Editors Blog

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 144

Earlier this week, Reese started second grade. He’s the type of student who was looking forward to getting back to school. Of course, not every student shares that view.

For this week’s prompt, write a school poem. The poem could be an ode to school, an insult poem directed at school, or it could just have school as the setting while exploring some other topic. Don’t forget about home schooling or the school of hard knocks. School of fish? I can’t wait to see your textbook examples of schooling me with your school poems.

Here’s my attempt:

“Bus 18″

“Take a seat,” she yells, “take a seat,”
but most of the kids don’t understand
because they march to their own beat.
“Take a seat,” she yells, “take a seat,”
though they can’t stay off their feet
or control the use of their hands.
“Take a seat,” she yells, “take a seat,”
but most of the kids don’t understand.

*****

Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer or check out my personal My Name Is Not Bob blog.

*****

Publish the poetry you write!
Learn how with the latest and greatest Poet’s Market ever, edited by Robert Lee Brewer. This book includes hundreds of publishing opportunities, more than 150 pages of articles on the craft and business of poeming, an hour-long webinar on building an audience for your poetry, and more!

Click to continue.

 

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

200 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 144

  1. taylor graham

    LOST YEARS

    It caught the old dog off-guard.
    He’s known so many summers, but this one
    came so hot and sudden, unexpected
    as the new puppy who shares
    his cedar-bed, his fence to run, his aging master –

    you, who wandered off, confident
    the old dog would follow as he always had
    before. “Track your daddy!” But
    now the old search dog seemed as lost
    as a walk-away from the rest home.

    I put him back in the car, caught the puppy
    by her collar, attached the long-lead.
    “Track your daddy” –
    nothing we’ve ever taught her. But
    she’s nose to the ground, and off we go

    up the gravel path, across blacktop
    to a chain-link fence; a gate –
    it swings open
    into a kindergarten play-yard;
    down wooden steps

    and there you are, old man
    wandering between jungle-gym and
    swings as if searching for your childhood.
    And here she is, in puppy-form,
    just graduating kindergarten.

  2. taylor graham

    THAT THESIS YOU NEVER FINISHED

    “…the stars aura in the northwest quadrant…”
    See Journal p. 205. The constellation in question
    could not be construed as anything but four-square
    in spite of strange phenomena in the northwest sky.

    “And heaping snow crystals in waves and dunes
    beyond horizon, flakes becoming stars…”
    Ibid., 349. One more instance of the
    millennial bent his thought began to assume.

    “…from silkworm to cocoon to moth, a silken
    industry…”
    Ibid., 511. Hegel all over again, but
    misinterpreted. No wonder Marx found fault.

    “…as the imagination of mankind evolves, he
    feels incipient wings as the itch of pin-feathers
    or angel-…”
    Ibid., 749. I rest my case.

  3. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    for markie-ann
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    six and a half and waiting for
    a big yellow bus to appear on the horizon
    as if by magic, precocious
    in the freckles stretching across your face.
    after months of negotiations
    convincing your mother
    you were old enough to
    venture out and ride alone,
    she stands next to the road
    still holding your hand
    fussing with your perfect red hair
    trying to prove to herself that
    you still need her,
    knowing full well
    the days ahead
    a teenage uprising
    will tell another story.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  4. taylor graham

    SCHOOLING, 1817

    It starts when the young boy watches
    his farmer-father suddenly
    martial, in uniform, marching off
    to join “the trainers.” Memorial/preparation
    for whatever war is past or coming.

    His schooling has begun. He dreams
    of nothing but things military. Cannons,
    pewter buttons.
    Fusibles, combustibles.
    And then comes the patriotic day
    again, on the village green.

    Fourth of July. Marching bands.
    For the younger children,
    a game of tug of war. This leads
    to fight for mastery of
    the village swivel-gun, whose muzzle

    they stuff with bricks and clods –
    these young heroes already dreaming
    of greater things
    next Independence Day.
    the next war.

  5. Buddah Moskowitz

    Early Education

    In Mrs. Brown’s
    first grade class
    we had to learn
    two-place addition.

    Adding one-place numbers
    vertically
    like

    3
    +
    5
    _
    8

    was easy enough
    but

    11 +
    22
    __

    well, that was
    from another
    planet.

    I didn’t understand
    and I was kept
    after school
    struggling with this puzzle

    until
    the light finally

    came on.

    I arrived home
    late,
    scared as hell
    because I knew
    the fate
    awaiting me,

    because
    according to my father

    only bums and
    miscreants
    stayed after school.

    I was summarily
    beat
    with the thick leather belt

    and, in time,

    I became an
    overachiever,
    an anxious, nervous-stomached
    overachiever.

    Today I am
    a dean
    at a college
    my father could only
    dream of attending,

    and
    as my 14 year old daughter
    struggles to complete
    her homework

    saddled with
    cerebellar dysfunction
    dysarthria
    dysgraphethesia
    dysstereognosis
    dyspraxia
    obsessive compulsive disorder
    general anxiety disorder
    and sensory integration dysfunction

    I remind her
    that while I like that she’s smart,

    I love her
    when she’s kind.

  6. Mr. Walker

    My body is a school.

    The principal and teachers are meeting
    in the faculty room of my brain.
    They are discussing the best ways
    to improve their students’ faculties.

    My eyes are a vision
    of a brighter future,
    but right now it’s raining
    and the visibility’s not so good.

    My ears have the capacity
    of an auditorium,
    for questions, music,
    problems, poems,
    and confidences kept safe.

    My shirt is brightly colored,
    a primary color with short sleeves.
    There are no tricks up my sleeves,
    just grease on my elbow,
    and copier toner under my fingernails.

    I have a full, satisfied feeling
    in my cafeteria stomach.

    There are students running
    through my intestinal hallways.
    It tickles, stirring up serotonin.

    My hands are empty.
    There are no more supplies
    to carry upstairs
    from the supply room.
    But they are open,
    full of compassion and giving.
    They are ready to reach out
    and help someone up.

    One foot is stuck in the mud
    of public apathy,
    while the other is unstable
    on the shifting sands
    of governmental mismanagement.
    My balance is good
    and my legs are strong.
    I’ve had lots of practice
    traversing this land.
    And somehow
    I keep moving forward.

  7. taylor graham

    DUCK AND COVER

    One of our first lessons
    in kindergarten: what the long, hard
    ringing of the bell meant.
    I was quickest
    under my desk, head tucked tight,
    hands clutched at the nape
    of my neck,

    waiting for the end. Nuclear
    bomb – what could a five-year-old
    understand? But
    even a kindergartner knew
    we couldn’t be saved.

