03 October 2010

senryu 09/27/10

hiding in plain sight
frustrations keep on mounting--
soon something will blow

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 09/26/10

surrounded by the mists
the sun's light cut off from view--
as Niagara roars

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/25/10

I miss Canada
I want to go back and explore--
maybe never leave

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/24/10

Three Dog Night singing--
refrain endless in my brain--
one is loneliest

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/23/10

children's shrill laughter
exploding as the sun sets--
so much energy

©2010-Art Belliveau

the promise 9/22/10

not cool
but definitely
not hot
and the promise
of fall's coolness
has begun
to be made

©2010-Art Belliveau

summer's last sunset 9/21/10

the last sunset of summer
has come
in quiet splendor
ripples of heat
float up from the blacktop
as the horizon absorbs
the heavenly furnace

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 09/20/10

as the sun's last rays
fade lazily into darkness--
a breeze stirs up

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 09/19/10

full moon-pale orange
is in the rearview mirror--
just before sunrise

©2010-Art Belliveau

I Am... 9/18/10

I am...

Molly's Daddy
Sarah's hubby
Kat & Bud's godfather
Don, Noel, and Liz's teammate
my students' teacher

I am...

a parent
a reader
a teacher
an adult(?)

I am...


I am...


I am...


©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/17/10

unlike Johnny 5
this constant flood of input
drowns out my own thoughts

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/16/10

my words have been caught
held hostage for so long now--
sleeplessness frees them

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/15/10

we're at the crossroads
between the future and the past--
it's called the present

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/14/10

i remember when
you were just a newborn babe--
today you're a man

©2010-Art Belliveau

Happy Birthday, Sean!

02 October 2010

Traveler 9/13/10

I have been to Narnia,
Middle Earth, Barsoom, Oz.
Submarining with Captain Nemo,
Caught in a werewolf's claws.

I've been to other planets,
To other places, other times.
I've tasted forbidden apples,
Heard the hidden temple's chimes.

I've fought alongside heroes,
I've been vanquished by the crooks.
I have lived so many, many lives,
In the pages of my books.

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/12/10

where have you gone?
my muse has disappeared--
leaving me wordless

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/11/10

you are growing up
transforming to adultness--
wish i could stop time

©2010-Art Belliveau

9/11 9/10/10

we will never forget
the images stay burned
indelibly upon our souls
but the question
that i often ask myself
is what exactly we remember
and what
if anything
we learned that day

©2010-Art Belliveau

helpless part two 9/09/10

until i can help you
stand up to
and defeat
your fears
help you empower yourself
to be your own hero
like a good, sensitive, modern man
assist you
in embracing
your own destiny
aid you in slicing your problems down
to a more manageable size
i feel inadequate
and useless to you

©2010-Art Belliveau

helpless 9/08/10

late at night as you sleep
i lay awake next to you
i hear your snores and
the grinding of your teeth
i feel you thrash as you
toss and turn until morning

and i want to protect you
to make it all better for you
my male instincts are too powerful
to fully deny

but this is no fairy tale
and you are no helpless damsel

it hurts to know
that all i can do
is lay here and listen

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 09/07/10

the sky's so empty
stars hidden behind moonglow--
still there, though unseen

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 09/06/10

the moon's orange face
somehow seems depressed tonight--
or is it just me?

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/06/10

the clock's red numbers
stare back at me all night long--
as sleep never comes

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 09/05/10

kilometers pass
as we drive through Canada-
differences stand out

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 09/04/10

past the horizon-
an ocean of fresh water
stretches: Lake Huron

©2010-Art Belliveau

tanka 9/03/10

late afternoon sunlight
perpetually creates
rainbows in the mist
hanging over Niagara
an everyday miracle

©2010-Art Belliveau

02 September 2010

connection 09/02/10


reaching out with
careful yearning
stretching past the usual

soul to soul
mind to mind
pretense stripped bare
only honesty remains

meeting in the mind
touching each other’s essence
physicality is not required
though often longed for

the connection is made
and must be tended
lest once again
this new cohesion be lost

01 September 2010

haiku 09/01/10

after weeks of heat--
like a promise from God
the first cool morning

©2010-Art Belliveau

31 August 2010

New Shoes

I know a shoe inventor,
Named Maynard Allan Zippers.
He made some new shoes out of rope,
Maynard calls them skippers.
Then he made another pair
From banana peels--
Of course, they are his slippers.

©2010-Art Belliveau

30 August 2010

senryu 08/30/10

lack of sleep hits hard
my brain is filled with cotton--
yet no work got done

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 08/29/10

even when you hide--
your light completely obscured--
i know you're still there

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 08/28/10

daily decisions--
my mind is crowded with them--
teaching seventh grade

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 08/27/10

early morning sun--
the glowing, red, molten ball
floats like a brick won't

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 08/26/10

lying in your arms
protected from all troubles
it is here i'm safe

©2010-Art Belliveau

25 August 2010

haiku 08/25/10

an early morning
just before the sun rises--
pale moon in the west

©2010-Art Belliveau

24 August 2010

haiku 08/24/10

small hole in the clouds
on a night dark as blindness--
punctured by starlight

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 08/23/10

long time, no see guys--
quiet days have all piled up--
inertia's a bitch

©2010-Art Belliveau

29 June 2010

haiku 06/29/10

star-filled dome above--
the clouds of the afternoon
washed the sky clean

©2010-Art Belliveau

descent 06/28/10

i stare at it
looking down into
the very maw of hell
the sidewalk giving way
to the depths below
a doomed damned soul
clutching the earth
trying to forestall
the inevitable fall
then walk over it
as i hurry on
late for work

©2010-Art Belliveau

Check out the picture that inspired the poem.

haiku 06/27/10

almost a full moon
illuminating the sky--
a sliver missing

©2010-Art Belliveau

taking chances 06/26/10

waiting for a plane
she sits

staring vacantly out the window
at storm raging outside
her chestnut hair falling
blown out of the careful hairdo
wild as the weather

though leaning forward
as if intensely interested
her eyes
are far away
barely focused
no telling what she is really seeing

gathering my courage
i walk up to her
to talk
to see what happens

©2010-Art Belliveau

patience 06/25/10

smaller than my thumb
beneath it’s smoothed ochre colors
are oceanic depths
the currents of earth
that formed it
uncounted millennia ago

