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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Thanks to Margaret Simon for hosting the Progressive Poem started by Irene Latham. And a big thank you for allowing blog-less me to appear on her blog once again. If you don’t know me I comment on Poetry Friday as Janet F. or Janet Clare F. and I love this poetry community! As a former teacher and poet I feel at home with my poetry friends. 

Following last year’s procedure established by Donna at Mainely Write, we are choosing between two lines offered by the person before us and then writing two for the next poet.  Our poem about kindness and friendship is now traveling a new path so off we go. 

Thanks to Buffy for two great options, which did not surprise me at all, but I am off to the woods.  I hear the bees buzzing, the quiet and the birdsong. I remember how I loved to explore the woods behind my house while playing as a child. And on hikes when my family camped in summers. Fresh air, imagination and wholesome times! 

I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!
Easily contagious – sharing smiles is my plan.

I’ll spread my joy both far and wide,
As a force of Nature I’ll be undenied.

Words like, “how can I help?” will bloom in the street.
A new girl alone on the playground – let’s meet, let’s meet!

We can jump-skip together in a double-dutch round.
Over, under, jump and wonder, touch the ground.

Friends can be found when you open a door.
Side by side, let’s walk through, there’s a world to explore.

Buffy’s lines for me were:

  1. We’ll hike through a forest of towering trees 

and

  1. Should we follow the stream as it eddies and flows?

Not surprisingly I selected #1! It sounds like a wonderful way to enjoy special time with a new (or old) friend.

We’ll hike through a forest of towering trees

And now for Jone, I offer:

Option 1: Look for flowers, enjoy birdsong as long as we please.

OR

Option 2:  Find a stream we can follow while we bask in the breeze.

(You can tell I was torn by that lovely idea of following the stream!)

Jone you may choose one of these OR feel free to choose one of your own as Kat Apel describes in the first day’s post!  Happy poeting!

P.S. As I was contemplating the idea of walking for health, poetry and friendship for the Progressive Poem, it reminded me of the one I saw today at Poetry Boost with Michelle Schaub. I recalled Thoreau espousing the benefits of walking about 4 hours a day. I googled and found this interesting link. I am going to make a goal of doing more contemplative walking! With and without my friends, but friends are always good to have around!

(You can find me on FB at Janet Clare. If we haven’t yet connected, I look forward to doing so.)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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This year’s progressive poem started out recognizing kindness and is currently bouncing off to the playground where we have met a new character. Here’s the progress so far:

I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!
Easily contagious – sharing smiles is my plan.

I’ll spread my joy both far and wide,
As a force of Nature I’ll be undenied.

Words like, “how can I help?” will bloom in the street.
A new girl alone on the playground – let’s meet, let’s meet!

We can jump-skip together in a double-dutch round.

Denise at Dare to Care offered these line choices:

Over, under, jump and wonder, touch the ground

OR

But she was shy when greeted; she didn’t make a sound.

I am attracted to the action in the first line, so I have selected it.

I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!
Easily contagious – sharing smiles is my plan.

I’ll spread my joy both far and wide,
As a force of Nature I’ll be undenied.

Words like, “how can I help?” will bloom in the street.
A new girl alone on the playground – let’s meet, let’s meet!

We can jump-skip together in a double-dutch round.
Over, under, jump and wonder, touch the ground.

2021 Kidlit Progressive Poem Day 9

I am happy that I get to begin a new stanza, but since this poem has become a rhyming poem, I don’t want to burden it with a difficult word to rhyme. I also need to consider the theme thus far, kindness and friendship.

I love the idea of a friendship blooming. Chloe was around when I was trying to create the line choices, so I let her write one of them. I won’t tell you which one, though. My friend and critique partner, Molly Hogan, gets to choose from these two lines:

Friends can be found when you open a door.

Or

A never-ending sign connects hand to hand.

For a full list of participants, check out the sidebar.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com
Poetry Friday round-up is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.

