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Posts Tagged ‘#WriteAcrossAmerica’

graphic by Carol Varsalona
who is hosting the gathering of Spiritual Journey posts today.

This morning I turned the calendar to July and wondered where my summer is going. Carol invited us to write about Nurturing our Summer Souls for Spiritual Journey first Thursday. I thought I would wake up early and write, but the thing about summer is expectations fall into the sun. I woke up tired. The only thing I can figure is the water aerobics class last night has affected me in more ways than I thought possible. I have welcomed these classes, the time with friends, the cool of the water, and the invigorating feeling of exercise. But this old body is finding muscles that have been dormant. It’s a good thing, right? Remind me.

My summer soul is being nurtured by the National Writing Project’s #WriteAcrossAmerica virtual writing marathon. I’ve participated in three different stops. Each Tuesday a different project site takes on the marathon. This week I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a place foreign to me. The story map is full of places to explore and writing prompts to contemplate. I stopped at the Indian Village Site and followed a link to Margaret Noodin’s Ted Talk.

I’ve been fascinated by Margaret Noodin’s work since listening to Poetry Unbound from On Being. Margaret not only shares my name, but she also sings. She sings her poems in Anishinaabemowin and English. Being Episcopalian, I love a good chant and that is what Margaret Noodin delivers.

As I listened I wrote. This poem follows her words and weaves in my own words as if we became a confluence of thoughts, two rivers meeting and flowing together for a time.

Minowakiing: The Good Land

Languages
teach us of place. In this Good Land,
we can keep ourselves alive,
hearts beating wild, transforming
the world
in a net, networking, working in
interconnection.

I see lessons in light
see a word East
move into melting
transitioning time to place
word to word.

Listen to sounds singing of fish
bobbing in the water.
Let’s listen to each other.
Remember we are in a good place.

Remember the bird knows,
the grass knows,
the old oak knows

We inherit the language of our ancestors,
reminded how to find the road, the map
to our own lives.
Here. Together.

Margaret Simon, with Margaret Noodin

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone.

On Tuesday I treated myself to a virtual writing marathon sponsored by the National Writing Project. #WriteAcrossAmerica. I showed up for the last stop on a journey across the country. I’m sorry I missed out on all the other stops. This last one was in New Orleans where the writing marathon originated.

Years ago I would spend some time each summer at the New Orleans Writing Marathon organized by the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project. Three to four days of walking the French Quarter and writing led to lifelong friendships and a few memorable writing pieces.

Unfortunately, the virtual marathon happened in my own house through a screen, but because of the miracle of technology, I was able to connect with new friends and see some old ones. We had three writing sessions and shared in small break out rooms.

The third writing session led me to this poem, still quite drafty. I was just getting my writing muscle to work and the whole thing was over, not a marathon at all, but a quick 75 minute sprint.

Muses

Muses have a lost sense of time.
They live in the back of Napoleon’s Bar
drinking Pim’s Cups.

I’ve asked them to visit me
here on the bayou steeped
in cafe au lait brown
buzzing with cicada song.

They come in the long shadows
of a summer afternoon.
or in the fractal face
of a sunflower in bloom.

Muses mock me
with their silver linings,
here then there,
then nowhere,
hiding in plain sight.

Sometimes, I step on them
by mistake.

Give me that mess
again. My pen is waiting.

Margaret Simon, draft
Backyard Shadows by Margaret Simon

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