©2010-Art Belliveau

24 June 2010

courage 06/24/10

her eyes drew me in
captured me in their chocolate depth
hope and fear warred in those eyes
eyes that were far older than
her scant four years

would this time be different?
would there be a place for her here?
her eyes said they wanted to believe it
but they could not allow that yet

a picture of bravery
bravery as clear as a soldier
charging into enemy fire

life creates that kind of fire, too
as she charges into her unknown future

©2010-Art Belliveau

23 June 2010

Vegas 06/23/10


Ozymandias had nothing
on the guys who ran Vegas.
The monuments they built
to greed and excess,
monuments built on the bones of enemies
and the blood of the suckers
who spent all their hard-earned coin
in their casinos:
The Dunes,
The Sands,
The Desert Inn.
All gone now--
less than dust in the wind--
not even the negative space
of where they once stood
lording it over that desert valley.
Replaced by newer, grander
structures, which make up in glitz
what they lack in originality.
And, all too soon,
they will be gone also,
and something else newer
will rise in their place.

©2010-Art Belliveau

22 June 2010

haiku 06/22/10

black, angry clouds loom:
roiling shadows sounding their
bass profundo roar

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 06/22/10

over the city
black storm clouds spread over rain:
a giant mushroom

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 06/21/10

magnolia blossom
shriveling and brown with age:
still part of the tree

©2010-Art Belliveau

21 June 2010

senryu 06/20/10

wakened with kisses
as my wife and daughter sang:
“happy father’s day!”

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 06/19/10

outside’s an oven
the sun baking those below--
i miss last night’s storms

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 06/19/10

lightning, thunder come
slowly moving from the west--
homeless hide somewhere

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 06/18/10

the sun beating down
he stands on the corner, holds
one word: “anything”

©2010-Art Belliveau

17 June 2010

Recipe for Trouble 06/17/10

take one teacher
(preferably first year
and inexperienced)
fill with doubt and insecurity
add insane pressures
unreasonable demands
and unrealistic expectations
(both internal and external)

in separate container
take 28-35 students
fill with boredom
anger, & hormones
add a large measure of
disrespect for authority
(note: this is the normal
state for most teenagers)

mix together
add miscommunication
and equal measures of frustration
to each

wait for explosion

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 06/16/10

even in summer
I never seem to get rest--
but I love workshops

©2010-Art Belliveau

15 June 2010

traveling 06/15/10

where am i going?
the road ahead
is obscured by
lack of vision
hard to follow
because there is
no map
yet i still travel
trying to guide my way
looking in
the rearview mirror

©2010-Art Belliveau

If I Were a Book 06/14/10

If I were a book,
I would inspire and entertain.
I would have a thick, hard cover
to protect the delicate inside,
but it would be worn and almost tattered
from use.
If I were a book,
my pages would be worn
and their corners would be bent
and written on with marginal notations
and underlinings,
as readers sought to understand
and expand my words and ideas.
If I were a book,
i would be well-read and

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 06/13/10

tomorrow comes soon
though hours till then seem endless
it’s an illusion

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 06/12/10

where’s my energy?
simple movements take effort--
i’m caught in amber

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 06/11/10

lazy, quiet day
no work done, no chores finished:
the world didn’t end

©2010-Art Belliveau

Happy Anniversary

As we reach our fifteenth year,
One thing now is crystal clear:
I have you and you have me,
And that’s the way it is meant to be.

©2010-Art Belliveau

leaving 309 06/09/10

i look around the room
it is empty now of everything
except what the school provides

the walls are bare
the bookshelves gone
the desks are clear

there is a curious ambivalence
as i turn out the lights
for the final time

i expected something
but yet

as i close the door behind me
here the final click of the lock
i am numb

©2010-Art Belliveau

Gulf of Mexico Lament 06/08/10

Look what we’re doing to the earth, air, and seas?
Filling them with poison, garbage, and junk.
Watching the news has put me in a funk.
Tragedies pile on, bringing me to my knees.

We have been fouling them by degrees.
And now, it appears, we are all sunk.
Look what we’re doing to the earth, air, and seas?
Filling them with poison, garbage, and junk.

Now is the time--the time we must sieze.
The misinformation we need to debunk.
The Kool-aid we’re given must not be drunk.
To our planet we must no longer be like a disease.
Look what we’re doing to the earth, air, and seas?

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 06/07/10

thinking about time:
no time’s more important than
time spent holding you

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 06/06/10

life comes at me fast:
sometimes i feel just like a
bug on the windshield

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 06/05/10

down the curving ramp
our shadow rotates, stretches:
we remain the same

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 06/04/10

pink frisbee flying
erratically through the air--
father/daughter time

©2010-Art Belliveau

accident 6/03/10

it was a random weekend day
before the divorce
but maybe not before you
started thinking about it,

we were out as a family
for a day on the intercoastal
in your small, secondhand boat
you were so proud of.

mom was elsewhere at the moment
probably dealing with little brother
i was alone with you
and your friends
and in front of them
in response to some
stupid, childish
11 year-old thing i said
you told me--
a smile on your face
but with hard, cold eyes--
“you were an accident.”

©2010-Art Belliveau

not over yet 6/02/10

it was a saturday
he had paid child support
that month
so i had to go
and spend the weekend with him
and her

her long, chestnut hair
combed and brushed
straight and shining
caramel eyes blazing

quietly she talked about her week
as though i really cared
what she had to say to me about it

“their god-damn dogs
chewed up our cat.
those f-wads won’t
chain ‘em up.
we found him torn apart
out in the back.
no one cared but us.
those s.o.b.s that own em
practically slammed their
damn door in our faces.
it’s not over though.
i put some poisoned meat
in the back yard.
after those fuckers eat it.
then it will be over.”

