Sunday, July 30, 2006


Music grows in the rose,
The rock and the rain and the blowin’ snowstorm
Everything seems to sing, everywhere I go
I say 1, 2, play-me-doo,
Let me sound as sweet as you
Play me wide, play me long,
Let me be your song…

Lay me down on the ground
Song comes singin’ from the midnight places
Raise me high in the sky
Song comes driftin’ through
I say 1, 2, play-me-doo,
Let me sound as sweet as you
Play me wide, play me long,
Let me be your song…

Play me high, play me low
Play me where the wind winds blowin’
Play me wide me, play me long, play me for your song
I say 1, 2, play-me-doo,
Let me sound as sweet as you
Play me wide, play me long,
Let me be your song…

---Cantus and the Minstrels (Murray, Brio, Brool and Balsam)
"Fraggle Rock"

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Wish

I sat alone,
The room was dark.
My feelings raw.
Reality stark.

I cried salt tears,
I screamed aloud.
The silence boomed,
My cries were drowned.

I cried that night,
For all things lost.
To end the pain,
For time forgot.

The man stood near,
His bone hand shone,
One more wish, said he;
And I was gone.

I saw his sheath,
His skull grimace,
Death here had come,
And given grace.

I shook my head,
Fresh tears down gushed.
I gasped with fear.
My feelings rushed

And filled my soul,
My heart near broke.
I wished to LIVE…

…Then I awoke.

I crossed the floor,
The sun shone through,
The window there,
World washed, anew.

I walked outside,
I felt the air.
I took deep breaths,
Melted my cares.

Life was there,
And nearly took,
Stood near the edge,
My soul forsook.

I thanked the Lord,
I cried fresh tears.
He showed the way,
Revealed my fears.

No problem great,
No trial too strong,
No worry test,
No grievous wrong

Could make death come,
Upon my wish,
And thus I walked:
Life force. A fresh.
~ Written recently by my good friend Alice Collison, from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, United Kingdom, and published here with her full permission. I think she's an exceptional poet, though she strangely doesn't know it. - Jas...

Thursday, July 27, 2006


the last 2 are some o' my favs...

Teacher inservice
Feel my life slipping away
Can’t wait to go home.

Soda pop and chips
That’s all I have for dinner.
Must go to the store.

Turn off that TV!
Shut down! Read a book instead!
Stretch out with your mind!

You gave me something.
What do I do with this thing?
It confuses me…

The baby grows fast
Swimmer in the secret sea
We must get ready

You are quite pregnant
And you throw up every day
I hope it’s worth it…

I forgot my pills
The little pink one I take
To keep myself calm

I think she is cute
I should say something witty
So that she’s impressed.

What’s that he’s eating?
It’s bright blue and small and square
I’m not sure it’s food.

I should do some work,
Be responsible…
What’s on the TV?

Sunday, July 23, 2006


You can't order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, "I'll take two"
and expect it to be handed back to you
on a shiny plate.

Still, I like your spirit.
Anyone who says, "Here's my address,
write me a poem," deserves something in reply.
So I'll tell you a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them.

Once I knew a man who gave his wife
two skunks for a valentine.
He couldn't understand why she was crying.
"I thought they had such beautiful eyes."
And he was serious. He was a serious man
who lived in a serious way. Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so. He really
liked those skunks. So, he re-invented them
as valentines and they became beautiful.
At least, to him. And the poems that had been hiding
in the eyes of skunks for centuries
crawled out and curled up at his feet.

Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us
we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock
in your drawer, the person you almost like, but not quite.
And let me know.

---Naomi Shihab Nye

Saturday, July 22, 2006


back in 2001 I was teaching English/Language Arts at an urban middle school. We were studying poetry, specifically the haiku. I assigned students to go home and write four haiku for homework. They grumbled like hell and I said it wasn't THAT hard-- I could write 40 haikus over nite. They doubted me, and I penned 4 pages worth of haikus--about 80 in all-- in a little over 2 hours while still at school. 80 haikus are waaaay too much to sift thru in 1 post, so I'll break 'em up for ya. Here's the first session, many are school related:

Soft rains fall tonight
I hear it splash on windows
It lulls me to sleep

Sitting on the roof
I see the bright stars come out
I feel the wind blow

Winter blows cold winds
The blood rises to my face
I soon head indoors

My students are cool
Even though they talk all day.
I hope they’ll all pass…

I hate broccoli!
Their loathsome green flower-heads!
Throw it all away!

