Gratitudes, Poems

Camels on the Brain


My brain is all a-fuzz this morning.  It wants to keep attaching itself to that image from my dream last night, the one that kept me sleeping through the four o’clock hour (finally), of a camel lying in the bed of a truck, wearing sunglasses.  But I don’t have that manic inner edge on this sleepy morning that would enable me to make such a surreal poem.  Why don’t you try that one?  (Edit: Okay, so I did manage a little of that poem down below.)

Tomorrow is National Poem in Your Pocket Day, though your local town may have chosen a different day, so look it up.  Wrightsville is doing it on April 29.  But if you’re at my school, you need to have your poem ready to read to me tomorrow.  I will bring the chocolate.

I have five minutes for this poem:

The ghost of a dream
will inhabit the foggy
pathways of my brain
for ages.
I will spend today
driving to Kabul
behind a camel
or lurking in the hallways
of a grand hotel,
searching for lost memories.

Gratitude List:
1. Sleeping through four o’clock.  This is a big deal, and I am grateful, no matter how strange the dreams that accompanied that sleep.
2. Anticipating oriole.  Waiting for the orange flash and the whistle in the treetops.  Listen, listen and watch.
3. Inspiration.  Okay, it’s inspiration about how to introduce adjective clauses to the freshmen, but when that’s the soup you swim in, it’s pretty exciting to get a flash of inspiration.
4. Student poetry.  Yesterday the Creative Writers read their poetry out loud in class.  Actually, only a handful were brave enough to do it, but the ones that came out were wonderful, and at one point after one student had read her poem, I saw another student start to scribble furiously on his notebook.  Moments later, he raised his hand to read–he had just written a poem inspired by her poem.  And hers had been inspired by Robert Frost, so we left our own trails in those yellow woods.
5. Compassion.  How heart reaches to heart.  How a moment can suddenly turn to caring, to holding another.  I want to be more and more mindful of how a word or a gesture or a glance can turn a moment among people to an inner watchfulness, a heightened awareness of each others’ tender souls.

May we walk in Beauty!

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