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

Delcambre (pronounced Del-comb) is about 20 minutes south of New Iberia. On Sunday evening, we attended a fundraising dinner for the seafood market. I even ate a piece of fried alligator which tasted a lot like fried chicken. We were there to support my cousin Andrew as he participates in a plein air (painting outside) competition. There will be more posts about this later.

Today I want to introduce you to Markavian. I don’t know him, and I’m not sure that’s how to spell his name, but when I took his picture, he proudly told me what his name was. He was beaming from having caught a huge catfish right off the dock. I asked permission to take his picture. There is so much that I love about this picture. His smile. The largest catfish I’ve ever seen. And how it captures the attitude of a fisherman. My husband says that our newspaper’s sports section is usually just men holding fish. It’s true fishing is a big time sport around here. Perhaps Markavian was competing with his brothers. There seemed to be a family in the background, and I caught him just as he was about to go show off his catch of the day.

Catch of the Day, photo by Margaret Simon

Yesterday was Pi Day, so my students and I wrote Pi-Ku, which is a small poem based on the number 3.14. Please leave your own small poem in the comments and encourage other writers with your responses.

Catch of the Day

Boy’s pride smile
largest catfish

Margaret Simon, pi-ku draft
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Read Full Post »

The neighborhood I live in used to be known as Paradise Woods. My husband tells me when he was a teenager, it was a popular spot for “parking”. When I walk, I cross over an empty lot to get to another street. Whose land is this? I often wonder. What was here before?

I’ve heard tales that this space was once a dairy farm. Cattle farming was common for early French settlers in southern Acadiana, where we live in Louisiana. Either the LaSalle family or the Daigles owned this property, likely using it as farm land. It’s all legend now. I love thinking about the history of this little walkway as it leads me under a beautiful cedar tree. Who walked this field 100 years ago? We’re all visitors for a short time. If the concrete could talk…

Where the sidewalk ends, photo by Margaret Simon

In the early morn
before the sun rises
before my work day begins,
before the houses wake,
I walk across this path
more sure-footed on solid concrete–
A path that leads to an old cedar tree,
planted by a farmer making shade
for his cattle. I speak to his ghost
and thank him for his hard work,
his dedication to the land,
and his kindness to those
who’ll pass here again

Margaret Simon, flash draft

Every week I invite you to write with me about an image. This post is also a Slice of Life post for this month’s daily challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you stop by, leave a small poem in the comments and return the favor of reading other poem offerings and writing encouraging words. This is a safe place to write. No judgement allowed. Consider following my blog to get this weekly prompt in your inbox.

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

Read Full Post »

Here in South Louisiana along the coastline (disappearing coastline), the water table is high. If you dig too deep, you reach water. Or rainwater will wash the coffin out of its place. So graves are not usually dug into the ground; they are placed in mausoleums above ground. This photo was taken from the parking lot of my school in Coteau next to a Roman Catholic church. I was drawn by the stark white with the background of yellow wild flowers. As always, you are welcome to write whatever this conjures for you in a small poem in the comments. Please support other writers with encouraging comments.

Coteau (Country) grave, by Margaret Simon

My poem came after choosing words from Laura Purdie Salas’s newsletter, “Small Reads for Brighter Days.” I chose the words time, wave, float, if. It’s sad. I spoke with a friend who said that it’s good for poets to share their sadness. They become a vessel for holding the sadness in the world.

More Time

If time
were captured
in a bottle
like Jim Croce wrote
in 1970
before his tragic death
in 1973,
I could open a bottle
of you, Dad, and talk
more about the stuff of life.

Today, I look at a tomb
floating above water,
a boat of bones,
and secretly wish
a wave would come
and wash away the remains.
Would you stay?

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

Today, Ash Wednesday, feels like a day for an open field, a sunrise, a few clouds. My body is tired. As they say around here, I Did Mardi Gras. Every day– Saturday to Fat Tuesday. I welcome the rest, the coming down from a party hearty high to a calm cloudy Lent. I invite you to peacefulness, to look to the fallow fields for solace and grace.

Sunrise Field by Margaret Simon (You may use this photo.)

am still
staring out
toward the field,
fallow and fertile
whispering to the wind
secrets of stillness and peace
believing that time can heal wounds
believing strong faith starts with good soil.

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

And now, folks, for something different. I’ve been working on a collage that I thought I was going to use as a prompt in Laura Shovan’s February project, but another idea came to me. I decided to offer it to you today as a photo prompt.

Collage work is intriguing to me. I cut out images that evoke some emotion in me and build it like a puzzle. I feel like my response poem will be different from yours because I have spent more time with it. Although, as I type this, I haven’t written a poem yet.

Think about the story that is happening in the collage as though it was a magazine photo. Interview the woman. Who is she? Where is she? Why is she there? Or take a more descriptive stance. Describe the scene using your senses. Whatever you decide, please share a bit with us. Remember this is quick draft writing, so leave only encouraging comments to others.

Magazine collage by Margaret Simon

Fire Girl

My adventures usually begin in my mind.
I wander the savannah, discover beauty,
feel the rush of adrenaline…

Then there is the mountain to climb,
the people I may leave behind,
so I settle in, next to our small fire
and thumb pages to find my bookmark.

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

Yesterday was a busy day. School, then coffee with a friend, then SCBWI Zoom meeting. By the time I finished, it was 7:30 and the chicken needed to be cooked…So, I forgot to look for a photo until early this morning. Somehow, somewhere one always turns up. It took a while for me to settle on this one. I borrowed it from Kim Douillard’s Instagram feed. I’ll ask for forgiveness later. But I was attracted to the hopefulness of a single dandelion. I think we are all ready for some sign of spring to come.

“Seeds or Weeds” Photo by Kim Douillard

Wish Flower

Before the mower mows,
a yellow flower grows.

Before the winds of March, 
fluffy seedlings spark.

Before the child blows,
the wish already knows.

Margaret Simon, draft

Please leave a small poem in the comments and encouraging words for other writers. Thanks for stopping by.

Read Full Post »

On Christmas Eve, I was alone in Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans. Not alone in the sense that no one was there, but alone without my family in a strange church. My daughter and her husband were home with their new baby. My husband, his mother, and our other daughters’ families were celebrating together in New Iberia. But my soul wanted to be in church. Somehow my Episcopalianism made me feel drawn to the church on Christmas Eve. I admit, it was weird and lonely, and I hid well my tears inside. The music was familiar and kept me grounded. The priest was a woman whom I knew from my home church in Jackson, MS. This was her first Christmas Eve service as a Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana. This is my story.

I urge you to find your story of sanctuary. Where were you on Christmas Eve? Do you worship? Do you have a special place to find the Holy Spirit? I understand for some the church is not a safe place. Explore your own thoughts today. Leave a small poem in the comments. Be sure to encourage other writers for whomever they are, whatever they offer.

Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans, LA. photo by Margaret Simon


by human hands
open to wandering souls
most sacred, most holy
this alcove where prayers are hummed, flowing
from tearful, humble hearts
a refuge protected from prey
immunity offered
to evil suffered
a home, a hug, a harbor…sanctuary.

The form I used today is a definito created by my friend and fellow poet, Heidi Mordhorst:”the definito is a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.

Read Full Post »

I do not live in a cold climate (In South Louisiana it’s cold when the temperature falls below 50.)and most of the time, that is fine with me. But I am fascinated and mesmerized by photos of snow. My friend and fellow Inkling Molly Hogan lives in Maine. She was telling us at our Zoom meeting about her experience photographing in single digit weather. She loves taking photographs of nature. She posted about this experience on her blog post on Tuesday. I “found” a haiku in her post along with an amazing photograph for today’s prompt. You should go to her post to see and read more: Nix the Comfort Zone.

Hoarfrost by Molly Hogan

Winter wonderland
enchanted intricate beauty
bedazzled gratitude

Margaret Simon, found haiku from Molly Hogan’s blog.

Leave a small poem in the comments and support other writers with your comments. Thanks for stopping by.

Read Full Post »

I can’t resist a good sunset photo. I don’t think I’m alone in this. A brightly colored sunset reminds us that things will be alright. I saw this wonderful photo on Mary Howard’s Facebook. She often posts sunsets from her new home in Hawaii, but this one is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She happily granted permission for me to use it.

 “I was in Myrtle Beach SC for a SERRRA presentation. Each night I’d walked the beach to get sunset photos. On this day I noticed that I could actually walk under this and it made for a perfect photo. I’m learning to pay attention to my gut!” Mary Howard

Please post a small poem in the comments and support other writers with encouraging responses. I will be posting my own poem later today.

Sun reluctantly sets
in golden glow
sending us a message
of hope.

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

Did you see the moon last week? The Full Wolf Moon came out on January 6, the 12th night of Christmas. I was struck by a photo from Jone MacCulloch on Instagram. Like Jone, I was taking an early morning walk and tried to capture it with my phone. She used an iPhone 13. They seem to improve the camera feature on every new phone.

When I asked Jone about the photograph, she wrote, “Every morning I take the dog out sometime between 6:30- 7:30 ( when he gets up. I’m always the first up). This was last Friday. I used an IPhone 13. The moon was setting and one thing that struck me was how it is now more northerly in the sky.”

Can you follow your moon muse and write a small poem? Share in the comments and write encouraging comments to other writers.

Full Wolf Moon by Jone MacCulloch

The moon glows
in harmony with the sun–
a perfect reflection
of peace.

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »