Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 

DSC00205

Paper Whites, Margaret Simon

For the next few weeks, blogger-friends and I will be posting about the spiritual aspects of our chosen words for 2016.  This week we are writing about Carol Varsalona’s word, Believe.

I took this picture of paper whites blooming in my front yard this week.  When I see flowers blooming, I believe deeper in the true magic of life.  I didn’t plant these flowers, and yet, every year they pop up and show their little white star-like faces. They shine.  Wake me up. Make me Believe.

I encouraged my students to create an acrostic with their words.  An acrostic is when you use the letters of the word as the beginning letter for each line of the poem.  Sounds easy enough, so I decided to write one with the word Believe.   In my notebook I wrote about 3 half-possibilities.  Each one kept sounding sappy.

But Believe is not a sappy word.

Believe is a strong word,
a word that holds on for dear life,
never letting you completely fall,
Believe buoys you up,
especially when troubles want to push you down.

Believe is a word you can count on,
holding its own weight.
Trusting in you to show up
when the sun is rising,
be ready for this new day.

Believe is a certain word,
proud yet humble,
a handkerchief that your grandmother stitched
calmly drying your tears,
then showing you the stars.
Believe believes in you.

–Margaret Simon

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

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

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

 

I’m reading a new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I’m not sure where I read about this book.  I know Leigh Anne is reading it, and so is Catherine.  So here’s the thing: If there’s a group of us reading this book who want to chat, we could start a virtual book club.  We could chat in Voxer or Google Docs.  If you want to join in, email me at margaretsmn at gmail.

Four years ago I jumped into publishing and put out a middle-grade novel, Blessen.  At the time, I found an old diary that told me I’ve wanted to be an author all my life.   Notice my expectation as a teenager that maybe confidence came from someone else.

"I would love to be a writer if only someone would give me confidence!"

“I would love to be a writer if only someone would give me confidence!”

If growing up has taught me anything, it’s that confidence comes from courage that comes from your. own. self.  No one else can give it to you.

Elizabeth Gilbert says she lives in fear everyday.

Creativity is a path for the brave, yes, but it is not a path for the fearless, and it’s important to understand the distinction.

Fear will always show up when you are trying to be creative.  You can tell it to go away.  But it’s always there.  I love that this great author is telling me this.

I’ve grown to cherish this blogging space because I feel safe here.  Whoever you are, reading and leaving me kind comments, you are my angels.  You help me feel like my words are worthwhile and mean something.

Since my OLW is present, I am showing up.  I’ll listen for the muse, the magician, whatever his name is and answer with a yeah, ok, let’s do this crazy creative thing together.

Being present this past weekend, my husband and I visited Lake Martin for the sunset on the way to our dinner/ dancing date.  It was not the best of all sunsets.  I got my boots muddy.  But we showed up.  With a little magic from the lens and Picmonkey, I created an inspiring image.  On Sunday, I wrote a tanka for the image.  And I am sharing it here.  Kicking fear to the curb!  See ya!

 

Photo and poem by Margaret Simon

Photo and poem by Margaret Simon

Read Full Post »

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

When my student Vannisa wanted to write a fall poem, she looked to the skies. She wrote this poem including the science of meteor showers that occur in fall.

As We Fall

As we fall into winter,
the weather chills
and the leaves come down.
They fill the ground with
a fiery red
and blazing orange.

As we fall into winter,
we can no longer watch fireworks
like 4th of July,
but we can watch
the shooting stars of
Orionids and Leonids
and watch the days get shorter
until Spring comes back again.
–Vannisa

She had a blog comment on her poem asking her more about the Orionids. When she was looking for something to research for her Wonder of the Week, I suggested the meteor shower. Each week I have my students use Wonderopolis to read nonfiction and respond by writing about what they learned. They then have the option to create a class presentation using technology.

Vannisa had to expand her research beyond Wonderopolis and this was my intent all along, that some little spark would send my students into real, authentic research.

Click the image to view the Emaze.

Click the image to view the Emaze.

Know: Orionids is a meteor shower that occurs in late October. A shooting star is a meteor and not an actual star. The name for the shower is Orionids because most of the comets will be toward the constellation Orion.

Wonder: What Causes a Shooting Star?, Where Is the Big Dipper?, How Many Stars Are In The Sky?

Learned: A meteor is formed from rock that burns up in Earth’s atmosphere, causing it to look like a streak of light in the sky. A piece of a meteor is called a meteorite. The Big Dipper is mostly referred to as a constellation, but it’s actually an asterism. Our galaxy has about 200 billion to 400 billion star. Scientist predict that there are 100 billion to 200 billion galaxies in the universe. Based on the latest estimates, astronomers guess that there are 300 sextillion stars in the universe which is 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That is 1 billion times 1 billion times 3!

