Posts Tagged ‘#smallpoems #poemsofpresence’

On Christmas Eve, I was alone in Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans. Not alone in the sense that no one was there, but alone without my family in a strange church. My daughter and her husband were home with their new baby. My husband, his mother, and our other daughters’ families were celebrating together in New Iberia. But my soul wanted to be in church. Somehow my Episcopalianism made me feel drawn to the church on Christmas Eve. I admit, it was weird and lonely, and I hid well my tears inside. The music was familiar and kept me grounded. The priest was a woman whom I knew from my home church in Jackson, MS. This was her first Christmas Eve service as a Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana. This is my story.

I urge you to find your story of sanctuary. Where were you on Christmas Eve? Do you worship? Do you have a special place to find the Holy Spirit? I understand for some the church is not a safe place. Explore your own thoughts today. Leave a small poem in the comments. Be sure to encourage other writers for whomever they are, whatever they offer.

Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans, LA. photo by Margaret Simon


by human hands
open to wandering souls
most sacred, most holy
this alcove where prayers are hummed, flowing
from tearful, humble hearts
a refuge protected from prey
immunity offered
to evil suffered
a home, a hug, a harbor…sanctuary.

The form I used today is a definito created by my friend and fellow poet, Heidi Mordhorst:”the definito is a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.

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Let the photo inspire you to write. Leave a small poem in the comments.

We have had a string of rainy days here in South Louisiana. It happens most summers and helps to regulate the rising temperatures. Some days you feel as though you will never dry out. The air is wet. The ground is wet. Your body is wet.

The grass loves all this moisture and it grows and grows. In a nearby empty lot, the grass is almost as tall as I am. On a recent walk I stopped to look at it. Even the weeds of nature that grow out of control are beautiful. Nature is ongoing, reliably replenishing, and ever growing. Maybe your area of the world is hot and dry. Wash yourself in the lushness of the bayou side.

photo by Margaret Simon

Nature makes no demands.
Listen to the wind through the grass.
Earth’s song in harmony.

Modern haiku, Margaret Simon, draft

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This summer it has rained every day here in South Louisiana. The effects of climate change are here, warmer air, warmer oceans, more water vapor=more rain. We are waterlogged. However, the plants seem to love it. The trees are greener than ever, covered in resurrection fern that only turns green when it is wet. I’ve managed a daily walk between downpours. I took this picture yesterday of the bark on one of our oak trees.

Live Oak, photo by Margaret Simon

There’s imagery here, metaphor maybe? Find your own way into a small poem and leave it in the comments. Be sure to respond to other writers with encouraging words.

This old tree frosted
white with lichen brightens
a trail to fairy heaven

Margaret Simon, haiku draft

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One of our teacher-writer-blogger friends Leigh Anne Eck is on vacation in Florida. Don’t you just love a vacation photo that you can sink your dreams into?

Florida sunset by Leigh Anne Eck

found in a sea shell,
an open sky,
a moment

with you.

Margaret Simon, draft

Take a moment to muse about this photo. Write a small poem in the comments. You may share on social media with #ThisPhoto, #poemsofpresence and #smallpoems. Be sure to leave encouraging responses to other writers.

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So much can happen in a week. I took a photo last Wednesday, January 6th in the early morning before the sunrise. Capturing the moon peeking between the arms of an old oak tree, I was in a good mood. The week was going well, back to school after the holidays, and my spirits were lifted to the sky. Since that morning, my country that felt safe became unsettled and moving in a violent direction, attacked by American citizens, our own people, our neighbors. I’m struggling with how to feel, how to move forward, how to teach.

But today, I was looking for a photo to post, a photo that wants to be a poem. Maybe you are, too. Please join me by writing a small soul-searching poem, only 15 words, maybe fewer. Leave your poem in the comments and respond to others. Thanks for giving me hope, the thing with feathers…

Moon and Live Oak, photo by Margaret Simon

An acorn buried long ago
reaches out
toward the moon
to shelter
another day.

Margaret Simon, draft

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