Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wordle #2 for ReadWriteWord

I managed to use all the Wordle words: hammock, incense, upon, color, carress, gambol, suck, endure, life, stilts.

This is a true incident that happened at our school yesterday. I know in some parts of the country this is probably a normal occurrence but, in our neck of the woods, it hasn't happened in 30 years.
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The message was written
upon the inside of a stall
in the boys’ bathroom

and it incensed the principal
so much that he called
the police. The writer promised

to bring a gun to school
on 10/31/08 and use it to kill
as many “fuckers” as he could.

It made me wonder
what kind of a life
he’d had to endure,

what caresses he’d missed
out on, what abuse
had sucked the love

out of his soul. How could
the color of his sunshine
be black? What caused

him to slink through
the world like a dung beetle
instead of gambol,

head held high, like a horse
breathing the air
of green meadows?

I’m planning on retiring
in three years
but today I wish

I was already living
in the hammock of our stilt
house in sunny Florida

and not in New Hampshire
under the heavy clouds
of broken kids.
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NOTE: Today, our principal and vice-principal along with the police figured out who wrote the message and apprehended the person. I heard a rumor that it was one of my students and I'm just sick about it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bragging for Sunday Scribblings

This topic made me uncomfortable because I'm not one to brag or boast about myself. I tried writing a poem but just couldn't get into it. So I looked through my files and found this one that I wrote a few years ago for a high school poetry-writing class I taught. I think it shows off what I like best about myself: teaching kids and spreading a love of poetry.
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Teaching poetry to you guys
was like growing a garden.
When you entered the classroom
for the first time, you were rich soil
just waiting for me to plant
the seeds.

So I watered you with metaphors
and personification
and added the Miracle Gro
of imagery
and before my eyes, poems
were sprouting.

The amaryllises of
Annie, and
were elegantly spearing for the sun.

The yellow marigolds
of Mario, Marissa, and Meghan
scented the garden with spicy verses.

Our two Johnny-jump-ups,
Jessica and Jessica
blazed in purple stanzas.

Rachel and Roxanne
were delicate roses
with soft petals of words.

Those two bright sunflowers,
Steph and Sam,
grew tall with smiles and similes.

Bunches of soft heather
were Haileigh
filling notebooks with the hum
of her heart.

Kirstin was a vase of pinks
picked as carefully
as word choices.

Elyse, enchanter’s nightshade,
cast spells with her pencil.

We’ve had rain
to create emotion
and wind that tried to bend
your stalks
but the strength of your stories
sustained you
so that today I look out at
a colorful array of
human poems.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another 3WW: Ache, difference, suffer

Ache Difference Suffer
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She hears another kid
talking about someone
committing suicide

and runs out of the room
with those words
chasing her

down the corridor.
They are drills
boring into her.

Each step
is a jackhammer
in her heart.

The hallway walls
are vices
squeezing, squeezing.

The guidance counselor
watches her suffer
wishing he could

absorb her ache,
her guilt for breaking
up with her boyfriend

and then learning
that he had taken
his own life.

But he is unable
to make a difference.
She returns to class

eyes red
a fist in her throat.
The other students stare.

I don’t want
to make matters worse
by singling her out.

But I am amazed
at her courage
to even come back

to class and face
the others. She doesn’t
know it yet

but she’s going
to be

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Style for Suday Scribblings

“’That ain’t my style’ said Casey. ‘Strike one!’ the umpire said.”
~Ernest Lawrence Thayer

This is the first thing
that popped into my head
when I read the prompt
for this week.

