The Poetry of My Life

 I used to tell my English students that writing poetry gave the poet the opportunity to ‘hide in plain site’.  For me, it is the most personal form of writing.  In it, I crystallize my thoughts, intentions, and emotions and express these in a way which is strongest for me.  The words I use have intense meaning for me.  I write poetry when I feel that it is the best genre for me to choose to use to have the greatest sense of clarity.

The two poems which follow were written about 25 years apart.  I remember giving the first poem to my mother to read.  She had asked me to try to let her know how I was feeling.  I had just finished the poem and so I gave it to her, hoping that she would understand what I was feeling about myself and my life.  When she was finished, she was silent for several minutes.  I still remember her saying to me, “Did we do that to you?”  She had understood what I had felt as I wrote the poem.   My writing that poem and choosing to share it with her cleared away so much ‘stuff’ that had encumbered our relationship.  Sharing it with her was the beginning of the transformation of our relationship. 

The second poem was written at a very different time in my life.  Writing it made plain the changes which I was experiencing (and which I continue to experience) in my relationship with myself and my world.  I know that my mother, if she could have read it, would have celebrated my transformation.

They are both profoundly personal.  I hope that they might speak to you.

CONVENTIONS

She always wanted to soar,

to fly unfettered by conventions,

to step out and experience the freedom of her spirit.

She wanted to shout, to sing, to laugh –

to skip through the days of her life.

She wanted the world to hear the music of her soul

and touch her universal one-ness.

 

She would sing her silent song.

It was all of her –

Her talisman and her mantra.

She carried it within herself everywhere.

It was her shield and buckler, her solace and peace.

 

She took it to her family

but her sister said she was selfish

and her parents wondered where they had gone wrong.

 

She took it to school

but her teachers asked, “Why can’t you be like Lynette?”

And her friends were deaf.

And she was bound in the gray sameness –

gray walls, gray teachers,

bells and lines,

and desks nailed to the floor.

And she cried and kicked and screamed

against the shroud of blackness that enveloped her,

against the non-green gouache that smothered her.

 

No one understood –

they could not see

they refused to hear.

And life was gray.

 

So she learned to fit in –

to march in step single file, Indian style –

to answer the bells, sit up straight, lock up her soul.

 

And slowly her song was silenced,

Replaced by her unvoiced plea –

“Love me.  Accept me.  Make me feel worthy.”

  

And those things inside her

that had clamoured to be heard –

to be said

no longer demanded it.

And the words were trite

and the melody was flat

and life was gray.

  

SIGHT AND SOUND

 Vibrations

of energy and emotion

expand in me

moving through my confusion.

A palette of iridescent hues

nourishes my soul

from endless depths

to unimagined heights.

 

Raised beyond

this mundane world

toward the vital essence

of eternal, limitless consciousness,

I seek my irrevocable truth.

My journey forward

carried on waves of

Sight and Sound.

 

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About Authentic Vibrations

My life is about learning and personal growth. I was an educator in the public secondary system for over 33 years. I now work with women, individually and in small groups, using words and music, art and language to help them explore their individaul sense of self in ways with are authentically meaningful for each of them. I also facilitate discussions with educators at all stages of their involvement in the teaching profession to help each of us explore the meaning, value and potential of learning and teaching. It is my belief that, in working individually and in collective, we have the power to transform and evolve. In the power of the collectives which we create together is the power to create culture. As a musician, I believe that the arts have the power to change lives. Certification: CODE Model™ Coach WEL-Systems® Institute Affiliate Education: Ed. D (c) (Applied Psychology – Focus on Teaching) University of Toronto M. Ed (Curriculum Development and Design) Queen’s University (1992) B. Ed (Music, English, Elementary Education) University of Toronto (1976) Mus. Bac. (Music Education) University of Toronto (1975) RCM Grade 4 Harmony, Grade 4 History, Grade 9 Voice, Grade 10 Piano Awards: Life Membership, Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (2009)
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