Five Poems for OpenWrite

I stumbled on the Five Day Open Write at Ethical ELA and decided to join in. For five days, I wrote a poem, using the theme or style suggested, and came back to comment on the poems of others (there were a lot of people writing poems, which was very cool to see).

And I like that it’s just five days (and then other times of the year, it’s another five days of writing invitations). I also liked the graphic (above) that gives frames for commenting.

Here are the poems I wrote:

Never accept what
they tell you
she told me
or maybe
she didn’t
tell me but only
showed me
the way forward
towards resistance,
a mother’s message
to a son still resonating
decades after
she told me
or didn’t


I wish I could turn
and wander from
these moments,
to remember forever
how it was before

with school hallways
bustling with chatty energy,
jostling bodies walking,
the slamming of the
metallic locker doors

the quiet of our writing,
mid-way musings of
pencil scratches on paper,
digging into words,
emerging towards something more

of recess, and lunchtime,
of navigating friendship,
of bus loop energy,
of greetings, farewells,
silent reading on the floor

I wish I could turn
and wander from
this moment,
a return to the before


The way we felt
still feels now later
like unbridled

from our perch
on the porch
as the pooch
zoomed by on

with nary
a screen in sight,
or phone in use,
just pure abandon
in a moment of burst:


some words can’t be found to be spoken
i know it feels this world, broken

i see this world, it merely seems broken
and a duplex like this, mere poetic token

but poems like these are not tokens
they’re like canapés or cakes, broken open

breaking open for us to dig inside, hard and oaken
like words, bound tight, but barely spoken


I remember
brushes on snare,
his foot on the pedals
of the big bass drum held
in anchor with concrete bricks –
the pounding of rhythm
through the rooms of the house

I remember
fingers on mallets,
the soft fabric covering,
the way we’d move from down low
to up high, the metallic rectangular
notes vibrating with such soft touch

I still remember
my father, the accountant,
who still plays those drums,
who still listens for the vibraphone,
who sought and found his own rhythm,
and kept on rolling it forward

Peace (and poems),

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