yesterday was blue, like smoke

I wrote this poem several years ago…it was one of those moments of clarity. The words came easily, fluidly, quickly — it seemed the pen would not move fast enough. Since I am going back to work next week, I feel a shift in momentum — I am on the cusp of epiphany and revelatory actualization, which is anything but blue…

Read, it's what smart people do!

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Yesterday was blue, like smoke.
We walked through the cloud
Of the unknown, the unseen:
Matters of hope and hopelessness,
Joy and sorrow, laughter and tears;
In order to find our true purpose.
From there, we awoke
To the dawning of the sublime;
Where stars shine like beacons,
Glittering the path where we break the yoke
To our past, to our struggle, to our unending night.
We are beckoned to the blaze, to stoke
The flame of red and orange and blue.
And the smoke fills this place and our lungs
With hope. Now we long for the day
When we will say: Today is this,
And tomorrow will be that.
This is what is true, this is what is spoke.


Background: The line “[y]esterday was blue, like smoke”comes from the absurd yet existential play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard. This line is found at the end of…

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Hourglass

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In the infinite splendor of the cosmos,
Comprehension eludes me
In form and shape – a box? Put it all
In a box and see what comes of it?
Pandora won’t stand for it and neither
Will the Fates! They snipped and tied
Their strands with such synchronicity
Things cannot be replicated – unless
In the blipping form of déjà vu…

So, out of the box we go and into the
Unparalleled wonder of destiny’s
Hold — this microcosmic entity of reality:
Time. We can’t force it to stand still
As much as youth would covet
That chance. Nor can we compel
It to speed up; she drags her tedious
Heels through the sloughs
Of hours, minutes, seconds…
An egregious summation – a torturous
Grind when true love must wait
For her soul’s reflection to return
From the rippling wave in the waters
Of the firmamental deep – torrential oceans
Of pictorial magnificence — constellational
Glorification in undulating rhythms
Of perfected, harmonious love –
Waiting – yearning – hoping
For True Love’s reciprocating kiss
From across the dusted stars of dreams.

A box? Put it all in a box? Time and space
Won’t warrant such an occurrence
As desirous as it might sound to have control
Of things. A hand, marching in circular form,
The gradual agony of the slow ticking
From one numerical prison to the next –
It’s an eternity until your voice fills the void,
And seemingly a lifetime passes in the night
Without your form next to mine –
But, in the context of heaven’s
Wondrous crown – the paralleled Ether
Of stars and moons, of clouds and suns –
It is a mere celestial moment: a small granule
In the hourglass of cosmic measurements
Until I am with you – Boundless and free
From infinity’s fateful grip. Forever satiated in
The fullness of your love’s glorified aeonic embrace.

 

 

“Speak Again, Bright Angel”

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Guardian of love and light
You fill me with your peace.
Transfusing your soul in mine
I am made complete – I am healed
In the divinity of your love’s brilliant
Prodigiousness – your impassioned words,
Your tender voice, your fervent love,
your intoxicating devotion…You are
Everything — the perfect recognition
Of my soul’s second self – the better
Portion – fill my cup and drink from it
The waters of love’s splendor.
My Angel, my protector, my love –
You have brought me back to life.
Words – in all their healing power –
Could only do so much to resuscitate
My comatose spirit, but you breathed your
Love, your passion, your very being
Into my soul and revived me — You are
Love’s glorious incarnate form!
A new life of ardor, alacrity, and of adoration —
A true and pure divine love
I never thought could exist
Outside of fairytales – but you are
More real than the beating of my own
Heart – for it is the beating of yours.
Bright Angel, you are here, with me
In every word,
In every breath,
In every thought,
Today. Tomorrow. Always. Forever.

Wonderland

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Sometimes I feel a bit like Alice

Half expecting the inanimate to share

Their thoughts with me –

Namely my cat. She looks like

She has a great deal on her mind

In those knowing looks we share —

Yet through the pages of books,

Words – audible ones – written ones,

They ostensibly are enough for me.

How odd it seems to think that

Many lives go on without the proper

Use of these wondrous forms –

The manifestation of thoughts

Fired synapses of the profound

And ordinary. Dinah, what would the

Flowers say if they could talk? Would

They sing – would they lecture me?

Their allocutions of rest, peace,

Simplicity, beauty, fragility –

Could I ever comprehend it?

Following the white rabbit to find

My Looking-Glass Bliss

Is the only proper way to hear

Him: to hear Her…to quiet the noise

In my mind’s ear, to fall down the rabbit hole

Of the unconscious mind. In the stillness

and splendor of that Bliss, I listen with my

Entirety – my Essence – my Soul.

I am nourished by the wonder and replete

With its luster — the glorious profundity of words

And the magnificent power of their silence.

In truth, the flowers already speak

In lilts of fragrant beauty. And my cat

Says more to me with her eyes,

Than mere words could ever convey.

 


These flowers, sitting on my dining room table, served as the inspiration for this piece…along with my cat and, most importantly, the wonder of words and their importance to us — especially in this WordPress community of writers. I found myself, not unlike Alice, lost in thought of my own wonderland…this little poem came from a combining of those thoughts….now back to the everyday words like: laundry, cooking, cleaning, packing, and, of course, READING!

