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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

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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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

St. Mary Falls, Glacier Park

 

Montana mountains
marvel me with rugged peaks
water blue as topaz.

 

 

Bear Grass wildflower
Glacier Park, Montana

 

Bear grass blossoms
a mountain spray of stars
invite travelers in.

 

 

Kayaker on St. Mary Lake, Glacier Park, Montana.

Lone kayak streams
rock mosaic reflection
private piece of heaven

 

I understand why Basho turned to haiku to capture moments in nature.  They are just too big to write big about.  Last week, my husband and I spent July 4th with my friend Dani and her husband, Randy, hiking in Glacier Park.  A note about Dani: We meet through a Voxer group and Twitter chats with #G2Great.  It means so much to me to have a close friend so far away.  What a joy to get our guys together and spend time in a magnificent wonderland! These pictures say it all, beauty and majesty, and all that is good.

 

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

 

My One Little Word for 2018 is Explore! I’ve decided to thoroughly embrace this word this summer.  I am currently on an exploratory adventure at the beach.  My daughter is an account executive for an advertising agency, so she had some meetings here and invited me to tag along.  What a treat!  Our first day we ventured out to an inlet lake that is surrounded by sand dunes.  We did stand up paddleboarding.  The day was hot and sunny, but we did it.  I felt a sense of pride that I was actually able to make the paddleboard move in a somewhat straight line.  On Wednesday, I’m going to try paddleboard yoga.

This morning while she was in meetings, I ventured out to Grayton Beach State Park. Even in the rain, this was a beautiful area.  I was alone on the trail of crystal sand dunes, of bending sand live oaks, and of tall pines that look like tall umbrellas. The dunes set off a lake (Western Lake where we went paddleboarding.) that is a unique salt water/ fresh water ecosystem.  The dunes themselves are preserved. Here are a few of my pictures.

Grayton Beach sand dunes

 

Sand live oaks grow in sculpted shapes.

The sky itself looks like an ocean.

 

Hanging out with women in the advertising business has taught me some new terms to add to my lexicon:

  1. cranking: This is another word for getting on the computer and getting work done.  Best done when it’s raining and you can’t go “content gathering.”
  2. content gathering: This is a term for going out and taking pictures so that you can post them on social media to show others how fun it is to be here.
  3. content: a picture that could be used to promote a place.  One of my pictures was used on Instagram as “content.” Follow @Southwalton

And the best way to have a team meeting is when everyone is in PJs and passing around a bottle of wine.  (I think I may have gotten into the wrong profession.)  In addition to being a relaxing trip to the beach, I have enjoyed time alone with daughter number 2 and learning about the work she does everyday.  It’s not always at the beach, though.

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is here!

Last month I invited Poetry Friday peeps to participate in a photo exchange, “More than Meets the Eye,” in which we’d send a photograph from our own geographic area for our exchange partner to write a poem about.  Please take some time to read other posts by clicking the Inlinkz at the bottom of this post.

I exchanged photos with Molly Hogan.  She sent me photos from a tidal pond in Maine.  I selected the photo of Greater Yellowlegs, a breed of sandpiper.  Here is Molly’s email explaining the setting:

Choosing is hard! I thought at first, I’d choose from one of my favorite places, but I changed my mind and am sending two from a new discovery. I often drive down to visit Popham Beach in Phippsburg, Maine. Driving back from walking there last weekend, I noticed a beautiful small pond? lake? off to the side. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it before! At any rate, there was a small paved area I could pull into, and I did so. Then I noticed a trail and saw the signs: Spirit Pond Preserve and McDonald Preserve. It was such a misty, ethereal morning, that the name Spirit Pond seemed…well….heaven sent!

I did a little research at home to discover that Spirit Pond is a tidal pond fed by the Morse River. The small paved area I had used is to provide access to the pond for local clammers. As I checked a spelling this morning before sending this, I found an entire new rabbit hole of information about some runes that were reportedly discovered at Spirit Pond in the 1970s that were considered as possible evidence of Nordic activity. Then, there was some mention of those runes having possibly been brought to Maine by the Knights Templar along with the Holy Grail! Yikes!

