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Posts Tagged ‘This Photo Wants to be a Poem’

Welcome to my weekly photo writing prompt. Take a peaceful moment to lose yourself in words. Write a poem of 16 words or so and place it in the comments. Write encouraging words to others by commenting on their poems. This week we are writing with the hashtag poeticdiversion that Molly Hogan started on Twitter.

This week’s image comes from my friend and neighbor James Edmunds. James does a lot of creative work including photography. I once took a class from him about iPhone photography and learned some cool tricks. I don’t know if he took this picture with his phone, but I doubt it. James, if you stop by, let us know.

Way down south here we’ve been getting a great deal of rain lately. The resurrection fern loves rain, and it pops up in beautiful green carpets on our trees. In nature, there are small miracles like this every day.

Resurrection Fern by James Edmunds, all rights reserved

Inside the depths
of fronds and rhizomes
fairies twinkle
&
dance.

Margaret Simon, draft

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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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I miss traveling. I usually have a trip or two planned for the summer. A few summers ago my husband and I took a trip to the Pacific Northwest. The beaches there are very different from Gulf Coast beaches. For one thing, the temperatures are colder. With our heat rising to 95 or more degrees these days, I wish for the cool breeze of a Northwest beach.

My friend, JoAnne Duncan lives in Washington state within driving distance of beautiful mountains and beaches. She’s traveling near Seattle this week. She’s been posting some gorgeous photos of her trip on Facebook. This one just begged to be a poem.

Feather at Sea by JoAnne Duncan.

I am a feather
tethered
to blue stones
tossed from sea.
Notice me
before I fly.

Margaret Simon, draft

Take a minute to look outside at this image, look inside to your heart, and put down a few words, 16 or so, in the comments as a small poem. Please encourage other writers with your comments. Poetry is balm.

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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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Morning Web by Jen Gray

Summer is here with peaceful mornings before temperatures rise. This image popped up on my Instagram feed. My friend, Jen Gray, owns a farm in Breaux Bridge, LA where she rents two houses for artist retreats. Unfortunately, I haven’t made my usual retreat there this year. I miss this place.

Jen’s photographic eye fascinates me. This photo has so much to offer, a foggy sunrise and dewdrop spider web. What will you write about? Please leave a small poem in the comments and comment on other poems. Thanks for stopping by.

What remains from
a slow walk in the field?
Dewdrop tears
for a peaceful world.

Margaret Simon, flash draft

A note about process: While writing my flash draft, I typed in about 21 words. In cutting it to 15, I found what the poem really wanted to say. There’s something to be said for small poems.

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This week I chose one of my own photographs. I’ve struggled to put into words what I am feeling, but I can walk for peace. I can trace letters on a white board. I can be part of the change.

Whether you attended a march or not, I know your feelings run deep. Poets are like that. We feel things. We notice. We process. We write.

Take a minute, not too many, then pick up your pen and scribble 15 words or fewer, maybe more, in response to this photo. Go for your first thought. See where it takes you. Please do not leave without writing a few encouraging words to another writer. Thanks!

Before the storm,
we listened
to passionate words,
a list of names,
a prayer.
Then we walked
with each other.

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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This photo appeared on my Facebook feed from local artist and children’s book author Paul Schexnayder. Paul has an ironic sense of humor, especially in the everyday. His photo reflects that sense.

Mary’s Lizard by Paul Schexnayder

When I asked Paul if I could use this photo for a poem, he said, “I was hoping you’d ask? I almost asked you to write one!!!”

Please consider leaving your own small poem in the comments. Leave a comment for a few participants. Fun writing practice to wake up your creative self. No pressure. No judgement. Thanks for coming by.

A lonely lizard
seeks shade in the arms of Mary.
She stoically abides.

Margaret Simon, draft

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The weeks are whizzing by, even with staying at home every day. At first the pace was slow, but now a rhythm has set in, and it’s hard to believe that Thursday is here again.

My husband usually has little to say about my writing life. But when we were canoeing on Mother’s Day, he saw an old cabin and commented, “This photo wants to be a poem.” Oh, yeah? I guess I better take the picture then.

Every time we go out on the bayou and paddle, something new draws our attention. I’m sure this old cabin, storage shed, whatever has been there a long time. We only just noticed. I’m inclined to think that this place may need a whole story, maybe even a ghost story. You can decide.

Leave a small poem in the comments and be sure to comment on a few other responders. Building a community of writers is a goal for this weekly prompt.

The place out back,
one room,
wood-slatted floors,
straw broom for sweeping roaches…
home.

Margaret Simon, draft

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