Tuesday, January 27, 2009


The Train’s Song

Long, long, short, long
the train’s lonely horn sings
take me where I belong

she’s red lights in the distance, gone
although the rails still ring
long, long, short, long

a light appears before dawn
don’t need to pack my things
take me where I belong

Engineer, play that steel song
sound your call for the crossing
long, long, short, long

the rails are true and strong
clack of wheels and sigh of springs
take me where I belong

no direction, but at least I’m on
the space between beginnings
is long, long, short, long
take me where I belong

The tyranny of the test

I proctored part one of the English Regents exam today. Three hours of ennui, perched on a desk, while the entire eleventh grade (and a few seniors, for good measure) slaved away. Too bad they won't get to take part two tomorrow, due to the major whuppin' Mother Nature is about to dish out. (My school is notorious for snow days. I'm surprised the call hasn't come tonight.)

Anyway, to stem my boredom during such proctoring assignments, I occasionally jot down poems to pass the time. Like this one, about a fictitious student:

Her head on the desk,
energy drink by her side--
irony's portrait.

Or this one, which indicates that my mind has wandered a couple of calendar pages and a few miles further into the country:

A country road: bikes
on parade as blossoms fall--
nature's confetti.

The longer I teach, the less I believe in tests... Let's call this "Part 1 of 2":

Snow tomorrow--this
exam won't count. Dig those holes,
then fill them back up.

There. I feel better. Hey, don't argue with nature. Happy hibernating.

A Letter to My Students

I don’t say it enough, but I care about you. Each of you. That’s why I’m here. It’s too much work to do it for the money, so there must be ...