Poem Life List

If you are interested in receiving a brief message and a poem written by ROMP director Shaun Perkins in your email inbox each day, please sign up below. You can unsubscribe from the list at any time.

Here are Posts 1 & 2 so you can get an idea of what you will be receiving in your inbox! You can click on the audio versions, also.

1-Poem Life Post 3-25-20           

During one of the times I quit teaching (which I did several times and then finally), I was working at the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey OK and just sliding by until I could find a better-paying job. My son was 10 or 11. It was a glorious and challenging time.

Skateboard Blues

He cracked his skateboard doing a slide.
He explained it to me, and I thought,
sounds like a board wedgie. Whatever it was,
it didn’t work, but “It was cool.”

Today he stalks the neighborhood, pushing
the lawnmower ahead of him, searching
for quick cash to buy another deck,
a more expensive one, one with more weight
capacity, one that won’t snap in two on a slide.

I have sixty-seven cents in my purse,
though yesterday I charged two pairs
of boots at Penney’s. I see him down the block.

He’s found high grass and a willing customer.
The motor powers up, and he zips away,
moving beyond my sight. I love this boy.

2: Poem Life Post, March 26, 2020

My nephew has been teaching me this lesson: Sometimes when you don’t give up on people, they will reward you. Sometimes when you think you are teaching, you are the one who is the student.

One year I taught a class of students who were in all grades 10-12 who had failed an English class and needed to make up the credit. This class of rebels, outcasts, non-native English speakers, and ne’er do wells was one of the best I ever taught. We read aloud Shakespeare and banned books and poetry. Here is a poem I wrote during that hour.

Fundamentals of English: Second Hour

Sing in the walls and behind the books.
They have gone through the set
Of encyclopedias, made a nest
In #23 Pumps to Russellville
And eaten their way through
The rest of the set.

They have learned so much
They can’t stop singing about it.
They want us to know about
Poland and how glaciers
Melt and the population
Of Leningrad and the parts
Of a chrysanthemum.

All of their knowledge sounds
Like an irritating noise to us,
But to the lone cricket
In the corner of the room,
It is the song of wisdom.