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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

I try to get outside early in the morning for a walk, often before the sun rises. On my path is a grove of fruit trees. I watch these trees as the season slowly changes to fall. Trees seem to know even before we can feel the air temperature change that fall is on its way. I know the slant of light changes and all that, but I just wish for a little cooler breeze. My husband always says that satsumas (oranges) ripen around the time of the first report card. I wrote a modern haiku in honor of the wet green fruit. Please take a moment to write a small poem in the comments and support other writers.

green fruit by Margaret Simon

Sweet fruit of the earth
Taste of rain, taste of sun
Abundantly enough

Margaret Simon, draft

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This week’s photo comes from California photographer/ teacher Kim Douillard. I couldn’t resist this not-so-cuddly bear-of-stones. She took the photo on the campus of UC San Diego, marked with the hashtag Stuart Collection (click here to see a size reference).

Stone Bear, Stuart Collection, UC San Diego by Kim Douillard, artist Tim Hawkinson

I hope you enjoy musing on this photo. I’ll be back later with a poem. Post a small poem in the comments and encourage other writers with responses. Thanks for stopping by.

A Fib Poem (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8)

Bear
your
boulder.
Be bolder
in your stone-cold suit.
Hold a steady shoulder for me. 

Margaret Simon, draft

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Welcome to This Photo Wants to be a Poem. Respond to the photo collage with a small poem in the comments. Encourage other writers with comments.

I don’t know much about spiders, but orb spiders are out and about doing their thing and making amazing intricate webs. I took the first picture from my front courtyard. The web was huge and glimmering in the sunlight. I couldn’t really capture it with a phone camera. If you look closely, you can see the big black spider in the center.

On my Instagram feed I saw Paul Hankin’s photo of a similar style web. His caption read, “What might you create in your own little corner?”

In my classroom, we are answering “This or That” questions for attendance these days. So I put these images side by side and ask you this or that? Are you the type to hide your masterpiece in a corner, under and away from others who may harm it or misunderstand? Or do you place your art where everyone can see it, if only they stop long enough to notice?

Create a small poem around your thoughts today. Share it in the comments. Return, if you can, to leave encouraging comments to other writers.

Weaving in my own corner
Ever-winding path
Behold a work in progress

Margaret Simon, draft

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The skies have been dramatic lately with storms rolling in and out. On a morning walk earlier this week, I looked up and saw a carpet of pink. A few steps later, a rainbow. Then the sky became yellow and the clouds broke apart. All in a matter of minutes.

Let this image inspire your muse this morning. Where will you walk? Who is with you? What can you imagine? Write a small poem in the comments and come back to leave encouraging responses to others.

Pink sky, Margaret Simon

Avalyn (3rd grade) wrote this haiku with me:

Cotton candy sky
If you look closer, you see
aesthetic heaven. 

Mrs. Simon and Avalyn

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Leave a small poem response to the photo in the comments. Be sure to support other writers with encouraging words.

If you’ve been here before, you know that one of my favorite photographers is a critique partner, Inkling Molly Hogan. Molly lives in Maine and is an amazing photographer. Please take a moment to read her Tuesday post about “gathering calm” through nature.

When I go out to take pictures, I usually have at least the location in mind, which dictates some of what I’ll see. Ocean versus marsh versus river. Forests or fields. Still, there are surprises here, too. I never know what will capture my attention at that particular time. Will the fog call to me, or shadows or spider webs? Will interesting patterns emerge in sand, water or sky? 

Molly Hogan

What does the poet see? What will draw your attention? The ocean waves? The striking bird? The patterns in the sand?

Fledgling tern cries to be fed, photo by Molly Hogan

Hunger…

makes the baby cry
the great owl hunt
the fledgling squeal
Hunger opens our souls
for feeding

Margaret Simon, draft

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Welcome to This Photo: I hope you are inspired by this photo to write a small poem. Leave it in the comments. Read other small poems and write an encouraging message.

School has started and thus, my itinerant trek from school to school. Last year I found an alternate route that took me through the country. I have come to love this scenic route. In the spring I stopped to take a photo of a barn among wildflowers. One day last week I saw a new calf in the field with the white cows. I passed a few times before I decided to stop. On this particular day no one was anywhere around, so I pulled into the driveway. Momma cow saw me coming and kept a close eye on me, but I spoke to her kindly and was able to get this photo of her new baby.

White cow, white cow
what do you hear?

Little calf, little one
love is always near.

Margaret Simon, draft

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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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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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My summer is winding down quickly. I start back to school next Friday. But the Summer Poem Swap is in full swing. Tabatha Yeatts organized pairings of poets to exchange creativity, gifts, and poetry. My third swap was with Carol Varsalona. (Note: I still owe her my end of the bargain.) Carol is a digital master. If you visit her website, you can find pages of inspirational digital creations. She used this prowess to create for me a Google slide show. She also sent me a print form. You can view the whole slideshow here.

The poem that Molly Hogan sent me had a similar theme of peace and tranquility. Are these poets trying to tell me something? Or do they recognize something in me that I am struggling to find within myself? Poetry is a profound and powerful presence in my life. Thanks Carol for your creative and sensitive expression of love.

Marcie Atkins has the round up today.

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Welcome to my weekly musing. Leave a small poem in the comments and share encouraging support to other writers.

The last five days I was with my mother at her retirement home. I have so many mixed emotions when I visit. I miss Dad who died in April. I have gotten to know many of the residents and staff and enjoy spending time with them. I worry about Mom who has early Alzheimer’s. I am surrounded by childhood memories.

This weekend I was helping to move Mom down the hall to a smaller apartment. My girls and their spouses and toddlers came in on Saturday to help. It was chaos that was efficient. The men moved the big furniture pieces with ease. The toddlers bounced on the bed mattress and played with a basket full of toys and generally screamed as toddlers do. I was grateful for the help. After they left I worked on organizing, culling, and hanging paintings and photographs. By the time I left yesterday, Mom was settled and happy in her new space.

All that is really beside the point of the photo today. In the midst of mayhem and moving, I walked with Mom to Dad’s tree. We had a sycamore tree planted on the grounds. Mom loves going out to visit the tree. It has already grown about 2 feet in three months. It’s not even close to the height of the surrounding pines, but there is something serene and strong about it.

Have you ever planted a memorial tree?

Sycamore Tree in memory of John Gibson, 11/11/33-4/22/22
Summerhouse Beaux Ridge Independent Living

In the face of storms and sun,
you stand, grow, reach
for the heavenly space
where God is good.

Margaret Simon, draft

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