When I was a child I only ever wanted to be strong.
I wanted to be able to compete with the boys
and when I foot raced them at recess I won every time.
They called me ‘She Hulk’ because of my muscular frame
and from the way I only ever wore soccer t-shirts and sweat pants.
After that nickname was implanted into my brain like a growing weed,
I’ve only ever wanted to be feminine.
I started wearing skirts and dresses
and in middle school they shrieked at the site of my makeup and done up hair.
But that weed inside of my mind only grew, and grew, and grew
until I became a mixed drink cocktail
with one part anorexic and two parts lonely,
because I thought that the definition of feminine began with the word frail.
No one ever realizes how greatly words affect us,
how a simple nickname can turn a pretty girl into a skeleton.
I stood at five foot two weighing seventy nine pounds,
so cold and frozen,
yet I still considered myself a ‘She Hulk.’
You could see my ribcage through my t-shirt
and my spinal cord protruded loudly through my weathered skin,
as if somehow my bones were dirty knives
just trying to cut through the flesh of judgment.
As I grew older I became the girl that was never enough.
Not good enough to speak poetry.
Not good enough to lay paint on a canvas.
Not good enough.
Not tall enough.
Not big enough boobs for them.
Not primped to perfection.
Not undeniably straight.
Not smart enough.
Not dumb enough.
Not ditsy enough.
Not cool enough or fun enough.
And I began to believe, too, that I wasn’t enough.
I never told my mother that I had been in madly in love with a girl.
I never told anyone about the night we first kissed
because I was too vulnerable for the judgment.
And parents always justify saying that ‘kids will be kids’
But when we are kids our brains are still growing
and the smallest of seeds that get planted will one day bloom
into one giant regret,
will one day affect the choices that we make,
will one day influence us about the clothes that we wear,
will one day shape us into the person who we thought we would never be.
I only ever wanted to be strong,
and as a child I thought strength was only about being able
to lift a bar stool above your head.
I thought that strength was only about being able
to beat the boys in bare foot running races.
I was told that strength was something only
a man could have.
But as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that strength
isn’t about muscle at all,
but it’s about weakness,
and the ability to overcome the social anxiousness.
It’s about carrying around a lifetime of baggage
on your broken back
because the ones that kicked you when you were down
are going to be the ones that were ultimately wrong.
I thought that the definition of woman
began with the word disappointment.
And I became a mixed drink cocktail
with one part freedom
and two parts Sailor Jerry
because every girl needs a stiff drink once and awhile.
We are not disappointments.
We will never be the ones who gave up on hope.
We will never be the ones who gave up on each other,
or our mothers.
We will always be enough;
enough for the ones who shunned us
enough for the ones that cursed us
enough for the ones the hurt us
and destroyed us
and beat us when we were covered in bruises.
But you see, bruises fade
and the scars of our flesh are only stories
things we have overcame
and there are things out there that we will overcome.
When I was a child, I only ever wanted to be strong.
I hid my vulnerability.
I hid the parts of me that were true.
I never told my mother about my girlfriend
because I was afraid she wouldn’t understand,
kind of like all those people who never understood
just how much words effect us.
I can’t say that I can beat the boys at foot races anymore,
because, well, I smoke cigarettes now.
And I can’t say that the nickname of my childhood didn’t affect me.
But I take that name now and embrace it.
Because I am strong.
I am the ‘she hulk’.
I am a mixed drink cocktail
with three parts greatful.
This poem is a farewell piece of advice to a group of students I have taught over the last four years. I do
hope they find the metaphor meaningful and believe that they are the "architects of their own future."
Spread before you is a canvas of hope and opportunity
Waiting to be painted with strokes of what you are and can be
Waiting to be filled with colours that define you and the life you live
Waiting to be stamped with the personality that only you can give
To the portrait of your life, by itself a work of art
A work which, on this day, with vigour you will start
Spread before you is a canvas of vision and desire
Waiting to be sketched with shades of passion and fire
Waiting to be decorated with a story and theme
Waiting to be etched with ambition that is now just a dream
Of a picture whose tone, texture and style
Would have made this work worth all the while
Spread before you is a canvas, empty, yet full of space
Waiting to be stroked with your wit, charm and grace
Waiting to be brushed with strokes daring, vivid and bold
Waiting to be painted with a story that can be told
Of a life whose essence is one of sublime beauty
Of a person who lived his life and did his duty
Of a person who lived life the way it should be
Of a complete canvas that will reflect many a memory.
I am the wind
as it heavenly sings.
I am the single rose
sitting in a barren land.
I am the the lions voice,
and the partridge voice as they
I am the beam of light
penetrating the vastness
of the worlds darkness.
The secret power is
no secret,the secret
power is me.
I am the secret power revealed
and concealed in greatness.
I am the suns majestic flames.
The clarity of rain drops,
the zest ,to the minds
bland thoughts of boredom.
I am entertainment.
I am the wood pecker,
soaring steadily in the
balmy winds picking at success.
I am the eagles soaring over
sweet allysum, capturing the sent.
Stupendous I am,
Preening my mind with knowledge,
a pen rigged with wisdom,
wisdom speaks beyond paper
as it leaks from the pore of my quill.
I am the potion full of devotion.
My pen rigged with morphine,
killing I hope the pain of my readers
You are no longer lugubrious,
lugubrious you are not.
Healed and fixed upon the first dosage.
I am ,I am ,
I am the poetic doctor,wooing medicine
from the green pastures,
to robe my pen with healing secrets.
I am the nectarines of peach orchards
basting the mouth of pages with sweet words.
Sweet splash sweet splash. I am the sweet taste.
I am the revival of a sun baked raisin, the
revival to a corps laying beneath circling
vultures of the Arabian dessert.
I am the fragments of light circling your heart,a campfire,
the supplier of its poetic aspire.
I am the fridge for poetic dreams,
preventing from expire, raising
heat of poetry soup higher and higher.
Ill never retire until my face
wrinkled and my hair grey wire.
My pen aiming for a writing desire.
On icy roads I keep traction with
hot ink and mental snow tires.
I am a poet wrobed with
creative ink and sapphire.
I am safe gaurding the gates
of a dying world of poetry.
looked upon as a fool why should I stop,
because kids from high school saide iam not cool,
what is their some rule that makes it uncool.
It must be april fools ,safe guarding
your desire is a golden rule.
I am the hope, iam poetrys stool fueling
it with my hand tool full of ink iam the talisman of poetrys gates.
I know who I am and this inspires ME!!!
By: Elliott Bowe
Of course on this night we are supposed to be asleep so Santa
could come, but we hadn't been home from Midnight Mass very long, and the
invigorating cold was not conducive to sleep. Even the hot chocolate did not do
much to help sedate the excitement.
We were hoping for sleds that year. The snow was perfect for
sledding especially like we did it. We tied out sleds on behind the car or pick up
and were pulled through the hills. We got our sleds. My dad and my uncle made
them for us.
No television and only in the late years were we allowed to use the
radio. Batteries were to expensive for frivolous use. We spent many hours
playing cards or games.
I took time out and went to high school and college and got my
My aunt taught there only one year after the Federal Government
turned the schools over to the local government.
The last time I was back there the out buildings had been moved and
Indian families were living in them. The school was dirty and unkept.
Now the school is gone. The ancestors who once walked these
dusty plains are gone. The Indians who were there when I was a child are gone.
They are Ghosts. Ghosts whose faces can be seen in the clouds.
Ghosts who still chop wood on those sub zero nights. And the drums we heard
in the middle of the nights are still beating. They beat as strongly as the heart
beats in a healthy body. The laughter of the children still echoes under the
The life blood of a culture, of a nation grows thin. The Battle of
Wounded Knee was the last battle to be fought between the white man and the
Indian on the northern plains. It's cries still echo across the land.
My foot prints in the creek did not last any longer than those they left
in the dust. But in my memories, this mile and a half by three quarter mile haven
still lives. And will live forever as a piece of unrecorded history.
I do not know?
