Posts Tagged ‘nature poem’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Christie at Wondering and Wandering

Christie Wyman has invited the Poetry Friday community to write about trees this week. I am back in school and have so missed the days of writing alongside my students. Because I am itinerant and teach at three schools, I have three opportunities to write during the day. That gave me time to write, read aloud, revise, write. Not to mention the joy my students felt to be back in the saddle of writing.

We used “That was Summer” by Marci Ridlon as a mentor text. The repetition makes this form an easy one to mimic. I chose to write about the different trees we see each season.

Seasons of Trees
after Marci Ridlon “That was Summer”

Remember that time
when the rope swing hung
from the old oak tree
the knot round and rough?
You wrapped your skinny legs on tight
let someone give you a push
your head leaned back
tongue out, tasting the breeze.
That was summer.

Remember that time you gathered pecans
plopping one by one
into grandfather’s tin bucket?
You held the brown nut to the metal cracker,
and turned the handle until Crack!
Tasting hickory butter sweetness.
That was autumn.

Remember when the wind turned cold,
Flakes fell softly on the trees,
and you bundled up and walked
with your sisters through rows and rows
of Christmas spruce,
playing hide and seek
and searching for the just-right one.
That was winter.

Remember how the warm sun rose
on the Japanese magnolia
prompting firm blossoms
to open like helium-filled party balloons?
Remember how you walked near
to smell the strong rosy scent
that could make you sneeze?
That was spring.

Margaret Simon, draft, 2019
image from Pixabay

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

It’s Poetry Friday, and I don’t have a post prepared.

I followed links to CLMOOC, a summer gathering of writing project folks to stretch their thinking. Kevin Hodgson writes:

Here in CLMOOC, we’ve always actively pushed back on the “massive”. While MOOCs often were built to scale large, CLMOOC has often comfortably settled into the small. So, this July and August, we invite you to look closer at the world, to find balance with the small scale of things around you.

Kevin Hodgson

Kevin introduced a new term to me, feldgang. A feldgang is slowing down to notice something in a new or different way. This idea fascinates me. Poetry lends itself to feldganging (not sure if that is a real word.)

This morning I am combining feldgang with greenbelt writing, that writing that is wild and unpredictable and possibly of no real worth at all. A first draft of a poem while looking out my kitchen window:

The chickadees come to the feeder
They flitter their tiny bodies
in the trees, and try to stay unnoticed,
like butterflies to a bright flower.

I notice them
and think of this simple act
of feeding the birds,
a small plastic feeder,
some seed from a plastic bag.

I invite these small visitors
to my kitchen window.
I laugh at their tiny tweets.
Begin my day with a lighter step.

Margaret Simon, draft, 2019

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

It doesn’t take much to bloom–
a space in the yard
tucked away from plain view
safe from weeds and snakes.

Just stretch out your branches,
bend to the light,
open your eyes
and be white lace, clouds of lace

woven on air
swept up in a tangle of wind
waiting for hope.
That’s all it takes to bloom.

(c) Margaret Simon

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.


Autumn takes its time coming to South Louisiana.  It comes in small, unnoticeable ways like the browning of cypress trees, or in larger, violent ways as in a storm leading a cold front. So here we are on the second day of November and temperatures have dropped to the 50’s, a pleasant change from the 80’s to 90’s of the previous six months.  I so envy the images of orange and red fall leaves filling the trees.

Since we have not changed our clocks quite yet, the sun is coming up later each morning, and I’ve noticed a heron on the bayou sitting right in the direct ray of the rising sun.  I tried to capture him with my telephoto lens, but he heard me and flew off.  No matter.  I can still write him into a poem.

Carol Varsalona curates a gallery at her blog site for every season.  Currently she is collecting images and poems for Abundant Autumn. I borrowed a photograph of a heron at the beach from fellow poet (and better photographer than me) Wendi Romero to use as a backdrop to my poem. I love how the challenges of Poetry Friday peeps push me to spread my writing wings.

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Poetry Friday round-up  is with Carol at Carol's Corner.

Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Carol’s Corner.

Deer in woods near New Castle Lake.

Deer in woods near New Castle Lake.

I’m feeling a little guilty sitting on the porch on the lake in Mississippi surrounded by my loving family and a blanket of warmth (highs already reaching upper 90’s). There is so much happening in the world that feels out of control, out of my reach of consciousness. And yet I look at nature and see the connections.

On my drive here to my parents’ house, I listened to podcasts. On the TED radio hour episode titled Becoming Wise, I heard the word mbuntu. In this story, South African Boyd Varty speaks about how animals already know this concept, that I am because we are.

I think we all need more mbuntu in our lives. We need to turn our focus on each other to be fully who we are.

The kayaker doesn’t look up
to see me watching him,
seeing how his body,
his paddle,
the water are one.
Stroke right, stroke left
sends a ripple from the water
to the trees,
where light dances like fine feathers.

Branches spread from bald cypress
to shade the grass,
hide the tree frog,
nest the swallow.
A bird calls
Cicadas buzz
like maracas at a Spanish festival.
The sun rises
to the sound of Samba.

–Margaret Simon


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

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

Emerging from 30 days of poetry, words eluded me.  I looked outside for inspiration.  With my camera in hand, I captured the natural meaning of the word saturated.  

Reflections in the flood by Margaret Simon

Reflections in the flood by Margaret Simon


After three days of incessant rain, I am saturated.
The ground below is just a shadow.
My words are hiding there.

Resurrection Fern by Margaret Simon

Resurrection Fern by Margaret Simon

Fern glistens in the emerging sun.
Beauty finds me

Lizard face-off by Margaret Simon

Lizard face-off
by Margaret Simon

Like these lizards,
face to face
puff up and show their true colors,
I dive back in,
searching for the light.

Bayou Sunspot by Margaret Simon

Bayou Sunspot
by Margaret Simon

When I am not even trying, poetry finds me.  In reflection of her month-long poem-a-day writing, Violet Nesdoly posted this quote from Annie Dillard.

Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes. – Annie Dillard


I turn to poetry when I feel inadequate.  When I’m not sure what to write, creating a verse moves me forward.  So here I am again, no challenge, no poem-a-day, just me, opening the page,  and giving freely, so my writing will not turn to ashes.  

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