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Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.

I was at a loss for what I should write about today. Early this morning I read Linda Mitchell’s post in which she revisits her one little word for 2020. Ah, there is an idea I can embrace. Embrace is my 2020 word.

What I can embrace and celebrate is this amazing month of poetry of presence prompted by my interview at Today’s Little Ditty (See the wrap-up today.) Poetry friends old and new embraced the idea of writing a poem of presence every day in May. The Twitterverse has been happily inspiring and connecting us in a special, ever-present way. (#poemsofpresence)

I can embrace my baby grandsons. My school year has finished up, and my daughter from New Orleans needed help with her baby while she works, now from my home. We occasionally get the cousins together. They are not old enough to really engage with each other, but we are trying to nurture their relationship.

What I cannot embrace is the news of the world. I will not embrace racism and am sickened by the ways that it continues to mar our world. That’s all I’m going to say…

Last week April Halprin Wayland posted a new form: In One Word. Click the link to read the directions and her mentor poems. Here’s a draft using Wordmaker words from Embrace. The words I used are be, embrace, arm, mere, bee, me.

Shelter at Home

This time came to be
eerily easy
to embrace
with one arm,
a mere test
of my resolve
to stay here-present.
Like a bee
intent on nectar,
I tend this place
for you & me.

Margaret Simon, draft
Photo by Katherine Simon Andry at Petite Anse Farm, New Iberia, LA.

One more thing to embrace: the ingenuity of young people who create beauty out of a a field of dirt.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at beyond Literacy Link.

I follow the Ethical ELA website that is beautifully led by Sarah Donovan. Each month she posts a 5 day Open Write which is a series of writing prompts hosted by teachers of writing. This month’s host was Kim Johnson. Kim drew mentor texts from great writers such as Jason Reynolds and Jericho Brown. I was drawn to a prompt from Jason Reynolds’ book Long Way Down, “The Way I Felt.”

It amazes me how a single prompt can turn out so many different individual responses. Go to the link to read the many touching responses. I am honored to be among them.

The Ultrasound

The way I felt
when you showed me
the ultrasound.

Never knew love like this.

I held the tiny image
in the palm of my hand

cried

feeling a new world
opening. I planted.
I grew a fertile seed
now planted
in you.

Fingers, toes,
a nose!
Small person
coming to be
my grandchild.

Margaret Simon, draft
Poems of Presence Today’s Little Ditty Challenge continues through the end of the month.

My student Breighlynn in 4th grade was featured this week on Today’s Little Ditty. She took the ditty challenge to write a poem of presence. The Twitter hashtag continues. It’s not too late to jump in the fun!

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

Today, I’d like to introduce Laura Purdie Salas’s new book Secrets of the Loon. Released in early May, this book is different in design from her others, yet still holds her amazing poetic voice. Beautifully designed with photographs by Chuck Dayton, Laura takes us on a journey with newborn loon, Moon Loon.

Loons do not live in the deep south. My experience is with wood ducks. Wood ducks will lay a clutch of a dozen or so eggs, while loons only lay two. But I gather that their survival rate is better because the baby loon will ride on its parent’s back to escape danger. On the bayou, wood ducks are prey to birds, alligators, and snakes. I’m not sure of the survival percentage, but it can’t be that great, or we would have wood ducks everywhere.

Secrets of the Loon is written in rhyming verse. I didn’t notice this at first. Other poetic elements jumped out at me; repetition, onomatopoeia, and imagery together create a delightful tour of the lake.

Secrets of the Loon, Minnesota Historical Society Press (5/1/20)
ISBN: 9781681341583

These rocky shores, with trees tipped in gold.
These ripples and currents, fishy and cold.
This dazzling sky, a vivid blue dome.
This spruce-scented bay offers comfort.
It’s home.

Laura Purdie Salas, Secrets of the Loon

Being unfamiliar with loons, I also enjoyed reading the back matter of More Loon Secrets. I hope one day I will see a loon in real life. But for now, Laura’s book takes me to a beautiful lake full of natural sights and sounds.

For more about Laura and Classroom Connections, visit Today’s Little Ditty.

Lagniappe (a little something extra) today is a video I saw on CNN’s Five Things to Know page. Believe me, it was the best thing there. One of my favorite hymns to sing. I first sang Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring in my high school choir. That is why I remember it so well. Ah, youth…

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

In this pandemic atmosphere, the mask has become a topic. I’ve been blessed with gifts of masks, so I’m building up a collection. There is now a place in my laundry room where I hang masks, so I can quickly grab one on the way out. On Instagram a friend posted a photo of herself wearing a stylish animal print mask, and this poem came to me. David Harrison suggested “mask” as the word on the month on his blog.

My mask collection
grows like hats on a hatrack or
scarves in my closet;
I can select one to match my mood:
yellow dotted daisy on teal blue,
blue sky with maps of the world,
or plain white cotton. A multitude
of coverings for Covid season.


I will put one on
to express my love
for you 
and you
with sunflowers
on a background of green—
a quilt for a smile. 

Margaret Simon, draft

The invitation to write #PoemsofPresence is still open. Post on Twitter and/or in this padlet.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Christie at Wondering and Wandering

On Tuesday evening I participated in a free webinar from Highlights with Lesléa Newman called “Poetry to Soothe the Soul”. During the presentation, I realized I had picked up one of her books at NCTE last fall, October Mourning. I went on a search for it and found it and have been reading. It’s a verse novel about the killing of Matthew Shephard. Her use of short form and repetition is affective in that book.

