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Posts Tagged ‘This Photo Wants to be a Poem’

Leave a small poem response to the photo in the comments. Be sure to support other writers with encouraging words.

If you’ve been here before, you know that one of my favorite photographers is a critique partner, Inkling Molly Hogan. Molly lives in Maine and is an amazing photographer. Please take a moment to read her Tuesday post about “gathering calm” through nature.

When I go out to take pictures, I usually have at least the location in mind, which dictates some of what I’ll see. Ocean versus marsh versus river. Forests or fields. Still, there are surprises here, too. I never know what will capture my attention at that particular time. Will the fog call to me, or shadows or spider webs? Will interesting patterns emerge in sand, water or sky? 

Molly Hogan

What does the poet see? What will draw your attention? The ocean waves? The striking bird? The patterns in the sand?

Fledgling tern cries to be fed, photo by Molly Hogan

Hunger…

makes the baby cry
the great owl hunt
the fledgling squeal
Hunger opens our souls
for feeding

Margaret Simon, draft

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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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Welcome to my weekly musing. Leave a small poem in the comments and share encouraging support to other writers.

The last five days I was with my mother at her retirement home. I have so many mixed emotions when I visit. I miss Dad who died in April. I have gotten to know many of the residents and staff and enjoy spending time with them. I worry about Mom who has early Alzheimer’s. I am surrounded by childhood memories.

This weekend I was helping to move Mom down the hall to a smaller apartment. My girls and their spouses and toddlers came in on Saturday to help. It was chaos that was efficient. The men moved the big furniture pieces with ease. The toddlers bounced on the bed mattress and played with a basket full of toys and generally screamed as toddlers do. I was grateful for the help. After they left I worked on organizing, culling, and hanging paintings and photographs. By the time I left yesterday, Mom was settled and happy in her new space.

All that is really beside the point of the photo today. In the midst of mayhem and moving, I walked with Mom to Dad’s tree. We had a sycamore tree planted on the grounds. Mom loves going out to visit the tree. It has already grown about 2 feet in three months. It’s not even close to the height of the surrounding pines, but there is something serene and strong about it.

Have you ever planted a memorial tree?

Sycamore Tree in memory of John Gibson, 11/11/33-4/22/22
Summerhouse Beaux Ridge Independent Living

In the face of storms and sun,
you stand, grow, reach
for the heavenly space
where God is good.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Egret by Kim Douillard

Today’s photo is a steal from Kim Douillard’s Instagram. She posted another photo of this bird on her blog for Silent Sunday. The bird is in full dance mode with wings extended. Who is he/she showing off for? Do the cool waves inspire dance? What inspires you?

Write a small poem in the comments. If you are able, return to comment on other writers. I am off to yoga class to give this pose my best effort.

Balance Pose

Give yourself grace
and time to stand still
with wings tucked tightly in
or extended wind-wide.

You are the master of your flight.

Margaret Simon, flash draft

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Rain has returned! It helps cool things a bit. Rather than near 100 degrees, we are closer to 90. Afternoon showers make for cooler morning walks, mid-70’s, Ah! With rain comes resurrection fern. It grows on oak trees and after a good soaking, emerges as a deep green shaggy blanket on the branches of the trees. This oak I passed on my walk greeted me with a heart. Use this photo as a muse for your writing today. Leave a small poem in the comments. Encourage other writers with comments. Thanks for stopping by.

Tree Heart with resurrection fern, Margaret Simon, 2022.

From a sleepy, dry bed,
fluffy green feathers
emerge
surrounding your open
heart…
Resurrection!

Margaret Simon, draft

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I drive the same roads every day as I travel between two schools. Both of my schools are rural, and I’ve come to appreciate the calm of the countryside. This spring the black-eyed Susan wildflowers have been in full bloom. Usually I am on a time schedule and can’t stop to take pictures, but recently as I was passing, I put on the brakes and put the car in reverse right there in the middle of the road. I took this photo. It was a bright sunny day and I took it quickly, but the next day the field had been mowed and all the yellow flowers were gone. I realized I should appreciate the present moment. The old adage “Stop to smell the roses.” What else are we given but this moment right now?

Country barn with black-eyed Susan wildflowers, photo by Margaret Simon

Invitation: Share your own poem in the comments and encourage other writers with comments.

No one can tell you what to do.
You have to be bold.
Some see weeds
where others find gold.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Photographer-Poet-Teacher Kim Douillard lives in San Diego, California. We’ve never met face-to-face, but we are friends connected by common interests. Her photos of the beaches in California are always inspiring. This week I was taken by this photo of a broken sand dollar. Where will this muse take you? Please leave a small poem in the comments and write encouraging comments to fellow writers.

Half Dollar by Kim Douillard

Allan Wolf lost his father on the same day as I did. We had been in communication over a student Zoom visit when both of our lives were interrupted. Allan posted these words on Facebook, “Writing, like loving, is an act of faith. We bury a piece of ourselves and wait for something better than ourselves to eventually emerge.” Then I saw Kim’s photo. It’s all too fresh for me to write about today. Or maybe I’m just too raw. Nevertheless, friends, I leave these thoughts for you to make something beautiful with, as I know you will.

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If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we are apart, I’ll always be with you.

A.A.Milne

Today’s photo prompt appeared in my Facebook feed. Our school librarian has a young daughter who is a dancer. They recently posed these photos for her dance teacher. Melissa told me that this one is her daughter with her best friend. It made me think of how important friends can be in this dance of life. Leave a small poem in the comments. Then comment on others with encouraging words. Thanks for stopping by.

Beach Dancers, by dance instructor Delannie Delcambre

Dance for the ocean
Speak for the earth
Sing for the sky
Write for who you long to be.

Margaret Simon, draft

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This is a difficult time. My father had a stroke last week and is not recovering in the earthly sense. We’ve held holy vigil with him. It’s holy, healing, and horrible all at the same time. This photo is my mother and father’s hands.

I wrote this poem after Lucille Clifton from an Ethical ELA prompt. I know that this is a universal experience for some. Write a small poem in the comments and respond to other poets.

Wishes for Dad

i wish for peace
and a place to write
his thoughts
on a cloud
floating above
all this madness
of machines
pumping oxygen
taking pulse
counting heartbeats

i wish for the smell
of an open field
of wildflowers
where he can
run
free

i wish
i wish
i wish
i could take the cup
of suffering away.

Margaret Simon, draft

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If you are here for the first time, this post is a weekly photo poetry prompt originated by Laura Purdie Salas as Fifteen Words or Less. This is a place to play with words and interact with other poets. On Ethical ELA this week there were two different Verse Love prompts in which the writer took inspiration from another writer, a word or a line traveled from poet to poet.

Let’s play with this idea of poems communicating with each other. I will start us off. The first person here can take a word or line from me. As always, you may choose to go your own way. That’s fine, too.

Today’s photo is from my friend, first grade teacher Lory Landry. When she isn’t teaching, she is taking photographs. I loved the intimate perspective of this one.

Dandelion by Lory Landry

Mary Lee Hahn is writing a poem each day about the climate crisis. I loved her poem about dandelions.

Wake up, dandelion!
Starbursts ready to fly.
Blow, spring wind, blow!

Margaret Simon, draft

The Progressive Poem is with Linda Mitchell today. Molly had a conflict, so Linda stepped up to add the next line. Thanks, Linda!

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