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Posts Tagged ‘Molly Hogan’

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One of the wisdoms I have gained as a writer is that writing with others creates strong friendships because writing is such an act of vulnerability. It is true for the classroom, for writing workshops, and for critique groups. My group, the Inklings, are true friends. They listen, respond with integrity, and encourage me as a person as well as a writer. We live far away from each other, but we used Zoom long before the pandemic, and see each other twice monthly. This is all to say that when my father died, they did what they do best, and sent me a book of poems. I sat alone with these poems and let the comfort and wisdom of words wash over me. I offer a video today of me reading each poem sitting out by my beloved bayou. It’s 8 minutes long.

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Is it always the right time for reflection? The newness of the year has passed. In my spiritual life, it’s Lent which is a time of reflection. And the season is changing. But really, reflection should be an ongoing practice. Taking a look at what was in order to prepare for what is to come.

Reflection in a photograph is different. In a way this sort of reflection shows what is in a different light, new position. Molly Hogan is a writing partner, teacher, blogger who takes amazing photographs and offers them freely to this writing community. Take a minute to reflect and muse on this photo by Molly. Write whatever comes in the comments and leave encouraging comments for others.

Reflection by Molly Hogan

You criss.
I cross,
and together,
we bridge.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Winter is here and in many places around the US, mounds of snow. In the deep south, we are expecting an Arctic blast later this week that may (accent on the word may) bring a mix of winter precipitation. The last time I was able to build any semblance of a snowman was in March of 1988. This is not true for my friend Molly in Maine. She posted a most amazing snowgirl that her daughter, Lydia, had created using old garden leftovers to accessorize. Let’s entertain our child-muse today and write a small poem about her. Feel free to give her a name.

Snow Girl by Molly Hogan

Betty White

Blonde pom-pom poofs
fool you into thinking
this girl is ditsy.
Don’t
underestimate a girl
with sunlight
in her hair. She’s a star
in her own galaxy.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Today I am nursing an upper respiratory virus. I am boosted and tested negative for both Covid and flu, but this cough is nagging, and the low grade fever has me curled up with hot tea watching Christmas movies. It should be much better by Christmas, let’s hope. Next week I’ll be traveling with my family, so I will take the week off from blogging. I’ll be back with a new photo on Jan. 5, 2022. Thank you for supporting this weekly photo prompt by writing, reading, and commenting. You have made my one little word “Inspire” glow with purpose and meaning.

This week I have taken a photo from Molly Hogan’s Facebook post. She is forever curious and explores with her camera. When I asked her about this photo, she told me her husband thought she was nuts leaning over a bucket of ice. In Maine, temperatures have turned to winter, and she captured the beauty and mystery of winter in this photo.

Photo by Molly Hogan

Frozen in fundamental shape
this
world
inside
rises
this
speck
becomes
seen
this
fundamental shape is frozen.

Margaret Simon, draft
Skinny form

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Wednesday is here again. I feel like I’m in a whirlpool heading for Christmas, the calendar is full, and I’m forgetting what day it is. Wednesday already? I did have the forethought on Saturday to save a photo from our friend-poet-teacher Molly Hogan. As you know, she is an avid photographer of wildlife. She posts her photos on Instagram and Facebook. In Maine, apparently bluebirds are still there. We start to see them down south around Christmas. I really don’t know how Molly takes such fine photos of birds. I asked her once and she said, “I just take a lot of them, so one or two come out good.” I also think she has patience for the good shot that I don’t have.

female bluebird by Molly Hogan

This female bluebird has an attitude. She seems to have a teacher’s stance, wide alert eye with her beak in the air, on the verge of letting out a loud call. So I did a quick search and found this video of an Eastern bluebird call.

Take a moment to take in the sound. How would you describe it in a poem?

Write a small poem in the comments and support other writers with encouraging comments.

Warble
World in tune–
Harmony heals us.

Margaret Simon, draft #haynaku #gratitude #poemsofpresence

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Last week when my youngest daughter, Martha, set up her office on the back deck, she watched hummingbirds fighting at the feeder. It was one of those rare high pressure/ low humidity days with an actual breeze. She had to silence the wind chimes for her Zoom calls. Today, Martha’s office is back in New Orleans as power has returned.