Hey people why you listen to the people that don’t matter. You all get mad when the talk
sh&t and when they put you down. Why do you think they continue to do it? It is because
they get a reaction out of you and it drives them to get more. They feel like they have
control over you and they are your masters and its pathetic. I’m not innocent no one is.
Everyone does it either because they have had it done to them or because they feel like
they have to be noticed. I’ve realized if you just laugh and completely ignore them you will
have a better life and it will make life out to be better then what you thought it could ever
be. I know I can’t say I’m fully able to ignore everyone but it’s a process I have made a lot
of progress and I have learned I am a lot happier and feel way better when I just laugh or
walk away. If people actually stopped and didn’t say anything and laughed about it more
people would stop bullying. I know it’s very hard to believe me and it’s a process I think
everyone needs to take. Who are they to judge you? You are the only one who needs to
accept you for you. If you can’t accept what you are and what your personality is without
being embarrassed about it you can’t live with anyone else. If you stop right now and think
about all of the times you retaliated and said something back at the person that was
bothering you did it get better or did it get worse and ay what if I don’t say anything maybe I
won’t get angry and maybe they will leave me alone. If you can take the first step even
though it is the hardest one there is to take you will have a better outlook on life and
yourself and you will be happier then you could ever imagine. I don’t care who you are if
you will only make the first step the next steps are a lot easier and you will learn to live life
to the fullest and it will make you have more friends and you will have a better life style and
you will have more fun instead of always being mad and sad and depressed. If everyone in
the world would just take that one fateful step it would make all of the difference.
How the years seem to flow
More quickly with each passing one
And less, it seems that we get done
With what years we’ve now left
Let this not, though,
Be our shame
Let us use each year the same
As we would use our waning breath
Until at last our earthly death
Does come, one final
by Donna Golden
May 23, 2005 (A few months before my twenty year high school reunion!)
YOU’RE THE WEAK ONE
You’re the weak one, you’re a bully. The weak one is definitely
The bully is always the weak one, but your weakness you can’t
seem to see.
So, I’m going to try to shed a little light on your weak and inappropriate ways.
Your weakness began on your first bullying day.
Your false sense of power is not strength at all; it is a cry for help desperately trying to break through.
I actually feel a little sorry for you.
Weak kids like you always seek to find other kids they can dominate.
Bullies do this with vicious words, inappropriate actions, and misguided hate.
Is being a weak bully the banner you want to carry for the rest of your life?
Get rid of the bully banner forever; take up a banner that shows respect,
understanding, and tolerance for others, and always hold that one very high.
To play as if today
Is your only chance.
Some say, “It’s just a game.”
Have they done the Victory Dance?
When hard-earned Victory
Was finally at hand,
Have they felt the glory
Raining down from the stands?
To do or not to do….
No one wants to hear, “We tried.”
Effort and dedication will be rewarded…
And ‘Sooner Magic’ is on your side.
Yes, to fall short is still an option;
But much better to succeed.
Heroes are made and remembered
Only by their deeds.
So, just go out and win.
Give your all to each and every chance.
Persevere and achieve…
And do the Victory Dance.
My kindergarten teacher and I’d guess probably yours
Taught me all I need to know to open all the doors
She taught me all my letters and how to write them out
She taught me about indoor voice and there is no need to shout
She read to me for hours; she taught me 2 + 2
She said “in learning there is power and I’m giving that to you”
She taught me how to make friends and how friends help friends get by
She taught me how to make amends when I made others cry
She taught me that in sharing I get more than I give
She taught me that in caring a better life I’d live
She taught me about teamwork and how to be discerning
But most of all she taught me a life-long love of learning
My kindergarten teacher passed away some time ago
I never got to thank her but I’d hope somehow she’d know
A kindergarten teacher is an angel in disguise
Leading – loving – learned - intelligent and wise
If not for kindergarten teachers who knows where we would be
Thank your kindergarten teacher, once for you and once for me
Kids go down
The slide…they head toward the swings
TIME TO SCREAM!
Free time ends
Their parents want to go home