My vacant stare was sure to be
a giveaway to anyone that saw . . .
I was a Pilgrim there to the land of techno-jargon,
of icons, Help instructions meaning nothing,
and a world of young and savvy operators.
Our teacher wasn’t there.
Certain that the worksheet explaining all the basics
would be a breeze for us to carry out,
he’d arrogantly left the room
and left the lot of us to the mercy of
a keyboard and computer.
I looked up from his worksheet
to a screen that stared right back at me,
awaiting my commands.
I was on the starting path to what is often called
the Super Highway,
and my boarding pass, tuition to the class,
Overwhelmed, I started out. Then I hit a rut
and didn’t have a clue what next to do.
My learning peers already seemed to know
the route quite well.
Some, in fact, were calling it a day
while I stayed on, ashamed to bother
any of the others there for help.
I looked around the room, my tired brain
a hot plate in the midst of younger minds
with the speed of ovens made for microwave.
Perhaps they’d all conspired to put
the older lady at unease.
It seemed the more I tried to understand,
the more pathetically off course I’d go. . .
Till finally (longing for a time when
“cut and paste” implied the use of scissors),
I got up from my seat and left behind
the self-instructing worksheet which
that egghead teacher said would be “a cinch.”
Two big words were scrawled across the top
of its first page, two big words in red,
written with the one tool I could trust:
For Natalie Whitlock's
"Talkin' Technology" Contest
The day’s hot-the wind like a convection oven
Blows hot air in our faces.
My cap and gown insulates me
Baking me like a potato wrapped in aluminum foil
I desperately fan myself and look around
My eyes search for my peers and see;
The bros that survived school with me;
The others who shouldn't have;
The girls with memories already wet in their eyes;
The people I never met and will never know;
All desperately fanning themselves
In silence and in waiting.
We all are waiting for the same thing-
What's next to come.
For some it will be their names
For another a trip to boot camp
For many including myself- college
A couple can't wait to forget the tortures of high school
And a few will already be planning our high school reunion
because it was the best years of their life.
As I bow my head, not out of sadness,
but out of sheer defeat by the sun,
I scuff up my dress shoes in the clumpy grass of the field-
that just finished another infamous drawn out lacrosse season,
I'll be thinking about the 4 plus years, 8 seasons,
worth of drilling and conditioning I did in that very field and on the surrounding track,
With a flash of ivory across my sweating face
I'll be thinking about
All the nooks and crannies
that I sanctioned for the intimate meetings of my girlfriends
The times caught and not,
All the heartbreaks and rejections,
The friends made, the best friends kept, and the many lost.
The drama, stupidity, and immaturity,
Everything that was and used to be.
And, all this time spent waiting-preparing
for this one moment
You can't help but remember it all
And with one, final sweet goodby-
My mother, my grandmother before has always held a place in my heart.
My father, and my grandfather before has the same part.
I was young and very active with unwillingness to listen fully to what they had to say.
I had a problem, never could be solved without my parents and grandparents till today.
With patience they all come to my aid when I fall on my face.
With little dishonor I listen to them and what they had to say, I embrace.
Over the years I go to them with no doubt a feeling of no dismay.
Over the years I go to them and they help me solve problems that to me is O.K.
Now I am getting a bit more aware of what had happen to me when I was growing.
Now I remember how the ride was in my beginning: it was a trial of not knowing.
With the guided words of my parents and grandparents I survive through them all.
With it some being a problem that I remember I recall.
My mother and my grandmother always said to be patient and it will be easy to solve.
My father and my grandfather always knew that I would grow and evolve.
I could wonder everyday what if my parents and grandparents was not in my life.
I could just think that would be fatal like a stab with a knife.
With knowledge that they had past on to me of what they had experience.
With their proof of teachings they had past on to me is their self existence.
Over the years I grew with life so full of happiness that was because of my families love.
Over the years it showed me the path that led me to all the above.
Now cherish those words that help me through my troubles in my new family.
Now I listen to my parents healing words of wisdom and except them gladly.
I was a seventeen year old senior in a coed, catholic high school. Our gym classes however were still all boys and all girls. My senior year we had gym every other day and music every other day in the same time slot. The music classes, therefore, were also all boys or all girls.
She was a twenty-eight year old nun in her first teaching assignment. She was in way over her head. She was about five-foot-four and weighed practically nothing. The nuns in our school no longer wore habits and I remember thinking it was a good thing because she would probably fly away like Sally Fields. If you don’t know what I mean by that then you are too young to be reading my story.
The music class was a mad house. She could not control a room of twenty some boys bound and determined to make her life hell. I mean, music class? Really?
We never did the homework assigned; never answered her questions seriously; never believed her threats at discipline; wouldn’t accept the demerits she tried to hand out; and basically goofed off for the hour that was supposed to be dedicated to learning about music.
For some reason, she seemed too proud or too green or too determined to go to the principal or another teacher for help; and, sensing that, we knew we could get away with our childish behavior and so we did.
