Posts Tagged ‘nature poetry’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Kay at A Journey Through the Pages.


I’ve had a lot of time lately to look out the window.  A hard freeze blew through the deep south, and gifted me with time alone at home on the bayou.  The winter bitter winds do not scare away the water wading birds.  They must be covered in some powerful down.  I’ve watched a particular blue heron, an occasional great white egret, and this morning, a family of wood ducks.

Watching the bayou inspires me to write poetry.  If you come by my blog often, you know this is my ongoing topic.  My blog title, Reflections on the Teche, is informed by the Bayou Teche (pronounced “Tesh”)

Taking a picture of a blue heron is nearly impossible.  They respond to any human activity with flight.  I painted a portrait of one a few years ago after a photo by Ralph Fletcher.  This painting now hangs in my parents’ dining room.

Blue heron painting by Margaret Simon


Heron Watching

I stand still
at the window

Take in slow breath.
No need to pray
when seeing this heron.

He perches,
head down,
beak pointed to

water’s surface
where the sun glimmers
like waves in old glass.

Is it a minnow,
mosquito, moth?
I focus on the horizon,

what his patience
invites me to see?

Margaret Simon, 2018

My One Little Word for my writing life is Present.  I want to show up to the page every day.  I wrote a post for TeachWrite Chat Blog here. I made a Canva image of my goals for being present thinking of the heron in my backyard and his lessons of patience.


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Poetry Friday round-up is with Jan at BookSeedStudio


With the start of a new year, I am trying to write a poem a day, or, at the very least, some ramblings in my notebook.  I’m staying away from social media until I write.  But I do check my email.  I receive a poem-a-day from Jane Yolen.  (You can sign up here.)

Jane’s poem begins each stanza with “The lake sings… It sings of…”  Every day the bayou reflects the tone of the season.  This morning as I write, the wind has turned cold, so I hear the echo of the whipping wind through the trees and the wind chimes clinging.  On Jan. 6th when I wrote this poem, the bayou was still and calm.  The trees were reflected perfectly in the water.  The sun was warming the surface of the water.

Bayou Reflections, Jan. 6, 2018. M. Simon


The bayou sings of shadows,
reflections of trees
bare and still.

It sings of rising sun
warming a surface
of sky on water.

It sings of herons,
owls, mockingbirds,
a hawk flying high above.

But most of all,
the bayou
sings of peace.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved


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

At the lake, the Canada geese lead the parade
while the great blue looks on.

There is always something
happening at the lake.

Woodpecker tap, tap, tapping
on a hollow tree.

Mallard daddy duck pacing,
waiting for the ducklings to hatch.

Three men fishing
passing the time
in friendship

There are always turtles
out for some sun.

There are always reflections
of sky on water.

There is always peace
watching from the deck.

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National Poetry Month 2017

Find the round up of Spiritual Journey posts at Violet’s blog. Click the image.


These flowers appeared under the porch at Solomon House.  Volunteers vining from another plant about 10 feet away on the other side of the sidewalk.  There’s a line in a play my students perform about growing up at The Shadows, “We grow a flower called, ‘ham ‘n eggs.”  This is it.  See the pink ham and the golden egg yolk.  This flower is also a fractal, growing blossoms that look like tiny bouquets.

Today for Spiritual Thursday, we are writing around the theme of new life, spring, and Easter. I’ve been thinking about how we carry the spirits of our ancestors with us.  Like it or not, their lives influence ours.  We can see this as a gift or a curse.  We must be gentle with these spirits.


Pink lantana
sneaks under the porch
snakes through the dark earth
carrying the burden of a mother’s pain.

This fractal flower
springs forth surprising
the toes of the hungry and the poor,
lighting a path like grandmother’s Easter bonnet.

Don’t pick her blossoms.
They will sprinkle like confetti.
Just hold your gaze on her sunshine
remembering from whence she came.

–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.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.


From my window, I see a stately oak
and the bayou beyond
flanked by cypress knees
sticking up like toy soldiers.

Sometimes, a heron happens by
stealthily stalking a wayward minnow.

Sometimes, the sun beams down
in a spotlight directing my gaze
to the intricate design of trees.

And some days, I don’t have time
to look, watch, or listen,
But I know my bayou
is always near
keeping me grounded,
showing me faithfulness,
bringing me solace.

–Margaret Simon

This Slice/ Celebration idea came from Elsie.  She wrote “Outside my Window” for her Day 2 Slice of Life.

I’ve been on break all week.  Such a gift to be able to look outside, take walks with Charlie, and lunch with friends.  I celebrate this time to look out the window.


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One thing that helps me during this month of poetry discipline is forms. When I have something to say, words to use, form can help me with a placement that sometimes leads to wisdom or a nice image. Amy Rudd linked up to DigiLit Sunday yesterday reminding me of the Fib poem. This form is based on the mathematical Fibonacci sequence which begins with 1,1,2,3,5,8.

I came home from a quick weekend trip to find African iris blooming in the courtyard. I did not plant these. The prior owners did, so they delight and surprise me each year. I gathered words from a Google search and wrote two fibs.

African Iris Fibs

Open only a day
Walk across the garden to you.

African irisNew
wings, African grace
welcome me to this rainforest.

Follow the Progressive Poem to Irene's site Live your Poem.

Follow the Progressive Poem to Irene’s site Live your Poem.

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Discover. Play. Build.

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

twin oaks and sun

Today by Billy Collins

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

Read the rest here.

Today was just this kind of day. Open the doors and windows and let spring come in. The weather in South Louisiana has been incessant rain for two weeks. The sun finally came out. Every green thing is happy. The birds are happy. The dogs are happy.

dog walk in the park
This morning our local humane society, Angel Paws, had a dog walk in the park. Charlie loves other dogs. He enjoyed meeting new friends. He got a Cane’s kerchief and is wearing it still.

I watched a group of girls climb a huge live oak. I ran into friends and other children that I know. A great community event to enjoy a beautiful spring day.

tree climbers

I found this poem I wrote after Billy Collins in the spring of 2011. I have to say this is my favorite time of year.

Burst into Spring

**After Billy Collins, Today

If ever there was a spring day so perfect,
so stirred up by a cool crisp wind

that you wanted to breathe more often
to taste the wisteria blossoms,

and throw open all the doors,
lift them clear off the hinges,

a day so bright the pink azaleas
pop open like a birthday balloon bouquet,

seemed so delightful that you felt like
running naked among them,

released from all inhibitions taking flight
outstretched arms playing airplane,

so you could fly on steady wings
balanced for lift and drinking nectar,

yes, you can imagine it,
today is just that kind of day.

Yesterday my daughter was texting me pictures from New Orleans of an airplane painting words of hope in the sky. She told me it was a response to the unrest in Baltimore. We should all write our hope into the sky.

sky writing

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