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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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National Poetry Month 2018

Welcome to Day One of National Poetry Month. Happy Easter! I am writing ekphrastic poetry this month, that is, poetry about art. The artists featured this month have all given permission for me to use their work.

Duck Crush by Ralph Fletcher

Looking into the mirror,
can I define perfection
as a glass mosaic
arranged without cuts or cracks?
Is this how God sees us?
Beauty reflecting beauty?

Margaret Simon (c) 2018

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

 

Poetry Friday round-up is with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.

 

National Poetry Month is upon us.  Is it really April already?  I absolutely love the month of April.  It’s so fragrant and beautiful.  My middle daughter was born in April.  And April is all about poetry!

Join me and many others at Poetry Friday for daily doses of poetry.  My plan this year is to write ekphrastic poetry, poetry about art.  We did this in February for Laura Shovan’s birthday month challenge.  I love art.  Art often gives me an entry point into a poem that I may not have written otherwise.  I find art digs deep into my soul.

As a warm-up, I captured a photograph from Ralph Fletcher’s Facebook Photography page.  You may recognize Ralph from his work with literacy for children in books like What a Writer Needs, Joy Write, and many more resources for teachers.

Ralph has become quite an amazing photographer and especially of birds.  I was attracted to this amazing photo of a hummingbird by the name of Anna’s hummingbird.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Fierce in a hot pink boa,
this perfection of nature
dominates beauty
with feathers of lace,
a flying, glimmering gemstone.
–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

 

 

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

This weekend we welcomed strangers into our home.  They are artists from New Hampshire and Florida, two best friends who learned to paint together and now travel all over the U.S. to different Plein Air painting competitions.

The Shadows on the Teche, a local historical plantation home, has a competition going on this week.  Months ago we were asked to host two visiting artists, so Patricia and Deb arrived Saturday afternoon, total newbies to our area.

I am enjoying seeing the beauty of our home through their eyes.  Sunday afternoon we took them for a drive to scout out areas to paint in.

En Plein Air is a French term for painting in the wild, outdoors.  I have visions of creating an en plein air event for poets.  Poets could partner with painters and write while the artist paints.  Who’s game?

I told Patricia and Deb to watch out because I will be writing about them.  I look forward to seeing the art they produce and talking about art all week.  The final show and auction will be Friday night.  To learn more about the event, go to The Shadows on the Teche web page. 

 

En Plein Air painting of Grandmother oak in my backyard. (Patricia Sweet, artist.)

A peacock poses for his painting at Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens.

Shrimp boat in Delcambre may be a prime poser for traveling artists.

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