Category Archives: poetry

Wait Time

part of the day

a certain amount

of  business

the necessity brings it to the front of the line and it surfaces for  consideration

something must be done and so

the cycle continues without much

assistance

nevertheless the projects carry on as usual

waiting for the relief of a solution or an inspiration realizing that although broken and run down and grinding to a halt

the main drive is to endure

and

push

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Case Studied

The little boy was one of those

kids

that just made you

wonder.

At home he was a challenge but the parents didn’t let anyone know until the day before enrollment. A very cute and sweet little guy but not easy in the classroom, but not the worse case either. This type of child, the one you just wonder about comes along and it is just up to the teacher for the time being to think of strategies that might work. After all. when I was hired I was told rather point blank that I was being hired to be a thinking person.

So I did

just that and even tonight,

years

later,

I continue to

think about

the child and hope

all that has been tried

since then

is helping him progress

The thing is, the very heart of the matter is that he was just a small child with a comfort level in my classroom and knew I was a reasonable and kind soul that allowed him the understanding of his connection to his two toy cars and his  leather New Testament inside his metal toolbox.

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Standstill

Hate the shed door.

Not really

a nice feature

keeping

garden tools in the little den

Poor cat, bipolar perhaps, but a hit and miss bird watcher like me.

Been sorting

out

some books since 2012 and still

not done

Stuff.

Watching neighbour feed the birds, a ritual everyday and the birds love it almost as much as the squirrels do, dependable creatures in a way.

The summer it will be too hot but that is when the door to the shed will get fixed

unless

it takes a few more journals over the years

to write

about how

much I hate

the broken door and how

the garden tools are still

in the little den

salvaged pots of fall plants primly sit with artificial lit ones and only a few dry leaves on the pointsettia beside the jug of bittersweet and the amaryrillis despite being too deeply planted inches up

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Into The Books

Looking for many hidden dragons and finding the gorilla sneaking into the zoo keeper’s bed were just a couple of the adventures I shared with a three year old child yesterday. Among other things such as little pigs making big messes and needing hidden kisses from a mother racoon we also considered how to detangle the horns of the wild reindeer so that they could be harnessed to fly. Worries about everything a three year old and her parents might worry about such as going to school and deciding what costume to wear in a parade and listening to the wisdom of a very cool laid-back grandma were covered in depth.It was a very full story hour or two and intense enough for my over sixty years old self. However,it was a precious part of her three year old day along with her special gifts, family and fun around her. This little patch of the day, shoulder to shoulder finding ourselves inside the storybooks together, sharing the stories,art and wonder. The blessing for me was to hear the tiny sighs and laughter responding to my telling and pointing out and questioning either the obvious or the insightful. You had to have been there.

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Independent Spirit

Late November and heavy

sky just holding

off the rain so that the barn swallow can fly

carrying

so gently on its back

a tiny fairy girl I once knew

as a little one

running along with her sisters on a country road and in the school house lane

orchards on one side, towering evergreens sweeping us kindly with low branches as we played and imagined our stories over and over again using our own words and changing very little when they were told again because of the simple beautiful comfort of knowing each other

today the rain just held

back its tears long enough

for the songs

to make us smile once more and make some feel

the reaching back

to gathering together today for the sake of family, friends and art

a silver butterfly as a spirit

today to connect

with the symbolic appreciation of her monarch of familiar earthy colours

to take the time

to look for the butterflies and let the milkweed grow enough

at the side of the road and in the rough garden patch

all the while thinking that she was right

in wishing and hoping and expecting

that we need to take better care of each other

barn swallows and butterflies and giving each other the chance

peace, our only chance

forever this is home

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Character Building

Light on

at the corner of my yard for the lady next door

who

walks her dog

in the dark

down the village street

the corner light

above

the mailbox is yellowing with age

some of the neighbours had put up some Christmas lights

but some haven’t

it is maybe too early

or maybe too late

it is cold now and nobody wants to do lights

it is cold

snow was here and wind has ripped on through the village a couple of times on wild days this week with rain washing away the snow leaving fallen fences, branches in the lane and newspapers in the wrong places

trying

to stay

warm with extra layers and covering

up

the cat

unexpected but not atypical

demands

tightening

wrinkles

into place

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All Seasons Meaning

Little child and I together

for the afternoon

with an age difference of about sixty years and we got along just fine

with the bag of folktales

artfully rendered books about nature, poetry, faith, mystery and fun

With the wind howling and tearing

down

the fence and vines outside and the sky

dark with power

Together

we sat together

a two year old and another much older and met

together

in the place of books

A friendly and quiet place

with gentle words and warm comfort

finding things

together

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Writers in a Polar Vortex

Putting out the call,

writing up the bulletin, drawing the poster and gathering

together

ideas

Sensory games analytical for some

insightful for others

Listening to the inner voice before it dissipates ignored

Snow falling, repeating the warning in the words spoken, bulletin printed and sketched

