Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday SchoolBus

Today's Poetry Bus is driven by Karen. And in this back-to-school season - yes! - School is the ticket.

It was the place where

Teacher towered
She didn't like how you made your letters
though you understood them perfectly
so you learned to pretend you were copying
not writing something from your head.

Kids running around on the blacktop
grabbing the swings first, always
faster, stronger, noisier than you.
Kids swarming in a mass you stayed out of.

Teenagers in their cliques
You could be better than them at science and art,
and holding your breath underwater, better than most
but never at talking talking talking reading the secret code of hairstyles.

Hurrying from section to lecture hall
ten minutes between subjects, barely enough to get there
suddenly you don't know all the answers.
The books. Yes, the books had to be read, be underlined and highlighted.

Seminars weekly. Endless lab hours. Papers to write, slides to prepare.
swimming in the deep end.
one professor, just one. A committee. A roomful of faces peering.
A book to write, a copyright, a last diploma, end of the line.

But wait.
Come back to the lecture hall.
Come back and face the other way. You cannot get out.
You thought you were done, but school never ends. It just takes a break.


Bagman and Butler said...

Butler sits with rapt attention, his pen poised over his notebook to capture every one of your words. Bagman raises his hand to ask if he can go to the bathroom.

NanU said...

Yes, Bagman, you may go. Butler, mind that in capturing every word you pay so much attention to capturing them that their cumulative meaning may escape. Like looking too hard for things to highlight: the whole text ends up yellow and the lesson unlearned.

the watercats said...

That's kind of true, although real life has a much nicer way of teaching most of the time... you just can't be taught common sense!
Love your poem, although it reads quite sadly... maybe wistfully, that should be :-)

NanU said...

I didn't really take the time on this I should have, because school was often quite interesting. I went more for the swept-along in the current aspect, perhaps without taking it far enough. So many different poems to write about school! they're still swirling around together instead of coalescing into a handful of nice, tight, poems.

Enchanted Oak said...

As I cruise around this morning, reading the poems of fellow bus riders, I am struck by how many of us felt apart from others when we were in school. And we are, on this bus togther, belonging at last.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Nice poem there Nanu, echoes that still resonate with me.I liked it and I liked Enchanted Oaks comment too.

Argent said...

I can identify with the whole not-being-in-the-in-crowd part of this and was never industrious to get more than my humble 2:1 from the Open Uni. I helped my sis out on her MSc (editing, proofing, translating into english) but I'm toooo lazy to do research. Great poem with a lovely flourish at the end.

Peter Goulding said...

Isn't school all about who is in with who and who's cool and who isn't?
God aren't children awful?

Jinksy said...

I'm beginning to think the 'left out' feeling marks a creative mind, as so many passengers have had the same experiences...

Karen said...

Swimming in the deep end -- I like that image. Holding your breath.
I enjoyed this one.
For some of us, it does never end!