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November 2, 2016

She's all that gold and glitter
At the mic. Sequined dress
Catches the moon just right.
She's all that gold and glitter,
And they throw tomatoes.
Spring for the exit now.
A woman has no place. Here.

This poem, #191 in the Poem Almost Everyday Project, strays from the writing the poem first thing aspect of my experiment because it was born out of a “poetry game” I play with students as a way into writing in poetic form. As a class, we determine the “rules” of the game: number of lines, syllables per line, the verb _______ in line ______ , the color _______ in line _______, a poetic device in line _______, and repeat lines _______ & _______.

These are the rules for this one:

  • 7 lines
  • 3 iambs per line
  • sprint in line 6
  • gold in line 1
  • a caesura in line 2
  • repeat lines 1 & 4
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September 7, 2016

License plate from 1958 Ambulance/Hearse
An ambulance drives by,
Full-speed, sirens yelling,
And the whole class
Pauses from the lesson on the

Screen at the front of the room.
What fresh tragedy pulls them away
From Hamlet or Victor

Frankenstein? School is just
A mile down from
The blue glare emergency
Of the Concord Hospital,

Where, I am quite sure, dying
Happens everyday.

Annotate that, sweet thing.
We are at odds of sort -
Healing or helping,

Doctors or teachers all.


This is Poem #162 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. 

September 2, 2016

Those words, scribbled on an Exit
Survey, say - hold on. 

It will be a great year.
Remember, Heather, why you are here. 


This is Poem #158 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. 

This seems to be one of several “back to school” poems I wrote upon returning there after the summer vacation following a very difficult year.

August 31, 2016

Oversight.
Scrutiny.
Critical "friends"
examine your work.

The job of 
Teaching is
different.

Our heart is there
to make each
lesson flow

to each child.
They will rip 
out that organ.

(those in charge
as the children
once were -
 of guiding
curriculum 
as professionals
should)

Bring back autonomy. 
Bring it back
or our schools

will crumble
under the tyranny.

Fascism. 


This is Poem #157 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

This seems to be one of several “back to school” poems I wrote upon returning there after the summer vacation following a very difficult year.

August 28, 2019

It is part of life and can be
Good. 
      Required the different
Forms.
       Sung about in
Rap songs and Disney
Films. Is my standing

At the front of a classroom,
Delivering lectures of more
Importance than when 

I vacuum or write
         A poem? Who decides

Which work is treasured
Above all else and which 
Paycheck - the cash
Lump sum or the sum
Of kindness and change
For the better and 
The improved? 

This is Poem #156 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

Word on the street is that eventually

teachers will need to be versed in more

than lockdown drills and covering

classroom windows. Some schools are

already offering up PD in

active shooter response training –

What little old me would be expected

to do in the face of

a Dylan Klebold or Adam Lanza.

 

I’ve weathered events with my

Students. I was in the classroom

Tuesday, April 20, 1999, when Columbine

Became an event and not a city. How could

We not suspect every student in a trench coat

After that? I sat all day with my seniors

As the images of 9/11 blasted

Us through the box

Television sets suspended in each classroom.

 

And the news of Newtown

Came through on a student’s

iPhone Period 8. We turned to a

Screen again.  (At HDHS, clean, modern,

new, one floor of classrooms. Me near 

the main entrance, an easy target – my

first classroom – awash with posters, pens,

pencils, and peril.)

 

President Clinton’s Response to the Columbine Shooting

 

This is Poem #28 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished,” and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

In English class

I teach two African

Girls who’ve experienced

 

Such trauma in their

Home country, they have

No memories of their childhoods.

 

It’s interesting that

Michonne wields a machette

as her weapon of choice

and skill

and grace.

 

How she dances

With her implement

of destruction

 

The beautiful beheadings

of zombies.

 

She spins. Her powerful

Arms, her smooth

And perfect skin,

 

A foil to the failing,

Falling, pallid

zombie flesh.

Winter Carnival 2016

 

Lightsabers, plastic

And bright, swipe

Through the corridors

Of this institution of learning.

 

Some wielders wear white –

A rebel alliance – unfettered

As of yesterday; and,

Others, black.

 

Their alliance to the Empire

Clear. Droids beep

And bleep and spin

And roll and distract

 

My students from their

Lessons. Youtube

Taught me how to style

An artistic rendering

Of Rey with my hair,

 

And my flowing white

Shirt and boots

Help me to lead

The Alliance,

 

As we learn after

Hard fought battles,

Scars and lacerations,

We’ve won the intergalactic

War.

 

This is Poem #23 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

For those of you familiar with the battle being fought on the figurative front at the time this poem was written, I’d also included the following parenthetical at the end:

(Take off your white sweater, Blonde Bitch!)

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished,” and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

 

for the Magnificent Seven

 

Answers says, “No,

I’m not letting you

In just yet. Suffer

 

A little longer here.”

Months from now –

I know I can look

 

Back at this – when

I’m in the Chamber

Of Certainty (no, there

 

is no such place) where

This limbo is past, and

Review the results.

 

Rest and know our

Actions were worth

The time here

 

Treading in the pool

With the inflatable

Ducky life raft

 

Allusive as always.

 

This is Poem #12 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to critique.

 

As I’ve stated earlier, there had been some very bad things happening at work, but we were on the cusp of action and change. This poem and others upcoming reflect this time of uncertainty.

Do not drop it

In a gang shower

They joke – but hope

 

Will help you wake

at 4am and actually

Want to get out of bed.

 

And will shrink

The amygdala

And let creation

 

And planning grow.

Flourish again.

Hope destroys

 

The Plague of Pessimism

She worked so hard

To spread around –

 

And infect each of us.

Hope the antidote;

Relearn to stand

 

At the front of a classroom,

Write on the chalkboard,

And teach in peace.

 

This is Poem #10 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. These are second drafts of  pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to give useful critique.

 

Some of these  poems are quite  “cringe-worthy” but I’m publishing them here anyway. Let it suffice to say, there had been some very bad things happening for a lot of us at work, but we were on the cusp of action and change. This poem and others upcoming reflect this time of uncertainty.

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