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Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

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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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
https://tabathayeatts.blogspot.com/
Poetry Friday round-up is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.

Today I am the featured poet on Laura Shovan’s #WaterPoemProject. My prompt comes from a tanka that appears in my book Bayou Song. Hop over to Laura’s blog to see the prompt.

On Wednesday I scheduled a Zoom meeting with my students. About half of them came. I shared my prompt, and we wrote a tanka together.

Rylee points at a treasure in her pond.

Rylee started us off with an idea about see what she thought was a treasure chest in her pond.  

Treasure chest mirage
Blue cotton candy clouds float
Frosty reflection

Blueberry snowball freezing
Rylee’s lovely winter pond.

Mrs. Simon’s Sea Collaborative Poem

I need to finish up the schedule for the 2020 Progressive Poem. If you’d like to sign up, comment on this post. There are still spots open.

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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.
Poetry Friday round-up is Michelle Kogan.
Click over to join the round up and to read poems from The Best of Today’s Little Ditty, including one of mine.

Ethical ELA posts a 5 day Poetry Challenge each month. (Next month, there will be a prompt every day for National Poetry Month.) This month I participated in only two days, but I shared one of the activities with my students this week on our Kidblog site.

Click here to see the full prompt from Jennifer Goyer-Jowett.

Her prompt included finding a Japanese character to write a haiku from. I chose river. (There isn’t one for bayou.)

Kawa

In the process of finding this character, I discovered the Japanese word Kawaakari which means the gleam of last light on a river’s surface at dusk.

Last light of first day
glows like any other, yet
gleam lingers longer.

Margaret Simon, draft

Knowing my student Madison would jump on this prompt (she loves all things Japanese), I posted the prompt to my class Kidblog site. I’m sharing their wonderful responses.

Ember’s graceful flight,

Sparks fly, blizzards and tornadoes

of dire fire.

Madison, 6th grade
Image result for water japanese
Mizu means water

Maddox, 5th grade, wrote “The Japanese character I chose is mizu which stands for water. It represents the fluid flowing and the formless things in the world.”

fluid flowing streams

flowing in the wild forest

complete harmony

Maddox, 5th grade
Image result for japanese word character for tree
A.J., 6th grade, chose tree.
image

Standing tall and firm,

Strong arms supporting small twigs,

Uneven Fractal.

A. J., 6th grade

Breighlynn, 4th grade wrote, “My Japanese character is Kaze. Kaze is for wind. It represents Freedom of movement.”

Freedom of Movement

Going here and going there

I love to travel

Breighlynn, 4th grade

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April is coming faster than I realized, and I had forgotten that I promised Irene Latham that I would take over organizing the 2020 Progressive Poem. Irene started the tradition of a progressive poem in 2012. Click here to see past poems.

There are few rules. The poem will be passing from blog to blog with each poet-blogger adding a line. The poem is for children. Other than that, anything goes. Usually the poem takes on a life of its own, so don’t be intimidated to sign up. Just do it and wait for your turn. Then let the creative muse do what she must.

Copy and paste the poem up to your date and add your line. Simple. Some poets like to write about the process which is always interesting for the rest of us to read, but it isn’t necessary.

When you sign up, state which date you would like and leave a link to your blog. I will update the list as comments come in.

Please email me with any questions. (margaretsmn at gmail)

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 Rebecca at Sloth Reads

It’s another month, so that means a new challenge for the Sunday Night Poetry Swaggers. This month I posed the challenge of writing a question poem.

I had some pretty feeble starts at this one, but one day last week I was inspired by the very thing happening in our wood duck house. Last year we put up a wood duck house around this time of year, but the first clutch never hatched. We are watching through a Ring doorbell camera attached to the roof of the nest box.

We have another hen. She’s been sitting since February 24th, so projected hatch date is somewhere between March 16th and 18th. I have a good feeling about this hen. Even though we’ve had some cool nights, she sits all night and leaves once in the morning and once in the evening to feed. When she leaves, she completely covers the clutch with down, so we really have no idea how many eggs she is sitting on. We learned our lesson last year, so we will Not be going out there to check.

Stay tuned. In the meantime, my question poem.

Will She Come Again?

It’s February and we wonder
will she come again,
this wood duck mother hen?

Will she find the house we’ve built?
a box, like a cypress quilt,
waiting to be a home.

In the morning we look and see.
Papa wood duck, where is she?
Where’s your mate? Is she about?

Connected to our house WiFi,
we keep a daily eye,
a camera on the nestbox roof.

She’s in, then out, then in again,
this mother wood duck hen.
Will she lay a clutch?

How many eggs? It’s hard to tell.
She covers them all so well.
Plucks her down, soft and warm.

How does she know how?
Waiting, watching, wondering now
for twenty-eight more days.

Will wood duck chicks hatch from this downy haze? 

Margaret Simon, (c) 2020
Wood duck from Public Domain

Read more question poems from my writing pals:

Heidi Mordhorst
Catherine Flynn
Linda Mitchell
Molly Hogan

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Karen Edmisten.

Linda Baie shared a video on Facebook that I immediately took up as a writing prompt. It’s a beautiful short film by Louie Schwartzberg. (See link below to watch the video)

I took a quote from the young girl at the beginning and made a golden shovel. “The path could lead to a beach or something.”

Cultivate a response to the
day; open your eyes and a path
could be there, weather could
change, and lead
to water, to
a new way to see, a
gift as joyful as a beach,
waves blessing you or
moving you to touch something.

Margaret Simon, draft response
Photo by Margaret Simon, Santa Rosa Beach Florida

Kathy Mazurowski is the winner of the book giveaway for After Dark: Poems About Nocturnal Animals by David L. Harrison, illustrated by Stephanie Laberis. Click the link to read how I used the book with my students and wrote nonfiction poems.

Take a minute to write a quick 15 word poem to this week’s This Photo Wants to be a Poem. This week is a beautiful photo by Molly Hogan.

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