One day, a handful of us “got in trouble” and she said she wanted to talk to us after class. I was the only one that actually stayed. She tried to lecture me on my bad behavior but I guess my smirk was evidence it was not sinking in. Then, she started to cry, and for the first time I saw her as a person.
“What am I doing,” she cried. "I can’t do this. I am trying; I am really trying, but I am not cut out for this. Why are you boys so mean and hateful?”
I stood up in front of her not knowing what to do or what to say. I felt like a real jerk. I was a real jerk.
Tears poured down her face, which I finally recognized as being a pretty face. She bowed her head and just sobbed. In my awkward seventeen year old manner, I slowly opened my arms and allowed her to lean into me. And I hugged her while she wept.
At seventeen, I was no ladies’ man, and this crying nun was the first woman I had ever held so close to me. I could feel her breasts pressed against me; the heat emitting from her body; and, the delicate nature of her womanly form in my arms. I knew then that I was destined to go straight to hell for the thoughts that were going through my head and the feelings I felt between my legs.
She pulled away and whispered, “I am so sorry, I should not have done that. You may go.”
I simply said, “You know, you are doing fine, you just have a class of a bunch of butt holes”, and walked out of the room. It was that night that she started coming to see me in my dreams. To hell I go, for sure.
I wish I could tell you I had the moxie and the influence to whip that class into shape, but I did not. The mad house continued with one less student joining in the fun. I tried my best to behave, answer her questions, pay attention and feign interest in the topic of the day – but I was just one in a sea of monsters. I stayed after class and after school a few times to talk with her, ask her how she was doing, and see if I could help in any way. She was actually starting to get the hang of things and was able to focus on the few classes that were willing to learn.
At the end of the school year, I was one of the few students who had not enrolled in a college for the coming year. Because I was one of the better students, it caused a little bit of a fuss and a number of teachers talked to me about the huge mistake I was making taking some time off before going to college. It seems they were all convinced that if I did not start into college in the fall, I was doomed to never go to college. I challenged them by saying what they were really worried about was their statistics of percentage of students who went on to further their education.
During the last day of classes, the music teacher asked me to stay after class. It appears, it was her turn to try to talk some sense into me.
“So, I hear you are not going to college,” she said.
“No, I’m going to college … some day, just not this fall.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know yet. Take some time off. Work. Nothing. I don’t know. Why is it so important to everyone? When the time is right, I’ll go to college.”
“They just care about you.”
“Bull loney,” I said, only it was another word.
She smiled at me. I had been dreaming about her now for six months. I changed the topic.
“Have you ever kissed a boy?”
She laughed, “You know, I grew up the same as every girl in this high school. I did have boyfriends.”
“Yeah, but have you ever kissed a boy,” I challenged.
“No. Not the way you mean.”
“Do you ever wonder what it would be like?”
“No. Never,” she lied.
“If I told you I will register for college if you kiss me, will you?”
“No. I believe you when you say you just need some time off. I think that is a good idea.”
Then she walked up close to me and stopped a heartbeat away. Suddenly, she reached down between my legs, grabbed the crouch of my pants and said, “Just don’t let this thing get you in trouble.”
She abruptly turned and walked out of the classroom while I tried to catch my breath.
During the graduation ceremony I saw her sitting with the other teachers and shared a private smile with her while walking back to my seat after being handed my diploma. I would never see her again … outside of my dreams.
I often think about my high school music teacher and my ticket straight to hell. Unfortunately, I never heeded her advice. That body part of mine she grabbed ahold of for a fleeting second those many years ago, has gotten me in trouble time and time again.
There was this science teacher at my high school. One of those idiots who had to kiss his boss’ ass to get ahead. One of those insecure fools who would be far more suitable working in a lab with a microscope up his nose so far his eyes might begin to bulge out, or maybe even at Walmart.
Anyplace other than a school, subjecting poor kids to his nonsense.
So, the incompetent butt kisser somehow won Teacher of the Year. What a joke! The students got together, held a makeshift summit and devised a plan, one that would make school history.
Since Billy’s mom worked as a janitor, she had one of those “good” keys. He yanked it from her one night when she slept soundly thanks to the Ambien Katie stole from her mom’s medicine cabinet. It's a good thing Katie’s mama never watched the PSAs.
The night of the award ceremony, everyone got into position, and nodded to each other. Mr. Idiot Science Teacher approached the podium to accept his award. The administration clapped with cheesy smiles plastered on their idiot faces.
Then, down poured the eggs, “Carrie style." Nearly 1,500 of them, courtesy of Jared’s grandpa’s farm.
A week later, we learned Mr. Idiot Science teacher retired. He was twenty seven.
Yesterday I stopped by Walmart to pick up some milk and eggs. Standing behind the register...the retired science teacher. As I walked away, I glanced down at the carton, thankful he didn’t work in the hunting department.