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This week I am traveling with my sister. She lives in Texas, I in Louisiana, and our parents and brother live in Mississippi. We’ve had a quick visit after more than a year of separation. Yesterday, Beth and I wanted to take a walk. It was a gorgeous spring morning, so we found Friendship Park near our hotel. Both of us were taken by the scenery. Huge old azaleas were in bloom. There was a winding soft asphalt path to walk. The trees jutting up to the sky were fresh with new green. Each of us snapped multiple pictures.

Friendship Park, by Margaret Simon

New green reaches
for a heavenly lit sign
all is well

Margaret Simon, draft

Please consider writing your own small poem response in the comments. Give encouraging feedback to other writers.

Today the Kidlit Progressive Poem is with Rose at Imagine the Possibilities.

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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.

I’m inviting you to find inspiration today at Ethical ELA. I wrote the guest prompt of the day for National Poetry Month. My inspiration came from a National Geographic email that I subscribe to. In the newsletter, there were selected photographs chronicling the pandemic across the world. I chose to write about a photograph of undocumented workers making masks.

Writing to photographs is inspirational as there are so many ways to approach the task. With students you can ask questions that lead them to wonder and response. Who do you see? What do you think you know? What can you discover?

Building a sense of empathy is vital in our world today. Finding a world view can open up empathy. Consider joining the community at Ethical ELA and writing a poem in response to a photograph.

Undocumented

“How can you say we don’t belong here
when we are working so hard
to heal this country’s communities right now?” Veronica Velasquez

I think of the mask makers,
side-by-side on an assembly line
cutting, threading, sewing
white cloth
To keep us safe
while they live
in the shadow
in plain sight,
essential now.

Belong
or don’t belong?
Our survival
depends on
their survival.
Undocumented
saviors.

Margaret Simon
Photo by SKYTONER on Pexels.com

The Progressive Poem is moving along. Check on it today with Jan at Book Seed Studio.

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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.

On the last day of the March Slice of Life Challenge, walk with me. Listen to the birds. Take a minute to just be here.

This month of Slicing has been a way for me to be present. Present to my thoughts. Present to the words of others.

One of my favorite photographers is my writing critique group partner, fellow SOL blogger, Molly Hogan in Maine. I cannot imagine how she gets such amazing photos of birds. She must be so still and patient. Her latest batch on Facebook are shots of bluebirds. This one she posted looks like a cartoon character.

Consider writing a small poem in response to this photo in the comments or on your blog (link in the comments). Leave encouraging comments to other writers.

Bluebird by Molly Hogan
Morning birds serenade my walk,
an aubade to the trees and sky,
gentle as your hand
on my sleeping shoulder.
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.
You may use this image on your blog if you share a poem from this prompt.

The clocks have been set forward, the days are getting longer, and there is a rumor that spring is here. I forget how turbulent March can be. It’s like the weather can’t decide. There is a war between hot and cold, humid and dry, that causes wind and storms and then bright sunny days and flowers.

I love spring flowers. My photo app is full of them. One of my favorites is the wisteria vine. Wisteria is an invasive species in South Louisiana. My husband hates the insidious vines that rot wooden railings. I’ve lost the battle over trying to keep it in our yard. But this week they were blooming beautifully in our neighborhood. On my walk, I smelled their fragrance before seeing the vine.

wisteria vine, photo by Margaret Simon

Lavender leaves weep
wander in March windy ways
fragrant springtime tears

Margaret Simon, March haiku

Join me today and write a small poem in the comments or on your blog (leave a link in the comments). Be sure to support others with encouraging 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.
“Writing for me is no different than playing basketball, it’s my body moving among and pushing up against and being moved by other bodies of language and the energy of language,” says Natalie Diaz in an interview with Brandon Stosuy in the Creative Independent, in which she talks about the physicality of writing and how her experience as a professional athlete and her Mojave culture affect how she writes. “I don’t only feel with my body, I think with it. Even text is a physical space for me.” This week, write a short essay describing what your writing process feels like. How does articulating the way you write help focus your process?
From Poets & Writers, The Time is Now

My writing follows a white-crested bird

diving into the bayou

then flying off into a tree and shaking its feathers out–

jumpjabfly

I write with tabs across my computer screen,

a cup of coffee growing cold,

and fingers jumping on a trampoline

of similes, images that come to my mind

and fly away as fast as the bayou bird.

