Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

After hurricanes and weeks and weeks of heat, things in the deep south are finally feeling like fall. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Surprisingly not for the colorful foliage of today’s image, but for the scents in the air. Here in Louisiana, the sweet olive blooms. The satsuma ripens, and the sugarcane is harvested. A plethora of scent-sations. And don’t get me started on gumbo. If someone is making a roux, you can smell it for miles around.

This photo comes from the Northwest where my blogging friend Ramona Behnke lives and writes at Pleasures from the Page. We do not get this kind of color here. Most of our trees are live oaks and pines that stay green and cypress trees that drop brown fuzzies. But I do love a good photograph of fall leaves.

Fall leaves by Ramona Behnke

If the trees could play
a melody the wind
would sing, we’d know
the secrets of the song
and blend with
harmony.

Margaret Simon, draft

Write a small poem in the comments. Let the muse take you where it will. I have no idea where my little poem came from. Writing is like that, mysterious and magical in so many ways. Be sure to come back and write encouraging comments to each other. I love it when someone sees something in my poem in a new and different way than I did.

Today is the National Day on Writing, an initiative of NCTE and National Writing Project. Use the hashtag #WhyIWrite.

Read Full Post »

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

I recently won a book giveaway (Don’t you just love free books?) from Kidlit 411 of a new book My Monsterpiece by Amalia Hoffman. The illustrations for this book are done with mixed media and photography. The artist-kid wants to create a scary monster but becomes frustrated as each person he shows his art to isn’t frightened at all. They eventually come to understand that monsters don’t have to be scary (and neither are kids). I was excited to read it to my almost 3 year old grandson Leo when he came to visit this weekend.

Sunday morning came early as Leo woke up well before the sun. “Mamére, it’s dark outside.” So while I had my much-needed cup of coffee, Leo located the art supplies and set to work on his own Masterpiece/ Monsterpiece.

by Leo, 2.8

On the Ethical ELA Open Write, the prompt from Anna was to write a 20/20 vision poem, a 20 word poem that sees something more clearly.

Making a masterpiece

comes slowly with

creative attention

to bursts of color.

You look up and say,

“A birthday cake!”

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

Nature never ceases to amaze me. Amanda Potts shares photos on her Instagram feed of nature through a close-up lens. When I don’t have a photo of my own to share, I know I can turn to hers. Like me, she walks every day. Me in South Louisiana and she in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada…a world apart. Yet there are dragonflies here and there. This week’s photos (I couldn’t pick just one) come from her Instagram feed. Follow her.

Photo by Amanda Potts
Photo by Amanda Potts

Tessellation wing
an intricate map open
to wonder windows.

Margaret Simon, haiku draft

Write a small poem in the comments and leave encouraging comments to other writers. Above all, relax and let words flow.

Read Full Post »

Today I am cheating and doing this prompt backwards. I wrote a poem that I like from another Taylor Mali prompt. I remembered that I took a picture of the image I conjured in the poem. I am convincing myself that this is fair because I had the image in mind when I wrote the poem. Taylor’s website has a collection of fun prompts for teachers to use with kids. They work even with the youngest students that I teach (8 year olds). The one I used can be found here: Once I was a Flower.

Live Oak Branches, Margaret Simon

Once an owl lifted off
from a tangle of branches;
it rose above me
like a hot-air balloon.
It was fall
and morning chill sprinkled fog
over the bayou.
There I was left
floating alone–
solid, steel canoe.

Margaret Simon, draft

Now it’s your turn. If you want to use the prompt, begin with Once and end with an inanimate object. Or just write whatever the photo muse brings forth. Be sure to leave encouraging comments for other writers.

This response to the Once prompt is from my student Jaden in 6th grade.

Once I saw a moth
flew across my face
in the path of others
it was a fall sunset
I stood still
I was a light
Jaden, 6th grade

Read Full Post »

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

Every class we begin with notebook time. My students know to open their notebooks as soon as they walk in. I’ve started teaching some little ones, second graders, and it’s not so well established yet with them, but we’re trying. One thing that Brayden knows already is that on Mondays we write a Slice of Life. But first, we played Mad Lib Poetry, created by Taylor Mali, that I read about on this Poetry Friday post from Denise Krebs.

Brayden answered the prompt, “Name an object that represents your mother” with “butterflies.” This stayed with him, and he wrote his Slice of Life about his mother. “My mother is a butterfly. She is beautiful.”

With my different groups of students, I wrote the Mad Lib Poem 3 times. Here is one of my versions:

I was born in the year of Donny Osmond albums.

My mother was a grand piano
and my father, a pointillist drawing.

Is it any wonder that I grew up to be an amazing cross
between Alice in Wonderland and a great blue heron?

Take a worried look at me. I am weary and feeling old.

Is it any wonder that I still have nightmares
about teaching a whole class
of second grade boys?

Margaret Simon, Mad Lib Slam Poem form by Taylor Mali

Denise shared that Taylor’s Metaphor Dice are on sale for teachers at 60% off. Grab them while you can.

On Friday with my 6th grade writers, we played three rounds of metaphor dice. This is a great game for this grade level. They grapple with the strange combinations and amaze themselves and me by what they write in 2 minutes. I think this is a great activity for critical and creative thinking.

I liked how this next poem came out as a little love poem.

My heart is a burning kiss,
burning like the fire inside
that makes bread rise,
the heat that helps babies grow,
the warmth that feeds the seed
which is to say
your tender kiss
melts my heart
into pure gold
that withstands
the test of time.

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

Flowers are fascinating, and their names can be entertaining. I took a drive out to the country on Sunday to visit a friend. She had naked ladies growing in her yard. As I was leaving, she said, “Can I cut you some hurricane lilies?”

“I thought they were naked ladies.”

She may have blushed. “Yes some people call them that.”

When I put “naked ladies” into Google, more name possibilities popped up: Belladonna Lily, Bareroot Red Surprise Lily, Resurrection Lily, August Lily, Red Spider Lily, Lycoris Raidanti.

Let’s have a little fun today with these names. Play with one of them in a small poem. Post in the comments. Reply with encouraging comments to others. Happy Hump Day!

Naked Ladies in the country, Margaret Simon

red stamens reach up
resurrected from bare earth
radiant surprise

Margaret Simon, haiku

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »