The Heart’s Underground

Today’s challenge at d’Verse Poets is to write a poem about the underground.  Here is my humble offering.

Paying bills and feeding
the cats and the kid–
doing it all–work and school,
just like I’m supposed to do.
Losing myself in the process,
sinking into the heart’s underground.

Working through the day
respectable, clean-cut and clever,
climbing the corporate ladder
doing the grind of nine to five
and another on the weekend
just like I’m supposed to.

Five o’clock signals the change–
rush to the dark and safe
escape of a bar stool and beer,
numbing the pain and guilt
and the hurt of feeling guilt,
never truly doing what I’m supposed to.

Guilt, hate, and pain co-mingle,
dancing in the chambers of my heart
destroying relationships and self–
unable to pull away like I’m supposed to
and truly be there for the ones I love,
to face the pain to forgive myself.

Forgiveness of an imperfect human,
loving and caring that turns
to bitter tears of self-loathing.
Alcohol induced numbing–
How can I do what I’m supposed to
and nurture and love through the pain?

How can I make them spend time with me
when I can’t stand to be around myself?
Isolated, alone, trapped within those
four chambers, the underground of my heart.
Not knowing how to walk through the
concrete walls of addiction in order
to do what I’m supposed to do.


Multiple Choice Test on Education

The state of education
is a shambles–
teachers don’t teach;
learners don’t learn.
So how do we make
education great again?

a. bring back God.
b.  bring back the flag.
c.  bring back discipline.

What about those teachers?

a. fire them!
b. break up the unions.
c. send them to more meetings.

Can technology save our schools?

a.  ban cell phones!
b.  put it all on Google Classroom.
c.  let computers replace teachers!

Why can’t all kids succeed?

a. poverty
b. language barriers
c.  attendance
d. lack of parent support
e. bullies
f. poor nutrition
g. mental health issues
h. lack of adequate funding
i. contradictory mandates
j. outside school commitments
k. culture
l. poor curriculum
m. all of the above

The challenge for Out of Standards today at Real Toads is to write a multiple choice poem.  Education is taking quite the hit in my state, above and beyond the attacks from the federal level, so writing a multiple choice poem simply had to be about education.

The Good Old Days

Fireblossom has given us a new challenge over at Real Toads.  The task was to reflect on simpler times (and use one of the images–I chose the second).

Eye of newt; must add wing of bat;
Damn!  They’re endangered–
Well then, substitute a handful
of seed from the bull thistle;
Damn government!  They’re banned–
but I need a noxious weed.

Oh for the good ol’ days when
we could exploit the fat of the land
and cast spells and curse our neighbors
without fear of being politically incorrect.
A pox went unnoticed; the gout easily believed.
Now science uncovers the homicide.

Human rights!  Animal rights!  The environment!
People are destroying the world without
gun laws and safety recalls
and reducing gigantic carbon footprints.
We must protect our overpopulated selves,
killing each other faster than we used to.

Nightly news filled with horrific
bad tidings and tragic human loss.
Anyone who dies less than a healthy
centenarian was stolen too soon!
Diseases must be stopped in their tracks;
we can’t have any sick people dying.

Keep us safely locked in glass cages–
No!  Glass breaks!
Sharp shards to slit our bored wrists
as we escape from the safety
of a legislated and deathless world.
Ah. Give me the good old days!