30 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/30/09

time races by
like water over a falls
rushing inexorably
down stream
into the future
the currents and eddies
obscured by mists
and the cacophony 
of collision
where past and future
jostle and slam together
whirling around each other
mingling to create 
the present moment
where I float
helpless as a swirling twig

©2009-Art Belliveau

29 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/29/09

The Response Given to Me by My Sweet Young Daughter, Molly, When I Suggested that We Spend a Little Time Together in the Afternoon Engaged in Recreational Activities with Each Other

Play? Yay!

©2009-Art Belliveau

28 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/28/09

He Had a Choice

from where we sit
on this side of history
the outcome seems

of course He had to do it
of course He had no choice
if He refused (which He couldn’t)
we would all be doomed

but that diminishes
what He did--takes away
from the real power
of his sacrifice

when He was arrested
He could have walked away
or struck them blind
or simply disappeared

when He was tried
He could have performed
wonders and miracles
to prove to them who He was

when He was beaten
He could have healed immediately
or remained impervious to
their whips and thorns

when carrying the cross
he did not have to stumble
feel pain
endure the scorn and curses

when nailed to the tree
He did not have to feel pain
He did not have to feel his lungs burn for air
He could have stopped it with a word

He did not have to die
on a cross
naked and humiliated
while His mother looked on--helpless

as fully God
His sacrifice was necessary
to redeem the world
and let us all enter home

but He was also fully human
filled with doubt and fear
filled with pain and shame
knowing He did not have to endure

we know how it ended
He died and rose again
He sacrificed all for us
but it was never forgone

He had a choice

©2009-Art Belliveau

27 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/27/09

The Home Stretch

Looking at the calander.
Looking at the clock.
Looking out the window.
Looking down the block.

Waiting for the summer.
Waiting for the end.
Waiting for the last school day;
It’s right around the bend.

Less than four weeks left now.
It’s shorter every day.
The students are excited--
Want to leave without delay.

The students all are restless.
That you can’t ignore.
They are ready for vacation--
We teachers are ready more!

©2009-Art Belliveau

26 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/26/09

Bike Ride

an April Alabama afternoon
one that will fade in your memory
blend in with so many others
but a special day for me

pale blue sky overhead
like an inverted china bowl
the gray macadam of
the deserted elementary school
parking lot
spread out before us

to the left a baseball field
a father and sun at batting practice
sweating and laughing in
the afternoon’s heat

to the right Woodland Drive
cars occasionally humming by
quiet for a while
one or two
then spurts
then quiet again
no apparent pattern

I set up a camp chair
under the covered walkway
the red brick of the school
behind me
a cool breeze blowing
keeping me comfy
in the shade

you ride your bike

the flatness of the empty lot
calls to you in a way
our slanted street
never has

this is your first extended ride
and you go to the far end of the
L-shaped lot
never even looking back
free and happy on your bike

you wobble on a turn
and my stomach drops
i know if you go over
there is no way for me
to catch you

it will take too long
to reach you
to hold you
to comfort you

but you recover
look back at me
and wave
at riding that bike

and I know
although I do not want to know
although it hurts to know

this is how it will always be
you going off on your adventures
testing the boundaries
of freedom
taking chances
I cannot save you from

and I am hit
with a truth
a truth that
I had known
for some time

letting you grow
letting you go
is now
and will always be
the hardest part
of fatherhood

©2009-Art Belliveau

25 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/25/09

When you carry a burden all alone
Its weight crushes down like a cornerstone
Squeezing out your soul’s last breath
And making living feel like death

When you share your burden with your friends
This crushing feeling finally ends
Away ebbs the hurt, away ebbs the strife
And slowly you can get on with your life

©2009-Art Belliveau

24 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/24/09

ninety tomorrow
and it is only April
what happened to spring?

