The Live Poets Club had its final meeting. With the start of the school year on the horizon for several of us, we no longer had the time to meet twice a week. And our gentle, quiet leader admitted that he was ready to let go of the responsibility. It had taken lots of mental and emotional energy. On the last day feelings were warm and no one could quite explain how the magical combination of writing, listening, and commenting had brought about the growth in all of us that it did. With gratitude to my fellow poets, I've selected to post, the two poems that I am most pleased with.
It was probably broken from the beginning.
Desperately childless and almost forty,
I met him at our high school reunion.
Intoxicated on inflated hopes of finding one's true love,
I agree to leave my job and drive
Across country, back to a place I had once known.
Arguments stowed away as we left the city,
And came out of hiding, tormenting us
At every place we tried to rest.
When we reached the coast, a truce
Was called and we behaved for his family
And tried to build domestic tranquility.
Jobless, I walked canyons alone,
And cried unending tears into the phone,
While our bed slowly froze.
A two-hour drive away, my sister
Gave birth to her first child. Our mother
Flew to her side, but declined to stay by mine.
One morning, "I would never marry you!"
Roared into the void between us and whatever
Had thinly wrapped us, ripped into shreds forever.
He drove off and I sat in a cold kitchen, staring
At an uncertain future. In the next moment, the phone
Brought me the warm, long-distance voice of an old friend.
"I'm coming. Would love to see you. What are
Your plans?" she asked with unknowing irony.
Through grief-filled sobs, I revealed the destroyed relationship.
Her immediate question: "Do you feel safe?" became
A woolen poncho tossed lovingly over my shoulders. And
For the first time in a year, I did.
Words as Lens
The poet is like a photographer,
Who captures a moment:
Backlit grasses, geese in flight,
Ruins of war, hollow black-and-white eyes,
Hands about to touch, old man on a park bench.
The poet takes existence and suspends it,
Focusing our attention on that which was
As I mentioned in my last post, a group of us have been gathering to support each other in learning more about poetry and improving what we write. A couple of days ago, I received my class list for the upcoming school year. Later that day, I composed this poem. Guess the poet thing is becoming more real. No assignment from or for the group, just thoughts that seemed to belong in a poem. So here it is:
I've always thought of the new kindergartners as seeds;
But today I realize they are seedlings. They come to me
In their little pots, already nourished and watered
By other hands. It's time to take them out and give them
Room to grow in rich soil.
They'll need plenty of sunshine and water
And time. Each one, already a
Carrot or a daisy. I can't change that.
Every one needs tender tending to grow.
No darkness. No crowding.
No pruning. At this stage, they need all their
Leaves, stems, branches, roots, to eventually
Bring forth fruit or flower. The pruning will come later.
I teach kindergarten at an independent school in Hawaii. The joy of young, curious learners delights me. I'm passionate about my practice, always striving to meet the needs of the children and their families.