  8. cstewart

    Eugene Field Elementary, Grade Five
    Muncie, Indiana, September: Memoir

    Mrs. Mausy, Mrs. Schroyer, Mrs Author,
    Mrs. Duncan, Mrs. French, Mrs. Heaton.
    These were the names of my first 6 teachers.
    Before that, Mom, who taught me to read.

    Dr. McCoy, established a library at our
    laboratory school for research with his
    Doctoral grant.
    The highest scorers on last year’s aptitude tests,
    Worked for him for candy bars –
    12 to 24 a week, lots of cavities those years.
    On Friday, the candy was carefully distributed.
    Curious, seekers of sugar – with a countenance of longing,
    (Some faces were the same ones I taught) –
    I was always besieged on the hour-long bus ride home.
    Reese cups were the favorite and 24 was a lot –
    It required some juggling to keep a few of them.

    Always reading juvenile renditions of classics,
    The Flamingo Feather, The Gold Bug,
    Daniel Boone, Captain’s Courageous –
    In the old chorus room on the second floor,
    We taught the slow kids in grades one and two,
    How to read,

    Creaky, wooden floors and seating,
    It was frustrating teaching reading at ten years of age,
    Not having any idea what I was doing,
    (Slight suspicion of being observed through the dark glass) –
    Always told we did a good job.

    As high up as you could go, by the joined roof –
    A small window opened like a book to the sky.

  9. Tracy Davidson

    Better late than never!

    My Schooldays (a Hay(na)ku)

    My
    school days
    sucked big time.

    I
    sat alone
    in a corner

    keeping
    quiet, trying
    to be invisible

    trying
    to escape
    attention from bullies

    and
    questions from
    stern faced teachers.

    Now
    I’m a
    stern faced teacher

    encouraging
    shy ones
    at the back,

    taking
    no shit
    from the bullies.

  10. SalvatoreButtaci

    I HAVE SEEN THE WISE

    Galaxies dotted with stars?
    I know little of the constellations.
    In school no doubt those lessons I had missed.
    Not to mention causes and results of wars
    And boring international relations,
    But let me tell you: ignorance is bliss.

    Mensa whizzes, IQ’s passed 140,
    Take pleasure in the puzzles they can master
    While winning tic-tac-toe games is all I wish.
    I have seen the wise acting much too haughty
    As if life were a race to see who thinks faster.
    As for me, let me repeat: ignorance is bliss.

    Some want to know what people are saying
    Behind their backs when they are not around.
    Then there are those who must analyze a kiss.
    What I don’t know is far outweighing
    The little I know now or am bound
    To learn, but I must repeat: ignorance is bliss.

    #

  11. Dyson McIllwain

    Teach Your Children

    This code that we must live by,
    to be true to ourselves,
    to live with compassion
    and fill this life with passion
    for the things we do that make us
    vibrant and vital; this tidal wave
    that will save our souls. An S.O.S.
    to all alerted. We will not be swayed;
    not be diverted from our charge.
    It is a large order to fill. but
    if we instill these qualities
    into our progeny, they will be
    on the road to a proud humanity.
    The world’s sanity will be dependant
    on their survival. Await their arrival,
    it will be a grand parade! Crack the code.
    Teach your children well.

  12. Ann M

    Nova Scotia Schoolhouse, Watertown CT, 1903

    Up on the shelf
    a line of books,
    Dickens, Poe, Twain.
    She reached up,
    week by week,
    reading them again
    and again.

  13. Miss Mel

    “School Politics”

    She sneers at me from the top step
    Urging everyone to laugh at my splayed body
    10 steps down from where she knocked me.
    I lay battered yet, thankfully, not broken.

    A superintendent’s bully daughter,
    A kickball game gone wrong –
    Her caustic smirk sends a chill through me.
    She knows no one will touch her.

    My favorite teacher ever
    (And for some reason still, after)
    Tells me I must be more careful and to
    Watch where I’m going.

    The teacher completely ignores my insistence
    That I was pushed.
    Hence, my first lesson in
    Political power plays.

  14. AC Leming

    Bruce,

    Love this one! I especially hated going back to school when I lived in Alaska, going from nearly 24 hours sunny days to nearly 24 hours of darkness. And missing those vital hours of sunlight for school!

    1. AC Leming

      Evidently, I didn’t believe the first reply hit the web when I posted again. Although it bears repetition that this is a great poem, Bruce. “)

        1. AC Leming

          Heck, you bring your experience to prose works as well. One of my favorite books in college was Wide Sargasso Sea, because it retold my least favorite classic (Jane Eyre) from the mad wife’s point of view. And having grown up in post-colonial Alaska, I understood the main character’s situation, begin caught between the culture my parents imported with them (home & school) and the Inuit culture through which I had to navigate (schoolyard & village as a whole). I wrote one of my best papers on that book. I should have submitted with my grad school app. Maybe I would’ve been accepted to UofO…

  15. Bruce Niedt

    Struggling through a dry creative period now, but finally came up with something:

    Little Renaissance

    This was our Age of Enlightenment,
    the longer days of July and August
    that seemed so short.

    We learned our lessons at curbside
    on suburban streets, in ball fields,
    or the mystery of woods.

    No one taught us what skinned a knee,
    which girls liked us,
    what candy to throw at a friend’s head
    during the Saturday matinee.

    We learned about baseball cards
    between our bicycle spokes,
    how far we could swing out
    over the pond on that rope,
    how to avoid the neighborhood bully.

    For two blissful months,
    no one mentioned long division,
    Teapot Dome, prepositional phrases,
    or the atomic number of boron.

    But this little renaissance had to end,
    sure as the sun began to choose
    an earlier bedtime.

    And so, shoulders slumped with backpacks,
    we dutifully trudged like monks every year
    into the Dark Ages of September.

  16. Willy

    PRE-SCHOOL MEMORIES

    The ride from somewhere
    I can’t remember,
    to Mrs. Brown’s, and
    toast, and jam and juice,
    to a time each day
    when all would go play
    together Doggy,
    Doggy, Where’s Your Bone
    or Duck, Duck, Goose ’til
    lunch with milk, crackers,
    soup and fruit, onto
    a snuggy rug for
    napping followed by
    holding hands as we
    walked and sang loudly,
    “Go tell Aunt Rhody…”
    to softly “…the old
    gray goose is dead…”, slaked
    with a glass of cold
    water, to the car
    which took me somewhere
    I can’t remember.

  17. PKP

    Knocking off the hours

    used to teach her little brother
    sometimes hitting him upside his head
    as they “played school”
    beside her bed
    practicing in sadistic edged fun
    for that day when her career as
    a real teacher finally would have begun

  18. AC Leming

    Pot Head Blues

    Years after graduation, 
    a childhood friend told me
    one of his teachers stopped
    him in the middle of the hall
    to tell him, “I can’t wait 
    for the day you go to jail.”

    This jerk didn’t know what I did.
    My friend numbed himself 
    with alcohol and weed.
    He sought to blot out 
    the afternoon he watched
    his Grandfather drown 

    in their family pond.  Joe stood
    helpless on the water’s edge
    while his Grandfather gestured 
    him back.  My friend screamed
    his fear to their family out of 
    earshot.  His nightmare walks 

    next to him, whispering in his ear, 
    “You could have saved him if you
    had not listened, had waded in anyway.
    You could have joined him.”  
    Which would be easier to endure?  
    No one should judge a man, 

    a boy really, until they’ve felt
    the memories which haunt his soul.  

      1. PKP

        Very nice juxtaposition of cruelty without knowledge. If you’re considering a rewrite maybe just removing the very powerful voice of the friend and letting even more powerful story tell itself?

    1. PKP

      Hmm there’s something solid about tis poem and delightful about the actualization of the book worm..not sure why the switch to “0f ” instead of “in”. … The shift is confusing to me and breaks a terrific flow…

  19. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Dilemma

    I bought a book of poems
    that I’m just dying to read
    the problem is, its occupant
    won’t allow me to proceed

    If I try to touch the cover
    or even turn the page
    this eecky-ucky creature
    just flies into a rage

    If he crawls up my fingers
    and slithers down my back
    I fear he’ll be the death of me
    from a senseless heart attack

    I thought of ways of killing it
    and have tried incessantly
    but his squirmy slimy ways
    are just too fast for me

    I cannot handle fear and stress
    The book I’ll just return
    They’ll either give me my money back
    or get rid of this bookworm

  20. Mike Bayles

    Central Campus

    From Sociology to English
    I walk, in the morning
    across a grassy mall,
    and when bounded
    by facades of university halls,
    old and new,
    thoughts of assignments
    stream through my mind.
    Worries take pause
    when I look at the beauty
    of what surrounds me,
    and dreams stir
    of what I can become.
    I look at others
    met in other places
    following appointed paths
    like me.
    A sense of wonder fills me
    when I think of destiny
    and everything learned
    along the way.

  21. seingraham

    Home In School

    Your digs will be primitive
    We were told; I pictured
    The wilds, nature, a tent

    In fact, we had the corner
    Of a classroom
    In an elementary school

    Used, during the day
    As the “clean apothike”
    A makeshift lab
    For cleaning small finds
    Shards of pots, tiny bones
    The odd arrowhead

    I learned how to stay quiet
    And remain in our corner nest
    Eavesdropping; auditing
    A post-graduate class

    On archaeology; assessing
    Drawing, tracing,
    Describing in detail,
    All manner of discovery

    A summer of being
    Home schooled
    In our school-home
    Invaluable

  22. Colette D

    ~ Old-Schooled by Dad ~

    Dad’s drug instructions:
    “Tell them you took a hit last week and you’re still coming down.”

    Dad’s advice for drinking alcohol:
    “Never drink before dark,” and “Anything in moderation.”

    Dad’s rules of the road:
    “Don’t fuss with a buss, and the other one concerns trucks.”

    Dad’s sex education:
    that pile of magazines down in the basement.

    Dad’s birds and bees speech:

  23. phawkenson

    After Our Field Trip

    Our science teacher says that
    Paramecium are so tiny
    that we need a microscope
    to see them living in water
    like lakes and puddles,
    and they have tiny hair-like things
    called cilia that they beat back and forth
    to make them move.

    He says they reproduce
    by a process called binary fission
    splitting in half
    becoming two new Paramecium
    that continue to reproduce into a swarm
    that swims around
    until they find a place to attach.

    He says they are eaten
    by larger organisms in the water,
    or by little kids who swallow
    too much lake water
    if they suck at swimming.

    I would have said
    Paramecium can make you puke,
    but by the growing blob on the floor,
    everyone already knew.

  24. taylor graham

    ETHICS OF ART

    To kindergarten comes a quiet child, except
    for color. Red and blue horses in her
    head. Hands smudged with primal muck
    of finger-paints yellow, brown, purple.
    Poster-paints galloping across a white field.

    Afternoon runs bright through windows,
    so many colors of light. Teacher announces
    the clock-hour of art, bids the boys bring out
    the easels. A child quiet except for color
    squeals with joy; is sent to sit head-on-table

    in the corner, daylight streaming down
    for the entire hour of art. Maybe there isn’t
    ethics in this lesson, but function and form.
    A child learns how not to let her colors out.

  25. foodpoet

    at the turn
    when hair is no longer soft
    but just at the turn between
    blond and grey
    I watch the back to school sales
    snarf up cheap notebooks to
    write poetry on the cheap
    glad that fall and crisp weather is here
    but glad that
    at the turn
    toward saving and retirement
    poetry notebooks are my only back to school item
    here
    at the turn

    Megan

  26. MiskMask

    Queen of the Playground

    She’s the one with the right mix
    of genes that gave her
    a bright straight smile
    and glistening hair that sways
    in the breeze. Nine years old
    with an entourage of fine
    little maids at her side,
    bathed in her glow,
    same hair,
    same bronzed bare bellies
    pierced and bejewelled,
    the same cut of the cloth.
    They’re a gaggle of girls
    lurking in the shadows,
    same tonal chirps and clucks,
    strung out like pearls
    on a high tension line.
    If she moves, they move.
    When she speaks, they listen.
    What she does, they do.

    But I don’t –
    I’m the tetherball champion.

  27. Colette D

    ~ One of Those School Dreams ~

    In the dream, I knew I’d neglected my studies,
    as I sat at my desk feeling frightened and meek,
    dazing at a test that looked like Chinese.

    Upon waking, I knew I’d studied all week,
    and this realization gave my soul some ease,
    even though the test now looked like Greek.

  28. SaraV

    Lessons Learned

    My children are mine
    But are not me
    Listen to John Lennon
    Let it b
    c, d kids march
    To their own key
    And things work out
    Eventually

    Fish Tales

    Head to tail
    Tail to head
    Swirl, serpentine
    Circle and then
    Retrace, splash
    Nip, play
    The liquid way
    To spend a day

  29. De Jackson

    Plain old poem.

    LESSONS

    It wasn’t the reading
    between the lies
    or the constant reconjugations
    of the verb to love
    or the
    in out under over plus minus with without
    before
    …after
    of her prepositional phrase phase.

    It wasn’t the writing
    on the wall
    (Once upon a time)
    or the tall
    tales
    or even the long dark
    and treacherous fall
    from happily ever after
    (The End.)

    It wasn’t the ’rithmetic
    (1+1=TWO, right?)
    or the rhythmic quick
    -ening of
    her pulse the clock his anger
    or the learning of the logarithms
    of her own heart
    or the division
    of her worth.

