Poetry Corner

Up the Down Staircase

Down staircase

Down staircase (Photo credit: quinet)

One way says up.
One way says down.
Go where you want to go
When no one’s around.

File these reports,
Attendance and tests.
Please, teachers, always think
Of doing your best.

Take on a class.
Challenge the world.
Share in the dreams
Of each boy and girl.

Up the Down Staircase, not down.
Down the Up Staircase, not up.
Let it be a challenge to you.
Never think that you should give up.

Up the Down Staircase, not down.
Down the Up Staircase, not up.
Shake up the school and enjoy every sound
And Up the Down Staircase, not down!

(Copyright Richard Paschall, music by Michael F. Teolis)

Based on ideas from the play Up the Down Staircase, dramatized by Christopher Sergel, book by Bel Kaufman.  The bestseller was also made into a 1967 movie.

Growing Up

I read so slowly,
Falling behind in everything.
My friends are on the next book;
I’m still on Chapter 2.
They say it is about hate, sex, war,
The downfall of society.
I thought it was about love, childhood,
Playing games.
Maybe they taught something
The day I was absent.

Old friends are no longer close to me.
I thought they were standing still.
Now I meet new people.
Should I move on anyway?

Why do they run when
Walking is much easier?
They are calling for me to catch up.
I can’t turn the pages that fast.

Maybe I’ll buy the “notes.”

 

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April is National Poetry Month

 

Grandma’s Gone Home

I

You flew home.
We drove –
Across long, lonely Sunday highways.
The sky glared down at us
Through hazy eyes.
The air was filled with static
And thoughts of bears and bird dogs.
The road led us past sights
No longer familiar.
Time has no sympathy for trips like these.
Still, we must go home again.

II

You waited peacefully.
We came in our Sunday best.
Friends and relatives gathered
From places you’d been years earlier.
Some held vague remembrances
Of family experiences.
Some wore faces no longer familiar.
Time gives no comfort at occasions like these.
Still, we will come home again.

III

You led the way.
As always, we followed.
Slowly you took us
Across streets wet with morning rain.
The air was heavy
With memories we couldn’t express.
The clouds had gone but
The mist stayed in our eyes.
On a hilltop you joined
Friends and relatives who left years earlier.
Although carved in stone,
Some held names no longer familiar.
Time moves on toward days like these,
When we’ll all go home again.

 

Copyright Richard Paschall

April is National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month

We have come around to National Poetry Month again and I see I have one from long past on the shelf. I am pleased to share it.  Maybe someone will write a blues song with it.

You Were the One

You were the one
with the sparkling eyes
Alive whenever they
looked into mine,
But they no longer shine
like they used to do.
Now the just give me
the blues.

You were the one
who smiled with ease,
Knew when to laugh,
knew how to please,
But you no longer smile
like you used to do.
Now it just gives me
the blues.

I still see the places
we spent so much time.
I still pass the inns
where we wined and we dined.
And all of these things
that remind me of you
Are all of the things
that give me the blues.

You were the one
with the tender touch,
That made me feel good;
that I wanted so much.
You no longer touch me
like you used to do.
It’s loss just gives me
the blues.

You were the one
with the right things to say,
That had soothed my soul
almost every day,
But your voice doesn’t sound
quite the way it used to.
The words no longer
ring true.

I still see the friends
we cherished so much.
I still have the gifts
you gave me with love,
But all of these things
that remind me of you,
Are all of the things
that give me the blues.

Copyright Richard Paschall

See also:
Subtle and Not So Subtle – Poetry, SERENDIPITY

 

You, A Liberation Lyric

Yes, this is my National Poetry Month contribution.

SERENDIPITY

by Rich Paschall

Since it is National Poetry Month, I thought I would share my favorite lyric from the musical Liberation. Recently, we told you the story of Liberation – A Musical That Almost Was and the book’s co-author, Betty. I mentioned that Betty’s favorite song was called “I Believe” and I posted that lyric over on Sunday Night Blog.

My favorite song was the only one not expressly written for the show. It was written in the time period of the original script and only 20 years later did we decide that a secondary character needed a song. He represented the only love interest in the show, but we were concerned about writing a new song in the style of the original show. One day I played a recording for Betty without comment hoping she would say what I wanted to hear, “Ray’s song!” And so it is.

