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.

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8 thoughts on “My Room

  1. Richard ~

    Words are failing me these days so I doubt I will be able to adequately express how much I love this one. I have been sitting here in my apartment reflecting on heart/mind/body/soul/spirit…and a message I was given a year ago today regarding such. ALL are important. None without the other. They all need to be fed and nurtured.

    Then I popped over to see if anything was happening “during recess” and found your poem. I loved it from the opening line: safe to fall not fail. And I loved how it’s written from the various perspectives — and yes, even before I read your process notes! After reading your process notes I smiled at the synchronicity of my thoughts with your words. It’s been happening a lot lately–I have thoughts I cannot put into words, then I find a poem someone else has written (whether today or 100 years ago) and it hits squarely on the head that which I had been feeling/thinking but couldn’t find the words to articulate.

    Excellent response to the prompt!

    ~Paula

    • Paula, words fail me. I’m touched by your response – and I don’t know what to say. Thank you for sharing how this poem affected you. I guess that’s the nature of writing, that sometimes we write something that moves others, and other times we read something that moves us. The irony is that I doubted this poem. I hesitated to post it. I see the poem as it is, but hear in my mind what I wanted it to be. You see it just for what it is. Thank you for that.

      Richard

  2. A great meditation on the space we find ourselves in, Richard. Lovely. It’s a literal room and it’s not. And I like that it returns to empty. Inspiring!

  3. As a former teacher, I knew it was a classroom right away! Lovely. I hope most of my students felt this way about my classroom – I know not all did, as that just isn’t possible. But I did try.

    • twitches, thank you. I’m glad to hear you knew what room I was talking about. I hope my students feel that way too, but I doubt it. I think it’s also important how we feel about it. I hope that comes across too.

      Richard

  4. This feels deeply familiar. I love the many things that something called “My Room” can be, should be. And I especially love (in this moment):

    We can even begin
    to accept ourselves here.

    I like that your poem associates different (potential) qualities of the big-room with individual chakras, and again especially, the idea of housing them all cozily in a single space. Which of course they are, but one comes sometimes to think of them as separate – some more, some less acceptable or desirable aspects of our being than others – when what they really are is teachers, unweighted…

    • gospelwriter, thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed reply. I especially like the idea that “what they really are is teachers” – and found it most poignant. Thank you.

      Richard

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