The Patrol Officer’s Report

two thin white tear tracks
one red swollen blood-caked face
this is someone’s child

Lesléa Newman, October Mourning

With us, she shared her own Pandemic Haiku. Her homework assignment was to write our own. I had written a haiku a few weeks ago and sent in a soundbite of me reading it to Alan Nakagawa’s sound collage commissioned by OCMA, Social Distance, Haiku, and You! This week I received a link to all the creative sound recordings. They had more than 500 entries. My haiku is included in Part B. Posted here if you choose to listen.

Heartbroken world mourns
Loss of who we were before
Waiting for new life
-Margaret Simon

On Wednesday, I collected moments throughout my day in haiku. Here is my collection:

Pandemic Haiku

In a viral time,
let us be grateful for this:
Breath. Green. Life.

Early morning sun
slant of light through cypress shades
welcoming hummers

Walks with Leo
are a wander, meander
See dat, dat, and dat? 

Chalk art on sidewalks
greet passersby with colors
“This too shall pass!”

A new duck tenant
three eggs today lay
in the wood duck house.

Seven green-gold charms
chrysalis-haven for wings
to magically form.

Watching my screen
I see Chloe, Rylee, you
in your own kitchen. 

Don’t know what will be
when the viral storm calms down
I hope for a hug. 

Margaret Simon, draft 4/22/20
Message in sidewalk chalk

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Amy at The Poem Farm

I am writing from my favorite perch on the back deck on Bayou Teche. While I was here, Laura Shovan’s face popped up on my phone inviting me to an Instagram Live. Little did I know that she could actually click me in. Ha! There I was, no make up, saying hi to Laura! She was reading a robot poem. Y’all should check it out!

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

My poem today was inspired by a prompt on Go Poems using Joy Harjo’s poem When the World as We Knew it Ended as a mentor text. I posted on our Kidblog page and a few students wrote their own poems. (We welcome comments.)

When School was Closed

We were writing
every day in colored ink:
100 Days of Notebooking goal.

Sticker charts were filling up
like a calendar of events:
Twenty books, thirty, forty.
We were wild readers 
racking up the highest AR scores.

We had been watching
the President in news conferences
say “This is no big deal, a few weeks,
warmer weather, it’ll all go away.”

We saw it when
our parents stayed home, too,
buying supplies for more than a week,
taking our temperature with their hands.

We heard it
from Governor Edwards,
“Stay at home.”
No more school.
Will I ever see my friends again?
What about the soccer game on Saturday?

But then my dad
took me fishing,
showed me how to bait a hook,
slowly helped me throw out the line.

We waited
side by side
together
for a bite.  

By Margaret Simon

The Spreading Virus

We were getting off the school bus
when he said bye
see you in a month or two

A game of pass the toy
going from here to there.
Until that person has it no more.

We had been watching the passing fields.
stopping every couple of minutes
Barely any cars
driving around
No strangers walking around
outside

still playing games
learning new things
being with the family.

We heard it has claimed lives, many
Must keep everything germ-free
Can’t go see our friends anymore

But then
it is nice being home
this is bringing families together
having to spend
more time
with each
other


by Breighlynn, 4th grade

Follow the progress of this year’s Progressive Poem. We are walking a path to the lake. Matt Forrest Esenwine has today’s line choices.

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, deowriter
4 Liz Steinglass
5 Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at A Journey through the Pages
7 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel, hosted at Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
24 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
28 Jessica Bigi
29 Fran Haley at lit bits and pieces
30 Michelle Kogan

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

For this first Friday of the month, my Sunday Poetry Swagger group writes together to a shared prompt. This month Linda Mitchell suggested the Poets.org #ShelterinPoems project. I decided to do an “after” poem from poet Barbara Crooker’s April poem that she posted on her Facebook page. I love Barbara’s writing, how it flows beautifully line to line.

BIG LOVE
I’d been traveling and missed this spring’s shy
unfolding. So when I returned, it was as if
a magician had walked around the yard
with a glossy black wand: Pow! Lilacs,
purple, white, wine-colored; scent to rock you
back on your heels. Bam! Dogwoods,
a cotillion of butterflies on bare black branches.
Shazam! Peonies exploding, great bombshells
of fragrance and silk. Tada! A rainbow row
of irises, blossoms shooting from green stalks.
Azaleas! Rhododendrons!. Everywhere I look,
the yard is ready to send its bombs bursting in air.
So push down the plunger! Let every twig and stem
erupt into flowers. Soon, it will be June, and all
of this opulence will be spent confetti littering
the lawn. I’m standing here, slack-jawed
and gob-smacked, shell-shocked into love.
Out by the bird bath, one by one, the poppies
slip their green pods, slowly detonate
into silent flame.
~Barbara Crooker

Bayou Sunset (photo by Margaret Simon)

Backyard Spring

I’ve been sheltering and missed this spring’s green
beginning. So when I walked out, it was as if
Jack had been by with his magical beans: Bada-bing! Cypress
needles feathered like peacocks showing wings; emerald
out of the blue. Bravo! Clover, a-dime-a-dozen flaunting
purple lily-like miniatures. Good heavens! The wisteria vine
drapes around, around. Everywhere I look,
the yard is ready to dance the day away.
So grab your partner! Take a two-step (six feet apart)
and let the green lawn party commence. I’ll invite
the wood ducks, squirrels, and herons. Set up
swing-back camp chairs. Out by the bayou, we’ll watch
the sunset draw orange curtains
into silent flame.

Margaret Simon, after Barbara Crooker
Clover on the lawn (photo by Margaret Simon)

Swagger Group #ShelterinPoems

Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core

Check in on the Progressive Poem with Jone today.
Poem read aloud on the bayou with ideas for writing your own poem.

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