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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Welcome to the season of fall! Today is the first cool front of the season, and I welcome it with wide open arms. Fall is a bridge season between summer and winter. So I am posting this photo by my friend, first grade teacher and photographer Lory Landry. It was taken at our local City Park near Devil’s Pond. I love it for its unique perspective. I get a funny image in my head imagining Lory on her belly taking this photo. She would do anything for a good shot.

Bridge at Devil’s Pond, by Lory Landry

A bridge is a hand to hold
walking from yesterday
into today
which is to say
let’s go this way
together.

Margaret Simon, draft

Please add your own small poem in the comments and encourage other writers with comments.

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Last week when my youngest daughter, Martha, set up her office on the back deck, she watched hummingbirds fighting at the feeder. It was one of those rare high pressure/ low humidity days with an actual breeze. She had to silence the wind chimes for her Zoom calls. Today, Martha’s office is back in New Orleans as power has returned.

Currently I am watching the rain bands of Hurricane Nicholas (now a tropical storm) fill up the bayou. The hummers are still coming. That’s a good sign.

My friend Molly Hogan in Maine has been watching these amazing birds, too, and taking amazing photos of them. She sent me this one.

For my students, since this is a virtual learning day due to the storm, I linked the photo to this Wonderopolis article and used one of the facts in my haiku.

photo by Molly Hogan

Peach-sweet zinnia
fanned by wingbeats 200
times per second: Zest! 

Haiku draft, Margaret Simon

Please write a small poem in the comments and reply to other writers with encouraging words. Thanks for being here.

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My middle daughter’s son, my middle grandchild, turned 2 yesterday. “Mamoo” (his version of Mamére) bought a set of bubbles and wands for his family birthday party. It’s fascinating when a child learns to blow bubbles. Often the blow is too fast for the bubble to form. The bubble set came with a variety of instruments for making bubbles. I hit the Walmart $5 Jackpot with this set. “Tuffy” (the nickname Thomas gave to himself) was able to blow more slowly through the pipe and watch the bubble form. This helped him blow with the wand. Bubble success! Then he was on to something else.

I, however, stayed focused on getting a photo of a bubble. I am posting the best of the bunch. I find the colors magical.

Photo by Margaret Simon

There is a rainbow
of magic
inside a bubble
blown by a boy
learning
to blow.

Margaret Simon, draft

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I almost forgot it was Wednesday. Yesterday was the first day of my work week because we had Monday off for Hurricane Ida, which thankfully did not impact us directly. When I walked Tuesday morning, this beautiful cloud led me. I held my phone up high to capture this photo. Clouds always draw my eye, especially ones with the sun within them.

Yesterday there were ten minutes of class left before the bell rang, so I challenged my student in a game of Metaphor Dice. We rolled 3 dice and wrote a poem in one minute (her idea). It was a great way to keep our brains active. I am using a revised version of mine as a small poem today.

Silver lining by Margaret Simon

Metaphor Minute

My birth is like a bright meadow–
like stars on the path to a grand castle,
like diamonds strung on a silver string,
walking in clouds lined with sunbeam.

Margaret Simon, draft

Join me in praising the clouds and the spirit of all things. Leave a small poem in the comments. Support others with encouraging words. Thanks for being here.

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Every morning this week the full “blue” moon has accompanied me on my walk. I’ve taken cell phone photos that I posted on Instagram, but for this post, I reached out to my Inkling writing friend Molly Hogan. She came through with multiple moon photos for me to choose from.

On Ethical ELA’s Open Write this week, Tamara “Tammi” Belko led us in a one sentence poem prompt. You sure can pack a lot into one sentence if you try. I wrote mine by speaking into my phone notes app while walking. Siri often misunderstands me–must be the southern accent– and she thought I said “How are you” instead of “Owl echoes over the bayou.” I decided to leave it in the poem.

In the early morning light
of a new day when the moon still
hangs high while the owl echoes
“how are you”, I am tethered to this old
dog walking, wandering, praying.

Margaret Simon, draft
Moon through the trees by Molly Hogan

Please join us by writing a small poem (maybe just one sentence) in the comments. Leave encouraging comments for other writers. Thanks for stopping by.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at The Apples in my Orchard

I’ve gotten woefully behind in reading a poetry book each day for #TheSealyChallenge, and that’s because school has started. My focus has shifted. So to create a post for today, I sat down with Late Father by Taylor Mali, a gift from Janet Fagel for the summer poem swap. I got lost in the poems that lead us through his life with candor, humor, and grief. Then I googled him and found his website and a link to his Facebook page where I watched a video…In other words, I took too long on this post.

I’ve heard from a few poets that giving the title some of the heavy lifting can be helpful in writing a poem. Irene Latham does this often in This Poem is A Nest. I noticed it in Elizabeth Acevedo’s verse novel The Poet X. (Title: “Another Thing You Think While You’re Kneeling on Rice That Has Nothing to Do with Repentance”) And here it is again in Taylor Mali’s book. Time to pay some attention to this craft move.

