Sunday, April 30, 2017

I feel I owe a debt to J.K. Rowling on so many levels in my life and that sounds so corny, but it is true.
It was her Harry Potter series that gave me material to practice how to teach large groups of kids about characters. It was good practice how to adapt into scripts and construct props too.
It was her series that I was reading as one of my favorite pets was dying and I grieved over Dumbledore and my beloved cat that summer, but it gave me a place to channel that grief.
It was the bravery of the final book and all its uncertainty in finding a way to finish what had to be done and in that year I finished a particular job era. The what nexts of the next few years, I re-read that final book every year till I found a place to land in my life. I think I read it five years straight.
And then this summer, I was frustrated with my son, who began reading at a super early age, had given up on reading all fiction books he said. Right after he turned eleven I got him to start listening to me read the Harry Potter books because Harry in that first book turned eleven. He got hooked and never turned back!
It has been ten months to read all of them out loud, but I’ve loved every minute of it! What an actor work out! I wouldn’t trade that time for anything! We finished the last movie tonight also.
Hence the poetry mostly about Harry tonight and one I wrote earlier in the day thinking about the days ahead of me. I’ll try to take on some of that Harry bravery that I just spoke about.

Harry Haikus
Hogwarts Express
Train ride find friends
Crunching candy to brave end
Blasts their wizard world

Feral Car Found
Muggle no magic
Flies till untimely crashes
Wild thing rescues boys

Love Protects
Love disintegrates
Those who are Dark Arts harmed
First story to last

Hagrid’s Pets
Hagrid holds creatures
Rare beauty is charming him
He shows other sides

Harry Potter Has Come
Who is Harry now?
He is a part of fabric
Sews us together

Practicing Magic
Magic is mercy
Spells are our powerful words
Love is the secret

Hogwarts Acceptance
I will so miss you
Reading out loud for two
Curled up on the couch
Or on your bed in a pouch
With a flashlight on
Words breaking like dawn
Into your world
The wizard flag unfurled
You would go on and on
About the tiniest little spawn
Or creature or phrase
In that Harry Potter phase
I will cherish the time we spent
The books were such a gift
To get you talking
In your walking
Or waking hours
You’d quiz me about towers
And wands and curses
And all the versus
Of good guys and bad
And what they did and didn’t have
Or what they thought
Or saw or caught
You wanted to know
What was in their souls?
Our discussions were thrilling
As you were spilling
Out so much of what you think
Now it is over and that stinks
I’ll try to replace these books
With other characters and hooks
To dig you out of your stuck place
So our time together won’t be erased

To Be or Not
I’m wearing a sweatshirt today
With a friendly saying
That keeps at bay
Those thoughts from dwelling
Or welling up feelings
That cry to be stuffed
For something tough
The outer garment
Proclaims a place
I find so pleasing
Because it squeezes
The good things out of me
Even when I’m not looking
Tomorrow we’ll see what’s cooking
From a test they are giving me
Not the paper kind
With books and rhymes
That I could pass with flying colors
No, this one is one of the “others”
That come around the bend
And smack your behind
Because you have been unkind
Or done something way
In the past you didn’t think
Would hurt to take that drink
Of Kool-Aid and now it is too late
It isn’t open to debate
Your body needs testing
Because there is a mess within
And nothing can change that now
It isn’t how you thought
You might be caught
Your mind won’t stop
Until tomorrow
Until then you borrow
What strength you have
From a shirt that says you aren’t bad
And you are glad that such a place exists
And you sit with it all on your plate
Not wanting to eat in this state
You push back from the table
Being stable today
Is where you want to be
In reality, now is the opportunity
To be all that you can be

Saturday, April 29, 2017

NaPoWriMo #38 DUCK!

What are the odds on the same day this would happen? Yes, every word is true. I did see a mother duck and her duckling. My dear husband did let a mated pair of them cross the road and then…. (poor guy)! He’s doing okay (thanks for asking).