    It wasn’t the pledge
    at the beginning of it all
    or the final bell
    or the broken spell
    -ing of chalky words
    on tired, tardy tongue.

    It was the day she realized
    it was the absence
    of herself
    she missed.

    Class dismissed.

  30. De Jackson

    Last try, I swear…

    Lessons

    It wasn’t the reading
    between the lies
    or the constant reconjugations
    of the verb to love
    or the
    in out under over plus minus with without
    before
    …after
    of her prepositional phrase phase.

    It wasn’t the writing
    on the wall
    (Once upon a time)
    or the tall
    tales
    or even the long dark
    and treacherous fall
    from happily ever after
    (The End.)

    It wasn’t the ’rithmetic
    (1+1=TWO, right?)
    or the rhythmic quick
    -ening of
    her pulse the clock his anger
    or the learning of the logarithms
    of her own heart
    or the division
    of her worth.

    It wasn’t the pledge
    at the beginning of it all
    or the final bell
    or the broken spell
    -ing of chalky words
    on tired, tardy tongue.

    It was the day she realized
    it was the absence
    of
    herself
    she missed.

    Class dismissed.

  31. De Jackson

    Let’s try that again. Please excuse the repost…

    Lessons

    It wasn’t the reading
    between the lies
    or the constant reconjugations
    of the verb to love
    or the
    in out under over plus minus with without
    before
    …after

    of her prepositional phrase phase.

    It wasn’t the writing
    on the wall
    (Once upon a time)
    or the tall
    tales
    or even the long dark
    and treacherous fall
    from happily ever after
    (The End.)

    It wasn’t the ’rithmetic
    (1+1=TWO, right?)
    or the rhythmic quick
    -ening of
    her pulse the clock his anger
    or the learning of the logarithms
    of her own heart
    or the division
    of her worth.

    It wasn’t the pledge
    at the beginning of it all
    or the final bell
    or the broken spell
    -ing of chalky words
    on tired, tardy tongue.

    It was the day she realized
    it was the absence
    of
    herself
    she missed.

    Class dismissed.

  32. De Jackson

    I think I’ve finally been schooled in the HTML of italics. Here goes nothin’…

    Lessons

    It wasn’t the reading
    between the lies
    or the constant reconjugations
    of the verb to love
    or the
    in out under over plus minus with without
    before

    …after

    of her prepositional phrase phase.

    It wasn’t the writing
    on the wall
    (Once upon a time)
    or the tall
    tales
    or even the long dark
    and treacherous fall
    from happily ever after
    (The End.)

    It wasn’t the ’rithmetic
    (1+1=TWO, right?)
    or the rhythmic quick
    -ening of
    her pulse the clock his anger
    or the learning of the logarithms
    of her own heart
    or the division
    of her worth.

    It wasn’t the pledge
    at the beginning of it all
    or the final bell
    or the broken spell
    -ing of chalky words
    on tired, tardy tongue.

    It was the day she realized
    it was the absence
    of
    herself
    she missed.

    Class dismissed.

  33. mikeMaher

    On Schooling

    Everything is smaller
    when you go back and look,
    our minds acting as magnifying glasses
    which might also explain
    what is forgotten
    or the blurred almost memories around the edges.
    It’s strange that you first recall what the hallway looks like
    around your locker
    and making alligator clips in the electronics shop,
    not the formula for calculating velocity
    or the first noun you ever learned,
    probably cat.
    But just look at this – you can read.

    I still remember you, teal locker which used to stick,
    used to refuse to open after lunch.
    I remember you too, he says, boy who always made
    a mess of my innards by October,
    boy who left without saying goodbye,
    boy who has never been back, not even to see what else has shrunk.

    If I could go back
    I would try to look at more faces,
    still wouldn’t take notes in geometry
    but would try to make more eye contact.

  34. Dyson McIllwain

    Heart University

    Many a lesson learned,
    matriculating where love
    is the professor. No Father confessor,
    just the realization that
    where love flourishes,
    it nourishes the heart.
    Hard learned and harder
    practiced. If you lack the acumen,
    you remain a lone man
    in a sea of self-doubt.
    Your examination is internal,
    no answers are wrong.
    A strong ethic and a willingness
    to learn all love requires.
    Your certificate had been noted,
    and you have been voted most likely
    to succeed. Lucky sob!

  35. MiskMask


    Lessons Early On

    She loved every first day
    of school. New pencils
    in a new pencil box.
    A new dress with matching
    coloured socks. On the first
    day of school she felt
    special, as good as all
    the rest but she knew come
    all the other days that she’d
    disappoint them all because
    she was a very average girl
    with a very average brain
    with an entirely too fragile heart

  36. leatherdykeuk

    Schooled in Art and Verse

    The scent of turps and linseed oil
    still follows me into the years
    I spend without a studio.
    A painting rag to wipe the tears
    that trickle through the school of art
    when canvases were stored in racks
    and sorted by my fondnesses.
    But writing now takes up the slack
    where painting once held all my art
    and sheltered from the coming tide
    of apathy, my books now touch the heart
    and thankfully are purchased wide.
    Still, poetry has won a hold
    upon my thoughts, my young and old.

  37. Shannon Lockard

    She Waited For Me to Fail

    I got somewhat distracted.
    She way overreacted.
    I shared a joke with a friend.
    She dove right off the deep-end.
    I laughed and said, “Kiss me ass!”
    She sent me out of her class.
    It wasn’t my fault, that scene.
    She’s just too boring and mean.
    I won’t return to this place.
    She’ll be glad to miss my face.

    Every story has two sides.

  38. Buddah Moskowitz

    “Autodidact”

    Just show me the basics
    -where my fingers go
    -when to wait for the laugh
    and I’ll tinker away,
    fashioning my own
    version of it.

    No technique
    but to listen
    for my own voice.

    I’ll hack my way
    through the jungle
    of formal training

    and come out
    with some weird
    twisted mutant,

    one with a reassuring
    resemblance

    to myself

    and whatever it is
    you call
    this.

  39. Sara McNulty

    No Thanks, Sister

    Schooled with an eye toward
    the priesthood, his parents
    scrimped and penny-pinched
    to allow the luxury of Catholic
    school, where he was abused
    verbally by the nuns who told him
    he could never become anything
    worthwhile because he was poor.

    Despite his insistence that the nuns
    were unfair, and hit him at the slightest
    provocation, his parents continued
    on their own journey, sending
    him to Catholic high school, where
    he was treated no better than a piece
    of common dirt. Now they wonder

    why he is a lapsed Catholic, who
    does not believe in their faith
    or their methods of schooling
    young people and teaching
    them bigotry.

