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Posts Tagged ‘#poemsofpresence’

Nature never ceases to amaze me. Amanda Potts shares photos on her Instagram feed of nature through a close-up lens. When I don’t have a photo of my own to share, I know I can turn to hers. Like me, she walks every day. Me in South Louisiana and she in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada…a world apart. Yet there are dragonflies here and there. This week’s photos (I couldn’t pick just one) come from her Instagram feed. Follow her.

Photo by Amanda Potts
Photo by Amanda Potts

Tessellation wing
an intricate map open
to wonder windows.

Margaret Simon, haiku draft

Write a small poem in the comments and leave encouraging comments to other writers. Above all, relax and let words flow.

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My middle daughter’s son, my middle grandchild, turned 2 yesterday. “Mamoo” (his version of Mamére) bought a set of bubbles and wands for his family birthday party. It’s fascinating when a child learns to blow bubbles. Often the blow is too fast for the bubble to form. The bubble set came with a variety of instruments for making bubbles. I hit the Walmart $5 Jackpot with this set. “Tuffy” (the nickname Thomas gave to himself) was able to blow more slowly through the pipe and watch the bubble form. This helped him blow with the wand. Bubble success! Then he was on to something else.

I, however, stayed focused on getting a photo of a bubble. I am posting the best of the bunch. I find the colors magical.

Photo by Margaret Simon

There is a rainbow
of magic
inside a bubble
blown by a boy
learning
to blow.

Margaret Simon, draft

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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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The world continues to spin out of control. We feel like we can’t hold on. If it’s not the rise of Covid cases, it’s the earthquake and storm in Haiti. If it’s not the political discord, it’s Afghanistan. There is little we can do, literally.

So let’s turn to this image from our friend-teacher-blogger Ruth Hersey’s. Ruth lives and teaches in Haiti. She made it home safely from a summer trip to the states only to be faced with political upheaval and an earthquake. Ruth is thankfully safe. Every day she posts a photo response to a daily prompt. She posted this beauty on Facebook. It’s an image that speaks of the beauty found in the tragedy. The petals are from the flamboyant tree (poinciana).

Ruth is also posting daily updates about Haiti and organizations that are on the ground doing good work. Check her FB page. For another way to donate to vetted organizations on the ground, click here for CNN’s Haiti Earthquake Relief.

Flamboyant tree by Ruth Hersey

Your flames still burn bright
petals fall, confetti-tears
after the party

Margaret Simon, draft

Write a small poem in the comments. Share encouraging words for other writers. Donate to Haiti, if you are able.

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Today is my 60th birthday. I gasp when I see that. Sixty years is a long time! I share my birthday with two sisters I met right here, connecting through blogging, Linda Mitchell and Julieanne Harmatz. Happy Birthday to you, too!

This week’s photo is a fun one. I found it on Instagram, posted by Trina Bartel, another fellow blogger. She tells me it was taken at Bergsbaken Farms in Wisconsin.

(The photo) is from a sunflower farm in a tiny town in Cecil, WI (NE WI). It’s a huge field of sunflowers that you can visit for a suggested donation of 2 dollars each. There are props (like the bike) that you can take photos with. The bike is on the edge of a huge sunflower field. It is at the entrance. This sunflower farm is about 3-4 years old. I believe it was created as a way to generate money for a struggling family farm.

Trina Bartel (click to follow on Instagram)
Blue bike on Sunflower Farm by Trina Bartel

A bouquet of sunflowers
in a basket just for you
sing “Happy Birthday!”

Margaret Simon, draft

Please join me today by writing a small poem in the comments. Try to respond to others with encouraging words. Thanks for being here. I love you all!

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I’ve noticed recently on my morning walks that the crepe myrtle trees are doing something weird, shedding their bark. Surely this is something they do yearly, but I’ve never noticed it. Of course, I googled it.

As all Crepe Myrtles grow and mature, they shed last year’s bark, revealing a colorful, mottled bark beneath. Once the tree has reached full maturity, several years after planting… you are in for a real show. Sit back and enjoy the unique texture and coloration that shows up on their wood once the bark is shed. Because the Crepe Myrtle is a deciduous tree, it sheds all its leaves during the winter, leaving behind the beautiful bark on the tree which makes it a centerpiece in many winter landscapes.

McDonald Garden Center Blog

I took a few pictures with my phone, but I wasn’t satisfied with the artistry of the photos. So I text my friend, teacher-photographer Lory Landry.

“Do you have any good pictures of the peeling bark of crepe myrtles? I love how you see things and photograph them with an artistic eye.”

“I don’t think so. If I knew where some were off hand, I could take some.”

Not a full hour later, she texted me 8 close ups. I had a hard time choosing. This was our next exchange.

Crepe Myrtle Bark by Lory Landry.
On Instagram @leauxlandry

When Sun warms Earth,
Myrtle knows to shed her skin
and show her inside beauty.

