Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Summer is here! This is the time I travel vicariously through others. Because of circumstances keeping me at home this summer, I will not be traveling. But my 24 year-old niece recently toured Portugal and posted dreamy, beautiful photos. I asked her if I should put Portugal on my bucket list and her response was “Yes! The hills/stairs are killer but it’s so beautiful.” I’m having second thoughts, but maybe I can build up to it. My walking path is flat and the last time I did an elliptical, I couldn’t walk for a few days. This photo was taken by Taylor Saxena in Madeira, Portugal.

For this flash draft, I used my Insight Timer, an ap that offers a timer with ambient sounds as well as meditations. I’ve set the timer for 5 minutes. When you write today, consider a time limit and accept what comes.

Thoughts come and go. Feelings come and go. Find out what it is that remains.

Ramana Maharshi

I think about going.
I feel what it means to stay.
Stay near you,
listen to the sounds of your voice;
stay for what may be
the last time.
Margaret Simon, draft

Please sit and stay. Write what comes and place your words in the comments. They don’t have to be good or perfect, but they are yours for now, this moment. Reply to other writers with encouraging words.

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I am a hopeless romantic who believes that dreams come true. Recently, for me that has been wonderfully true and painfully false all at the same time. I think that’s life. How can someone capture that feeling in a photograph? Molly Hogan does. The photo for today she took on her way to work. The caption on Facebook simply said, “What almost made me late for work twice this week.” The reality is that we work every day, and sometimes those days are hard and don’t go the way we planned. We do it anyway, every day. But sometimes there is beauty that stops us in our tracks, makes us pull the car over and wonder at the miracle of two things, flowering branch and rising sun, can come together in a composition of Awe.

Put on your awe-glasses today. Find the flower in the rainstorm. Be aware that life will not always be so hard. Breathe. Join me in musing over this amazing photo and write for a few minutes. It will be good for your soul.

Photo by Molly Hogan.

Summer Comes

I have a long list
of things to do.
You know the one
we write each May
and tick away day by day
until you wake up on a morning
in June and find peace
on a branch with blue blossoms
welcoming you awake.

Margaret Simon, flash draft

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The Great Blue Heron is a loner, often seen wading across the bayou on stealthy legs. No fast movements for this bird. And when he takes to flight, it is a glorious regal sight of his wingspan of six feet. The Great Blue Heron is a widespread water bird foraging in marshes, swamps, and lakes. I’ve seen them in Louisiana and Mississippi, and my friend Molly Hogan took an amazing close up of one in Maine. I think a bird image can make us pause and marvel in the beauty of nature.

Blue Heron Portrait by Molly Hogan

A Lune for the Heron

Stealthily abides.
Feathers glide.
Minnows, you should hide.

Margaret Simon, draft

When writing small poems, each word counts, especially in such a short poem form. I rewrote my last line in a number of different ways and settled on speaking directly to the minnows. Try to condense your words into a small poem today. Add it in the comments and support other writers with your comments. Thanks, Molly, for the image. Thanks to my student James for asking for a bird photo today.

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For Easter I brought my three-year-old grandson a dinosaur bubble blower. He went outside to blow the bubbles. I’m not sure how he figured out how to make bubbles pile up on each other. He was first doing this on the ground. Then he made this beauty on a vine. It looks like a flower of bubbles.

I wrote about bubbles in Two Truths and a Fib poetry anthology edited by Bridget Magee. I like playing with forms, so if you’d like to join me, select a form you’d like to try and go for it. Bubble up with a new poem today. Share it in the comments. Support other bubble blowers in the comments.

A Prime Number Haiku (Syllable Count= 2, 3, 5, 7, 11)

one becomes
rainbows blossoming
building hexagonal blooms
on a vine to be blown into the wind: Poof!

Margaret Simon, draft

Last night I had the honor of participating in a Facebook video with my Poetry Friday friends. We talked about how Poetry Friday has influenced our lives and ways to use poetry in the classroom with students. I joined Laura Shovan, Heidi Mordhorst, Sylvia Vardell, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Mary Lee Hahn, Janet Wong, and Irene Latham. You can view the show on Facebook at this link.

The Kidlit Progressive Poem is with Patricia Franz today.

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On Sunday morning we paddled on Mother Earth’s church, the Bayou Teche. The day was near perfect with a little cloud cover and moderate temperatures. We invited friends to join us. We actually saw an alligator. He was a juvenile about 3 feet long sunning himself on some concrete rip-rap. I got a good picture of him. He was totally still, not spooked at all by our moving closer to him. He smiled for me.

Gator juvenile, downtown New Iberia, LA. photo by Margaret Simon

Bayou Cinquain

how light dances
on bayou’s belly rolls
washing us with soothing hopeful

Margaret Simon
Bayou Teche, New Iberia, LA (photo by Margaret Simon)

The Progressive Poem is with Janet today at Tabatha’s blog The Opposite of Indifference.

