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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Read, write, share

I have a soft spot for the mimosa tree. One was growing in my grandfather’s yard when I was a child. My brother and I would climb its branches and use the seed pods in mud pie and “soup”. On a recent walk I took pictures of the mimosa blossom. It’s beautiful in its feathery flounce. When I took a moment to Google the tree this morning, I found out a few things:

  1. The tree comes from Asia, known as the Persian silk tree or the pink silk tree.
  2. The wood of the mimosa is brittle and prone to break. Thus the tree has a short life span.
  3. The tree is an invasive species from China.
  4. The tree attracts webworm.
  5. The mimosa pod (which my brother and I used in pretend play) is poisonous.

This mimosa tree was growing wild in Mississippi. I’ve also seen a few in our city park and near the bayou in a wooded area. Write a poem based on this image and put it into the comments. Please reply to 3 other writers with encouragement. Thanks for being here.

Fran Haley is leading the Open Write at Ethical ELA today. I used her prompt to create my poem.

Mimosa

evanescent blossoms
perky pink feathering
flames of flower power
invasive Asian tree
reaching for the sunlight
my childhood memory

Margaret Simon, draft

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Welcome back to This Photo Wants to be a Poem. I am finally in full summer mode and able to dedicate time each day to my writing. Whew!

Today’s photo appeared in my Facebook feed from Molly Hogan. I keep telling her I want photography lessons, but she just tells me it’s luck. Luck or persistence? Molly has a steady hand and an eye for beauty.

Dandelion Seed, by Molly Hogan

Hope is the thing

with seeds to blow
beyond our thoughts
and what we know.

Hope drifts on waves of air.

Margaret Simon, draft

You are invited to respond to this photo with a small poem. Write encouraging comments to others. I feel such a sense of peaceful joy to be back here with you.

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This week was the first week of Simon Summer Camp with the visit of Thomas, better known as Tuffy. We have had a wealth of experiences each day. How do you build memories for a 2.9 year old? Why, you sing about it, of course. Tuffy and I have been singing along to the brilliant and everlasting Raffi. (If you’re a grandmother, you must download his songs.)

I haven’t had much time to spend alone writing poetry, but that’s as it should be. I missed posting yesterday on actual Friday. His mother is back from her “trip.” The song we sang together to tell her about his camp week is sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know it.” When I sang it to him last night at bed time, he cuddled up on my shoulder, and I looked at my daughter and whispered, “I think I’m going to cry.” He popped his head right up and said, “Don’t cry, Mamère!” Then we all laughed and laughed. Pure Joy!

Uncle Ric fixed your tires, so you could stroll.
Svitlana gave you vegetables to grow.
CeCe watered flowers and plants in her yard,
And Mr. Al waved good-bye.

KiKi showed you sculptures you could touch.
She told you all about them, oh so much.
Sophie made quesadilla out of play dough,
And Rylee chased water rainbows.

Mamère and Tuffy, Summer Camp Song 2022

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I drive the same roads every day as I travel between two schools. Both of my schools are rural, and I’ve come to appreciate the calm of the countryside. This spring the black-eyed Susan wildflowers have been in full bloom. Usually I am on a time schedule and can’t stop to take pictures, but recently as I was passing, I put on the brakes and put the car in reverse right there in the middle of the road. I took this photo. It was a bright sunny day and I took it quickly, but the next day the field had been mowed and all the yellow flowers were gone. I realized I should appreciate the present moment. The old adage “Stop to smell the roses.” What else are we given but this moment right now?

Country barn with black-eyed Susan wildflowers, photo by Margaret Simon

Invitation: Share your own poem in the comments and encourage other writers with comments.

No one can tell you what to do.
You have to be bold.
Some see weeds
where others find gold.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Photographer-Poet-Teacher Kim Douillard lives in San Diego, California. We’ve never met face-to-face, but we are friends connected by common interests. Her photos of the beaches in California are always inspiring. This week I was taken by this photo of a broken sand dollar. Where will this muse take you? Please leave a small poem in the comments and write encouraging comments to fellow writers.

Half Dollar by Kim Douillard

Allan Wolf lost his father on the same day as I did. We had been in communication over a student Zoom visit when both of our lives were interrupted. Allan posted these words on Facebook, “Writing, like loving, is an act of faith. We bury a piece of ourselves and wait for something better than ourselves to eventually emerge.” Then I saw Kim’s photo. It’s all too fresh for me to write about today. Or maybe I’m just too raw. Nevertheless, friends, I leave these thoughts for you to make something beautiful with, as I know you will.

