This, my response to this week's Poetry Bus challenge, is a reworking of one I posted way back, before becoming very dissatisfied with it. The challenge has given me the opportunity for a thorough-going rewrite.
I am much indebted to Karen at "Keeping Secrets" for the prompt. We were asked to choose between the following: A time when we had to choose between two divergent paths; a time when we were called to take a path we did not choose; and a time when we refused to take such a path.
Science has gone well.
Continuous Creation, not
the Big Bang of the future -
C.C.'s the theory for this age.
We file into the hall,
the head to lead the prayers.
His homily from Genesis.
Creation done again .
Josh, back in class, is fidgety
distressed, is asking might he paint?
Four sheets of sugar paper,
tape together - and he's off.
Creation number three.
Hills, valleys, trees, the sun, stars,
distant mountains, rivers, flowers...
and then, unmissably, two moons.
I suss the second moon:
it's Sputnik, Russia's first, just launched.
Beneath it are two men,
one huge and one diminutive.
The huge man, haloed,
has one hand reaching out, looms
above small man
who points up to the moons.
Now Josh can't wait to tell me:
Big man, God. Small man
Adam, Adam says to God,
Look there then, I put that one up!
And what's God say to that? I ask.
He's showing him a spider, see.
I jist made him, he say -
You go, beat that, my man!
Not this one moment by itself,
but many like it
have deflected me
from one path to another.
The master plan, teach art and paint
is binned, the children
more appealing somehow,
the focus is on them, not art.
extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
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'Through the eyes of a child'. I can understand why you altered course but am glad you kept at the art!
Teaching children is so important!
Love this poem, Dave. I will be back to re read it several times I am sure. Cheers! Art on!
Dave, this is so sweet, so full of inspiration and insight!
... through the eyes of a child.
Like it very much Dave - written like the good teacher I am sure you were.
This is really something quite different and original. Often the tiniest incident has the power to influence our lives.
As Pete above says, different, original. Thought provoking too Dave, nice one!
Very nice, Dave. Very telling about you and your sense of what matters. I always say that we don't teach reading or math, we teach kids!
How true - kids are part of the magic left in this world. :)
Very absorbing read, Dave. Love how you mix the big questions with the child's angle on things.
What I didn't get into the poem was that as an art teacher I would have been teaching secondary pupils, but my interest had been aroused in those of Junior age. In fact I later made another change, this time to Special Needs teaching, in which I taught all ages - but not art.
I thought so - and still do, of course. Thanks for your interest.
Thanks a lot for that feedback. Very encouraging.
... which are also the eyes of the artist and the poet, of course.
Thanks for the comment - and the vote of confidence.
I couldn't agree more. It has happened on several occasions to me.
Thanks for that.
Absolutely! As I never did become a subject teacher that was always my response to "What do you teach?"
They are that! Long may it be so.
It's surprising how often the child's question has a big thing in it.
This is a delightful exploration of what really matters and the experiences, major and minor, that lead us to our choices. I like particularly the movement between the vastness of space (and how overwhelmed we were by those first scratchy peeps from Sputnik*) and the classroom and the marks on a piece of sugar paper. It's a keeper, Dave!
*Sorry, Dave - can't resist pointing out that I was a mere pupil in 1957!
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