This summer I have been participating in Tabatha Yeats’ Poem Swap. In writing a poem a week, I have been discovering threads in my writing. I love nature, not to be confused with a love of gardening. But I often look to nature for my poetry wisdom. I recently sent a group of poems to a contest. I titled the group “Among the Oaks.” When I walk in my neighborhood, I look to nature for inspiration, everything from the water of the bayou to the birds in the trees, and, of course, the trees themselves. When Tabatha sent me my 4th name, I was thinking, “OK, this time I will write something for that person.” But the poem turned out to be another nature poem. I give up. This is where my pen wants to move, so I will follow it.
A poet friend once told me, “Write a poem every week and by the end of the year, you have 52 poems. A whole manuscript!” I have not put together a whole manuscript of poems. I’m frankly scared to think about it. Perhaps I can follow this nature thread to a whole book? Then I fear the inspiration will end. Hah, you thought you knew what you were doing. Nope, not yet.
I have gotten so much inspiration and encouragement from this Poetry Friday community. We seem to have unwritten rules of respect and appreciation. Since many of you will stop in today to link up, I just wanted to thank you. Thanks for reading, commenting, encouraging, and being a lover of poetry.
I took these pictures in my neighborhood. It had rained the night before, so the resurrection fern was full and green. The moss was particularly shiny and wiggling in the wind. The title came first, which is seldom the case. It came from a statement my father made about a heron on his dock, “She is queen of all she surveys.” I loved the line and thought how it would apply to the live oak. The poem did not come as easily, and I am still not completely satisfied. It started off much more prose-like. I cut words, moved stanzas around. All this work ended up taking me to the same place a few other poems have this summer, to the idea of the mother, the mother in nature that loves us unconditionally and protects us always.
(I want to thank Tabatha for her suggestion for this poem’s ending. I have made these changes. See what I mean about a supportive and helpful community?)
What threads do you see in your poetry? How do you follow or resist these threads?
She is Queen of all She Surveys
Mother oak stands
her long arms
clothed in fern,
open and green.
Here the mockingbird
defends her nest, squawking
at the passing squirrel.
Hanging moss wiggles grey fingers,
tickling the wind.
I want to live here
in her branches
among the birds
nestled in fern,
still holding on to my mother
with tight fists.
–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved
Father Goose is here with light verse poems from the new online Light Quarterly today from his perch in the treehouse at the FATHER GOOSE Blog
Matt has a poem about George.
Myra at Gathering Books continues with her Loss, Heartbreak, and Coming of Age bimonthly theme with Frida Kahlo’s letter to Marty McConnell.
Mary Lee Hahn has a poem about habits at A Year of Reading.
At Random Noodling, Diane Mayr has an illustrated poem that she wrote to send to a Summer Poem Swap partner. Kurious Kitty is looking at snakes today with a poem by Margaret Atwood. KK’s Kwotes has a quote by Frances Clarke Sayers.
Laura Shovan has a tree poem today, too. Hers is told from the point of view of a fifth grader with learning differences. Author Amok
Tara was inspired by an exhibition of Georgia O’Keefe’s leaves at A Teaching Life.
Tabatha Yeats at The Opposite of Indifference is writing about sirens and their irresistible songs.
Liz Steinglass is writing about nature, too, observing herself observing the natural world.
Carol at Carol’s Corner is sharing Bob Raczka’s seasons series and even giving away a book!
Robin Hood Black has an August poem by Albert Garcia.
Today at The Poem Farm, Amy has a small how-to poem and a visit from Margy Grosswendt. She tells about her recent travels to Bosnia where she volunteered in an orphanage and shared creative movement exercises with the children there.
Mandy joins in at Enjoy and Embrace Learning with a Hello original poem.
Steven Withrow has an original poem at Crackles of Speech, Chain Rhyme for Goldilocks.
Violet Nesdoly has a review of a friend’s chapbook, Humble Fare.
Anastasia posted a small poem about a large number of steps.
MM Socks has royalty on the mind with an original poem “Playing King.”
A short poem by Richard Brautigan entitled April 7, 1969 is on the menu at the Florian Cafe.
Semicolon Sherry has some thoughts on the Korean poems called Sijo, and on Linda Sue Park’s book called Tap Dancing on the Roof.
Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe has a reentry poem about the joy of 5-year-olds and a little dip-your-toes-in original.
Keri at Keri Recommends is sharing a poem gift from noodle-icious Diane Mayr for the Summer Poem Swap.
Joy Acey is waving to us from the top of a wavy poem at Poetry for Kids Joy.