Jun 06

Our One Word Story!

Jun 05

Every day, without fail

At home, doing fine
new normal, nothing special when
a flash of memory finds me.

Spanish class, every day, without fail
we had our jobs.
Our class starter, closing the door at
12:33, always 12:33, every day, without fail
booming out the word Hola. There was

the job of
making sure everyone had their stuff
lapiz, cuaderno, computadora
every day, without fail,
those 3 words burned into my memory. There was

the tardy tracker with the
black binder, marking lates
I always hated
having to say that
I was the late one, but
at least it was predictable
at least then I could put the word always in a sentence.
Every day, without fail.

On and on we went,
every day, without fail,
after lunch, knowing what to expect when I
walked through the door.
Nothing could stop our jobs, our rituals.
Jun 01

A guide to people-watching (revised for Covid)

1. Observe! What are people doing?
What's their expression, can you tell
how they're feeling?
1. Observe! What are people doing? Perhaps sitting in front of a window so they're
in silhouette and you really can't tell
if they have a facial expression?
Do they even have their video on?
2. How do they move? Are they graceful? Confident?
Unsure and awkward? Is their stride springy or
gloomy and sad? What does this tell you about them?
2. How do they move? Are they glitchy? Is their connection
perfect, crystal
clear? When they
walk with their device, do they
manage to keep it steady?
How much of this actually tells you about them? Are you
just learning about their computer?
3. How does their voice sound? Is it quiet
or loud, gentle
or sharp, solid
or trembling? What can you
May 31
poem challenge: George Floyd

Bystander

All around me, injustice.
Thick in the air, popping up everywhere,
a dark cloud threatening
to burst.

I am an injustice-gazer.
Watching through my telescope,
I see it. I see the protests, the
conversations, all the talking talking talking
about how wrong this is.
Yes, I watch from afar,
agreeing it's wrong, but
I stay back.
I decide it's not my problem.
I decide it's easier not to speak up.
Easier to accept that I can't change the world
than defy that and change it anyway.
Easier to hide my face during the scary parts of life
than to keep them wide open, full of courage and fire.
Easier to be happy than
make change by being sad.
Easier to separate myself from the injustice
than to connect myself to it all and find that I fit perfectly, because I'm human, too.
We all are.
We all need to care.
But it's easier not to.

But easy isn't how
anyone gets anywhere.
Watching doesn't do any good.
Telescopes aren't worth your money, trust me, I know.
No, they don't do any good, not
any good at all.
Only change does.
May 29

I Believe

I believe in you. No,
I don't believe
it'll be easy.
I believe this life will be hard and
sometimes you'll want to
collapse on the ground, give in and let it hit you.
But I believe you can get through it standing
tall.

I believe in you. No, I don't believe
you can make it through life
doing what they think you should do,
doing what they tell you.
I believe you can defy them all,
make your own path,
blow them away just by
being yourself.

I believe in you. No,
I don't believe you can
walk your path and
manage to stay standing.
I believe that you can go higher than that.
You can soar.

I believe in you. I believe
you can ride the wave of life,
let it swirl around you, beautiful and dangerous,
dark and light. I believe
you can hold on, make it to the end,
and come out
smiling.
May 24
poem challenge: Fearless

Ribbons

She stands there, shaking,
ribbons of fear
wrapping around her,
encircling her wrists, marking them with
red as they tighten.
She panics.
She could let the fear envelop her, succumb to its wishes,
pretend they're really fancy ribbons,
a luxury, not a limit,
pretend there's nothing wrong, yes, but that would only
be giving up.
She could do what they tell her to do,
rip those ribbons off and
leave them in a pile by her feet, but she knows it's
no use.
No one can really
leave fear behind, she knows. Those ribbons will
come back in the end, they always will.
So instead of giving up, and
instead of
trying to rid herself of fear, she takes those ribbons
ties them in her hair, so
they fly loose and free
in the wind.
Her wind.
The wind she makes, because she is stronger than those ribbons.
They aren't gone forever, but
May 21

Decisions

My dog stands
at the top of the stairs,
unsure.
Does he stay up here or leave
for the floor below? He
doesn’t know,
won’t budge,
so many reasons
for why he should stay,
just as many
for why he should go.

How many people
are like him?
Fork in the road,
no way to choose
either way
a loss,
either way
missing something?
How many people are
afraid to make the wrong choice,
equally afraid to make the right one?

He settles down
two stairs from the top,
neither up nor down,
lying there,
not very comfortable,
still knowing he’ll have to choose.
Upstairs or down?

How many people
wish they could be both,
two things at once,
leaving neither behind, taking the
best of both worlds?
How many people
wish decisions
didn’t exist,
wish it wasn’t so hard
to choose?

Finally, my dog
May 19
poem challenge: Go

Go Home

I just want to go home.
No, not only this
house that I eat in
and sleep in every night,
not only the place I live in, spend my time in.
No, I want to go to a home with a kitchen table, yes,
me and my parents
laughing and talking and eating good food,
but also to a home with
a messy blue locker in an empty hallway,
just me and my friends, alone,
because we're late for lunch,
laughing and touching surfaces
that everyone touches.
To a home with
a playground--back when school
had a playground and
recess wasn't optional,
to a swingset with us ten-year-olds,
swinging and singing at
the top of our lungs,
not a single care in the world.
To a home with endless hugs and high-fives,
a home with parties and concerts and
farmers' markets where we'd always
run into someone we knew,
running across the street, ringing the doorbell,
May 18

open window evenings

These are open window evenings.
Leaning against the screen,
watching the dusk happenings.
Flowers quiver in a gentle breeze that
flows softly through the screen,
bursting with color
though the twilight soon swallows it,
because night's on its way.

Birds chirp, their music
bringing calm
the only soundtrack I want to listen to now
the only song that fits this moment:
an open window evening
watching the dusky scene:
night's on its way.

Far above, the sky
unimaginable colors
who knew orange could fade
into blue like that?
Except it's not just blue,
it's that dusky specialty:
robin's-egg, turquoise, and white-gray blended together
in a way only the sky can show
when night's on its way.

Nature is close,
but far, too,
because I am only in my dining room,
window wide open, but screen keeping me in
and when I leave my spot to write,

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