Sunday, April 29, 2007

Poems for Poetry Month

Since April is National Poetry Month, and April is almost gone, and I haven't posted any poetry yet, I thought I had better do so. I've been too busy to write any poetry lately, so I thought I would share some poems I've written over the years. Here, then, with no apologies or excuses, are a few of my efforts...

This one I wrote for Donald Murray at the conclusion of a Summer Studies in composition class I took with him at the University of New Hampshire. Murray is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, so it was a bit daunting to work with him.

I didn't come
to be published
(although that would be nice).
I just came
to learn
(and I
am doing that).

But--
I also wanted
to be praised
to be proud
to be patted on the back.

Instead . . .
I am learning a craft
--new to me--
and therefore
slow to me

Be patient.
Let me come as I am and absorb as I can
the mystery
the magic
the mastery.


Whenever I assign creative writing projects to my students, I try to write with them, as I feel it's important that they see their teacher write. These are haiku written outside with freshmen:

There's a hint of co-
lor in today's April breeze:
Green. Or is it earth?

Plant the seed. Tamp it
down with fingers strong and lean.
Tender it a life.

O wind a blowin' --
Bring the bright song: so haunting,
So true, and rooted.

Poets on the grass,
in the trees, on the steps. What
kind of class is this?!!!


And finally, this won third prize in a poetry writing contest many years ago. I got $75 for it and used it to go see Les Miserables (one of three times I've seen it)!

Exact Change Only

They ask for the world.
but I only have a star to give:
radiant and bright,
light years away.
Not enough, they say, and too far.

They ask again to give them the world.
So I say take North America:
democratic and liberated.
Not enough, they say, and too bold.

They come asking yet one more time.
I offer a dollar--it's all I have, now.
but they want exact change only.

If they ask again, Lord,
I'll need your help:
loving, merciful,
self-sacrificing.
And--do you have change for a dollar?

Break me, Lord.
take what I am
And make in me the change.

3 comments:

La Tea Dah said...

Thought provoking --- well done. This quarter Rylan is taking Creative Writing and has been writing poetry. I've enjoyed peeking over his shoulder and being a sounding board for him. Happy Poetry Month!

InlandEmpireGirl said...

Thanks for sharing your poetry. It must have been wonderful working with D. Murray. I love his writing.

Rondi said...

It was an immense privilege to learn directly from Don Murray. I took two classes from him and read his Boston Globe faithfully for 21 years. I miss him every Tuesday (when the column was published). He was a formidable teacher, and yet amazingly open and vulnerable.