Bonne Terre Cottage, Breaux Bridge.  Photo by Chere Coen

Bonne Terre Cottage, Breaux Bridge. Photo by Chere Coen

Bird Watching

I cannot know
what has brought you
here this morning,
little hummer
with your ever-excited wings,
your deep red throat.
You hover
catch me watching
from my corner on the porch swing
and you disappear
leaving no sign
of your previous
energetic existence.

I want to own
the mystery
hidden inside this moment.
Yet, my part is just
to be here
present with bird song
echoing in the air,
to praise you,
creator of all,
creator of me.

It is true
that I am
not important.
It is also true
that my name
is written in heaven.
Even the foxes have holes,
birds their nests.*
Like the chickadee
pecking at the feeder
or the hawk circling above,
my spirit belongs
to the earth
to dust I will be.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

*Luke: 9,10

Indigo bunting photo by Chere Coen

Indigo bunting photo by Chere Coen

Cardinal photo by Chere Coen

Cardinal photo by Chere Coen

Retreat Mondo

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Spring break is here, and I am on retreat. My good friend Jen owns a cottage in Breaux Bridge, Bonne Terre Cottage, and she invited me to come stay as long as I want. Her generous spirit has led me to the “good earth.” Up early, watching the birds, listening to sounds of nature led to a mondo, a form of haiku that is a call and response. My friend and fellow writer Chere Coen is sitting on the porch with her camera, ready to capture whatever bird will let her. I took pictures with my phone and used Overgram to create the image-poem.

Mondo 1


Monday Lune

My adventure into poetry forms continues. Today, I am writing a lune. I found this definition of a lune on EdHelper.
“The lune (rhymes with moon) is a very short poem. It’s similar to the popular haiku form of poetry. While a haiku follows a 5/7/5 syllable pattern, the lune’s syllable pattern is 5/3/5. Typically, since the middle line is restricted to three syllables, it is the shortest line of the three. This gives the lune a curve on the ends similar to a crescent moon.
The lune was invented by poet Robert Kelly in the 1960s. Kelly has been a professor of literature at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, since 1986. He is the author of numerous poems and short fiction. When he invented the lune, he wanted poets to have freedom of choice. Therefore, the lune can be about anything, unlike the haiku, which is expected to be about nature.”

On a drive near my school which is out in the country, I stopped and took some snapshots of the landscape. The picture has nothing to do with the poem. It’s just pretty. The poem came to me while I was listening to a feature on the news about deafness and cochlear implants. Go figure? I never know when the muse will strike.

Listen Lune

Listen Lune

Origami Poetry

Join the Poetry Friday round-up is hosted today by Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge.

Join the Poetry Friday round-up is hosted today by Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge.

My celebration of National Poetry Month with my students has been interrupted many times by testing, field trips, and now spring break, but this week I had a few days to work with my youngest students, grades 1-3, on origami and poetry.

In a teacher workshop last week, I learned how to make an origami fox. I brought the activity to my little ones and we wrote Fib poems about foxes. A Fib poem follows a syllable count that corresponds to the first 6 numbers of the Fibonacci series, 1,1,2,3,5,8.

Here is Erin’s. She put her origami fox in a snow scene and made the poem appear in a flip-open book.

Origami fox in snow

Origami fox in snow

Fib poem by Erin.

Fib poem by Erin.

On Thursday, we made origami envelopes, read I Haiku You, and wrote love haiku. Some favorite teachers are going to be very happy.

Best teacher ever
makes origami poems
shine in the classroom.

origami envelope

Progressive Poem

The 2014 Progressive Poem is the creation of poet Irene Latham.

The 2014 Progressive Poem is the creation of poet Irene Latham.

I have been anxiously awaiting this day when the Progressive poem would head my way. As I watched the poem progress, I worried about the meter and rhyme. This poem had form and sometimes form can be intimidating. But this group of poets are anything but intimidating. I started participating in the kidlit Poetry Friday group over a year ago and have felt warmth, welcome, and encouragement. Pardon me while I get preachy. A collaborative project is not about you, the individual. It is about the product of the whole. It’s about being present and showing up when it’s your turn. Like being one voice in a chorus, you must blend in and fade out. I took this call seriously, so my line is not a punchline. It is not a Wow line. But I feel it belongs in this poem with this group of words. Carry on, Irene. I pass the baton on to the master, the creator, our leader, and our friend, Irene Latham at Live your Poem.

Sitting on a rock, airing out my feelings to the universe
Acting like a peacock, only making matters that much worse;

Should I trumpet like an elephant emoting to the moon,
Or just ignore the warnings written in the rune?

Those stars can’t seal my future; it’s not inscribed in stone.
The possibilities are endless! Who could have known?

Gathering courage, spiral like an eagle after prey
Then gird my wings for whirlwind gales in realms far, far away.

But, hold it! Let’s get practical! What’s needed before I go?
Time to be tactical— I’ll ask my friends what I should stow.

And in one breath, a honeyed word whispered low— dreams —
Whose voice? I turned to see. I was shocked. Irene’s

“Each voyage starts with tattered maps; your dreams dance on this page.
Determine these dreams—then breathe them! Engage your inner sage.”

The merry hen said, “Take my sapphire eggs to charm your host.”
I tuck them close – still warm – then take my first step toward the coast.

This journey will not make me rich, and yet I long to be

Backyard Amaryllis

Backyard Amaryllis by Sarah Hazel

Backyard Amaryllis by Sarah Hazel

My friend, Sarah Hazel, is an artist. She created this beautiful painting yesterday and posted it on her blog (I love her blog title!) Finding my Glasses.

Thinking about the letter K put me on a quest for a kyrielle. The kyrielle didn’t come to me, but a katauta did. Now I’m not really sure how a katauta is different from a haiku. It is a Japanese form with 5,7,5 or 5,7,7 syllable count. The word katauta means half poem. So I’m thinking if a kyrielle is not singing to me today, then maybe I’ll write a half poem.

Joy surprises me.
The morning amaryllis–
a prayer flag waving…
–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Click on the link to see the poem in Haiku Deck.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

A Room for Writing

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

I’m taking a break from the ABC’s of poetry to take you to a room. On Saturday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Valentine Pierce, a performance poet from New Orleans, presented a workshop for Acadiana Wordlab. She is a force in a room. She performed a few of her poems and had me rapping out the beats of my words as I tapped the pen to the page. For one of her prompts, she asked us to write about the room we were in. When I first walked into the room, Clare and three other women were wearing red. I commented, “I didn’t get the memo to wear red.” And then Clare introduced Valentine. So thus began my poem about the room.

A glance around the corner at the boardroom.  ChipperHatter Architects

A glance around the corner at the boardroom. ChipperHatter Architects

This Room is for Writing

I did not wear red today
to honor sweet Valentine.
I am wearing green
like the peridot of my birthstone.

I didn’t expect to give birth today
here in this blood-red chair
that pushes back on my shoulder slump.
Sit up, girl, and write a poem!

Shout it out like the rockets
speeding off the racetrack of the wall.
Lay your life down on the black boardroom table.
Place your heart on the frosted glass.

No one will mind if you cry a little.
They are crying, too,
for their children, their crazy aunts,
and for that empty beige wall

waiting for someone’s art
splattered in paint,
dripping down to the carpet
under our rock hard feet.

We stand sure;
All of us together
know that I will not be shamed
for not wearing red.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Please check the progress of the Progressive Poem in the right bar. I am coming up in 2 days!

The Writing Process Blog Tour continues with Clare Martin at Orphans of Dark and Rain.


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