-1850

My heart leaps up when I behold 
   A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began; 
So is it now I am a man; 
So be it when I shall grow old, 
   Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

Birthday card from Linda Mitchell, my birthday “sistar”
Summer Poem Swap from Patricia J. Franz

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

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Join me and other writers in the comments. Write a small poem in response to the image. Encourage other writers with comments.

Words fascinate me. But sometimes they just puzzle me. I was scrolling through Instagram and came across my sister-in-law Julie’s beautiful post. She lives in Seattle and is a potter. Her Instagram is newleafseattle. She observes (and photographs) nature in her own unique way. This photo was captioned “On an Island in the Salish Sea – ‘choose a path and follow it.”

I asked “Where is the Salish Sea?” Then I googled and started to feel dumb (this is not a new feeling for me). The Salish (say-lish) Sea includes Georgia Strait, Puget Sound, and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Surely I have heard of this before with as many times we have visited Seattle. My google search revealed that the term was created in 1988, so it’s fairly recent, and was created to honor the Coast Salish, indigenous people of the area. Wikipedia offered this statement, “In a 2019 survey of residents in the general vicinity of the Salish Sea, only 9 percent of Washingtonians and 15 percent of British Columbians were able to correctly identify and name the Salish Sea.” This justifies my confusion but does not excuse it.

Let’s take a look at the photograph of rocks. Are you drawn in by the different colors of rocks or by the rings around the large stone? Let the muse take you where it will.

photo by Julie Braybrooks, newleafseattle


Like rings around a stone
encircle time,

I hold close

embrace
my path.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Poetry Friday is hosted today by Inkling Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone.

Today is the first Friday in August and my first day of school, but it’s also time for an Inkling challenge. This month Catherine wanted to give us something easy to write. She thought about sports. I am not all that sporty, but I do have a poem in the anthology Rhyme & Rhythm: poems for student-athletes (Archer Books. 2021). It’s a duplex poem about swimming.

As I contemplated this challenge, I turned to my weekly yoga class. I am going to miss this class during the school year. I love the instructor and the way she speaks to us. I’ve always thought it was like poetry. So on Wednesday, I recorded the class. This poem is a transcription with poetic license. I decided to play with having no punctuation and using space and line breaks to pause. Does this work?

The Sport of Mindfulness

Breathing is healing
relaxation 
brings the body together 
all cells communicate together
Breathe and communicate
into one focus. breath

Notice if your thoughts move
into a pattern bring yourself back 
to your anchor
your breath

Back and forth a tennis match with yourself
building a new skill purposeful
intentional thinking

Lean into the stretch        spread your fingers
press into the palm          open your muscles

Stay with the breath
Challenge yourself
Focus ride the waves
of discomfort Then it starts to feel good

Exhale pose
thank you colon
thank you liver
thank you spleen
gallbladder pancreas
Thank you for all your hard work
Toxins moving out release

Come back to the breath
The sound of the wind sound of the music
Sensation of being in the room  among friends
No responsibilities

Nature is abundant
Bring awareness to your abundance
You are abundant thriving We are all thriving

We all meet at the center
Namaste. 

For Susan Grain
Margaret Simon, draft

See how other Inklings met this challenge:
Linda Mitchell
Molly Hogan
Catherine Flynn
Heidi Mordhorst
MaryLee Hahn

Photo by Elina Fairytale on Pexels.com

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Spiritual Thursday Posts are gathered today at Beyond Literacy Link

abandon the shoes that had brought you here
right at the water’s edge, not because you had given up
but because now, you would find a different way to tread,

from “Finisterre” by David Whyte, Gratefulness.org

Sometimes we have to abandon shoes, say goodbye, leave something or someone behind.

Today is my last day of summer as we define it in the world of education, not by the actual season but by the school calendar. I go back to school tomorrow. Students will come next Wednesday and the year 2022-23 will be up and running.

I will leave behind the shoes of slow mornings, lingering over coffee and conversation. When this time arrives, it’s hard not to evaluate your summer. The question to my colleagues and students will be “How was your summer?” So in one word, we evaluate how we spent our days off. “Good” “Rough” “Crazy” “Busy” “Fun” “Exhausting”

Which shoes will I reminisce about when I hear this question?

Teva sandals,

straps of yellow, pink, orange, and blue

draw attention to my feet, my yellow toenails.

I can walk through water in these shoes.

Hold steady in a river raft.

They are made of sunshine and beach shores,

strappy bathing suits and splash pad sprinklers.

I relax into them, feel summer fresh.

I will leave these at the shore of school days,

put on sensible teacher shoes,

and walk into a new school year.

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.

[Paulo Coelho]

Ruth invites us to Share our Stories about saying hello (or goodbye)

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Let the photo inspire you to write. Leave a small poem in the comments.

We have had a string of rainy days here in South Louisiana. It happens most summers and helps to regulate the rising temperatures. Some days you feel as though you will never dry out. The air is wet. The ground is wet. Your body is wet.

The grass loves all this moisture and it grows and grows. In a nearby empty lot, the grass is almost as tall as I am. On a recent walk I stopped to look at it. Even the weeds of nature that grow out of control are beautiful. Nature is ongoing, reliably replenishing, and ever growing. Maybe your area of the world is hot and dry. Wash yourself in the lushness of the bayou side.

photo by Margaret Simon

Nature makes no demands.
Listen to the wind through the grass.
Earth’s song in harmony.

Modern haiku, Margaret Simon, draft

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