Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Day of School

When I was a senior in high school, I think I missed the bus about 10 times a month. Dad had to drive me to school. Looking back now, I'm glad I missed it so much, because I had that precious one-on-one time with my dad, but - I digress.

Karen is driving the Poetry Bus this week to school! So, I promised her I would try to be on time.

Oh, so many ways one could go with this, but I wanted to have FUN - since that was the way in which it was presented by our bus driver. I did write a poem for Karen about our WVTech days, but want to keep that for later in September, since it is a little more obscure. I hardly ever rhyme my verse and I really love to. So, with a jaunty wave out of the bus window, here I go...


School bell rings.
Grab your things.
Run to the gate.
Don’t be late!

Heart’s thumping.
Brain’s pumping.
Children weeping.
Mothers leaping.

Summer’s over.
Goodbye, Rover.
Hello fall,
And hallowed hall.

Find a chair.
Fix your hair.
Smile at friends,
Or just pretend.

Shiny shoes.
Pencils (number twos).
Heavy books.
Learning nooks.

Favorite teachers.
Some are creatures.
Principal’s tall.
Vice is small.

School lunches.
Hate them bunches.
Makes my day.

Dismissal Bell.
School’s swell.
Maybe, then,
I’ll go again!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I wrote this for my granddaughter, Chloe, who turned twenty years old this month. A few days after her birthday celebration with all the family, we had a little picnic at Bowman's Creek - just the two of us - chicken salad, homemade pickles, peaches, iced tea with limes. We had the place to ourselves that day. We had a good time sitting there by the water - talking about the past, wondering about the future. Chloe tells me the most interesting things, too. She amazes me, really. She has always lived away from us, but comes to stay here in the summer. So, our relationship is a special one. We have to pack a lot into those few weeks! While watching her wade out into the creek, singing to the fish - this poem was already forming. Oh, and Bowman's Creek is a place where we have always gone. We used to swim in the cold currents years ago and ride the "rapids" in an inner tube. I would take the kids all summer long, before the pool. We used to have big family picnics there, too. (Oh, those halcyon days of years ago.) I guess this seems like a big intro for a short poem, but - as you all know, I am all about brevity in my poetry...I try to say a lot in as few words as possible. Hopefully, it has worked here.


The time of water is over
and most of our sun is gone -
wrapped in a filmy gauze
left over from our days of
sweet and soft iridescence.

But before that –
her skin had reflected water,
as she waded up to her knees
in the cold swirling creek,
singing to the fishes that hid
among the mossy ledges, imploring
them to eat bread from her hands.

And there, by the huge sycamores
that rose up mottled around us,
I felt like time had reeled back
and we were the universe again,
and we were the ancient mystery
that we had always been.

Friday, August 20, 2010


How much more
pain could you have
shown us –
pins holding your
brain in place,
as your fingers
separated fact
from fiction.

He hung like a robe
on the back of the
bathroom door -
nonchalant and dead,
you liked to say.

You claim that you
died, too, that night.
Are you sure
you weren't born –
pushed out of the hard
cold womb of anguish?

Thursday, August 12, 2010


It’s always about the light,
or the dissolution of shadows
and shade that makes it so.

Like the brightness
in the corner of the woods -
filtering down into the fields,

where standing amid the night
blossoms and summer grasses,
the unexpected fox shows himself

and his sweet vulnerability,
never realizing the small
disturbance he has become.