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NPM2016

 

dragonfly eyes by Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

dragonfly eyes by Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

 

Rest your agile flight
on a sunbeam, look about

with dragonfly eyes.

 

While I was attempting to get a photo of bees that are extremely active in a flowering tree, this dragonfly lit upon an African iris.  I had the telephoto lens on.  I was so excited that I captured such an amazing close-up.  So clear I could see the eyes of the dragonfly.

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NPM2016

Magnolia

Magnolia

Heading outside for some well-needed Vitamin N; Kim Douillard posted about this necessary vitamin here, and invited us to post photos from our outings. So this post with be a photo ode as well as a poetic one.

To the tune of the lawnmower
and the cardinal at the birdbath,
April harmonizes
and paints the air
with buzzing bees
and wispy contrails.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow flowers

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow flowers

April celebrates Cathy’s birthday;
She shows me how to
stop and smell the flowers.
She names them for me:
“Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
is deep purple yesterday,
violet today,
and white tomorrow.”

pineapple guava

pineapple guava

April holds a pineapple guava
ripe with red nectar
while the cashmere bouquet
hides its treasure
beneath wing-like leaves.

cashmere bouquet

cashmere bouquet

April rains make a gentle waterfall
of a mere coulee, a watering hole
for passing dogs in the park.

flowing stream

April is as I imagine heaven,
bright with new light,
flowing on the breeze
a kite with strings
made of flowers.

Japanese plum tree

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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.

New growth on cypress.

New growth on cypress.

After all the grey clouds and rain, rain, rain,
green appeared today,
waking up from a long sleep,
twinkling in the sunlight.

The cypress trees are happy now,
their toes dipped in the water,
their needles as bright
as a neon sign.

“We’re waking up!” they say.
“Come see our new growth
soft as a baby’s forehead,
sweet as honeysuckle.”

Even the weeds are perky today,
pushing out tall stalks
beyond the brown grass,
topped with yellow buttercups.

Turn off your worrying mind.
It’s a day to open
windows and sneeze
Hello to Spring!

Resurrection fern on the old cypress.

Resurrection fern on the old cypress.

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Cat Whispers a Poem

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

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

I signed up years ago for the Poem a Day email from Poets.org. But my inbox gets full of them. I feel like I need a stretch of time to read them all. And then sometimes when I open the poem-of-the-day, I am inspired to write. I get distracted from what needs to be done. I am like an artist in “flow.” Borrow a line. Steal a pattern.

My bumper sticker should read, “I’d rather be writing a poem.”

This one is patterned from Rebecca Lehmann’s poem Natural History using anaphora (repetition) of “Here comes” and “Tell me.”

Here comes light
streaming down the bayou
like a surfer riding the waves.
Here comes wind,
in a stream of its own
wiggling those chimes.
Tell me bent cypress branches,
how year after year
you shed and redress
in brighter green.

Here comes the sun
casting a shadow of the mother oak
I spread my arms wide
in tableau, statue of majesty.
Tell me the child swinging on your rope,
how she came to you when her mother cried,
finding another mother in your shade.

Here comes the land
softened by hard rain
answering our prayer.
Tell me about wet,
how all at once you feel fat
and full like resurrection.

Here comes grey cat
the one with no tail
flipping at my feet.
Tell me what you see
at night on the lonely road.
Whisper your wisdom.
Follow me home.

–Margaret Simon

Painted in Waterlogue

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Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Mary Lee.

Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Mary Lee.

June Sunset on the lake

June Sunset on the lake

The slow down days of June give me the gift of time. Time to watch and be present. I am visiting my parents at the lake. There are always things to watch at the lake. Now as I sit on the back porch, I see a turtle on the small island sticking his little head out to taste the breeze. I see a mallard floating on the waves the breeze has mustered up.

Observation is the seed to creativity. Earlier I took a walk and ran into a deer on the road. Here is a draft of the poem I wrote upon returning. I didn’t have a camera with me. But I don’t think I could have captured this moment with a lens. I capture it now in words.

The Doe

Walking
Dover Lane,
She stands near my path
like a statue someone placed there.

Still,
quiet,
looking,
our eyes greet,
speak of love.

She’s the first to move,
scurries into the brush.
I pause as I pass
to watch
the shadows of three deer–
her family.

We are mothers
eye to eye
holding in a moment
nature’s promise.

–Margaret Simon

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SOL #30

SOL #30

Inspired by Michelle at Literacy Learning Zone.

live happy

Take a walk with me

  • across the grass buried in oak pollen, where spring winds have sprinkled twirly birds.

