Inner Voice

My brain hurts
Well, actually
I think it’s numb
Tired body
Tired heart
Words are
Bouncing
Around
In my head
Aim is off
Can’t seem
To find
Their way out
Maybe for the best
Probably wouldn’t
Sound the same
If I said them
Out loud
Perhaps writing
Them down
Would help…

Today, I…
Need to rest
Don’t want to listen
Don’t feel like engaging

Whew! Think I feel better!

After writing this poem, I had a revelation. If I feel this way some days, so do my students. And while I can put my feelings into words, that is not always easy for children.

Ok, so maybe this wasn’t a revelation, but it was a reminder. I need to be aware of facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice-mine and my students. Tempering my actions and reactions by keeping the clues close at heart. ❤️

Two Recommendations

Every sound
Amplified
As if a megaphone
Was pointed directly
Into my ear
Each step
Heavier than
The one before
I try to smile
It’s not all bad
But, yesterday was great!
Why does today feel so opposite?

Same place
Same plans
The same me-I think
So, what could it be?
Energy expended
Yesterday
Not recouped
For today
Just two recommendations-
First, listen as
Five and six-year-olds
Sing their favorite songs
Second, go home
And take a nap

A great day of teaching requires a great deal of energy. Those where I wake up rested and ready tend to be the best. I can focus on the students and the music, all of us engaged and having fun.

But oh, those days when I did not sleep well the night before. Or some unexpected stress. Those days can be a struggle. My lack of energy affects my focus. If I am not engaged, neither are my students.

Teaching is both challenging and rewarding work! Some days will not go as planned. But some days are not all days. Children singing, particularly songs from the movie Encanto, and naps help. 😉 ❤️

Sleeping

In the quiet
Of the morning
Stoically
Standing
Seeking no attention
Trees line its ridge
Bare, unmoving
No colors
To catch my eye
And yet, I stop
And stare
As it sleeps-
I imagine its base
Collecting warmth
From the sun’s rays
Storing the energy
Soon required for waking
Pushing flowers up
Thru the forest floor
Opening patient buds
On the trees
Crying out-
Spring is here!
But not today
Today, the mountain sleeps
And I watch
Grateful
For its presence

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

On recent visits to my parents, one-stop has become routine on my way out of town. A perfect spot for a photograph of Pinnacle Mountain. Each time shows a different aspect of the current season. And while I love the colors of Spring and Fall, the above Winter view was beautiful in its own right. It reminded me of our need for rest, renewal, and the approaching Spring.

Hopeful

I wrote these two poems as part of an Instagram writing challenge. Thought I would share them here as well. ❤️

Rest

Hurry, hurry
Push, push
Full speed ahead
Barely time to breathe
Until suddenly
An uncontrollable
Full stop
Leading to a fall
Flat on my face
Flat on my back
Unable to move
Unable to think
Unable to connect-
Don’t move
Breathe
Breathe again
Slowly rise
Take a few steps
Sit down
And rest

Spark

Photo by David Dibert on Pexels.com

One tiny match
Hesitation
Before striking
Be careful
Don’t burn your finger

One tiny spark
Share it quickly
Before it dies
Light a candle
It will light the next
From one hand
To another
Until light pushes
The darkness away

Stop, Look, & Listen

Clearly, my ears are playing tricks
But that sound is so familiar
A waterfall?
Rushing mountain spring?
Standing in my driveway
I know neither is nearby
Still…I cannot resist
The urge to turn around
And look

No, not rushing water
Merely the wind
Strong yet, peaceful
Making its way thru
A proud row of tall pines
I smiled
The wind subsided
Its message clear
At the end of a busy day…rest

The first day back to school after a break is always challenging. Yes, there are lots of smiles, hugs, and high-fives. But there are also tired kiddos and teachers all easing back into those all-important routines.

The first day back during a continuing pandemic adds another layer of challenge. Staff and students out sick, difficulty finding subs. Our resolve was tested on many levels. And yet, we keep moving forward, working together. But we must also remind each other to rest.

Natural Progression

Clinging

The day
Left me
Deep
In thought
A day
Covered
In warm
Sunlight
And falling
Leaves
Sweet life in
Your small hand
Holding mine
As we walked across
Yellowing grass
Rosy cheeks
Squinting eyes
As you reached up
For me to lift you
As you reached up
And touched
The red leaves
Clinging
To the tree
A day
Covered
In life
While also
Holding space
For death-
I am left
Thankful
Clinging
To rest

A Warm Blanket

Just like that
The red leaves
Greeting me
With a smile
Every day for weeks
Fell to the ground
Their days of
Waving
In the wind
Left behind
A few remain
But if I asked
I’m sure they
Would admit
Being ready
To let go
And join
The others-
Though I knew
The day was
Approaching
That red blanket
Was a surprise
I felt sad
For a moment
Until I imagined
The warm grass
Underneath

Autumn Travels

Unable to see it directly
As I drive toward the east
Only a quick glance
In the rearview
Assures its
Appearance
Eyes back on the road
Lavenders
And pinks
Soon fill the sky
In my periphery
Both to the north
And to the south
Gradually blending
With the darkening
Indigo up ahead
Although unable
To see it directly
For a few moments
Sunset surrounds me
Sharing its splendor
Carrying me
Into the night
Leaving me ready
For peaceful rest

Simply Sunday

Power outage

A forced
Slow down
Initial
Frustration
Pushes me
Outside
My eyes
Greeted
By sunlight
My skin
Cooled
By a breeze
Morning songs
Of the birds
Leaves
On the trees
Fluffy clouds
In the sky
All gently
Floating
On the same
Breeze that
Touches
My face
Seeing
Hearing
Feeling
Choosing
To be thankful
While waiting
For the power
To return

Recipe for Rest

Far-off
Rumble
In the late
Afternoon
Looking
Outside
My eyes
Squint
Realizing
The sky has
Grown dark
Winds begin
To blow
Rain begins
To fall
Air begins
To cool
I begin
To relax
A perfect
Recipe
For rest
After this
Busy day
Falling
Somewhere
Between
Anxious
And calm

What Should I Do?

Walking around
The house
So many things
Need doing
Should I force myself
To complete this list
Even if it’s not really
What I want to do-
Or should I
Choose to ignore
Outside voices
And only listen
To the one
In my head
Quietly
Hum your way
Through the day
Rested and content-

Those things
That need doing
Will be there
Tomorrow-

As for today
They simply
Have to wait

Only a few days before school starts. Although I will be ready to see students and colleagues, the transition is always tiring. Soaking up a bit more rest before it’s time.