Before

School is like jail,
sad and dry and
they don’t hit you
just send you out
just make you
suffer math problems
make you do more
and more work,
at least in jail
they just yell at you,
that’s it,
they can’t hurt me
with words,
they say we learning
but I never learned
a thing here
no projects, no homework
just guards and aliens,
weird people like me
I looked at my skin
and knew I was home
I’ve been here before,
maybe one day
I’ll go back

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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

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

#53: Duolingo

black and white book business close up

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Language. So many languages to learn, and so much to study and hear about in our short lives. Languages dominate communication, and although we live in a more “globalized” world where language differences are less problematic, if you want to be more cultured, you have to learn more languages. Unfortunately for me, I only know one language, and I’d like to know more if given the chance.

But therein lies the problem. I attribute it to chance, rather than personal initiative. Personal initiative is always much harder to take; it requires motivation, which I don’t always have in large supply. Being motivated and depressed at the same time is difficult to maintain completely. Let’s talk about this a bit, framed around an application I’ve used in the past to learn new languages: Duolingo.

Duolingo, to me, represents my inability to focus on one task for an extended period of time. It showcases, essentially, my ADD in action; when I commit to doing something, but it blows up in my face after inactivity seven to ten days later, that’s my inattentiveness showing up. When I say that I would like to start relearning Spanish, what I really mean is, “I want to commit to a long-term task and actually complete it, and Spanish will be my current endeavor.” You never know whether it will actually pan out the way I hope it to, though it often doesn’t. Here’s hoping 2019 leads myself further in that direction. I want to take charge of myself and my ambitions more, and I want to be focused rather than drowsy, taking initiative on goals that I have rather than watching them fester and explode, like a raisin in the sun.

Pardon the poetic metaphor, but I’m a fan of Langston Hughes!

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.