Posts Tagged ‘Author Amok’

Join the roundup with Liz and all her wisdom.

Join the roundup with Liz and all her wisdom.

I can’t help it. I try to write poems, but my emotions get in the way. My self and all her flaws permeate every word. You may think I am missing self-confidence. Maybe I am fishing for compliments. That’s not it at all.

Laura Shovan has done this to me again. Like last year, I am taking her challenge to write a poem every day in the month of February. Unlike last year, the words are flowing. Does this come from practice? self-confidence? wisdom? Not really. It comes from the heart. I am pouring it out on my sleeve and sending it to her to publish on her blog. Bleeding on the page as some wise writer said. Was it Hemmingway?

I want to thank Laura for allowing, no, encouraging me to write like this. Please visit her site and listen to some of the sounds for this project. I guarantee they will open a vein for you.

My submissions for Thursday and Friday are below. Thursday we listened to the sound of a ballet dancer practicing. On Friday, the sound was a theremin. I had never heard of this instrument before, so I spent some time on YouTube listening. One of my favorites was this rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Ballet Practice

Body of intense beauty
strength of muscles flexed
arabesque held still

Life ends.
We know it must.

Beauty dissolves
into a limp plie’
held en pointe
by loving hands.

–Margaret Simon, for Suzy

Revealing Energy

The director’s hands
stir the air like a scientist.
Vibrating fingers
tune an invisible voice;
sound becomes color—a rainbow
of intonations exploring
the foreign frontier
of our ears.

–Margaret Simon

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Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts.  Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts. Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Since the new year, Holly has gathered our spiritual journey posts about each person’s one little word. Today my word Reach is the featured theme.

I haven’t really settled in with my OLW yet. Reaching takes active work. It’s not a passive word. I can’t just sit back on it and wait. I have to go out there and do something about it. I want to embrace this word Reach, but on these cold wet winter days, I’d rather be lazy, curl up with my dog and rest. Exercise another day.

I stretch my sore, tired muscles.
I look at the amaryllis, now wilting.
I notice new growth, a new stem creeping up alongside the blossom.
Where did that come from?
Sometimes without us even noticing, God plants new growth.
We can bloom again.

new growth

I chose Reach for completely selfish reasons. I have a few writing projects that I am working on and others I am thinking about. I set a goal to move forward with writing, to Reach for publication. Maybe I should have chosen a braver word, like Courage.

This month a Poetry Friday blogging friend, Laura Shovan, has started a poetry project to celebrate her birthday. I have been writing a poem each day to a posted sound. This project is stretching my writing muscles and giving me a creative place to go each day. Am I Reaching? I can think about this writing as stretching, exercising, and moving my writing muscles. All a part of Reaching. Follow this link to read poems about a thunder storm sound.

Perhaps when I read all the Spiritual Journey posts about my OLW I will embrace it, feel it, want to, own it. Today, I will Reach for Reach.

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Slice of Life Day 6.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 6. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Click here to view the roundup at One Grateful Teacher.

Click here to view the roundup at One Grateful Teacher.

It is day 6 of the Slice of Life Challenge and Day 38 of Nerdlution. Time to reflect a bit. I am sitting on what we call “the boyfriend bed” in the study writing while my dog, Charlie, and cat, Mimi, nap nearby. This is how I spent most of the last two days, taking it easy on a break from school and nursing my cold.

writing with Charlie and Mimi

My nerdlution to exercise did not happen. I used my cold inside and the cold outside as my excuse.

However, my nerdlution to write happened in the form of Slice of Life blog posts and poems for Laura Shovan’s Pantone poetry project. Take a moment to read the wonderful poems about Jewel Blue and Peacock Green. We all did research before writing. I used the ghazal form for my poem. This project has kept me focused and creative.

The last nerdlution goal was to be more responsive to my One Little Word Open.

open tulips

I reflected on my week to see how I was Open. Then I remembered my Saturday walk (before the cold front came in.) I walked with a friend who lives a few blocks away. I took a chance that she would be home. Not only was she home, but her husband had gone hunting, so she was free to take a walk with our dogs. We had a great time sharing experiences of grown daughters. I took pictures of blooming flowers and blooming trees thinking spring was on its way. I Open myself to creativity, spirituality, and also to friendship.

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Slice of Life Day 4.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 4. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Today must be “Opposite Day.” While yesterday I posted a joyful Mardi Gras celebration video, today I am sitting in bed with a glass of tea, a decongestant that hasn’t started working yet, watching the cold rain mixed with sleet come down. If we didn’t already have the day off for Mardi Gras, I would have called in sick or the superintendant would have cancelled school due to icy bridges. The bayou is steaming. The flowers are drooping and saying, “Hey, what gives?”

While I was driving to New Orleans on Sunday, the clouds were billowing, a warning of this day to come, I suppose. As I watched the clouds, I was struck by a metaphor of a bridal gown. Who knows why. I looked up some bridal gown terms and wrote a poem. Laura Shovan has been doing a poetry writing challenge at her blog, Author Amok. She posts Pantone colors every day, and we are invited to write a poem and submit it to her. This has been great practice for me. Her colors for today include Stormy Weather, how appropriate.

Partly Cloudy

The bride was dressed in billowing waves,
blue-grey Chantilly lace layered
over a white-topped empire waist.
Her scalloped neckline accented by rays
of sunlight peering through a cathedral train.
Her attendants, those high Mississippi kites,
flew with utmost grace
announcing her imminent arrival.

–Margaret Simon

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Find more poetry at the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by Anastasia.

Find more poetry at the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by Anastasia.

Join the Chalk-a-bration over at Teaching Young Writers

Join the Chalk-a-bration over at Teaching Young Writers

For February, my students and I braved the cold temperatures to chalk some poetry on the sidewalks. The prompt came from Laura Shovan’s month long birthday project with Pantone colors. I have been participating along with my poet friends Linda Baie and Diane Mayr. Head over to Laura’s site, Author Amok, to read some great poetry.

I bought a new box of chalk and the pieces were labeled with interesting color names. Brooklyn picked out Sky Blue:

Brooklyn sky poem

The sky shines sky blue
The way the summer pool invites me
The way blueberries taste
The way hydrangeas take your breath away
The sky shines sky blue


Vannisa wants you to imagine the colors and how one becomes another in her list.

vannisa colors

Vannisa's colors

I selected the colors sunflower and golden glow to add a little sunshine to the day.

spring chalk poem

We will be on break for the Mardi Gras holiday next week, so my students got a jumpstart on the Slice of Life Challenge. Consider stopping in and leaving a comment on our public blog site: http://kidblog.org/SliceofLifeChallenge/

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Discover. Play. Build.

Each week I join in with other teacher-bloggers in celebrating our week. The celebration is hosted by Ruth Ayres at Discover. Play. Build. I hope I can stop sneezing long enough to write. Spring is coming and trees are blooming. My allergies tell me so. Today is a gorgeous day in South Louisiana. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The air is crispy cool at 57 degrees. I celebrate starting my day with a walk. Minga is back to health, so we took our dogs Petey and Charlie to the park. Celebration was prevalent as old friends greeted her, happy to see her out and looking great.

I want to celebrate our 6th grade gifted students. We took them on a field trip this week as part of our WOW (Way out Wednesdays) enrichment program. First stop was Azalea Estates assisted living facility. There the students played games with and interviewed the residents. The room was full of energy. Everyone enjoyed themselves.

Brooklyn interviews Montez about her life for a Legacy project.

Brooklyn interviews Montez about her life for a Legacy project.

Next we went to downtown New Iberia to meet with various entities about our community service project plan. The students were met with respect by the head of the Chamber of Commerce as well as the mayor and city department heads. They did a wonderful job presenting their plans. I overheard one student say to another, “I like feeling special.” I celebrate their specialness and the opportunity to work with a great group of teachers and students.

I also want to take a moment to celebrate a fellow poet and cyber-friend, Laura Shovan. Laura is doing a birthday project at her site Author Amok. She is asking other poets to join in by writing to color prompts. This week I hit a hard spot. I wanted to write to the color Dubarry. I struggled after researching Madame duBarry. I tried a number of times to write something and the results were crap, let’s say less than desirable. I told Laura of my trouble and she sent me a prompt through email. “Wear it: Imagine you are putting on an article of clothing in this color. What happens when you walk out your front door?” I was getting ready for bed when a poem with the color Orange Pepper came to me. I wrote it on a sticky note in the bathroom, then sent it to her immediately. She posted it the next day. My confidence is back. Thanks, Laura, for making me feel special.

I bought a tangerine purse–
orange pepper for my shoulder.
My daughter said I looked like I was carrying a satsuma.
The mailman asked if I had anything toxic or potentially hazardous.
But you said,
“Hey, I see sunshine on your shoulder.
Let’s walk together.”

by Margaret Simon

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Nerdlution Week 4

Click here to view the roundup at One Grateful Teacher.

Click here to view the roundup at One Grateful Teacher.

My nerdlution goals: 1. Exercise 2. Write 3. Open

Discipline is a good thing. My body now knows when the alarm clock will ring. I usually wake up about 4:45 and look. Ah, 15 more minutes. Then I start my day. Coffee, then Centering Prayer.

Two weeks ago I opened myself to Centering Prayer, a practice of meditation for 20 minutes. I am loving this special time alone, in silence. Yet, I find I am so comfortable here that I don’t want to get up. I am avoiding things that I used to spend time doing, like reading blogs and Facebook. I am avoiding tasks that need me to plan and be organized. I am happy to be random and free, not pinned down to ideas and plans. Is this good? A friend, who is also trying the Centering Prayer practice, told me just to go with it and see where it takes me. Open, Ok.


My writing is also not taking me where I think it should. I am feeling lost and like I can’t find the right words, or the words I am “supposed” to say. I was participating in Laura Shovan’s Pantone color prompts at her site Author Amok. I got stuck on the color Dubarry. I spent quite a while researching and found out about Madame duBarry. I wrote notes and tried them out in three different poems, even a limerick, with dismal results. Discouraging, but I know it’s all part of the process, right?

So I power on for 25 more days.

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A new button for the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge!

A new button for the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge!

Being a part of this community of bloggers introduces me to new challenges every day, in a good way, like exercise. At Laura Shovan’s site Author Amok, she is working on her birthday challenge by writing poems to Pantone colors. Each day in February, she posts colors to prompt her own writing as well as those of us readers who want to give it a shot.

I started a poem from the color bronze mist while looking out at the bayou on a foggy morning. That led me to the sun bursting the horizon into color. Thanks, Laura, for prompting and challenging me as a writer. Laura also found this beautiful photograph by Kevin Fleming to illustrate my poem.

the homecoming by Kevin Fleming at Wild Delmarva

the homecoming by Kevin Fleming at Wild Delmarva

The bronze mist lingers over the morning bayou.
A great blue heron,
hidden in the fog, wades
boastful in his grey cloak.
He takes flight–winged warrior–
rising into a cosmic sky.
The sun breaks
the horizon into petals
of sugar coral, that perfect pink
silk tulip drops into an earthen vase
calling for spring.

So far, I’ve been able to write a poem each day. Not sure how long that will continue, but hope on over to Laura’s site and check out the colorful poetry wheel.

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