Monday, January 25, 2010

Jan. 25

This is your brain:


This is your brain after
and maybe even
12-year-olds all day:


(Or is that just my brain?)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jan 24

Guest poet again!


Extraordinary Machine

I certainly haven't been shopping for any new shoes
I certainly haven't been spreading myself around
I still only travel by foot and by foot, it's a slow climb,
But I'm good at being uncomfortable, so
I can't stop changing all the time

I notice that my opponent is always on the go
Won't go slow, so's not to focus, and I notice
He'll hitch a ride with any guide, as long as
They go fast from whence he came
But he's no good at being uncomfortable, so
He can't stop staying exactly the same

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

I seem to you to seek a new disaster every day
You deem me due to clean my view and be at peace and lay
I mean to prove I mean to move in my own way, and say,
I've been getting along for long before you came into the play

I am the baby of the family, it happens, so
Everybody cares and wears the sheeps' clothes
While they chaperone
Curious, you looking down your nose at me, while you appease
Courteous, to try and help - but let me set your mind at ease

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

Do I so worry you, you need to hurry to my side?
It's very kind
But it's to no avail; I don't want the bail
I promise you, everything will be just fine

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

-Fiona Apple


This is actually a song (and a really great one), but is also poetry, I think.

Hope you enjoyed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jan. 23

A Vintage Handkerchief

Hours and hours
of miniscule stitches,
roses of x's
pink buds of knots.

A scalloped edge,
leaves of pale green,
nimble fingers,
an art forgot.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jan. 21

When the fields sprout green,
that's when I'll be home.
I got a job to do,
and a man's gotta roam.

When the rows grow tall,
that's when I'll come back.
You got a lot of work to do,
so you better not slack.

When the hills turn to gold,
I'll be back then.
You just sew my shirts,
and get the corn in.

Fields a cold winter white
Your shack a hot light.
My heart warmed by the sight.
I'm leaving tonight.


Buh, so much for one poem every day. Not going to try and catch up, though. This was just the Killer Week of Grading Doom. I'm still behind, but we had conferences tonight (making for a 7am-7pm workday), so I'm not doing ANYTHING productive tonight. In fact, I'm heading to bed here in a bit. YAY FRIDAY TOMORROW!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jan. 16 and 17

This Is Just To Tell You

I have eaten
the banana bread
that was on
the counter

and which
you were likely
for a snack

Forgive me
it was fantastic
so soft
and so rich


I like your crystal flakes,
your icy piles of snow,
but my heart is gonna break
Winter, please go.

I like some chilly days
with cocoa and a novel,
But the cold just stays and stays,
as I sit inside my hovel.

Take off with your ice,
leave with your cold mornings.
Your season, Winter dear,
is getting awfully boring.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jan. 15 Late

by e. e. cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain


I made a Wordle out of this a while back. I love how this poem sounds. If you didn't read it out loud just now, go back and do it.

Today's poem coming later tonight.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jan. 14

I swear
this zit has roots
that reach to my jaw bone.

Every movement of my bottom lip
stretches the skin of my chin
and puts pressure on the
tiny volcano.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jan. 13

Am I sad?

Maybe I have SAD.

Never outside
(daylight hours are spent
in school,
at a desk or
on my feet
in a cold carpeted room),
and I keep forgetting
to take my vitamins.

No amount of Cute Overload
or IMMD can make me cheery.
Smile, yes,
but I'm faking it
til I can feel it.

Heaps of bad news
tumbling over me,
like truckloads of rusty nails,
aren't helping.

Two more days til the weekend.

Gonna break out the
(or at least snorgle
a fuzzy Pomahuahua).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jan. 12

sheets of ice
and crusted snow,

hardly begins to describe it.

destruction and death,
on scales large and small;
loss and sorrow,
lives changed forever.

my unruly classroom
doesn't seem so important

this was a hard winter day.