I feel that I have found a home in this cyberspace
with full of hearts and ideas in a special place
I wonder of all the people in the world to make me smile
with antics that help me grow in every mile
I do want to say to all of the people with respect
because of all of you my mind is not in a wreck
I would lie if I did not get ideas from all of you
without you my poems would not come true
I bless everyone with care
with kindness and without dis-pare
I hold my hands high and put them together
with this I bless you with good weather
I do read some of the poems that people put out
sometimes I feel with out a doubt
I feel the pain in the poems that some has revealed
with hopes that they can read with their mind not sealed
I smile a bunch with every word
it is like a music in my head making a cord
I do want you all to know that you have made my day
to be a better day in every different array
I cherish my time with all the people in my heart
the words flow in my mind is just but a start
I'm happy with everyone in PoetrySoup.com
with hardship that came this cyberspace makes me calm
I cannot choose five cause if I do I don't think it's right
just to tell you that is just my own insight
I thank all for helping me grow with all the poems that are shown
with faith and humor, with views of kindness this site has grown
If I had to say or dedicate my poems to who
would be the first five who reads my poems with a point of view
And my beliefs were soon belied.
"Socialized and confined"; you mocked the flock.
"What do you seek, you all?"
We screamed your sight in unison.
"You are a nice girl" consoled your sister.
My silence was insulted over and over.
Like a fool I traced it all,
Winding through all the steps,
To make some sense from it all.
One day, I decided to erase it.
My longing was a haste.
I finally learned to ink that day;
When my empty body walked through those closed gates.
Grief and guilt held that pursuit.
Moreover, I could not race with those shoes.
My words are empty as they were then.
I weep for a little ink from your pen.
Contest theme:- Writing
Judge:- Regina Riddle
8th Place win
There was a girl named Tracy Luke,
She cared so much about her looks,
She was blonde, pretty... slim and tall,
She loved her red lips most of all.
One day at school she mocked this girl,
Made fun of her looks, said bad words,
Then insulted another chick,
For being fat, ‘ugly and thick’,
Then barked at a girl who was black,
Called her a ‘colored, negro cat’
So this Tracy… she was so bad…
She bullied because she was sad…
She always had poor grades at school,
So she bullied, as though she ruled,
When she was done with junior high,
Her family told her goodbye,
She was moved to a private school,
Her senior years were not so cool,
She was the new girl, all loathed her,
For all were many times richer,
Days passed by, weeks and months would go,
Tracy was always feeling low,
The richer girls called her bad names,
Each day in class she’d be in shame,
Then one day she figured it out…
At her, her thoughts began to shout…
“Tracy, all the bad things you did
To those innocent and poor kids,
Back in your old school when you thought
You were ‘cool’ for the stuff you bought,
Are finding their way back to you,
God’s Justice, yes, is indeed true.”
So Tracy decided to stay
Patient, confirming her mistakes,
Until one day comes a new girl,
And Tracy says to her new self:
“Now this is my chance to amend,
Fix my mistakes, I’ll be her friend.
No longer will I be so rude.
I must be humble, not act ‘cool’,
For I know now that what you do
To others may come back to you!”
153 Street Station is clean
Down sturdy metal steps through
old Yankee Stadium field
where Ruth and Gehrig ran.
Pungent in the nostrils piss follows me
Up the hill where supers sweep trash
from yesterday’s deals and conferences
Broom bucket hose black bags.
Mothers pull young children to school
Their Diego Rivera faces
Chisled by want from old world stone
Set in the new world promise.
Adamantine trek no stopping
Climbing past the fortress courthouse
Crowded Social Service building # 145 (meth clinic)
Halal vendors hawking pastries
A lady with a cell to her ear in the lime green tracksuit shouts:
“What the **** is he to me?
If I can do what he do why do I need him to do what he do?”
Two young Black men in braids, swaying gold,
Pants down low wide-striding in step as they go,
“ Nigga says I got to stand a long time in that line. Whose line?
That’s his line not my line.
I ain’t standin’ in no long line”.
Crossing to the bodega on Morris Ave
where mi amor Juana takes my dollar twenty five
for the Schweppes Lemon-Lime
brushing by the bacon-egg-and-cheese-kids
pigeons pecking dirt
Up three flights to room 322 where
Students ask for pencils
while they tinker with the hardware on the windows.
The pang of absence and joy of joining
Filling the mind with thoughts of the one
Seeing the sun rise over the mountains
Or the field of flowers covered in morning dew
Patting the inflated belly of your pregnant spouse
And seeing the smile on the face of your child
Letting your pet curl up in your lap for some petting
And helping someone carry their bags to their car
Waking each day with a smile for the mirror
While saying hello to people that you meet
Being grateful to be alive and living so
Believing this day is worth the effort to try
Poisoning all efforts of Love to enter from fear
Accusing eyes denying entrance of remembered pain
So much to embrace in so many ways, in every day
And it is built into all of us, God’s gift, our teacher
Is nowhere. A flower is not hate, nor the sun, nor the child
Hate is learned, and if you hate, it may be time for a new teacher