I’m using all maiden names in this posting. More photos to follow.
Then and Now
Zing! went our heartstrings. Zang! went our souls.
Eyes filled with wonder, hearts cupped like bowls
ready to fill with passion and love.
Putting each other on like a glove.
First kisses miracles we’d never known.
No longer single all on our own.
Someone to cuddle, someone to spoon.
Hand holds and lip locks over too soon.
Misunderstandings, squabbles and fights.
Heartbreak and lonely Saturday nights.
Then a new glance from cars “U”ing main.
Flirting and wooing all over again.
More hugs and kisses parked on a hill.
How to forget them? We never will.
At school reunions, we relive those lives,
husbands beside us, or boyfriends or wives.
Talking of other things: study halls, games,
but always remembering carving those names
in desktops and memory—first loves forever—
tendrils that bind us that we cannot sever.
We’ll soar ahead to the rest of our lives,
collecting new memories—bees in our hives.
But no honey finer than that we made first.
No sweeter lips and no stronger thirst.
Stored in our hearts, remembered but hidden,
hoarded like treasures sealed in a midden,
our lives are made richer by both now and then.
Past memories opening over again
spill out old secrets, then seal them away
to be unwrapped on some future day
when old schoolmates meet for two days’ reminiscing
of school pranks and ballgames and homework. And kissing.
The prompt word today was “Zing.”
Step by Step
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Community Service.” Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.
I’d like for the residents of my fraccionamiento and the village of San Juan Cosala to see the three blog posts whose links are given below and to perhaps then contribute to a dance program I am setting up in San Juan Cosala–at first mid-eastern dancing for 20 girls, then with more funding, perhaps we’ll branch out to flamenco as well as different dance styles that will be more appealing to boys.
I know that people in my community have huge hearts and they’ve proven that where there is a need, that will fill it. They’ve set up soccer teams, a free spay and neuter clinic for dogs and cats, a 150+ child orchestra and chorus, English lessons, and a program that feeds and clothes the neediest families in town.
I would simply like to expand this wonderful world that is blossoming in the village of San Juan Cosala. In Camp Estrella–a week long camp for 30 San Juan children–I saw how the dance lessons taught cooperation and gave a feeling of pride to the children–some of whom do not go to school or do not even have a house to live in but live in tents.
The three blog posts whose links are given below show their wonderful accomplishments during Camp Estrella. I’d like to continue that experience throughout the year by providing weekly free dance lessons for the girls. I’ll pay instruction fees for the first twenty girls and buy their costumes that are necessary for the dance. We’ll see how it goes and perhaps have a concert later in conjunction with the orchestra and/or chorus to raise funding to expand into break dancing and other dances attractive to the boys. Let’s see what happens.
If you’d like to see the wonderful things thirty children accomplished in their week of activities that included art, dance and reading, please have a look at the below sites:
Silas Marner did not bore me. Cosines served me well.
I did not dread the tolling of the school bell.
Geography was interesting–all those maps and facts.
History a story of migration, wars and pacts.
Psychology didn’t throw me. I learned to type real fast.
I got an A in algebra, though the knowledge didn’t last.
Bookkeeping was annoying–all those columns and their sums.
I’ll admit I caused disturbances, clowning for my chums.
But all and all my schooldays were challenging and fun.
The only time I wished that all my schooling could be done
was when my Biology teacher made me blanch and squirm
by issuing me a scalpel and then handing me a worm!!!
The Prompt: Land of Confusion–Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!
From my upstairs bedroom window, I could see it all:
who got to school early to be first for tether ball,
the teachers driving up the street, avoiding children running
some children in the sandbox, and other children sunning
stretched out on the teeter-totters, waiting for a ride—
their friend the perfect size to balance, still locked up inside
cleaning off the chalkboards and dusting the erasers
with others who’d been tardy, or perhaps desktop-defacers.
We could hear the school bell toll the warning for
just one more bite of Cream of Wheat—no time for any more.
I stood and watched as sisters sprinted out the door.
Going on without me, for I was only four.
I waited then for recess, spread out on the grass
waiting for the hours and minutes just to pass.
Through open windows, I could hear all the teacher voices
quizzing all the children and listening to their choices.
The teacher on piano, the class singing along—
long before my school days, I’d memorized each song.
At 10:15, the bell was rung and big doors thrown out wide—
one hundred children, all at once, released to the outside.
Some ran to claim the swings and slides, or lined up for the games:
choosing sides for “Send ‘Em” by calling out their names.
But the creaking of the swing chains and whoops up on the slide
could not reveal the mysteries of what was sealed inside.
Year after year I watched and listened, storing up the clues
for the day that I could put on my new school shoes.
I’d have my school bag at my side while mother curled my curls
and keep it with me as I ate my breakfast with the girls,
spooning up my Cream of Wheat but listening for the bell
that warned the time was getting short for me to run pell-mell
across the street and up the stairs in brand new skirt and blouse.
I knew which room to look for. I could see it from my house.
And then perhaps my mom would stand under our big elm tree
and the singing that she listened for would finally include me!
The Prompt: August Blues—As a kid, were you happy or anxious about going back to school?
Today’s prompt was suggested by Ann Garcia, another “reformed” English teacher. Her prompt: Write a poem about grading homework.
A Single English Teacher’s Lament
Two periods of composition
have put me in a bad position.
With class size swelled to 38,
no longer have I time to date,
for teaching all to write a thesis
means my workload never ceases.
Each weekend I take home a pile
to check and grade and reconcile.
To try to sort them out is hard—
each sentence shuffled card by card.
Each comment must be made with tact,
their logic looked at fact by fact.
Each student had to write just one.
Now handed in, their toils are done.
While I have 76 to grade,
and now regret assignments made.
How many more? I have to ask,
imprisoned by this grading task.
I have created my own repentance.
I gave myself the thesis sentence!
Thesis: noun: thesis; plural noun: theses
- 1. a statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved.”his central thesis is that psychological life is not part of the material world”
- 2. a long essay or dissertation involving personal research, written by a candidate for a college degree.”a doctoral thesis”
NOTE TO READERS: I HAVE RUN OUT OF PROMPTS! IF YOU WANT TO SUGGEST A PROMPT FOR TOMORROW’S POEM, PLEASE SEND IT AS A COMMENT.