A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, Guests-Margaret Simon and Nephew, Jack

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a sixth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests.

I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Margaret Simon and Her Nephew, Jack

Jack Drumming
Margaret’s Poem

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Margaret and Jack at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans eating beignets.Jack beignets copy

One handsome drummer!

Jack with drums copy

Many thanks to Margaret and Jack for sharing their talents with us today.


Meet Jack: An early age, Margaret’s nephew Jack was destined to be a drummer.  He seemed to have an innate sense of rhythm even as a toddler.  He would tap along to music on his carseat or at the dinner table. He started assembling drum sets with pans and tupperware containers from the kitchen cabinet.  At age 6, after attending his sister’s middle school band concert, Jack declared that he wanted to play percussion in middle school.  Knowing that piano lessons would help him achieve this, his mom (Margaret’s sister) signed him up for piano lessons right away.  He excelled at piano but still felt a need to “get the beats out of his head.”   Jack received a small starter drum set which he played with passion.  At age 9, Jack upgraded his drum set and started formal drum lessons.  He has a strong ear,  impeccable rhythm, and loves to practice.  In the fall of 2016, he will enter middle school.  He has chosen percussion for his instrument in band.  No surprise there.

Meet Margaret: Margaret Simon is a poet, artist, teacher, mother.  She teaches gifted students in elementary grades in Iberia Parish, Louisiana.  Living on a bayou offers inspiration for poetry and peace.  Now that her daughters are adults, she spends more time writing than ever before.  She published her first middle grade novel, Blessen, in 2012.  She is currently pitching the sequel, Sunshine.  She published a book of poems with her father’s art in a small chapbook, Illuminate, in 2013.  Currently she is writing a verse novel.  She lives with her husband of over 30 years on the Bayou Teche and blogs regularly at Reflections on the Teche.


poetry friday button

And guess what? Margaret is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Reflections on the Teche. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.


30 thoughts on “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, Guests-Margaret Simon and Nephew, Jack

  1. Jack sure does have rhythm oozing from all of him. I think he chose the right instrument. Margaret’s poem captures the urgency he shows in the video. Great post! Thanks for sharing, Margaret and Jack.

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  2. Happy to stop by and catch Jack’s drumming and Margaret’s poem! I love Jack’s enthusiasm – smiles like his are why I made my teaching home with middle schoolers.

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  3. Just an awesome second part of this drum/poetry collaboration, Penny, with Margaret and Jack. He’s already wonderful! And to write this “budda, bump, bum” poem along with the beat is terrific too.

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  4. I think this is the first time I’ve seen a poem during a drum video! Terrific idea and match, y’all! Jack has great skills and dedication. Best of luck to him in middle school!

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  5. What a young rock star and such an inspired poem to go with it. Love the photo of you both eating beignets. My middle son plays percussion at 12, after years of cello lessons, and I don’t think he could have rocked out with such panache. Well done!

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  6. Bravo! Brava! Hooray! and Yahoo! This pairing is such fun, Penny. I love Jack’s rhythm and passion for his instrument, the fact that his parents are doing what it takes to nurture that passion and “get the beats out of his head,” and Margaret’s wonderful ability to turn that passion into poetry! Thanks to all for energizing my morning.🙂

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  7. What a very passionate offering today! I love Margaret’s poem with Jack’s drumming. You can feel the joy in Jack’s playing. He is in his own world. I also applaud his parents for letting him explore the piano and move on to “feeling the beat” through drumming! He’s having the time of his life and it shows. Reminds me of my review last week of Peter Reynold’s book, “Playing from the Heart.”

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  8. Penny,
    Thanks so much for posting the video and poem today. I have a feeling Jack will be a famous drummer some day. This was such a fun post to do.

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  9. As the mom of a drummer-boy, I especially love the pic of Jack with his big kit! What fun this poem is… and oooh, beignets… too long since I’ve been to New Orleans! Keep drumming, Jack! And keep writing, Aunt Margaret. xo

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