So Where are the Poems?

poetry-clipart-poetry_clipart  Okay, Laura, where are the poems?

Oh, yes. Not here.  While I mostly write poetry, I don’t share it much since I am trying to publish poetry.

I write a mostly non popular genre of poetry, dramatic monologues and narrative poetry.  It’s the story teller in me!  I do branch out to nature poetry as well.

I’ll be posting some, however, that has been soundly REJECTED by the very best sites–some so in need of work that it won’t read the same once I am done with the revisions~!

I will also post links to some of my favorite sites.  Right now, I don’t think any site publishes better modern poetry than Rattle.

And I’ve been rejected there for years, as have many of my poet friends and colleagues.  Rattle is also a great site for beginners as well as major prize winners.  They publish at least eight books a year, which is amazing, they pay their poets, and have numerous ways to be included in their site, which is outstanding.  Their Facebook website Rattle Facebook page provides opportunities to not only read great poetry, but to try out publishing.

More to follow~!

Teach to Kill? On Arming Teachers…

insprie teacher change  Before I begin, I acknowledge there are caring teachers who need to protect themselves from harm while teaching; I myself was hurt more than once, threatened more than once, and was assaulted once.  I was lucky and wasn’t hurt badly at all, but I recognize there are many teachers who risk their own safety every day.  I also recognize there are teachers who could successfully handle being armed in the classroom.  Not me, however. 

And now…

This topic is so important to me, I’ve written two poems about the concept of making our American schools safer by arming teachers.  One has been published in

A more recent poem is out for consideration right now.

I cannot stop thinking about this–so much could go wrong. I’ve stopped my list at two dozen things that can go wrong with arming teachers!  While I do believe in some very rare circumstances perhaps a teacher could save a life or two, I believe this would be so rare that arming teachers would only make teachers, schools, and students possibly less SAFE.

I have also made a list of the many things my colleagues and I have done to try and make students safer; the list is very long.

Please don’t ask, expect, or rely on teachers to shoot dead.  Teach to kill?  I’m not sure I want to teach with someone able to make split second life and death decisions; I know I would not be able to do so!  I ponder everything, even simple things.

It would change the very nature of teaching and the teacher/ student relationship, which is founded on trust and respect.

When I taught in an urban area, I only half jokingly told my students I would take a bullet for them. I know I always kept my door locked, checked up on students I was worried about, tried to get them the professional services they needed, reported anything that looked dangerous at school, and more.  I do not even want to write down some of the things I did when I was terribly worried about kids–I look back now and wonder what I was thinking.

I wasn’t thinking. I was hoping if I stayed at school long enough, nothing bad could happen to these great kids.  That was magical thinking, as if I, who left each day and headed to my mostly safe suburban patio grading papers could someone change the reality of where they lived.

And they get to you, kids.  They get into your heart in a way I was not prepared for. Losing one?  The thought was terrifying.

So perhaps I would have taken a bullet, but fire one? I don’t know.  I’m such a nervous person no one should want me with a gun.  Hubby has said my most formidable weapon was my relentless caring and fast talking.  Me with a car is dangerous.

Please don’t put this on teachers who tend to enter the field to help others or to pursue and promote their discipline.  We are not trained law enforcement agents nor should we be asked if we have a FOID CARD.  Would that then be an unspoken new plus, being armed?

This HSP (me) could not live with myself if I shot and missed and killed an innocent person. Or if I left a class to pursue an active shooter and my kids got hurt.  Or if I did manage to kill a violent shooter? I would spend the rest of my life pondering the morality of this.  I know I would not pass the psychological evaluation to be a police officer!  I am a pro at teaching and mentoring, and I imagine I am not alone.

Please don’t put this on us!  To quote my own poem, please let us inspire students with other than guns.

We have an arsenal of skills to protect and inspire–please not with guns.

First Lines/ Where do they come from? Where do they go?

First lines–I think of first lines a lot as the day goes on.  Sometimes I imagine an opening scene from fiction.  Often times it’s a first line of a poem.  Something will grab me, a sight, a sound, a smell, a memory.  And then the storytelling starts in my mind.

I grew up with parents who were quite the storytellers.  I didn’t know until I was a teenager than many kids could ask a simple question and get a simple answer; I always got a story, and usually a long, convoluted, probably only partly true story.

All three of my siblings are storytellers.  My students say I tell a LOT of stories.

I love stories.

But it all starts with a few words, a phrase, a line or two.

And these are going through my head, a sort of off fairy tale tale of some sort or a poem?

And the child asked, “It cannot get any worse, can it?” And the big one answered, “Oh, yes, yes it can. It can get colder.”

Who knows where the lines will go.  Often they go nowhere, but they do become  a part of me.  These lines have been popping up for days now, so I think that child and that big one have a story to tell.