Sunday, May 2, 2010

April was National Poetry Month

Every year, the month of April is deemed National Poetry Month.  Last year I had the chance to participate in Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer, the resident poet laureate for Writer's Digest.  Each day he posted a new idea (or prompt) for the day's poems.  Most of the time they were free verse, no particular meter or rhyme scheme, but other times they required a certain pattern such as a haiku or a sonnet.  It was a challenging, but very creative, writing time for me.

This year I was unable to participate due to time constraints, but I spent some time this week reflecting on the poem's I wrote last year as the month of April came to a close.  I'd like to share some of those with you; I hope you find them worth your reading time.

The Teacher....the Student...Together...

Each day I enter the room, with hopes they will listen
Avoiding the stares and apathetic ambition
Churning with desire to develop young minds
And relish the moment when they start to smile.

Each day I enter the room with jaded disposition
Finding refuge in the hopes of another school lesson
Seeking someone that might finally see my quest
A desire for knowledge, more than the rest.

I try to set forth each day with a focus,
but all of my efforts, they just go unnoticed.

I do want to care, I do want to learn.
But failures are failures, I often get burned.

I want them to learn
I want them to see
I want them to conform

The battle of knowledge that rages within
One to finish, one to begin
The process of learning, of scholarly ambition
of reading and writing, subtraction, addition.
Of books and of films and lessons to teach - 
the goals of the day, of all we will reach.

I impart knowledge,
I impart truth.
I impart wisdom,
I impart youth.
I build the dreams they can't see for themselves,
I battle realities unknown to the world.
I want them to understand,
I want them to change.
I want the to rise above,
I want them to remain;

Remain on a level that I can perceive
A level of disillusion, of heartaches that bleed?
A moment of faith is all that I ask.
A moment of compassion to tackle the task?

How can you reach me?  Open your eyes!
My life a kaleidoscope of struggles and trials.

But your studies, they suffer if you don't try to change,
Pull up the boot straps - you seem so afraid?
Afraid of success, afraid to be seen
as if your intelligence would rip off your sleeve.
Expose your true self, the one that you hide,
the one that I pull at, deep down inside.

But I like who I am, can't you find a way?
To teach me without destroying my face?
To cultivate that which is there all alone
and realize me worth is wrapped up in your son.
I can be more than I am today,
but I need you to show me the way.

You need me?  Are you sure of that?
More than you know, but I'll rarely ask.

Then how do I know when to go, when to stay?
When to push you and pull you, to show you the way.

You may never know, but always keep trying
my life change, myself I'm applying.
In way that only make sense to me,
be patient, find time, watch and you'll see.
I know I don't always make is easy to teach
but I promise, my thought are within your reach
I'm listening, I'm watching more than you know - 
and your guidance will help me, push me to grow.

That's all I want, for you to have a chance,
at life, at success, at riches romance.
And I live in a world that you soon will link
and I feel that I've failed you, beyond what you think.
For I don't see the promise you readily make - 
to try harder, longer, focus, relate.
I fear for you, weep for you, bleed for you, try 
to expose the real world, do you hear me cry?

I do. I hear you. I'm listening now.
You are?  I thought I'd lost you in the crowd.

You know that I need you and you need me
together we create a different family.
One of learning, of trust, of greatness above
A connection that lasts when push comes to shove.

I'll never forsake you.
I promise I'll try.
I'll never abandon.
I'll always apply.

the best of intentions
to reach a common goal.
To travel beyond what we both really know.
And years from now I'll never forget,
the impact you made.  I have no regrets.

I choose to be heard, to be a part of your life,
I'll be with you always, for you are my child...

The Problem with being a Soldier's Wife

The problem with being a soldier's wife
is there's rarely somoen to hold in the night.
The time spent alone outnumbers the days
when your husband is home and all feels o.k.
The hours spent waiting for him to return
burn in your heart like flames for an urn.

