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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Irene at Live Your Poem.

My poet-friend and writing group partner, Molly Hogan, is a fine art photographer in her spare time. She lives in Maine and posts amazing photos on her blog and Facebook page. Sometimes her photos inspire me to respond in poetry.

photo by Molly Hogan

Dawn on the Marsh

Dawn on the marsh glows
like embers, like the final flash of a torch
lighting the tiny particles of fog 
rising ghost-like and dreamy.

High in the sky
geese line up
to honk their way south

In the distance, deer graze,
tentatively perk their ears
to your sound.

You do not feel the cold
that numbs your fingers and toes
as you click the lens of your camera

whispering a prayer of thanks.

Margaret Simon, draft 2019

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Beyond Literacy Link.
Waiting for the Harvest, by Mickey Delcambre.
First place in the Sugarcane Festival Photography Contest

Ralph Fletcher’s new book, Focus Lessons, is coming out, so I took advantage of Heinemann’s offer to read a sample.

There are strong links between photography and writing. This is true in substance and process, as well as language. The world of photography provides a visual, concrete language (angle, focus, point of view, close-up, panorama) that is enormously helpful in teaching writing.

Ralph Fletcher, Focus Lessons

When I saw Mickey Delcambre’s photo on my Facebook page, I was compelled to write a haiku.

Equinox harvest–
Slow down days, long resting nights
Autumn changes time.

Margaret Simon, draft, 2019

On Monday, I talked with my students about the Fall Equinox. I was surprised how well they know the solstices, but they were less familiar with the meaning of equinox.

In New Iberia this weekend, there is the annual Sugarcane Festival, celebrated on the last weekend of September as harvesting begins. We only have to look out of the window to see the tall cane waving in the fields.

One of the Craft Lessons included in the book sample focuses on Mood. Ralph explains how mood can be expressed in a photograph as well as in writing. I look forward to finding more crossovers between photography and writing Ralph says, “Photography is writing with light.”

I put Mickey’s photograph up and ask my students to do a quick write about it. Our quickwrites are typically 5 minutes. Then we share. Sometimes (it’s always a choice), a quickwrite will become a poem.

Seeing the Days Change

I see the days
changing around me,
going from
day to night
and
night to day
the marks of tires
only
from the day before
seeing the sun go down
getting ready
for the night,
goodnight sun.

Breighlynn, 4th grade

Sugar

Sugar in the fields,
still as a cane.
Growing, oh so tall,
ready for the harvest.
Burning leaves
make the sweet smelling
smoke.

Can you smell
the sugar?
Smelling, oh so
sweet.
Have you ever
eaten the cane?
As pure as sugar
comes.

A.J., 6th grade

This morning on my morning walk I smelled the sweet air that A. J. wrote about. One of the gifts of fall.

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

Last week I read my teacher-blogger-writer-friend Molly Hogan’s Slice of Life post. It touched the poet in me. Molly wakes early and goes on photography quests. When we’re lucky, she takes us along on her Facebook posts or blog. Last week she wrote this post entitled A Generous Morning.

Inspired, I copied her words into a found poem. Her generous morning became my generous morning. That’s how it works with creativity; it’s all big magic.


A Generous Morning

Lightening sky in the east
as surely as
the birds were migrating south,
I missed the swallows.


The sky seemed lonely.
Then a couple of swallows
dart and dive through the air currents,
and a bird approaching in the distance-

a heron

Sun rose higher, lit the mist.
Cedar waxwings flittered.
I watched it all, 
the generosity of morning.

a found poem by Margaret Simon using Molly Hogan’s words.
Heron on branch by Molly Hogan.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Linda at A Word Edgewise.

We’ve been watching our wood duck nest box for months. The first clutch did not hatch. Overcoming our disappointment, we set out new wood shavings and hoped for the best. By and by, another wood duck hen came in and laid 18 or so eggs. (Maybe it was two hens?) Nevertheless, we watched again. She seemed to be doing it all right, turning the eggs, covering them in down before leaving to feed, and sitting, sitting, sitting.

Yesterday morning my husband texted and said, “Look in the house.” (I am away from home this week.) When I looked at the video on my phone sent from the camera in the nesting box, I saw three dark blobs. At first I was afraid they were dead, but eventually realized that hatching is hard work, so they lay still.

We are both proud parents of 12 wood ducklings. Today was Jump Day. At 7:30 AM, Momma went out and called her babies. They climbed the wire mesh my husband had nailed into the wall nearest the hole. One by one they reached the hole and jumped out.

A poem will come, I’m sure. Yesterday, Laura Purdie Salas posted her 15 Words or Less image and I wrote this little ditty.

Ripple Effect

One egg hatches
then another.
Soon the whole nest
is chattering.

Margaret Simon, draft, 2019

Jump Day! Photo by Danny Womack

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

March Super Moon
Photo by Margaret Simon

I am your silent super moon
I light the equinox sky
I touch the tips of trees
I hear nocturnal owls
I whisper secrets to your soul.

I am your silent super moon
I tell the myths of constellations
I cry tears for fading Earth
I pretend to keep my eyes on you.
I pull tides of ocean waves.

I am your silent super moon.
I wonder if I’m magical
I play hide-n-seek with stars
I carry your wishes in my moondust
Sprinkle heaven with hope.
I am your silent super moon.

(c) Margaret Simon

This poem came to me in stages beginning with my morning walk with the super moon earlier this week.  I was reminded of this form when Elisabeth Ellington used it to write a response poem to the first poem in my book Bayou Song, I am a Beckoning Brown Bayou. I’ve used the form with students and adults in writing workshops.  Here is a template for the form.  If you use it to create your own poem or have students respond, let me know.  I love to share how Bayou Song inspires on my book Facebook page. 

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

Vernal Equinox on the Bayou Teche.

Begin with the source,
Lore told again and again,
ancient words from native people–
Teche,
Tesh,
Snake

Water runs through it
brown bayou mud
bound by an ever-eroding shore
Teche,
Tesh,
Snake.

Sun sets on vernal equinox
sends rays of light across
cypress trees reflected in still water
Teche,
Tesh,
Snake.

–Margaret Simon

Reflections

The name of my blog originates with the bayou that runs behind my house.  Bayou Teche was so named for an ancient Native American legend that the warriors battled a huge snake for days, and in finally killing it, the giant serpent created a waterway through where it lay.  The Bayou Teche meanders back and forth for 125 miles.

We recently joined the T.E.C.H.E. Project, Teche Ecology, Culture and History Education, a nonprofit with a mission to improve the Bayou Teche for recreation as well as for ecosystem health.  One of the perks of membership is the gift of a mile marker.  Our house is at mile 69.4.  We plan to mount the marker on our wood duck house, but we will wait until Eve, our resident mother, finishes her nesting.

The name of my blog has significance to me. It reflects the place where I live along with my own internal reflections about teaching and writing.  Literal and figurative reflections on the Teche.

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

It doesn’t take much to bloom–
a space in the yard
tucked away from plain view
safe from weeds and snakes.

Just stretch out your branches,
bend to the light,
open your eyes
and be white lace, clouds of lace

woven on air
swept up in a tangle of wind
waiting for hope.
That’s all it takes to bloom.

(c) Margaret Simon

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