Sunday, August 06, 2006

Well, it's been qute a while since I added some more of my poetry. We've been very busy with packing, etc. The new home is progressing very nicely, and the packing as well, so we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So, to continue the Puzzle Boxes poetry, here goes!


Listen to the teacher! Hear the teacher
Talking - expounding, explaining,
Telling - the voice of authority!
To play the game, you must listen
For clues, or cues - words that
Must re-appear at the right time
Or place - usually on a
Test (or exam, if you prefer
The more academic sound of it) - to
Be graded, commented upon,
Criticized for accuracy, fitness
Or such other standards as may be applied.
Perhaps, one day, a question may result
From listening? Properly phrased,
In the preferred tone of voice,
An answer may return. Did you
Hear it? Are you listening?
Or, were you, perhaps, listening to
Another voice; a small but insistent
Voice inside the box of yourself?
Was it, do you suppose, seeking
Your attention too? Why so?
To try and fit the pieces of the puzzle together?
Life, yesterday, tomorrow, sunshine,
Or rain; love, feelings, hate,
And more. What have they to do
With listening to the teacher?

Who else but I ever listens to me,
To my inner voice? Who cares
That I have a question more important
Than that before the class, before the
World or the system?
A friend - perhaps - but they are so
Few; parents - yes, but then -
How make them aware? Why not the
Teacher? I can feel and think a
Connection -

Listen to me! How does this subject
Fit my quest into the puzzle
Of myself? If you can help me
With that, maybe I can listen
Better, come alive to your teaching.
And, just maybe, we could converse -
Have a dialogue - learn together?

Listen to me, please!

I'm like you and you're like me, and we might
Be twins, at least in dress and thought.
For that's where safety lies, among the
Boxes. Outwardly each box is
Angular, Rectangular, "square? Oh, my,
Even THAT idea creates discomfort
Somewhere, in some corner of some other
Box. Mustn't do that!
We think, falsely, that being different is being
Controversial, and that controversy
Intrudes upon learning. Oh, it can, at times
When learning's misunderstood.

Conformity's one of the toughest things
To forego, when young, and insecure, and
Doubting much. Conformity creates
False security, when insecurity's so strong.

But why insecurity at all? Why
Are the boxes so in doubt of self
And others? Why fear that, here, mobilizes
Hatred; there, submission; in yet
Another, secrecy? Is not each a form
Of conformity? Of course, not always,
But at times, not so?

And how does conforming further learning, growing?
By making all the boxes seem adjusted?
By making the system flow smoothly on,
No bumps or bruises? Where's the learning
In conformity? Where's the growing in thinking
Only thoughts already thought; repeating
The same old cliches; feeling only what others,
In their conforming spirit, will allow?

In sameness there is only sameness; no Bach, no
Einstein, no Will Shakespeare to carry
Mankind forward in the search; no art, no
Music, no creativity at all - humor
I suspect would not long survive. So open up the
Classroom box; transform the rows; engage
The mind and heart; and enter into the life
Of growth, and change, of loving and of
Learning - please,
just conform!


Puzzles puzzling on puzzles
Can be annoying, when
Done aloud. Or when the confusion
Infuses itself into otherwise
Orderly discussion. Fog becomes
Clouds - clouds become
Thunderheads - a storm impends.

The storm crashes 'round, blowing
Where it will, bending, breaking,
Flooding its way; bright flashes
Now; great crashes then; and
When it's spent, what's left?

Oft this is the creative act, but
Not always. Other times it
Comes creeping in silently, intruding
Upon the reverie of aloneness
And Summer silence.

Somewhere in the midst, there is found
A divergence - a splitting of one
Into two, three, more - ideas, persons,
Sentences. Or convergence, when
Of a sudden, wholeness steals across
Subconscious fields to rest,
And wait.

Creativity is like this: art,
Music, humor, letters, all
Share this undefinable moment when
Something new is born. Or
Something old resolved, perchance,
Opening new fields, new vistas
And paths before unseen.

Try to grasp this in the net of
Order, discipline, it oft
Will slip away, unseen, unfelt.
Within the order of whatever
Sort, there must be room for chaos,
Momentary, silent or noisy,
Yet ordered, managed, contained
Within its own deep logic.

Measure it? Teach it? Hardly!
Facilitate it? Try! Encourage?
Certainly, if you dare, and choose to
Take the risks.
Provide a place for it; a spirit
Upon which it can feed;
Give tools, place and space,
And share the chance.


Blogger Jill said...

Good to see your poetry back! good luck with the packing.

3:50 PM

Blogger Bob said...

Thanks, Jill. It's moving along, albeit a bit slowly. My back won't permit too much in one day, and my wife, Katharine, has been treating a tired back for a month.
She has a DR. appointment Thursday, and we'll see what the problem is. I don't think it's serious, but who knows?

I'll be shut down for a few months after August 23. We move out on the 24thk, and go to Michigan for the interim.


9:46 AM

Blogger Jill said...

Well - good luck between now and then and take care of yourselves!

10:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"conformity" is beautiful, and inspiring to this creative soul which needed to take an alternative route to be able to learn

10:01 PM


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