Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Jone at Check it Out.

A week off to enjoy family, friends, and food.  I’m sharing my week in verse.

Throw me somethin’ Mister!

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2018

Mardi Gras after the rain
Parades roll, beads fly,
Hands waving high.

Open doors,
chicken fingers,
Chili Fritos,

Costumes, blue hair,
and happy laughs,

Marching bands,
King cake,
Vodka and La Croix.

Come on in,
stay right here,
Bacchus is rolling soon.

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2018

Houston in the rain
heavy trucks spray
hold on tight.

Find a friend.
Sit a while
comfort in just being.

Glasses of wine,
flat bread pizza,
gather around the table.

Ukulele playing,
out of tune singing,
cuddles with the dog.

There is love here,
not over the rainbow yet,
but healing will come.

My friend Sarah is fighting the battle for her life.

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Ashes to ashes,
we are but dust,
miserable wormness,

Yet now is the time
to reach out
to reach in.

Be alone with God
to realize you are
never alone.

Spread the fruit
of your solitude.
Translate cynicism to Joy!

I am but dust.
Life is a gift.
Existence is grace.

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Japanese magnolia blooms
along my walking route,
sending pink fragrance into fog.

My mind wanders as I walk,
thoughts of children
whose lives were shot short.

My voice speaks to neighbors.
Can I trust my words
to be kind?

We are all wandering
on this lonely path
questioning God’s grace.

Find meaning in a moment,
Joy in a conversation,
Light in a dew drop.





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Poetry Friday round-up is with Sally Murphy.

I have five friends currently battling breast cancer.  This daily battle is heart-wrenching and hard. They are sharing their journey with me and others. It seems all I can do for them is pray or cry or write a poem.

On Monday, Kim wrote this: “As you know, chemo wreaks havoc on the immune system.  It lowers red and white blood counts and one specific type of white blood cell–the neutrophil–is especially critical because it plays an important role in fighting infection. If a chemo patient develops a fever, it sounds the alarm that the neutrophil concentration has likely fallen below 1000 and spurs doctors to take immediate action. If not treated with a strong course of antibiotics, the patient could develop a potentially life threatening infection. So, chemo comes with a strong warning: take fevers very seriously.”

On Tuesday, Sarah wrote this: “Exposed, hurting, lying on what seems like a narrow mortician’s table in a cavernous room, alone, encapsulated by an enormous machine shooting me with targeted radiation all in the name of cancer — I am a science experiment.”

On Wednesday, Amy wrote this: “What do you wear to hear the results of your pet/ct scan? A crown of course. Well I got good news and not so go news. The not so good news is the cancer is growing and has shown up in two new places. We’ll be looking at new treatment options at MD Anderson. The good news is my doctor said I can ride roller coasters at Disney next week. Bring it!! Thanks to all who have shown their concern and who have prayed for me. Please continue – the road just got bumpy.”

In Laura Shovan’s Daily February Writing Challenge, the image of a beautiful ocean scene came up, but all I could see was the dirty sand and the crashing waves.  I released my growing worry and concern in a poem.

Low Tide by Andrea Lavoie


Low Tide

That sand is frozen brown grass
flowing like the folds of a blanket,
fluffed and tucked over
the patient’s bed.

Does it comfort or scratch?
Cover or annoy?

Skin is sensitive with fever.
Chemo burns through her veins,
poison that saves
even as the waves
of a raging ocean
recede with the tide.

It’s the pull of the moon
holding her in a glowing stare.
Where is the silver lining?

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018 for Kim, Sarah, Amy, Kelley, and Sandy



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Poetry Friday round-up is with Donna at Mainely Write


This week there was a big moon event: the second full moon in January called the blue moon as well as a lunar eclipse that caused the moon to appear reddish and the fact that the moon was closer to the Earth than usual making it a super moon, thus blue blood super moon.

What better reason do we need for writing poems?

Prompted by NASA images and Laura Purdie Salas’s book If You Were the Moon, my students and I wrote moon metaphor poems.


Lynzee watched and wrote as slides of moon photos rolled across the screen.

Super Blue Blood Moon

Two birds, side by side,
front row seat
for what happened
in the early hours of the morning.

Birds flying in front of the moon
like sparkles on a disco ball,
they see, too, what happened.

Plane flying, too,
over the skies of Britain
like the moon’s huge moving tattoo.

Lynzee, 3rd grade

Chloe is new to writing poetry.  She’s a second grader.  She seems to be grasping the idea of metaphor in her poem.  She was so proud of her poem, she typed it in all caps.




Chloe, 2nd grade

Madison is becoming quite a poet.  Her poem is one I used in other classes to model the use of metaphor.

Peppermint Moon

Red Splashing Shadow
Take a White Pearl
In The Sky

Peppermint Swirling
Flaming From
To White and Red Tongues,
Licking the Dark Coals
Of the Night

 A Flame
Red and White
Sends Embers Scattering Across
The Deep Black, Overhead
But A Golden Flame Rises,
A Bonfire To Cast
Shadow Around
The Gem.

A White Diamond Revealed,
A Golden Bonfire Raging
It Is Time For The Moon
To Rest,
Forever The White Diamond
Of the Night Sky.

Madison, 4th grade

Eclipsed moon hides in the trees.

And here is a draft of a poem I wrote alongside my students.  I wrote two poems and combined them to make draft #3.

