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Posts Tagged ‘Japanese magnolia’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura at Writing the World for Kids.

Take a walk with me on this chilly day. The temperature dropped during the day yesterday from a rainy 55 degrees to a frigid 35 degrees with winds close to 20 mph. Bundle up in your winter coat and gloves. Did you bring your wool socks? As we walk past the bayou and along the road, we come to an open field. Watch your step because the ground is uneven here, and you may step in a puddle.

There near the neighboring house is a tree that looks like it may have been struck by lightning. It’s leaning slightly, but oh! It’s bright with pink blossoms. Flowers in winter? I think Japanese magnolia likes to be the first to show off her new spring dress.

My poetry swaggers group had a difficult challenge this month, given by Catherine Flynn. Terza Rima, she suggested, a form none of us had ever tried. But it’s from Dante, she delighted, not knowing yet that we are no Dantes.

Nevertheless, I gave it a shot. The first results lacked greatly. After a few rounds with my writing buddies, they helped me patch it up to present today. A terza rima is not going into my book of forms. This was a tough code to crack. Here’s a link to some confusing helpful guidelines.

A Japanese magnolia takes a chance
on blooming ‘fore the risk of frost is gone
with warming trends alive inside its branch.

Perhaps a passing storm had left it torn
in this winter field alone and gray,
when leaves of life from limbs are yet unborn.

Bold flowers burst bright pink and lift away
a fog; flamboyant beauty flirts for view
when wind blows chill across my path today. 

A Japanese magnolia takes a chance.

Margaret Simon, draft #5

Visit the Poetry Swaggers Sites for more (and better, if you ask me) Terza Rima poems.

Catherine Flynn
Molly Hogan
Linda Mitchell
Heidi Mordhorst

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See more Spiritual Thursday posts at Donna’s site, Mainly Write.

 

Donna is gathering our Spiritual Journey First Thursday posts at her blog. Donna recently moved, so she chose “Home” as our topic for today.

We often look to our church as a spiritual home.  But is this the only place where God lives?  Like the saying “Home is where the heart is,” God is where the heart is, too.  Just because you may not have a place to worship, God’s presence does not leave you.  God is in my mind…always.

I also believe that God is in my poetry.  Wherever I am, the world opens and reveals poems.  This week is only the first week of February, but the temperatures have climbed above 70 degrees, and the Japanese magnolias are blooming.  On my early morning walk, I pass a lonely tree in a vacant lot.  It’s obviously not trimmed or cared for and in many ways looks like it’s dead, but not this week.  So I wrote a poem about it. Of course.

The first stanza is a direct quote from The Time is Now, a weekly writing prompt from Poets and Writers.

A Day on Saturn

A day on Saturn
lasts a total of ten hours,
thirty-three minutes,
and thirty-eight seconds,
according to the Astrophysical Journal.

When I pass the Japanese magnolia,
I think it must be dying.
Lichen clusters on its branches;
a hollowed trunk carved like a cave
invites infesting insects.

And yet, there they are
in the middle of winter, pink
blossom buds
point to the sky
spot Saturn

like an astrolabe
aligns the planets,
from a leafless display

balancing a day.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

 

 

 

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

 

Developing a mindset for presence is difficult in these busy fall days.  I am adjusting slowly to the shifting of gears three times a day as I travel from school to school.  I use the car ride to reflect on the last class and prepare for the next.  I’ve got the time down so that I’m not rushing.  I’ve noticed on the sign-in sheets at my schools that my time is the same every day even without my paying much attention to it.

 

EnneaThought® for the Day

Type Two EnneaThought® for November 11th

How can you fully experience your Presence here and now? Observe the many thoughts that pass through your awareness without becoming attached to any of them. (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 47)

 

This week I’ve been practicing mindfulness and meditation with my morning group of kids.  They looked forward to this.  But Friday was Friday and their little busy minds just would not relax.  Eyes were opening, mouths were smiling, feet were fidgety.   So after the timer dinged, I asked my students to open their journals to free write about the word ripple.  I selected the word from the mindfulness card that said to imagine dropping a stone into the water and watch the ripples.  Adding this layer to the meditation practice brought my students to a vulnerable place.  I’m learning that when we open up our classrooms to the experience of mindfulness and safety, emotions can arise.  We have to be ready to treat them with gentleness and kindness.

Focus on nothing
everything becomes clearer
morning mindfulness

 

 

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celebratesquare-image

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

japanese-magnolia-paint

“Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there.” Rumi The Sunrise Ruby

A celebration list:

Salads:
Monday: Manchego cheese on arugula
Wednesday: Tutu salad pepper tuna, avocado
Friday: Greek Fatouche with pita chips

Conversations:
Tables turned
daughters give advice to Mom

Poetry:
Writing, receiving
fulfilling

Students:
Projects develop
making a difference
in more ways than one

A dog
snoring happily
at my feet

His love
patient, kind
my heart is always open
and complete

 

 

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