Posts Tagged ‘Jim Foret’


Reds, golden autumn
pushes its way to winter
with silent leaf fall

–Margaret Simon

More about the haiku-a-day project here.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.



This week I grabbed the opportunity to take my students outside.  We met Mr. Jim Foret, a naturalist and professor from ULL, at Mr. Al, a 150+ year old oak in our community.

Mr. Jim has known Mr. Al for awhile.  He was instrumental in saving this amazing oak from being destroyed.  Once the blue-haired ladies from Garden Clubs along with the Optimist Club and many school children got involved, the legislatures listened and ordered LADOTD (Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development) to move this old oak from its original home to its specialized, protected home now.   Jim explained that the time was terrible to move the tree, but the progress on the service road was halted, so he had to be moved in mid-summer of 2011, a summer of no rain.

Jim figured out just the right amount of water to give Mr. Al.  For years, he paced and worried about Mr. Al’s survival and questioned his own resolve to save him.  And the sprawling, amazing oak made it, and has withstood the test of time.  “He will probably outlive all of you,” Jim explained to the children and parents.

Mr. Al is a community icon.  Boy Scouts have mulched him.  ULL students have planted prairie grasses.  And many others pass by and wave.  If you are traveling down Highway 90 away from New Iberia toward New Orleans, take a minute to say hello.  Loving care has saved this old grandfather oak, and loving care will sustain him.

I celebrate the history of the land.

I celebrate the gift of an oak and his master.

I celebrate exposing my students to nature.

Sketching a memory of Mr. Al.

Sketching a memory of Mr. Al.

Marveling in the shade of mighty Mr. Al.

Marveling in the shade of mighty Mr. Al.




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Poetry Friday is with sweet Irene from Birmingham.

Poetry Friday is with sweet Irene from Birmingham.


I was letting this Poetry Friday go, but this morning (Saturday) I received the Full Moon Alert from my friend Jim.  Jim has missed two FMAs.  When I saw him out dancing at La Poussiere a few weekends ago, I felt I conjured him out of the dust. (La Poussiere means “the dust” in Cajun French.) Turns out, Jim and his wife Paula are fine, just busy.  That’s my excuse, too.  Well, isn’t it everyone’s?

The thing I love about Jim, in addition to his attention to nature and moons, is his love of poetry.  I am reposting the two poems he sent.  The first is from David Lee.  I have taken in the hummingbird feeder, but I still have such a fond image of them at the feeder this summer.


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

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

Ode Beneath a Hummingbird Feeder


Greenflash of lightning
and memory of a red scar
etched on the golden throat
of a still afternoon.


Whirr of tiny wings
like a small thunder
across the redwood porch.


Oh, arrogant little warrior,
if I had a naked weapon
I could brandish like yours,
I, too, would suffer
no foolish rival suitors
sipping at my ruby fount.

–David Lee 

The second poem Jim sent was by Mary Oliver.  The sentiment she expresses of hurricanes and the resurrection after is familiar to me.  I send this out to my Poetry Friday friends who recently endured Hurricane Matthew.


It didn’t behave
like anything you had
ever imagined. The wind
tore at the trees, the rain
fell for days slant and hard.
The back of the hand
to everything. I watched
the trees bow and their leaves fall
and crawl back into the Earth.
As though, that was that.
This was one hurricane
I lived through, the other one
was of a different sort, and
lasted longer. Then
I felt my own leaves giving up and
falling. The back of the hand to
Everything. But listen now to what happened
to the actual trees;
toward the end of that summer they
pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.
It was the wrong season, yes,
But they couldn’t stop. They
Looked like telephone poles and didn’t
care. And after the leaves came
blossoms. For some things
There are no wrong seasons.
Which is what I dream of for me.

–Mary Oliver 


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Slice of Life Day 17.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 17. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

I have a tree-hugging naturalist friend who sends out an email every month around the time of the full moon. His email is called Full Moon Alert or FMA.

One of the methods of writing I enjoy is erasure poetry or found poetry. I often find a poem in Jim’s FMA.

flower tree

Full Ides (of March) Moon

Full moon rises Sunday at sunset.
Spring officially starts Friday,
Buds swelling,
swamp red maples coming into bloom,
thangs were moving y’all.

Sky reverberates
with the smudge of cranes.
I love you little.
I love you big.

My ladies are working hard already.
European honey bees are an all-girl operation,
and these are happy dancing
their butter butts, like the warblers
catching Crane flies.

A pair of raptors dive spectacularly,
two lovers celebrating newfound love
in this the season of love.

Happy spring y’all!

Get out and enjoy the fine spring weather.
Get out and stand there with your mouth open
watching that moonrise and sunset with loved ones.
What a gift! And bring some little ones along.

–Margaret Simon, found from Possum Foret’s FMA March 15, 2014

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