Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Ethical ELA’

Today’s Spiritual Thursday Round-up is with Susan Koehler.

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give.

–Eleanor Roosevelt

This month’s spiritual journey topic is from Susan Koehler, abundance. At this time in my grief, I’m aware of the abundance of people who care about me. I have received cards and flowers, texts and messages of love and support. These expressions are good, well-meaning, thoughtful yet sometimes difficult to accept. I’m much more comfortable on the giving end rather than receiving.

Susan offers a poem on her post today, one that can be used as a mentor text. This kind of exercise often helps me say what I mean to say without having to decide on the form. Last week during #verselove on Ethical ELA, Jessica Wiley offered a mentor text by Eloise Greenfield titled By Myself.

I worked through this prompt a few times and would like to share this draft today.

By Myself
after Eloise Greenfield

When I’m by myself
and I close my eyes,
I’m a running river
everchanging, yet steady in its way to go.
I’m a scent of yellow.
I’m a half-filled cup of tea.
I like to sit alone with me.
I grip myself in
I’m a string of violin,
time unfolding, worth gentle holding.
I’m a space for filling up again.
I open my eyes,
and find myself in me.

Margaret Simon, draft
Sunrise walk, by Margaret Simon

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Jone.

There’s a loss of energy in grief, a sadness that is heavy and weighs you down. I’m not at all sure that writing helps, but writing for me is the most personal act and wherever I am, my writing is there, too.

Over at Ethical ELA, Shaun Ingalls posted a prompt inspired by Alicia Mountain’s “Drift” inviting us to re-encounter something with a new perspective.

I Hold an Acorn

in my hand
in a field of clover.

Am I a child now?
Walking with sun
bright in my eyes as it rises
above the live oaks?

It is spring, to be sure,
a time of resurrection.
Yet you are
not here.

I cannot call
you or text (You never learned how to text),
so I stand in the field,
hold
the acorn
lift it to smell my childhood, like the scent
of the Paschal candle, anointing
to save,
to savor.

I am here.
You are
not.

Margaret Simon, draft
Grandmother oak in the morning. Photo by Margaret Simon

The Kidlit Progressive Poem is nearly complete. You can follow its progress with the schedule on the side bar. Karen has the next to last line today.

Read Full Post »

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

My friend and fellow writing group member Linda Mitchell led the writing prompt for #verselove at Ethical ELA yesterday. She directed us to use the steps in the scientific method to craft a poem. As many of you know, my father died on Friday morning. If you follow my blog, I’m afraid there is nothing else so pressing on my mind than this and the care for my mother. Writing is healing for me.

A Place at the Table

You could make this place beautiful.
Can you float a flower in the vase and call it home?
Flowers, a white cat, a black dog, coffee brewing, what could be missing?
The empty seat at the table is cold, lonely.
I move over, sit in his chair, open the last book he was reading.
Time will fill the space at the table, even in the midst of absence.
There will be beauty again.

Margaret Simon, draft
Louisiana iris in our bayou bog

Read Full Post »

This is a difficult time. My father had a stroke last week and is not recovering in the earthly sense. We’ve held holy vigil with him. It’s holy, healing, and horrible all at the same time. This photo is my mother and father’s hands.

I wrote this poem after Lucille Clifton from an Ethical ELA prompt. I know that this is a universal experience for some. Write a small poem in the comments and respond to other poets.

Wishes for Dad

i wish for peace
and a place to write
his thoughts
on a cloud
floating above
all this madness
of machines
pumping oxygen
taking pulse
counting heartbeats

i wish for the smell
of an open field
of wildflowers
where he can
run
free

i wish
i wish
i wish
i could take the cup
of suffering away.

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

I led the #VerseLove poetry prompt at Ethical ELA. Follow this link to read some wonderful definito/ etymology poems. Playing with words is fun.

Read Full Post »

If you are here for the first time, this post is a weekly photo poetry prompt originated by Laura Purdie Salas as Fifteen Words or Less. This is a place to play with words and interact with other poets. On Ethical ELA this week there were two different Verse Love prompts in which the writer took inspiration from another writer, a word or a line traveled from poet to poet.

Let’s play with this idea of poems communicating with each other. I will start us off. The first person here can take a word or line from me. As always, you may choose to go your own way. That’s fine, too.

Today’s photo is from my friend, first grade teacher Lory Landry. When she isn’t teaching, she is taking photographs. I loved the intimate perspective of this one.

Dandelion by Lory Landry

Mary Lee Hahn is writing a poem each day about the climate crisis. I loved her poem about dandelions.

Wake up, dandelion!
Starbursts ready to fly.
Blow, spring wind, blow!

