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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

 

Autumn takes its time coming to South Louisiana.  It comes in small, unnoticeable ways like the browning of cypress trees, or in larger, violent ways as in a storm leading a cold front. So here we are on the second day of November and temperatures have dropped to the 50’s, a pleasant change from the 80’s to 90’s of the previous six months.  I so envy the images of orange and red fall leaves filling the trees.

Since we have not changed our clocks quite yet, the sun is coming up later each morning, and I’ve noticed a heron on the bayou sitting right in the direct ray of the rising sun.  I tried to capture him with my telephoto lens, but he heard me and flew off.  No matter.  I can still write him into a poem.

Carol Varsalona curates a gallery at her blog site for every season.  Currently she is collecting images and poems for Abundant Autumn. I borrowed a photograph of a heron at the beach from fellow poet (and better photographer than me) Wendi Romero to use as a backdrop to my poem. I love how the challenges of Poetry Friday peeps push me to spread my writing wings.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura at Writing the World for Kids.

I love writing from photographs.  There are many different perspectives to take, as an observer, as someone in the photo, or as description. I shared the National Geographic photo archives with my students.  I asked them to select a photo to write about.  We gathered information first in a T-chart.  “What I see, What I think, What I wonder, What I know, What I feel.”  I found this idea in Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s book, Poems are Teachers. 

I was attracted to a photo of a lioness in water carrying a cub in her mouth.  Your Shot photographer Connie Bowen said, “We were in awe of her mothering and tolerance.”  I used this as a repeated line in my poem.

Chloe also chose this photo to write about, without knowing I had selected it, too.  Madison is a budding young artist.  She is taking art classes.  She wanted to raise some money to get a laptop so she can do more with her art.  I commissioned her to draw the photograph.

 

Maternal Instincts

We were in awe of her mothering,
how she gently yet firmly
held the cub in her jaws
hanging loosely, trusting.

We were in awe of her grace,
as she swept through the water
knowing her cubs would follow
in her wake, head up, alert to mother’s gait.

We were in awe of her tolerance,
lioness in African grass, patience
in her eyes, confidence in stride.
Mother nature teaches us tolerant, mothering grace.

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

A Likely Loving Lioness

by Chloe

A likely loving lioness
loves her cubs with a smile.
And when they’re sad
she makes them glad
by playing with them all day.

Here is a link to Chloe’s poem on Kidblog if you’d like to comment to her directly.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

 

What a thrill to be a part of this amazing collection of poems from all over our great country!  This honor was made possible by the connections I’ve made in Poetry Friday.  Because Amy Ludwig VanDerwater knows me, when J. Patrick Lewis was looking for a Louisiana children’s poet, she connected us.  The poem I wrote, “Louisiana Bayou Song” became the title poem of my first poetry book published by UL Press this summer.

I also know many of the poets included in the collection, and if you read more Poetry Friday posts, you will find them, too.  Today, Buffy Silverman’s post includes 4 poems from the book.  Last week, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater posted her poem “A Note from the Trail.”

Here’s Linda Kulp Trout’s poem about Helen Keller.  And Mary Lee has two poems included. Robyn Hood Black shared her poem, “Mural Compass.” If I find more, I will add the links into this post.

My poem sits on a two page spread that includes an amazing heron photograph and a heart-wrenching Katrina poem by the anthologist J. Patrick Lewis.  I feel I am sitting among my poet-heroes.

 

Louisiana Bayou Song

Sometimes on the bayou in Louisiana
a storm rolls in quickly–
Cypress trees
sway to the sound.

Sometimes on a quiet day
when the sun is high and hot
a heron happens by–
The bayou slows to the beat of his wading.

The song of the bayou
can be as fast and frenetic as a Zydeco two-step
or as soft and slow as a Cajun waltz–
The bayou sings a song to me.

Margaret Simon (c)

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Christie at Wondering and Wandering

 

Last week I discovered a challenge from today’s hostess, Christie Wyman, to write a bird themed poem.  Just so happened I had attended a poetry reading of Bird Forgiveness by Melinda Palacio of New Orleans. Then I was reading Diane Mayr’s blogpost about a Library of Congress photography show in Los Angeles.  She wrote a note to me to check out the featured photograph for “Not an Ostrich.”  Diane had seen a Facebook video I had posted of my friend’s goose, who absolutely must be a floradora goose like the one pictured.  Diane also challenged us poets to write about a chosen LOC photo.  So I am combining all of these things, Bird Forgiveness, bird themed poetry, and poetry about Library of Congress photos, to bring you this poem.

