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Posts Tagged ‘small poems’

“I have no news to tell you, for the days are all the same, I have no ideas, except to think that a field of wheat or a cypress is well worth the trouble of looking at close up, and so on.” – Vincent van Gogh

Red Berries after the Rain by Margaret Simon

Waiting for the rain to stop to take my daily walk, I looked out the kitchen window and saw these berries, made redder by the low light and wetness. I’ve been trying out photography lately with a camera I’ve had stored away. I wrote a Slice about it on Tuesday.

Here is an invitation to write a small poem, one of noticing something new or something old in new light. Write a small poem in the comments and take a moment to read other poems. Leave encouraging comments. I hope you are all enjoying a peaceful Thanksgiving. It may look different this year, but it is still a time to give thanks. And my thanks go out to all of you who stop by my little corner of the world.

Within the walls
of rainy days,
some things still sing
Praise.
Listen harder.

Margaret Simon, draft

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And now for something completely different…
I’ve been raising monarchs. I’m still a novice, and so I joined a Facebook group, The Beautiful Monarch, to learn more. This video was posted by Claire Holzner. It was created by her brother who videoed the first flight of many monarchs. Meditate on the video and scratch a small poem into your notebook.

Share your experience with the meditation and your resulting draft. Comment on other writers with encouraging words.

There is drama
in the first moments
of flight,
like the sudden cry
of an infant
born.

Margaret Simon, draft

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When we write poems to a photo, we enter a process of collaboration. A meeting between the photographer and the poet, the image and the words. In collaboration, one can have a conversation, an inquiry, or a conviction. Do your beliefs about the world come through in your poems? Are you communicating or responding? Are you participating or letting the muse take control?

I invite you to reflect on your process today as you write. Leave a small poem in the comments as well as a reflection of your thoughts. 

photograph by Molly Hogan

Perspective

The tracks rise to a point
on the horizon
disappearing into a mist.

We know
beyond the page,
the path goes on
and on.

Margaret Simon, draft

My reflection: Perspective is something an artist has to learn. If you draw two parallel lines, they must converge to give the impression of a continuing road. Our horizon line is not a finite place. The earth is round. When I think about this in a spiritual, metaphorical sense, I think of our own path through life. There is a mirage of an end, but there is always another turn to make.

Note to my readers: We are in the path of Hurricane Delta. School has been cancelled for today and tomorrow. We are preparing. We have a strong house (and a friendly generator named Sparky). I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

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I’m in my second week of teaching, and it’s going pretty well, despite the weather which has been churned up by Tropical Storm Beta. Dreaming of travel, I took notice of Paula Bourque’s pictures from Maine. She’s taking day-adventures with her husband. This was her message on Sunday:

Mornings are filled with meaningful lessons. They show me that everything changes and moves on. If I can embrace that, I can be open to new wonders and stop wishing for what was, to always be. Life is change.
Sunday sermon over.

Paula Bourque, Facebook post

Paula is the author of Spark! Quick Writes to Kindle Hearts and Minds in Elementary Classrooms. We met at NCTE last year when I was the “chair” of her round table session. She presented ways to use images to prompt quick writes in the classroom. So here I am, full circle, using one of her photos as a prompt for a quick write.

Sunrise at Gardiner Landing by Paula Bourque

Leave a small poem in the comments or jot one in your journal. If you share, please respond to other writers with encouraging words.

I would like to be remembered*
as someone who softened things
like the still, blue surface
of a lake at dawn.

Margaret Simon, draft
  • words from a Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote, “I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.”

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This weekend I was driving home from a trip to New Orleans for my grandson’s first birthday. On the drive I saw the sun shining from behind a cloud overlooking the tall sugarcane fields. Harvesting will start soon. I love the fall.


Sky speaks
with a strong voice,
Sprinkle your light
wherever you are.

Margaret Simon, draft

I invite you to write a small poem in the comments. Leave an encouraging comment for other writers. Experiment with words. Find a line; follow its lead.

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The weeks are beginning to speed up now that I am back at school. I have to rise early to have time for a walk, and today I was rewarded by the full moon setting.

