(Poet’s note: Last week, our school (like most schools) held a ceremony for Veteran’s Day and I noticed how the number of veterans in attendance continues to shrink each year. I listened to one of my students play Taps on his trumpet with our music teacher, and heard another teacher explain to our entire school the meaning of Taps in ceremony. I thought of silence.)
(Poet’s note: This poem came from a conversation that I had with someone about how kids can use Magnetic Fridge Poetry for writing, as I was lamenting that my new Interactive Board led to the removal of my chalkboard, where I often would stick magnetic words for students to play with. Oh well. Then, I thought about what it would mean to “lose” a word from a set and what if that word were love?)
The missing word
from the fridge
is the Love Magnet
and I wondered where it had gone
so I went searching:
until I was so exhausted that I collapsed in bed
and discovered “love” right where I had left it:
Beneath your pillow – right beside me.
(Poet’s note: This poem was inspired by a conversation at a literacy conference, where we were talking about struggling readers and how they sometimes can’t see below the surface of the letters on the page).
She reads the words,
not the text.
She zeroes in on the sounds,
not the meaning.
I’d like to shrink her down
so that she can dance inside the sentence
and tightrope among the twists and turns of the font
that holds the story up
when it often appears to her to be on the verge
Here is my Voicethread for this week’s group of poems, as I am away from home.
(Poet’s note: I was writing this poem with a comic in mind and then realized that it would be best served on a comic medium (with fries on the side!). And, what the heck, I wanted it a movie, too!)
The poets would laugh at you
if they saw your words in a comic
because how could they take you seriously
when your words are shoved into speech bubbles
voiced from the mouths of funny characters?
Let ’em laugh, I say,
because poetry is no longer bound to the page –
it is alive with creativity
and, anyways, they’re dead and buried as mere echoes of the past
while I am alive and living here, in this moment.
(Poet’s note: I’m not sure why I was thinking of the giant trees in our front yard — maybe it is the dangling branches that have me worried. But, in the spring, our neighbor comes and taps them, and then we make syrup. It had me wondering from the tree’s perspective. So, a Haiku for you.)
In spring, when trees cry,
we collect tears as sweetness:
dripping on our tongue
(Poet’s note: I feel a bit like I am running out of steam. 30 days is beginning to take its toll. So, I looked around our house and tried to focus on something simple for this poem. What I found was a bench piled high with books for the kids — picture books, chapter books, comics, graphic novels, sports books, etc. So, a poem to the pile!)
There’s no madness to this mess —
it’s just a mess of stories
that never rests —
nor do we want it to
even as the stack teeters precariously
under the weight of those words and stories
that provide buried treasure there
for even the most intrepid explorer.
(Poet’s note: I used to live for Sundays in football season, just to watch the New York Giants. There were good years. There were bad years. And at night, I would dream in football plays — usually the botched ones. Thankfully, I have grown out of that phase. But I still love the Giants and catch a bit when I can. It’s just not the same.)
I used to dream in football back when I was fan
so that I could redraw the plays the way they should have been played
and not how they came out on the field
It is amazing how invested I could become
from my living room chair, with a beer can in my hand,
and my feet nowhere near the green grass.
And at night, I was the coach,
picking apart the film.
I still watch, but I am not the same;
Now, I wake up at night with worries of my family
or my classroom
or my writing.
The game has changed in ways that I cannot even begin to fathom.
Take a word. Toss it into this Williams Words generator. Out comes a visual poem. Of sorts. Here is mine, using the word “composing” as the generator text. I am even going to say, this is one of my 30Poems 30Days poems, as a way to honor the non-traditional poet.
(Poet’s Note: I have three boys. My mom passed away as the second one was nearing birth, so she knew our first, knew of the second but never of the third. I wonder what she would have thought about them and think about how she would have loved to be with them. A poem of memory, loss and celebration.)
How much life we have lived without my mother to see it;
she who died before the second one was born
and never even knew that a third one was destined
and only held onto the first one with such fierce love
that her echoes still reverberate around us.