As I teach my 6th graders, I will sometimes create in the style that I am teaching. When teaching limericks, write limericks!
Lorenzo he searched for a book.
“I wonder which one of you took
The book that I had
And made me feel sad.”
Saw Ian and called him a crook.
Said Emma to Luke here’s a dare:
“When Erick sits down take his chair.”
But Erick was wise
To the not-nice surprise.
Said Luke, “It’s not fair you’re aware.”
Miranda thought, “Class is a bore.
“I can’t stand to sit on floor.”
She talked and she sighed
And she shouted with pride.
So Finlay he showed her the door.
The first sound is never the birds
Neither the coo of the pigeon in the palm
Nor the call of the scrub blackbird
Trash truck sounds first
Diesel motor idle roar
Of tired haulers
(Car alarms activated)
Fresh bread morning whistles
Ice cream tricycle kazoos
Old Marta shouting, “Ta-ma-le-ta-ma-le-ta-ma-le!”
(The first time I listened late and heard ma-le-ta [suitcase] not tamale)
Pounding, drilling, sanding, scraping
Eleven million vying
Relax and respond
Never the first, never the last
Yet always the soothe in the din-
Awareness revealing the bird-song
For the coo of the pigeon in the palm
And the call of the scrub blackbird
. Lima, Peru 2019
I hate that my dog’s barking
is disturbing peace with noise.
I thought that when the kids moved out
I’d finished shushing boys.
To shush him up I shout right back,
my loud voice, stern and grim.
Then the neighbor shushes me
’cause I’m disturbing him.
Eyes opened to the morning
The faint, pre-dawn glow
Colors of the quilt
Beige walls, wood floor, shock of art
The S curve of my side sleeping spouse
Bare feet on a cool floor
Elastic waistband presses less than the night before
Warm water soothes the aches
My daily baptism cleanse
Black, hot coffee
Tastes of valley slopes and worker’s hopes
Perhaps a hint of chocolate
Acidic blueberries tamed with cane sugar
Salty bacon, cured with honey
(I’ll exercise tonight- promise!)
Click of the door
Vrooom of the motor
Hurried honks drown the bird song
Mozart to motivate
Rundgren to ruminate
Inhale the baking bread roasting beans and the subtle (?) geraniums
Mix in downtown’s exhaust and the damp concrete
I am, therefore I feel
a migrant child in foreign lands
an unplanned birth, the world expands
to join with ours his storyline
unite the human and divine
yet still we struggle, cannot see
divine-ness in humanity
so Christmas comes, we try anew:
see you in me and me in You.
Divorce was finally finalized
Their love not reconciled.
Those differences hurt most of all
José, their pre-teen child.
José had heard the arguing,
The sobs of desperation.
His innocence still hoped and prayed
The hardest part: When dad moved out,
When weekends had to change.
He loaded up his duffle bag
For mom and dad’s exchange.
Routine set in, his grades bounced back,
This cycle was his life.
The system changed when spring came round
And with it dad’s new wife.
For mother’s day he bought two shrubs:
(He showed no hesitation)
A shrub for mom, and dad’s new wife.
Just right for this occasion.
So can you guess these perfect plants
José astutely chose?
They smelled as sweet by any name:
The Northern pink Shrub Rose.
The rose lies still through winter’s winds
And grows in summer’s heat.
The flowers bloom from May through fall
To give the bees a treat.
But most of all this perfect gift,
The rose, resembles love.
With beauty deep and thorns that stab,
You sometimes need a glove.