Tag Archives: poetry

Again Today

The fox came again today,
trotting along the garden fence and
making a right toward the house.
I watched him from the kitchen window,
where I was washing breakfast dishes that
I decided could wait.

He settled in an ever-expanding patch of grass
beneath one of the spruce trees, and I
settled in a crouch by the office window.
He groomed his ragged tail until
it fluffed out to twice its size, and then
gave the rest of himself a good going-over.

My knees decided we needed a different perch
so we stood at the bathroom window.
After a quarter of an hour, he curled up and
went to sleep, and I went back to dishes,
keeping my eyeglasses on and
checking on him every few seconds.

The fox slept under the tree for about an hour,
gracing us with his presence.
Though I knew that we had nothing to do with it,
I liked thinking that he felt safe with us.

The “Poetry Inside Us All”

Still following along with Georgia Heard. I didn’t quite follow directions…but those who know me probably aren’t surprised.

The Fox

Yesterday, a fox ran by the bay window
where I sat at my computer.
He was a tawny-beige,
black legs, black ears and
a black tuft where his body and tail met.
His tail was lighter, almost blonde,
with a circle of fur stripped away.
Thin and furtive, he moved with no hurry
stopping to sniff the patch of grass where
a bird lost a fight last fall.
I moved from window to window
to follow him, startled
by how close he was to the house.
Winter has been a deep freeze for weeks,
with more clouds than sun.
Watching him, I imagine that
we feel the same hunger.

Not the best photo…but here’s the fox!

Early October

With the hedgerow to the south down
tonight’s sky goes to the moon
lighting the early October dark.
Stars are scant, but moonlight
brightens my way down the drive.

The dogs are not pulling hard,
content to sniff at a leisurely pace,
giving me time to look up, mouth agape.
Autumn is moving in gently, giving us
time to get used to season’s change.

Wood-smoke punctuates the night,
sun-dried blankets drape and beckon.
Cricket-song has a new urgency and
coyote howls carry on the clear air.
House lights gleam in the darkness.

I do not look forward to the cold
but welcome the coming changes.
Anything heralded by fiery maples,
by cider donuts and apple pie,
has to have some good in it.

When You Leave

for the Charles S. Pierce Middle School Aquarius Class of 2014

When you leave these halls
that have echoed with your laughter,
your shouts, your whispered conversations,
you will take a piece of me with you.
You will always be a part of me.
It has always been so.

The piece of me you take
will differ for each of you,
much as you are different,
one from the other.
I hope that piece contains
what is best of me, though,
I know the other is there.
This, too, has always been so.

I have lost my patience,
lost my temper,
wrung my hands in despair
as I watched you make the mistakes
that you must make
in order to own your own future.

But the lost temper and wringing hands
helped tell the whole story:
that I cared about you,
worried about you,
loved you.

The lot of a teacher
includes loss.
We know you will leave.
It is our main goal:
to prepare you to go.

But we–
always wonder,
how are you?
How is this life
I tried to help shape
for the better
(Are you reading?)

When you leave,
you will take a piece of me.
But equally important:
you will always be a part of me.
A story you told,
a book you lost yourself in
will bubble to the surface
with the sound of your voice,
the shape of your face,
and I will smile to remember.

Though you leave,
I am never gone.
When you can’t
tell your parents,
when your teachers
will not understand,
when your friends
are no consolation,
I am here.

I will listen to you
as you talk.
I will bring you back
to the beauty
that is you.
(You are beautiful.)

I will ask you
what you are reading.

I will recommend
a good book.

I will remind you:

When you leave,
I will still be here.

No, we’re not watching a movie

Forgive me.

I saw your face fall
after my flip answer of,
“Have you met me?”

But, you see,
there is so little time left.

I have so little time left
with you,
and there is still so much
I wish to teach you.
So much I want
to prepare you for,
to share with you.

It is easy to forget
you are fourteen.
You meet every challenge,
you push, and push
because you want
to do well.

It is easy to forget
you are fourteen.
Forgive me.

Time is running
like water on windows.
It fractures and divides,
but there is never more.

I lose you
in thirty-two and a half days.
And there is still so much
I want to tell you.

But this wise woman I know said,
“I hope they’ll remember that
while there are things we must do,
there also must always be room for play.”

We still aren’t watching a movie.
Forgive me.
But we can play,
and breathe,
and fall into words
and take a break.

In the time remaining

If I had more time,
I would find for you
the perfect book.
The one you swim
into, so deep
the only light you see
comes from the illumination
of the words.

If I had more time,
I would find for you
the perfect poem.
The one you commit
to memory,
hold onto so tightly,
recite so quietly
when you need its strength.

If I had more time,
I would find for you
the perfect pencil.
The one you use
to write your story,
crossing the boundaries
of margins,
overflowing with your becoming.

If I had more time.

Instead, in the time remaining,
I will bring you books, poems, pencils.
I will help you see that you
must be your own searcher.
That illumination, strength, and becoming
are paths I can start you on
while I wave, smiling, cheering you on,
into your past.


2014-05-11 08.19.08
Awake far too late,
I’d like to be writing
instead I’m paying bills.

Life is this:

find the balance between
what you
     must do
and what you
     want to do.

I want
   to teach
   grow things.

I do not want
to standardize

I want
   to rhapsodize about asparagus
   I must go
to bed.