Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

I am rounding up Spiritual Thursday posts with inLinkz at the end of this post.

Sometimes when I try to write, I do lots of other things. My mind wanders and wanders, like a butterfly trying to light upon the perfect flower. I really don’t recall where my mind was when I suggested the topic of Spiritual Art for this month’s Spiritual Journey posts. It was probably way back in January when our lives were rocking along at a normal pace in a normal way.

I have to admit this extended time of isolation has been easy for this introvert. I do not mind quiet time. I am rarely bored, but the losses are getting too close for comfort. Our local newspaper logs an average of 10 obituaries a day. We are facing a delay to the start of school. The news goes from bad to worse. Finding some art to bury my head into would be welcome.

In my sorting and shifting to find more distraction, I opened the latest Smithsonian Magazine and found this image.

Nicola Muirhead, Smithsonian Magazine.

Nicola Muirhead created this image by putting dishwashing liquid on a Polaroid photograph of her husband and her hands touching. She described her process, “Contact and physical connection are, of course, two of the most dangerous things you can do during the pandemic with someone outside your household. I have been so grateful to have my partner, Faraz, with me during this time, and we are able to hug and kiss and touch. Still, sometimes even touching your loved one can be filled with anxiety. When he goes out for the shopping or I for a walk, and return home, there is always the fear of carrying back the coronavirus. These are the thoughts I have had during the pandemic—adding to the anxiety of lockdown. This Polaroid was washed and then disinfected with bleach. I used dishing washing soap around the edges of the frame to draw the viewer into the hands touching, distorting everything else around it. (Nicola Muirhead)

Art can help us know more about ourselves. Observing this art, I found myself wanting to be the hand feeling the loving touch of another. Touch is what I miss most. I see my children (grown adults), but I don’t touch them. I spend time with my mother-in-law outside at a distance. I connect with my parents through Facetime. My mother commented that if I came to visit, I would be able to see her outside at a distance with a mask, but she doesn’t want that. She wants to hug me. I get it. We are starving for those simple hugs, the touch of the hand, the gesture of love.

Nicola Muirhead applied the chemicals that now define our days, bleach, hand sanitizer, dishwashing liquid, to every day photographs. What happens when we apply disinfectant to our relationships, to our spiritual life? This pandemic will change us; it has changed us. Perhaps we will learn the value of connectedness. Perhaps we will be more resilient. And perhaps we will find a resurrection.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

Read Full Post »

This photo is symbolic to me of our times, clouds masking light. It was taken by my brother, Hunter Gibson, on the night of the full moon. Each week I think I won’t find a photo, and something always appears. We find solace as well as mysticism in the moon.

Write a small poem of 16 words or so in response to this image. Place your poem in the comments and support a few writers with your encouraging comments. Low pressure. Open your imagination and write.

Jaded Moon by Hunter Gibson

Face your inner fright
A silhouette by Master Moon
Gator of the night

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

Welcome to my weekly photo writing prompt. Take a peaceful moment to lose yourself in words. Write a poem of 16 words or so and place it in the comments. Write encouraging words to others by commenting on their poems. This week we are writing with the hashtag poeticdiversion that Molly Hogan started on Twitter.

This week’s image comes from my friend and neighbor James Edmunds. James does a lot of creative work including photography. I once took a class from him about iPhone photography and learned some cool tricks. I don’t know if he took this picture with his phone, but I doubt it. James, if you stop by, let us know.

Way down south here we’ve been getting a great deal of rain lately. The resurrection fern loves rain, and it pops up in beautiful green carpets on our trees. In nature, there are small miracles like this every day.

Resurrection Fern by James Edmunds, all rights reserved

Inside the depths
of fronds and rhizomes
fairies twinkle
&
dance.

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

This week’s photo comes from an art teacher whose specialty is photography. Jennifer Graycheck (click to read an article I wrote about her family for our local newspaper) is a young mother of two adorable children. Her talents at capturing and sharing her experiences add light and love to my social media feed. Recently her family took a beach trip. That’s an ironic statement when you live in South Louisiana. Our coastline is marshy with spider-leg inlets cut to allow for boats carrying fish and oil. Not many beaches to speak of.

Jennifer’s family took a Sunday day-trip to “The Point.” Cypremort Point is a local state park where many families have camps. The man-made beach is a far cry from white sands of Alabama and Florida. But Jennifer and her family did not let that stop them from having a safe and fun day together.

Lorelei’s mud bath by Jennifer Graycheck, all rights reserved

This photo of Jennifer’s daughter, Lorelei, may take you somewhere else, and that’s the point. Be creative. Imagine you are the child. What is she dreaming? Write a poem of 16 words or so. Be sure to comment on other writers with encouraging support.

Cajun Queen
senses sun in her soul
becomes one with the mud
whispers Follow me forever.

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

I miss traveling. I usually have a trip or two planned for the summer. A few summers ago my husband and I took a trip to the Pacific Northwest. The beaches there are very different from Gulf Coast beaches. For one thing, the temperatures are colder. With our heat rising to 95 or more degrees these days, I wish for the cool breeze of a Northwest beach.