Maybe I should open a tab and find out its name;

specificity is good to use in writing,

but then I’d have to stop, take a sip of water,

wash down the inspiration and start again.

Writing is no different from bird watching,

trying to name the thing that captures you

and takes you into a new space

of discovery. I didn’t even know I knew how to say that.

Margaret Simon, draft
Image by JudaM from Pixabay

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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.
Notebook Page 3/16/21

Playing with lots of creative ideas on this notebook page. I started with a falling apart copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I wanted to try writing a blackout (erasure) poem that had nothing to do with the actual content on the page.

The second thing I made was the notecard design. This is a method of meditation I learned last year at an art museum workshop (the fall of 2019 when we could go to these things.) It’s a simple concept. Choose 3 colors that express your mood. Set the timer for 3 minutes and follow where the lines take you. I use a meditation timer on my phone with some ambient sound.

I had been struggling for days to learn how to make an origami butterfly. I finally got one and added it to the page.

The final touches were some magazine cut-outs I had set aside for when I may need them. There is a creative satisfaction that happens when all the elements come together in a pleasing way.

Text of the black-out poem:

back to
Sunday morning
grudgingly
skating on
Zoom
losing one face
in the window
just before lunch.

Margaret Simon, from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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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.
Join our weekly writing prompt by leaving a poem in the comments or a link to your blog post.
You may use this image and the prompt image with a pingback to this site.

Usually on this weekly photo prompt I post a photo from nature. But this week I wanted to try something new. Abstract art by my grandson, Leo. He loves doing art, especially painting. His parents are proud of his work and place it in a gallery on the kitchen wall. Obviously Leo’s daycare teachers have an amazing amount of patience and skill to get this art piece. Is it possible to recognize someone by their handprint?

While I was visiting on Sunday, Leo had a tumble and scraped his finger. We continued our walk to the park, but I noticed he was shaking his hand. He said, “Burns.” I offered to take him back home and clean it up. On the way, he said, “Don’t cry Leo.” I told him crying was OK when he was hurt.

We washed the boo boo, but he did not want a band-aid. On FaceTime Monday, he said, “Mamere, finger better.”

This image may take you to a child you know, a memory of hand print art, or to the idea of spring and rainbows, health and healing. Follow the muse wherever it goes. Leave a small poem in the comments (or a link to your blog post). We appreciate encouraging responses to other writers.

Rainbow Hands by Leo LeBlanc, age 2.

Familiar fingers
reach for the sky
touch a cloud
release a rainbow.

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.

I have subscribed to the National Geographic newsletter. One of these days I will break down and pay the subscription fee for full access because the images and articles are so inspiring. This one included photographs taken all around the world during the pandemic selected to express “how we deal.” My prompt for my students: select a photograph and take words from the text descriptions to write a poem. And I wrote, too.

I chose a photograph of a pregnant woman. My daughter found out she was pregnant around this day a year ago. I was drawn to the woman. Having a child during a pandemic can bring about heightened anxiety. As the grandmother, I felt the joy.

A moment
is all it takes
to cancel
close
lockdown.

A test
of our humanity
our hunger
our resilience.

We cannot close our eyes, blind-out reality.

To grow a life
inside a womb,
nourish and protect,
celebrate its birth– there is somewhere

to go, to be
with a moment,
comforted and belonging
to the insanity
of things.

Margaret Simon, draft
Baby toes, photo by Margaret Simon

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