©2010-Art Belliveau

walking out the door 6/01/10

the sun beating down
the humidity boiling up
opening the door
to leave my
air-conditioned comfort
my breath ripped away
even then
beneath the shade of an oak tree
a cool breeze
finds a way
to remove some of
summer’s sting

©2010-Art Belliveau

tanka 5/31/10

when summer simmers
and i spend some time outside
here’s the recipe:
i start by being deep fried
then marinate in aloe

©2010-Art Belliveau

29 May 2010

haiku 05/29/10

cloud ceiling so low
as it drizzles rain on me--
can almost touch it

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/28/10

a big, old, white guy
beard, ponytail shot with grey--
whaling on guitar

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/28/10

backward baseball cap?
man, you're no adolescent!
give up and grow up!

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/28/10

smokin' soul songstress--
singing the blues from her pain
for young, white hipsters

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/28/10

aging musicians
setting up another show--
long live rock 'n' roll!

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 05/27/10

in the pine tree's shade
a warm, cool breeze has begun--
summertime draws near

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/26/10

an empty playground
abandoned swing sets and slides--
where are the children?

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 05/25/10

blue sky overhead
innocent of cloud cover
the horizon's black

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 05/24/10

a granite boulder
perched upon another one
dry o'er the river

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 05/23/10

the sky is beneath
green trees which are stretching down--
reflection in pond

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 05/22/10

the scent of wood smoke
lingers in my hair, my beard--
even the next day

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/21/10

school's out for summer
nobody signed my year book--
depression defined

©2010-Art Belliveau

20 May 2010

haiku 05/20/10

after the sun sets
cardinals fight mockingbirds
before the light fades

©2010-Art Belliveau

19 May 2010

senryu 05/19/10

writing assessment:
everyone works silently
until someone barfs

©2010-Art Belliveau

I Cannot Write Like Ogden Nash Wrote

I cannot write like Ogden Nash wrote.
I've tried and my failures could fill a trashboat.
His rhymes were clever and surely amusing;
English he enjoyed abusing.
He twisted the language to fit his design,
And, somehow, no matter how hard I try to, I just cannot seem to make
         that style of writing poetry mine.

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/19/10

i eat my lunch late
i'm never hungry when i
have bathroom duty

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/19/10

first it annoyed me
then i found it amusing
now it just bores me

©2010-Art Belliveau

18 May 2010

Time to Go 05/18/10

boxes piled
posters removed
one by one
the room I have made home
for the last four years
slowly stripped of my personality
slowly becoming more generic
a blank slate
ready for the next teacher
to fill

©2010-Art Belliveau

Dichotomy 05/17/10

on the church’s
stage-like altar
the preacher thunders
threats of damnation
tales of tumultuous torture
and perpetual pain
of sulphurous lakes
hotter than lava

a frenzy flows through
the fellowship
shouted AMENS!
spontaneously sound out

looks of rapturous joy
glow in the congregation
hands are raised up
some people stand
some jump up and down
some weep
tears runnning down
bright-eyed faces

with each new
description of the damned
with each new
depiction of despair
the enthusuasm explodes

the music swells
hundreds of voices
ring out in song

“What a friend we have in Jesus...”

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/16/10

the only sure thing--
the only thing that won’t change--
is that all will change

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 05/15/10

birds joyously sing
on a beautiful spring day
i’m still unhappy

©2010-Art Belliveau

14 May 2010

senryu 05/14/10

i sit home alone
soak in the peace and quiet--
and miss the chaos

©2010-Art Belliveau

13 May 2010

senryu 05/13/10

another birthday
another year spent on earth--
was it spent wisely?

©2010-Art Belliveau

12 May 2010

senryu 05/12/10

of course there's a Hell
but here's my question: who is

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/12/10

where they hear music
all i can perceive is noise--
generation gap

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 05/12/10

myriad colors
start exploding every spring--
all of them are green

©2010-Art Belliveau

11 May 2010

senryu 05/11/10

the saddest fact is
i just cannot reach them all--
but i have to try

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/11/10

greeting his friends while
moving from table to table--
lunchtime is busy

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/11/10

the tide sucks me down
i drown in dark emotions--
hey! i need a rope!

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 05/11/10

the tide sucks me down
i drown in dark emotions--
hey! i need a rope!

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 05/11/10

outside the classroom
flying free from branch to branch
the joyful bird sings

©2010-Art Belliveau

10 May 2010

tanka 05/10/10 (scifaiku style)

I open my eyes
and pray I'm still asleep as
Cthulhu claims me
the nightmare was preferable
to this dread reality

©2010-Art Belliveau

kwansaba 5/09/10

The end of the school year comes,
at times seeming glacial in its pace.
Other times it flashes forward. It seems
as though I am living my life
as part of a cosmic traffic jam.
Moving in fits and starts, but aching
to find open road and cruise away.

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 05/08/10

steel grey cloud cover
always makes me think of snow--
it's 80 outside

©2010-Art Belliveau

07 May 2010

haiku 05/07/10

the grasshoppers' song
mingles with the croaking frogs'--
under silent stars

©2010-Art Belliveau

06 May 2010

senryu 05/06/10

got what i wanted--
be careful what you wish for--
now the worry starts

©2010-Art Belliveau

05 May 2010

haiku 05/05/10 REVISED

my dog plays out back
a mockingbird dive-bombs her--
she has no idea

©2010-Art Belliveau

04 May 2010

Sunrise, Ft. Lauderdale Beach 1982 05/04/10

Sunrise, Ft. Lauderdale Beach 1982

all is blackness
save for
diamond-dust stars
floating above
and the faint
of the foam
floating on
the ocean's surface

the waves move in
slowly conquering
the crushed-shell sand
of this beach

each incremental advance
cheered on by the
muted roar of the crowd-
ed waves

almost imperceptibly
the stars and the sky
merge color
the sky's tide of light
slowly conquering
the miniscule, myriad sparks
of distant suns

the line of the horizon
melts into view
not there one second
the next obvious
as if it had never
been hidden by the
night sky

a bubble of fire
emerges from
its antithesis

growing slowly

morphing into
a ball of molten lava
ascending slowly
into the sky

in seeming defiance
of gravity
it resumes
its rightful place
as ruler
of the day

and in my mind
i see steam slowly rise
from the site of
its egress

©2010-Art Belliveau

03 May 2010

Limerick 05/03/10

There once was a student in school,
Who never would follow a rule.
He'd sleep at his desk,
And make a big mess,
As he covered the whole thing in drool.