Burning Question: How did they find out how many stars there are?
https://www.emaze.com/@AICIROTW/orionids

Days when learning and creativity come together I realize the true joy of discovery. I strive to give my students the open door that will lead them on their own journey of learning, not down a path I have designed, but one they have chosen. It doesn’t happen every day. But with Vannisa and her spark of interest in meteor showers, these two paths converged and made meaningful learning. Through blogging, she was able to share it with others. Win. Win.

Add your own Digital Literacy posts here:

Read Full Post »

Poetry on a Postcard

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

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

aa-mary-oliver

Margaret,
Have you ever dipped your toes
into the ocean,
only to feel the sting of the
past?

Some memory–some history–
Some love or loss that
floats beneath the surface.

And while we marvel at its beauty,
we wince in the pain
of that which had once been
forgotten.

–Kevin

Kevin,
Sometimes a postcard comes
in the mailbox, the rusty squeaky
hinge of it wakes you up.

This card holds a gift
and a piece of your heart
you didn’t even know was there.

You cry. Then smile,
marveling at the power of
words to totally change
your mood.

Thanks,
Margaret

Kevin’s post about this postcard project is here.

Jellyfish postcard

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Carol.

Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Carol.

I have joined the summer PD of CLMooc. Feeling my way through, I have found that poetry inspires many. Poetry is a way we can express our identity. The first make cycle prompted us to “unintroduce” ourselves. Some have taken the prompt to unidentify yourself and made poetry. One participant made a black out poem of the initial email. Another instigated a poem in response to Charleston.  This community is responsive, reflective, and real.

Michelle Stein posted this prompt:
“Please follow this link and add your verse if you feel so inclined. My unmake follows these steps. Please do the same when adding your verse.
1. Randomly choose a word for each letter in your name.
2. Add a verse to this narrative poem, using each word you have chosen as the focus of a sentence.
3. Revel in the awesomesauce that is CLMOOC.”

Being one who is attracted to poetic prompts, I gave this one a try. I made a private deal with myself that I would use the first word that came to mind. This created a random word list.

Margaret

Mystic
Appetite (I must be hungry, as usual.)
Reservoir
Give
Astrology
Ring
Even
Trial

In the mystical distance,
an appetite for goodness makes
the reservoir of kindness grow.
Give your heart to life.

Astrology tells us that stars are wise.
Those rings of Saturn resonate light.
Even the universe proclaims pure joy.
No matter the trial, I show up. Ready.

Image made on LunaPic with pixabay free graphic of Saturn.

Image made on LunaPic with free graphic of Saturn.

Read Full Post »

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

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

Summer Sounds

Someone’s cutting grass.
The scent of it travels
on the afternoon wind
carrying a hint of coming rain.

Cicada sounds
rhythmically rise.
Beat of an outboard motor
bayou riding.

In the distance,
children squeal,
a baseball bat
tings the ball.
Cheers!

Mr. Mockingbird
tries on different personalities,
a long trill
of tweet-a-tweet tweet.
Then short staccato notes.

Take time to listen
to summer’s sound.
Slow down.
Sit around.
Sip some tea,
and just be.

–Margaret Simon

June Photo-a-day challenge from Kim Douillard at Thinking through my Lens. #sdawpphotovoices

Day 1: Awkward
I met this squirrel at a neighbor’s house. He was just sitting on the chair eating corn. When I went to take his picture, he turned as if to say, “What cha’ doin?”

Awkward squirrel

Awkward squirrel

Day 2: Beach
I don’t live near a beach. But the bayou is in my backyard, so I switched the B word to bayou.

Enjoying the bright red mandevilla blooms.

Enjoying the bright red mandevilla blooms.

Summer brings more boat traffic to the bayou.

Summer brings more boat traffic to the bayou.

Read Full Post »

lake

 

Sometimes on the lake in June
white pelicans fly in together
and you get out the camera.
Then they turn as a drumline in step,
swim away swiftly in a cloud.

Sometimes on the lake in June
a lone blue heron fishes.
Sly step, long beak held high,
drinking in the sunlight.
A small boat passes by
lines thrown out,
catching nothing.

Sometimes on the lake in June,
I wake before dawn,
put the coffee on,
Sometimes Dad will join me
silent, reading the daily news.
Mom comes in pleased to have fresh coffee.
We sit on the porch, quiet
content to be together
on the lake in June.

My parents live on a lake in Mississippi.  I am anticipating my annual visit in June. This poetry exercise can be found in Kate Messner’s 59 Reasons to Write.

Diane is hosting today at Random Noodling.

Diane is hosting today at Random Noodling.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »