Poem of the Month: The Glue Stick

Recently I re-embraced my adolescent love of writing poetry. Many of them are written just for me, but I have written enough that are not as personal and I’d like to share some of them. And so, a blog series is born. These aren’t necessarily my deepest poems, but I do enjoy each of them.

And now, here is this month’s poem, which I wrote last week on the last day of my short practicum. I am now finished in the grade 4/5 class I was placed in, and I will be starting in a grade 6/7 class in January.

poem poetry glue stick student teacher

The Glue Stick

It was my last day
The class gave me a book
Everyone had signed it
Except for one student
I chased him down not
For well wishes but for the record
We were both here

Another rough and
Tumble 10 year old
Presented me a special
Gift: his glue stick
Only slightly used
Probably the first thing
He found in his desk

“Thank you so much!
But don’t you need this?”

“It’s okay I have three
Every time you look at
It I want you to think of
Me I am giving it to you
So you’ll always remember me”

Funny little gifts and
Mundanely precious exchanges
Office supplies and gum
Breath mints and the time
We bump up against
Each other almost, not really
Glimpsing the divinity within

And we all want to be remembered

Poem of the Month: The Night Before my Husband Leaves

Recently I re-embraced my adolescent love of writing poetry. Many of them are written just for me, but I have written enough that are not as personal and I’d like to share some of them. And so, a blog series is born. These aren’t necessarily my deepest poems, but I do enjoy each of them.

And now, here is this month’s poem, which I wrote while chatting with my husband the night before he left to cover the TED Conference.

W Vancouver poetry

The Night Before my Husband Leaves

I like w words –
Whimsical
Wistful
Woebegone
Wanton
Wisteria.
For that matter:
Words.
Why?
I cannot say.

Maybe the oddity
That double-u is really
Double-v (as in French)
Weirdness
Abounds in language
And life unfolds in strange
Ways
Which
Fill me with so much
Wonder.

Poem of the Month: Summer

Recently I re-embraced my adolescent love of writing poetry. Many of them are written just for me, but I have written enough that are not as personal and I’d like to share some of them. And so, a blog series is born. These aren’t necessarily my deepest poems, but I do enjoy each of them.

And now, here is this month’s poem, inspired by this summer that is just drawing to a close for me, as I prepare to start school next week.

poem of the month poetry summer

Summer 2015

This is the summer of scorching heat
Electricity thrumming over your body
Crackling brown grass on hardened feet

This is the summer of hugging both
Sides of the border skirting the dividing
Line (imaginary?) between here and there

This is the summer of running farther
Pushing your feet your lungs your heart
Go fast enough and you can outrun time

This is the summer of being betwixt and
Between one thing and the next sitting
In offices and waiting waiting waiting

This is the summer of a rat in the garden
Parsley and potatoes but no peas or
Corn and struggling saggy sunflowers

This is the summer of video games and
YouTube and catching up on TV shows
Way too much screen time for everyone

This is the summer of swimming lessons
And visits to the outdoor pool and drives
To lakes washing yourself clean in the water

This is the summer of racking up PC Points
And Joe Fresh clothes indulging in the cheap
Extravagances of modern North America

This is the summer when it all began or when
It all ended depending on your perspective
A single truth to bridge the gap: I was here

Poem of the Month: Ode to a Tween

poem of the month tween(Let’s just ignore the fact that it’s been, er, several months since I shared a poem of the month, shall we? Good.)

Recently I re-embraced my adolescent love of writing poetry. Many of them are written just for me, but I have written enough that are not as personal and I’d like to share some of them. And so, a blog series is born. These aren’t necessarily my deepest poems, but I do enjoy each of them.

And now, here is this month’s poem, inspired by my daughter who earned her yellow belt in tae kwon do yesterday.

Ode to a Tween

Her hair has gotten much longer lately
I noticed it yesterday as she brushed it
She is independent and private now
Her fashion sense is not half bad
Her sentimentality has reached an all
Time high because she senses that
Her childhood is drawing to a close
I sense it too filled with ambivalence

I can’t believe I haven’t broken her
But she survived my awkward first-time
Parenting, overly earnest and tentative
Here we are and she insists I am the
Best ever – does she protest too much?
I think maybe she senses my flaws and
Is reassuring herself and delaying the
Inevitable realization: I am imperfect

I want her to know my imperfection
So she knows she’s not alone when life
Sucks so hard the fight goes out of her
We all struggle and that struggle does
Not make us weak or unworthy
Every day we get up and show up we have
Won and that is the thing I admire
Most: she always, always shows up

From her early arrival heralded by her
Strong lungs to first steps to her
Own prolific writing she lives life
Whole-heartedly even when she is
Afraid always offering the best of
Herself without a second thought
This girl-child, this old soul, this
10-year-old with long honey hair

Poem of the Month: The Poetry of the Universe

poetryFor the past few months I have been writing poetry. While I’m churning them out at a slightly slower rate than a couple of months ago, I’m still writing weekly. Many of them are not fit for public consumption, but I have written enough that are and I’d like to share some of them. And so, a blog series is born. These aren’t my most personal poems, but I do enjoy each of them.

