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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ 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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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
Wildflowers in a jar, Margaret Simon

If you read my post last week, you know I have a thing for flowers. After visiting Petite Anse Farms and cutting my own flowers, the wildflowers that line the Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans drew me in and begged to be clipped, collected, and given away.

This week is the Ehtical ELA Open Write and Monday’s prompt from Sarah Donovan encouraged us to write about “a shimmer of being alive.” My mind went back to the wildflowers I had cut on a walk with my daughter this weekend.

And So I Cut Wildflowers

I am taken by the little blooms
that peek from weeds
the ones on the side of the road

and want to carry them home
though I have nothing to cut them with
and frankly worry I will look like
a thief, a landscape destroyer, hoarder. 

The store is open, so I rush in,
buy kitchen shears, the kind for deboning
a chicken–I debone flowers

touch them with my soft hands
hold them in a nest
where scent to scent
pollen on pollen
the warmth of sunlight
still in their faces…

I cut wildflowers
place them in the Mason jar with residue
of coffee grounds, leave them
on your kitchen counter
without a note that says

I love you
You will know

Margaret Simon, draft
And So I Cut Wildflowers, Margaret Simon

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

Another week of writing from The Quickwrite Handbook by Linda Rief. I have two pieces of writing I’d like to share today. The first was a prompt after Cynthia Rylant’s When I Was Young in the Mountains. Linda Rief wrote a mentor text “When I Was Young at the Ocean.” I wrote “When I Was Young at Purple Creek.”

When I was young at Purple Creek, I dangled my toes in the trickle of water and watched minnows dart around them, sending tickles and goose pimples all the way up my skinny white legs. 

When I was young at Purple Creek, I buried my Barbies in the sand, played Treasure Island on the wrip-wrap shore, and let go of the leash so Loopy could wander and explore, bark at the squirrels. 

When I was young at Purple Creek, my fear of snakes was on high alert. Brother shouted a warning just to see me jump. We gathered treasures in a tin bucket (rocks, broken glass, colored leaves, mimosa seed pods, a baby frog).

My flip-flop feet toughened on summer days when I was young at Purple Creek. The trickle was my ocean. The shoreline my cave. The pine trees my towers. I was queen of Purple Creek.

Margaret Simon
Photo by Marta Wave on Pexels.com

The next text we read and wrote from was an Excerpt from The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John.

That Kind of Teacher

On the first day of school, you can decide what kind of teacher you want to be. You can be the smiley teacher, the one who greets everyone at the door with “How are you today?” You could be the fashionable teacher, the one who turns heads with her new outfit each day. You could be the kind of teacher who knows everything about the new reading curriculum guidelines. The teacher who decorates her classroom in rainbow colors and files everything in matching color-coded binders. You could be the teacher who stands at the board and takes roll, who finishes her report cards on time. Or you could be that teacher who works as hard as her students. The curious teacher. The open-minded teacher. The teacher with a lot of stickers on the chart. When the school year starts, you can choose what kind of teacher you will be, the kind of teacher you will be for the rest of your life. 

Margaret Simon

And here’s 6th grader Chloe’s poem response for “I’m the Kind of Kid Who”

I’m the kind of kid
who leaves
at the end of class,
new kids asking why.
I say
“Guess” to hear
what they think.

I’m the kind of kid
who always does their work
or finishes their homework
in class so 
they have nothing left
to do.

I’m the kind of kid
whose teacher lets
them eat in class
as long as
she doesn’t see me.


I’m the kind of kid
who writes every day.
If you don’t 
know what I mean,
I’m doing it right now.


I’m the kind of kid
who is ready
for the weekend
and is actually
ready to come
back to school. 

Chloe

Adelyn, 3rd grade, wrote about her sister and posted it here on FanSchool.

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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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Photo by NASA on Unsplash

What the Hurricane Knows


Hot August oceans churn.
Tornadoes internally spurn
a meteorologist’s concern.

This is what the hurricane knows.

With strength beyond a whale’s tail,
swallow waves into booming gale,
loosen nature’s grip and WAIL!

Margaret Simon, draft

On Friday, I wrote wisdom poems with my students. I couldn’t focus on much except Hurricane Ida heading our way. They also wrote some wonderful wisdom poems linked below.

Adelyn, 3rd grade

Jaden, 6th grade

Katie, 6th grade

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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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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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