©2010-Art Belliveau

02 May 2010


the dark winds blow
sending the trees outside
writhing under its assault
blowing out the stars
leaving the sky black
devoid of hope
endlessly receding

with you
here by my side
i feel safe

©2010-Art Belliveau

A Day at the Fair

A Day at the Fair

Footlong hot dogs
Apple pies
Cotton candy
(Jumbo size)

Ice cream cones
Rice krispy treats
Other yummy
Stuff to eat

Like kettle corn
And hot french fries
Barbecue plates
And cherry pies

Vanilla fudge
Chocolate cakes
I ate it all
Now my belly aches

©2010-Art Belliveau

Swimming with Sharks 04/30/10

a darkened classroom
after school
on a Friday afternoon

the echoes of
the students’ voices
silently resound
in my head
as i sit here

papers are getting graded
grades are being entered
and yet...

i feel
(as i so often do)
that i am swimming
against the tide

being pulled away
from what i find important

being pulled under
by this rip tide current
of red tape
and record keeping

when all i want to do
is swim free
and play in the waves
of words
and books
and poems
and the creativity
of my students

©2010-Art Belliveau

29 April 2010

senryu 04/29/10

as the year winds down
the students are "summer ready"--
the teachers more so

©2010-Art Belliveau

28 April 2010

tug of war 4/28/10

coolness and warmth
battle back and forth
a seasonal tug of war
soon the struggle
will come to an end
as the heat of summer
edges out
a temporary victory

©2010-Art Belliveau

27 April 2010

10 Ways of Looking at a Pen 04/27/10

10 Ways of Looking at a Pen

small tube
filled with worlds
fits in my hand

there have been
many many times
a pen was the only thing
that has saved my life

very well then, varlot--
choose your weapon!
pens at ten paces!

got my essay back
it looked wounded
a red pen
has bled
all over it

crossing over a
deep chasm
on a
bridge made of paper
using only my pen
for balance

cutting my wrist
i fill my pen
and then the journal
with my life’s blood

a pen filled
with black ink
my only light
in the darkness

“if only the pen could talk” he says
“but it does” i assure him
“all of the time”

the brave writer
with a pen
clutched in his hands
and so went
straight to heaven

wielding my pen
i sound my warning
back off
i will write
a poem about you

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 04/26/10

yesterday was hot
but when i opened the door
a chill wind blew past

©2010-Art Belliveau

25 April 2010

life rafts 04/25/10

whenever i am drowned
by the flood of reality
swirling around me
i reach out
i grab hold of
the only life rafts
i know

and on these rafts i float away
down the Mississippi
or the Brandywine
to find my golden ticket
or a gaslamp growing in the snow

i go to where the sidewalk ends
or Barsoom beneath its hurtling moons
to the past to the future
to worlds that never were but might have been

i spend time with friends old and new
Jubal, Jill, and Mike
Atticus, Jem and Scout
Peter and Mary Jane
Clark and Lois

and when i am in those rafts
when i spend time with those friends
i feel safe
i feel understood

i feel home

©2010-Art Belliveau

22 April 2010

Geeks Who Love Tech 4/22/10

Geeks Who Love Tech

They are pale
and easily get out of breath;
hours & days & weeks
in front of their computer screens
has stolen their wind.
They are tongue-tied
when f2f with
a flesh & blood woman
Amazingly the
hours & days & weeks
sitting in darkened rooms
bathed in the light of their screens
as they destroy their enemies
on the newest game and
latest system
has not improved their social skills.
It's as if females are not impressed
with how many games they've mastered
how many levels they've completed or
how many digital enemies they have demolished.
New gizmos make them drool.
The want--the NEED--
for the newest gadget
overpowers them;
when they get a new tech toy
they are in nirvana.
Their spirits are uploaded
to a dimension of satisfaction
no mere fleshy human
could ever
send them to.

©2010-Art Belliveau

21 April 2010

cinqain--New Orleans 4/21/10

New Orleans
laid back, bluesy
dancing, singing, music making
bring on Mardi Gras
the Big Easy

©2010-Art Belliveau

20 April 2010

senryu 04/20/10

i hate the feeling
of drowning in a sea of
work i’m behind on

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 04/19/10

after a brief taste
of freedom and leisure time
back to work i go

©2010-Art Belliveau

Simon Peter 04/18/10

there are some sins
that cannot be forgiven

on the night He was betrayed
He foretold me my sins
and i could not believe my ears

how could i ever deny
that i knew Him
loved Him
followed Him?

to my shame and agony
i did
three times i denied knowing Him
before that cursed cock crowed thrice

my heart was heavy laden as He was killed
heavy laden with His torture
and humiliation
heavy laden with His death
heavier with my betrayal of Him

when He arose
three days later
i knew awe
and joy
and love
and shame

how could i face Him?

how could i not?

never a word from Him
of reproach to me
never that look of disappointment
i feared so much

and though i would have thought
that it was impossible
for me to love Him more
feel more devoted to Him
i was wrong again

and then He called to us
from the shore of Lake Tiberias
he told us where to cast our nets
as always
He was right

i could not wait
for the boat to come to shore
i dove in and swam to Him
when the others came ashore
we ate breakfast
from the overflowing nets

and he asked me if i loved Him
without hesitation i said yes
and He told me to feed His lambs
i was confused
but determined to do
what He wanted me to do

then He asked again
with no rancor
with not even a change
in the tone of his voice
if i loved Him

the fear grew in me
that He doubted me
again i said yes
eager for Him
to believe me
at this he said for me
to tend His sheep

i, a fisherman, tend His sheep?
i did not know how i would obey Him
only that i would

so it was like a sword to my heart
when he looked me in the eye
held me steady with His gaze
and asked me a third time
if i did love Him