©2009-Art Belliveau

23 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/23/09

I sit to write another poem
My inspiration's gone
It really is too late at night
And I will wake 'fore dawn

But I have made myself a vow
To write one every day
Since I didn't vow to make them all good
Now to bed I'll away

©2009-Art Belliveau

22 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/22/09

as the other students in the class
chat in quiet amiability while
working on their writing project
these young ladies just sat and talked
their volume rising slowly
almost imperceptibly
but steadily nonetheless

if they are going to refuse to work
why can't they at least do it quietly
like the ones who sleep so soundly
through the class every single day

but no
they insist on sitting there
publicly emoting to each other
the dramas of their lives
and their day at school

to be honest
some of them do indeed
live through a great deal of real drama
too much to contend with
at their young age)

i wrestle with myself
as i observe them
heat slowly rising
in my face
in lockstep with
their increasing volume

i could do something
to make them quiet down
i could get up
and just sit near them
make them nervous
tenth graders detest
a teacher's propinquity

but my stomach is roiling
and jumping inside me
feels like i've been
repeatedly gut-punched
should have stayed home
but felt obligated
to come and teach them

most students are working
or at least appearing to
knowing that negative attention
lowers their grades
just these four loud talkers
inconsiderately interfering
with everyone's thought processes

so i reach to my left
and grab for the stack
of preprinted forms
ones i have prepared for
just such an occasion
and fill out detentions
for my chatty friends

see you all soon

©2009-Art Belliveau

NaPoWriMo 4/22/09

Happy B-day to my good friend Ryk
Long ago our friendship did click
He's easy to talk to--
Though too far to walk to--
And so this poem, which mainly is shtick

©2009-Art Belliveau

21 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/21/09

I listen to Billy Collins
reading his poetry in my iPod
and it is the sonic version

of an old cardigan sweater
not the red and green one
with those strange looking reindeer

but rather the comfortable
sky blue one received
on your last anniversary

the warmth and comfort of his voice
as soothing as a late-night
cocktail by the fireplace

red brick with gray mortar
slightly intoxicating
and helping me see the world

just slightly askew

©2009-Art Belliveau

20 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/20/09

the search

trying to find
within myself
that still
my inner
my inner
but it keeps sliding
jangled thoughts
jagged emotions
rupture the peace
trumpet in the silence
a hurricane
of whirling images
too long to ignore
too brief to capture
as I sit
and try
to write

©2009-Art Belliveau

19 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/19/09

Looking Back

swinging faster
swinging higher
a five-year-old’s
tunnel vision
seeing the world
as adventure and fun
living in the moment
no thought for the future
or consequences

top of the arc
seeing the playground
spread out before me
release and fly off
out through the air
totally free
joy and adrenaline
rush through me body
taking me higher
than the arc of my flight

ground comes up quickly
and I rush to meet it
hitting it hard
losing my breath
as it gets knocked out
of my body
I lay there a minute
gasping and puffing
then rush back to the swing
to do it again

forty years later
I look at the swings
I remember and wish
I were that brave again

©2009-Art Belliveau

18 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/18/09


back & forth
up & down
higher, faster
lower, slower
no destination
no deadlines
no maps
only the journey
back & forth
up & down
that’s the fun

©2009-Art Belliveau

17 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/17/09

My Life as a Mix Tape

I was
All By Myself
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
We said
And soon I showed that
You've Got a Friend
I knew that
I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore
I Only Have Eyes For You
I told you
I Want to Hold Your Hand
And asked quietly
Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
Soon we were
Sharing the Night Together
Makin' Whoopee
I let you know
You Make My Dreams Come True
I whispered
I’m Yours
And asked you to forever
Stand By Me
Soon you were wearing my
Band of Gold
I look forward to all of our
Seasons in the Sun
Because, Baby,
We've Only Just Begun

©2009-Art Belliveau

16 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/16/09

I always looked both ways
I was careful to keep watch
But I was blindsided
And left defenseless
When I was hit by
Your love

©2009-Art Belliveau

15 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/15/09

there are times

there are times
so many of them really
when I am way passed

times when I am so
damned tired that
not even the simple things
make sense

it’s those times
when I am lost and
those times that you always
find me
and take me home again

©2009-Art Belliveau

14 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/14/09

The Empty Classroom

It waits in darkness

Soon enough it will again be
A lively, raucous place
Filled with life
Filled with sound
Filled with direction