And now, here is this month’s poem, inspired by my love of math.

The Poetry of the Universe

My favourite number changes
Sometimes it’s 16
Sometimes it’s 36
Usually it’s 96
Because it’s divisible by
4 and 6 and 8 and 12 and 16.

The beautiful part: these things are
Always, always, always true.
It’s not a matter of opinion
It doesn’t change in far-flung
Countries or even distant
Galaxies as yet unseen by human eye.

3.14159265… is unshakeable
Molding the stars in their
Courses, hula hoops on the
Waists of laughing little girls,
Bubbles babies bat at
Of course lemon meringue pi(e).

I heard once that Pythagoras
Assigned mystical significance
To certain numbers and hated
Non-terminating decimals –
Impaled on his own theorem.
To me it just shows he really cared.

Poem of the Month: Poetry Class

poetryLast month I shared how I have recently returned to poetry. I haven’t slowed down – so far I’ve written more than 50 poems. Many of them are not fit for public consumption, but I have written enough that are and I’d like to share some of them. And so, a new blog series is born, and I will be poem one poem each month. These aren’t my most personal poems, but I do enjoy each of them.

And now, here is this month’s poem, inspired by the poetry class I took last fall. I had a lot of fun writing this one, and it makes me laugh.

Poetry Class

The
Shape
Of the poem
Matters, he informs
The room. Each word chosen
Carefully. Each punctuation mark
A window into the very soul of poetry
Itself. There are no accidents in an effectively
Affective piece of writing. Blood, sweat and tears,
Caution and deliberation, reflection and cleverness are
The currency of poets. Which makes me think I could be a poet          i will eat you!
Maybe. Because if I know about anything, I know this:
Taking myself far too seriously; Believing that it all
matters; Over-thinking commas and semi-
colons (particularly the semi-colons);
Feeling all the feels; Words. I love
Words so deeply I use them
Recklessly, carelessly,
Wantonly. I’m a
Harlot,
Full.

Image credit – Steve Johnson on Flickr

On Returning to Poetry

I have been writing poetry.

This is something I used to do as an angst-ridden 12 and 13 year old. I generated overly obvious rhymes and hit myself over the head with my own hopes and fears. I remember sitting down with pen and paper while I was babysitting, churning out three or four poems in an evening. I fancied myself quite the poet. I don’t have any of those poems anymore. I feel a little bit sad about that.

I stopped writing poems by the time I was 15, other than the occasional piece for a class or for a laugh or one time for the fabulous Samantha Reynolds of bentlily. Last semester I took a poetry class, and while it left me feeling introspective, just as much of the time it also left me rolling my eyes. Not every piece of prose resonates me, and the same can be said of poetry. Especially when I have to look up every second word in the poem. Clearly, I am too lazy.

This past weekend, though, my therapist charged me with doing some writing. (As I’ve mentioned before, the fact I’m in therapy isn’t cause for alarm. I love therapy and I think it’s an amazing thing to do for yourself anytime.) I had planned to write a journal piece, but I was really dragging my heels. I like blogging, but journals aren’t really my thing, especially not on heavy subjects. The solution struck me out of the blue, though – a poem. It’s the perfect vehicle for my emotions and insecurities and shameless wallowing.

writing poetry blogging wordsAnd so for the past few days I have been writing poetry. First on paper, then on the computer. Two or three at a time. About all different things. Eventually I started a Word document and put them in there. Seven so far, not for sharing. Are they any good? I don’t even care, that’s not the point. Although I will admit to re-reading and editing them. I am a writer, after all.

What I do know, for sure, is that writing poetry is energizing me. I am excited to sit down and tap out the verses. Sometimes with well-designed stanzas, sometimes with a rhyming couplet thrown in, sometimes all over the map. As I write I’m forced to think about word choice and meaning, notice how I’m feeling, remember what it was like to be a kid or a teenager or a newlywed. Poetry is putting me in my in touch with all the feels. And oh, I really do have so many feels.

Where will this take me? I don’t know. Will I change my mind about sharing some poetry, once I have 347? I don’t know that, either. For now, though, I’m enjoying the journey. In the meantime, I don’t want this post to be a big tease, so here is a quick poem I wrote just for you.

Concrete Words

I send words out into the ether
Typed on my keyboard in my family room
Stories and confessions
A statement of Who I Am
And a question: can you relate?
Are you out there feeling the same way?

When I was home alone all day
With little children
Words were my lifeline
Missives sent into the dark
To a place where, miraculously
Other people found them.

I didn’t feel so alone
All by myself at home,
Thanks to words shared in return
On other blogs
In thoughtful or hurried comments
On Twitter and Facebook.

We are here.
Our words matter
Because we share a space
We built with our own hands
Not with bricks or timber but
By tapping on keyboards in our pajamas.

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