Dear Ms. Ryan, Please Don’t Be Mad At Me Today

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Dear Ms Ryan
It’s  raining
real hard today,
and
I can’t seem  
to concentrate.
My eyes are so heavy.
They feel like
Two weak windows
that keep slamming shut.
When  I try
To listen.
all they  want to do
is fall asleep

I think that
inside my head
I am still dreaming.
I don’t think 
I can do
any work  today.
I think
I am sad
like the clouds.

Last  night,
I saw big people
drinking bottles.
It smelled so funny.
(but not a good funny).
It made me feel creepy.
My mom was acting strange.
She even forgot
that I was
at her side.

I  was so afraid
that…
I took my cat Pebbles
into my room
and closed the door.
We both hid
under the covers.
The noise was so loud
that I started to shake.
Some of the tears
dripped onto Pebbles.
I thought the loud sounds
would be in my head
forever.
But then…
I fell asleep.

I don’t remember
sleeping.
I just remember
getting up in these clothes.
I felt  so yucky.
When my mother
came to wake me up
she looked different.
She smelled
very bad.
I wasn’t sure if
it was her.
standing there.
I was scared.

The bus
came early.
So…
I had to skip
my crunchy cereal.
My nose keeps
running
and I feel cold.
My woolen socks
are all wet
from the puddle
I stepped into.

I feel
A little shaky
inside too.
My stomach
is making noises.
I wish 
I had a sweater
I don’t feel right.
Please, Ms Ryan,
don’t  be mad
at me today.

If it’s  okay
with you
can I just
lie my head
on my desk?
I will try
to listen to you
read.
Your voice
is so soft.
It makes me feel
safe.
It reminds me
of Grandma Martha.
I feel in  love when
I’m with her.

I wish today
was Friday
so,
she would pick
me up.
Grandma Martha
cradles me tight
in her arms.
She makes me
smile again.
We always
sit down together
at her cozy kitchen table.
She gives me
my favorite
sugar cookies,
and of course
delicious hot chocolate
with marshmallows.

Together
we watch the
mounds of marshmallows
float and then
disappear.
When I take a sip
she  laughs and
runs  for a mirror.
Then, I look at
my mustache.
We start to giggle
so hard
that our sides
hurt.

Please, Ms. Ryan,
If I fall
asleep,
can you keep me
in school?
I don’t think
I want to go
back to my house
today.
I know my mother
won’t miss me.
After
she drinks from
those bottles,
she doesn’t seem
like my mother
anymore.

I remember when
my mother used to
meet me after school.
She couldn’t wait
to give me
a great big hug.
We don’t do that
anymore.
It’s not the same.

Now,
I have to take
the school bus.
It’s lonely.
We moved
and it’s too far
to walk.
When I come home
my mother
is still in her pajamas.
I have to get
my own snack.
She is always tired.
She doesn’t even
hug me anymore.

Ms. Ryan,
my head feels
so heavy
and my eyes
are closing.
I don’t think
I am going to be
awake for the
end of the story.
If you keep me
here,
I’ll be ready
for tomorrow
I promise,
I’ll listen then.
Thank you, Ms. Ryan.
You are such a
nice teacher.

The school year has just begun for some and will start in a few days for others. Stories like this  one are real. Children are very open and honest. Let’s remember to listen to what they say with an open heart. Have an awesome year ahead!

The Encounter

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THE ENCOUNTER

      “what can I do for you my child? ”
        asked the old lady

    as the child placed her jump rope on the top step
    she looked up at the old lady and said
    “each day that i pass by 
      you are always here 
      sitting or rocking on this chair
     don’t you get tired
      of just being here?”  

  “my child,” answered the old lady
    “my legs are too weak to walk
      i sit here and travel the world
      i laugh and i cry
      sometimes  i giggle hard too
       other times i touch the suffering
      with a prayer and a warm heart 
       like a bird i float
       across the universe
       completely free”    

        the child looked puzzled
        she folded her hands
        in front of her and replied
        “i don’t mean to be rude
         but how can you do that
        if you sit still
         or rock slowly
       on this broken old rocking chair”    

