women, men,
we are all damaged,

married, single,
we are all bound
within ourselves

we might wish
to be other
than we are

but that thread
that is us
governs how we think

we might want
another way,
but not truly

and then
we find the power
within us

and we are bound
to it and it to us
and we are complete

just a single thread
each of us,
yet enough

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 80 at The Sunday Whirl.

I’m gearing up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This will be my fifth year participating. I’ve written three novels so far; I didn’t “win” my first year by completing a 50,000-word novel. I’m writing the second in a planned five-book series that I’ve plotted with my boys, ages 8 and 11. I wrote the first book in the series last year. A proof copy of that book is currently going around my classroom; two of my students have read it in the last couple of weeks.

I’ve got a Virtual Classroom on the Young Writers Program website; come check us out. I’ve got twenty (20!) out of thirty-two students who are already signed up on the Young Writers Program website and added to my Virtual Classroom. And I’ve got a former student, one from last year, who is going to write again this year; she is also listed on our Virtual Classroom. My students, current and former, are rewarding my enthusiasm for writing in unexpected, but most joyous, ways.

And I’m fundraising for The Office of Letters and Light, the nonprofit organization that organizes NaNoWriMo and supports the Young Writers Program. I believe in this organization and what they do. I write. I encourage my students to write. My eldest son is planning to write this year. I have classroom materials from the Young Writers Program in my classroom, that I received free of charge. All teachers can order them free of charge. If you could donate a small (or large) amount to The Office of Letters and Light in my name, as part of The Night of Writing Dangerously fundraising event, I would greatly appreciate it.

My friend and colleague, Mike, and I are raising funds for The Office of Letters and Light, so that we can attend The Night of Writing Dangerously. You can find our fundraising page here. We went last year and had a blast. We both wrote novels last year, and helped our students write thousands of words.

Mike and I have both donated. And I want to extend a formal “thank you” to each person who has donated so far: Richard, James, and Paula. Thank you!

I’ll be away from home for three days. We’re taking all the fifth grade students on a three-day, two-night overnight field trip to NatureBridge in the Marin Headlands. We’ll get back on Halloween, in time to go trick-or-treating, but I will be “off the grid” for three days. And then I have to start writing my next novel. Wish me luck!

11 thoughts on “Separate

  1. Richard, the work you do is so important. I applaud your efforts. This poem is fabulous; there’s a practicality to it that I like. Keep up your good works. You make a difference in the lives of young people.


  2. So true how one might search for the thread in others before what we finally discover is that we each have just the thread we need within…great thought-provoking piece.

    Richard!! I’m super impressed with all that you’re doing right now!! So nice to hear of you and your sons as well…so neat to see you inspiring them and your students as well!!

    Smiles to you and yes, good luck!!


  3. Richard, I really like your poem, it sort of echoes that Campbell thought of following your bliss (thread). What you do as a teacher is fantastic. If you haven’t already seen or read it, you might really enjoy the movie “The Freedom Writers” and the book, “The Freedom Writers Diary.” Both are excellent inspiration for teachers and students who write. I wish you well in all that you do. Be blessed,



  4. A single thread is the line of ink…that connects a script of words.
    Good Luck in all your adventures.
    And all the best to all of your students that are writing.
    Does your program have a snail mail address? If so please e-mail it to me.

    I’m slowly writing my first novel in verse 🙂
    I write everyday, at least one piece. But I haven’t joined any particular group except this one: Elizabeth is using her art to help prompt a poem a day.

    My wordle is here:


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