Thursday, March 14, 2019

lessons of life



Teach me tough love
Staking my stand, numbed with fear
Grow my hands thick, boxing gloves
When I'm speared by slights and jeers

Staking my stand, numbed with fear
Flint my spirit with fire
When I'm speared by slights and jeers 
Rocket my voice, clanging up to spire

Flint my spirit with fire
Through cloudy days & starless nights
Rocket my voice, clanging up to spire
Sky is my cathedral, pewtered in light

Through cloudy days & starless nights
Grow my hands thick, boxing gloves
Sky is my cathedral, pewtered in light
Teach me tough love




Posted for dVerse Poets -Thanks to Victoria Slotto for giving us some pointers in writing poetry forms.    This post is linked to Poetry Form:  Pantoum.  Any constructive feedback is appreciated.   The backgrounder for this poem is learning about a nephew who is being bullied in high school and is undergoing some self esteem issues.   The parents are also undergoing some tough times in supporting and helping him handle the situations. 

Thanks for the visit.

10 comments:

  1. You had me at /sky is my cathedral, pewtered in light/. A strong pantoum, with a vital message. When it comes to bullying, most of us could join a #metoo movement.

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  2. This sounds like a beautiful prayer to me. There is a growing body of work on the dynamics of bullying, but much study needs to be done yet. The kids who are distinct from the crowd, including often being of sensitive nature, puts a big sign on them. Middle school is the worst for it, but with social media as an added vehicle for it, it has gone rampant at all ages. Helping him shine in his interest areas can build self-esteem and possible grow a social circle. Holding administrators accountable for enforcing anti-bullying policies already on the books can help, as it lets them know you've documented the contact with them so if something happens they can be liable in civil and possibly federal court (not sure how it works in Canada...).

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  3. What a perfect poem for the situation (appalling) that you nephew is facing. For me, this form really fits because of the power of the message "Teach me tough love." It made me notice the circular
    aspect of the form.

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  4. I do love the thought of love as a struggle... the metaphor of boxing gloves is such a contrast to a normal sappy love poem.

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  5. It is hard to be tough - especially if it means offending another. I am reminded of divorce to my former husband, who was brutal to me. A friend bought me boxing gloves as a metaphor to remind me to fight for myself.

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  6. your pantoum is wonderful Grace, i feel the strength and encouragement for a tough situation, the standing firm and defending ourselves - no one can do it for us, this was excellent to give support to a young person, i love your rhymes, you chose the words with precision

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  7. Sure can be tough, but each has to find their own way.

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  8. Hi Grace.
    I prefer poems that stand alone without an explanatory note, but that said, I like the way you made the repeating lines work in each stanza.

    For me, the line, "Grow my hands thick, boxing gloves" broke my reading and mind flow. I thought of something like this:
    My hands grow into boxing gloves.
    I think some poets think that weird gammer doth a poem make.

    Making "flint" into a verb made me stumble.
    But it is interesting form of:
    Flint strikes, firing my spirit.

    Hope the nondirective feedback is interesting, even if not helpful, as I am not a poet.

    Interesting story.

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  9. This is such a difficult situation in terms of what to do. My brother was beaten up by a kid in junior high and taught himself to fight back physically--but back then kids didn't have knives and guns and parents running interference. Is it really better to fight fire with fire? Of course it's better to raise humans that don't bully, but with the examples running the world now, how do we do that?
    I really like the idea of the sky as cathedral.

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  10. this is a prayer packed with powerful lines. the repetition worked so well!

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