Photo and Poetry Exchange #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is our hostess this week. Last month she invited us to participate in her “More than Meets the Eye” photo exchange. Participants were asked to send a photograph from their own geographic area to their exchange partner and in return their partner would write a poem about it.  Today’s the day! (Click here to read her call for participants.)


I was partnered up with my Kindergarten soul mate, Dani Burtsfield. She sent me a stunning photo taken in Glacier National Park. Here’s the message that accompanied it. “After perusing many of my photos, I have found one I think will be fun for you. It was taken in Glacier National Park in the heart of a very cold winter. What looks like a pile of dirt there alongside the riverbank is a beaver lodge. I have been going to Glacier Park for many years, and often took students there in the winter for a day of snowshoeing. Ever since 2006 when I started, the beaver lodge has remained there. We have yet to witness the busy beavers coming in and out of their lodge, but the rangers assure us it is a busy home to many!”

So much catches my eye in this photo. Those majestic mountain peaks! The striking colors. The contrast of the brown of the deciduous trees against the evergreens’ steady green hue. I feel a chill from the snow and icy-cold water, yet the bright blue sky warms my heart. And I can only imagine the activity in the beaver lodge nestled under its blanket of snow. I have never been to Glacier, but it is on my Bucket List, along with many of our glorious national parks. It was fun researching online a bit to learn which flora and fauna make their home in the park, and I wondered if any Native American tribes still had a presence in the area, or if they had all been relocated to reservations nearby.

There is a place

I love the suggested symmetry of the reflection in the water below of what rises above. That was the inspiration for my shape poem. In addition, I wanted to include a cautionary closing. In the mid-19th century, 150 glaciers existed in the park. By 2010, only 25 active glaciers remained. Sadly, climate scientists have estimated that all the active glaciers may disappear by 2030 if current climate patterns persist. There’s a message there for all of us.


In return, I sent Dani a photo I took at nearby Walden Pond last summer. I love walking in Thoreau’s footsteps and am always inspired to scribble in my writer’s notebook while I am there. I can not wait to see her poem! I hope you’ll visit her at Doing the Work That Matters.


I hope you’ll join Margaret and the rest of us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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18 thoughts on “Photo and Poetry Exchange #PoetryFriday

  1. Great photo that Dani sent you, Christie and in return you created a wonderful poem filling in the history behind those who frequented the land years back. That should be kept for a winter gallery offering. Walden Pond makes me dream of roaming with my own notebook.

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  2. How interesting that you and Dani both sent each other such similar subjects in your photos and both of well-known spots. The idea of a shape poem as well as well as descriptive flow really suits the reflection in the photo. I love your beginning lines, “There / is a place”… creating a nostalgic tone and that works well in your “reflection” ending. I always enjoy your nature poetry, Christie.

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  3. Oh, my goodness soul mates, yes! I’ll bet students in both your classes would love to skype each other about Glacier National and vernal pools. The shape of your poem is really good. It captures the reflection and the mountain peaks. I like all the animals named and the word harmony. It makes me want to go there. And, Alice is right….very interesting that you both chose the nature scenes that you did. A perfect pairing on many levels. Well done, Christie!

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  4. There is something nice about that ending, but it also carries some trepidation considering your facts about the shrinking glaciers and the words ‘for now’: “For now there is a placed called Glacier”. Nicely done! I’ve been there many times with family and with students. It is a magical and beautiful place. I hope you do manage a trip there someday, Christie.

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  5. Dani and I have become good friends through Voxer, and my husband and I will be going to Glacier to visit her and see the park for the 4th of July. I can’t wait! I’m glad it will not be snowy. I love your shape poem that includes so much about the place. That warning is scary. I feel like these beautiful places are slipping from our fingers by the day. In South Louisiana, we lose a football field of wetlands every 100 minutes. Hard to fathom.

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  6. These photo-inspired poems and all the shared thoughts have so enriched my weekend! It was inspired to use a shape poem to mimic the reflection on the water. I agree with Alice that your opening words set a tone that works so well to tell the story of this place and then “where the mountains meet the sky” lifts it to folklore or legend. Oh…the chilling sadness of the need to include the words “for now” in your ending lines.


  7. You brought back wonderful memories for me posting that picture of Walden Pond, Christie! I have NOT been to Glacier National Park, however (I wish). I love that you chose a diamond shape for your poem. It not only hints at the water’s reflection, but it lends itself to the overall majesty.


  8. That is a gorgeous photo Dani sent you. One day I would love to visit Glacier National Park, and I hope we can all heed your warning before it is too late. I must confess that I am quite jealous you can visit Walden Pond, too.


  9. I hope somehow we preserve this “place called Glacier.” Gorgeous, and sad poem Christie–it needs to be said and it needs a bigger audience–I hope your poem will find one. I’d like to visit both of these places, especially Walden pond, thanks!


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