Come dance with me
Guess who I’ll be
At the ball of masquerade
You’ll see my face
That I’ll replace
I dance my grand charade
Come listen once
Dear brilliant dunce
It’s true this love I feign
Sweet nothings slur
Words lovely blur
Cause pain, no choice, remain
The trust that’s gone
May come at dawn
A principle election
The words you hear
Are cloudy clear
Choose where you place affection
The dreadful evening news is filled with ills
Her gleaming eyes of planes that never land
The talking heads fill space ‘tween selling pills
And finish with cute puppies in the sand
Analysis is often hard to find
The whys and wherefores hidden in a cloud
But Sunday’s sales will mollify the mind
The deals! They’ll make a killing, feeling proud
Though sometimes there’s a tone that resonates
I take a breath and turn attentive ears
A problem I can tackle for me waits
Solutions not in months but many years
One more starfish thrown into the sea
The journey matters both for them and me
In her poem, The Summer Day, Mary Oliver asks,
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Question. Not the
I got you
Question nor the
I’m smarter than you
Question. Ask the
Tell me who you are today?
Question. Ask the
What’s the best, most interesting?
What’s surprised you?
Question. Ask the
Tell me more about…
Question. Not the judge, jury nor executioner
Question but the
___build community and understanding
Answers are not lions (but may be thorns).
Answers are doors.
Answers. Then ask another
As we work to systematize the writing work we do in Middle School, we decided to start a new website: Middle School Writing Lab. It will be a constant work in progress (and it was only started last Thursday so, keep that in mind). I hope to include in each section:
- How-To/ Explanation
- Word Bank
I am looking for that sweet spot between “formula” and “stream of consciousness.” I want writers to use their personal voice while accomplishing the task at hand. If you have any amazing resources please send them my way. Let’s Write!
A broken skateboard on the ground
was days-old trash until I found
some greased ball bearings deep within.
Thought I’d take ‘em for a spin.
I grabbed a vice grip and a pliers
and pulled apart the useless tires.
When I got the needed part
was when my project I could start.
My sister drinks a lot of juice-
her bottle caps I put to use.
In three red caps I placed a dime
and filled with clay to save some time.
The fourth red cap- I had to cut
away the top and leave a rut
around the middle without tearing
the place I’d put the greased ball bearing.
But still my project wasn’t done
I went to get my grandma’s gun
(a gun for glue, so don’t you worry).
I pegged the pieces without hurry.
So now the part I really hate
the glue sets slow so I must wait.
My patience pays off in the end.
Participating in the trend
I rush to show it to a friend.
He laughs and asks what did I spend?
“Designed and built with nothing new!”
He pauses, asks, “Can I …
… build one too?”
Beside the freeway bus stop
the boys play soccer
with a piece of trash
(today it’s a tossed-aside
one liter water bottle).
The bigger one kicks off his
shoes, towards his mother
who is selling fruit to the commuters,
because the sneakers’ sole
to the hole-y canvas upper
making it hard to beat his brother
at trash soccer.
“Put on your shoes,” sighs mom
as she takes a few cents for a
watermelon slice, all the time knowing
with purses, backpacks and briefcases
(and slices of fruit),
climb the stairs of the pedestrian bridge
that spans the freeway.
Which side will they come down on?
I pencil my schedule long-range
Knowing planners, the times, they’ll exchange
So I mix a new fix
Til’ the change gets the nix
Is the un-change of change still a change?
Arguing with the television,
turning it down, loudly,
eating fresh rosquitas and offering them
Wanting to share in the wine
But too methodical to do so.
Keeping life’s rhythms and rhymes.
Patterns that matched his shirt.
Setting his watch by casino,
Punching the clock at the café as if going to work,
Paying without comment.
Community wherever he was.
Welcoming you, as you are,
Who you are,
Supporting your dreams,
Take a nap if you want to, fix the world if you want to…
But how about a sandwich at 8:40,
And could the doctor’s appointment be after breakfast and before the café?
Africa brought my friend Abdisalam
Pangjua my pal is from Asia
Buddy was born on the East Side, Saint Paul
A quilt, a symphonic fantasia!
Frank is Lakota, a generous man
Angel an awesome amigo
Ela my doctor of Irish descent
Aunt Shirley? She comes from Otsego
The Nations United is more than New York
We world-weave through actions and talking
Together we journey, we wonder, we hope
The road that we make is by walking
This was my non-winning poetry submission for Impressions. The end result of Impressions would have more people reading poetry and viewing art on busses and at bus stops in the Twin Cities (Minnesota). Using easy to read, rhyming poetry I wanted to emphasize the global nature of St. Paul while alluding to Spanish poet Machado in that we create the world with who we are and what we do.
I look forward to reading all of the poems!