Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vacation Poem and Reflections

"Granana, do you think we will ever take that vacation again?"

I was tucking 9 year-old Thomas into bed at home after our road trip that had taken him, his two brothers Ben (14) and Danny (10), me and Michael to Williamsburg, 

zip lining in Fayetteville, NC, a tour of the Special Ops museum there, a sterling visit with Aunt Lisa and Uncle Dean Lofthouse, miniature golfing, one day in the Magic Kingdom, 

to the Atlantic for a swim with Lee Ann and Collin Spillane and back home to DC, all in a week.  A whirlwind by any definition.

"No, Thomas. Sweetie, the world doesn't work that way. Even if we went to all the same places next year, it wouldn't be the same.  All we can do is remember it for all that it was and all the fun we had."


takes me places,
I can't ever say
I've never been

And when a place is
different, I am
different too.
I can look outside
and in
and still enjoy
the view.

Home is
only one place
I am surrounded by the same,
expected to wear certain brands
and always act my name.

takes me places,
I shop for the unknown.
Try on something new.
Pocket the change,
and bring it home.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Cause and Effect Poem: Cooperation

Lurking on #IRAChat about cause and effect, I thought of this poem.

Cause and effect brings its consequences from world politics (you kill my people, I hate you and do my best to kill your people), to Main Street (you cheat me, I don't return to your store) right home to the kitchen (slice that bagel wrong and it's stitches for you!)  But no place is cause and effect more personal than in terms of friendship.

A little poem animation to share in classrooms, for discussion, as a writing prompt, or just because.

BTW, my book Wham! It's a Poetry Jam is soon to be released in a Kindle version by Boyds Mills Press.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Creative Grades

Creative Grades

Creative does,
‘though not what’s told,
a student
who is not enrolled
in graduated, chaptered classes,
where mindful competition passes
for excellence.

His recompense
is not achieved
by others brandishing respect.
grades its own neglect.

©1998 Sara Holbrook, Walking on the Boundaries of Change,
Boyds Mills Press


Maybe because summer turned up late, or maybe because I've been getting up lazily late, or maybe because I got caught waiting for a train in 1984, but I was lagging in posting the featured poem on my website this month.  What is right for the pivot point that is July? Summer half spent, days getting shorter.  

And then a quote came across my twitter feed (no attribution) "Comparison is the thief of joy." 

Comparison is the stuff of poetry, I thought. Metaphor and the cranky desire to see things change drive the artist. This is larger than that.  Can I improve on this?  Who am I compared to that flagpole? That fire hydrant?

I get the twitter poster's point. @JasonRoberC was (rightly) pointing out that we can shortchange ourselves through comparisons to others.

But as creative types, we use comparisons all the time to motivate us, to help us understand our place in the universe.  We are chronic malcontents. Comparing what is to what could be is the well from which we draw our inspiration.

So maybe it isn't comparison that steals our joy, but the judgments that tag along behind like snapping paparazzi. One may be bigger than another, darker, blonder, slower to the task, but is taller/darker/lighter/faster necessarily better?  I think that's where we get hung up.

July is the time to think about these things.  The time to let the mind wander, to do what's not been told. The evenings are still long, after all. Winter is (comparatively speaking) different.