Hour 14 – Symbiotic


the air I breathe out
is breathed in by a plant
the air it breathes out
is breathed in by me
a wheel of air
cycling around
making life possible

Hour 13 – Steps


Our playground sits above our school
Cut into the top of the nearby hill
Up more than two flights of stairs
Part steps, part path

My arthritic knees carry me slowly, slowly
While dozens of children thunder past me
They are already deep in play
When I make my way to my favorite bench

The other teacher leads the games
Kickball, or Quidditch, or Sharks and Minnows
While I sort out the disputes
and watch for rough play

Each day, a little victory
I made it to the top again
Each day, a little apprehension
How long can these old knees keep up?

We gather them in
And head down the path
Tomorrow I face my toughest challenge
yet again.

Hour 12 – Dispatch from Athena

Dispatch from Athena to my Servant at Ithaca

Penelope, faithful wife of Odysseus,
Stand your guard against those who seek to harm you!
Sleep with one eye open.
Build up your defenses during the day.
If furniture must be dragged to your door,
to keep out the men and other women who wish to see you fall,
then find a way to make it happen.
Do not be downhearted!
Odysseus has vowed to return to you.
He is on his way.
Remain confident.
Fill your heart with hope.
In good faith,

Book: The Lost Track of Time
Author: Paige Britt
First Line: Penelope dragged one eye open and then the other.

Hour 11 – Kanga


Of course, I love my own little boy best
A more beautiful child there never was.
But the rest are like my children too
Bouncy Tigger, with a child-like spirit
Pooh, he tries so hard
Piglet, frightened of his own footprints
Eeyore, so miserable and lonely
Each needs a mother’s love
And who put me to give it?
Alas, when adventure draws them all away
I do wish another soul could help me set some limits

Hour 10 – Talk, or Not?

Talk, or Not?

And wouldn’t it be quiet then?
if talking were not required
I think I should like to sit
ever silent
lose the constraints of society
my need to keep up my end of the conversation – gone
mouth shut, but not firmly
all ears, ready to hear the other person
my opinions, my thoughts, of little relevance
teeth to the wind
north-ward, into Freedom’s Land
and then
south again
Yes, now I see
if I remain silent
I give up my power
ever to be ruled by those with a voice
lose my self-sufficiency,
my self-governance
Mouth, open now!
Oh, let my words tumble out
if nonsensical, so be it
I will make myself heard
won’t I? I
have to decide
to which path will I travel?
Talk or not?

Hour 9 – Distance Learning

Distance Learning

Distance Learning is such a treat
Better than some old worksheet
Just log onto our Zoom account
– Don’t move your camera all about-
Now sit and look here at the screen
I’ll show you how to grow a bean
– I know you feel the heat my friend
But put your clothing on again –
Get a bottle or a jar
– Wait! Not now! Stay where you are! –
We put the little bean in so
With soil and water, then watch it grow
– Oh look, you’ve spilled your cottage cheese
No more eating now, friends, please –
Any questions? – What’s that you say?
You needn’t wear your mask, okay? –
I hope you will give this a try
Our hour is up, so long! Goodbye!
Distance Learning is such a treat
Well, maybe that thought’s incomplete.

Hour 7 – The Season of the Starlings

The Season of the Starlings

Here they come
with purple heads and yellow eyes
flocking and cawing
to empty the feeder

Loud, raucous, pushy birds
they scatter the seeds
leaving no space
for nuthatches and sparrows

I have no love for these invaders
until I see
Father feeding Youngster
great gobs of suet into waiting beaks
a nurturing parent

Hour 6 – The Gathering

The Gathering

Around the table we sit
ample food, wine
with candles flickering, cozy
The lights reflecting back to us
as the evening deepens beyond the glass
The conversation leaps around
from one person to the next
one topic to the next
punctuated by laughter
I lean in
and drop the perfect line
Looks of admiration
The perfect night

Hour 5 – Luminaries


I take myself away to a dark place
to reacquaint myself with the stars
Leo the Lion, Hydra, Canis Major,
winged horses, dragons, warriors, kings
Stories of gods who are no longer immortal
and creatures both noble and nonexistent
Eyes skyward, I fall back
back in time, back in history
Mythology and distant fireballs swirling above