His doubt of me burned
worse than the sun
on a cloudless day at sea
how could i convince Him?

i told Him a third time
that as He knew everything
everything in the whole universe
He knew that i loved Him
i needed Him to know

and He never looked from my eyes
as He told me to tend His sheep
and in His eyes is saw the truth of it

three times i denied Him
three times i betrayed Him
and now
through His repeated question
He offered me redemption

He warned the road
would not be easy
that i would be led down paths
i would not want to follow

then He said follow Me

without thought
with joy and eagerness
i did follow Him
and knew i always would

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 04/17/10

as we drive southward
we know home is close by when
the pines reappear

©2010-Art Belliveau

headed home 04/16/10

hour after hour
i drive

over rivers
the ohio
the kentucky
the tennessee
the chattahootchee

through city after city

over the appachians
through valleys

but oddly
after ten hours
behind the wheel

i feel as though
i have not moved

i have simply sat in my car
behind the wheel

and watched as
the world flowed past me

©2010-Art Belliveau

15 April 2010

senryu 04/15/10

dreamt of you last night
although i can't be detailed
let me say: thank you

©2010-Art Belliveau

14 April 2010

tanka 04/14/10

a dark, rain-drenched night
becomes violently lit
lightning spears pine top
the explosion of thunder
shattering the night's silence

©2010-Art Belliveau

13 April 2010

remember me? 04/13/10

there are times
as a teacher
i feel pride and shame

i am in the local B&N
wandering through the
new books section
just chilling out
when it happens
that former student
comes up to me and asks
"Didn't you used to teach 7th grade?"
i admit it
they remember
my name and
tell me theirs
they remember
my class
they remember
that time i listened to them
when no one else would
the time i helped them find that book
that led them to love reading
the time i praised a poem or essay or story
that led them to love writing

they thank me
as i stammer and blush
embarrassed by
their obvious enthusiasm
and affection
and they say
"I just wanted you to know."

and they walk away
never knowing
i have no memory of them
at all
no idea
who they are
even though i wish i did

and i feel the shame

©2010-Art Belliveau

shadowed 04/12/10

shadows occur when
light from a source
is blocked
by another body

so i am in shadow
unseen by your light
as he blocks
me out

©2010-Art Belliveau

night thoughts 04/11/10

my thoughts roll
around and around
like bits of paper caught
in an Alabama twister
slower and faster
like rush hour traffic
mixed with long empty roads
speeding and jerking
each demanding
my full attention
like a room filled with
attention-deprived three-year-olds
each crowding past the others
trying to get to the front
like filene's running of the brides
each one louder then the others
until i cannot hear through the din
still silent enough
that my wife sleeps next to me
completely undisturbed

©2010-Art Belliveau

doubt 04/10/10

Doubt if you like, that the sun will rise
Doubt the oceans are wet or the deserts are dry
Doubt the floor is below and the sky is above
But never my child, should you doubt my love

Doubt a dropped rock will fall to the ground
Doubt that thunder makes a mighty sound
Doubt the waves that rock the sea
But doubt not my love's greater than infinity

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 04/09/10

no--you can't make me
you may as well have shouted it
your face said it all

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 04/08/10

buried in paper
struggling to dig myself out
hampered by red tape

©2010-Art Belliveau

07 April 2010

writing is my release 04/07/10

writing is my release--
everything gets hard
everything gets confusing
everything gets frustrating
i reach that point of heat inside me

a heat so hot it turns water directly
into steam

the point where
i want to take the next whiney little voice
i hear and rip it out

when i get to the point of violence
i know it is time to write
cause that way no one gets
physically hurt
i can take those angry words
those hurt words
those words of rage and pain

now on paper
i can rip them up
i can shred them
i know--BURN THEM!
watch my dark emotions
vanish in the light of the fire
drift away
the smoke

©2010-Art Belliveau

06 April 2010

Pocahontas 04/06/10


something about this
leaves me cold
i want to like this
i want to like this as much
as i like the picture’s namesake
but i cannot
Pocahontas was wild and free
not stiff and posed
When the English came she was ten
not a woman grown
She was the full blooded daughter
of an Algonquan chief
not a one-quarter Chactaw

where is the flavor
of this life so lived?
the amazing life
is frozen, amberlike
draining the life
from the legend

©2010-Art Belliveau

05 April 2010

Weaponized Words 04/05/10

in the corner of the room
the young girl huddles
shoulders shaking
from the force of her
silent sobs

the bruises she sustained
cannot be seen
they are not physical

the other girls
have been at it again
repugnant rumors
poisonous prattle
grotesque gossip

are the wounding words
even partially true?

it doesn't matter
not really

lies and truths
are both weapons
in the endless war
of junior high

©2010-Art Belliveau

historic mistakes 04/04/10

We all know what Santayana said:
"Those who do not learn
from history
are doomed to repeat it."
And it sounds good.
And it makes sense.
To a point.
But he could have been more
What good does it do
for me to learn from
historical mistakes when
I cannot seem
to learn from
my own?