postponed as expected

and yet the interest stirred enough to warm the inner voice

muffled in layers

surviving

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The Odd Little Spark

Tonight there were only two of us at the bonfire on a very quiet August night.
Last week, at a different bonfire there were over a dozen adults plus an assortment of children on a not so quiet August night. The atmosphere at both bonfires was a concentration on the flames and the conversation flickered and fanned itself, dying out at times and then bursting up into little stories or commentaries, even small jokes, an update on the game running televised but unwatched in the house.
Tonight, a quiet night, is a night to let thoughts surface. Instead of coming home to sleep it is a night to drink hot tea and eat whole wheat bread and Sarah’s strawberry jam while writing out the swirl and range of thoughts that surface unbidden. Thoughts from every angle, corner and folded crease just announce themselves and flutter around much like the over excited children at the other bonfire on another night, the noisy one.
Tonight, as it all flew by I wondered if any of these thoughts would catch my interest and ignite a story or a poem. Although interesting enough to me in my mind’s eye, none of the thoughts or images are the right material to expand upon. The other night, I worried about the fire sparking off a dangerous flame as the children whirled about showing off, cooking burnt marshmallows and running around with charred hotdogs on long metal sticks. I found myself mentally reviewing emergency first aid in case it was required and thankfully it wasn’t.
Neither bonfire was mine so as a guest at each one all I could do is share the cool dark night, the brightness of the flames and follow the flow. Hours later at home, on the quiet night, comforted by the second cup of hot tea and homemade jam with fresh, soft bread I write this odd little post that came out of the smoke, unbidden.

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Stretching It Out

Billed as “local literary talent” the predicament of choosing the most suitable material for the event is upon me. Two weeks from now I will be the entertainment for an age group that ranges from toddler to adult and perhaps, senior adults.
With some concentration I can recall some fun songs and rhymes that I used in my days of Kindergarten teacher. Oddly enough, at first I had some trouble dredging them up. After all it’s been four years since I had to use them daily, almost nonstop from total recall. Where do these wee rhymes go once their time and usefulness has past? Fortunately, I remember a couple and one begets another and so on.
There will be the older children to contend with and hold them rapt while the evening unfolds. Something interesting and off beat and yet relatable to their experience and understanding is required. Fortunately my drama experience will fill the bill here. Oddly though, the little book of excellent ideas that I’d put away for a rainy day isn’t to be found. It’s here in a bin or a drawer or hidden away on a shelf, snickering at me because I can’t find it or recall where I might have used it last. Annoyed, I’ve come up with something based on a drama structure that I do recall and there is more than enough for a lively hour of preteen activity and creative inclination.
The older ones, the high school kids, will have their cell phones on so their time will be occupied nicely by texting each other in the same room and I need not worry too much about them . Yet, something should be included for their benefit. My poetry may fit the bill for them even though it is not written in a thumping rap or whine. It is unrhymed and melancholic, self absorbed stuff and therefore good enough. On second thought, maybe I should bring food.
My adult audience will consist of neighbours, family and church folk with a few unknowns. Hopefully, I won’t offend. For their edification, they can join in with the little ones and do the fishy dance song and soak up the vibe of the poetry non slam that I offer. As an added bonus for them I have some short stories from my stockpile or from blog archives. These are a style mix like if Maeve, Alice and Kurt were writing together maybe with a dash of Pym and side of Herriot.
This writing is gentle, at times gloomy, at times humorous but reflective. It has taken a couple of years to write out all the emotion to the point where it is now, still holding back some of the reality and as a result any art in that respect is still unwrapped. (What would the neighbours, family members and church folk think of it otherwise?
Hmmm, would anyone recognize themselves in the mirror?
My writing mentor and I haven’t worked together for over a year because of my irregular routines, the polar vortex, my aches and pains and my lack of focus. Next week though, we will work again and see where I am headed. All it took was the friendly invitation to be the local storyteller again to jolt me into seeking this focus once more. Apparently I don’t just write for myself like a reclusive artist content with elaborate stockpiles of unfinished work. I need an audience, even one that is prone to tantrums, texting, worrying and supporting.

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