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My classroom neighbor is connected with a door between our rooms. Often she or I will knock and visit. One of those visits I talked about my weekly blog post of a photo, and she showed me photographs from her dance troupe. I was moved by the seeming still life of a dancer in flight. Kim got permission from both the photographer, Jon Rabalais, and the dancer, Lacey LeBlanc, for me to post this photo as a poem prompt. I hope you are inspired as I was to write about this amazing photo. Thanks to Jon and Lacey for sharing it with us.

My poem is a bit of word play, changing nouns to verbs. I enjoyed creating my poem. Please leave a small poem in the comments and encourage other writers with your comments. Honor the artistry of dance and photography with words.

Photo by Jon Rabalais. Dancer is Lacey LeBlanc.

I bird-dance
my winged hands
I leg-lift
I body-rise

Margaret Simon, draft

The Kidlit Progressive Poem is gaining suspense in the garden. Check out today’s line at Carol’s blog: https://theapplesinmyorchard.com/

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Looking at the calendar-chart plan for this month, I realize I haven’t written a cinquain yet. This form is a five-lined verse with a syllable count 2, 4, 6, 8, 2. Yesterday was the most perfect spring day after a raging storm the night before. The air was breezy with a touch of cool. Perfect canoeing weather, so Jeff and I seized the day and paddled for a couple hours. One of our goals for each paddle is to clean up crap junk from the bayou. Yesterday we retrieved a basketball, a soccer ball, and a few cans and water bottles, one large piece of styrofoam. A small part, but we had a good time finding and trying to retrieve it.

how light dances
on bayou’s belly rolls
washing us with soothing hopeful

Margaret Simon, draft

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Happy Easter! I gave myself permission to not post today, to take a day off after writing 31 Slices of Life in March and 7 poems-a-day, but inspiration comes as inspiration will. On Facebook, I was tagged by a friend who knows I love birds, Louisiana wildlife, and photography. This photo by Gary Meyers is an amazing photo of roseate spoonbills in flight. I remembered that I wrote a poem once about the bird. One of the ideas Molly and I had for our poetry project was to revise an old poem, so what better exercise to do when I don’t want to write. I borrowed the photo and created a Canva to include the poem.

The Progressive Poem is with my friend, Inkling, best librarian poet I know, Linda Mitchell. Hope to this link to see her Easter bunny gift of a line.

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For National Poetry Month, Molly Hogan and I committed to a flexible schedule of writing different forms of poetry, but I insisted on a weekly space for writing to a photograph. While out on my walks these days, I may open the Notes app and hit the microphone to dictate a poem. Yesterday while I walked, I contemplated the Ethical ELA prompt from Jennifer Jowett to write from an ungrammatical stance making nouns into verbs. See her prompt here. I observed the trees along my path, and spoke the words, “When I tree.” Then I saw the shadows from an overhead street light. Shadows are intriguing. I took this photo.

Shadows, by Margaret Simon

Broken Dawn

When I tree,
bayou-bell’s song echoes in me.
Yellow twinkle of sweet olive scents
my breath. Legs ache
from last night’s climb.
Turn to eastern broken dawn.

Margaret Simon, draft

Please leave a small poem in the comments and respond to other writers with encouraging words. Are you poeming daily this month? Here is a safe place to play with words.

The Progressive Poem is with Rose Cappelli today at Imagine the Possibilities.

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Rainbow Promise

On wooded trails,
under the wild strawberry
a fresh fern unfurls,
new leaves replace old
heartshapes of gold,
a forest in rebirth.

Margaret Simon, draft
Rainbow collage collection, Lake Fausse Pointe trail photo by Margaret Simon

On a recent yoga Women’s Wellness Retreat, I collected things as I walked a forest trail. The instructor suggested collecting a rainbow. My collection includes an unripe blackberry, a piece of dead wood, a fiddlehead fern, a few wildflowers and leaves. When we stopped for a short break, I arranged them into something that pleased me and took this photo. I left most of it in the forest where I found it. I kept the heart-shaped leaf, fern fiddlehead, and the purple wildflower to press and tape into my notebook. We poets are pretty good at assigning symbolism to things. If this collage arrangement speaks to you in some way, write a small poem in the comments. Be sure to support other writers with comments as well.

I am planning a National Poetry Month project, but This Photo Wants to be a Poem will continue to be part of it. Consider adding this practice to your own NPM project. Follow my blog to get updates in your inbox. If you teach, you can use this prompt with students. Please share students’ poems as well.

I will also be posting links each day to the Kidlit Progressive Poem. I’m excited for April, my favorite month of the year.

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