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Posts Tagged ‘small poems’

After hurricanes and weeks and weeks of heat, things in the deep south are finally feeling like fall. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Surprisingly not for the colorful foliage of today’s image, but for the scents in the air. Here in Louisiana, the sweet olive blooms. The satsuma ripens, and the sugarcane is harvested. A plethora of scent-sations. And don’t get me started on gumbo. If someone is making a roux, you can smell it for miles around.

This photo comes from the Northwest where my blogging friend Ramona Behnke lives and writes at Pleasures from the Page. We do not get this kind of color here. Most of our trees are live oaks and pines that stay green and cypress trees that drop brown fuzzies. But I do love a good photograph of fall leaves.

Fall leaves by Ramona Behnke

If the trees could play
a melody the wind
would sing, we’d know
the secrets of the song
and blend with
harmony.

Margaret Simon, draft

Write a small poem in the comments. Let the muse take you where it will. I have no idea where my little poem came from. Writing is like that, mysterious and magical in so many ways. Be sure to come back and write encouraging comments to each other. I love it when someone sees something in my poem in a new and different way than I did.

Today is the National Day on Writing, an initiative of NCTE and National Writing Project. Use the hashtag #WhyIWrite.

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Summer is hot, no matter where you live, and the best way to beat the heat is to play in the water. This photo is sure to cool you off. It’s from Lisa Davis’s Instagram feed. Lisa was the site director for the National Writing Project at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA. (pronounced Nak-a-dish) She is currently retired (I think) and enjoying being a grandmother. I couldn’t resist her post of her granddaughter dancing in the sprinkler.

Dancing Girl, photo by Lisa Davis

Is it possible
to fall in love with a day?
Joy
catches me in its spray!

Margaret Simon, draft

Add your flash draft of a small poem in the comments. Return to give feedback to others who write. Thanks for stopping by!

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Welcome to a weekly writing prompt. The steps are easy, if you choose to try them. Listen to your muse. Write a small poem in the comments. Leave encouraging responses to other writers. This is a safe and sacred place to write. Begin.

Butterweed by Margaret Simon. I took this photo on my iPhone using the app Camera+ 2.
Cypress knee with butterweed, photo by Margaret Simon

I took these photos in my backyard on Bayou Teche in Louisiana. These are wild flowers known as butterweed that grow before my yard man (husband) has a chance to mow. Sometimes he will mow around them because he knows I love them. They offer a bright spot in a winter yard of bare cypress trees and brown lawn. Here’s a bit of research I found.

Weary of its winter bed
bursts of yellow whisper
secrets of Eos.*

Margaret Simon, draft *Goddess of dawn

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One of the bloggers I follow is Kim Douillard who lives on the west coast of California. She takes beautiful photographs and posts a “Silent Sunday” photo each week on her blog, Thinking Through My Lens. Last Sunday I was fascinated by the beach labyrinth in her photo. I thought about the impermanence of it, how the ocean will eventually wash it away. Like the Tibetan monks who create sand mandalas. The creation is the prayer.

Image by Kim Douillard

Please write a small poem reflecting on the photograph. Write encouraging comments to other writers.

Footsteps mark
lines….
…..eternity

Margaret Simon, a pi-ku

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“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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