Jan. 11 Late Poem plus The Dark Side

I forgot to write a poem yesterday until I was lying in bed at about 11:00, so instead, here is one of my favorites:

This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Maybe I'll do this once a week or so, post a famous poem instead of writing one. It'd give me a little break, expand the literary horizons of my readership, and hopefully prove as some inspiration.


In other news, I have gone to The Dark Side. Yes, it's true, alas. I feel like such a traitor.

I have learned....

to crochet.


Maybe it's not that drastic, but I've been a knitter for almost six years. I never really liked things made from crochet--just didn't like the texture of crocheted fabric. It looked like the 60's, and nasty acrylic yarn, and just tacky. Honestly, I was a little snobby about it, thinking knitting was much superior, and that crocheters were taking the easy way out (for lesser results, at that). But if the book I bought is any indication, I am now a Happy Hooker.

I've made 7 granny squares already (not counting the two practice ones) that I'm going to crochet together into something cool. You'll just have to wait for pictures. There are also several projects in the above book that I'd like to make. That purple skirt, and the pink shawl, and maybe one of the shrugs.

Oy, I'd better get to school. Look for another poem later today (unless I forget again!)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jan. 10

I've never had
a matching set
of flannel pajamas.

The kind where
the top buttons up
and has a collar
and silk piping around
the cuffs and down the front,
and the pants are elastic waisted
and cuffed also.

These have snowflakes,
X's and O's,
and zig-zags,
and are in winter colors
with some pink.
Very January.

Someone have a sleepover
so I can show these off.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Jan. 9

They say a new year
is a clean slate,
a blank book.

But how can you
your past
and start all over again?

A new bit of slate,
another handful of pages
crammed into the book,
but not a total fresh start.

You add on,
you grow,
you revise and try again.
Experiences and background shape us.

I didn't start on
page 1
January 1st.
I started on about
page 8,866
or so.

Friday, January 08, 2010

8 Things Friday

1. I survived the first week back at the middle school! Monday was a teacher work day, so we only had the kids four days this week. Tuesday was about five years long, but each successive day went a little quicker. Kim and I kind of team-taught this week, but starting next week for 8 full weeks in a row (right til the end of 3rd quarter, actually), it's all me, baby. Here we go!

2. I really wish I would either GET this cold, be miserable all weekend, and get over it, or NOT get this cold, and be done. I'm tired of a little bit of a drippy nose, a little bit of a sore throat, occasional coughing.... Make up your mind, you stupid bug!!! It's been a week!

3. Casual Fridays at the school make me feel weird. I have exactly one pair of jeans that's comfortable to wear all day and still look good. So to school, and almost everywhere else, I wear skirts and dresses, or dress pants/khakis. Today I wore an old pair of Matt's jeans that he bought in the wrong size but didn't realize til he'd worn them (squished) for a while, so it was too late to return them. They're comfy, yes, but not the most flattering jeans on me.

4. Why do guys' jeans get REAL POCKETS? I can fit my whole hand in the front pockets of those jeans! Yet girlie jeans have leetle bitty pockets about two inches deep--they don't hold anything, and it's lame. Not fair! (I went to Goodwill this afternoon and got 2 "new" pair of jeans--nice ones!--for $5 each! Yay, now I have girl jeans. Even if the pockets suck.)

5. Here are really bad pictures of our new bedroom:


The walls are a little more tan than orange in real life, and the curtains are dark brown but look blue because of the sun coming through them. Matt's aunt amazingly knitted us that blanket for a wedding gift.


Obviously it needs some work--accessories, for sure--but I'm really pleased with it! I think the floor Matt put in all by himself looks awesome! I think my painting job of the walls, ceiling, and trim (as well as the back of the door, which is dark brown like the trim) is also awesome! If you have any ideas about how to make it look like the cabin of a steampunk airship captain, let us know!

6. Goals for the rest of the school year (I'm not saying the whole year because, well, one thing at a time; I'll set new ones for the summer, then again for the fall):
a. go to bed earlier
b. spend more time with Matt
c. eat less junk
d. keep the house a little cleaner

Nothing huge and drastic. I just want to make small improvements, a little at a time. And mostly I want to survive this semester, so the less extra stress I put on myself, the better.