 

 

Stemmed Possibilities

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Life isn’t always a bowl of cherries, is it?
And if it were a bowl of cherries, let’s just say
That some of the those cherries would be
Overripe – others under, not quite ready for the taking.
And each of those ambiguously, flesh-covered
Cherries of varying forms of freshness could have
A seed in them – Oh the possibilities that each new
Bite brings! Pulling at stems – pulling apart the
Gathered and bunched fruit – tear into it and see
What it has for you – ripe or rotten – seedless or
Virile. Each new taste colors the truth you once
Held fast to – each fresh flavor nourishes a fantastic
Fluctuation of life’s fluttering finite beings. Cherries —
A whole damn bowl of them! Stop letting your eyes
And mouth water at the wonder of it all — just grab
It by the stem and savor it.

 

 

Of Strings and Stardust

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The strings call to my soul
stronger than words could ever elicit.
The mingling transcendent cosmic flavors —
salted by my tears and compelled
by your crashing waves
on the shores of my inability
to know my own heart
to decipher her needs
and control her defiant inclinations
of passionate longing –
“Move me! Make me feel!” She demands.
The strings acquiesce, inciting floods
of serene turbulence – night’s glorious
celestial embrace. My heart beats
to the heightened rhythm. My breast — rising
and falling with each gorgeously tormented
sound – each gentle nuance is like dancing atop
night’s glittering constellations, like waltzing
through the galaxy’s infinite dust of beauty,
heedlessly and magnificently bounding
from one star to the next.

 

 

To the Artist from His Muse

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Paint me…in your arms – Draw me in
Close enough to taste my skin.
Trace the lines of each wandering curve –
Letting your fingers do more than observe
Uncover each detail both small and wild,
Sketching my lips – drip sweet and beguiled;
And with a delicate hue of my whispered blush
Color my love with your amorous brush.
Shade in the places of soft, supple black,
Hold me in your canvas – hold nothing back.

Proud Teacher Moment…sort of…

Dear Reader,

cropped-books.jpgToday is the day that I both look forward to and loathe. It is the day the AP scores come out. I try not to get wrapped up in it, but it’s difficult for me. You see, I am a perfectionist. And when I strive for something, I expect results. It worked beautifully in high school and college. I was number one in my class…I wanted it, so I worked for it and voilà! I made it happen. Although it may have come as a surprise to those who knew me in other capacities…Let me explain with a brief (and braggy) anecdote: I remember walking into my high school graduation ceremony with my special sash and medallion that signified my class ranking. I ran into one of my schoolmates (we never had academic classes together, but we were in the same drama production my junior year). Anyway, he greeted me with a hug and then asked me why I was wearing the valedictorian sash and medallion. I thought he was being playful, so without batting a lash, I told him I found it in the quad…but he was serious. I had to set him straight, so I told him that I was, indeed, the valedictorian. And this, dear reader, was his dumbfounded response (pun intended), “but you’re a cheerleader, and you’re blonde, and you’re hot.” I winced (trying to make it as much of a smile as I could because he was, in fact, being sincere…offensive, yes, but obtusely complimentary). That tautly pulled smile (more of a grimace really) was the only retort I could give…tis best not to say things we regret to people who are less than intelligent. All that to say, when I want something — I go after it, and usually I can achieve my goal.

When I became an AP teacher several years ago, I wanted to be the best damn AP English teacher to walk the halls of my school. My first year…well, let’s just say it was cropped-open-book-on-top-of-pile-of-books.jpgnot so great; I went back to the drawing board. I went to summer trainings and revamped my entire curriculum. And in the following years, my students began to pass their AP English tests with flying colors! This year was no different! My entire AP English Literature class passed their test!!!!!! (These are my AP seniors…I love them to pieces and still cry a little when I think about not teaching them anymore…they are all going to amazing colleges, so at least I know they are in good hands).  Now, I’m trying to stay humble about all this, which is pretty easy to do since my AP English Language class did not do so well on their test, but today, I am celebrating my successes and forgetting my failures (don’t worry, I’ll go back to the drawing board and revamp things later this summer for AP lang). I have a colleague (a fellow AP teacher) who wisely told me: “I get too much flack when the students don’t pass, and I get too much credit when they do.” I try to keep that perspective, especially on days like this.

In closing, I will tell you what I told my AP students: “The AP exams are 6103.jpegimportant, sure, but they don’t define who you are. It does not determine how smart you are or how successful you will be in life. Remember you are more than your AP score(s) – that is just a number based on one morning of your life; instead, measure your success in the day in, day out moments life offers you. And never stop reading; never stop learning.”

My Best to You,

Jaime

Just one of the many reasons I love to read…

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This quote resinates with me. I have it proudly posted in my classroom and on one of my Pinterest boards. This is just one of the many reasons I stand by my blog’s title. Reading enables me to connect with humanity and take part in the global conversation of life without leaving the comfort of my cozy couch. I’m reading a new book that I absolutely love (I plan to write about it after I finish it. I was lucky enough to meet the author a few years back). My hope is that you too are reading something that reaches out and takes your hand in an assuring way that says, you truly are not alone.