See the fuzzy peach.
Soft hair grows from it’s surface
The fruit needs a shave.

Yo’ momma be phat!
I say she be on rye bread!
How can you stand it?

I’m on a diet.
Eating up celery stalks
I dream chocolate.

Sitting in meetings
I feel my butt go numb.
My brain will follow.

Rubrics all around
District gives huge piles of them
All to change next year.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Job Security Blues

This week's been busy
No sense in lyin'.
I feel like Neo
defending ol' Zion.

In with the bad,
out with the fixed.
I'm running rapidly
out of computer tech tricks.

I think the planets
are aligned just so
that many a wrench
in the gears are bestowed!

And yet, here I am
without worry or fret
that my job won't be here
tomorrow I'll bet!

For 'long as I receive
computers so broken.
I'll have food on the table
and that nice brass token.

In the mean time I'll
stop my job bitchin',
throwin' a fit,
and shoulder from twitchin'.


Saturday, July 15, 2006


All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places
Worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going no where
Going no where

Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression
No expression
Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow
No tomorrow
No tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very very
Mad world
Mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous

No one knew me
No one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me
Look right through me

And I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Enlarging your world
Mad world

---Gary Jules
Donny Darko soundtrack

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Twelve Little Girls and a Ballerina

Twelve little girls and a ballerina
Holding hands in a circle
Skipping on their toes
Around and around.

I choke up and laugh
My daughter among them.
Her first dance class
Full of sweetness.

The other mothers and I
Gather in the hall,
Craning our necks to watch
Our baby girls learn to leap.

We take turns standing
In the spot with the best view;
The unspoken rotation
Moving like clockwork.

We laugh as our rookies
Fall, or walk instead of march,
Or look at themselves in the mirror
Instead of at Miss Jeanie.

We hope they behave.
We hope they excel.
We hope they are nice to each other.
We hope find peace in the movement of their bodies.

When they are done
They exit the dance floor
Into a mob of grace,
Of hopeful mothers,
Of seasoned young dancers.

And these baby girls
Devour their lollipops
Unmoved by the power
Of their own gifts.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Flannery's Blue Imp comes south every Monday.
He arrives between 3 and 3:15 AM each and every Monday
to pinch and poke and prod the sleeping Eggman
and cause him to awake in misery or delight
to cry, laugh, scream or jump for 3 solid hours.

This has been
going on for months
and I think there's only so much more I can take
before I leave for the Keys and become a barfly.

I'll grow a beard and wear cheap $2 sunglasses
I'll have a ratty ol' white linen suitcoat
and no shoes.
They'll call me "El Greco" and ask where I'm from
and I'll say, "oh, here n' there."

I'll sleep on piers and work for a few bucks a day when the mood hits
helping fishing boats or handing out tourist pamphlets
and often dream of drowning myself in the ocean.

But at least I'll be able to get more than 4 hours of sleep
on any given Monday.

Friday, July 07, 2006


my sunglasses have no bows
my laptop doesn't close properly
my stove is missing a knob
the printer will only accept 1 sheet at a time

Now the children are both sick
burning up with 103 fevers
the doc wants lots of $$$ before he'll see 'em
when did my life turn into a Dickens novel?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Jingle-poems Brought to you by the Ketchup Advisory Board:

These are the good years
Grilling 4th of July weenies
Sunshine and swimming
In your Star-Spangled bikinis…
Life is flowing, like Ketchup on zucchinis…

Ketchup. For the Good Life.

These are the good years
Independence day is here
M-80’s exploding
Stick your fingers in your ears
Life is flowing, like Ketchup in your beer…

Ketchup. For the Good Life.

These are the good years
On the 4th of July
Fireworks exploding
Way up in the sky
Life is flowing, like Ketchup on apple pie…

Ketchup. For the Good Life.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


You may need to click on that to enlarge it. I felt it was not my place to merely put the text in, as the illustration was clearly intended to be part of the poem.