Waiting for the Director

the cinematographer was measuring the light
on the cafe set, with the stand-ins having a chat,
just as the characters soon would be

she would occasionally look over his shoulder,
a slight motion that annoyed the cinematographer,
so he gave her that look, which she did not see,
her gaze through the window, to outside,
where she hoped she would see her boyfriend
amongst the passers-by, who were strolling
past the book-shop, oblivious to the clutch
of cast and crew inside, waiting for the director

he wanted to move, to block her view,
but he knew the cinematographer would bark at him
if he did, so he sat still, smitten with her,
wishing someone would script his life, to have her
fall in love with him, while he could only imagine
an accident, a jostle, to get her to notice him,
but he feared he would botch it, the comic relief
instead of the romantic lead, so he sat
very still and waited for her to speak again

when the director and actors arrived on set,
the cinematographer moved behind the camera
to capture the scene, not seeing the drama
that was beginning to unfold right before him

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 23 a la Viv at The Sunday Whirl.

Shame Flows

he was a good boy (in his parents’ eyes)
he was loved (for what he did)

so he did what he needed to
to keep their love

he was the dutiful son
he didn’t speak unless spoken to
he didn’t cry when he was hurt
his room was neat and tidy
his toys on the shelf pristine

he kept mum happy
he kept papa proud

but he didn’t know how to keep himself
so he carried the loss

his heart beat
but it only beat him down
its message was
you are unworthy of love
for who you are

shame flowed with each beat
he didn’t know what else there was
to fill his heart

it was where his heart was
he carried the loss

/  / /

This poem was written in response to the Better Inside Out prompt at We Write Poems.

It was written very much in reaction to this sentence from the original prompt idea: “But shame in itself is also a useless state of being, restoring nothing that might have been damaged, and is at root a self-centered point of view.”


take the woolen thread
that natural by-product of sheep
that symbol of the herd
for those who don’t yearn
for those who just accept
and sew

choose what you want to fashion
a tapestry or banner
for a corridor of power
a sash or socks
to adorn or warm
or writer’s gloves
with the fingertips exposed
take the woolen thread and sew

see the omens – if you can
hear the whispers of the muses
listen to your own yearnings
take the raw emotions of your life
and shape them with verve
take the woolen thread and sew

look into the mirror and don’t blink
don’t be fooled by the opal surface
look deeply – thrust through the layers
take the woolen thread and sew

clothe us – warm us
comfort us – warn us
we need it
even if we don’t know it
just strengthen us
take the woolen thread and sew

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 22 at The Sunday Whirl.

See Dick Run

See Dick run.
Run, Dick, run.

He’s not running away
from Jane, but toward Jack.

Jack runs too, leaving Jill behind,
and Dick is happy chasing him.

Run, Dick, run.

Jack is fast, but not too fast.
He wants Dick to catch him.

Dick is starting to catch up.
The grin on his face is huge.

Run, Dick, run.

Dick tackles Jack,
and they tumble in the grass.

They fall, breathing hard,
laughing, limbs entwined.

See Dick walk.
Walk, Dick, walk.

Dick and Jack walk up the hill.
They find a spot beside the well.

They sit together, and hold hands
where no one can see.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the B 1 prompt at We Write Poems.

My first name is Richard, so I decided my alter ego would be called Dick. I have never been called Dick, as a nickname for my given name. I may have been called a dick, but I’m not sure about that. In fact, that’s how I first thought this poem was going to go; I thought of a guy named Dick, who was, well… a dick. But I just couldn’t go the obnoxious or sexist route.

Instead, I thought of the Dick and Jane readers. And, for some reason, the nursery rhyme pair of Jack and Jill popped into my head. I began toying with the idea of Dick and Jack being the pair. So, Dick became that person.  It occurred to me that the source material I was drawing from supported the heterosexual majority point of view and orientation, and that I would offer an alternative. This poem is me trying to show a little respect to all my gay, lesbian, and bisexual brothers and sisters out there.

I also had in mind two boys I knew many years ago, when they were second graders. They were best friends and thought nothing of holding hands when they walked out to recess together. Even at that age, other students had been acculturated to think it was wrong for boys to hold hands like that. I recall telling a girl who had said something disparaging about them that I didn’t see anything wrong with them holding hands. I have no idea what their sexual orientation was, is, or will be, but it doesn’t matter. There are sensitive boys out there, and there’s a lot right with them.

My Room

This place must be safe,
safe to fall but not fail.

This place should be happy,
pleasing to the senses,
igniting nerves inside bone.

This place defines us.
There are walls and a roof,
a floor to walk on.
We are not born here,
but we all pass through
as learners here.

This place accepts us.
All are cared for.
We can even begin
to accept ourselves here.

This place has a voice.
And it can hold your voice.
Speak. Laugh. Sing.
Question. Answer. Question.

This place is quiet.
I sit here and think,
reflect on the day
and all its doings.

This place is empty.
As I leave it,
I know.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the Snapshot of Place prompt at We Write Poems.

I was intrigued by Neil’s idea, and finally came up with this. I knew immediately what I wanted to do; it just took me a while to put pen to paper.

I knew I wanted to use chakras as my rule of measure. Don’t ask me why. The idea just popped into my head. And I wanted to write about my classroom. And yet leave it open to interpretation. So, this poem is constructed with each stanza representing a different chakra, from base, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, to crown. I did a little internet research and used these ideas: self-preservation, self-gratification, self-definition, self-acceptance, self-expression, self-reflection, and self-knowledge. I hope the poem works without knowing what’s in these process notes.

rondeau: scrapers

We don’t wake with a jolt anymore.
We just scrape across the floor
and look for our dignity,
rummaging in our pockets to see
if we can find any more.

We used to be urgent and aroar.
Now we’re just simple and sore.
We used to strive – to be.
We don’t wake with a jolt anymore.

We know we should be bold or
work to build scrapers that soar,
but we pass what we see,
cut out all roaring humanity.
We’re all aft; there’s no one fore.
We don’t wake with a jolt anymore.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 21 at The Sunday Whirl. I was inspired to write a rondeau by an article in the October issue of The Writer which I am currently reading on my nook.

Elementary School Poetry 180 – Week Three

Here are the five poems for week three:

I pulled the other two poems from books I have. There is a series of books of poetry for children, and I selected “Dream Variations” from the one on Langston Hughes. It is titled Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes, edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad. “Blackberry Eating” came from A Poem for Every Day! by Susan Moger.


Boy is sent to his room
without dinner or explanation
“You should know why”
(the voice of passive aggression)

Boy is hurt
but has not outlet
for that emotion
(the voice of anger is also wrong)

So he dampens the flame
says he feels nothing
because that’s better than pain
(the voice of thought over emotion)

The boy is blue
the world a sadder place
though no one notices
(the voice of depression grows stronger)

He’s a sensitive boy
He’s so shy
You know how introverts are
(the voice of rationalization)

So no one sees his pain
he hides it even from himself
but it grows within him
(waiting for the voice of compassion)

/ / /

This poem was written to the 3 + (x) = Poem prompt at We Write Poems. Thanks to Amy Barlow Liberatore for the prompt idea and to We Write Poems for using it.