Take a walk with me

  • past the grancy graybeard dressed in fuzzy blossoms that light up the sky.

grancy graybeard

Take a walk with me

  • to the bank of the bayou where spiderwort pops out purple.

spiderwort

Take a walk with me

  • under the canopy of red buckeye raising fiery red sparklers.

red buckeye

Take a walk with me

  • when dog’s meet with nose kisses and neighbors chat about fresh air and good grace, then walk on

Take a walk with me 

  • with a friend, our dogs (Lucy and Charlie), full of laughter and joy.

Take a walk with me.

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Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts.  Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts. Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

St. Marks font

May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of His son Jesus Christ our Lord.

This peace
cannot be understood,
creeps in my heart
when the sun rises
throwing a beam upon the oak,
her arms spread wide to welcome the light.

This peace comes from knowing
a creator who makes the heron fly
on wings breaking dawn
with stealth and strength.

This peace is a chant I sing,
your name over and over
while the yarn draws over and under
this golden G hook.

This peace transforms holy spirit
into sprays of fresh water
as close to me
as tears.

This peace as fragile as the hug of a child,
egg in a robin’s nest,
sweet scent of your clean skin.

This peace eases my breath
like child’s pose
letting go
letting out
letting in.

This peace
centered in words
prayerfully spoken,
I am here.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved.

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Join the Poetry Friday Round-up at A Year of Reading with Mary Lee.

Join the Poetry Friday Round-up at A Year of Reading with Mary Lee.


sunset 1

Follow this link to read more spiritual journey posts.

Follow this link to read more spiritual journey posts.

This post is serving dual purposes. Since it is Friday, it serves as my Poetry Friday post, an original poem I wrote this week after a typical trip to the grocery store. The second purpose is for Spiritual Journey Thursday. Holly started this blog roundup a few months ago. Her theme this week is wonder and awe. I was filled with wonder and awe at this sunburst in the sky. Holly’s post is about her mission trip to the Czech Republic. It is worth a read.

Yesterday was a wonderfully busy day filled with school orientation, seeing my students, and our anniversary. Jeff and I danced the night away to our favorite zydeco band, Geno Delafose and the French Rockin Boogie. Thirty-two years and we’re still having fun! (Sorry, Holly, for ignoring your tweets, but I was a little dizzy busy.)

Chasing the Horizon

Driving from an evening grocery stop,
I chase the dramatic horizon
drawing me home.

The cats look forlorn
at my passing car,
oblivious to the sun I seek.

I drive to the cul-de-sac
snapping images with my phone
that fail to capture
the brilliance.

Setting sun peers over
white-tipped clouds
bursting with blue water.

I stop my car,
jump out to the field
as to pursue an escaped kite.

The only bystander watches her dog
as he marks every bush and cluster of weeds.
She talks loudly on her cell phone.

I want to shout, “Look up at the glorious sky!”

But I stay silent,
climb back into my car,
turn toward home,
satisfied that God
just handed me
a daisy.

— Margaret Simon

sunset 3

Images informing writing: Join the photo-a-day challenge.

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Bonne Terre Cottage, Breaux Bridge.  Photo by Chere Coen

Bonne Terre Cottage, Breaux Bridge. Photo by Chere Coen

Bird Watching

I.
I cannot know
what has brought you
here this morning,
little hummer
with your ever-excited wings,
your deep red throat.
You hover
catch me watching
from my corner on the porch swing
and you disappear
leaving no sign
of your previous
energetic existence.

II.
I want to own
the mystery
hidden inside this moment.
Yet, my part is just
to be here
present with bird song
echoing in the air,
to praise you,
creator of all,
creator of me.

III.
It is true
that I am
not important.
It is also true
that my name
is written in heaven.
Even the foxes have holes,
birds their nests.*
Like the chickadee
pecking at the feeder
or the hawk circling above,
my spirit belongs
to the earth
to dust I will be.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

*Luke: 9,10

Indigo bunting photo by Chere Coen

Indigo bunting photo by Chere Coen

Cardinal photo by Chere Coen

Cardinal photo by Chere Coen

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Poetry Friday is here today!  Post links in the comments!

Poetry Friday is here today! Post links in the comments!

