For Us, Summer 2015: LEAPing Towards What's Possible
My Annual End of the Invitational Summer Institute Reflective Poem, an Acrostic
U s. I am me
b ecause of us, this cohort of
u niversal knowledge built from trust and
n estled amongst cattails. We are artists who
t each and trust new generations to leap and thrust,
u nder the sun and moon. We
M ake magic when we find our song
a nd learn to hum a tune whether right or wrong,
t eaching one another to remain strong,
t o nurture a music from living, to belong,
e ach of us better in a sing-a-long, and
r eflecting on practice and purpose where our
s olos create a cacophony of existence.
F irst, we need a model, a way to yodel
r eal loud about what a composer does,
a nd then we need another…a sister or brother… to
n estle next to the first where, as a teacher, we can burst our
n eophyte scribbler, make them ‘what if’ dibblers, who use
i magination as an explanation of their contemplation in an
e xhhibition and exploration of what has yet to be said.
B oston. Where’s the best place to kill someone in Bean Town?
i mean, after you find your heart at a restart with
t he man you’ll one day marry? Ghosts? An Apparition?
t he tooth fairy? And from there, how do we
m ove forward with dialogue to pace the crime at hand?
a h, the answers simple, really. Teach Story. Take a stand.
n arrate from memory. Dig your toes into the sand. And write.
a dvancing ahead, reflecting, eggs-plaining, each of
u s, leaping and waltzing from training to
l ive, laugh, and love.
J umping, ducking, running, bouncing,
u ltimate fighting, pouncing, biting,
r eaching, lapping, diving, driving,
a chieving, advising, coaching, striving,
s eeing whatever move we should make next…because
e ventually we improvise, contemplate, and even surmise, no
k ryptonite can make, surprise, Tyrannosaurus Rex have sex on the job.
M any miles are spent thinking, drinking from
o range and blue memories, sinking, in the
l aps that fly by, blinking, from the
l anes of where we once were – a CNY blur -
y anking us back into yesterday with curious for tomorrow.
Z en Masters would tell us to listen to the ideas of others, to borrow
a nswers that glisten along the proverbial paths…to
r emember a net always appears when willing to take a chance.
o h, this dance,
o h, this dance, the
k aleidoscope prance of endless possibilities:
i deologies, philosophies, epiphanies and symphonies
a ll swirled in simple complexities of complex simplicities,
n estled in the moments we have. We are all characters.
L eadership is action - the willingness to grow an
i nnovative mind, i find. It’s initiation and
s tanding one’s ground. Speaking truth to power,
a cting kind, and getting into one’s grind to fight for what is right.
K ing says, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent.”
i nstead, we should find the voice to speak about what matters to us,
v ocalize answers important to us, and articulate solutions
e ntrancing to us through the power of communication and art. A
l eader demonstrates the possible, takes on controversial, is seldom
l ackadaisical; instead she’s impeccable and improvisational
i n the linguistical and indistinguishable way she leads with words.
D issolve to: A classroom. 10 educators. Beach Pails.
o.c. / o.s. (panning of I-95 traffic, the Merritt, off camera,
n oise of school bells, horns honking, the chatter of children
n ear their lockers, a teacher hugging them good-bye)
a erial shot. scenes of southern Connecticut. The sound.
S hot. One image. A woman with a pen in her hand
e ntering with notebook. Tattooed & wearing a NYCFC Jersey. She
r eaches table and begins a personal narrative: This Was Yesterday.
p an. Words divorced on page: pictures of sons, a poetic verse.
a ction. Bite her bottom lip. V.O.: From a small seed, a mighty trunk may grow.
R eally scary, isn’t it? When
y ou wake up every morning,
a dding some caffeine & start exploring the
n ewness that comes with the unknown. Boo!
P oltergeists. Monsters. Ghosts. Ghouls. You.
i deologies, apologies, theories….all of us fools
r ichocheting thoughts from wisdom’s greatest tools, following
r ules we must trust but are also written in dust.
o ut, out brief candle. Life, but a walking shadow. A story. Our only glory.