I thought I’d be able
to whip up a poem
in no time at all.
Instead, I sit here

staring at the screen
thinking about teaching
“Casey at the Bat”
years ago to my eighth-

grade students
and reading it to my
high schoolers in October
2004 when it looked

like the Red Sox
could never beat
the Yankees.
But, tonight, it is letting

me down. No ideas
are percolating. No words
are marching down my arms.
I’m at bat, like Casey,

and the ball is coming
toward me but, “It ain’t
my style” so I don’t
even bother to try to hit it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Collaborative for ReadWrtiePoem

This doesn't make much sense but I had fun adding punctuation and trying to make it work. I did have to add a couple of endings to two of the words at the end just because the originals didn't fit at all. (in brackets)

slink across chrome alleys.
deplete memories
of sacred tablature.
Antiquated courtyards
host tribal artifacts
which nobody recognizes.
remain untouched.

Yet, civil guards scream
Lost meditation resurfaces.
I, brilliant though forgettable.
Words, tenuous, ly[ing] scavenge[rs],

Internal Rhyme for TOP

I tried writing a poem with internal rhyme this morning but it just wasn't happening. I've written two such poems in my entire life and I read them both to my tenth-graders and they liked this one the best. So here it is from many years ago.
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I love the beach when the reach of the waves
obliterates, inundates, and engraves
the rocks. The sand and land disappear
so no one’s there for this rare atmosphere.

I love the shore when the roar of the surf
comes crashing down with a frown on the turf,
when clouds are gray and the spray stings my cheek~
deserted stretch that is fetching and bleak.

I love the ocean’s emotional tug
so powerful like the pull of a drug
when wind and foam form a comb for the weeds~
alone by choice I rejoice and my needs

are satisfied by the tide when austere.
When others spoil, I recoil and I veer
away to wait, hibernate, while it’s nice.
I need a storm to transform and entice.

Bradenton Beach, Florida

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

3WW: delicate, night, jaded

Delicate Night Jaded
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“Love is delicate”
she warned her jaded boyfriend.
He laughed in her face

turning lacy thoughts
into leather valentines
the night he left her.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wordle for ReadWriteWord

wind espresso field rain warm gentle science turning tricksy autumn stubborn incandescence belly loving velocity explore philharmonic realize anapest arguably pestilent silence insight laugh flask whisper hooded igloo sigh enormous
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“You are such a big bull”
he says to me
every time I bump
into furniture.

I try to laugh it off
but those words slide
into the flask
of my igloo heart
and I carry them around
with me all day,

turning them this way and that
as they become
more enormous
by the minute.

Each letter is rain.
Each word is the wind
that whispers
in philharmonic

There is no science
to explore the velocity
of that sentence
as it hits my belly,

no insight
into the field of silence
that stretches
from me to you.

Six syllables
of anapest
that create a prairie
between us.

I could blame it
on the tricksy autumn
season of my life
making me clumsy

or your espresso

But I am stubborn
and loving you
has made me realize
that you have,
a pestilent tongue

that works before
your brain. I know
you don’t mean
to hurt me

so I put my sweatshirt
on and head outdoors
to get over it.

I walk away from you,
a hooded shape
becoming smaller
and smaller.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To Live at a Different Time in History for Sunday Scribblings


I found a stray
hair on my chin,

noticed that I need
a color soon,

had to suck my tummy
in to fasten my jeans,

dreamed about being
young again

then looked out the window.
Pine needles had made

a brown shag carpet
all around our camp site,

the sun was sifting
through leaves

all mango and cantaloupe.
I heard the siren lure

of a train whistle
and realized

I’d rather stay
right here

in my October
writing this poem.

Empowered for Writer's Island


I spent the morning
in front of a computer
designing a TeacherWeb page
and if I turned my head just a little
I could see the sun
designing a mosaic
on the fall leaves.

Now, in this caramel afternoon
I’m sitting on a beach
with that same sun
painting shadows
in all the little pockets
of the sand.
I watch the waves
rush toward high tide
crocheting an intricate doily
on the shore
and with a yellow pencil
I design a poem.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Forbidden for Sunday Scribblings

Only the moon
at us

the stairs
to the ski


bursting out of me
in nervous

my shaking hand
around the neck
of a Michelob

you sitting
next to me

I lose
in the moon
of your eyes.
Linda's Poems