Perhaps…

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Look at Me

Schaduw op het Buurkerkhof
Look at me,
That’s what my life has been saying.
Notice me,
That’s what my whole soul is praying.

Those who see me as I am
Do not understand
What my life is really about.
Those who look upon this face
Think I’ve found my place.
They don’t know me.

Take my hand.
My life is in need of guidance.
Make a stand.
I can no longer hide it.

Those who see me as I am
Do not understand.
They think I’m so very happy.
Those who see this smiling face
Have made a great mistake.
They don’t know me.

Look at me.
I am asking you to notice,
Please love me.
I am asking you to show it.

Those who see me as I am
Do not understand
Why I do the things that I do.
Those who think that I am smart,
That I have a happy heart
Do not know me.

Look at Me.

Notice me.

Look at me.

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Touch Me

Touch me.

Touch Me

Touch Me

Hold out your hand and
Just touch me.
Do understand that
You’re part of my life
And part of my dreams.
The man you see here
Is not what he seems.
Reach out to me.
Show that you care.
Please touch me now
So I know that you’re there.

Be there.
Share in my life and
Just be there.
Stand next to me and
See what I see
And feel what I feel.
The world that I have
Can only be real if you
Give it some life.
Give it some soul.
Be with me now
So you thoughts I can know.

Know me.
Look at me close and
Just know me.
Know that I
Want you with me,
Yet I’m frightened inside
That the love that I have
Will be put aside.
Look in my eyes
For thoughts of a friend.
The message is there
That the voice can not send.

Tell me.
Reach down inside and
Just tell me.
Sing out to me
With the words I desire
And the words that I need.
Acknowledge my world
and set my soul free.
Won’t you be the strength
That I need so much?
Reach out to me,
So our worlds, they can touch.

Touch me.

Photo credit: By Mike DelGaudio (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

National Poetry Month

We have come around to National Poetry Month again and I see I have a few efforts from long past on the shelf. I am pleased to share some with you.

You Were the One

You were the one
with the sparkling eyes
Alive whenever they
looked into mine,
But they no longer shine
like they used to do.
Now the just give me
the blues.

You were the one
who smiled with ease,
Knew when to laugh,
knew how to please,
But you no longer smile
like you used to do.
Now it just gives me
the blues.

I still see the places
we spent so much time.
I still pass the inns
where we wined and we dined.
And all of these things
that remind me of you
Are all of the things
that give me the blues.

You were the one
with the tender touch,
That made me feel good;
that I wanted so much.
You no longer touch me
like you used to do.
It’s loss just gives me
the blues.

You were the one
with the right things to say,
That had soothed my soul
almost every day,
But your voice doesn’t sound
quite the way it used to.
The words no longer
ring true.

I still see the friends
we cherished so much.
I still have the gifts
you gave me with love,
But all of these things
that remind me of you,
Are all of the things
that give me the blues.

Copyright Richard Paschall

Poetry Corner

Up the Down Staircase

Down staircase

Down staircase (Photo credit: quinet)

One way says up.
One way says down.
Go where you want to go
When no one’s around.

File these reports,
Attendance and tests.
Please, teachers, always think
Of doing your best.

Take on a class.
Challenge the world.
Share in the dreams
Of each boy and girl.

Up the Down Staircase, not down.
Down the Up Staircase, not up.
Let it be a challenge to you.
Never think that you should give up.

Up the Down Staircase, not down.
Down the Up Staircase, not up.
Shake up the school and enjoy every sound
And Up the Down Staircase, not down!

(Copyright Richard Paschall, music by Michael F. Teolis)

Based on ideas from the play Up the Down Staircase, dramatized by Christopher Sergel, book by Bel Kaufman.  The bestseller was also made into a 1967 movie.

Word War

The mood is tense.
Words are fighting for meaning.
These stressed soldiers cry out
but are not understood.

General Vague evaluates the conflict.
The consonants are not alliterating,
the end words not rhyming,
and the images ‘not working.’

Major Disaster declares the stanzas hopeless.
The transitions are lost,
the punctuation missing,
and the verse running free.

Private Joke laughs to himself.
He sees the experts
with no answers.

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