We all see the same moon.
All over the world,
Prague, Athens, Rome,
yellow, red, blue
sphere in the night sky.

I walked early this morning
watching the eclipse
of the full supermoon.
Minute by minute,
pieces fell from sight
like a giant hand
turning off the light.

In the shadow of a church steeple,
over desert hills,
setting behind our Lady Liberty,
a super moon eclipsed by our own
planet Earth.

As the moon set below the trees,
I thought of you
far away
seeing the same moon
in the same sky.

Margaret Simon, (draft) 2018

Yesterday I posted “Moon Wisdom” for Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday which included a poem by me around a painting by Michelle Kogan.

My post for #TeachWrite Chat this month is about sustaining a writing life by joining Poetry Friday.  See the post here. 

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


I love to celebrate birthdays in my classroom.  Last week I asked Dawson what he wanted for his birthday celebration, expecting an answer like cupcakes, and he said, “Chalkabration!”  Dawson’s only experienced one chalkabration, but he loved it.

In order to have a chalkabration, we have to write small poems.  I put 5 different form choices on the board: haiku, 15 words or less, zeno, cinquain, diamante, and acrostic. The topic, of course, was ice and snow since we returned this week from a week hiatus due to an ice storm. More than ever before, my students had the experience needed to write about this topic.

Sometimes, my kids blow me away with their poetry.  Austin was not willing to share in the classroom, but he did chalk his poem.  Austin’s been reading books by Jason Reynolds.  I feel like he channeled Jason in his poem.

In every person, their wounds may be bad.
Cold and solid, you can
Either sit and freeze or wake up and melt.

Austin, 6th grade




Cold winter nights Old melting ice Long icicles hanging from rooftops Dangling from trees are the frozen leaves. by Faith


This is my zeno poem. Zeno is a form invented by J Patrick Lewis with a syllable count of 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1. Each one syllable rhymes.

Conditions in the clouds above
temperatures of
cold air
condensed to form
tiny icy

–Margaret Simon

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Kay at A Journey Through the Pages.


I’ve had a lot of time lately to look out the window.  A hard freeze blew through the deep south, and gifted me with time alone at home on the bayou.  The winter bitter winds do not scare away the water wading birds.  They must be covered in some powerful down.  I’ve watched a particular blue heron, an occasional great white egret, and this morning, a family of wood ducks.

Watching the bayou inspires me to write poetry.  If you come by my blog often, you know this is my ongoing topic.  My blog title, Reflections on the Teche, is informed by the Bayou Teche (pronounced “Tesh”)

Taking a picture of a blue heron is nearly impossible.  They respond to any human activity with flight.  I painted a portrait of one a few years ago after a photo by Ralph Fletcher.  This painting now hangs in my parents’ dining room.

Blue heron painting by Margaret Simon


Heron Watching

I stand still
at the window

Take in slow breath.
No need to pray
when seeing this heron.

He perches,
head down,
beak pointed to

water’s surface
where the sun glimmers
like waves in old glass.

Is it a minnow,
mosquito, moth?
I focus on the horizon,

what his patience
invites me to see?

Margaret Simon, 2018

My One Little Word for my writing life is Present.  I want to show up to the page every day.  I wrote a post for TeachWrite Chat Blog here. I made a Canva image of my goals for being present thinking of the heron in my backyard and his lessons of patience.


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Poetry Friday round-up is with Jan at BookSeedStudio


With the start of a new year, I am trying to write a poem a day, or, at the very least, some ramblings in my notebook.  I’m staying away from social media until I write.  But I do check my email.  I receive a poem-a-day from Jane Yolen.  (You can sign up here.)

Jane’s poem begins each stanza with “The lake sings… It sings of…”  Every day the bayou reflects the tone of the season.  This morning as I write, the wind has turned cold, so I hear the echo of the whipping wind through the trees and the wind chimes clinging.  On Jan. 6th when I wrote this poem, the bayou was still and calm.  The trees were reflected perfectly in the water.  The sun was warming the surface of the water.

Bayou Reflections, Jan. 6, 2018. M. Simon


The bayou sings of shadows,
reflections of trees
bare and still.

It sings of rising sun
warming a surface
of sky on water.

It sings of herons,
owls, mockingbirds,
a hawk flying high above.

But most of all,
the bayou
sings of peace.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved


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Poetry Friday round-up is with Catherine at Reading to the Core


Brenda Davis Harsham posted a ten word prompt in Laura Shovan’s Facebook Project (which is currently open for new members).  The words came from an article in The New York Times about Maria Callas and the opera Tosca.  I sent it to my mother who is a musician and huge fan of opera.  I asked her, “Did I ever see Tosca?” She responded that she had taken me as a child.



I listened to the recordings embedded in the online article, but nothing sounded too familiar.  I did not inherit the same love of opera, I’m afraid.

But the article, the email conversation with Mom, and the ten words that Brenda selected led me to this poem:



My mother took me to see Tosca
when I was too young
to know tragedy.

I listened with ears of youth
tuning in to the crazy chords
that flowed in and out
like murmuring birds.

How fragile a single soprano note
hangs on a nightingale’s wing.
The song can wake you
alive to wonder about the night.

The night where silence
plants seeds deep into the soil,
where raw buds feign sleep
waiting for the light of dawn.

Margaret Simon, all rights reserved



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