Margaret Simon, draft

The Progressive Poem is with Linda Mitchell today. Molly had a conflict, so Linda stepped up to add the next line. Thanks, Linda!

Read Full Post »

What a full weekend! The Books along the Teche Literary Festival was held in New Iberia. On Saturday, my friend, artist Paul Schexnayder and I led a children’s workshop. He taught the art part and I led the poem part: Poem Portraits. The kids wrote a bio-poem and decorated a cardboard face with Picasso-esque facial designs.

Student portrait

Outside in Blue Dog Park, there was a children’s authors area, but I decided not to sit and sell books this year. I had a good time supporting my SCBWI friends, hanging out at their tables, chatting and selling their books.

It certainly helped that the weather was probably the best we’ve had all year.

Blue Dog Park was the location of the Children’s Author Tents

For Ethical ELA, Gae Polisner and Lori Landau led the prompt with a suggestion to choose a line from another writer’s poem and create your own poem. They called it Collaboration Inspiration and it was probably the most prolific day for writing so far. Pop over to read the amazing poetic responses and to be inspired yourself. I borrowed my first line from Stacy: “Yesterday I wore only a sweater.”

Yesterday I wore only a sweater
Cream-colored comfort
in the morning chill.
I left it on a folding chair
in the children’s authors’ tent
where we joyfully greeted
a couple from Ohio
who loved children
and storybooks
and the craft of illustration.

A book festival can be an inadequate space,
sitting for hours
no sales in sight
pondering imposter syndrome.

Yet on this April day
I dropped my sweater,
tossed my discomfort to sunshine
and a circle of writers
who fed my soul
and warmed my shoulders–
no sweater needed.

Margaret Simon, draft

Progressive Poem is with Mary Lee today.

Read Full Post »

I am participating in Ethical ELA VerseLove. On Saturday, the prompt was given by Emily Yamasaki, a teacher in San Diego. She led us to write a poem after things I have memorized by Maria Giesbrecht. To me, scent is a memory maker, so most of my lines center around smell.

Things I have Memorized (randomly ordered)

The smell of coffee and pancakes on Saturday morning
How many turns and stop signs in the circle drive from Beechcrest to Sedgewick
Hum-buzz of a hummer at the feeder
First words
Stench of our house after the flood
Sparkle of diamond
Scent of his cheek on the pillow
Honeysuckle, Sweet olive, and Aunt Alabel’s perfume
Recipe for cornbread dressing
My childhood phone number (956-2526)
The Lord’s Prayer, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, and Itsy Bitsy Spider

Margaret Simon, draft
Hummingbird at the feeder in my backyard. Taken August 30th. Photo by Margaret Simon

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday is with Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

Britt Decker wrote a prompt for Ethical ELA’s Open Write this week inspiring us to use a picture book quote to write a poem. At the school book fair, I bought “I am One” by Susan Verde and Peter Reynolds. It made me think about our one wood duck hen who is nesting. We have a wood duck house with a Ring doorbell camera inside so we can watch the progress of our tenants. Each day the Ring goes off around 7 AM, and we look at the video to see her poking around the shavings and settling in to lay an egg. She will do this for a week or so, then she will sit on the clutch. After 28-30 days, the ducklings will hatch. That’s the most exciting part. Within 24 hours they jump from the box into the bayou.

Photo by Townsend Walton on Pexels.com

“Beautiful things start with just one.”

One wood duck hen
flies in the house each day
to lay a single egg
one by one
until her clutch becomes a dozen
twittering,
chittering,
jumping
chicks.

Margaret Simon, (c) 2022

If you haven’t signed up to add a line to the KidLit Progressive Poem in April, go to this post.

Read Full Post »

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

If you read my post last week, you know I have a thing for flowers. After visiting Petite Anse Farms and cutting my own flowers, the wildflowers that line the Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans drew me in and begged to be clipped, collected, and given away.

This week is the Ehtical ELA Open Write and Monday’s prompt from Sarah Donovan encouraged us to write about “a shimmer of being alive.” My mind went back to the wildflowers I had cut on a walk with my daughter this weekend.

And So I Cut Wildflowers

I am taken by the little blooms
that peek from weeds
the ones on the side of the road

and want to carry them home
though I have nothing to cut them with
and frankly worry I will look like
a thief, a landscape destroyer, hoarder. 

The store is open, so I rush in,
buy kitchen shears, the kind for deboning
a chicken–I debone flowers

touch them with my soft hands
hold them in a nest
where scent to scent
pollen on pollen
the warmth of sunlight
still in their faces…

I cut wildflowers
place them in the Mason jar with residue
of coffee grounds, leave them
on your kitchen counter
without a note that says

I love you
You will know

Margaret Simon, draft
And So I Cut Wildflowers, Margaret Simon

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »