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Posts Tagged ‘Bonne Terre Cottage’

Poetry Friday round-up is with my kind friend, Tara at a Teaching Life.

Poetry Friday round-up is with my kind friend, Tara at a Teaching Life.

When I am in need of inspiration, I take a break and check my social media feeds.  Maybe this is really just distraction, but today I followed the yellow brick road to a poem from posts on Instagram.

 

rainbows over Bonne Terre

Rainbows over Bonne Terre farm in Breaux Bridge posted by my friend Jen. Click to visit her B&B page.

Ominous sky,
Rain,
Tall cane,
Summer day.

Fat caterpillar
crawling up
Up,
Up.

The one
I’m always becoming
has caught me
again and again.*

A surprise
around every corner.
A rainbow
named Sparkle,
Endless
fascination
inside
a life.

I can’t wait
to bloom.

–Margaret Simon

*Glennon Doyle Melton

 

Photo by Dan Spiller.

Photo by Dan Spiller.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Another week of summer and I am celebrating…

1. A daily walk with Charlie. One of my outside cats, Buzz, likes to come along, but not for my company, for Charlie’s. Here he’s holding onto Charlie’s leash as if to take him for a walk.

Charlie and Buzz

Charlie and Buzz

2. Visits with friends. Jen lives at Bonne Terre Cottage which includes a pond, a farm, and a yard full of chickens. I sat on her back porch and wrote this little ditty about the chickens.

Can you count the chickens in the yard?
Like a kid on the playground,
Black-n-White pecks under the tree,
trots to the birdbath to join his friends.
A treasure of seeds in this dirt?

Here comes Petite Princess
prancing like the queen of the yard,
Spreading the gossip of the group.

These chickens in the yard
make me happy until…
Big Orange decides my toe looks yummy!

3. Judging LA Writes. I coordinate our state writing contest and every year other teachers from our state join me to judge the entries. This year we read 825 poems, stories, and essays to cull each grade level division to 8-10 to send to author judges. I was disappointed in the quality. (Food for another blog post thought.) But spending time with other teachers talking about the craft of teaching and writing is always inspiring and fun.

4. Taking care of myself. I had a sinful facial this week. I say sinful because it feels way too good to be guilt-free. I’m not sure it does anything for my aging face, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Happy Summer, y’all!

white chicken

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Discover. Play. Build.

This has been such a welcomed relaxing week. I am celebrating today with many others in the blogging community. Ruth Ayres sponsors a round-up. Click the image above to follow.

I Celebrate…

1. Easter weekend with family: Here we are trying out a food truck in New Orleans, Taceaux Loceaux. 5 Stars!

taceuax loceaux

2. Writing retreat at Bonne Terre Cottage in Breaux Bridge.

Bonne Terre Cottage, Breaux Bridge.  Photo by Chere Coen

Bonne Terre Cottage, Breaux Bridge. Photo by Chere Coen

3. Dancing at Festival Internationale in Lafayette.

My dance instructor, Lou, dances with legendary Zydeco Joe.

My dance instructor, Lou, dances with legendary Zydeco Joe.

4. Writing a poem every day. Today is Q, so I wrote a Questionku. The form uses 3 lines with syllable count of 4,5,6 and ends with a question.

Slide1

5. Teacher poets community. Such a supportive place to talk about poetry and workshop poems. Chris Lehman is a wonderful leader and generous to give his time to nurture our creativity.

Join TeacherPoets community hang outs on Saturday.

Join TeacherPoets community hang outs on Saturday.

6. Connecting with teacher/writer/blogger Holly Mueller I sent Holly a copy of Blessen. She fell in love with her character. Thanks, Holly, for sharing the love.

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Bonne Terre Cottage, Breaux Bridge.  Photo by Chere Coen

Bonne Terre Cottage, Breaux Bridge. Photo by Chere Coen

Bird Watching

I.
I cannot know
what has brought you
here this morning,
little hummer
with your ever-excited wings,
your deep red throat.
You hover
catch me watching
from my corner on the porch swing
and you disappear
leaving no sign
of your previous
energetic existence.