©2010-Art Belliveau

03 April 2010

Partly Here

my body is here
just a foot or two
away from you
on this comfy old couch
in our living room

but my mind
is far away
in the book i am reading
in the poem i am writing
in the thoughts i am thinking

and i only get pulled back
completely here with you
when you call me from
my reveries
and force me to pay attention
to what i have
instead of
the things i never will

©2010-Art Belliveau

02 April 2010

Swimming Laps after School

the universal solvent
takes my pain
my anger
my frustration
my uncertainty
and dissolves them
as i swim my laps
after teaching
all day
my sweat
and my tears
mingle with
the over-chlorinated
pool water
the best

©2010-Art Belliveau

01 April 2010

Sicko 04/01/10

my head is stuffed
my nose is runny
this April Fool's Day
does not seem funny

i will try to write
a deeper poem later
so please, cut me a break,
don't be a hater

©2010-Art Belliveau

31 March 2010

Thanks for Reading

looking backward
looking forward
on this palindromic day
a hard tasked ending
a new one starting
as I continue on this way

each day a poem
the last twelve months
although some were posted late
i tried my best
and wrote my heart
although not all turned out so great

if you’ve been reading
then i thank you
and you will continue to
as i try for mone more year
each day a poem
and some days two

©2010-Art Belliveau

30 March 2010

too safe 03/30/10

too safe

too much civilization
helps us
to lose touch
with the world

safely enclosed
in our climate controlled
glass and steel and concrete

not feeling nature

not being one
with the
primitive world

observing it
studying it

from a close difference
that is
too far

©2010-Art Belliveau

©2010-Art Belliveau

29 March 2010

senryu 03/29/10

a sick little girl
coughing, throat sore, miserable
i feel so helpless

©2010-Art Belliveau

shadorma 3/28/10

days drag on and on
each seems an eternity
when they're taken one by one

but the years speed by
weeks melt to months melt to years
when they're taken together

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 03/27/10

a beautiful day
the first one in quite a while
and i'm stuck inside

©2010-Art Belliveau

26 March 2010

senryu 03/26/10

barbecue never
ever tastes better than on
a Friday in Lent

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 03/26/10

the harder i grasp
the more desperately I cling
the faster you go

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 03/25/10

beautiful sunshine
illuminates everything
i am a shadow

©2010-Art Belliveau

24 March 2010

senryu 03/24/10

why am i awake?
exhaustion passed long ago
but i cannot sleep

©2010-Art Belliveau

23 March 2010

Reading at Books-a-Million 03/23/10

you read to me yesterday
from a "real" book
a book with small type
and very few pictures

as i looked at your
child's body
sprawled confidently
in the gray chair

other images
in my mind's eye--

you as an infant
giggling and smiling
up at me from your crib

you as a toddler
rushing up to me
as i picked you up from
the babysitter
looking at me like
i was the hero of your world

you in the future
mature and composed
poised and strong
ready to take on
whatever life
throws at you

and the love welled up
a roaring in my head
drowning out your words

as you continue growing
remember this always
you are loved
more than you can know

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 03/22/10

in the chill water
playing with my sweet daughter
I am filled with warmth

©2010-Art Belliveau

Compassion 03/21/10

I stood there

They were going to kill me.
Just me, not the man
who was with me.
But they had a plan.
They would use me
to trap him.
They brought me to him
told him what I'd done
and asked him if I should be stoned.

He did not answer right away.
He stood in thought and then
squatted down and began
to write in the dirt.
I could not read the words
but I could read the faces
of the elders who brought me.

They were scared. mad, embarrassed.
They were ashamed
as they read the words he scribbled.
He stood and told them,
"Let he who is without sin
cast the first stone."

Then he again squatted down
and began to write.
As one would start to look
for a stone to hurl at me
he would see the words and blanche.
Soon they began to drift away.
The elders first.
Quietly. Stealthily.

In minutes that dragged like years
the square emptied
leaving only him
and me.

I could not move.
I was too scared.
I looked down at the words
though I could not read
I understood them.

My sins were laid bare before me.
As bare as I had so recently been.
The words tore at me
harder than stones.
Flaying not my skin,
but my soul.

He looked up.
He looked around us,
that we were left alone.

"Woman," he said sternly,
"Does no one condemn you?"

"No. Lord," I replied.

A look of infinite compassion
came over his face.
"Neither do I."

I almost fainted as the weight
of all my sins
evaporated from me.

"Go forth and sin no more."

I left him and went home.
To my family.
To my husband.
And did my best
to sin no more.

©2010-Art Belliveau

One More Day 03/20/10

If I can make it one more day,
then I can rest, at home, and stay.
Close my eyes and night and lay
my weary head down and drift away
on dream clouds till the break of day.
Then back to work, to earn my pay
and when it's rough,
then I will say,
"If I can make it one more day..."

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 03/19/10

spikes of light stab me
a fly's flapping wing deafens
enhanced by headache

©2010-Art Belliveau

teacher's lament 03/18/10

when i hold out my hand
it gets batted away
but still i keep trying
gotta find a way
a way to reach them
so they will believe
i'm trying to help them
i'm not the enemy
but i keep getting cast
as the heavy--the villain
and i'm here to tell you
that part ain't so thrillin'
but when i ease up
try to give them a break
too many see weakness
& go insane till i take
control back real harshly
& then they get mad
"he's always yellin' and mean"
it's so sad
but my job is not
to make them my friends
my job is to teach them
and it just never ends

©2010-Art Belliveau

17 March 2010

waiting 03/17/10

never quite sure for what
or for who
or even if i really am
for anything at all

©2010-Art Belliveau

failure/success diamante 03/16/10

hard, instructive
working, striving, learning
spur, incentive, consummation, triumph
succeeding, culminating, thriving
difficult, instructive

©2010-Art Belliveau

emptiness 03/15/10

there is an ache
inside of me
an empty place
filling with pain
expanding past where
i am able
to control it

©2010-Art Belliveau

Prodigal Son diamante 03/14/10

Prodigal Son
wasteful, foolish
spending, drinking, whoring
wastrel, penitent, worker, dogmatist
trudging, toiling, obeying
inflexible, incredulous
Prodigal’s Brother

©2010-Art Belliveau

not enough or too much 03/13/10

sometimes a blessing
can become a curse
life-giving water
a drowning flood
the warmth of the fire
a blazing inferno
where is the line between
not enough and too much

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 03/12/10

cotton fills my head
slowing my thoughts--like deep mud
sucking me deeper

©2010-Art Belliveau

11 March 2010

Life in the Slow Lane

you only see the fork in the road
and not the road ahead
and at full speed you travel on
as choice by choice you shred

past the many different paths
you go by too quickly to explore
you take the path of least resistance
all the others you ignore

you cannot see a future
you’re too shackled by your past
the only thing you think to do
is to keep on moving fast

but moving fast can be a hindrance
to getting to where you want to go
take your time as you are growing
there’s no shame in going slow

when you see the path you want
follow it to where it leads
and as you travel down it
you will see you’re planting seeds

seeds that grow into your future
maturing in their own good time
setting down the roots you’ll need
to make it to your prime

trees do not grow quickly
use their example--do not rush
take your time to grow your future
and your future will be lush

©2010-Art Belliveau

10 March 2010

Freedom Is... 3/10/10

Freedom Is...