Allaboutbirds.com describes the Greater Yellowlegs, “A common, tall, long-legged shorebird of freshwater ponds and tidal marshes, the Greater Yellowlegs frequently announces its presence by its piercing alarm calls.”

With this information and a prompt from Poets & Writers to write a love poem that uses animal behavior as a lesson in how we interact as humans, I wrote my first ever sonnet.

Spirit Pond by Molly Hogan

 

A Sonnet for Sandpipers

If I should hear alarming calls from you
within this holy place where we find rest,
I’d come to you like two birds often do;
We’d dance in water pools; close-by we’d nest.

From Nordic days, your charm & elegance
will lead a waltz across this Spirit Pond.
Where Knights themselves discovered sacred dance,
you kiss the sunlight at the break of dawn.

We’ll wade along a shore in misty haze
and build a nest on hummock safe & high.
In Maine, where nights are cool, we’ll spend our days
aloft on air uplifting wings to fly.

No fear how high or far away I roam
I know without a doubt, you are my home.

 

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

 

 

 

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This April, Renee LaTulippe of No Water River is hosting a wonderful month of poet visits and writing prompts. I saw a tweet about a prompt by the infamous Jane Yolen which drew me in.  She suggested that we all have topics that we go back to again and again.  (Mine is the bayou, of course.) She posted a poem in three acts and prompted us to write a poem about our favorite topic in three acts.

Since I am writing ekphrastic poetry, I searched for the just right image for a poem about the bayou.  My friend (and cousin, by marriage) Marjorie Pierson is a fine art photographer.  The wetlands is a common theme in her photos.  I think her photos are poems. Even though she lives in North Carolina, she visits South Louisiana often to be with her mother who happens to live across the street from us.  Today I am featuring her image titled “Cypress in Wind.”  To see more from Marjie, go over to her website.

 

 

Cypress in Wind by Marjorie Pierson.

Bayou Performance

Act I:

Dawning sun
plays peek-a-boo
with cypress trees.

Act II:

Breeze builds, waves
rippling, Baldcypress needles
helicopter down.

Act III:

Line of light
drawn from tree to tree
traffic light to the day.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

 

 

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

Photo by Molly Hogan, mbhmaine at Nix the Comfort Zone.

The world
inside a crystal ball
feels mystical
and magical,
a fairy tale land
where princes
fall in love
with glass slippers.

The world
inside ocean waves
feels treacherous
and terrifying,
a tossed ship
where pirates
set traps
for fair maidens.

The world
in a child’s mind
feels exciting
and thrilling,
a shore of seashells
where girls and boys
gather treasures
to share.

The photo above took my breath away.  I saw it on Molly Hogan’s blog and thought, “I want to write a poem about this.”  I also went to Amazon to buy my own crystal photo ball.  I changed my header image to one of the bayou with the ball placed on my deck railing.

I had an email conversation with my virtual-poetry-writing-photographer-friend Molly Hogan about exchanging photos and writing poems about them.  The idea grew into something we’d like to share with the Poetry Friday community.  We are calling it “More than Meets the Eye.”

I am hosting the Poetry Friday round-up on Friday, May 25th and would like to invite poets to fill out the form below and I’ll match you with someone to exchange photos with. I’m going to make an effort to match you to someone in a totally different geographical location. Your charge will be to write a poem about the photo you receive and post it on your blog on Friday, May 25th.  The photos should not include people. (People tend to complicate things.) There are no other rules except that the writer should give proper credit to the photographer and vice versa. Please sign up by Friday, April 27th.

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National Poetry Month 2018

Pileated woodpecker by Ralph Fletcher

When I saw this photo from Ralph on Facebook, I knew I had to write about it.  And yesterday, April 17th was National Haiku Day, and I forgot, so here’s a quick haiku fo honor Mama Woodpecker.

Knocking down walls
wood thin, cleaning out closets
woodpecker nesting

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

Click over to Ralph’s photography page to see a video of this mother nesting.

 

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