My friend, JoAnne Duncan lives in Washington state within driving distance of beautiful mountains and beaches. She’s traveling near Seattle this week. She’s been posting some gorgeous photos of her trip on Facebook. This one just begged to be a poem.

Feather at Sea by JoAnne Duncan.

I am a feather
tethered
to blue stones
tossed from sea.
Notice me
before I fly.

Margaret Simon, draft

Take a minute to look outside at this image, look inside to your heart, and put down a few words, 16 or so, in the comments as a small poem. Please encourage other writers with your comments. Poetry is balm.

Read Full Post »

Free use, Library of Congress collection

This photo is from the G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection, a set of 22,000 glass and film photographs and negatives taken in what was then called Palestine (present day Israel and the West Bank) from 1898 to 1946. The picture is part of a “Bedouin wedding series” but the caption on the negative just reads, “The bride.” That’s it. The Bedouins roamed the region as nomads, so there are any number of places the photograph might have been taken over the course of two decades.

Library of Congress blog

Usually for the photo prompt I find a photo of my own or one from my Instagram or Facebook feed, but today I am using a photo from the Library of Congress. I signed up for emails from the Library of Congress blog, and this recent post made me want to know more.

Please write a small poem of 16 words or so in the comments and comment on other poems. I “found” a poem on the blog post. Maybe that’s cheating…

Still,
 eyes.
Those hands.
This woman knows work.
She is there
gazing into the future
hoping…

Margaret Simon, found poem

Read Full Post »

Once again, I am inspired by Molly Hogan’s photography. She starts each day with a blank canvas, or what would have been once called an empty roll of film. And she opens her lens for discoveries and wonder.

This photo appeared last week in my Facebook feed. The whimsy of it grabbed me. Molly thinks the duckling is a common eider, not a duck we have in the deep south.

Please join me in writing a small poem today, inspired by this image. Leave your poem in the comments. Read other poems and comment. Come back to read any comments you receive. Here there is no judgement; we hold each other up.

Hello world! by Molly Hogan

Flip-flap!
Splish-splat!

I toddle
on my new legs,

just like
That!

Margaret Simon, flash draft

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

I was struggling over what to post today. I didn’t prepare my post ahead of time. I considered bailing out completely. But something was tugging at me.

That tug started with an email from poets.org that sent me into a rabbit hole of Black poets. Reading, clicking, texting, reading…

Then I was discussing my dilemma with my daughter, Katherine. She works for an ad agency in New Orleans. Her co-worker, Dante Nicholas, wrote an article on Later.com “How Brands Can Celebrate Juneteenth on Social Media.” In his article, Dante states “June 19, 1865 – Juneteenth –  is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States….At its heart, Juneteenth is a day of celebration.”

I clicked further to find that Dante is also a fabulous photographer. I screen-shot this post from his Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/allthingsdante/

Dante Nicholas, New Orleans, Louisiana

In my reading, I felt a kinship to Margaret Walker. Not only did she have my name, she also lived in my home town of Jackson, MS. for a time. I wish I could say I met her or saw her speak, but I didn’t. But her words spoke to me today. Dante’s image makes me think of poets like Margaret who said, “Let a new earth rise.”

Using words from Margaret Walker from For My People, I wrote a small found poem to celebrate the freedom of Juneteenth.

For playmates in the clay
singing dirges, ditties, blues,
Let a bloody peace be written.

It’s time, friends, it’s time!

Margaret Simon, found poem from Margaret Walker’s For My People.

Read Full Post »

Morning Web by Jen Gray

Summer is here with peaceful mornings before temperatures rise. This image popped up on my Instagram feed. My friend, Jen Gray, owns a farm in Breaux Bridge, LA where she rents two houses for artist retreats. Unfortunately, I haven’t made my usual retreat there this year. I miss this place.

Jen’s photographic eye fascinates me. This photo has so much to offer, a foggy sunrise and dewdrop spider web. What will you write about? Please leave a small poem in the comments and comment on other poems. Thanks for stopping by.

What remains from
a slow walk in the field?
Dewdrop tears
for a peaceful world.

Margaret Simon, flash draft

A note about process: While writing my flash draft, I typed in about 21 words. In cutting it to 15, I found what the poem really wanted to say. There’s something to be said for small poems.

Read Full Post »

This week I chose one of my own photographs. I’ve struggled to put into words what I am feeling, but I can walk for peace. I can trace letters on a white board. I can be part of the change.

Whether you attended a march or not, I know your feelings run deep. Poets are like that. We feel things. We notice. We process. We write.

Take a minute, not too many, then pick up your pen and scribble 15 words or fewer, maybe more, in response to this photo. Go for your first thought. See where it takes you. Please do not leave without writing a few encouraging words to another writer. Thanks!

Before the storm,
we listened
to passionate words,
a list of names,
a prayer.
Then we walked
with each other.

Margaret Simon, flash draft

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »