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Leigh Jacobson Nov 2018
If only parents behaved the way they expect their children to act.
This has frustrated me all my life. I still see it happening. Parents yelling at their kids when frustrated... for the child who yells out when frustrated. ....and it still does today.
Girls in the hallway.  
A tidal wave of giggles that trill with childhood but resonate with the ringing peal of burgeoning womanhood.

Girls in the classroom.
Sharp minds and tongues, bright and rolling eyes, one minute here and the next minute gone, up in the stratosphere, out of reach.

Girls in sweaters.
And boots and buttons and Korean boy band pins, curly haired and almost no hair at all, half of them peacock strutting and half of them mouse scurrying, settling into new bodies and walks and styles.

Girls up close.
Three inches in front of my face with each daily crisis and revelation and victory, motor mouthing and fidgeting, coming in for awkward limbed hugs until I'm in their hair and their breath and their laughs and their lives.

Girls standing up.
In front of the class with nervous laughter, in front of their generation with the weight of centuries of mistakes on their undeserving shoulders, in front of a trail that they will blaze without mercy and without apology.
The words ‘Do not get into a power struggle with Student X’
Are typed into the thick accommodations folder I had to initial for.  
And even though it doesn’t say it, I know I’m supposed to assume the
‘whatever you do’.  
But how do I listen to the folder, X,
When you are standing opposite me in the classroom
And we are like two pillars above a churning sea, facing each other.

And you’ve drawn a beard on your face.

I’m trapped in a moment of collision with you,
A place in time reached by two very different paths.
Funny isn’t it my dear, that my charmed little  
English girl storybook life  
Would bring me face to face with the reality of the other

Which is you.

How can I reach across this space and enter your world?  
How can I dive into those hard eyes that have seen more than mine
Even though I’m twenty five and you’re thirteen?
How to use my childhood and forty five minutes a day to reconcile you,
the laugh that’s too loud,  
The challenge in your voice,
The strut that is almost


How can you reach across this space and enter my world?
What foreign missionary am I to you,
Spewing sweet but senseless nothings  
Of prose and simile and meter?  
What well intentioned creature am I to you
Who gropes blindly to find the places where I might finally

Reach you.

Dear Student X
With the beard on your face in the middle of class,
Upright, defiant, contradictory, delinquent,
We can only try.
When I near the waterfall
Overlooking the big lake
I always find you
Draped in very light blue silk
Riding a white swan
Talking to the birds
And adored by me
I know you
As the source of my joy and peace
That no one cavils

Although you seldom speak to me
Your voice fills my ears
With gentle melodious words
Asking me to be patient
To retrace my steps
Occupy my allotted space
And simply wait
For the intended start
You know
I have many goals to accomplish
Before I become truly learned
And able to impart my knowledge
To others who will follow me

O Saraswati! Give me strength
And understanding to succeed.
Daniel H Shulman Oct 2018
For you, my love, my one sweetheart,
I’ll be a student of the heart.

When we confront some grave ordeal,
I’ll find the ways a heart can heal.

Your love inspired my lesson plan,
Seeking to be a better man.

When I chose you I made this vow:
To love in ways you show me how.

When you draw back and I’m the cause,
I try to find and fix my flaws.

Because of you I yearn to see,
The secrets of what love should be.

Lest loving you be all for naught,
I’m learning everything you taught.
Instagram @insightshurt
Blogging at
Buy "Insights Hurt: Bringing Healing Thoughts To Life" at
Lawrence Hall Sep 2018

Few of us seek for any of those keys
Of which graduation orators speak
Nor would most bother with the battery
In that old lamp of which they’ve never heard

They do not push against a golden door
They expect all doors to be opened for them
They read no books, they do not read, they feel
They only feel, they do not write, they stare

So emptily away, then back again
An empty stare into, within the self
The empty chatter of the ceaseless self
Each self in pain from arrogant self-pity

Each centers himself in a universe
His universe of the eternal now
His universe of the eternal me
And thinks not of beyond himself at all

