PF: Poetry Swap and More

downloadLast week I opened up the mailbox, expecting the regular array of bills, advertisements and political flyers, and instead found a slim package addressed to me. Oooh! Intriguing. Already my day was looking brighter! Seeing a familiar name above the return address, I realized it must be my first Summer Poetry Swap gift! I brought it into the house and immediately opened it.

Sure enough, Margaret Simon of Reflections on the River Teche had received my name in the match up. She sent me a lovely note on a beautiful photo card she’d made, along with a cute and cheerful notebook from a student fundraiser. Inside the notebook, she’d copied some of my recent photos from my Facebook page and included a copy of her gorgeous poem, “Mbuntu.” As a bonus (and an encouraging nudge), she’d added Michelle Haseltine’s Notebooking Bingo page. Thanks for such a personal and thoughtful gift, Margaret!



The kayaker doesn’t look
to see me watching him,
seeing how his body,
like paddle,
the water are one.
Stroke right, stroke left
sends a ripple from the
water to the trees
where light dances
like fine feathers.

Branches spread from bald
to shade the grass,
hide the tree frog,
nest the swallow.
A bird calls
Cicadas buzz
like maracas at a Spanish
The sun rises to the sound
of Samba.

~Margaret Simon

You might not know this, but Margaret also offers up a weekly poetry prompt each Thursday morning titled “This Photo Wants To Be A Poem”. It’s fun to participate, sharing quick responses and commenting on those of others. This week she shared this photo from her friend, JoAnne Duncan:


feather-at-sea, by JoAnne Duncan

Here’s my response:

Amidst a melody
of blues,
one single feather,
retains the memory
of flight.

©Molly Hogan

Much to my delight, Margaret has also featured a few of my photos. Here’s one from this past spring and my response:


Youth’s bloom a golden memory,
her heart aquiver,
Dandelion sighs,
releases her arrowed seeds
to lift and fly
to unknown destinations
in the wild spring breeze.

Molly Hogan, 2020

Thanks again, Margaret, for my Summer Swap gifts and for all the poetry goodness you spread!

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Jan Annino at her blog, Bookseedstudio. She’s sharing memories of her mother and a tender, original poem about swimming with her mother in the sea. Be sure to stop by and check out her post. She’s rounding up the old school way.


16 thoughts on “PF: Poetry Swap and More

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Every year that I do this Summer Poetry Swap, I feel such a sense of community and love from the giving and receiving. It is a pleasure! Thanks for sharing your poems from the photo prompts. I love these unique expressions around a single image.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Your gift was such a welcome reminder of community, friendship and support–especially welcome these days. Although I don’t manage to participate every week, I really appreciate your weekly photo prompts. I marvel at your energy and poetic productivity, Margaret! You’re an inspiration!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The love here, for poetry & people, is palpable, Molly. And the photographs – yours & all – are drinkable food for the soul.
    I’m also taken away with your poems especially ideas such a
    “arrowhead seeds.” brava!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing these beautiful gifts, Molly. I especially like your ‘feather at sea’ poem inspired by the photo. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. janicescully says:

    I agree! Such lovely photos and poems. I wouldn’t have noticed all the blues in the feather photo till your poem pointed it out. Your dandelion poem implies hope for a future, one with more dandelions who knows where.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I love that memory of flight. Something so yearning about it. What gorgeous gifts from Margaret–no surprise!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Linda Mitchell says:

    Oooooooooh! Such pretty stones in this necklace of poetry. The journal, that line about the kayaker being one with the water, the memory of flight…those perfectly define dandelion fluffs. Such beauty. I really love poetry swaps. They energize me. Art helps everything!


  7. Tabatha says:

    Margaret really is an inspiration, and so are you!


  8. “the memory of flight” – YES! I love the gift Margaret made for you, and all the invisible threads made visible in this post. So many connections…. lovely! xo


  9. Margaret’s poem is beautiful and so full of luscious imagery…and I love your “memory of flight!”


  10. Lovely sense of freedom, taking to flight as your
    “Dandelion sighs,
    releases her arrowed seeds”
    And in your feather poem too!
    Thanks for sharing Margaret’s poem and swap gift–I can see many critters there you might capture with your lens…


  11. Donna Smith says:

    Oh, to get back to the swaps again! Lovely gifts of heart and soul!


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