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Archive for the ‘This Photo Wants to be a Poem’ Category

Welcome back. I’m sorry I missed posting last week, but my flight left Los Angeles at 5:50 AM. I had a wonderful trip to NCTE and lovely visit with my friend Julieanne. Then it was home for Thanksgiving and to New Orleans for a birthday weekend with my grandchildren. Life has been full and busy lately. ‘Tis the season.

The photo today was posted by Barry Lane, author, musician, and educator. It was tagged for This Photo by Paul Hankins on Facebook. Not only does the photo speak to travel, it seemed to travel itself to get to me. Even if you haven’t been traveling lately, you can relate to the image through the inscription on the building (which I totally missed the first time I saw the photo, so I’m pointing it out.).

Photo by Barry Lane.

Add your small poem in the comments and respond to other writers with encouragement.

Dream your dream.
Carry on.
Take me with you.

Margaret Simon, draft

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We had a cold front pass through the night. The air became damp and cold. As I arrived home from a rather blustery carpool line, I stopped short of the carport because something bright red caught my eye. Was it because of the cold that the cardinal, fluffed up and still, stayed at the feeder? I quickly rolled the window down and shot a picture. Some people believe the red bird is the sign of a loved one who has passed. Monday was the 18th anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. My mother-in-law reminded me. I’m sad to think I forgot. Maybe the cardinal was his way of saying it was OK.

Cardinal at the Feeder, photo by Margaret Simon

The red bird waits,
wonders how to be light
on a dark afternoon–

I whisper,
just stay.

Margaret Simon, draft

I will be traveling today to Los Angeles for the NCTE conference. Will I see you there? Please leave a small poem in the comments and support others with encouraging words.

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In most parts of the northern hemisphere, fall is a time when leaves change hue and fall getting ready for the dormancy of winter. But here in the deep south of Cajun country, the prairie goes to seed. My friend and neighbor James Edmunds recently photographed fields of prairie grasses. I was attracted to the starlike seed pods of this one.

On Instagram, James wrote, “The Cajun Prairie project in Eunice right now is in a beautiful post-flowering, going-to-seed stage. The perimeter can be walked on nice sidewalks and gives views into a wide variety of native grasses!” To see more, I found a website for Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation. It does my nature-loving heart good to see there are organizations dedicated to preservation and restoration of natural land.

Cajun Prairie Grass by James Edmunds

Prairie grass sashays
replanting, replenishing
starlike seedlings soar

Margaret Simon, haiku draft

Write your own small poem in the comments and support other writers with comments. Thanks!

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November is here and it’s dark. The sun is slanting in the sky, the weather is cooling, and the days are shorter. Therefore, my friend, teacher, photographer Lory Landry was able to capture this sunrise on the way to school. Around here, the sugarcane is either standing tall or freshly cut. It’s harvesting season. That also means that when the wind is just right, you get a whiff of burning cane-fields. They still do this despite its harmfulness to the environment. If truth be told, I like the scent. I also like that it means fall and Christmas.

Please take a moment in your busy day to muse about this photo. Leave a small poem in the comments and write some encouraging words for others.

Sunrise by Lory Landry

November 1st

A scent of wood burning
A splatter of candy on concrete
Jack-o-lanterns gone to seed
A sprinkle of egrets perch like twin moons in the trees
A church bell chimes

Embrace the red sunrise
And praise the morning light.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Morning walks are getting darker and darker as the time changes, as the days shorten. Recently I have been sharing the dark with a few ghouls and goblins. There seem to be more Halloween decorations this year, and the bigger the better. Usually I post a photo of nature, so today is a bit of a digression. See where this photo may take you: an imaginary Halloween tale or a memory of one Halloween night. Post your own musings in the comments and encourage other writers with your responses. And always, thanks for being here.

Spiders the size of a child,
Jack-o-lanterns glow like the moon,
Dress up like a bumblebee,
Come join in the glee.
It’ll be Halloween soon!

Margaret Simon, draft

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As Autumn arrives, the arc of the sun shifts. The sky can show us the seasons if we learn to watch. One of my former students, a young mother, lives on a farm where they grow seasonal sunflowers. There’s a crop in the spring and this year, another in the fall. They open up on weekends for “you pick” days. I follow her on Instagram and have a totally romantic view of life on a farm. It must be hard work, especially with the hot, dry days we’ve had this fall. Nevertheless, this image popped up on my feed and I thought it wanted to be a poem.

Sunflower Sunrise, Jennifer Graycheck of Petite Anse Farm.

Blossoms face the rising sun
Kiss her yellow light
Open wings to heal your heart.

Margaret Simon, draft

Your turn. Leave a small poem in the comments and encourage others with your comments.

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I love how both students and poet participants are on the look out for photos that want to be poems. Last week I featured a sunset photo taken by a third grader. This week Karen Eastlund sent me an interesting photo from her garden. She said they planted milkweed hoping for monarchs. I have recently found 3 monarch caterpillars on my own milkweed. Two of them were on volunteer milkweed that had planted itself in a crack of concrete near my air-conditioner units. I’m so glad I left it there growing wild and free like the weed it is meant to be. Thanks Karen for this amazing photo of a milkweed seed pod, open, soft, and free.

Milkweed seed pods, Karen Eastlund

Seed pod opens
to the morning sun
waiting for a wisp of wind
to carry feather-soft seedlings
to the sky.
Plant me upon your pinwheel
and carry me along.

Margaret Simon, draft

Please leave a small poem draft in the comments. Come back, if you can, to write encouraging comments for other writers. Happy Hump Day!

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This week’s photo is from my student Brayden. Over the weekend I got a text from his mom. First came the photo. Then she wrote, “Brayden took this picture and wants to write a poem about it.”

I think my eyes welled up. I won’t go into the whole history of Brayden for privacy’s sake, but this felt like a turning point to me, not only in his writing life, but also in his relationship with me (and all things School). What teacher wouldn’t want a student to look at a beautiful sunset and think about poetry? It’s a first for me.

Sunset glow
Traffic flow
I hope you know
I’m coming home.

Margaret Simon, draft

Please leave a small poem in the comments. Try to respond with encouragement to other writers.

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Our friend Molly loves to rise early and with camera in hand, head to the nearest water source. Morning light illuminated some mysterious bubbles on her recent excursion. I marvel at her photography skills and her ability to see beauty. Let’s take a moment to stand in awe, to see beauty, to feel alive.

Write a small poem in the comments and respond with encouragement to other writers.

Bubbles by Molly Hogan

Just below surface
mysterious, magical
breath of life bubbles

Margaret Simon, draft

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I try to get outside early in the morning for a walk, often before the sun rises. On my path is a grove of fruit trees. I watch these trees as the season slowly changes to fall. Trees seem to know even before we can feel the air temperature change that fall is on its way. I know the slant of light changes and all that, but I just wish for a little cooler breeze. My husband always says that satsumas (oranges) ripen around the time of the first report card. I wrote a modern haiku in honor of the wet green fruit. Please take a moment to write a small poem in the comments and support other writers.

green fruit by Margaret Simon

Sweet fruit of the earth
Taste of rain, taste of sun
Abundantly enough

Margaret Simon, draft

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