Full Moon Setting September 2

Almost every morning since the pandemic started I vox with my friend Julieanne Harmatz. We met at NCTE years ago and have been friends ever since. Julianne lives in L.A., not LA (Louisiana). We often cross time zones with our messages. This morning I sent this picture to her, and she responded with the first line of this poem.

I have the same moon
reflecting off the ocean
in between the palm trees
connecting me
to you.

Margaret Simon, draft

I invite you to write a small poem in the comments. Leave an encouraging comment for other writers. Experiment with words. Find a line; follow its lead.

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This week’s photo comes from an art teacher whose specialty is photography. Jennifer Graycheck (click to read an article I wrote about her family for our local newspaper) is a young mother of two adorable children. Her talents at capturing and sharing her experiences add light and love to my social media feed. Recently her family took a beach trip. That’s an ironic statement when you live in South Louisiana. Our coastline is marshy with spider-leg inlets cut to allow for boats carrying fish and oil. Not many beaches to speak of.

Jennifer’s family took a Sunday day-trip to “The Point.” Cypremort Point is a local state park where many families have camps. The man-made beach is a far cry from white sands of Alabama and Florida. But Jennifer and her family did not let that stop them from having a safe and fun day together.

Lorelei’s mud bath by Jennifer Graycheck, all rights reserved

This photo of Jennifer’s daughter, Lorelei, may take you somewhere else, and that’s the point. Be creative. Imagine you are the child. What is she dreaming? Write a poem of 16 words or so. Be sure to comment on other writers with encouraging support.

Cajun Queen
senses sun in her soul
becomes one with the mud
whispers Follow me forever.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Free use, Library of Congress collection

This photo is from the G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection, a set of 22,000 glass and film photographs and negatives taken in what was then called Palestine (present day Israel and the West Bank) from 1898 to 1946. The picture is part of a “Bedouin wedding series” but the caption on the negative just reads, “The bride.” That’s it. The Bedouins roamed the region as nomads, so there are any number of places the photograph might have been taken over the course of two decades.

Library of Congress blog

Usually for the photo prompt I find a photo of my own or one from my Instagram or Facebook feed, but today I am using a photo from the Library of Congress. I signed up for emails from the Library of Congress blog, and this recent post made me want to know more.

Please write a small poem of 16 words or so in the comments and comment on other poems. I “found” a poem on the blog post. Maybe that’s cheating…

Still,
 eyes.
Those hands.
This woman knows work.
She is there
gazing into the future
hoping…

Margaret Simon, found poem

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Once again, I am inspired by Molly Hogan’s photography. She starts each day with a blank canvas, or what would have been once called an empty roll of film. And she opens her lens for discoveries and wonder.

This photo appeared last week in my Facebook feed. The whimsy of it grabbed me. Molly thinks the duckling is a common eider, not a duck we have in the deep south.

Please join me in writing a small poem today, inspired by this image. Leave your poem in the comments. Read other poems and comment. Come back to read any comments you receive. Here there is no judgement; we hold each other up.

Hello world! by Molly Hogan

Flip-flap!
Splish-splat!

I toddle
on my new legs,

just like
That!

Margaret Simon, flash draft

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Photographs fascinate me. How a beam of light can change a perspective. How switching to black and white (which can now be done with a click of a button) can focus on a single aspect.

My friend and writing group partner, Molly Hogan, loves taking photos in the early morning. I love the morning, too, but in Maine, I imagine mornings are quite cold. Molly embraces the cold and manages to capture amazing detail in her photographs. She often posts photos on her blog and will write a poem to them. For a treat, click on over and scroll.

This week she posted this photo on Facebook. It’s dandelion season and for Molly, that means lots of photo study of the fascinating flower. In this photo, she took a close up of the dandelion with dew still present and shifted it to black and white. The effect is perfect for a poem or two.

Dandelion by Molly Hogan, used with permission.

We are all stardust
making our way
to sparkling.

Margaret Simon, draft

Leave your own small poem in the comments. Please respond to other writers. We are all in this together.

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