Currently I am watching the rain bands of Hurricane Nicholas (now a tropical storm) fill up the bayou. The hummers are still coming. That’s a good sign.

My friend Molly Hogan in Maine has been watching these amazing birds, too, and taking amazing photos of them. She sent me this one.

For my students, since this is a virtual learning day due to the storm, I linked the photo to this Wonderopolis article and used one of the facts in my haiku.

photo by Molly Hogan

Peach-sweet zinnia
fanned by wingbeats 200
times per second: Zest! 

Haiku draft, Margaret Simon

Please write a small poem in the comments and reply to other writers with encouraging words. Thanks for being here.

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Every morning this week the full “blue” moon has accompanied me on my walk. I’ve taken cell phone photos that I posted on Instagram, but for this post, I reached out to my Inkling writing friend Molly Hogan. She came through with multiple moon photos for me to choose from.

On Ethical ELA’s Open Write this week, Tamara “Tammi” Belko led us in a one sentence poem prompt. You sure can pack a lot into one sentence if you try. I wrote mine by speaking into my phone notes app while walking. Siri often misunderstands me–must be the southern accent– and she thought I said “How are you” instead of “Owl echoes over the bayou.” I decided to leave it in the poem.

In the early morning light
of a new day when the moon still
hangs high while the owl echoes
“how are you”, I am tethered to this old
dog walking, wandering, praying.

Margaret Simon, draft
Moon through the trees by Molly Hogan

Please join us by writing a small poem (maybe just one sentence) in the comments. Leave encouraging comments for other writers. Thanks for stopping by.

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Poetry Friday round-up is here! Scroll to the bottom to add your link.

Last month I participated in two challenges: Spark and Sunday Swaggers. Spark is an exchange between writer and artist led by Amy Souza. I partnered with Jone MacCulloch. I sent her a poem. She sent me this amazing photograph.

Lady Bird Johnson Grove by Jone Rush MacCulloch

How Do We Stand?  


I go to Lady Bird Johnson Grove
to be among these giant trees.

Fenced forest of ten thousand branches
diffuses blue sky radiation
illuminating tunnels in the midst

of roots ungrounded–a path
to the great unknown.

Moved by stillness,
we pass ancient ruins, 
an army of roots intertwined.
I’ll lock arms with you 

through dark spaces
where rays of light
are swallowed
and breathe in blue forever. 

Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Molly Hogan challenged our Sunday Swagger poetry group to write after Cheryl Dumesnil’s Today’s Sermon. I created a collage. Sometimes doing this helps me focus and inspires creative juices. After playing with collage and word collecting, I pulled together a poem using the anaphora of Today’s Poem.

Magazine collage by Margaret Simon

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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.

On the last day of the March Slice of Life Challenge, walk with me. Listen to the birds. Take a minute to just be here.

This month of Slicing has been a way for me to be present. Present to my thoughts. Present to the words of others.

One of my favorite photographers is my writing critique group partner, fellow SOL blogger, Molly Hogan in Maine. I cannot imagine how she gets such amazing photos of birds. She must be so still and patient. Her latest batch on Facebook are shots of bluebirds. This one she posted looks like a cartoon character.

Consider writing a small poem in response to this photo in the comments or on your blog (link in the comments). Leave encouraging comments to other writers.

Bluebird by Molly Hogan
Morning birds serenade my walk,
an aubade to the trees and sky,
gentle as your hand
on my sleeping shoulder.
Margaret Simon, draft

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Join this weekly photo poetry prompt community by leaving a poem in the comments.

This has been a frigid week in the deep south. The ice storm has caused widespread power outage and water loss. Our home was without power for 12 hours. Our house plumbing is fine, but my husband’s office had a burst pipe. Southerners just aren’t equipped to handle this extreme cold for an extended period of time. The temperature rose to 36 degrees yesterday, but we are staying home from school due to low water pressure.

But ice can be beautiful. My friend and poetry writing group partner Molly Hogan lives in Maine, so she is well-versed in cold. She is also an amazing photographer. She recently posted photos of ice on plants and this one she claimed as her favorite. I can see why. There’s a poem waiting there. Leave your own small poem in the comments and respond to others with kindness and encouragement.

Frozen bud by Molly Hogan

There is beauty in a single moment,
tresures in a whisper,
A world waiting
in an ice-encased atom.

Margaret Simon, draft

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