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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Welcome April! My favorite month of the year when skies are blue, flowers are blooming, and poetry abounds!

I am committing myself to writing a poem a day this month, but I am not committing to a prompt. I will get inspiration from where ever the muse takes me. Last night as I was settling down for the night, I found NaPoWriMo. The early bird prompt posted on March 31st was to write about your favorite bird.

Here is my first draft:

A Prayer

Everyone was supposed to pray with the pope tonight,
but I got struck silent while watching
a hummingbird at the feeder
hovering as on angel wings 
disappearing into the green like a spirit. 

Where does our spirit go when we die?
Does it hover like the hummer
watching and waiting
for the lift off?

I wonder if the pope even knows?
We pray what?
What should I say?
There is nothing to be done
but stare at the feeder
and wait for another sighting of wings.

Margaret Simon, 2020 draft
Hummingbird at the feeder in my backyard. Taken August 30, 2016. Photo by Margaret Simon

The first line of the Kidlit Progressive Poem is a multiple choice from Donna Smith. The progression of the poem is in the side bar of my blog. Scroll down.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
Looking up into the old cypress tree in my backyard.

Dear Readers,
I know this Covid Quarantine is dragging on, and things look bleak if you watch the news for any length of time. So why not turn it off and come to the bayou. There is always water flowing, a breeze blowing, birds singing. Nature is something we can find solace in, and something we can count on when the world is weird.

I’ve enjoyed creating videos for my students. I can’t believe how easy it is. I bought a bendable stand for my phone that looks like an android dog. I can video straight from my phone and upload it to YouTube in no time. Voila! An instructional poetry writing video.

Share these if you want or just watch for yourself to enjoy some time outside on the Bayou Teche. If you choose to write to the prompt, please share it with me in the comments. During this time of no-direct contact, I like feeling a connection to you through your words.

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Welcome back to This Photo Wants to be a Poem, a low stress way to wake up your creativity by writing and sharing a short poem. Please leave your poem in the comments and encourage other writers by writing comments on other poems. We are not looking for brilliance here, just a playful way to be writers together.

by Molly Hogan

This photo seems to want to be a whole story. Who was here? What was he or she doing? Could it be an artist’s still life?

Buried Treasure

With shovel and ax.
we poke and dig
while gold lies
in the search.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Jasmine tea takes me back
to our honeymoon in San Francisco
when I was falling in love with everything…
The Japanese Tea Garden
surrounded by green, blooming with
wisteria, iris, and maple blossoms.
We sampled green tea, all flavors;
jasmine was my favorite.
We walked hand in hand,
called each other Mr. and Mrs.,
and felt the hope of a new path before us.

Now in this time of quarantine,
someone said tea is good for you.
Who cares if it’s a hoax. I’ve heated the water,
dropped in a filtered circle of jasmine tea,
squeezed lemon from our backyard lemon tree,

and sip the taste of San Francisco
trying hard to remember
that love is enough.

Margaret Simon, draft
Photo by Olenka Sergienko from Pexels

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Yesterday I read Sally Donnelly’s post about choosing a color to represent this time. She quoted an artist who represented the 9/11 tragedy with the color blue. Read her post here.

I started thinking about the color I would pick, and it has to be green. This is the time of year when green appears in all its amazing shades in my backyard. The cypress trees are bursting with a bright neon green.

Looking up through the cypress trees

Live oak trees lose their leaves in the spring as new leaves emerge.

Grandmother Live Oak bursting with spring growth

I am passing my stay-at-home time on my back deck, listening to wind chimes and watching for the occasional boat. And sometimes a poem comes. Using Irene Latham’s prompt from Laura Shovan’s #Waterpoemproject, I wrote this quick ditty.

Bayou Side

Buzzing
Hovering
Fat hungry bumblebee

Roaring
Speeding
Wave-jumping motor boat

Paddling
Parting
Water-whispering canoe

Sparkling
Greening
Spring-loving cypress trees

Margaret Simon, draft
“water-whispering canoe”

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
Poetry Friday round-up is Michelle Kogan.
Click over to join the round up and to read poems from The Best of Today’s Little Ditty, including one of mine.

Ethical ELA posts a 5 day Poetry Challenge each month. (Next month, there will be a prompt every day for National Poetry Month.) This month I participated in only two days, but I shared one of the activities with my students this week on our Kidblog site.

Click here to see the full prompt from Jennifer Goyer-Jowett.

Her prompt included finding a Japanese character to write a haiku from. I chose river. (There isn’t one for bayou.)

Kawa

In the process of finding this character, I discovered the Japanese word Kawaakari which means the gleam of last light on a river’s surface at dusk.

Last light of first day
glows like any other, yet
gleam lingers longer.

Margaret Simon, draft

Knowing my student Madison would jump on this prompt (she loves all things Japanese), I posted the prompt to my class Kidblog site. I’m sharing their wonderful responses.

Ember’s graceful flight,

Sparks fly, blizzards and tornadoes

of dire fire.

Madison, 6th grade
Image result for water japanese
Mizu means water

Maddox, 5th grade, wrote “The Japanese character I chose is mizu which stands for water. It represents the fluid flowing and the formless things in the world.”

fluid flowing streams

flowing in the wild forest

complete harmony

Maddox, 5th grade
Image result for japanese word character for tree
A.J., 6th grade, chose tree.
image

Standing tall and firm,

Strong arms supporting small twigs,

Uneven Fractal.

A. J., 6th grade

Breighlynn, 4th grade wrote, “My Japanese character is Kaze. Kaze is for wind. It represents Freedom of movement.”

Freedom of Movement

Going here and going there

I love to travel

Breighlynn, 4th grade

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Welcome to This Photo Wants to be a Poem, a way to wake up your poetry brain. Please write a short poem (15 words or fewer) in the comments. Try to comment on other poems as well. Spread the word through sharing the link on social media.

Shells by Kim Douillard
Kim’s blog is Thinking through my Lens

I’ve been following Kim’s blog for a few years. We’ve never met face to face, but we’ve connect through National Writing Project and #clmooc and Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers. I love how connections can be made across the continent. Kim lives near San Diego, California. She posts beach pictures often and is quite an amazing photographer. In this post here, she photographed a great white egret in her neighborhood.

Today’s photo from this post grabbed me and said it wanted to be a poem. Kim gave me her permission to use it. You can follow her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/kd0602) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kd0602/).

If this is your first time, don’t hesitate to join in the poem fun. There are no critics here. It’s all good.

A circle of sea
wrapped in sand and shells–
a mosaic by the master.

Margaret Simon, draft 2020

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