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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Poem A Day for Days 22 and 23

Even though this is guest author day it is still April and time to post my poem. I am a day behind, but I will post two poems to make up for this.:)

Before I do that, though, here is my quote for Pompash Dar who is holding a Quotation Thursday on her blog!

"I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace."
Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

It's not about writing, but it expresses how I feel.:)

Today's prompt was to write a poem about work of any kind. Here is the Poem A Day for Day 22:

About Work

I remember those days
when the alarm awoke
me like a hammer slamming
onto my dreamless sleep
Demanding I begin the day
Pushing me into the vortex
of the rushing traffic as I
put on lipstick and turned
onto the highway – sometimes
the sun hadn’t risen yet.

The smell of chalk dust and
remnants of half-eaten
sandwiches left in lunch boxes
returns as I think back to
those days when my life
was ruled by the rules of
others. The feel of worn
wood under my fingers
The vomit green paint on
the walls I strived to hide
with children’s drawings and
writing, but it peeked through

The little nonsense each day
Culminating in time wasted
So much time spent worrying
Not enough given to the lost
and unfettered – the ones who
floundered in dark waters – who
would never be with their peers
Who would always have to crane
their necks to see the top step
they would never reach. Those who
dropped off - gave up the climb.

As I have given up the fight to change
what refuses to change – Too much
energy wasted when my young soul
could have been flying and writing
Instead of standing on hard wood trying
to cram the sum of knowledge into
inattentive minds washed clean of thought
while closed heads incapable of the
ability to dream set up thrones in judgement
It wouldn’t have been work without them.
copyright 2009 by Barbara Ehrentreu

As if you couldn't figure it out, the above poem was about how I felt about teaching. But it could pretty much sum up how I feel about work.:) Going according to other people's rules isn't my idea of fun.

Here is the prompt for today. Write about a regret you have. Here is mine:

What If

What if instead of ignoring the twinge
of desire I felt when I heard your name

we’d met before the years erased all
possibility and formed a bond from the

bits and pieces of shared experiences
and side by side friendship of friends’ children?

What if you’d come to my door with flowers
and we’d been wined and dined for the

triumph our mothers would have felt at our union
And maybe then we might have the passion

that came to the surface the day we met
years later like an unformed boil that needed

to come to a head. Instead of me sitting on your
lap with someone else’s baby and you flustered

by this sign of affection so long desired?
But the timing was wrong

I was a young new mother adrift in the life of
Sesame Street and diapers and you were living

the upper east side dream complete with modernized
four poster bed and significant other.

My childhood friend who cajoled and teased me
Your presence lost to me when we parted

Took separate paths and forged our own ways
Until the day your mother’s furniture crossed my door

The need to see you pushed me to call and your
excited voice to see me after all those years.

As if I were around the corner and we could meet
immediately and live out our childhood's fantasies

That coffee table with the delft tiles is gone now, but the
tiles remain a little worse for wear, the sofa sold before we left Kew Gardens

But I will always remember the look you gave me when we
were inches from a kiss and the cry of my child

reminded me that maybe it was too late
Maybe it was time to put away childish joys.
copyright 2009 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time thank you to my readers and the new people who are stopping by. I hope you'll return.:) Remember to read my Guest Author interview with John Wayne Cargile and leave a comment or question to be in the drawing for the free e-Book!!


  1. Good poems. I can empathize with the first one - finally gave up "employment" last year in favour of doing my own thing at my own pace in my own way. Freedom! :)

    Thanks for the quotation. It's inspiring - especially in these trying times. We all need to be militant pacifists now!

    Btw, hope you're going to link to my blog thru the mr. linky there -so my other readers can also come by and visit your blog. That's the whole meme thing, right? :)

  2. Hi Pomposh,
    Yes, I thought I did, but maybe I was doing too much at the time and forgot.:) I'm going there now to do it. Thanks for reminding me. Also, thanks for stopping by.

    Glad you liked them. I can't believe I've written one a day since the beginning of April. They're all on my blog if you want to read them. Just start at April 1 and go from there.:)

  3. A poem a day is very remarkable! I like the quote of Albert Einstein, too. I hope more and more people will consider themselves as pacifist of peace. That would be wonderful. I have posted a quote by Dinah Craik from A Life for a Life, 1859. Have a great day :)

  4. Barbara, as I sit here in South Korea, teaching children...and I see the exhaustion in their faces in these extended sessions that their parents force them to attend...thinking that by paying the tuition their children will be fluent speakers. When teaching has turned into entertainment...I see only too vividly the picture you described in your first poem. A prison picture, a treadmill...

    I decided when I embarked on this adventure not to change minds. Rather I want to teach them how to give themselves permission to dream. You can only achieve what you truly want, what you see and to have no dusty chalk boards or horrible green paint to cover up.

    I often think of a child's story...the one about the farmer who became so greedy with the goose that laid the golden eggs...killing the goose to find nothing inside.

    I think this also shows we can't kill ourselves, our passions, dreams and desires.

    Who really needs to change anyone? We just need to realize the only one we can change is ourselves...thank you for the reminder.

  5. Marilyn,
    You are so right!!! We shouldn't ever try to change people's thoughts. We do need to show them how to think.:) Everyone is entitled to their own dreams and I'm so glad that one of my poems has spoken to you!!!

    Thanks for stopping by and letting me know.:)


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