27 April 2014

haiku (4/27)

coming thunderstorms
darken the skies above me
my heart darkens, too

©2014-Art Belliveau

senryu (4/26)

using a chainsaw
is ever so relaxing
seeing progress made

©2014-Art Belliveau

End of the Year (4/25)

with less than a month of school to go
it's hard to tell who's more restless
(the students -- the teachers)
as another year winds down

it's hard to tell who's more restless
everyone's tempers are getting shorter
as another year winds down
as we wait for that last day

everyone's tempers are getting shorter
the stresses are starting to show
as we wait that last day
it cannot get here soon enough

the stresses are starting to show
soon though the summer will begin and
it cannot get here soon enough
all of us count down the days

soon though the summer will begin and
(the students -- the teachers)
all of us count down the days
with less than a month of school to go

©2014-Art Belliveau

25 April 2014

two senryu (4/24)

i sit with these kids
their disrespect is galling
they're oblivious

juggling paper
instead of doing his work
he just has no clue

©2014-Art Belliveau

haiku (4/23)

outside the wind howls
is it angry or fearful?
i'll stay here inside

©2014-Art Belliveau

24 April 2014

Finally--A Sonnet (4/22)

I have tried before to write a sonnet,
Though I never have had any real luck.
I can't get the iambic pentameter to work on it,
And I usually find myself stuck.

There are so many rules to follow.
How to rhyme it--how to organize
My sonnets always come out feeling hollow.
No matter how long I spend writing them, I agonize.

But I won't let this form defeat me.
I'll use my poetic license to modify.
The meter of the lines will be
Free to break the bonds that seek to codify.

Finally a sonnet written.
Finally chewed up the chunk into which I've bitten.

©2014-Art Belliveau

seven (4/21)

in the ancient world were seven wonders
more than one culture saw the magic
--the virtue of purity-- in that sum
seven days and nights make a week
seven ranging colors create a perfect rainbow
across seven seas and over seven hills
seven simply has a deep mystic flavor

©2014-Art Belliveau

family easter (4/20)

potatoes boiling in the pot
i get the rest of the ingredients together
mayo (though I won't use a lot)
ground mustard
salt and pepper
garlic powder
instead of an onion this year
i dice up two shallots
and not seeing the bacon
(which was hiding in plain sight
on the fridge's top shelf)
i diced and fried some
Canadian bacon instead
potatoes now ready
not to hard not too soft
i quarter them and then
mix everything together

although he's been gone
i can't believe it's been twenty years
although he never met
my current family
he is present this Easter
as he is always present
every time i make
one of his recipes

©2014-Art Belliveau

senryu (4/19)

writing a haiku
even when it's from the heart
often's really hard

©2014-Art Belliveau

the question (4/18)

the other day
in my second period class
i was on fire!

i had those kids right there
in the palm of my hand

i was making grammar
relevant to them
it was a sight to behold

in the front row she sat
eyes shining
head nodding along
rapt attention personified

i gave the assignment
and asked if there were any questions

up went her hand
shooting toward the ceiling
like a rocket
and I was ready for it
ready to go deeper
to be more nuanced

I gave her the nod

then she asked it
"what are we supposed to be doing?"

©2014-Art Belliveau

17 April 2014

Not Authorized

Inside my mind, is an everchanging view.
I’d like to give a guided tour, but
You’re not authorized to be in here, are you?

Of course, if you were, I’d say, “Pull up a pew.”
To watch the imaginings stride and strut;
Inside my mind, is an everchanging view.

Kaleidoscopic colors swirl in every blessed hue.
Yet outside my mental fortress you are shut--
You’re not authorized to be in here, are you?

Hippopotami and radishes do a pirouette or two.
With many a slow dissolve and quick jump cut,
Inside my mind, is an everchanging view.

You may want to come and tighten some loose screw,
Tame the wild bullride of my thoughts, but
You’re not authorized to be in here, are you?

So, I think, I will remain just pleasantly askew.
Since the grave progresses from the rut,
Inside my mind, is an everchanging view.
You’re not authorized to be in here, are you?

