Posts Tagged ‘Kim Douillard’

Photographer-Poet-Teacher Kim Douillard lives in San Diego, California. We’ve never met face-to-face, but we are friends connected by common interests. Her photos of the beaches in California are always inspiring. This week I was taken by this photo of a broken sand dollar. Where will this muse take you? Please leave a small poem in the comments and write encouraging comments to fellow writers.

Half Dollar by Kim Douillard

Allan Wolf lost his father on the same day as I did. We had been in communication over a student Zoom visit when both of our lives were interrupted. Allan posted these words on Facebook, “Writing, like loving, is an act of faith. We bury a piece of ourselves and wait for something better than ourselves to eventually emerge.” Then I saw Kim’s photo. It’s all too fresh for me to write about today. Or maybe I’m just too raw. Nevertheless, friends, I leave these thoughts for you to make something beautiful with, as I know you will.

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

Following other teacher-bloggers can lead to new ideas for classroom activities. Recently I read Kim Douillard’s posts about using photography with her students. She graciously sent me a slide show to teach students about three photography techniques, bug’s eye view, bird’s eye view, and rule of thirds. My students caught on to these ideas with ease and were anxious to get outside to try them out. Our beautiful spring weather was a wonderful collaborator.

Following our playground photo sessions, my students used the editing tools on the Chromebooks. Kim had led her students to write equation poems with their photographs. I shared Laura Purdie Salas’s equation poems. I directed my students to use Canva to display their photos and equation poems. Here are a few student photos.

Sunlight + Trees = Painting by Jaden, 6th grade
Ripple = Air + Net by Chloe, 6th grade

The creative teacher in me wants to find more opportunities to practice photography and language. In fact, I think I’ll use one of their images for a poem prompt tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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I follow teacher/writer/photographer Kim Douillard who lives in California. I envy her beach photos. Images of the beach take me away. They have the power to relax me. This photo brought me joy. One of my grandsons is particularly attracted to bubbles. If he is having a tough time, a single session of bubble time will soothe him. What is it about bubbles that is both fascinating and calming?

Bubble on the beach by Kim Douillard
on Instagram as @kd0602

You reach out to touch
knowing your touch will destroy
beauty in thin air.

Margaret Simon, haiku draft 2022

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The summer solstice makes it officially summer. What’s more summery than the ocean? Following Kim Douillard on Instagram takes me to the Pacific Ocean. She lives near San Diego, California. During the school year, she teaches third grade. Her happy place is taking photos at the beach. On her blog, Thinking through my Lens, she writes poetry, shares writing lessons, and posts amazing photographs. Last night I saw this picture which totally took me to a new place. Let’s see if we can make this photo come more alive with poetry offerings. Join me in the comments by writing your own small poem.

San Clemente, California by Kim Douillard

How to be an Ocean Wave

Rise up with grit.
Roar with spirit.
Open your heart and hands.
Make life grand!

Margaret Simon, draft

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One of the bloggers I follow is Kim Douillard who lives on the west coast of California. She takes beautiful photographs and posts a “Silent Sunday” photo each week on her blog, Thinking Through My Lens. Last Sunday I was fascinated by the beach labyrinth in her photo. I thought about the impermanence of it, how the ocean will eventually wash it away. Like the Tibetan monks who create sand mandalas. The creation is the prayer.

Image by Kim Douillard

Please write a small poem reflecting on the photograph. Write encouraging comments to other writers.

Footsteps mark

Margaret Simon, a pi-ku

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Welcome to This Photo Wants to be a Poem, a way to wake up your poetry brain. Please write a short poem (15 words or fewer) in the comments. Try to comment on other poems as well. Spread the word through sharing the link on social media.

Shells by Kim Douillard
Kim’s blog is Thinking through my Lens

I’ve been following Kim’s blog for a few years. We’ve never met face to face, but we’ve connect through National Writing Project and #clmooc and Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers. I love how connections can be made across the continent. Kim lives near San Diego, California. She posts beach pictures often and is quite an amazing photographer. In this post here, she photographed a great white egret in her neighborhood.

Today’s photo from this post grabbed me and said it wanted to be a poem. Kim gave me her permission to use it. You can follow her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/kd0602) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kd0602/).

If this is your first time, don’t hesitate to join in the poem fun. There are no critics here. It’s all good.

A circle of sea
wrapped in sand and shells–
a mosaic by the master.

