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Poetry Friday is with Jan at BookSeed Studio

This month’s #poetrypals challenge was a new form to me: the cascade poem. I was mesmerized by Molly Hogan’s Slice of Life post on Tuesday. She posted amazing photos of a beach in Maine at sunrise on a very cold morning. I borrowed some words from her post to create a cascade poem about this photo by Molly.

Photo by Molly Hogan

Cascade Golden Morning

Cold. Cold. Single digit cold.
Walking the rhythm of the morning,
Day breaks to molten gold.

Experience moves me. Bold
ripples through me, lifts me.
Cold. Cold. Single digit cold.

Still lost in glory dawning,
toes throb in rebuke,
Walking the rhythm of the morning.

Miniature forests of fairies hold
a treasure chest of sparkling jewels.
Day breaks to molten gold.

Margaret Simon, with words from Molly Hogan

Find more Cascade poems at these poetry blog sites: Molly, Heidi, Mary Lee, Laura, and Michelle.

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Poetry Friday is hosted today by my new poet-friend, Marcie. She is a master at haiku and sends me a beautiful photo with haiku card each month. Here is the latest one:

out of tree crumbs–
tiny mushrooms stake
their umbrellas
haiku and photo by Marcie Flinchum Atkins

Today is my day to be featured on wee words for wee ones for my contribution to Two Truths and a Fib Poetry Anthology: A Poetic Introduction to 30 Subjects with a Twist. Thanks to Bridget Magee for her work compiling this book. If you are not sure about which bio statement is the fib, I’ll give you a hint: I teach gifted kids in grades 1-6.

I was inspired to write about Bubbles because my grandkids love to play with bubbles. Aren’t they fascinating? Kim Douillard granted permission for this photo to be included in the book. She takes photos on the beaches of San Diego, California. There is a bubble person who creates amazing bubbles on the beach. I love how she captures the wonder of a huge bubble in her photos.

Photo by Kim Douillard

I want to share my Fib poem. The Fib poem form was created by Greg Pincus using the Fibonacci series for syllable count: 1. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8,…

Blow
Big
Sturdy
Flexible
Shape-shifting whispers
Large enough for you to ride on.

(c) Margaret Simon, 2023

Consider ordering a copy of this book full of fun poem forms and fibs: Click here.

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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

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Poetry Friday is hosted today by Susan at Chicken Spaghetti.

What is the greatest gift a poetry teacher can ever hope for? A student who keeps writing poetry, even though you are no longer teaching her. You may remember my student Chloe. She’s now in 7th grade and attending another school, but last week she sent me a poem. She told me that she was in Thibodeaux, LA for a gymnastics meet. Her father went to college in the town and showed her the route to where he had lived. He asked her to write a poem about it. And what father do you know encourages the poet-daughter? I was charmed, of course, and asked if I could post her poem here. Please leave encouraging comments for Chloe.

Thibodeaux Turns

Extravagant land that turns your world 

The world that grew with you 

That rested with you

That prayed with you

Never felt alone with this land 

These bodies of water mark journeys in our lives 

And heart

And minds

Traveling tree roots that build our homes and house animals that feed us 

This air that circulates our bodies and arms and legs

Blowing away our doubts and fears 

Bringing us to our pot of gold at the end of our Louisiana adventures 

Our sugar cane grounds desperately reaching for the water we provide 

Thibodeaux turns turn our history 

Our signs 

Our lives

Chloe Willis, 7th grade

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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

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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.

All we have are these moments: the golden trees,
the industrious bees, the falling light. Darkness
will not overtake us.

Barbara Crooker, “Poem with an Embedded Line by Susan Cohen”

My One Little Word for 2023 is Purpose. I am trying to purposefully capture small moments and hold them close. My dog Charlie is near the end of his life. He is 15. He sleeps most of the day. But he still gets excited about treats.

We were having a rainy day. I heard the rain, but it didn’t register that I had let Charlie out in the side yard. I don’t know what made me remember. Perhaps it was his slight scratch at the door. Or the boom of thunder. He is usually afraid of thunder.

I opened the door and Charlie ran in, soaking wet. I grabbed a towel and sat down on the floor. He ran into my arms and let me rustle him around in the towel. Then he’d run away and turn around, back into the towel, rub rub rub, shake, shake, off he ran again. He did this a few times. I was giggling hard.

My old dog has some life left in him!

What are your small moments of joy?

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The Poetry Friday Roundup is with Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core.

It’s a new year for Poetry Friday, so I created a logo using a photo from Henry Cancienne. Henry was the photographer for my book of poems, Bayou Song, and he recently emailed me a slew of photographs with permission to use them on Reflections on the Teche. Thanks, Henry.

Today is the first Friday, so the Inklings have a challenge. Heidi Mordhorst challenged us this month to write about #change. When we met on Sunday, everyone had had a full holiday with little time to write, so rather than critique, we created an exquisite corpse poem together. Each person wrote a line and sent it to the next person on a private chat message. After we had each had a chance to respond with a line, we shared the whole thread. Mary Lee was the experienced one at this process, so she placed the results in a Google doc with the instructions that we could manipulate the lines to create our own poem.

I drew bubbles in my notebook and placed each line inside a bubble to give myself the freedom to move around and play with the words and phrases. I like what I have for now. It was a fun exercise. I can’t wait to see what my other Inklings did with the original poem. Here is mine:

#Change (like the wind)

The wind unwinds us day by day
shifting clouds,
shining light,
casting shadows.

When we choose to wander,
submit like leaves on the forest floor
and understand
without challenging the direction
of the wind, we can walk
where steps and stones
still lie. 

Margaret Simon (with Mary Lee Hahn, Molly Hogan, Heidi Mordhorst, Catherine Flynn, and Linda Mitchell)
Photo by zhang kaiyv on Pexels.com

Follow these links to read how my writing friends #changed the poem.

Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading

Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone

Heidi at my juicy little universe

Linda at A Word Edgewise

Catherine at Reading to the Core

Book Announcement: Along with many of my Poetry Friday friends, I have poems in the just released “Two Truths and a Fib” anthology from Bridget Magee. I wrote about bubbles. I’m excited to be a part of such a fun collection. Check it out!

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Happy New Year and Welcome to This Photo Wants to be a Poem. Let the muse take you away for a few minutes to the swamp of Louisiana where Spanish Moss drapes from trees. This week I am using a photo from photographer Henry Cancienne who head out to shoot photos on New Year’s Day when the weather was misty and warm (balmy). Henry’s photographs are featured in my book Bayou Song: Explorations of the South Louisiana Landscape.

Henry takes pictures of both flora and fauna of South Louisiana. Let this photo help you create a small new year poem (perhaps your first of 2023; it is mine). Share your poem in the comments and write encouraging responses to other writers.

Mossy branch by Henry Cancienne.

Swamp fairies
sprinkled dewdrops
to wake up the forest.
The new year was yawning.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Poetry Friday is hosted today by Michelle Kogan

For the Christmas season, I have decorated my classroom doors (I service 2 schools) with a Christmas tree, but they’re not typical Christmas trees. They’re Grati-ku Poet-trees. Each day since Thanksgiving break, my students and I write a gratitude poem on a paper ornament.

Our Grati-ku Poet-Tree

We are reading daily Santa Clauses (a book of haiku written by the man himself) by Bob Raczka. These poems are inspirational to us and help us see the different ways to create a haiku poem. A complete sentence, a metaphor, a moment in time.

Japanese poems
Santa Claus inspiration
I write haiku, too.

by Avalyn, 3rd grade

Avalyn wanted to invite some teachers to write poems, too, so she asked the speech therapist whose classroom is adjacent to ours to play along. (She calls it a “haiku party”.) Kim wrote:

A burnt string of lights
one bulb out, they all go out.
To the store I go!

By Kim Degeyter

School spirit is everywhere this season as students and teachers participate in dress-up days. I wrote a grati-ku about this:

Reindeer headbands on
little girls’ heads bouncing down
Holiday hallway

Margaret Simon
Other teachers join in the fun!

You should join the fun. Write a grati-ku holiday inspired poem in the comments. I’d love to share them with my students.

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A few weeks ago our family celebrated Stella’s second birthday by going to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. After a full day of rain on Saturday, Sunday dawned clear and mild. A perfect day for the zoo. The Audubon Zoo has a signature fountain as you walk in. Some of the sprays create an arch over the walkway. It is a place where families meet to take a photo.

Fountain at the Audubon Zoo

I’ll be writing later with my students and will add my poem here. Please consider writing today and supporting other writers with encouragement.

Avalyn and I wrote together using Rose’s poem as a model. Thanks, Rose.

Meet Me at the Waterfall

Meet me
at the waterfall
where elephants
play,
where penguins wiggle
toes
in a cold, icy sleigh.

Meet me
at the waterfall
where my dreams
come true,
and if you make a wish,
yours
will come true, too.

Mrs. Simon and Avalyn (3rd grade)

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