©2014-Art Belliveau

16 April 2014

too soon the dawn

in her bedroom
my daughter sleeps
with a schnauzer by her bed
and possibly a dachshund
under the covers with her
she is curled up
fetal position
head drooping over the side of the bed
her feet pressing against the wall
on her iPod
dorothy and her friends
are having adventures
or maybe tonight
it is doctor dolittle
her angel nightlight
watching over her
and lighting her way
to midnight bathroom calls
in a few hours
it will be time for school
and this gentle, beautiful girl
whose laughter can lift
my weary spirits
will give her best impression of
a zombie being called
from that final rest

©2014-Art Belliveau

15 April 2014

free verse

before i hear it
thunder rattles my headboard
builds like a
wave in the ocean
making glass tinkle
i am awakened from
the light doze
i'd drifted into
while surfing the web
(instead of writing the poem)--
my supposed reason
for being up
when sweet reason
hollers at me
to go to sleep

©2014-Art Belliveau

14 April 2014


sitting here
well after midnight
needing sleep
fighting it
when there is no reason to
but i can't give up

©2014-Art Belliveau


after seven years
writing poems here, on and off
i've reached one thousand

©2014-Art Belliveau

13 April 2014

short sighted

when you look at me
what do you see?
someone sitting
doing nothing more than
wasting time with
of all things

you only see the outside
you cannot see
what is going on
inside my head
my heart
my soul

iinside i am no longer
sitting on a chair
holding a book in my hand
i am transported
moved through time and space
living adventures
and meeting new people
learning and laughing
and even loving
experiencing soaring highs as
i succeed
and crushing defeats as
i am beaten--but not broken

there is much more going on
than you can ever see
when all you ever look at
is the outside of a reader
the outside of
a book

©2014-Art Belliveau

12 April 2014

sweet spot

somewhere between
past and future
purity and evil
apathy and heartache
inadequate and arrogant
innocence and experience
is the sweet spot of life
i want to live there
show me how

©2014-Art Belliveau

10 April 2014


the quizzes are graded
the lesson plans done
the lunches are made
for the day yet to come

there's a book by my bedside
that begs to be read
well, maybe tomorrow
i need sleep instead

©2014-Art Belliveau

09 April 2014

sitting by the river today

sitting by the river today

listening to the swollen water
rush over rocks
as the sun lowers over alabama
i have a conteneted smile
that i couldn’t remove
even if i wanted to
(and why would i want to?)
listening to you
as you laugh
and talk
and sing
i don’t want to
--i don’t need to--
it is almost too much joy
seeing the bond between you
and deepen
and ripen
as you share memories
and make plans
each knowing
i am here
knowing you know
is more than enough

©2014-Art Belliveau

08 April 2014


smell of new-mown grass
crickets chirp in the background
i'm holding you tight

©2014-Art Belliveau

07 April 2014


In this month's Writer's Digest, I read about a Japanese poem called a somonka. I talked with Heather about it, and we decided to give it a try. Here's our jointly written seventh poem for NaPoWriMo. I took the first verse and Heather took the second verse.

your arms around me
as we curl up together
are so filled with love
when your hands caress my chest
it radiates out, like heat

laid upon your heart
your arms become the portal
for the magic place
beat for beat each radiant
remembered dreams from before

©2014-Art Belliveau and Heather Anderson

06 April 2014


the rain drips
from the dogwood tree
dripping flowers

©2014-Art Belliveau


dead limb
on a live oak
cracks and falls

©2014-Art Belliveau

04 April 2014

ceiling fan

some days
after saying the same thing
over and over
class after class
student by student
i feel less like a teacher
and more like a ceiling fan
going around and around
getting nowhere
doing nothing
but moving air around

©2014-Art Belliveau

03 April 2014

the juggler

he starts off slowly
three balls in the air
it’s a bit rough at first
before long
he’s juggling them with
skill and dexterity
he adds a fourth and fifth ball
a sixth and a seventh
then he decides
to change things up
he gets rid of one ball
trading it
for a knife
then repeats the process
until all the balls
have been replaced
juggling nothing but knives
he lifts up one foot
balancing on the other
he culminates the show
lifting the other foot
and floating in the air
knives twirling in graceful patterns
as the crowd
wanders away
one kid throws
the clich├ęd tomato
which the juggler
deftly adds to the pattern
playing to their backs
as they go
talking about how they
could really have done it
so much better

©2014-Art Belliveau

02 April 2014

dogwood tree

there’s a dogwood tree
outside my front window
as spring
has sprung in late March Alabama
i have waited for it to transform
for it to change from death to riotous life
i have seen other dogwoods
and red buds
and wysteria
and japanese plum trees
all in flower
the purples and whites
almost seeming to glow
from within
yet MY tree
just sat there
weeks after all the rest have blossomed
slowly the buds were forming
and slowly they unfurled
and are
just now
starting to show their
this does not make them
any less beautiful
i do not judge the tree
for taking so long
i know
it blooms when it is ready to
it blossoms
only in
its own good time

©2014-Art Belliveau

01 April 2014


sitting in my living room

 as the days of my vacation
 whiz past like speeding cars

 the serenity I feel on my couch
 staring at the woman I love
 transports my soul to higher realms

 ©2014-Art Belliveau