7. I really really like this comic, Copper. Especially this one and this one (hmm, see #6 above). It's about a boy and his dog, and the magical, imaginary worlds they spend time in together. Cute, funny, touching... sometimes all three at once.

8. Poem:

Ugh, such a long week.
Friday now, and I'm tiiiiiired.
You get a haiku.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Seventh Grade Boy's Afternoon

Sit at desk.
Get up, sharpen pencil.
Kick friend on way back to desk.

Sit at desk.
Drop pencil.
Nearly break chair
leaning over to pick up pencil.
Apologise to teacher when rebuked.

Sit at desk.
Apologise to teacher when rebuked.

Sit at desk.
Excavate draft from folder.
Scribble in margins.
Poke friend with pencil.
Mark on other friend's paper with pencil.

Sit at desk.
lean chair,
hum louder,
apologise to teacher when rebuked.

Get up.
Move desk against wall
with back to friends.

Sit at desk.

Sit at desk.

Start writing.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Jan. 6 Poem With Photographs








for a fellow teacher's daughters.
(My first commission.)

Snips and slivers and
shavings of
white fluff-dust
tickling my nose--
all for pom-poms on a hat.


Sock shopping,
dollar bin digging;
I love Michael's.


Finally come home
to a fluffy, fuzzy fox face;
Frantic, frenetic hopping,
happy, high-spirited yips.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Jan. 5 Poem and First Day Back

Yards of yarn.
Knitting needles
swoosh swiftly up and down.

A cup of cocoa,
cozy socks,
and a ruby red robe.

Winding down like a sleepy watch,
like a ball of yarn
unrolling itself across the rug.


Yesterday was a teacher work day, which went well. We didn't get a ton of stuff done, but we did get some projects and copies done, and plan out the next two weeks of literacy, and I'm feeling less panicky than I was during the last week of break. We'll be wrapping up some things we've been doing for at least the next three weeks, so it's not like "Heather has to come up with a whole month-long unit SOON," which is what I was concerned about.

Today was the first day the kids were back and it was... long. Lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnng. Hopefully the following days go by a little quicker, and at least it's only really a four-day school week. This week, my mentor teacher is taking first block literacy, I'll take second block literacy, and we'll kind of team-teach third block geography. Then next week, it's all me, baby. For eight weeks in a row, I have to be "lead teaching" by myself--that means the planning and grading, too, for the most part. She'll still be there for support during and reflection after classes, and I'll have her and the other 7th grade literacy teacher to help plan and such, so I'll be fine. I'm just sure I'll come home exhausted every day, at least until I really get into the swing of it.

After that, it's CSAP time (Colorado's standardized test that all school kids after 3rd grade have to take), and I'll kind of back off to let them do that. Then it's 4th quarter, towards the end of which I can go around and observe at other schools to broaden my horizons, and then... I'll be done! This is the general, far-reaching plan.

Having finished my hot chocolate already, I think I'll knit for just a little while, and then get to bed.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Jan. 4

Shiny buffed floors and
pine-sol smell
in the school hallways.

Dragging desks back
across clean carpet.

Blindingly white boards,
pristine cafeteria,
and still snow.

Building and staff alike
brace themselves
for the return of the students.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Jan. 3

I used to think
that any female
by her monthly visitor
was a wuss,
and how bad could it be?

I understand now.
being a woman

(Thank you,
for ibuprophen.)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Poem A Day

We'll see how long I can do this. Gives me an excuse to post something, at least. And today you get two, since it's the 2nd and I only just decided to try this.


A Winter Haiku

icicles like death
glinting in the midday sun.
don't walk beneath them.


There once was a teacher from Colorado
Who during her break had to go
To Lowes for paint
And brushes and ain't
She tired now so to bed she'll go.


I'm really bad at rhyming.