This summer I have been participating in Tabatha Yeats’ Poem Swap. In writing a poem a week, I have been discovering threads in my writing. I love nature, not to be confused with a love of gardening. But I often look to nature for my poetry wisdom. I recently sent a group of poems to a contest. I titled the group “Among the Oaks.” When I walk in my neighborhood, I look to nature for inspiration, everything from the water of the bayou to the birds in the trees, and, of course, the trees themselves. When Tabatha sent me my 4th name, I was thinking, “OK, this time I will write something for that person.” But the poem turned out to be another nature poem. I give up. This is where my pen wants to move, so I will follow it.

A poet friend once told me, “Write a poem every week and by the end of the year, you have 52 poems. A whole manuscript!” I have not put together a whole manuscript of poems. I’m frankly scared to think about it. Perhaps I can follow this nature thread to a whole book? Then I fear the inspiration will end. Hah, you thought you knew what you were doing. Nope, not yet.

I have gotten so much inspiration and encouragement from this Poetry Friday community. We seem to have unwritten rules of respect and appreciation. Since many of you will stop in today to link up, I just wanted to thank you. Thanks for reading, commenting, encouraging, and being a lover of poetry.

Neighborhood Oaks photo collage by Margaret Simon

Neighborhood Oaks photo collage by Margaret Simon

I took these pictures in my neighborhood. It had rained the night before, so the resurrection fern was full and green. The moss was particularly shiny and wiggling in the wind. The title came first, which is seldom the case. It came from a statement my father made about a heron on his dock, “She is queen of all she surveys.” I loved the line and thought how it would apply to the live oak. The poem did not come as easily, and I am still not completely satisfied. It started off much more prose-like. I cut words, moved stanzas around. All this work ended up taking me to the same place a few other poems have this summer, to the idea of the mother, the mother in nature that loves us unconditionally and protects us always.

(I want to thank Tabatha for her suggestion for this poem’s ending. I have made these changes. See what I mean about a supportive and helpful community?)

What threads do you see in your poetry? How do you follow or resist these threads?

She is Queen of all She Surveys

Mother oak stands
for generations,
her long arms
clothed in fern,
open and green.

Here the mockingbird
defends her nest, squawking
at the passing squirrel.
Hanging moss wiggles grey fingers,
tickling the wind.

I want to live here
in her branches
among the birds
nestled in fern,
swaying, free,
still holding on to my mother
with tight fists.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Father Goose is here with light verse poems from the new online Light Quarterly today from his perch in the treehouse at the FATHER GOOSE Blog

Matt has a poem about George.

Myra at Gathering Books continues with her Loss, Heartbreak, and Coming of Age bimonthly theme with Frida Kahlo’s letter to Marty McConnell.

Mary Lee Hahn has a poem about habits at A Year of Reading.

At Random Noodling, Diane Mayr has an illustrated poem that she wrote to send to a Summer Poem Swap partner. Kurious Kitty is looking at snakes today with a poem by Margaret Atwood. KK’s Kwotes has a quote by Frances Clarke Sayers.

Laura Shovan has a tree poem today, too. Hers is told from the point of view of a fifth grader with learning differences. Author Amok

Tara was inspired by an exhibition of Georgia O’Keefe’s leaves at A Teaching Life.

Tabatha Yeats at The Opposite of Indifference is writing about sirens and their irresistible songs.

Liz Steinglass is writing about nature, too, observing herself observing the natural world.

Carol at Carol’s Corner is sharing Bob Raczka’s seasons series and even giving away a book!

Robin Hood Black has an August poem by Albert Garcia.

Today at The Poem Farm, Amy has a small how-to poem and a visit from Margy Grosswendt. She tells about her recent travels to Bosnia where she volunteered in an orphanage and shared creative movement exercises with the children there.

Mandy joins in at Enjoy and Embrace Learning with a Hello original poem.

Steven Withrow has an original poem at Crackles of Speech, Chain Rhyme for Goldilocks.

Violet Nesdoly has a review of a friend’s chapbook, Humble Fare.

Anastasia posted a small poem about a large number of steps.

MM Socks has royalty on the mind with an original poem “Playing King.”

A short poem by Richard Brautigan entitled April 7, 1969 is on the menu at the Florian Cafe.

Semicolon Sherry has some thoughts on the Korean poems called Sijo, and on Linda Sue Park’s book called Tap Dancing on the Roof.

Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe has a reentry poem about the joy of 5-year-olds and a little dip-your-toes-in original.

Keri at Keri Recommends is sharing a poem gift from noodle-icious Diane Mayr for the Summer Poem Swap.

Joy Acey is waving to us from the top of a wavy poem at Poetry for Kids Joy.

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