 

floradora goose loc

Not an Ostrich: ‘Floradora goose.’ Actress Isla Bevan holds a goose at the 41st annual Poultry Show, Madison Square Garden, 1930. Unknown photographer.

 

Precious Things

All things precious, except for this bird, end up buried in a box.
Melinda Palacio from Bird Forgiveness

What things are precious?

When a photograph is precious, it is saved
                           under glass, preserved in a museum,
                                         admired for ages.

When an egg is precious, it is removed
                          by expert hands, gently taken to a lab,
                                          buried with sacred ceremony.

Except for this bird.

This bird is named, released
                        to roam the farm, adorned in fancy feathers,
                                          posed as if fine lace

from a precious box. 

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

I spent a long weekend in Boston with my three daughters last weekend. We walked a lot. Boston is a great walking city. We’d stop to shop or have lunch or get coffee. Like my friend, Linda Mitchell, I took some pictures of signs to gather into a found poem.

Take a walk in

Footprints on the Freedom Trail.

Today is the last day of my fun and fabulous Bayou Song Blog Tour. Please check out Dani’s post today.

Friday, June 22:
Michelle Kogan

Tuesday, June 26:
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core

Friday, June 29:
Ruth Hersey at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

Friday, July 6:
Kimberly Hutmacher at Kimberly Hutmacher Writes

Friday, July 13:
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise

Tuesday, July 17:
Laura Shovan 

Tuesday, July 24
Amanda Potts at Persistence and Pedagogy

Friday, July 27:
Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink

Monday, July 30
Linda Baie at Teacher Dance

Friday, Aug. 3
Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work that Matters

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

 

Jen loves to have visitors at her B&B farm property in Breaux Bridge, Bonne Terre.  Bonne Terre in French means good soil.  While I’m sure this is good earth, I can see that Jen dedicates lots of her time to making it good.  There are signs of her everywhere, in the mown lawns, the growing vegetables, and the attractive, rustic sculptures.  Even in the bathroom, she has selected special aromatic soaps and adorable decorations.  I have to admit I’ve had trouble settling down to write.  I’ve moved positions at least five times.

I asked Jen how many chickens she has.  She had to do the math because she has a variety of breeds, but she came up with 71 (or was it 79?).  Nevertheless, chickens are everywhere.  They are a humorous, noisy lot that make me feel like I am out in the country at grandmother’s house.

I’ve been meaning to treat myself to a full day of writing all summer long.  With only a few weeks left before school starts, I finally did it.  I worry that I will fill this day with things other than writing.  Jen told me, “It doesn’t matter if you write or not.  The point is you gave yourself this space to be present.”

I’ll likely spend the next few hours reading blogs, walking the grounds, and having coffee with Jen, but whatever I do is bon travail on this bonne terre, good work on this good earth.  And look at me!  For what it’s worth, I got a blog post written.

I think this dragonfly wants to be in a poem!

Please hop over to Amanda’s post on Persistence and Pedagogy.  She’s a stop on the Bayou Song blog tour, and I love what she did with her kiddos.

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

On Sunday, I had a book signing for my new children’s poetry book, Bayou Song. I invited photographer, Henry Cancienne. What a delight to finally meet him face to face! Henry and I have been communicating by email about the photographs he offered for inclusion in Bayou Song.

Meeting Henry, I was not surprised that he is as gentle in spirit in person as he seemed by email. His photographs are a reverence to Louisiana’s amazing natural environment. He told me that his photos are his legacy. We talked about some of his other books and he went out to his car and brought me two of them.

Photo by Henry Cancienne

Photo by Henry Cancienne

Photo by Henry Cancienne

Henry lives in Lockport, Louisiana, about 90 miles east of New Iberia. He goes out in the swamp and marshes nearly every day. Henry is a US Air Force veteran, retired science teacher, petroleum chemist, volunteer fire fighter, and police officer. His photographs have appeared in multiple books and magazines. He told me the story of this photograph of sun rays through live oaks. He saw the scene, pulled his car over, and took the photo. It’s included in Bayou Song as well as Louisiana Swamps and Marshes and currently is displayed in the governor’s office. He says you never know when you will get that perfect shot. Henry is always prepared with camera in hand.

Henry Cancienne

Today Laura Shovan has a stop on the blog tour with a zeno poem about cypress knees. Please stop by.

If you would like a signed copy of Bayou Song, you can order one from Books Along the Teche at 337-367-7621. If you would like it personalized, you can contact me by email. Thanks!

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