  40. pmwanken

    LET THE SCHOOL SHOPPING COMMENCE

    Again it’s that time of year,
    when summer draws to an end.
    It is time to shop; to spend.
    The ritual is now here,
    I will shop for brand new shoes,
    for paper, pencils, and glue.
    Yet I get looks of “poor dear”
    as I wander through the aisles
    picking through the stacks and piles.
    For years it was very clear,
    school shopping is a “must do.”
    So…what makes it now taboo?

    No kids. But good sales makes sense!

    2011-08-10
    P. Wanken

    This was a combined-prompt effort…the theme: School…but I used the form from the Poetic Bloomings IN-FORM POET prompt: http://poeticbloomings2.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/in-form-poet-poesia-di-tema/

    ~Paula

  41. Sara McNulty

    Junior High Blues

    Wretched memories of junior high,
    preceded those days of getting high,
    as panic seized; I knew not why.
    Mother was told she must comply
    with school rules, so she took me by
    the hand, dragged me in, and with a sigh,
    sat outside each class I took. I tried
    not to focus on staring students, puzzled by
    my need for a mother at school, so that I
    would not jump up, heart pounding, and fly
    out of the classroom, thinking I’d die
    if I stayed there alone hoping not to cry.

    Socially suppressed seemed to imply
    that I must be crazy, and I cannot deny
    similar thoughts plagued me. No one pried
    into my life as I continued to hide,
    munching on Valiums on the sly.

    Now I am whole yet cannot let go, my
    wretched memories of junior high.

      1. PKP

        Sara …”munching on Valiums on the sly” terrific encapsulating image! Sara please contact me off site …..of you are on Facebook you csn direct message me or at my site http:drpkp.com….been trying to reach you for a while… :)

  42. Michael Grove

    The Playground

    I might have learned
    a few things in the classroom.
    I learned a lot more out there at recess.
    I got beat up a time or two,
    and even fought back once I must confess.

    I got my first kiss over by the swing set.
    I broke my glasses sliding on the ice.
    I played a lot of kickball
    and I won some baseball cards.
    I learned about who’s naughty
    and who’s nice.

    I got some lessons there that were for life.
    I witnessed so much right and also wrong.
    The playground taught me, oh so very much
    about how to deal with others and get along.

    By Michael Grove

    1. PKP

      Mike…a wonderful and absolutely authentic poem…. could have a follow- up self help ” All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned on the Playground”. ( worked for kindergarten ) and you have a wealth of theory from Piaget ( well known psychologist) who believed just as you do! All this and a great poem too!

      1. Michael Grove

        Thanks Pearl… I had once heard the everthing you need to know you learn in Kindergarden. There was no recess in my half day kindergarden. It was more like 1st thru 4th grades where recess had an impact.

  43. Nancy Posey

    This prompt hits us all where we are or where we’ve been or where we are going…first thing tomorrow morning!

    Tardy Thanks

    When I wrote to thank her for that sixth grade year–
    At least forty years too late, 
    for knowing when to rein us in 
    and when to cut us loose, 
    to let our creativity run wild 
    without a special program for enrichment, 
    no special lesson plan, just glue and paint, 
    old magazines and scissors 
    from her own sewing drawer, 
    for reading aloud whole books, 
    always stopping much too soon, 
    leaving us begging for just a few more pages, 
    for teaching us every word to Old Dan Tucker, 
    Little Liza Jane, My Darlin’ Clementine, 
    for having us recite the pledge twice each morning, 
    once in English, once in Latin 
    because we could, 
    for loving us (although she may have
    never said those words out loud,

    She wrote me back, astounded, 
    admitting that she’d taught us New Math 
    that year with only a half-day workshop, 
    taught by the high school algebra teacher, 
    the principal’s wife. 

    Every night after supper, she confessed, 
    her husband helped her learn 
    enough to teach us. 
    I prayed, she said, my own rendition 
    of the Hippocratic Oath: 
    Dear Lord, first let me do no harm.

  44. PKP

    On the way to Queron….

    There in the middle of the room
    Atop the shining floor clean broomed
    A table moved for all to see clear
    Bright faces gathered round to hear

    What is this that you see up there?
    Climbed table top by this placed chair
    Was Amy all could plainly see
    Instructed there by Mrs. B.

    No, not Amy there you plainly see
    You see a case of charity
    Trumpeted loudly Mrs. B.
    We give this girl her milk money

    While all of you bring in your dues
    And pay your way in ones and twos
    Amy alone gets a free ride
    All because of a lack of pride

    As pale Amy climbed down with care
    Some reached for her and hugged her there

  45. Nancy Posey

    Why I Teach

    When anyone seeks my advice,
    Should I become a teacher?
    I skip the economics lecture,
    the pep talks. I leave
    the Myers-Briggs to the experts.

    Instead I always give the me advice,
    the same counsel I would offer
    if asked, Should I marry?

    If you can keep from it, do.
    If it’s right for you,
    nothing could stop you.

    I speak, of course,
    from experience, not theory,
    on both accounts.

  46. PKP

    Second Grade Betrayal

    In the hot sun blazing
    they schooled
    in louvered mobile
    buildings
    little children
    bright eyed and
    uniformed
    boys in khaki pants
    knife creased
    girls in maroon
    skirts just touching
    the crease of knee
    all in shirts bleached
    and starched bright
    white ironed stiff
    good children taught
    in the “Brit” way hands
    folded waiting for the
    stick at a wrong response
    second graders having
    learned the ways in first
    and then there was
    Holder
    sparkling eyes
    dancing feet
    spirit dressed
    in a uniform
    confined to a seat
    taken aside he promised
    to be good to the finish of this year
    and he was
    eyes sparkling
    feet dancing
    quietly as
    he penned his
    letters and strung
    sentences like
    necklaces proudly
    worn
    added sums
    with no smudges
    and in the brilliant
    sunshine rayed
    his way through
    Halloween until
    hot June
    lined up with the
    others to receive their
    report cards folded
    and tied with ribbon
    accepted as practiced
    with one hand and
    shook ‘Teachers’ hand
    with his other
    like the others he
    walked out the door
    unlike the others
    he burst through again
    mere moments later
    to demand ” I finished the year!!!”
    What is this THIRD grade?!!!

    1. PKP

      Revised….

      Unfinished 

      In the hot sun blazing they schooled
      in louvered mobile buildings
      tiny children people bright eyed and
      uniformed
      boys in khaki pants, knife creased
      girls in maroon knee grazing skirts 
      all in shirts bleached, starched, 
       bright-white, ironed stiff
      good children taught in the “Brit” way
      hands folded expecting the stick 
      for a wrong response
      second graders having learned the ways
      back in first when they were new
      But then there was
      Holder
      sparkling eyes, dancing footed spirit
      crammed into his uniform
      confined to a seat, bursting,
      jiggling,  giggling, 
      A real teacher would have stocked
      his legs each day
      A real teacher would not have
      smiled and had him promise
      to be good for just this one year 
      A real teacher would have expected
      at years’ end handing 
      out report cards like diplomas
      that Holder, eyes flashing, 
      feet stomping, would  
      in righteous indignation
      shout in the blaze of the betrayed 
      THIRD GRADE?
      but I FINISHED
      this year!

      A real teacher would have
      told him there was more,
      so much more to come

  47. PKP

    DG

    His name was Donald
    he sat in the back
    in a long black leather
    coat
    in the 80 degree
    first day of ninth grade
    though he should have
    been long gone
    carrying no books
    except a clean looseleaf
    binder filled with laminated
    litanies which we ran his
    long finger over and
    mumbled as if in prayer
    under his breath
    in the back of the room
    he filled out no tiny card
    of identification
    he sat in the back
    of the room in the
    long black coat
    stinking slightly
    of summer and sweat
    trickles running down
    the corner of his
    temples as he ran
    his long finger over
    ‘his book’
    he answered
    only to the name
    Justice
    teaching in this
    school ‘corrupted’
    and evil
    he had been told
    by the givers of
    his binder
    filled with hatred
    at the bell he rose
    a spectre in black
    period before lunch
    tracked by the young
    teacher
    who put her white
    hand on his arm
    and stopped him
    that first time
    told him quietly
    that he was being
    led away from his
    “piece of the pie”
    challenged his
    ‘big brothers’
    who told him to
    not listen to inside
    teachers
    they should be
    teaching you to drain
    every teacher brain
    in here so you can
    sit wherever you like
    she
    tracked him silently
    from class to class
    on the third day
    he looked up as
    the door closed
    and met her eye
    in the second month
    he offered an invitation
    by his ‘big brothers’
    to a meeting
    could she speak?
    No, said he but she
    could listen
    She accepted any
    invitation to debate
    and declined all
    the others that followed
    to come
    As Donald began to
    drift from his binder
    One day he accepted a
    piece of lined paper
    another day he wrote
    in the block lettering
    of a child
    Sitting in the back
    of the room in his
    long aromatic black coat
    until June
    when they stood
    not Justice
    but Donald G.
    in a white shirt
    and a light brown
    suit..shining in the
    sunlight
    his mother beaming
    in the audience
    as Donald G.
    moved to the front
    of the stage and
    accepted his fifty dollar
    bond for most improved student
    and turned and looked
    at the teacher who
    would never be so
    filled again
    justice had
    been served

    1. PKP

      The Staircase

      His name was Donald, he sat in the back
      in a long black leather coat
      On that 80 degree first day of ninth grade
      though he should have been long gone
      he carried only a single new black
       looseleaf binder filled with laminated
      litanies, he ran a long finger over and
      mumbled under his breath, as if in prayer
      alone in the back of the room
      he filled out no tiny card of identification
      He had his long black coat
      stinking slightly of summer and sweat
      trickles running down the corner of his
      temples as he ran that long finger over
      ‘his lessons”
      Listed as Donald
      he raised his head 
      only to “Justice” his new name
      told by the binder-givers
      that this “white-devil” school
      designed to corrupt
      He failed each class, appeared
      as an ancient spectre
      closing his ears and mind, as he had promised
      until he heard her
      read Langston, and put his long foot
      on that fjrst crystal stair
      and began to climb in his now stinking coat
      hulking in the back, eyes lit
      hand on the closed binder, he smiled a small smile
      another day he accepted a piece of lined paper
      and wrote in the block lettering of a child, man-sized pain
      spilling faster each day
      his mother was called,  waited for
      grim news and heard of this writing
      that filled his binder clipped  page after page clipped in front of
      his laminated hate 
      he passed each class
      until he climbed that June graduate staircase
      as “most improved student” accepting a savings bond
      and a diploma smiling in that 
      white shirt, and caramel suit that shone
      outside in the sunlight, chis mother beamed
      teacher cried as Donald and Justice
      self-served stood 
      atop that crystal staircase
      sparklimg 

  48. Connie Peters

    Kids Ask Homeschoolers

    Do you go to school in your pajamas?
    Can you eat snacks while doing math?
    After gym class does your mother
    make you stop and take a bath?

    Do you call your mom by her last name?
    Do you have recess or time for play?
    Does your mother give you bad grades
    if you don’t do things just her way?

    Do you have Parent/Teacher conferences?
    Would your mom talk to herself?
    Do you raise your hand to be excused
    or get something from a shelf?

    Does your daddy ring a bell
    so you know when school is done?
    Do you ever learn new things
    or do things just for fun?

    You can take off on your birthday?
    Only four hours of class–that’s cool!
    And you take lots of fieldtrips?
    I’ll ask my mom to homeschool!

  49. Joseph Harker

    For the record: I strongly believe in the value of a college education. I also strongly believe you learn way more there than you do in just class. (I also apologize for the delay in posting: between ongoing Wednesday dental work and busy work, it’ll be tough to be a prompt poster for a little while. :P)

    Freshman Year

    The third week, I learned how it looks when someone
    vomits up a bottle and a half of Cab Sav at three in the
    goddamn morning: like blood, whole galaxies of it,
    spilled across the bits of bathroom floor tile, tie-dying
    T-shirts with its deepness. And one hapless dorm-mate

    lying in the middle of it, crying bitter tannic tears, shaking
    like the San Andreas while he struggled to keep it all
    down. Battle stations: someone has to get paper towel
    after paper towel to sop up the mess, someone else
    stroke his shoulders, and me, keeping an eye out in case

    they called 911. We can handle this, everyone agrees,
    and I pass a bottle of water. Deadweight in our arms when
    we carry him to bed, and no ambulances or police come
    howling through the night for foolish underage blood.
    And the next day, he drowns his hangover with a Folger’s

    before class: me, I end up in Latin, sleeplessly trying to
    conjugate deponent verbs. And when the blue-smocked
    cleaning lady frowns at a few overlooked ruby flecks,
    bit of mystery on the wall, we smile. No grades here:
    only tests. We measure triumphs and shames. We pass.

    1. Miss Mel

      I am shamed to admit it, but been there, done that – on both ends of the floor so to speak! So true there are many lessons college teaches us before we are ejected in the world. :)

  50. Colette D

    A FALL AT LEARNED HALL
    (The Engineering Building at The University of Kansas)

    One icy fall
    at Learned Hall
    and that was all
    the learning it took
    to remember the laws
    of motion
    and especially
    of friction.
    This story
    is no fiction
    and was not learned from a book.

    ;D

  51. Andrew Kreider

    Mr. Mayhew’s band

    We were a small experimental band,
    Prefects in the music block at lunchtime
    And Saturdays down at the Golden Egg.

    I sort of tried to kill myself that year
    But could never explain exactly why
    John fell in love with Lomax’s sister

    And went to bed with her though he was gay.
    Melissa overindulged in brown ale
    And Graham remained incredibly nice.

    In class Mr. Mayhew preached about Strauss
    Orgasms and Der Rosenkavalier.
    He was as confused as the rest of us.

  52. DanielAri

    “Extracurricular”

    Take a load off and relax.
    ‘s cool.
    You don’t even have to ask.
    ‘s cool.
    Take a nap or crack a beer–
    I’m just happy that you’re here.
    Let me make this crystal clear:
    ‘s cool.

    If you need to take that call,
    ‘s cool.
    I can wait out in the hall.
    ‘s cool.
    Do what you got to do.
    I’ll gladly wait for you
    if you need to take a few,
    ‘s cool.

    Loosen up your belt a notch.
    ‘s cool.
    You don’t have to check your watch.
    ‘s cool.
    I’m delighted to enable
    you to kick back at my table.
    I’ve got food and wine and cable.
    ‘s cool.

    DA

    1. SaraV

      Daniel, we were on the same wavelength–yesterday I started thinking about a dialog type poem with the ending of “s’cool!” Too funny.

      Wonderful words btw–you rocked the prompt again!

  53. Andrew Kreider

    New School

    He didn’t want to go to school that day
    The kids were scary, he hated lunch
    And the custodian was mean.
    At last, his mother told him
    The first day is the worst
    But it’s a nice place
    And besides that
    You’re a fine
    Teacher,
    Son.

  54. lionmother

    Perfect Teacher

    Her stern look quieted the children
    As they sat in tight rows hands clasped
    tight – so tight the knuckles were red
    They sat awaiting her commands
    Quiet enough to hear the random sounds
    in the classroom
    The on and off of the heat and the hum of the
    not quite broken fluorescent light above one of
    their heads.

    She ordered they listened
    I watched mesmerized by the obedience
    I longed to see from my own class
    For I was not like this perfect teacher
    and allowed the expression of their childish
    wonder and excitement
    Allowed the chatter during writing when they shared

    Instead of seeing the neat rows of children their
    hands clasped tight
    my students whispered and moved their eyes around
    the room
    roving to the window and beyond riding on their imagination
    and I rode behind them hoping to guide their paths
    Not the perfect teacher.

  55. Justine Hemmestad

    I have trained my whole life for this moment
    Like Battle of Thermopylae, I may not survive –
    But I fight with my life and truth at my side.
    The terror is unbelievable and yet I advance,

    I have gained wealth in wisdom to which I return,
    And my destiny is to remain and teach what I’ve learned –
    Dwelling in life-breaching courage –
    I find encouragement in an impossible foe.

    My school is courage
    My school is truth
    My school is love
    My reward is to prevail.

    I know I will die and yet I make my stand,
    For the truth is not to be betrayed.
    I fight not for a person – I fight for an Ideal –
    The ideal of truth – breeding love’s vindication.

    Back into the school I go, eager and willing,
    With my sword and bow clutched in my hands,
    The battlefield of life provides my textbooks –
    The red carpet of trial is my dignity.

  56. Jane Shlensky

    One more and I’ll quit…really.

    Student Teacher

    If I love
    them, I’ll be OK,
    won’t I? she
    asks me, hope, fear, and mission
    in her pleading eyes.

    Love helps, I
    tell her, wanting to
    be true, to
    mentor her
    well, but you must still know what
    you’re talking about.

  57. Jane Shlensky

    First Class

    My teaching supervisor found me
    too youthful, suggesting I wear glasses
    and longer darker skirts, and put
    my long hair in a bun at my nape,
    that I avoid laughter, lest students take advantage.
    We have to age you, she said, for your own good.
    Such conversations with her were already doing
    just that. She confused appearance and substance.

    My first day of teaching, an unknown in the school,
    I sat in a student desk, as they collected
    and began to question who their teacher was
    and why she had not come to class yet,
    some louder in their decision to leave in five minutes
    if she had not shown up by then,
    their curiosity, questioning skills, public speaking,
    and natural leadership shining in their adolescent faces.

    Just before they bolted, I stood, walked
    to the front and began to call the roll.
    So much can be learned on the first day of class.

  58. Jane Shlensky

    Chalked

    Mrs. Freeman did not believe in freedom
    for her students, our first lesson in irony.
    Old and soft as over-ripe fruit, her plump
    cheeks jowled beside her lips
    as she wrote Rules of Class
    on the chalk board, her arm flaps
    transfixing us in gelatinous motion,
    her penmanship impeccable, though few
    in first grade could read it and
    avoid the consequences of disorder.

    She taught us fundamental principals:
    raise your hand, work together, queue up,
    please and thank you, neatness, bladder control,
    shame and the importance of taking part
    in our own punishment—drawing a small circle
    on the chalkboard and putting our noses
    inside it for countless minutes, a sort of public
    time-out, our embarrassed stiffened backs
    to our classmates, a reminder
    not to ask too many questions.

    An eager child, I learned restraint and
    developed a quietly seeking self that
    nurtured unasked questions, watching them
    feed and feather in my being, unvoiced.
    Always, I value questions beyond answers,
    finding them more telling of what a person
    envisions, hopes for, believes.

    I also learned the efficacy of self-punishment
    and right now have an impulse to chalk myself
    when I speak
    out of turn.

  59. Jane Shlensky

    Two teaching shadormas.

    Yearbook Message

    “I hope you
    enjoy teaching for
    the rest of
    your life,” he
    wrote, not understanding her
    fear and pale despair.

    English Teacher’s Favorite Note
    (Not Shared at Department Meeting)

    “This heer yeer
    was fablus for me
    I lernt so
    much and have
    funny too cuz your class wus
    goodern anythin.”

    1. PKP

      Dear Jane… Wonderful capture of a perfect piece of time… the first the quiet despair and the second the joy of getting through – making an impact – an having it expressed and delivered IN WRITING – spelling be darned…. Sheer joy…. Lovely…

  60. dixichick

    First Box of Crayons

    Her very own box, not to share
    Yellow, with all the tips sharp for once
    The colors, precisely lined up
    Presenting an order unknown
    In real life

    But real, pungent, and alive
    In the thin yellow box.

    1. lionmother

      Love this! It reminds me of the first day of school when I had these huge boxes of fresh crayons. The sharp points were so unusual I almost didn’t want to use them and you somehow got the crayon smell in there.:)

  61. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Everyone’s Gone To Appleby’s (A summer school poem)

    It starts with a chat
    just matter of fact
    and what did you do last night?
    Then it’s down to work
    no time to shirk
    trying to get it right

    It’s modal verbs
    and phrasal verbs
    with adverbs and don’t be absurds
    and the Italian girl wriggles
    and the French girl giggles
    and the Russian says not a word

    But she turns scarlet
    although she’s no harlot
    and her t-shirt says “Wild Child”
    Then through her blushes
    she stutters then gushes
    “I’m not really that wild”

    Each day is the same
    as I call each name
    everyone says the same thing
    The story grows boring
    and I start ignoring
    the ones with the same song to sing

    And the Italian girl giggles
    and the French girl wriggles
    and the Russian girl starts to squirm
    as I ask for the lowdown
    with an interrogatory frown
    the wild child’s cheeks start to burn

    Appleby’s, Appleby’s
    it’s always Appleby’s
    the summer school student’s haunt
    Night after night
    and pint after pint
    what else can I do but taunt?

    The French girl giggles
    and the Italian girl wriggles
    and the Russian girl turns bright red
    I’m no longer a child
    but I’m not really wild
    she says as she lowers her head

    It starts with a chat
    all matter of fact
    and what did you do last night?
    Appleby’s! Appleby’s!
    We all went to Appleby’s!
    it’s the same every day! Alright!

    Iain

  62. Sharp Little Pencil

    COLORING WITH MRS. PERSLEY

    “It’s all wrong”
    But it’s in the lines, whined I
    Kindergarten stinks, thought I

    “It’s the colors.
    Bark is brown.
    Leaves are green.
    The sky is blue. Look out the window.
    And why did you color your squirrel blue?”

    Bark can be green like the tree in our back yard that’s
    covered with moss
    In fall, trees are rainbows and yes rainbows have purple
    so my tree rainbow has purple and blue too
    The sky is yellow when
    a cyclone is coming
    Mom told me so and she’s from Iowa so she’d know
    And the blue squirrel
    is just sad today

    My kindergarten teacher had a lot to learn

    1. SaraV

      Amy– loved your blue squirrel

      Lessons Learned

      My children are mine
      But are not me
      Listen to John Lennon
      Let it b
      c, d kids march
      To their own key
      And things work out
      Eventually

      Fish Tales

      Head to tail
      Tail to head
      Swirl, serpentine
      Circle and then
      Retrace, splash
      Nip, play
      The liquid way
      To spend a day

    2. Marie Elena

      Absolutely love it. A little girl named Rosanne (my sister’s friend) was told by her teacher there is “no such thing as a green house.” Rosanne lived in a green house. ‘Nuff said, but a child can’t get away with saying such things to certain adults. Good piece, Amy.

      1. Sharp Little Pencil

        To all, doesn’t it seem like we each had a teacher (or maybe our child did) so singularly lacking in imagination, so tethered to the “real” world, that they have the ultimate power to discourage imagination and daring in a young child? I appreciate all your support on this, because, truth be told, I was a shy kid and that’s what I WANTED to say to her. Instead, I held in tears and sat in Mom’s lap while she drank gin and told me I was smarter than my teacher!! Oy…

  63. Buddhaway

    I’m in school right now
    Bow to past greatness
    Let them know the mistakes Ive made
    Help is on the way the respond
    I long for acceptance
    Accept when its to be the one and only
    Past memories flood my mind
    In due time dues will be paid
    Stick to them books not to fantasies of getting laid
    Most of us are here just to get paid
    But time is art, Not money I say

    1. Sharp Little Pencil

      Reminds me of Mr. Walker! When I ask young people what their favorite subject in school is, I always add the proviso: “Lunch and recess don’t count!” Cute, Randi!

  64. barbara_y

    a school poem
    by
    barbara

    the damned in hell know every molecule 
    of time and every note of hard discord 
    that bought the atoms of their punishment.
    no one told me what I had done, but damned
    I was, and fed on putrid peas and grease
    and tepid milk to keep my body whole
    that I might never miss a crumb of hell.

  65. lionmother

    Robert, I haven’t been here in awhile, but you have lured me into writing with this prompt!

    Teaching Revisited

    School for me was the scent of blackboard chalk dust
    which settled on my clothes like drops of rain might
    after a long day of cramming information and values
    into the heads of vacant eyed students who would
    rather be doing anything else but sitting in a hard
    wooden chair listening to me talk about long division
    or verbs

    Their locked heads faced me with derision
    Dared me to unlock the TV soaked part that
    only responded to the slight bump of the familiar
    when they slit open like a clam and you could
    squeeze in a few nuggets until they snapped closed

    School loomed each summer like a monster
    waiting to devour me with its useless trivia
    The hordes of students awaiting me caused
    terror as if I were facing an angry crowd and
    not the untried brains of the very young

    School was my dragon
    and each year I arrived with plan book and
    decorated classroom to slay the disinterest
    and lack of concentration and finally be victorious
    Finally be the one to open these empty minds
    to the joy I had found at their age
    to the yearning for more – the insatiable unending
    desire to learn.

    1. PKP

      School as dragon….oh my I CANNOT RESIST the pull of the punny ….you slay me!
      ….and yes of course the chalk dust…the lovely scent of chalk dust….

      Ah just realized…..the problem here with replying… There is a sense of self inflated misplaced importance in posting a simple….. Back to read more later…..either attached to so done else’s poem (!).or takimg up space as a separate post…. Ach! Off to dentist to be crowned! Lol

  66. PKP

    Stop Look Listen

    In her parchment hand
    held a chime each
    note a shining primary
    color clearly calling
    ding – stop
    ping – look
    ding – listen
    and they of fresh
    scrubbed nails
    stiff shoes
    and expectant faces
    turned as one
    that first delectable day
    and
    did

  67. Michelle Hed

    September

    School starts after Labor Day
    in Minnesota
    because of our State Fair.
    We have to support
    the pigs and the cows,
    the horses and the sheep,
    Aunt Mabel’s prize jam
    and grooving with our peeps.

    School starts after Labor Day
    In Minnesota
    because of our resorts.
    With ten thousand lakes
    you can only fish, swim and ski
    three months of the year,
    before the water is so cold (or frozen)
    turning blue is a real fear.

    School starts after Labor Day
    in Minnesota
    because this is how we roll.

  68. PKP

    There in the dancing dust
    motes of whirling ever after
    sun shafted light
    sparkles books lined
    limnimg the light of future
    fluttering in the rustle
    of limitless leaves yet
    unread
    waiting

    1. lionmother

      Pearl, I got here at last! I love that we both thought of dust. Mine is the chalk dust. I love the sense of excitement and the future in yours. “limitless leaves yet unread/waiting”

COMMENT