10 March 2016

Riddle Poem

Working on Riddle Poems with my students. I came up with this...

It's said I never change my spots,
No matter how fast I go.
I chase down zebra and wildebeest,
Because I am not slow.
Lions and tigers envy my speed,
As through the savanna I race,
To catch my food and feed my cubs,
I'm always in first place.

What am I?

©2016-Art Belliveau

12 January 2016

Dancing Running Free

In my head I am dancing
even as I sit behind this desk
and quietly take out the paper and pencil
for the next in an infinite series of tests and quizzes

In my heart I am running free
no shackled to your expectations
not weighed down by your disapproval
of my wanting to go to the bathroom for god’s sake

In my soul I am free
free from the corporate controlled curriculum
and the testing companies that see me as
their next subprime market
and teachers who are desperate to keep me here
so that tomorrow they will have a job
and a country,
the Land of the Free,
where we voluntarily chain ourselves to
the drone of consumerism

The questions you are asking me
will never lead me to the answers
that I will need to find on my own
about how to be a good person in a world
where no one cares

©2016-Art Belliveau

02 January 2016

new year 2016

as the year starts
i’m having my nose rubbed
once again
in the truth of life’s fragility
and the truth of its tenaciousness
as some friends await their
firstborn child
and others celebrate birthdays
and one fights a cancer
and one has left this earth
what does it mean?
what does any of it mean?
did anyone “deserve” these things?
does anyone deserve to live or die,
be sick or be healthy?
and I really believe this
does have meaning

the hard part
the part i am constantly learning
over and over and over
is that the meaning of life
is what i make of it
and that my meaning
may not
probably doesn’t
equate with yours

and that’s okay

©2016-Art Belliveau

08 May 2015

05 May 2015


 I open my lunch box.

Inside I find a delicious sandwich
Made with a special ingredient.

No meal made by my own hands
Could ever be the equal
To one made for me with love.

©2015-Art Belliveau

04 May 2015

seventh graders

seventh graders
frantic, hormonal
talking, laughing, crying
life's a roller coaster
my kids

©2015-Art Belliveau

30 April 2015

Rondolet for Heather

Your lovely face
Brings to my heart enormous joy
Your lovely face
Reminds me nothing can replace
My very own Helen of Troy
You are truly the real McCoy
Your lovely face

©2015-Art Belliveau

29 April 2015

Late April Inservice

Wednesday, after school, an inservice class meets
in the library to talk about iPads.
Nervously, the anxious instructor smiles, greets
us, tries to put us at ease, knowing we've scads
of things we'd really rather be doing now.
It's spring, we're antsy, so she'll have to allow
for our fatigue--we're almost slap happy here--
as we learn new things that will help us--next year.

©2015-Art Belliveau

27 April 2015

Grading Papers

Sitting alone in my room,
Grading papers after class.
Wanting desperately to give good grades,

But knowing I will deal out fair grades.
The only way to give them growing room
When they all come back to class.

And I know that tomorrow, in class,
When I hand them back their grades,
I'll have to motivate the room.

"Class, remember, with revision there is room to raise your grades."

©2015-Art Belliveau

Looking for a Metaphor

I thought
for a long time
that I was a catalyst.
I was there to speed up
and sometimes start
my students and their thinking.
A catalyst in chemical reactions
does that.
And I was proud of my metaphor.
Not being a science teacher,
I discovered my understanding
of a catalyst was flawed.
A catalyst does indeed start
and/or speed up a chemical reaction--
but in doing so,
it remains unchanged.
And after twenty-eight years of teaching
there is one thing I am sure of...
teaching all these kids has changed me.
So I think I need a different metaphor--
I am not the same person
who started this ride so long ago.
I am different in ways both good and bad
but there is no way
I could do this
and remain

©2015-Art Belliveau