Carry Hope

Do you ever feel
Restless
Lose track of time
Or maybe your
Car keys

Focus blurry
From
Tired body
Tired mind
Too much time
Thinking about
Life’s worries…
Place your hands
Over your eyes
As a shield
But remember to
Spread your fingers
Wide enough for
Tiny particles
Of sun dust
To filter thru
The open spaces
And carry hope
Into your heart

This past weekend, a song I had not heard in a long time came to mind. One of those you are not alone kinds of songs. I don’t know about you, but I needed to hear these words, soak them in and then send them back out. Have a listen.

https://youtu.be/61Wm_qlVD4Q Brother by Need to Breathe

Are They Listening?

Most teachers have moments of wondering-are they hearing anything I’m saying? Sometimes it is difficult to know. I want to believe our students remember more than we think they do. Especially the things that are most important.

My attitude has not been great this week. Several reasons that really don’t matter. But I could have easily been described as tired, grumpy, and irritable on several occasions. Today there were a couple of sparks that helped change all of that.

First, if you’ve never heard First or Second graders sing, it is precious. Their voices are pure and sweet. Today, they were learning about how music notes are placed on lines. And how they could learn to read those notes. Specifically, sol and mi.

Each song we learned was a different combination of those two tones. In one of the activities, I would sing a pattern, they would echo. The fun came when we sang along with an accompaniment.

They sounded so sweet! I was trying to express how happy it made me hearing them sing. One little First-grader raised their hand.  

Mrs. Morris, are we filling your bucket?

I smiled. Yes! You are filling my bucket!

Our teacher says we filled hers, too.

I recorded their song and let them listen. There were giggles and smiles. Then I emailed the recording to their teacher. I also relayed their bucket comments so she would know they had been listening after all.

First Grade Music Class ❤️

Alive

Sole of
My foot
Pressing
Against
Warm concrete
Rocking chair
Gently
Moving me
Back and forth
As I watch
Pines dance
Across the way
Strong-yet,
Graceful
One leaning
Into the next
And the next
Then back again
Their inspiration
Originating from
The same
Cool breeze
That graces
My face
I am alive
And although
There are no
Instruments
No melody
There is music
All the same

Dust in the Wind by Kansas Kelley Morris, piano

This song may not match the sentiments of this poem exactly. However, there is one line that stood out to me today. A line I had not given much thought to when I was younger. It really is the simple things.

“…and all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Audience of One

As the sky
Blends
Pink with
Bluish gray
And daylight
Begins to fade
A chorus of
Creatures
Greets the
Approaching
Darkness-
Frogs croak
Birds whistle
Crickets chirp
The whir of cicadas
Although hidden
From view
Their songs
Surround me
An audience of one-
The moment
I consider
Closing
My eyes
To listen
Closely
A gaggle
Of geese
Appears
Overhead
In perfect
Formation
Their voices
A final chorus
In this evening
Serenade

I wrote this poem a couple of weeks ago. It was one of those rare cool summer evenings. Tonight brings cooler temperatures once again, and along with it, the first hints of Fall. I wonder what those creatures think of that? 😉

Waterfalls

Silence is simple
Or so I thought
Best to keep
Feelings
Intense
Hidden
Fearing
If spoken
Out loud
They might
Become an
Endless
Roaring
Waterfall
Of emotion
Drowning myself
And all who
Approach
Might is the key
I suppose
It can’t see
The future
Nor can I
And waterfalls
Though powerful
Are great teachers
Inspiring
The heart
To open even
In the face of
Apprehension

Earlier this week, I sat down to play the piano. And So It Goes by Billy Joel was one of my choices. It seemed to stick in my mind for the rest of the week. So, this morning I read the lyrics and wrote from the line that stood out.

My silence is my self-defense.

Piano, Kelley Morris

Scenes from School

Scene One

The cafeteria during kindergarten lunch. Twice this week, as I’m assisting with lunch, I hear the following -”Hey! You’re the music people!” “Yes, yes I am!” Nothing like The Village People. Well…

Scene Two

Kindergarten music class. “Hey, Music Teacher! I have ten kittens. I want to give you a kitten!”

Scene Three

Same as above, except at kindergarten lunch. Same sweet boy. ❤️

Scene Four

Talking with three 5th graders about self-control and being leaders. One girl says to the side, “Cute outfit!”

I’ll take it! But probably not the kitten. 😉

There are more, but I’ll stop there. School is exhausting. Kids are funny and sweet, grumpy and angry. But they are kids. I’m working to find the best in each day with them.

Music helps. 🎶❤️🎶

Never a Straight Line

Out of Body by Need to Breathe was my Friday morning drive soundtrack. I love this album-every song. I have listened to it many times.

That morning was the start of the last day of the first week of school. I was exhausted. My music choice was intentional. I wanted to have the same energy from my previous two days of teaching. Not an easy task.

The song Hang On was playing. It is high-energy, fun, encouraging. As I sang along, one line stood out like never before.

So hang on to the light in your eyes and the feeling. Hang on to your love drunk original reason.
And all these things I’ve learned, it’s never a straight line.

Uphill
Downhill
Around
A curve
Sometimes
A guardrail
Sometimes not
At the onset
My destination
Seemed clear
The plan
Clearly
Mapped
Things look
Different
On paper

Detours
Construction
Roadblocks
Caused confusion
Second-guesses
Until finally
I realized
It is not about
The destination
It is about
The journey
And the best
Journeys
Are never
A straight line

Time to Breathe

Notes
Rests
Sound
Silence
Working
Together
To make music
Pleasing
Not only
To the ears
But also
Body, mind, soul
And yet,
One key
Element
Is often
An afterthought-
Silence
If not
Savored
Disappears
Transposing
Sweet melody
To mere noise
Leaving
No time
To breathe
No time
To sing

Favorite Songs

No memories
Of my own
With which
To compare
Only descriptions
Heard in
Favorite songs
Until now…
Driving thru
Stockbridge
Lennox, Lee
Witnessing
The greens
Shining
Dreamlike
In the Berkshires
Quaint towns
Connected by
Winding roads
Surrounded by
Rolling hills
Under blue skies
And moonlight-
Each one holding
Its own history
Of joy and pain
Both personal
And collective-
Places once alive
Only in songs
Now alive anew
As music and
Snapshots are
Forever forged
In my mind

Peaceful Resolution

My mind
Can hardly
Separate
The words
From melody
Notes rising
And falling…one
After the other
In seasons of distress and grief
Can you hear it?
I silently sing
The phrase
As I write-
Many times
It has entered
My thoughts
Unannounced…
Waiting for
A phone call
Sitting in a
Hospital room
Driving to
A funeral…
The music repeats
Easing tension
On the last note
The last word
Of the new phrase
My soul has often found relief
Listen closely
A peaceful
Resolution
Sweet hour of prayer

Sweet Hour of Prayer Kelley Morris, piano