Posts Tagged ‘summer poem swap’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Christie at Wondering and Wandering.

Just as my school year started, I received my final Poem Swap gift and poem from Janet Fagel. It was all about Taylor Mali, the inventor of Metaphor Dice. She’s friends with him. (Swoon!) She sent me his book Late Father, which I added to my Sealy Challenge stack, and a signed print of his poem Undivided Attention. Janet’s poem for me came as a found/black out poem from this poem. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but the poem arrived just in time for my 60th birthday.

Earlier in the summer I received a poem swap from Mary Lee Hahn. She made an oracle deck from my own words, phrases she had found in my poems. She color-coded the cards to show which was 5 syllables and 7 syllables. Then she created two poems from my words, a haiku and a doditsu (7-7-7-5). She encouraged me to make these with my students this year. Tucking it away until April when we’ve written lots of poems together from which to choose lines.

Haiku by Mary Lee with phrases from Margaret Simon
Dodoitsu by Mary Lee Hahn with phrases from Margaret Simon
Creating my own haiku from the oracle deck.

Both of these gifts come straight from the heart. This is the whole embodiment of this Summer Poem Swap, organized and led by Tabatha Yeatts. Thanks Janet, Mary Lee, and Tabatha. My hear is full!

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Poetry Friday round-up is with my friend and writing group partner, Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone

One of the best things about summer is having time to be creative. I’ve enjoyed designing collages on marbleized notebooks as well as writing poems for the Summer Poem Swap, coordinated by Tabatha Yeatts. The third exchange I sent off a notebook to Tabatha herself. And she gifted me with a poetic zine, Today’s Poem (after me, after Cheryl Dumesnil’s Today’s Sermon.)

More about making a zine from Tabatha here.

I love this personal-to-me poem, especially the line about toy phones. I’ve been answering a lot of toy phones lately with my little grands, and I love how this one line captures the Joy of being with them in just a few words. The magic of poetry! Thanks, Tabatha, for organizing this fun and meaningful exchange and for being my partner for this round.

Today’s Poem, zine by Tabatha Yeatts

Today’s poem
riffles through a pile of
to-do lists,
looking for blank paper

Today’s poem
answers calls
from toy phones

Today’s poem
hears sunflowers’
reminders to feed the birds

Today’s poem
clicks like a typewriter
while it’s napping

 Today’s poem
refracts a rainbow
into your bathwater

Today’s poem
runs back and forth
through an imaginary sprinkler

Today’s poem
fills your tank
and walks you to your car

Tabatha Yeatts, (for Margaret Simon, Summer Poem Swap 2021)

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Poetry Friday round-up is here. Scroll down to link up with inlinkz.

Today I am hosting Poetry Friday.  What a joy to collect all the poetry goodness in the kidlitosphere. Scroll down to the inlinkz button to link up and to read posts.

This summer I participated in the Summer Poem Swap organized by Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.  I recently received a delightful package from Laura Shovan, (And it arrived on my birthday! Serendipity!) Laura received one of my books in a blog tour give-away. She made a copy of the “Write it” for writing a zeno poem.  The zeno form was invented by J. Patrick Lewis.  The syllable count is a mathematical sequence, 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1 with the one syllable words rhyming.

I was inspired to try my own zeno.  Last week Christie Wyman challenged us to write bird poems. I loved Linda Baie’s poem and gathered words from it to create my zeno.  Then I made a zine. Zine is a new term for a folded paper mini-book. (See this post that includes videos.) I will be giving a few workshops in September in which we make zines, so I wanted to make a sample Zeno Zine.

Morning birds surround me with sound.
Flying quartets
Sunrise music
of symphonic

Margaret Simon (c) 2018


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Poetry Friday posts are with Katie today at The Logonauts.


My Southern comrade, Keri Collins Lewis, sent me a gem of a poem this week.  She knows where I live and how much I enjoy dancing with my husband.  She captured this in a wonderful poem celebrating me.   Keri, I cherish your words.  Thank you, darlin’. (Say it with a Mississippi drawl.)


Last week I led a teachers writing institute.  I invited our PF friend, Catherine Flynn, to present via Skype about visual literacy.  She left us with a Marc Chagall painting to ponder.  Since Keri wrote about “my love” and we are nearing our 35th wedding anniversary, I am inclined to share my response with you.

The Promenade

In a geometric village,
sculpted lawns, a steepled church,
houses on the hillside,
a man holds his bride’s hand.
His touch sends her floating
on the wind like a pink kite
dancing with the clouds.

Your touch does this to me
even now, far from this village.
Over the landscape of life,
your soft gentle love
is enough to send
me flying, reaching
for the joy-sky.

–Margaret Simon


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Poetry Friday round up with Catherine at Reading to the Core.

Poetry Friday round up with Catherine at Reading to the Core.