The problem with being a soldier's wife
is raising children alone through struggles and strife.
Kissing "ouchies" and hugging them well,
with no one to turn to when you take a spill.
Meetings and school plays when they look out in the crowd
and yours is the only face to be found.

The problem with being a soldier's wife
is coffees and bake sales to avoid real life.
A smattering of women forced together by chance
with nothing in common but the mark of the patch,
their husbands wear on their sleeves adorning their unit
and we all combine in an attempt to get through it.

The problem with being a soldier's wife
is hours spent worrying about saving his life.
To live with the fear that you'll be a young widow
while the war rages on in countries and villages.
To cry in your sleep and need comfort from him
so you know tomorrow a new day begins.

And that's just the beginning of an Army wife's toil
There's more to the story of angst and turmoil.
The good and the bad that battles along
can often be heard in the Army wife's song
of laughter and smiles and tears on her face
knowing she is what all will embrace.

The problem with being a soldier's wife
is the pride that you feel might burst in the fight.
For freedom and innocence, lending a hand
of truth and of justice and all that will stand
to push out the evils that grip in that place
and leave a new city for them to embrace.

The problem with being a soldier's wife
is the time spent in solitude opens your eyes.
To the strength within that you didn't know was there,
to the power you have in moments of despair.
To the love in your heart that you know will never die,
for a man willing to give the final sacrifice.

The problem with being a soldier's wife
is the sisterhood you find amidst hours of strife.
The women forced all together by chance
for a bond that no one but us understand.
The unspoken words among acquaintances pass
stronger than those forged forth in the brass.

The problem with being a soldier's wife
is each return from afar always ignites,
Flames of passion suppressed for so long
while you waited and waited for him to come home.
Your marriage renewed by the distance surpassed
knowing deep in your heart, this love will last.

A memory

The letter was simple, I still love you.
The response, it was better, I love you, too.

When can I come
and see you again?
Today, tomorrow, tonight, when?

Board the plane now, don't wait any longer.
The without you are plain and somber.
Months have gone by, way too much time
knowing all along, you should be mine.

The flight finally landed,
he stepped off the plane.
My God! It was good to see his face.

A letter rekindled all we had lost.
And now were together, no matter the cost.
I'll never forget when we met again,
And forever we'll be from now til' the end.

The letter was simple, I still love you.
The response, it was better, we said "I do".

I stand alone...

You, and you're "good ol' boy" system
looking down upon those that move in
and do things better than those part of your "clan"
And you know it, you know they do, you know I do...
but, I am not part of your you shaft me.
You praise me when it's right, but when push comes to shove,
they will always get what they want because you allow
a glass ceiling to affect those that are on the outside...
A network of lies and alibis
of beer drinking and graduation rights,
a piss pool of "do for me and I'll do for you"
You disgust me, all of you do. Everyone.
Your blind eye and wavering voice
any time a question comes your way that you KNOW
someone in your inner circle has screwed up - and yet,
you blame those not there.  Look at me, use words like
"allegedly" "supposedly" "possibly"
hoping I'll lay down like a dog and accept it...
But I won't!  I am good at what I do and not part of your clan...
I will always rise above those
you see with a blind eye and hear with a dear ear...
I don't have to kiss your ass to be great,
I am great without you.
They are only great with you, they are sad - you are sad...

....and given the choice, I stand alone.
For you and your clan are not worth it, do not define me.  In the do not matter.

My goal...

Mountains of papers sit in my reach,
what to say, what to write, how do I teach...
The era of knowledge seems fast fading fast
like a lyric, a song, one hit not to last.
Divulging importance beyond what they see
finding facts and the life beyond life's plea.
Longing to impact the rest of their life
giving the chance to show them they might,
one day lay fire to the world of their choice
finding within them their own inner voice.
Saying over and over, I, too, matter most
sipping their coffee over eggs and toast.
As they view their life through refractory eyes
and see back to when I was on their side.
Pushing and pulling as only I can,
forcing them past, "I am what I am"
Making them see all they can reach,
and knowing my goals was only to teach.

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