Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Linda Mitchell’

Poetry Friday round-up is at Karen’s Blog.

Summer means the Summer Poetry Swap which is coordinated by Tabatha. I’ve already received two poetry gifts, and it feels like summer just began.

The first poem I received came from Laura Shovan, a dear poet friend and author of The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary and Takedown. Laura sent sourdough starter, a whimsical pen, and this poem.

Bread and Water by Laura Shovan

My second poem came from Buffy Silverman. Buffy and I have never met, but I have enjoyed her poetry for years. What delight to open an email from her with this image and beautiful poem about wild iris, blue flag!

Blue Flag by Buffy Silverman

This week Linda Mitchell and I teamed up to provide prompts for Ethical ELA. This site by Sarah Donovan is a wonderful place for teachers to write and receive positive feedback. I enjoyed being a part of the community this week. The poetic responses were amazing! Here is a link to the 5 Day Open Write.

I wrote two poems in response to Linda’s prompts. The first one was a list poem. I had a receipt marking my notebook page. My oldest daughter is having a girl (Yes!) in November. At a local children’s store, I bought the first thing for this new one, a newborn gown.

For the Little Ones
 
Shorts
Shirt
Gown–> NB
 
white silky soft
edged with pink stitching
to welcome
a sister
now growing
day by day
a girl to embrace
a girl to bless
a girl to love

Margaret Simon, draft

The second prompt from Linda came from Linda Baie’s prompt in Laura Shovan’s Water Poem Project, to write a fiction poem. I took some quotes from my weekend with my kids and built this scene.

Heat
 
What is it about the 90 degree mark
that turns a sunny day into fire
burning you through to the bone?
 
They didn’t speak in the heat;
Their brains thirsty, wrung out 
beyond droplets of sweat,
couldn’t fathom anything worthy of saying.
 
He handed her the phone,
clicked play on a video of animal faces,
noses in particular, that made her smile,
despite herself. She didn’t bother 
to ask why. 
 
Humor finds its way into the cracks
of relationship, beneath the surface
of burning skin to release toxins
from the crease of a smile. 

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

I have been following #verselove on Ethical ELA. On Tuesday, teacher-poet Gayle Sands posted a selection of photographs to use for prompts for ekphrasis, poetry about art. I love how looking at art or photography can lead you to a poem, and many times to something unexpected.

Linda Mitchell and I are writing partners in a Sunday night critique group. After I wrote my poem to an image of Alice Paul, I found her poem, a golden shovel about the same photo. I asked Linda’s permission to post her poem along with mine. I think it shows how poets can take a different perspective.

The photo reminded me of my great grandmother who died just shy of her 100th birthday. While mine was more descriptive of the photo, Linda included historical information about Alice Paul and the Sewall-Belmont House.

I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic.

   ~Alice Paul  to Woodrow Wilson May 2019

The gentlemen from Illinois and Texas, I
am certain, have lost their minds. Women have always
made way for men. It’s 1968. We feel
strength in Sewall-Belmont House since 1929. The
National Women’s Party movement
headquarters is a landmark, it is
not simply ground to lay gravel for a
new Senate driveway on Capitol Hill. What sort
of message does that send to the daughters of
our work? It would destroy the heart of our mosaic

© Linda Mitchell

4/7/20 #verselove

“There will never be a new world order until women are a part of it.”
Alice Paul (1885-1977)

 Alice Paul at Belmont House, 1972.

Alice Paul

Small but fierce
they’d say
about this woman
who wouldn’t be dared.
Hands on hips, head held
high as a carved marble statue
on a pedestal.

Like my great grandmother,
Alice Paul stood in white eyelet
eyes set straight, focused
on the photographer’s lens
like a beam of light daring
him to say,
“Smile!”

Margaret Simon, draft 2020

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura Shovan.

One of the best parts of this Poetry Friday community is the Winter poem swap managed by Tabatha Yeats.  My recipient this year was Matt Forrest Esenwine.  He posted my gift and poem on his site today along with a virtual Christmas party.

I received a handmade journal and a poem from Linda Mitchell.  She is in my writing group. How serendipitous!  She explained that she had gathered words and phrases from one of our Zoom meetings and weaved them together into this amazing reverso poem.  She also hand made the little snowman from cutting paper from an old discarded picture book.

 

 

With my students this week, we explored word wandering.  I remembered first seeing this idea on Today’s Little Ditty when Michelle featured Nikki Grimes.  Some great examples are included in the Best of Today’s Little Ditty, 2014-2105.  Breighlynn wandered with the word bell.

Bell

by Breighlynn

Bell is a shiny word,
the music in my ears
Ding! Ding!
The bell rings for school
for lunch
even playtime
Bells help us learn
just like music.

 

I played around with a few words in my notebook, and each one seemed to lead me to babies.  (Wonder why?)

Small is a tiny word
rolling on the page
where nothing is too small
to be noticed.

Small is my baby boy.
His lips circle and stretch
as he tastes the world.

Whenever you feel small,
think of this tiny miracle
and you will know
the truth
of pure love.

(draft) Margaret Simon

Grandbaby Leo with the blanket I made for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday posts are with Irene at Live Your Poem

Last week, my friend, poet, blogger, writing partner Linda Mitchell posted her found haiku along with the inspirational poem Letter in October by Ted Kooser.  See her post here.  I took it all to create a lesson for my students.  After study of and talk about Ted Kooser’s poem, I shared Linda’s haiku and talked about how these haiku could stand separate from the original poem.  I challenged my students to try finding haiku.

Madison created this lovely poem, but first she gave the form a name “re-ku” as in recycled haiku.

A late light dawning
finding a world of darkness.
Silhouettes of the

lost leaves, soaring
on a draft. They have lost
their way. I watch the

darkness, sipping tea.
The night has wrapped the light, sowing
reflections ‘cross
my window. Watch.

Madison, 4th grade

Free image

I’m fascinated by the rhythm and repetition that Noah used to create his artistic expression of A Letter in December.

The icy water
a letter in December
Sowing reflections

The icy writing
a letter in December
in the window pane

The icy fingers
a letter in December
wrapped around the hearth

The icy shingles
a letter in December
frozen in its place.

–Noah, 6th grade

Read Full Post »

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

Almost every morning, I walk the neighborhood with my dog, Charlie. We set out around 6 AM. I have come to love this time of day watching as the bayou world wakes up.

Almost every morning, I see Kenny. He’s walking, too, but not in a straight line. He picks up a newspaper at the end of a driveway and carries it up to the front door. He carries the trash cans out to the curb. When he sees me and Charlie, he stops, reaches into his pocket and gives Charlie a dog biscuit. When Charlie sees him, he pulls on the leash and cries.

One morning Kenny told me that he used to stop at this lady’s house every morning. He said, “I didn’t know her, but I knew she was elderly, so I’d always pick up her paper for her. One morning there were strange cars in the driveway. A man comes out to meet me and he tells me she passed away, but that she always talked about the kind man who brought up her paper every morning.”  A little act of kindness goes a long way.

This morning as I was walking, I recalled that Linda Mitchell wrote a limerick for her poem of the day.

I thought, “I could never write a limerick.” However, this limerick started humming in my head after I met Mr. Kenny this morning.

Limerick for Mr. Kenny

There once was a man who walked Edgewater Street.
Never a stranger did he meet.
He was kind to his neighbors,
offered multiple favors.
And always gave Charlie a treat.

–Margaret Simon

Read Full Post »

Discover. Play. Build.

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

Reach copy

I chose Reach as my OLW for 2015. The recent gift of an Amaryllis bulb reminds me daily to reach. It has quickly grown about 2 inches in 2 days, reaching up to be a blossom.

Amaryllis 2

I am reaching out to other writers, sharing my work and encouraging theirs. A recent writing partner was introduced to me by Gae Polisner of Teachers Write and the author of two YA books, The Pull of Gravity and The Summer of Letting Go. Linda Mitchell and I have been exchanging poems for a few months. She is not blogging yet, so when she told me she had chosen her OLW, I asked her to write a poem about it. Here is her poem about the word Nourish. Love this word because you can nourish yourself as well as others. Her writing and advice nourish me.

New Year Resolution 1.1.2015
The women residing in me– but not limited to:
Daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend,
teacher, student, poet.

Whereas limited time is granted daily
by our creator and selfish choices;

Whereas desire to express meaning
is hindered by our ability to grasp
the essence of the language;

Whereas our attention and focus
is worn away and eroded
by frivolous pursuits;

Whereas our hope is to achieve
peaceful and mutual understanding
with our world;

RESOLVE, THAT the verb and action nourish
fortify all work, play and spiritual activity
January 1 through December 31, 2015.

And as such,

Be it resolved that we commit to:

Promote growth

Provide sustenance

Train, build and raise up

Ourselves, our loved ones
and our communities
beginning with prayer,
contemplation, word,
silence and
meaningful action
whenever and wherever
possible.

–Linda Mitchell, all rights reserved.

Read Full Post »