Poem for September: Goal Setting

Recently I re-embraced my adolescent love of writing poetry. Many of them are written just for me, but others are for sharing. And so, a blog series is born.

And now, here is a poem I wrote over a year ago. It actually feels pretty apt for my life right now. I just finished my teaching degree and I’m working as a teacher on call – or a substitute teacher, as you prefer. I’m waiting around for dispatch calls to come in and it’s hard for a planner like me. I’ve had one dispatch so far and it went well. But because the paperwork from my degree is still working its way through the system I can expect things to be slow for the next month or so. Even so, I need to be ready just in case. It’s a strange sort of limbo and I’m not as zen about it as I would like to be.

And so, this poem, which is about handling anxiety and chaos, seems perfect. Here’s to embracing the unknown!

substitute teacher student teacher poetry

Goal Setting

I’ve always thought my goal was to remove
Every anxiety, until I just felt perfectly
Calm – All. The. Time.
In my imagination I am serene, silent, strong,
My vision focused and my discipline absolute.

I realize, now, I could never be this person
And I doubt any such person really exists
(Although I do allow that my experience
Of people is hardly complete)
I’ve discarded my old goals and I’m lost.

I am tired of meditating and exercising
Getting enough sleep, eating right
Eschewing alcohol and caffeine
Good behaviour sucks all the sparkle
Out of life when it’s not freely chosen.

My new goal: learn to accept chaos
It’s going to insist on creeping in
Fraying the corners of my mind
Upending furniture, ripping up schedules
Bring every messy thing on.

This is real strength:
To dwell in the land of the lost
Without losing yourself.
To make plans in hope even as you
Know it won’t turn out as you expect.

Poem for June: 100 Words About Environmental Education

Recently I re-embraced my adolescent love of writing poetry. Many of them are written just for me, but others are for sharing. And so, a blog series is born.

And now, here is my latest poem. I am finishing up my teacher training and my minor is in environmental education. I am completing my environmental education portfolio for a class retreat this weekend and I wrote this poem to include with the rest of my work. To feeling connected!

environmental education student teacher mossom creek poetry

100 Words About Environmental Education

I have lived in this place my whole life I
Walked in its forests waded in its waters my first
Bites taught me its flavours my first steps taught my
Feet the texture of its landscapes yet mostly I am
Removed seeing only glimpses through a minivan window as I
Rush to buy groceries (not even locally grown) now for
Six weeks I have been forced to slow down notice
Complexity smell green taste berries open my eyes again to
The wordless beauty I am so very fortunate to still
Be here to find myself connected, grounded, present, at home

Poem of the Month: 100 Words

Recently I re-embraced my adolescent love of writing poetry. Many of them are written just for me, but others are for sharing. And so, a blog series is born.

And now, here is this month’s poem. I realize it has been more than a month, but you know, that’s life. I wrote this one last year, and re-reading it just now it made me smile. To spring!

poetry dandelions spring

100 Words

My backyard is covered in dandelions and discarded playthings hardly
Elegant, barely tended but evidence of spring and childhood makes
Me smile I am content – would it were ever thus
Happy just to be alive, standing in the warm sunshine
Barefoot in unmowed grass while my kids race each other
Around on weather worn cars they both outgrew years ago
Afterwards they dust off the old yard sale picnic table
Make a feast of fruit and crackers on toy dishes
Enjoying the freedom of dining outdoors they call me back
Again asking for more juice or another silly smiling picture

Poem of the Month: Penguin Costume

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 after a trip to the aquarium with my children. I was playing with rhythm and rhyme on this one, and I had a good time writing it.

poetry vancouver aquarium

Penguin Costume

Leave me alone with my lapsang souchong
I departed from home six very long
Hours ago, wee chestnuts shouting their glee
Contagious excitement – what could go wrong?

Minivans aren’t glamourous, but we three
Each have our own row and I am gutsy
Hands clasped tight on the wheel, all lesser cars
Are forced to yield, compacts make way for me.

The day – a blur of otters and sea stars
And entrenched, never-ending sibling wars
Over whether we get ice cream later
Or get it right away and I feel far

From zen. “We’re NOT going to the theatre!”
I am not playing conciliator
Nearly half so well as a mother should,
I’ve become impatient, turned dictator.

Back to the car! But Mom, please please please would
You buy me this snow globe it looks so good
Or a penguin? I can’t stand to prolong
The whining which of course they understood.

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

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