Summer Poem Swap 2015 smaller copy

A poem gift to me from Diane Mayr begins with “Your songs are a tribute to those who/ share the neighborhood with you, but are these the songs of your heart?” These words struck a chord with me. We are singing, all of us, but are we singing the truth? Authenticity in any vocation is important, but especially true in writing. I tell my students, “I want to hear your voice when I read your writing.”

Does your voice resonate with the songs you sing?

Diane’s poem reminds us to sing about it all, the good and the bad. I want to thank my readers, my community of friends for your words of support through my sad song. I feel the love. And thanks to Diane for this special gift. I think this one will go in a frame.

Mimus polyglottus copy

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

August oppresses me. I know I shouldn’t let it. But the heat and heaviness of the air gets to me. Yesterday was my anniversary. I’ve been married an amazing 33 years to the best guy in the whole world, but I was in no mood to celebrate. I was hot and tired. But then this came: a package and a poem.

poem gifts

Heidi Mordhorst sent me a poem. We are exchanging in the Summer Poem Swap designed by Tabatha Yeatts. Heidi visited Greece this summer. We had a connection because I went on a trip there 4 years ago. The image captures the amazing blue of the Aegean Sea. And her poem captures the magic. Thanks, Heidi, for lifting my soul.

Laura Purdie Salas is one of my favorite poets and teachers. She has a great website and has published a number of teacher aids for writing poetry with students. I can’t wait to share this newest publication with my students. Catch Your Breath: Writing Poignant Poetry.

School started this week. I haven’t started pulling my students yet, but I saw them and hugged them in the hallway. I love having this kind of connection with my kids. I teach them year after year, so our relationship strengthens each year.

At one of my schools, the year theme is reading and books. We all wore Dr. Seuss t-shirts on the first day. I love the quote on the back. Reading is magic. I strive again this year to open this magic door for my students.

Dr. Seuss t-shirt

What are you celebrating this week?

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Poetry Friday round up with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.

Poetry Friday round up with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.

Summer Poem Swap 2015 smaller copy

I received another poem swap gift. Poets are incredibly creative people, so it’s always exciting to see what arrives. Joy Acey sent me a hawk feather, along with an artistic background and original poem. Her poem is a minute poem, 60 syllables. This was a new form for me, so I decided to capture a moment with a student today in my own minute poem, a sort of call and response with Joy’s poem.

Hawk feather

Hawk Feather

The hawk soars in sky-high circles
floating on air
around the sun
riding jet streams.

Its rust and black feathers flutter
lifting to glide.
A feather drops.
Grab the treasure.

Pull the feather across your skin;
caress softness.
It feels so smooth.
Hear the hawk’s dreams.

–Joy Acey, 2015, all rights reserved

flying hawk

Joy Comes Back to You

Such joy returned
when I saw your face
upturned to me
from a warm embrace.

Summer sun kisses
on your pink cheeks
reflecting light
from your blonde hair streaks.

Like a new butterfly
on a wisp of wind,
you lift my spirit
once again,
my student,
my friend.

–Margaret Simon

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

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

Today is my first day back to school. The kids come on Friday. Ready or not?

This year our gifted team plans to focus on heroes. For one of our Summer Poem Swaps, Tabatha Yeatts sent a prompt to write a poem from the words of someone. I chose to look at Malala Yousafzai’s words with the theme of heroes in mind. I found this image and quote.


One child
can step by step
walk across stones
wobble, fall, rise
to hope.

One teacher
can line her shelves
with books, voices
pointing the way
to climb.

One book
can open young eyes
to injustice, prejudice, pain
so they can build a road
to peace.

One pen
can move a single hand
to create new lines, new words
new art, making a change
to the world.

–Margaret Simon

Who is your hero? Can you write a poem off his/her words?

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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 am sharing my gift of words with you on Tuesday hoping to encourage you to join Poetry Friday. I was nudged by a blogging teacher friend to enter this community a few years ago. I have met some of my favorite people through this link up every Friday. One of these people whom I love and admire is Tabatha Yeatts. Tabatha organizes a poetry gift exchange every summer and around Christmas.

Summer Poem Swap 2015 smaller copy

Once you let Tabatha know you want to participate, she matches you up and sends out a prompt every few weeks. Her first prompt reflected back to Michelle Barnes’ ditty challenge for May, Nikki Grimes’ word play poem. You can read about the prompt here.

Tabatha sent me a poem last week. She chose the word “dance” because she associated that word with me. I love that. I also love her poem.

Zydeco dancing

Zydeco dancing

dance is a word
by Tabatha Yeatts
for Margaret

dance is a word
that flexes brawny muscles

to lift you up in the air
and land you gently on the ground.

dance sweeps and curls,
curves and arches,

giving everything
to sound.

dance matches song
to heartbeat,

pairing the rush of your blood
to the swish of your feet.

Here’s a peek at my gift. I covered a little notebook and placed my poem inside. Sh! Don’t tell. I want it to be a surprise.

little journal gift

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