But, still –


There are those few who seek for eternal Truth
Not for some shabby metaphorical keys;
They light the lamp, they lift the lamp, and look
Not at themselves but at the light, the Light

They shyly, slowly open the wardrobe door
They peek inside, they look, they see, they see
A world beyond their own; they step into
And through, and so they are given themselves

They seek for something else, and find themselves
A world of words and music and magic and light
And the Light is not them but upon them
The Light is the center, and gives them light

They give away themselves and so gain crowns
Unasked and so more happily received
They read and write and sing the happiness
Unasked and thus given, among the stars


Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Miss Ana Aug 2018
I was going to **** myself today, but my boyfriend called and he wanted to talk till we fell asleep

I was going to **** myself the next day, but I told my mom I'd come visit and I did

Then the next day came and I was going to **** myself but I went to church and they told me it was a sin

That Monday came around and I was going to **** myself, but the boy I nanny said "tie my shoes ana" and we made a plan to teach him how to tie his own shoes

I was going to **** myself after he learned to tie his shoes, but then he needed help with reading, and then maths

I was going to **** myself today, but I just realized the excuses I make are the reasons I don't.
if you are struggling with excuses or reasons please call 1-800-273-8255
Steven Bowman Aug 2018
Remembering when you were young,
When mommy and daddy taught you.
They’d teach you from rights to wrong,
Just how they taught us keeping truth.

Don’t ever lie and steal, they’d teach us,
They’d keep us from unbelievable things.
You’re loved by your parents, that’s trust,
I hope that they will do the remembering.

What our parents taught us, never do bad,
Always do the good in life, you will get far?
Just don’t react on the worse, just be glad,
You’ll need them and they’ll need you more.

What our parents have taught, may be good,
It may be all bad, neither overthink all worst.
When I knew myself, all needs are a should,
I need this to be glad, even if it’ll all just hurts.
tabitha Jul 2018
always take your shoes off before you cross a threshold
         if you do this, the monsters under your bed will be
            no more.
              you've been carrying your dirt around with you
                leave it at the door
                  or else all the tiny microbes that live in the gutters
                    and trash-smudged curbs will fall off
                       like snowflakes down to the floor

wear your face mask
wash your face
don't eat too much sugar

hold yourself center                        
        losing your balance has dramatic repercussions
           your mother and her motorbike depend on it
             getting around depends on it

be grateful for the sun and getting to be outside
       buildings do not satiate the wild within
         when the sun kisses your face, feel loved

don't drink the tap
try to keep your bones intact
keep your eyes open

find the fancy expat-owned markets
      dig through their trash late at night
        they are wasteful
          their trash could be your treasure

speak and laugh as loudly as you want
      set the bar high, so that growing up doesn't make you silent
        the world should know that you are here
          you're so beautiful

wash your dishes
sweep your floors
always lock the door             

don't forget that there is more splendor outside these cityscapes
      don't forget that there is suffering all around this place

translate earnestly and graciously for your elders
       for some ****** reason my native tongue is the lingua franca
         and your parents hired me to help you bridge the gap
           i am here because you are the future
             and not because of anything you did
               so be polite about it
                 and don't forget where you started
i am an english teacher in hanoi, vietnam. i teach children. not only is teaching an enriching and fascinating experience, but teaching (and subsequently learning about) the children of another culture is.... doubly interesting. they're darling and sweet and bright. anyways, i fell into teaching this one class halfway through their term. it's a science class, and i am not a science teacher. so it's been humorous, to say the least. the last lesson in the course is "survival skills", and i'm supposed to teach them how to pitch a tent, and forage for food. but this is hanoi, a massive city. there is no way to forage for food unless you're digging through the trash or stealing from a farm, and no recreational camping grounds. when are these city kids ever gonna use that? a lot of these kids never even leave. i'm not doubting its useful to know, it's just ironic. and it got me thinking. so, since i'm a procrastinator, i wrote this poem instead of working on the actual lesson plan. a list of survival tips i think to be more useful and fitting for their situation. i'm gonna go do the actual lesson plan now.
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