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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
watching.

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,

wonder
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.

window-2

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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NPM2016

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

Sword
Leaves
Flowers
Delicate
Open only a day
Walk across the garden to you.

African irisNew
blooms
daily
butterfly
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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Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Lake Martin sunset

Lake Martin sunset

2015ProgressivePoem (1) copy

Today is my turn to add a line to the Kidlit 2015 Progressive Poem. When I volunteered to do this, I chose day 12 knowing that the poem would already have an established meter and theme, and I’d just have to keep it rocking along. This year the poem is free verse which is comfortable to me. It also ended up in the cypress swamp right down the street from me here in South Louisiana. I am posting a few pictures from a fall canoe trip to Lake Martin, St. Martinville, LA, which is a natural bird conservatory and cypress swamp. We can imagine our mermaid here.

Yesterday, Kim gave some grandmotherly advice to our maiden as she glides through the water. I added in my One Little Word and my blog title to complete the metaphorical advice. I was thinking of this photograph by my friend, Marjorie Pierson (cousin to my husband), who is using her fine art photography to promote saving the wetlands. Her image makes dewdrops look like jewels. If you need images to help you when adding your own line, I suggest flipping through the slides on her site.

As I pass this on to Doraine at Dori Reads, I wonder if we will stay in the swamp. Does she have a friend in the trees? Perhaps an egret or a roseate spoonbill? Does she have a friend in an alligator or nutria? I wonder where this poem is going. That is the joy of a progressive poem. You must send her out in the wild like this mermaid.

She lives without a net, walking along the alluvium of the delta.
Shoes swing over her shoulder, on her bare feet stick jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing at the ends of bare brown arms. Her hair flows,
snows in wild wind as she digs in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval cuffed bracelet,
strokes the turquoise stones, and steps through the curved doorway.

Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide… splash!
She glides past glossy water hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,

listens to the ibises roosting in the trees of the cypress swamp–
an echo of Grandmother’s words, still fresh in her windswept memory.

Born from the oyster, expect the pearl.
Reach for the rainbow reflection on the smallest dewdrop.

Follow the progress below:

1 Jone at Check it Out

2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog

6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson

8 Irene at Live Your Poem

9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository

10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

11 Kim at Flukeprints

12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine at DoriReads

14 Renee at No Water River

15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town

17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog

18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro

19 Linda at Teacher Dance

20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots

21 Tara at A Teaching Life

22 Pat at Writer on a Horse

23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy

24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference

26 Brian at Walk the Walk

27 Jan at Bookseedstudio

28 Amy at The Poem Farm

29 Donna at Mainely Write

30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Canoeing through the trees in Lake Martin.

Canoeing through the trees in Lake Martin.

Today is DigiLit Sunday, a link up of blogs using digital literacies in the classroom. If you are joining in for DigiLit Sunday or Digital Poetry, please link up your post below.

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Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Join the roundup with Amy at The Poem Farm.

Join the roundup with Amy at The Poem Farm.

An invitation:  Many bloggers in the kidlitosphere are celebrating National Poetry Month with all sorts of special projects.  Jama has a roundup of them here.  I invite you to post on Twitter with #digipoetry.  What is digipoetry?  Well, anything poetry.  If you write your poems on a blog, that’s digital.  If you use an app, digital.  If you post on FB, digital.  So anyone is welcome to join.  The hashtag came about because of a tweet from Leigh Anne (@Teachr4) who simply asked me and a few other Slice of Life bloggers, “What are your plans for April?”  We didn’t want to be any more specific with this invitation.  No challenge involved.  You don’t even have to write a poem every day.  You can post student work, your work, or somebody’s inspiration.  All passionate poets welcome.

Thistle bee

Thistle bee

I have been playing around with taking video and writing a poem.  Yesterday I posted a serious poem.  Today, it’s lighter with a little bee dance.

Pollinate
Propagate
Cultivate
Bees buzz in
Carry dust into the wind
So Life goes on…

-Margaret Simon

 

 

 

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Join the Poetry Friday Round-up at Life on the Deckle Edge with Robyn Hood Black.

Join the Poetry Friday Round-up at Life on the Deckle Edge with Robyn Hood Black.


Due to Robyn’s shoulder injury (Get well quick, Robyn.), Irene Latham has taken on the roundup today at Live your Poem.

Cicada molting animated-2.gif
Cicada molting animated-2” by T. Nathan Mundhenk – Edited version of File:Cicada molting animated.gif. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Taken by T. Nathan Mundhenk, in Centerville, Ohio USA July 30 2007. Each frame taken at 1 minute intervals. 30 minute gap in middle while cicada rested. The Cicada takes about 2 hours to complete the process.

This week was my first week back with my students. We read about bioluminescence of fireflies on Wonderopolis. This got me thinking about another insect, one that is loud at this time of year, the cicada. We read together two poems from The Poetry Friday Anthology of Science, Cicada Magic by Heidi Mordhorst and Cicada by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. We discussed the literary elements of imagery, rhyme, and personification. Then we wrote our own Cicada poems. Mine came out as an ode. One student’s response, “You’ve gotta love an ode!”

Ode to the Cicada

Your buzzy song rises
with the temperature.
Heat fans your wings
that saw the air
with sound.
You shed your exoskeleton
like a chrysalis
emerging larger and uglier
leaving behind a prize,
an ornament hanging on a tree,
a bronze clasp pen for my lapel.
Oh, cicada,
the memory of happy summer days
waiting, wondering,
whispering in wind’s ear
your creaky violin.
–Margaret Simon, all rigths reserved

This video is a quick look at the clouds outside with cicadas singing.

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