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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Spiritual Thursday Posts are gathered today at Beyond Literacy Link

abandon the shoes that had brought you here
right at the water’s edge, not because you had given up
but because now, you would find a different way to tread,

from “Finisterre” by David Whyte, Gratefulness.org

Sometimes we have to abandon shoes, say goodbye, leave something or someone behind.

Today is my last day of summer as we define it in the world of education, not by the actual season but by the school calendar. I go back to school tomorrow. Students will come next Wednesday and the year 2022-23 will be up and running.

I will leave behind the shoes of slow mornings, lingering over coffee and conversation. When this time arrives, it’s hard not to evaluate your summer. The question to my colleagues and students will be “How was your summer?” So in one word, we evaluate how we spent our days off. “Good” “Rough” “Crazy” “Busy” “Fun” “Exhausting”

Which shoes will I reminisce about when I hear this question?

Teva sandals,

straps of yellow, pink, orange, and blue

draw attention to my feet, my yellow toenails.

I can walk through water in these shoes.

Hold steady in a river raft.

They are made of sunshine and beach shores,

strappy bathing suits and splash pad sprinklers.

I relax into them, feel summer fresh.

I will leave these at the shore of school days,

put on sensible teacher shoes,

and walk into a new school year.

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.

[Paulo Coelho]

Ruth invites us to Share our Stories about saying hello (or goodbye)

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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 week is Ethical ELA’s Open Write. If you haven’t tried it out, you should. The prompts are good and the community is supportive. It’s a great place to try on a poem.

On my morning walk earlier this week after a rain, I saw the reflection of the clouds in puddles. I thought it would make a good photo prompt. And then over at Ethical ELA, I used Jennifer’s prompt to write about this photo. Today I share both with you. I hope you find inspiration here. Write your own small poem in the comments and support other writers with comments.

Puddle reflection by Margaret Simon

Summer Morning

I walk after the rain soaked
grass to cool green, steam rising.
I walk in the air soaked
in sweat of summer.

I remember the bobwhite singing
in the pine forest beyond Purple Creek.
I remember building forts, skipping rocks
singing, “Easy come, easy go, little high, little low.”

I see reflection of sky
in asphalt puddles. I am
a reflection of that child,
dancing through puddles,
watching clouds roll by.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Does anyone feel like summer is quickly going by? I did not, intentionally, make a list of goals for this summer; however, there is that running list in my head of things that are not getting done. So be it, right? Summer is for relaxing and taking each day as it comes.

When I look out of my window, I see this mandevilla vine going wild. It’s stretched beyond the reaches of the trellis. So be it… Let it go. That is what this plant teaches me. (This post is up later because I forgot it was Wednesday, another good sign of summer.)

Wandering Mandevilla vine, Photo by Margaret Simon

Summer sun + daily dose of rain = wandering time

Margaret Simon, equation poem

Please add a small poem in the comments. Encourage other writers with positive response.

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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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Poetry Friday: Summer

Poetry Friday is with Buffy today.

I don’t think of myself as any kind of poetry expert, but I do love poetry in many ways. When my Voxer friend, Dani Burtsfield, asked for help with writing a poem for her mother, I was honored and humbled. Yesterday she went for a walk in the mountains of Montana where she lives and sent me a message about the lilacs and how their blooming means summer. “I think I feel a poem coming on.”

Thus began our late night discussion of her poem. This is what poetry should be, a walk in the woods that leads to talk that then becomes a poem. Jane Hirshfield writes in her poem, Mathematics, “Does a poem enlarge the world/ or only our idea of the world?” I believe that poetry and your own expression of it does enlarge the world. We experience the experience in a new and loving way. Please go to Dani’s blog and read her poem, her first brave contribution to Poetry Friday.

Our discussion of summer made me think about how summer reveals itself differently in different parts of the world. For Dani, it’s in the lilacs. Here in South Louisiana, the landscape is different. My poem attempts to capture my own summer landscape.