Margaret Simon, draft 2020

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Poetry Friday is with Keisha at Whispers from the Ridge

Photo by Kim Douillard

I follow Kim Douillard’s blog. She posts a weekly photo challenge. Last week’s challenge was “Path.” To me, her post was poetic, so I took words and lines and created a found poem.

a found poem from Thinking through my Lens

The snail’s wet trail caught my eye.
I remember Emerson’s words–
go where there is no path
and leave a trail.

I find the sculpture;
Its path formed of trash
her artistic eye transformed
into beauty.

My own path
ebbs and flows like the tides.
I follow moments of sunshine
to clouds echoing the waves.

Seabirds above
follow an invisible path.
In the sky, agile pelicans
intersect the line of a hang glider

Causing me to wonder
what magical paths
await if we are willing
to look.
–Margaret Simon

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Kim Douillard is a fine photographer. She blogs here at Thinking through my Lens. She posts a weekly photo challenge with a single word. I don’t often take the challenge, but this time the word familiar interested me. I started thinking about the root of this word. I was surprised to find an odd connection to Halloween:

A low-ranking demon given to a witch by the Devil for the purpose of strengthening the witch’s power. In medieval times familiars were commonly thought to be animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits and toads. In shamanism, a familiar is a spirit who protects a shaman from illness and unfriendly forces and is also known as a totemic animal, guardian spirit, power animal, or tutelary spirit.

Bill, our male outside cat, often whines at the back door. And what he wants isn’t food. He wants Charlie, my dog and his familiar, to come outside. Bill rubs and rubs on Charlie. Charlie, in turn, humps Bill. These are signs of animal affection. Bill is our familiar, our guardian cat, ready to fight the evil spirits of birds and squirrels and raccoons who wander into the protective area.

The first definition in the online dictionary for familiar is “1. Often encountered or seen: a familiar landmark. See Synonyms at common.”

This gas pump was a familiar site of my youth. Gulf was the well-known service station. My mother would pull up in our Oldsmobile station wagon with the fake wood on the sides and wait. The attendant would pump the gas, wash her windows, check the tires, and give us a piece of candy. Those were the days…


These days the presidential election campaign is heating up (or gone off the deep end, rather), but in our small town of New Iberia, politics happens on Main Street. My husband will not discuss national politics, but he can talk all day with his friend Dan who is running for Mayor Pro-Tem. Here they are at a political rally complete with signs, beer, jambalaya, and a brass band.


Thanks, Kim, for giving me a word to focus on for this Slice. What does familiar mean to you? Join the conversation with #familiar and @nwpianthology.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Julie at The Drift Record

Poetry Friday round-up is with Julie at The Drift Record



Photo by Kim Douillard

Photo by Kim Douillard


The Butterfly

touched my outstretched hand
for only a millisecond,
yet left behind
a tingle

on my sensitive,
scarred skin.
I kept my arm

this fluttering yellow kite
dart through the goldenrod
Daddy grew from seed.

How could he have known
when he sowed and watered
that at this moment
when I needed it most

A butterfly would
leave Joy
on my outstretched hand?

Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Reflection: Yesterday, I wrote about touch.  I saw this amazing photograph on Kim Douillard’s post this morning.  All day the gift of touch has been on my mind.  Even the slightest touch of a butterfly can wrap us in a moment of Joy.  What else is there?


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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

I follow Kim Douillard’s blog, Thinking Through my Lens, and she posts a weekly photo challenge. Yesterday the challenge word was Curves. She wrote, “When your week throws you curves…take photos of them!” And I thought, if your week throws you curves, write about it. So I am going to combine the two, DigiLit and Photo Challenge.

May is a stressful time for me as I’m sure it is for most teachers. As I thought about this month and the many stresses, I realized I needed a new perspective.

There is a large old oak in my front yard. I look at it every day. Yet this image shows a new perspective, looking between the branches.

between the branches

If I turn my perspective to the curve between the branches, I can see a new design. The branch that was trimmed has new growth. Some curves may be tough to take, but later allow for new growth.

On a walk with my dog, we came upon this snail in the grass. Small and slow, the snail curved his slick body, stretching out as far as he could go, lugging along his shell. When we stopped to look, Charlie didn’t see it, so he stepped on it. The snail retreated back into his shell.

snail in grass

When I complain about May, my wise husband says, “May is followed by June.” So I can make it. I can stretch out and lug along because I am heading toward a safe harbor, a time of renewal, “the big weekend!”

a single rose

The curves of a single rose fascinate me. These are my Mother’s Day flowers. They remind me that I am in this with others. I am not alone. I can turn to colleagues and friends. They will listen to my rants and my complaints and tell me that all will be well. And it will be.

Please consider joining the Digital Literacy conversation. Place your link by clicking the button.

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