Once the break is over
And school begins again

©2009-Art Belliveau

13 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/13/09

deeply rooted

grows from the spiteful seed
of regrets and broken dreams

feeds on the built-up bullshit
of daily life and unspent anger

blooms rot-stinking flowers
whose fragrance fragments future hopes

bears poisonous fruit
that despoils the soul

left untended, left ignored
branches and bifurcates

left unchecked, left to fester
chokes the mind’s garden

leaving nothing but wreckage
and death

©2009-Art Belliveau

12 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/12/09

The Perfect Poem

If I could write the perfect poem
That poem would be you
Smart and Surprising
Warm and Loving
Passionate and Impatient

If I could write you as a poem
Then I would never fear losing you
Never fear rejection
Never fear the final words
You would be mine forever

But I cannot write you as a poem
You are not so simple as that
Cannot be captured and tamed
Cannot be owned or written down
Even by a poet in quiet desperation

©2009-Art Belliveau

11 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/11/09

I’m trapped in time
a fly in amber
always caught by you
never moving past the old feelings
never wanting to
never intending to
terrified of breaking free

©2009-Art Belliveau

10 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/10/09

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

bright lightning dances
bolt after bolt shimmying
from sky to ground
from cloud to cloud

ecstatic, wild freedom
thrilling and dangerous
like teenagers in love

making out on the couch
lights off, curtains open
surging with the storm

both inside and out

©2009-Art Belliveau

09 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/09/09

sitting in silence
resentful, angry, brooding
rebellion is near

©2009-Art Belliveau

NaPoWriMo 4/09/09

Do You Dare?
Why do so, so many of us
stumble and trip
through our lives,
blind and deaf,
hitting obstacles
each other?
Our journey would be
so much easier
if only we
open our eyes
and unblock our ears.
©2009-Art Belliveau

08 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/08/09


Don’t be one
among the deaf.
Open the ears 
of your soul.
Hear the music 
of life around you.
God’s joyful laughter
Sets the rhythm.
And join the dance!

©2009-Art Belliveau

07 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/07/09

At a Loss for Words

I want to write you a love poem
With words so sweet and smooth
You gobble them up like chocolate
With images so hot and steamy
That chocolate will just melt away

I want to be able to do all that—I really do
But somehow the words won’t come
The images won’t spring to life
The metaphors have gone into hiding
Because all I know is how much I miss you

©2009-Art Belliveau

06 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/06/09

The Blues for Langston Hughes

You wrote so hot,
You’re burning up my mind.
You wrote so hot,
You’re burning up my mind.
Langston, Poet Daddy,
Yours are the hottest I could find.

You wrote so cool,
You really take my breath away.
I say you wrote so cool,
You always take my breath away.
Langston, Poet Daddy,
I don’ know what else to say.

You wrote so smooth,
You leave me boneless in your wake.
Man, you wrote so smooth,
You leave me boneless in your wake.
Langston, Poet Daddy,
Don’ know how much more this I can take.

You wrote so true,
You really told it how it was.
Yes, you wrote so true,
You really told it, like it was.
And Langston, Poet Daddy,
You wrote more truth than an’one, today does.

You wrote your soul,
Put it all there on those pages.
God, you wrote your soul,
Put it all down on those pages.
Langston, Poet Daddy,
You are the Poet of the Ages.

©2009-Art Belliveau

05 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/05/09

Now that you are gone

this little house has
too many rooms

the emptiness of our bed
begins to crowd me out

the silence grows so loud
it drowns out all my thoughts

the hands of the clock
move more slowly

as I wait for your return

©2009-Art Belliveau

04 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/04/09


Before You
I thought I had a full life
thought I had a purpose
thought I had it all

Before you
I thought I was satisfied
thought I was fulfilled
thought I was contented

Before you
I thought I knew purpose
thought I knew happiness
thought I knew love

But the day you were born
all those thoughts
to certain knowledge

©2009-Art Belliveau

02 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/02/09

Thunder detonates outside the house
Windows rattle, walls vibrate
Rain tattoos the roof in a staccato rhythm

The child awakes in her half dark room
Fear saturates her body as
Water saturates the world outside

Her heart beats in a staccato rhythm
As she shivers in her bed
The flashing lightning detonates her terror

Rattled she runs into her parents' room
Burrows in next to her daddy
Calmed by the steady beating of his heart

As steady as the rain falling down

©2009-Art Belliveau

01 April 2009

NaPoWriMo 4/01/09 haiku

thunder exploding
windows rattle through the house
child serenely sleeps

©2009-Art Belliveau