Summer

Summer waits
like the rope swing
hanging
from the old oak.

Summer welcomes
like sunflowers
opening
a morning

Summer vibrates
like cicadas
buzzing
at twilight.

Summer lingers
like the sun
hovering
the horizon.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

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

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

I just got off the phone with my mother-in-law who asked me if I was bored yet.  I laughed.  Well, I did clean the grout on the bathroom floor.  Does that mean I’m bored?

Actually, my summer list is long and growing.  This morning I accomplished one of my goals, blueberry picking.  I do this every year the week after school gets out because this is the time when the blueberries ripen.  In 2014, I wrote a poem about this ritual that begins with…

Some things wear their becoming,
like this blueberry, for example,
plump and perfectly indigo
surrounded by pinky-red brothers and sisters,
it boasts to be chosen
falls easily into my palm
joyfully plinks the plastic bucket.

See the rest of the poem here.

My friend Suzanne came along.  She couldn’t believe she had never done this before.  It was fun to share the joy of fresh blueberries with her.  Here is the Facebook page for Bayou Blues Blueberry Farm. 

A Painteresque view of me picking blueberries.

A Painteresque view of me picking blueberries.

Blueberry sky

Blueberry sky

Kitchen brightened by fresh fruit and fresh flowers.

Kitchen brightened by fresh fruit and fresh flowers.

Slowing down, enjoying simple things, and savoring summer days.  No, I’m not bored yet.

 

 

 

 

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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.

Summer Sounds

Someone’s cutting grass.
The scent of it travels
on the afternoon wind
carrying a hint of coming rain.

Cicada sounds
rhythmically rise.
Beat of an outboard motor
bayou riding.

In the distance,
children squeal,
a baseball bat
tings the ball.
Cheers!

Mr. Mockingbird
tries on different personalities,
a long trill
of tweet-a-tweet tweet.
Then short staccato notes.

Take time to listen
to summer’s sound.
Slow down.
Sit around.
Sip some tea,
and just be.

–Margaret Simon

June Photo-a-day challenge from Kim Douillard at Thinking through my Lens. #sdawpphotovoices

Day 1: Awkward
I met this squirrel at a neighbor’s house. He was just sitting on the chair eating corn. When I went to take his picture, he turned as if to say, “What cha’ doin?”

Awkward squirrel

Awkward squirrel

Day 2: Beach
I don’t live near a beach. But the bayou is in my backyard, so I switched the B word to bayou.

Enjoying the bright red mandevilla blooms.

Enjoying the bright red mandevilla blooms.

Summer brings more boat traffic to the bayou.

Summer brings more boat traffic to the bayou.

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Discover. Play. Build.

I’m not sure if this is fair or not, today I am combining posts for Chalk-a-bration and Celebration. (I can’t help but love the alliteration!) I let my students (the three who attended) chalk the sidewalks on the last day of school a week ago and saved the pictures to post today. Betsy Hubbard leads this fun blogtivity at the end of each month. We wrote lunes, a short poetry form that uses a 5, 3, 5 syllable count. And the theme, of course, was summer.

Matthew writes about his passion for magic: Magic is my life life is magic do impossible

Matthew writes about his passion for magic:
Magic is my life
life is magic
do impossible

Go play on the beach Come with us We want you with us. by Tyler

Go play on the beach
Come with us
We want you with us.
by Tyler

Vannisa’s poem did not turn out well in the photograph.

In the sun we play
until night
takes the place of day.
–Vannisa

slow lazy days summer sun too hot to think --Margaret Simon

slow lazy days
summer sun
too hot to think
–Margaret Simon

This week has been a week of slow days. I’ve committed myself to three things this summer, exercise daily (I have the sore muscles to prove it!), writing (Thursday I spent hours writing this sestina for Maya Angelou), and reading (I’ve read or listened to 6 books for Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday challenge). I’m glad there wasn’t much else going on this week, so I could establish this routine. Happy Summer!

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