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