A fast car on an empty highway
traveling wherever it wants to go
A butterfly
flitting where it will
A loose balloon
floating untethered into the sky
An angel
blessing me

©2010-Art Belliveau

09 March 2010

Moving Forward 3/09/10

moving at your own pace
following your internal compass
mapping out your own path
every day more new discoveries
on your voyage into
your unknown future

©2010-Art Belliveau

08 March 2010

tanka 03/08/10

two knights in full garb
joyfully strike back and forth
in a quiet spot
around them on the playground
children echo their laughter

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 03/07/10

burned but not consumed
the light of I Am Who Am
eternal brightness

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 03/06/10

laughter, squeals, and tears
echoing through the playground
childhood's wild soundtrack

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 03/05/10

an abandoned nest
perched on the trees bare branches
will it stay empty?

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 03/04/10

running and falling
a quick glance shows no one saw
so back to playtime

©2010-Art Belliveau

03 March 2010

senryu 03/03/10

nerd, dork, geek, dweeb, spaz:
just some of the many names
i've been saddled with

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 03/03/10

soul crushing boredom
mixed with stark anxiety

©2010-Art Belliveau

*Alabama High School Graduation Exam

Blind Spots (Revision of Blinded by the Test)

I am more
than just a score
more than
a number
this is what you
never see

You do not see
the hours I work
to bring home money
to pay for food
to pay for rent
because my father ignores
his child support

You do not see
my infant son
up crying all night
no one to comfort him
but me

You do not see
the empty stomach
which I could not fill
at home
and was too late to fill
at school

You do not see
me at home
speaking my native language
at home with my parents
who know no other
you see only my struggles and flaws
with this new one
I am learning

You do not see
their expectations
weighing me down
tying my stomach in knots
flooding my brain with panic
desperately afraid
I won't measure up

You do not see
because I hide them
in shame
bruises on my body
from last night's beating

You do not see
my hopelessness
my anger
my boredom
my fear
or maybe you do
and just don’t care

You keep your numbers
Don’t label me
with them
for there is more to me
than all your tests
will ever be able
to see

©2010-Art Belliveau

Blinded by the Test

I am more
than just a score
more than
a number
this is what you
never see

You do not see
my infant son
up crying all night
no one to comfort him
but me

You do not see
the empty stomach
which I could not fill
at home
and was too late to fill
at school

You do not see
me at home
speaking my native language
at home with my parents
who know no other
you see only my struggles and flaws
with this new one
I am learning

You do not see
my hopelessness
my anger
my boredom
my fear
or maybe you do
and just don’t care

You keep your numbers
Don’t label me
with them
for there is more to me
than all your tests
will ever be able
to see

©2010-Art Belliveau

02 March 2010

Sick 03/02/10

When I woke up for school today,
I just knew that I was sick.
My throat was full of coughing,
And my tummy full of ick

I told mommy I had a fever,
She reached down and felt my head.
Then she looked real close at me,
and said, “Get out of bed.”

I think I know what’s caused this,
But you don’t need a day of rest.
You need to go to school today,
You have to take that test.”

And so I went to school today.
I took the test.
(I got an A!)

©2010-Art Belliveau

as if 03/01/10

it is as if
they believe--
truly BELIEVE--
that the answers
on this multiple choice test
will be the same as
the answers to life’s questions
about me and my future

if only it were so

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 02/28/10

the smell of chlorine
always takes me back to when
summers were care free

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 02/27/10

the tide surges out
under the moon’s watchful eye
leaving emptiness

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 02/26/10

so close to the edge
balanced precariously
wonder if i’ll fall

©2010-Art Belliveau

25 February 2010


The electricity you generate
invigorates and supercharges
my perceptions.
In your presence
even my shadow acquires
the sensation of touch.

©2010-Art Belliveau

swimming again 2/24/10

the water surrounds me
covers me
the coolness of it
stimulates me
as i stroke down the lane
arms pulling
feet kicking
my breath bubbles out
i turn my head out of the water
breathe in
breathe out
the old rhythms
so long disused
so long unpracticed
return as though
i swam only yesterday
much sooner than i remember
happening before
my arms grow heavy
my breathing labored
and i am reminded
of how long i’ve spent on land
and how much i feel
that i have now returned home

©2010-Art Belliveau

Bailey's Gone 2/23/10

I usually don’t make comments here, I try to just let the poems speak for themselves, but this is the exception. A little over a month ago, one of our dogs died. We had Baily for 14 years. Molly knew her since she first came home. Recently Molly told me she wanted to write a poem with me about how she felt about Bailey being gone. We talked and I took down what she said in my notebook. The poem here is all her words. All I did was arrange the lines.

I feel like part of my heart’s broken off,
Because part of my family is gone.
I’m starting to forget what it felt like,
When you licked my face at night.
Whenever I come home--
It just doesn’t feel right.
It feels like something is missing,
At the end of the day.

