Wednesday, May 4, 2011

3WW: Grace, Jitter, Thin

I look around my classroom
at the messy pile of textbooks
at the world and U.S. maps
taped to the wall

at the posters in progress
draped over tables
like Dali’s clocks
at the hundreds of novels

sitting like crooked teeth
in makeshift bookcases
made out of empty boxes
at two plants gasping

for sun and water
at three hot pink recycling
bins and a gray garbage can
at a Purell dispenser

a pencil sharpener
a table with discarded
how-to-write-poetry books
waiting for new homes

at seventeen cranberry desks
four sky blue ones two navy
blue ones and a lone sunny
yellow student desk

at an old TV and VCR
on a raised stand with various
tapes strewn about
at a beige file cabinet

at the poster with flames
Carl King made
shortly before he died
three years ago

at my windows full
of white birch trees
and baby leaves
at a wall hanging

of Shakespeare
a moon poster
four schedules for this week’s
classes taped to the board

at piles of papers
bins with all my assignments
a pewter mug with a bouquet
of pens and pencils

at a mural of four gods
and goddesses painted
over twenty years ago
at bulletin boards

filled with imaginations
and creativity
at a poster that says,
“Poetry is honeycomb

so full that it drips
into a puddle
from which the hummingbird

at a clock that says
8:20 am and a red second
hand making its way around
taking me one click

at a time closer to the end
at a notepad with the words
grace, jitter, and thin
written in black

that I keep glancing at
wondering how on earth
I’ll ever use them
in this poem

at my fingers jitterbugging
on black computer keys
as I try to find a way
to stop writing when there

are still so many other
things to list about this room
this life this working race
to retirement.


jaerose said...

I would love to be in that classroom - it sounds like a honeypot of creativity - you describe it so well I feel I am there..perhaps you'd rather be at home writing today's poem (who wouldn't!) but this room filled the page perfectly..Jae

Kim Nelson said...

Your wonderfully descriptive word-tour felt like a camera panning the scene. I liked it.
I wondered, though, how does that room smell? Is it too warm or too cool or just right?

VL Sheridan said...

Yes, I can feel the anticipation and anxiety to finish before the class starts and she has to give herself to all those bright young minds. Great work.

Fear Not the Darkness but What lies Within said...

Sheilagh Lee said:that sounds likea wonderfully prodcutive classroom. I loved the way you decribed every detail.

Andy Sewina said...

Phew, what wonderful memories you'll take with you when you do retire.

I like the creative way you got the 3 words in.

oldegg said...

Who cares about the prompt words when you write such a beautiful sad piece as this. Even if you wrote "and the prompt words should have been..." at the end and not actually used them I would still applaud.

Nico said...

And that, Linda, was masterful. Read it three times, and I think I'll go back and read it again.

Susannah said...

Oh I really loved that, I enjoyed every word. :-)

K said...

It has been a very long time...but I can remember a room much like the one you've described. It is alive, but you know this.
I love the way you used/found the words "thin" and "grace".

Old Altonian said...

That, my dear, was a TOUR de Force.
Bravo & Encore!

Peter Dudley said...

Love the clever (mis)use of the words! Lovely description of the classroom; I'm wondering if Carl King was a student of yours. At one point I was thinking this was becoming a too-long laundry list, but I actually really like it. By the end there's a breathless frustration underlying the words trying to get your 3WW done before the students fill the empty desks, and it becomes clear that the laundry list isn't that so much as you searching desperately for something to write about with those words. Very fun poem, with lovely images. I like it quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

That was brilliant! :)

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Agnija said...

Interesting twist to the prompt. Loved all the vivid colors in the classroom. Especially liked the description of draped posters like clocks of Dali!! That was so vivid.

Linda's Poems