For the Love of Ducks
Spring has sprung
The grass is riz
The ducks are out
And walking about
I swerved and weaved
But still kept speed
As a mother and baby duckling
These two tiny things
Waddled across my road
On I went to my abode
They strode calmly across
As drivers avoided them at all cost
There was no loss
Mother duck being boss
To baby who distractedly wandered
Running in spasms, blundered,
Its fuzzy headed hopping
Fixated each driver scoping
How best to avoid such a loving scene
Maneuvering our bulky machines
Out of the path of this little family
Watching in my rear view mirror with glee
As they made it to safety
You, however, did a different endeavor
You took such great care
You stopped and took in
Probably with a big grin
As a mated pair of ducks
Crossed your busy road
It was just your luck
In the path of these ducks
You sat contemplating
Their lifelong mating
Just before she came up behind
You saw her but not in time
To do anything about it
(I expect you shouted)
The thud and crunch
Where your cars munched
A hit, a very palpable hit!
I’m sure your stomach turned flips
Your first accident to date!
And it made you so very late
I wondered why I had to wait
Not knowing what you paid
And where you stayed delayed
I asked if the ducks made it
You never hesitated
But told me quite proudly
That they made it soundly

Friday, April 28, 2017

NaPoWriMo #37 All in the timing...

Groucho Marx,” I intend to live forever, or die trying.”

Groucho’s Intent
He looks back over his shoulder
Like a cheesecake take
But he is in a neatly tailored suit
Giving a look to rival
The pin up girls of the time
This whimsical flit
Dares to do more
Then say hello
He wants his audience
To applaud as it is his signature
Face that invites laughter
In his entrance
Yet this black and white snapshot
Is him walking away
Saying something like
“See ya later, if I see ya,
my glasses are fogging up
just thinking about it.”
He oozes the art of double speak
It is his spark
Making ladies playing opposite him
Squeak and often bark
As he chases them verbally
Around the park
Or wherever the scene is set
As it was always the same scenario
With different players
All but three or four
His was the first and last door
To open and close
Saying a signature “hello”
And long lingering adieu’s
Filled to the brim with laughter
Song and dance when he had the chance
Singing of tattooed ladies
And a Captain’s adventures
He somehow skated around the censor
He is part of the wall paper
That decorates the modern comedians
Groucho, you were one of a kind
Timing like yours is hard to find

Thursday, April 27, 2017

NaPoWriMo #37 Those electronics can get in the way....

Tiny wire squares
Stretched over frames
Or encased in a plastic holder
To strain out what is unwanted
To leave the lumps or whole fruit behind
What makes it through is smooth
Or clear pure juice
That can jell the golden notes of summer
Spread on toast there’s nothing like it
Savored on winter’s bleak bones
Electronic screens preserve the dross
The left behind thoughts of millions
Unsifted hunks of soul
Stuck clogging pipes of productiveness
Rendering the flow impossible
A backed up sewer of sludge
Caked under dirty dishes
Slowly draining the life out of you

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NaPoWriMo #36 Testing gives me time to compose...

Can you tell it is a week of testing at our school? Yep, most teachers will recognize this one.

Five Minutes and Holding
Electric currents concentrated
For this is the hold
Of being a non-participant
An outlier of norm
A thoroughbred at the gate
Ready to run hard
The leader of those bred
In a constructed race
Not for the horses
But for the owners
And their profit
More than that lone gambler
Who recognizes petite potential
Despite the sour statistics
That points the opposite direction
Circumstances are the great equalizer
That places favor in one’s corner
The chomping at the bit
To break through
And gallop gaining glory
Taking a lap in the winner’s circle
Not everyone will be there
Some go back to the barn
To race another day
But when waiting for that shot
They are all running ahead
On a clear day
No injuries
A jockey who can really ride on top
They stamp eager to go
And the bell rings
They’re off!
Instant loud bangs of lockers
Distant yells in the hallway
Raucous laugher erupting
As students bolt
Out of the gate
To their next class

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NaPoWriMo #35 Reflections from a teacher's desk

