Not Time

You have 5 minutes
to finish
your CFQR chart

and
5 minutes to finish the
poster paper project

What happened to
all the time I
gave you last class?
 
Can I have a
copy, Ms. Stoley?
Not this time,

we don’t have enough
time, not time
Go to your seat

Hmmmph, I didn’t
do anything, what
are you talking about?

What are you saying?
I’m saying, it’s
not time for this,

Not time for this
right now

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Coloring in School

Picking up pencils,
colored pencils,
crayons and pens,
put them in with
the right colors,
please

Quick!

Coloring
is a very soothing
activity,
isn’t it?

Worry about the
territories later,
just the states now,
just color between
the lines
and
finish the rest
for homework,
or during study skills
on
Wednesday
morning,
when
we’ll be finishing
the rest of
the movie

Loud

What are you thinking?
Make an observation,
“the classroom is quiet”
and so are we
Life is naturally loud

What might scientists
look for?
Predators, prey
The silent cries
underneath green

What happens to
their food?
Herbivores, carnivores,
eaters and feeders and
readers and writers

Food source declining,
pollution and pesticides
and
Human Interaction,
natural disasters,
weather and climate change,
icebergs thinning,
Freud in crisis as
ego drowns beneath
the sixth grade waves
the waves, the waves

Where Are You?

Where are you,
where are you,
where are you

Love, I have and share
To an extent unknown
Love forever

Locked up, tired,
Dehydrated and underfed
Sad, crying, moaning

Where are you,
right now?
Where?

Are you okay?
Are you nervous or scared?
Claustrophobic in there?

Don’t be afraid,
We still love you
We always will

F Word

Crumpled up piece of paper
found in the trash between
lunch periods,
between gum-stained homework
and block erasers
an outline of a small hand,
all five fingers, one extended
further upwards than
the others,
and a message in all caps,
scratched out in pencil,
still legible despite this
it says, “Mr. D” and then
trails off, landing
somewhere indistinct and disgusting
and vulgar and depressing
and most of all, sad,
to think someone thought this
up, put it into reality, and
threw it out, unable to face
the consequences of
sharing it in person,
face to face,
I would’ve cried if that
had happened.
I would’ve

Breakdown

Nothing wrong with a little
concern, a couple Q’s
about life and work,
she says,
excuse my inquisitive side

I say, breaking down is like
watching a horror movie in
slow-motion,
uncontrollable dramatic irony
steps into view and
watches you slowly until
you open the closet

I say, forgive me
for not reaching out when
I was at my lowest,
my deepest regrets are more
debilitating than I thought
and I forgot to say “Hello”

Hello
I had some troubles
last year, summer to
fall to winter to now,
you don’t think during a
breakdown, no one thinks
no one

Letter to ____

No, not
the end of your world
or theirs;
that’s a misconception,
wildly untrue.

The end is when
you reach for something
no longer alive, and
in the reflection of
their eyes you
see that death, its
mystical suspicion and
brilliance, is
forever.

The end is when you
reach and reach and
nothing seems to break.

That, that
there is no coming back,
that this decision is fatal,
that nothing exists afterwards
but the left behind
and that legacy will always
be judged by its last moments.

You are a harbinger, and
like diseases spread
through nations,
you cover the aching
sensations of the world
with an unfixable confirmation
of its most depressing
circumstances
your choice is final
and its ripples unfurl
forever against the
world’s best waves

Breakfast at Sea

A late-afternoon family breakfast in the middle of the ocean,

Where the life was quite inviting and the food was mighty delightful,

We ate soggy sea chips with soggy seafood, then in our comfort departed.

It was two a.m. and the waves floated in on a darkening cloud,

Carrying shells and seaweed with grace to the awakening shore –

Since forever it seems that nothing has changed -, then the waves floated back.

At three a.m. the family made its arrival and expected adventure,

With alien eyes and alien bodies to the great island before us,

The sky strolled on foot and then rained its confusion, then we danced in the mist.

Once the palm trees started to bend we knew it was best to stay inside,

For the shower of coconuts shined like the moon arriving in an apocalyptic blaze,

Like the end time but more pleasant than the Christians had imagined, then we laughed.

After it reached four a.m. we sensed trouble on the horizon,

As a pirate ship sounded off and barged in with a “BOOM!,”

Taking the family for prisoners and the island for their kind, then sipping on rum.

Then in ten minutes time the family had boarded the dangerous vehicle,

Since we braced for the worst, we knew the worst was yet to come,

But they sacrificed little sister Rita to their captain, then anchored off.

At five a.m. the sky unglued itself from the dark of the dawn,

And the mist had rose around the pirate ship to their dismay and commotion,

So the family devised a plan which would surely work, then we cheered.

Once it reached six a.m. the sun had taken his watch over the land,

Peering through the crack in the sky that it crafted especially for him,

Such that the moon could rest for a while in his spectacular light, then awake again.

When the clock tower struck seven and the birds rose in the east,

It was time to unleash our plot upon the dastardly pirates and surprise them,

So with great ferocity and coordination we struck them with steel, then with iron.

We escaped the ship in a bang as the cannons fired after our tracks,

But in the ocean we were protected among the coral reefs and fish galore,

And we enjoyed a nice meal with them in the distant shade,

Then at eight we finally awoke and forgot the great dream we had shared.

 

Bad Person

Not sure what to say,

What to do, who to speak to,

Where my mind was,

When, why, when,

A few months ago when I

Left my lifeline hanging out to dry

Left the kids there too,

Waiting for me to come back, I’m sure

I’m sure of it

Why, why, why,

For me, for myself, for my sanity

Is that selfish?

Am I a bad person for choosing me

Over a hundred people?

At what point does the number tip over?

When do the scales move in their direction?

Am I a bad person

For sacrificing education for health?

For leaving behind unfinished work?

For treading water afterwards?

For letting another take the reins,

Without full training or anything?

It is hard not to be a bad person

In your own mind

Watch

analogue classic clock clock face

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Watching and waiting full-time;
He used to scroll blindly through
His previous job’s inbox, with hints of
Nostalgic remembrance when
“Daily Attendance” or “Student IEP”
Appeared, knowing he no longer
Needed to pay them heed
But now his access is gone
And so goes his brief detachment
So it goes.
He should have known this would happen
Eventually

Watch this space, he says proudly,
Knowing nothing about the future
Except its dramatic, unprecedented
Uncertainty;
He sleeps all day and night,
Wasting time and energy and life,
Waiting for emails and inbox
Notifications from elsewhere,
Any messages directed
At his attention, to embrace
To celebrate, to ignore
Ultimately