August 19, 2023
Hands with Denise Krebs
Pre- and Post-Retirement Hands
Shuffle 53 papers (3 haven’t turned theirs in yet)
Pour cold cereal for dinner again
Pump air as they move rapidly to my next class
Take notes in meetings (sometimes one after another)
Key boatloads of emails (while poetry sinks before starting)
Grade and record assignments (regardless of what I really believe about grading)
Strive to stay human to nurture connections with my students
Yesterday’s hands sacrifice in the name of indispensability
They always keep moving, spinning plates that threaten to drop
Yesterday’s hands produce, juggle, contribute, spill, repeat…
Hold a cup of tea, patiently
pausing as I watch the leaves steep.
Steeping is a slow word
and today’s hands take time.
Today’s hands pause the book and wait
while that idea steeps deep inside.
Today’s hands crochet a baby’s toy,
turn to the next page in their daily poetry book,
and make seedy peanut butter sandwiches for the birds.
Today’s hands hold, thrive, create, make, wonder.
August 20, 2023
Nestlings: Hidden Poems with Gayle Sands
A found poem from “Decoded” by Jon Sands:
August 21, 2023
Ode to a Poet with Wendy Everard
Oh, Emily Elizabeth — Quiet and Elusive
Did you want her to burn everything?
The 1,800 – Poems – we now enjoy?
Hills, Sundowns, and Carlo made you Sing
As — Nervous Prostration — kept you Home
to Bake and Garden and tend the ill.
When your mother finally joined the Dyings
“Home is so far from Home” you distilled
your raw emotions. What would you think
About this Home today? Would you be upset
To see Thousands of volumes opining on you
Or your Wikipedia page on the Internet
Goodbye! Dear Somebody!
They’ve advertised, you know.
But under the field of buttercups
You can keep your sweet repose
August 22, 2023
Embodying Art with Scott McCloskey
In 1881, a lot happened—like,
Tunisia became our French protectorate.
And the Statue of Liberty got its first rivet.
And Hubertine Auclert started La Citoyenne because, yes,
of course, women are French citizens,
and we should have the vote.
And we posed for Pierre-Auguste outside of Paris.
In the U.S. in 1881, the President was shot and later died.
Barnum and Bailey joined forces, and
Booker T. started Tuskegee Institute.
And we sat at the Maison Fournaise Restaurant
holding still, pretending to party.
Do you see our smiles and the
eyes we’re making at those men?
It’s all staged.
In my line of sight I had to watch Aline eyeing that little pup.
She never tired of kissing him right on the nose.
And he may have licked her too.
That boor, Charles, thought he was all that.
I was sitting behind him,
but I could hear every word of his pompous talk.
I couldn’t get my wine glass full often enough.
I had to hold it up for hours, it seemed.
At least the wine was real.
And we never even went out on the boat.
And don’t get me started on the fact that
a “luncheon” should have more to it
than grapes and wine.
The next year Pierre sold our painting,
without so much as asking our permission.
Years later he married dog breath Aline.
And now we’re all helter-skelter,
spending most every one of our hours
in a triangular box in the game cupboard.
August 23, 2023
Self-Perception: Concrete Poetry with Ashlyn O’Rourke