Margaret Simon, draft

Leave a small poem in the comments. Be kind in your response to others. Share your inside beauty.

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Joining a community of writers responding to
open invitation no. 59 at
Sharing Our Stories Magic.

You know how sometimes without any prompting from you a “memory” pops up on your phone, a photo that you’d totally forgotten about and most often, enjoy seeing again. Jogging a memory of another time and place. But I’ve noticed when it comes to flowers, the memories are a repeated vision of the flower I took a picture of yesterday. That happened to me twice this week. Blooming seems so miraculous and random and something we have little control over. It just happens. There is consistency in the blooming of a flower. They come back around again.

This week I took a picture of this amazing gladiola. I shared a small poem in response on my Instagram.

This May morning
shows its gladiola heart
sipping summer sun.
Margaret Simon, #haiku #poemsofpresence

I found a similar photo in my phone album from a year ago. Last year during lock down when I was walking every day.

On Monday, I heard a call for poems from Kwame Alexander on NPR. He creates crowdsourced poems based on small poems people send in. This week’s prompt was from Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise.” I wrote and sent in this small poem.

Still, I rise
with the sun
following a path
through watermint
where the scent 
fills me.

Still, I rise
to feel her gentle kicks
inside a waterwomb
knowing love grows
from my seed.

Still, I rise
to watch ducklings
drop to waterglory
following Mama hen
through fervent streams.  

Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

So I rise each day for a walk. I take photographs of flowers again and again. I will keep taking photos of flowers. Why not? They make me happy!

This Canna Lily came back after the big freeze. I take a picture of it every year.
Gardenia is my favorite scent. I’ve been unsuccessful at the growing of a gardenia bush.
For now, I enjoy cut ones in a vase in the church hall.

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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.
Black-bellied whistling duck on top of the wood duck nest box.

Through the magic of a Ring doorbell camera, we are watching the wood duck nestbox in our backyard on the bayou. During the months of March and April, we had a reliable wood duck hen sitting on a clutch of 14 eggs. On April 15th, 13 ducklings, barely 24 hours old, jumped out of the nestbox into the bayou. And off they went.

We’ve had a wet spring, so the bayou has been high. My husband pulled a canoe up to the nestbox, tied it there, and climbed a stepladder to clean out the nestbox. The next day we had shoppers, new wood duck couples swimming by, poking around.

We thought we had a new hen sitting. Day by day a hen would fly into the house and lay an egg. She seemed to start the incubation a week ago; however, her sitting was erratic. There one day, gone the next.

A few days ago, I noticed a larger, louder duck inside the wood duck house. Invaders! Squatters! Thieves! The ducks were what we call Mexican Squealers or Black-bellied whistling ducks. This duck is larger, with a bright orange bill, long legs, and a loud squeal. Two of them. How did they get in? Why? Did they lay an egg? It was actually hilarious to watch these ducks try to get back out of the house. Lots of noisy squealing and legs scrambling.

Since this incident, the hen has come back and settled in. She doesn’t leave as often and for as long. Maybe we can start counting days. We’ll see. Nature is not predictable. Even an innocent nestbox is not always peaceful.

You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@margaretgsimon) for updates on the wood duck house. On Twitter during May I am posting #poemsofpresence. Here’s the poem-of-the-day for Monday.

Rainy grey Monday,
Watching new wood duck tenant
nestle for sitting.

Margaret Simon, #poemsofpresence

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This photo was not taken today. Today I am waking up to more rain after all night thunderstorms. But last week one morning was glorious. The sunrise lit up the cypress and oaks and sent a line of light down the bayou. I try again and again to capture this morning light in a photograph or a poem. Anything I try is an imperfect approximation.

Morning sunrise on the bayou, Margaret Simon

How many ways
does the sun rise?

How many days
are you alive
to bathe your face

in light?

Margaret Simon, quick draft

Consider writing with me today. Leave a small poem in the comments and post encouraging words for other writers. Join me on Twitter with #poemsofpresence.

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Leo, my 2 year old grandson, likes to scroll through my photo library. Mostly he wants to watch videos. Janet Fagel, a fellow poet grandmother, posted a picture on Facebook that I downloaded to use today. When Leo scrolled by this photo, he wanted to “play” it. I had to explain that it wasn’t a video. Beyond the idea that we are raising a new generation, a group of littles who know how to tap a screen and make it do things, I was fascinated by his fascination with this image. What did his little eyes see?

Later as we were walking in the garden, he tried to put a flower behind his ear. I placed it there for him and set the phone to selfie so he could see what he looked like. Phone as mirror.

Dandelion bow, photo by Janet Fagel

When I wear my unicorn dress,
and a dandelion for a hairbow,
I can be whatever I want to be.

Margaret Simon, with a nod to Cinderella, my favorite childhood movie

Please leave a small poem in the comments. Consider joining #PoemsofPresence on Twitter for the month of May. Encourage other poets with your comments here and there.

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