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Posts Tagged ‘This Photo Wants to be a Poem’

Join this weekly photo poetry prompt community by leaving a poem in the comments.

This has been a frigid week in the deep south. The ice storm has caused widespread power outage and water loss. Our home was without power for 12 hours. Our house plumbing is fine, but my husband’s office had a burst pipe. Southerners just aren’t equipped to handle this extreme cold for an extended period of time. The temperature rose to 36 degrees yesterday, but we are staying home from school due to low water pressure.

But ice can be beautiful. My friend and poetry writing group partner Molly Hogan lives in Maine, so she is well-versed in cold. She is also an amazing photographer. She recently posted photos of ice on plants and this one she claimed as her favorite. I can see why. There’s a poem waiting there. Leave your own small poem in the comments and respond to others with kindness and encouragement.

Frozen bud by Molly Hogan

There is beauty in a single moment,
tresures in a whisper,
A world waiting
in an ice-encased atom.

Margaret Simon, draft

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If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I love spending time with my grandchildren. A few weeks ago I took Leo to visit his great grandmother. We wandered around her backyard. Minga picked a camellia, a common winter flower here in the South. She handed the beautiful pink blossom to Leo. He held it out to me and pointed up, “Tree!” So, of course, I placed the flower into the tree. Off went Leo, satisfied and ready to romp across the yard.

Camellia blossom in an oak tree. Photo by Margaret Simon

With a line borrowed from Ellen Bass, I offer this small poem. Leave your own poem in the comments. Please encourage other writers with response to their poem-gifts.

The thing is
to love life,

to hold a flower
in your hands,
and then give it
away.

Margaret Simon, draft

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I have followed Kate Messner for years and have many of her wonderful books for middle grade readers. Kate is a real person, as well as an author-hero, who lives on Lake Champlain. Too cold for my southern blood, but she posted photos on her Instagram recently of ice flowers. Kate wrote a blog post about this phenomenon on her website here.

Natural beauty that comes with scientific facts fascinates and inspires me. I tend to dive into googling and wonder. Here is an interesting article from American Scientist. There seems to be controversy or conversation, rather, about what to call this amazing phenomenon. Frost flowers, frost weed, or frost plant, these winter blooms are sure to inspire some small poems.

Lake Champlain Sunrise, Photo by Kate Messner
Ice flowers by Kate Messner

(I tried a zeno poem today with the syllable pattern of 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1 with all one syllables rhyming.)

Displayed on a black lake blanket
diamond blossoms
gemstones
nice
beauty hidden
stinging
ice
golden morning
winter
spice

Margaret Simon, draft

Leave a small poem in the comments. Be sure to connect with other writers by leaving comments on their poems.

Kate celebrated World Read Aloud Day today with a video of amazing authors reading from their books. Click here to find the video on her website.

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Welcome to a weekly writing prompt. The steps are easy, if you choose to try them. Listen to your muse. Write a small poem in the comments. Leave encouraging responses to other writers. This is a safe and sacred place to write. Begin.

Butterweed by Margaret Simon. I took this photo on my iPhone using the app Camera+ 2.
Cypress knee with butterweed, photo by Margaret Simon

I took these photos in my backyard on Bayou Teche in Louisiana. These are wild flowers known as butterweed that grow before my yard man (husband) has a chance to mow. Sometimes he will mow around them because he knows I love them. They offer a bright spot in a winter yard of bare cypress trees and brown lawn. Here’s a bit of research I found.

Weary of its winter bed
bursts of yellow whisper
secrets of Eos.*

Margaret Simon, draft *Goddess of dawn

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I don’t live in a cold climate, and with our lows in the early 30’s last week, I was grateful for sweaters and scarves and hats. I don’t love cold, but I love photos of snow and ice. Amanda Potts lives in Ottawa, Canada. She walks every day (making me feel like a wimp when I don’t want to walk in the cold). She posts wonderful photos on Instagram. Most of her photos are close up. This one was so close that you can make out little ice sculptures in the branches. There’s a whole fairy tale world right there in the photo.

On the Merriam-Webster website, there is a quiz about words for snow and ice. I failed miserably. Perhaps if you want to challenge your knowledge, as well as gather words for your poem, take a chance: Words for Snow and Ice Quiz.

Join me in writing a small poem. Leave it in the comments. Be sure to support other writers with encouraging words.

Glimmer*

Ice birds
peck at thorns
finding the silver lining.

*ice newly formed in cracks, holes, or surface puddles of other ice

Margaret Simon, draft

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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
hopeful
to shelter
another day.

Margaret Simon, draft

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One of the bloggers I follow is Kim Douillard who lives on the west coast of California. She takes beautiful photographs and posts a “Silent Sunday” photo each week on her blog, Thinking Through My Lens. Last Sunday I was fascinated by the beach labyrinth in her photo. I thought about the impermanence of it, how the ocean will eventually wash it away. Like the Tibetan monks who create sand mandalas. The creation is the prayer.

Image by Kim Douillard

Please write a small poem reflecting on the photograph. Write encouraging comments to other writers.

Footsteps mark
lines….
…..eternity

Margaret Simon, a pi-ku

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“I have no news to tell you, for the days are all the same, I have no ideas, except to think that a field of wheat or a cypress is well worth the trouble of looking at close up, and so on.” – Vincent van Gogh

Red Berries after the Rain by Margaret Simon

Waiting for the rain to stop to take my daily walk, I looked out the kitchen window and saw these berries, made redder by the low light and wetness. I’ve been trying out photography lately with a camera I’ve had stored away. I wrote a Slice about it on Tuesday.

Here is an invitation to write a small poem, one of noticing something new or something old in new light. Write a small poem in the comments and take a moment to read other poems. Leave encouraging comments. I hope you are all enjoying a peaceful Thanksgiving. It may look different this year, but it is still a time to give thanks. And my thanks go out to all of you who stop by my little corner of the world.

Within the walls
of rainy days,
some things still sing
Praise.
Listen harder.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Every morning I walk through a field in my neighborhood to cross to another street. I watch the seasons change in an old Japanese magnolia tree. I’ve photographed it many times. It seems to pose for me.

Japanese Magnolia Morning by Margaret Simon

This is a time to think about gratitude. We have to look closely, closer than ever before. Pandemic on the rise can blur the lines of our lives. Take a minute to praise this flower, the morning, or whatever this photo brings forth for you.

Dewdrop tear,
how do you balance
when gravity
pulls you down?

Margaret Simon, draft

Share your small poem in the comments. Please leave encouraging comments for other writers.

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A little backstory on this poetry prompt series: Laura Purdie Salas once hosted a weekly poetry prompt on her blog called “15 Words or Less.” She decided to pay more attention to her many writing projects, and the world of KidLit has been blessed by a number of new books from her, but I missed waking up on Thursday mornings to a quick photo poetry prompt. With Laura’s blessing, I started this weekly post.

Following Laura on Instagram, I borrowed this photo from her. In an email, she explained that it’s grass in a park across the street from her house. I love how the simplest things that often go unnoticed can be captured in a photo. This photo can become a poem. Laura’s mantra is “Look closer…”

Photo by Laura Purdie Salas

A park bench
open
waiting
a resting place
for adventurers
you and me.

Margaret Simon, draft

Look closer and write a small poem in the comments. Write encouraging comments to others.

At Sharing Our Stories, Ruth invites us to write inspired by a photograph. Her suggestion is to look at the background. Notice something new. Welcome writers from SOS today.

Open invitation to write at Sharing Our Stories.

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