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Posts Tagged ‘#Poetrypals’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura Purdie Salas at Small Reads for Brighter Days.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer. As an introvert, swimming was a sport I could do. But the flip turn alluded me. I gave up when competitions required a flip turn.

My oldest daughter swam competitively from 7th to 12th grade. Our lives were consumed with practice and meets.

When Sarah Donovan of Ethical ELA put out a call for sports poems, I drew on these experiences and wrote a duplex poem about swimming, First Heat. The poem was accepted and is now published alongside Inklings Heidi Mordhorst and Linda Mitchell, as well as admired authors like Nikki Grimes, Laura Shovan, and Padma Venkatraman. You can purchase a copy of Rhyme & Rhythm: Poems for Student Athletes at Archer Publishing’s website.

The Poetry Sisters challenge this month was to write a tanka in conversation with another sister’s poem. I chose Heidi’s poem from Rhyme & Rhythm, Cleatless about dancing.

My feet didn’t beat
until they stepped in time with
yours, right-together-

right, left-together-left two
step, twirl face-to-face with you.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections

For the end of the month Poetry Sisters challenge, Mary Lee posted this call to write deeper wisdom poems in the form of Jane Yolen’s What the Bear Knows. I recall a similar challenge from Michelle Barnes’ interview with Joyce Sidman on Today’s Little Ditty. I used this form in my book Bayou Song to write about the black-crowned night-heron.

(c) Margaret Simon, Bayou Song

photo by Henry Cancienne

To order a copy of Bayou Song: Creative Explorations of the South Louisiana Landscape, go to UL Press website.

On this anniversary of Hurricane Laura that devastated Lake Charles, Louisiana last year, we are once again bracing for a storm, Tropical Storm Ida that is predicted to come in around New Orleans as a Category 3 hurricane. We are preparing and watching news closely. Please keep us in your prayers. We know how to do this. I’ll post updates as I am able on Instagram/ Facebook. Thanks!

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Becky at Sloth Reads.

Two weeks in covid times is a lifetime, time enough for the Delta variant to quickly invade my territory. It has taken a few weeks for the CDC to catch up to this invasion and to adjust guidelines. From our own family’s experience we knew a few things before they did. The virus Can infect someone who is vaccinated. The virus Can be spread by vaccinated people. And the vaccine Does protect from grave illness. My 90 year-old mother-in-law was vaccinated in January and February. Two weeks ago she started coughing. She took a rapid antigen test that showed she was positive for Covid-19. Today she is fine. She’s back to swimming daily and has only an occasional cough lingering. No hospitalization was necessary. We aren’t even sure if her case was counted in the long run; however, in these last two weeks, CDC has taken an about-face. And we are glad they have.

In my anger over this viral outbreak, I wrote a villanelle for an Ethical ELA Open Write prompt. The Seven Poetry Sisters put out a villanelle challenge for this month, so I asked for critique from my writing group and revised. A villanelle is a challenging form. I used Rita Dove’s Testimony, 1968 as a jumping off place.

This poem is a jeremiad. (prolonged lamentation or complaint, originating from Jeremiah whose Biblical book is lamentations)

Delta Invasion

Who comforts me now that the virus has broken?
Numbers mean nothing now that you’re ill.
Anger invades my trust, hope lost or stolen.

We thought our lives safe to reopen,
but Delta arrived with its own stubborn will.
Who comforts me now? The virus has broken

through the vaccine’s promised protection.
Credence is shattered on CDC’s sill.
Anger invades my trust in hope; lost or stolen.

Safe, unsafe rules are misspoken
as dispersed droplets aim to kill.
Who comforts me now that the virus has broken?

Our lines of defense should be woken
to what we now know is out there still.
Anger crumbles trust as hope is lost or stolen.

Some still reject life-saving vaccination
yet your nagging cough didn’t kill
what comforts me now is the virus has broken
and relief restores trust. Hope not lost or stolen. 

Margaret Simon, 2021
Don’t trash those masks. Time to wear them again.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Linda at A Word Edgewise.

    Today I am posting with the “Poetry Sisters” (Tricia Stohr-Hunt, Sara Lewis Holmes, Kelly Ramsdell, Laura Purdie-Salas, Liz Garton Scanlon, and Andi Sibley) who challenged the Poetry Friday community to write zentangle poems. If you are unfamiliar with this form, check out this post by Kat Apel.

I have done zentangle before but I’ve never been satisfied with the results. I got a card in the mail from Jone MacCulloch along with a plaque print of her amazing collage response for our Spark exchange. Jone’s card inspired me to try again with a mentor to emulate.

Zentangle by Jone MacCulloch
From Preservation, Spring 2021
Object Lesson
dig
over
enslaved
pieces
a tea bowl
lives
on

This week I received a wonderful summer poem swap gift from Michelle Kogan. Michelle is a watercolor artist in Chicago. She saw posts from me about our wood duck nest boxes and “Jump Day.” I admit to teary eyes when I saw her painting and poem. So special. She sent me a print as well as a homemade notebook with the painting on the cover and poem on the back. I have been writing poems about the wood duck experience and now I have a special place to write them. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks!

I love how Michelle’s poem captures the essence of Joy we feel when we see the ducks jump from their nest box.

Summer Poem Swap is organized by Tabatha Yeatts

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