Middle School Rainbow Box
I’d like to live
In the rainbow striped box
On your desk
You’d pick up the box
With the jaunty gross grain hot pink ribbon
To swing along by your side
The box I imagine filled with
Candy treats or surprise sparkle pencils
Sunshine treats to the diligent that seek perfection
Or it could hold scarlet pink slips
Handed out the those belligerent brave ones
That bucks the system and spends afternoons
With the in-house vice squad
Where purple dreams go “poof”
And parents rail violet to
Teachers via electronic emissions
Defending their darlings against
the one time punishment
that doesn’t even go on any record
Or the box may be empty
to those that look for something there
and see nothing, but a morose mug starring
back at them out of the misty mirror
It is what the blue boys and girls imagine
as they sob in stark white tiled bathrooms
with steal accents and the hard surfaces
echo back to them a single existence
Until they imagine the walls to reflect red
and close, crumbling in on them
as they wipe down their arms
They huddle down in a ball
on the floor, clutching to their chests journals,
full of deep moss green secrets
growing from their bellies which growl
carving out space for the orange creamsicle love they long for
There is always room for this tasty treat
they imagine how good it will taste, or it did
once when they thought they were close to it
They imagine the super saturated taste to burst
through and explode into all the colors of the rainbow
Like this box that shows the spectrum
Of this beginning point in puberty and propensity,
Living between skipping, running, and sliding off,
This highway from birth to adult-like existence
Which is supposed to be our “pot of gold”
Or magic box, which only appears
when our sunshine is mixed with rain
do we see all those beautiful colors

Monday, April 24, 2017

NaPoWriMo #35 How do they grow up?

Mother’s Day
You place your face against mine
The pressure is reassuring
While nearly alarming
Your cheek still so smooth
Almost as the day
you came out formed
you cried for me only then
I am eavesdropping on your
bedtime prattle with your father
Thinking how you used to wriggle
and fight when I’d place you
away from my secure side
into his strong arms
He gave you your first bath
as I could not lift you
I had not recovered
From our shared journey
You looked at him
With eyes so wide and blue
Unsure of his touch
You looked at me
To say, “is it okay?”
I said, “of course”
Which I did a lot
I kept talking
For you to hear
The anchor of my voice
Now you discuss
State and main
All of the things
That call you to speak
With the man you
Once cringed away from
You say little to me
I lean towards
The cheek you silently offer
As your mocking eyes
Tell me I am still
Part of your connection
But the silent movie mode
Will have to be sufficient
For mother and son
I will spy on
father’s magic moments
Until you grant me
audience again with scepter sway
Granting me one more glorious day

Sunday, April 23, 2017

NaWriPoMo #34 A little mushy, but somewhat good....

A quick poem for my Honey on Shakespeare's birthday!

Window to my heart
Is your tearing through
The kitchen and its contents
To make a lamb stew
Or you find a lime or two
Bring out flavor in what we chew
What is our meal divine
This house we’ve made entwined
Together you and I
As steam rises to the sky
A fragrant dish prepared with love
Recipe from our God above

Saturday, April 22, 2017

NaWriPoMo #32 & #33 More like exercises, but it'll do for tonight

The first poem is a warm up kind of exercise I do when nothing occurs to me. Tonight it was more poem-like, so I decided it counts. The second is a bit didactic, but okay, so it counts too. Not my best work, but you gotta put out some that aren't great to get to the good stuff too. I can feel I'm not in the right space tonight, but that happens too. 

Sounds My Mind Makes During Pancakes
Pat, pat, pat,
Tap, tap, tip,
Rip, pat, sip,
Lap, fat, cat,
Pal, gal, cow,
Moo, shoe, poo,
Crew, stew, woo,
Goo, sue, clue,
Glue, too, tutu,
Pink, think, drink,
Sthink, clink, clunk

Teacher’s Peach
Teaching is like selecting
The perfect peach
You see it, the beauty as it forms,
It hangs there just out of reach,
And you think how good it will taste
You can smell how the sun
Has ripened it
And how sweet it must taste
But you know it isn’t the time
Yet to pick it
It must stay until it is ripe
You watch and wait
You hope it rains enough
And it is hot enough
Just the right conditions
And the day comes
You get your ladder
To reach up for that
Perfect ripe peach
You almost want to keep
It hanging on the tree
It will taste so good
But after that
You can’t think about that
You pick it and carefully
Go back down the ladder
You show it to everyone
And then you sink your teeth
Into that amazing peach
It is better then you thought
As the juices run
Down your arms and face
But you don’t care
You want to savor
Every bite and so its messy,
It is the best thing ever!
Then it is gone
The curious, wrinkled pit
You hold is all that is left
You look at it
In wonder that a peach
Such a perfect fruit
Came from something so
Ugly, unrefined, and rough,
Yet you know the power of what
Is inside that pit
So you plant it
Knowing that many years
From now that same peach
Or one maybe even better
Will hang on the tree
Made from that central
Thing you just planted
And you walk away
From the orchard
Happy that you found
The perfect pit to plant today
Tomorrow you hope
There is another one