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Today’s Spiritual Thursday Round-up is with Susan Koehler.

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give.

–Eleanor Roosevelt

This month’s spiritual journey topic is from Susan Koehler, abundance. At this time in my grief, I’m aware of the abundance of people who care about me. I have received cards and flowers, texts and messages of love and support. These expressions are good, well-meaning, thoughtful yet sometimes difficult to accept. I’m much more comfortable on the giving end rather than receiving.

Susan offers a poem on her post today, one that can be used as a mentor text. This kind of exercise often helps me say what I mean to say without having to decide on the form. Last week during #verselove on Ethical ELA, Jessica Wiley offered a mentor text by Eloise Greenfield titled By Myself.

I worked through this prompt a few times and would like to share this draft today.

By Myself
after Eloise Greenfield

When I’m by myself
and I close my eyes,
I’m a running river
everchanging, yet steady in its way to go.
I’m a scent of yellow.
I’m a half-filled cup of tea.
I like to sit alone with me.
I grip myself in
I’m a string of violin,
time unfolding, worth gentle holding.
I’m a space for filling up again.
I open my eyes,
and find myself in me.

Margaret Simon, draft
Sunrise walk, by Margaret Simon

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It’s Wednesday again and life continues to move forward. May is here and settling in on a warm breeze. Yesterday evening I attended a special Yen Yoga session in Jungle Gardens on Avery Island (known for its production of Tabasco). The evening was beautiful. A light breeze blew through the canopy of oaks, swaying the Spanish Moss. The calming meditation was just what I needed. I took a photo while lying on the mat looking up into the trees. I wish it were higher quality so you could see the moss that almost looked like blossoms as the setting sun glimmered.

Looking up through Live Oaks, photo by Margaret Simon

Moss blooms on an evening breeze
while yogis stretch in tree pose
longing to be held by Mother Earth.

Margaret Simon, draft

Please leave a small poem in the comments and support your fellow writers with encouraging comments.

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If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we are apart, I’ll always be with you.

A.A.Milne

Today’s photo prompt appeared in my Facebook feed. Our school librarian has a young daughter who is a dancer. They recently posed these photos for her dance teacher. Melissa told me that this one is her daughter with her best friend. It made me think of how important friends can be in this dance of life. Leave a small poem in the comments. Then comment on others with encouraging words. Thanks for stopping by.

Beach Dancers, by dance instructor Delannie Delcambre

Dance for the ocean
Speak for the earth
Sing for the sky
Write for who you long to be.

Margaret Simon, draft

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This is a difficult time. My father had a stroke last week and is not recovering in the earthly sense. We’ve held holy vigil with him. It’s holy, healing, and horrible all at the same time. This photo is my mother and father’s hands.

I wrote this poem after Lucille Clifton from an Ethical ELA prompt. I know that this is a universal experience for some. Write a small poem in the comments and respond to other poets.

Wishes for Dad

i wish for peace
and a place to write
his thoughts
on a cloud
floating above
all this madness
of machines
pumping oxygen
taking pulse
counting heartbeats

i wish for the smell
of an open field
of wildflowers
where he can
run
free

i wish
i wish
i wish
i could take the cup
of suffering away.

Margaret Simon, draft

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If you are here for the first time, this post is a weekly photo poetry prompt originated by Laura Purdie Salas as Fifteen Words or Less. This is a place to play with words and interact with other poets. On Ethical ELA this week there were two different Verse Love prompts in which the writer took inspiration from another writer, a word or a line traveled from poet to poet.

Let’s play with this idea of poems communicating with each other. I will start us off. The first person here can take a word or line from me. As always, you may choose to go your own way. That’s fine, too.

Today’s photo is from my friend, first grade teacher Lory Landry. When she isn’t teaching, she is taking photographs. I loved the intimate perspective of this one.

Dandelion by Lory Landry

Mary Lee Hahn is writing a poem each day about the climate crisis. I loved her poem about dandelions.

Wake up, dandelion!
Starbursts ready to fly.
Blow, spring wind, blow!

Margaret Simon, draft

The Progressive Poem is with Linda Mitchell today. Molly had a conflict, so Linda stepped up to add the next line. Thanks, Linda!

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