©2010-Molly Belliveau and her daddy

22 February 2010


when i look into your eyes
i see such trust
and all i want to do
is be worthy of it

©2010-Art Belliveau

21 February 2010


trying to connect
always/never reaching out
imaginary walls
keep me penned in
imaginary gags
keep me quiet
the sight of you
that alone is enough
to render me
even though
i want to move
i want to talk
but i am held back
by the imaginary chains
i forged
so long ago

©2010-Art Belliveau

shadorma 2/20/10

where has she gone?
brief panic blooms as I look
trying to spot my daughter

from across the park
i hear her joyous laughter
and see her play without fear

©2010-Art Belliveau


all around me
life is unfolding
and i watch
i sit and watch
nothing else
i watch without
i observe the world
and the people in it
like i am a species apart
trying to learn how
how to be human
watching as they love
and live
and never
never ever
with the slightest feeling
that i actually

©2010-Art Belliveau

haiku 02/18/10

children's squeals of joy
echo throughout the playground
on a false spring day

©2010-Art Belliveau

17 February 2010

the book lover

i LOVE books
the fragile pages
the stiff spine that
(too often)
             rather than b
the smooth cool covers
the delicious aroma of newsprint
the whisper of turning pages
the solid, hardy THUNK!
     of a heavy hardback
slamming shut

©2010-Art Belliveau

16 February 2010

haiku 02/16/10

welcome arctic chill
settle gladly in my bones
soon the heat will bake

©2010-Art Belliveau

15 February 2010

Snow Day, Snow Day, Where Are You?

Snow day, snow day, where are you?

Please come to visit, I love you.

Another day to sleep late? Shout wahoo!

Snow day, snow day, where are you?

©2010-Art Belliveau

rothko 2/14/10

St. Valentine’s red

Like heart’s crimson

Colors love rose

©2010-Art Belliveau

14 February 2010

Certainties 02/13/10

Some things in life
I know will always happen
When I awake each day
The sun will rise
When I drop a hammer
It will fall
When I reach out for your hand
It is there
When I call your name
You answer
When I think of love
I think of you

©2010-Art Belliveau

rondolet 02/12/10

Seeing you smile
Pulls up my spirits from below
Seeing you smile
Makes all the saddest days worthwhile
Across your face I watch it grow
I feel my soul begin glow
Seeing you smile

©2010-Art Belliveau

entwined 02/11/10

you breathe
and i feel
my lungs expand
and fill
my heart pumps
the blood through
your veins
as yours does
through mine
when i am tired
you yawn
when you are joyous
i laugh
we fill each other’s
blank spots
and shore up
each other’s
without your brain
i could not think
without your soul
i could not love
without you
there is no

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 02/10/10

two hearts entwining
cling tightly to each other
never letting go

©2010-Art Belliveau

09 February 2010

acrostic 02/09/10



©2010-Art Belliveau

Scattering Seeds 02/09/10

I scatter seeds
throw them about me
with no regard to the soil
no thought of the climate
no expectations for the future

some may sprout and grow
others wither and sere
yet others produce beautiful fruit
full of internal rot

what comes of these seeds
is not mine to control
all I can do
is try to spread more than enough
so the future may
be fertile

©2010-Art Belliveau

sedoka 02/08/10

walking through this life
seemingly invisible
as the world just looks through me

always out of place
their mocking laughter makes clear
I’ll never be accepted

©2010-Art Belliveau

I hope... 02/07/10

I hope you know
how hard it is
hard for me
to walk up
walk up to you

I hope you hear
my hesitation
struggling to draw
the breath
needed to speak
to speak to you

I hope you see
the hope in my eyes
the hope that you will be reached
reached by the words
as they leave my mouth
and enter your ears

I hope you know
how hard it is
hard to work up the courage
to break through my shell
my shell of isolation
of fear
of loneliness
of safety
to take the chance
to reach out to you

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 02/06/10

I’m trying to think
but other’s words invade and
lay waste to my mind

©2010-Art Belliveau

overload 02/05/10

information doubles
and redoubles
an endless sea
covered by unrelated
flotsam and jetsam
miles wide
shallow enough to wade through
even as a relation is made
between some byte of info
and another
even as some sense is made
of some portion of this mess
more and more info pumps in
ensuring that
the whole picture will be
forever obscured

©2010-Art Belliveau

Last Minute 02/04/10

Deadlines come rushing, they’re almost here
Obstacles pop up, around them you steer
The finish line looms—you’re nearly done
Last minute means panic, and stresses, and fun

You feel your heart pumping strong in your chest
You know that you’re giving it your very best
For sheer exhilaration it can’t be outdone.
Last minute means panic, and stresses, and fun

So you laugh to yourself as you finish the task
The labors are done, in the glory you’ll bask
At beating the deadline by seconds, you’re number one
Last minute means panic, and stresses, and fun

©2010-Art Belliveau

03 February 2010

senryu 02/03/10

quiet afternoon
lightning strikes from a clear sky
i am thunderstruck

©2010-Art Belliveau

02 February 2010


the words go whizzing past
mine at you
yours at me
flung like spears
pointed and barbed
preconceptions reign
new points of view evaded
we dig in
entrenched in our own ideas
our own righteousness
never allowing for the word weapons
to be deployed
in more peaceful ways
for the facts
would only be in the way

©2010-Art Belliveau

01 February 2010

haiku 02/01/10

cold rain drizzles down
stars blotted out by grey clouds
how long till morning?

©2010-Art Belliveau

senryu 01/31/10

time is too fickle
it can never seem to choose
too fast or too slow

©2010-Art Belliveau

31 January 2010

verbal isometrics

verbal isometrics
often that is all
all it feels like
as i sit here
night after night
day after day
pressing words together
pulling ideas apart
my self
straining against
my self
in the end though
perhaps it doesn’t matter
matter if there is an audience
as isometrics tone the body
poetry is helping
to tone my mind

©2010-Art Belliveau

30 January 2010

quinzaine 1/29/10


The wolf moon’s hidden by clouds.
Are they envious
of its light?

©2010-Art Belliveau

sedoka 1/28/10


the storm winds shriek by
the house begins to quiver
assaulted by the deluge

children sleep soundly
curled up beneath their blankets
a long winter night drags on

©2010-Art Belliveau

27 January 2010

scylla and charybdis

both monsters
reside in me
both attempt
to exercise control
so i must rigidly adhere
to my course
must tie up my passions
more tightly than odysseus
as he passed the sirens
for if i give in
to the hunger of
many headed scylla
it will only lead
down the black
and swirling maw
of dread charybdis
from which there is
never a return

©2010-Art Belliveau

26 January 2010

haiku 01/26/10

icy night winds blow
clouds scud across the dark sky
loneliness defined

©2010-Art Belliveau