II.
I want to own
the mystery
hidden inside this moment.
Yet, my part is just
to be here
present with bird song
echoing in the air,
to praise you,
creator of all,
creator of me.

III.
It is true
that I am
not important.
It is also true
that my name
is written in heaven.
Even the foxes have holes,
birds their nests.*
Like the chickadee
pecking at the feeder
or the hawk circling above,
my spirit belongs
to the earth
to dust I will be.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

*Luke: 9,10

Indigo bunting photo by Chere Coen

Indigo bunting photo by Chere Coen

Cardinal photo by Chere Coen

Cardinal photo by Chere Coen

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  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Spring break is here, and I am on retreat. My good friend Jen owns a cottage in Breaux Bridge, Bonne Terre Cottage, and she invited me to come stay as long as I want. Her generous spirit has led me to the “good earth.” Up early, watching the birds, listening to sounds of nature led to a mondo, a form of haiku that is a call and response. My friend and fellow writer Chere Coen is sitting on the porch with her camera, ready to capture whatever bird will let her. I took pictures with my phone and used Overgram to create the image-poem.

Mondo 1

Mondo2

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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Dancing with Leon at Cafe des Amis.

Beginning with Zydeco Breakfast at Cafe des Amis, dancing and eating, to Bonne Terre Cottage in the afternoon, my birthday celebration was all about me.

My new friend (We only just connected this summer even though she’s been a friend of my husband since he was a child.) invited me to enjoy a writing retreat at her cottage inn in the country. I accepted her offer and invited some of my writing buddies to come along. For one reason or another, only one of them was able to come out to the cottage.

I had never been to my friend’s cottage before. When I walked up to the door, I immediately felt peace. Next to the steps was a huge sugar kettle goldfish pond. A large metal sign with a Louisiana scene held fast to the cottage wall. Once inside, I was greeted by a salvaged silver tray made into a chalkboard and saw “Happy Birthday Margaret!” My own book Blessen sat on the top of a stack of books on the coffee table. In a corner of the living room stood an easel with a stool, a perfect spot for my computer with a view of the yard outside. The backyard was scattered with various bird feeders and houses. Hummingbirds flew to the red liquid while cardinals perched at the bird feeder. Bluebirds are nesting in houses and sat on the fencing. Beyond in the pond surrounded by elephant ears and cattails, a great white egret flew in to a landing. What a gift this place was!

Blessen waits for me on the coffee table.

Solid cypress walls smelled like a summer camp cabin. Beautiful art intrigued and inspired me. Along with her writing journal, Kay brought some chilled Pinot Noir, and we snacked on goat cheese and crackers. We talked about the new school year, writing, and the cottage. Kay said, “I can’t believe the art here. I love it. Jen’s love of horses comes through.”

We could look out the window and see Jen’s two horses in the paddock. And inside a colorful painting of carousel horses. I told Jen her cottage was a poem, full of personal details that could be universally enjoyed. I could have stayed all day. And I did!

Kay wrote this poem about Bonne Terre Cottage:

With God’s Prayers

I see beauty
I see cypress crafted
with glass peeking out
to the porch with a red
hummingbird feeder
and a thirsty bird three feet from me.

I see Clementine Hunter dishes,
lime green fused glass,
a black rectangular record player,
a writing desk looking out to a backyard
barn of horses housed on the Bayou Teche.

I see beauty woven from life experiences.
I feel rebuilding, strength, the ground reassuring me
all will be well– I see a little boy
with curls
on a tricycle.
I feel beauty woven out of history.

Wisdom interlaced with authentic metal,
reworked stainless staircase,
and a vintage yellow telephone.

I am reminded to be
all of me, to embrace
what is
to be me.

View from the writing desk

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