Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem- Muffin Pantoum December 10, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:25 am
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Here’s another pantoum poem, written as a demo with a class on Poetry Friday.  This was last block of the day, and one of the students wanted to go get a muffin…  Another laugh filled class as we created this poem together!

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Muffin Pantoum (C block)

Josie and Ally want a muffin;

They can’t work on empty stomachs.

Without food, they won’t do nothin’.

How about crackers and hummus?

 

They can’t work on empty stomachs

How can we ask them to?

How about crackers and hummus?

As we watched, their hunger grew.

 

How can we ask them to?

A muffin’s not too much to ask!

As we watched, their hunger grew.

They couldn’t do their tasks.

 

A muffin’s not too much to ask!

A morsel would be fine!

They couldn’t do their tasks

Oh, please! Please, let them dine!

 

A morsel would be fine!

They only need a bit of food;

Oh, please! Please, let them dine!

Josie gives us attitude.

 

They only need a bit of food

Without food, they won’t do nothing

Josie gives us attitude:

Josie and Ally want a muffin!

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(This is quite literal. When we were done, they went off and got ONE muffin that they shared).  🙂

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Poem-Egger Pantoum December 9, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:10 pm
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In our school, the chef’s training kids make ‘eggers’ in the morning.  These are buns with fried egg, cheese, and a sausage patty.  They are a popular fast-food breakfast fare, but I hate them.  Fried eggs are nauseating to me, runny yolks make me want to vomit, the smell makes me nauseous.  So, to avoid calamity, I do not allow them in my class room. Kids have to eat them outside the room. There are huge windows between room and hall, so the class can watch the egger eater outside, like a sad puppy at the glass, waiting to come in.  

Today we learned about pantoum poems, and before they wrote their own, I guided a class written one.  This was what A block English 11 came up with, as one student was barred and then didn’t realise the door was unlocked, so he could just walk back in when he was done eating his egger.  There was lots of laughter, as we wrote it!  🙂  I love Poetry Fridays!

Egger Pantoum (A block’s)

I wanted into English class.

I wasn’t allowed in.

They laughed at me, en masse.

Eating eggers is a sin

 

I wasn’t allowed in;

I walked away.

Eating eggers is a sin.

What a great start to the day.

 

I walked away.

I wandered through the halls.

What a great start to the day,

Trapped within these walls.

 

I wandered through the halls.

I’m chewing very slowly

Trapped within these walls

Eating eggers, I’m unholy

 

I’m chewing very slowly;

Tears are streaming down my cheeks.

Eating eggers, I’m unholy,

The door won’t open for a week.

 

Tears are streaming down my cheeks.

They laughed at me, en masse!

The door won’t open for a week.

I wanted into English class!

 

poem-choose honey, hon March 9, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:23 pm
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You think

if you swell your chest

and shout with a voice that covers others’

if you argue

every word from the teacher’s mouth

that somehow you can win.

Oh, but hon,

who really has the power?

Consequences grow with your defiance

and you’re the one who loses.

The class laughs,

but it’s at you, not with you.

Biliousness and lies do not lead to success.

Trust me,

honey catches the flies

of achievement and respect.

 

 

poem-new day again November 20, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:19 pm
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Every day you approach the computer

“What are we doing again?”  I show you where to see the assignment.  I review the expectations, the objectives, the criteria.

“Oh!  Okay!  I get it!” you say, and set to work.

The next day, we do it again.

Today you stare at me with blank, hollow eyes.

“I don’t get it,” you say.

Everyone else is busily working.  You’ve been absent.  When you come, you have to study for a test in another subject.  Or see the counselor.  Or help your friend.  In fourteen hours of research time, you’ve been here for eight.  Do you have anything to show for the time?  Others have the list of the websites they consulted, pages of notes, excitement over how they’ll turn research into a presentation next week.

You have confusion.

The same confusion from the first day. Repeated again.  Some days we can help you.  Some days you are confident and productive.

But nothing stays in your memory more than an hour.

Other days you are sullen and oppositional, because you’re sure  you’ve never seen this before, and you’re angry about it.

“This is stupid.”

What more can I do? I ask.  They tell me your parents refuse to have you tested.  They don’t want you to have a label, so we don’t know if this is a cognitive impairment, learning disability, or the results of drug use or a sports injury.  A label comes with funding to give you the additional support you plainly need.  Keep repeating expectations.  Keep explaining the criteria.  I agree.  This is stupid.

The course is almost over and you return each day to week one,  living a personal Groundhog Day loop,

and no one knows how to pull you out.

 

poem- class November 19, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:38 am
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Keyboard clatter

Voices, laughter

Students research

secrets of the universe.

 

 

poem-rapid write May 21, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:50 pm
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Your pens are scratching

Timer ticking

Ten minutes of writing

frantic

fervent

instant effort

fired up

The buzzer sounds

and you have created

something that did not exist

ten minutes before.

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In my classes students do daily timed writes to get the brains used to engaging quickly and just writing loosely.  I give them prompts to use or not: lines from songs, Rory Story Cubes, a photo. It’s amazing to see how they develop writing muscles.  I check these as complete, but don’t grade them.  They’re about process because you learn to write by writing. 🙂  

 

school over haikus June 28, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:20 pm
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Heart tight bound again
with futile cords. Door echoes.
Yearly denouement
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A plant can not thrive
uprooted every few months.
I am still root-less
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How can teachers bloom?
Hopeful blossoms fight
‘gainst futility.

 

 
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