R ight now, I’m watching Good Will Hunting. The twins are
e ating (she knows something about food and writing) and I’m thinking
b ryan, you need a recipe, the right words (Chitunga), to capture
e veryone – humans make humans more human – in a few stanzas. But then I think,
c rap. fuck. I want to be a character played by Robin Williams…some
c lown, dull, Crandall…worthy of a story he’d sign his talent to…
a nd there’s that Bill guy & Charlie. Am I a wallflower?
D amn. There’s this poetry and the symmetry of a philosophy where
i can be me because of who we are together (birds of a feather)
m ining experience, books, relationships and memories, a purpose.
y ou accept the love you think you deserve.
a h, Will. If I ask you about love you’ll probably quote me a sonnet.
n o. What Will really needs is to hunt for meaning w/ the rest of us.
M y youth was spent searching, rehearsing for the
a dulthood gig while active with the adolescent jig of never
r eally knowing what I was doing, but proving to the
c haos that was always brewing that I always had control.
S oul. Part of the bro-code, you know? The purpose is to grow.
u nusual. this story. where we age there’s supposed to be glory from
l ove we’ve lived and lives we’ve lost, the games we’ve won, & the
z illion times our expectations were crossed by disappointment.
y ou only got one shot, do not miss your opportunity to blow
c uz this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo! Whoa. The
k yclops, Polyphemus, Odysseus. Feeling like a hero when all
i feel is like I’m forever 15. Boulder. Hill. Same ol’ routine.
A nd there was a day in a library where a story began. he and his
b rother with scars. those wars. I went to the Liberian to check out a book…
u nusual look she gave with curiosity. Are you a big brother or something?
B ooks. Those looks make less sense now that I know more. No,
i am not their manager and they’re not in a boy band, either. I’m just here to
l end a hand with this American thing. What? What do they bring? An
i nteresting thing. They bring absolutely everything.
t hey help me to sing and to cling to what matters most.
y outh. hope. laughter. And history. Love. Shadow. Ghost.
L aughter. In the end, isn’t it humor that we’re after?
o h, here’s one for you. What’s orange and
s ounds like a parrot? Um. Duh. A carrot.
s o, what kind of teacher passes gas? Oh,
i give up. A Toot-er. Knock knock, Who’s there?
n eedle. Needle who? Needle washcloth to wipe up your drool?
e very Captain Stick ‘em needs a sidekick, Splash, you fool.
B ut strawberry air-freshener is never cool.
i got another for you. What did the alien say to the book?
l a la la la la la la. Ready? Take me to your reader. Here’s an
I mportant one. Knock Knock. Whose There?
turnip. Turnip who? Turnip the volume. This is my favorite song and
y ou, me, him will always sing along, forever 15.
J uly does this to us every year. You. Me. Them.
u s. Scribbling in double-sided notebooks. Purpose.
l iving as writers, writing as believers,
i nvesting in teachers, teachers investing, art of inquiry is
e verlasting despite those policies continually sandblasting our
R esponsibility of keeping best interests in mind.
o nward we fight w/ pen, and sculpt, knowing bureaucratic
n onsense will make us erupt, reminding us to interrupt the
e gos of idiots who stand in our way with everything they
s ay (Yep, it’s doubtful they’ll be on NPR anyway)
o h, man. The cicadas. Little legs rubbing again. I have the
n eed for our summers to never end.
B ecause you were there and you were there and
e very year, they disappear, as soon as they arrive.
c aput inter nubilia condo, my head hidden in clouds
a b actu ad posse valet illatio, I infer the future from here.
u buntu. from now on we must keep one another near,
s earching our doubts with strength and not fear because
e verything evolves at exactly the right time.
W e are the warriors of words,
e valuating our place in the forest like a bird
M aking magic while finding his or her song
a nd learning to hum a tune, whether it’s right or wrong,
t eaching one another to fly and to remain strong,
t o nurture such music, and to belong,
e ach of creatures are better in this sing-a-long,
r eflecting on our practice and purpose together.