From Late Father by Taylor Mali

I’ve Already Worked too Long on this Post

Praise be the poet who,
having written a poem every
day this week, opens her docs
and plops one into a blog post
and calls it Poetry Friday.

She must know that I will read it
again and again and call myself
a faker. Berate the time I spent
watching “Outer Banks” rather
than writing this poem.

(I got this.)

She must know that poetry can be
a playground with a swingset anchored
for cloud viewing–even if now there’s rain–
the memory of a vision is enough
to build a poem on.

LaMiPoFri* by Margaret Simon

*Last minute poetry Friday form coined by Kat Apel.

Dramatic sky view from my school’s parking lot

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The world continues to spin out of control. We feel like we can’t hold on. If it’s not the rise of Covid cases, it’s the earthquake and storm in Haiti. If it’s not the political discord, it’s Afghanistan. There is little we can do, literally.

So let’s turn to this image from our friend-teacher-blogger Ruth Hersey’s. Ruth lives and teaches in Haiti. She made it home safely from a summer trip to the states only to be faced with political upheaval and an earthquake. Ruth is thankfully safe. Every day she posts a photo response to a daily prompt. She posted this beauty on Facebook. It’s an image that speaks of the beauty found in the tragedy. The petals are from the flamboyant tree (poinciana).

Ruth is also posting daily updates about Haiti and organizations that are on the ground doing good work. Check her FB page. For another way to donate to vetted organizations on the ground, click here for CNN’s Haiti Earthquake Relief.

Flamboyant tree by Ruth Hersey

Your flames still burn bright
petals fall, confetti-tears
after the party

Margaret Simon, draft

Write a small poem in the comments. Share encouraging words for other writers. Donate to Haiti, if you are able.

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Today is my 60th birthday. I gasp when I see that. Sixty years is a long time! I share my birthday with two sisters I met right here, connecting through blogging, Linda Mitchell and Julieanne Harmatz. Happy Birthday to you, too!

This week’s photo is a fun one. I found it on Instagram, posted by Trina Bartel, another fellow blogger. She tells me it was taken at Bergsbaken Farms in Wisconsin.

(The photo) is from a sunflower farm in a tiny town in Cecil, WI (NE WI). It’s a huge field of sunflowers that you can visit for a suggested donation of 2 dollars each. There are props (like the bike) that you can take photos with. The bike is on the edge of a huge sunflower field. It is at the entrance. This sunflower farm is about 3-4 years old. I believe it was created as a way to generate money for a struggling family farm.

Trina Bartel (click to follow on Instagram)
Blue bike on Sunflower Farm by Trina Bartel

A bouquet of sunflowers
in a basket just for you
sing “Happy Birthday!”

Margaret Simon, draft

Please join me today by writing a small poem in the comments. Try to respond to others with encouraging words. Thanks for being here. I love you all!

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Spiritual Journey First Thursday is being gathered today by Linda Mitchell.

Linda Mitchell is gathering Spiritual Journey First Thursday posts. Her topic suggestion is Respect. I wasn’t going to write. In fact, I emailed Linda and apologized, “I’ve got nothing.” However, in the spirit of respect for this community of writers and because I’m awake on the last day of my summer break, I am writing.

Respect is born out of Love. The two are intertwined like the threads on the knitting needles. God calls us to Love.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 4:16

This morning I read a beautiful poem by David Whyte, The True Love.

so that when

we finally step out of the boat

toward them, we find

everything holds

us, and everything confirms

our courage, and if you wanted

to drown you could,

but you don’t

because finally

after all this struggle

and all these years

you simply don’t want to

any more

you’ve simply had enough

of drowning

and you want to live and you

want to love and you will

walk across any territory

and any darkness

however fluid and however

dangerous to take the

one hand you know

belongs in yours.

David Whyte, Brain Pickings

Step out of the boat and give your hand to God. Find true love with God. Trust the safety you feel. Hold your hand out to others in respectful response.

Miramar Beach, Florida (photo by Margaret Simon)

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I am currently writing in a hotel room in SandDestin, Florida. We are being completely quiet to not wake up my sleeping grandson. My daughter has business here, so I came along to help with Thomas. (His daycare is on a summer break.) The beach views are wonderful, but I can’t take Thomas out on the beach because he hates the way the sand feels on his feet. We spent more time playing in the kiddie pool. He also enjoys running down the hotel hallways and hearing his voice echo. Oh, the joys of being a toddler!

I took a few beach pictures on my phone, but I flipped back to Hope Dublin’s Instagram photos (@hopesview2021) and found this amazing one of flying seagulls. My summer days come to an end this Friday when teachers return to school.

Please join me today by writing a small poem in the comments. Support other writers with comment replies.

Photo by Hope Dublin

Sand tickles my toes
while seagulls float on air
sing an August song.

Margaret Simon, draft
Thomas finds the T on the keyboard. He can also find M for Mamére.

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