        “dear child” answered the old lady
        “the places you can go
         with your mind and your heart
         are endless
         i watch you play
         run jump skip
         fly up and down
        on your swing
        you smile laugh and giggle
          ever so hard
        what you do with your body
        i now do with my mind”  

        the child was quiet for a moment
         then answered
         “don’t you wish you can  walk
          jump and play like me again”
         the old lady cleared her throat
        “my child sitting here
         i never am still
          i dance the dance of life”    

          the child’s face began to sparkle
         “you mean
         you play fantasy
        like i do sometimes
        when i am in my room
         by myself”    

          the old lady smiled
          “yes my child i play fantasy
          everyone has a special place
          deep in their heart
          to create to believe to feel free”    

     
         so answered the child
         with a look of wonder
        “will i be like you
         when i get  old
          will i sit quietly like you
         dancing in my head”
         “you will find your own way
         my little one” answered the old lady    

          the child walked over to the table
         next to the rocking chair
         with a look of amazement
         “what are all these pieces of scrapes doing here”  

        “these are my treasures”
         answered the old lady
        “each one holds a special meaning
         a place i visited
         a lesson learned
        maybe a happy time
         maybe a sad”      

          the child’s eyes glowed
          “i know like my stuffed animals
          when i hug Arthur
           i remember my mom
          sometimes it is sad
         so i cry a lot
        she is no longer here
         but when i hold Theodore
         he makes me laugh
         and giggle
         and feel happy inside  

         “yes dear child
         your stuffed animals
        are your treasures
        each with a special meaning  

          
         the child picked up
         one of the patterns
         touched it softly
         with her hand
        and gave it to the old lady
        “can you tell me
        about this one
        with so many
         colors and designs”

         “oh dear child
         you picked my favorite one
        this is a piece of my daughter’s blanket
        when she was just a baby
         it was the only piece left
        she used to carry everywhere”    

          the child’s eyes sparkled
         “i had a favorite blanket too
          i never let it go
          until one day it was lost”  

           “dear child” answered the old lady
            “nothing is ever lost
            you keep it tucked away
           in your memory
           close to your heart
             it is who we are
            what we become”      

            the child took the piece of quilt
            and put it back on the table
          “i have to go now
            but can i come back
          tomorrow maybe
           and visit with you again”    

              the lady smiled and said
              “of course my child
              if you like you can bring
             some of your stuffed animals
             so we can share stories”    

             i will “ said the child
            she picked up her jump rope
           and smiling from ear to ear 
             said “see you tomorrow”    

            the old lady waved
           smiled gently and replied
           “yes my child see you tomorrow”

           Searching for Serenity  

Searching for Serenity
two souls together

searching for serenity

connected by chance

they support one another

ingesting the beauty

on this quiet beach
amongst

the streams of seagulls

one stands wounded

limping aimlessly

he bears down

in search for food 
he flutters his wings

to gather strength

like the open sea

in front of us

he continues to stand

tall and erect
the beach

is his respite

for nourishment

a safe haven

to guide his flock

and to fly free
together

we stare ahead

allowing the soft breeze

from the ocean

to gently heal

our wounded pain
my injured heart

is shedding   its tears

as i watch the drops 

leak from the sand

i notice the seagull

closer to me
he quickly looks

then stares ahead

with a forceful sigh

i throw the invisible 

pieces of life 

out to sea
yearning for comfort

i watch the waves

bear the pain

sensing some relief

the seaqull moves even closer

looks longer and flies away
i follow his path

as he circles around me

his enduring message

is now mine to hold

to go in peace

and fly free

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Listen to the Quiet

listen

to the quiet

hear the whisper

amongst

the constant noise

like a feather

it touches

our shoulder

suddenly

everything is right

there is no wrong

nothingness

rich innocent wise

all at the same time

sit down

be still

be touched

the sight

the incredible view

wonder

ponder

the moment

now

listen

Life Keeps Showing Up In Different Colors

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the patterns

sit next to each other

intertwining strokes

darkness and despair

meshing

with the soft edges

peace and love

splatters of purple

crimson red and ivory black

bleeding through

hues of light orange

deep yellow and gold

suddenly

 one strong wide stroke

light emerald green beams

covering all that is mean

twisting forms shifting designs

curving and revolving

eventually everthing is blue

the heart went somewhere

the canvas holds the remains

touching up brush strokes

soft lines around dark edges

where glimpses of light belong

freely yet cautiously

we watch

how the brush

leaks out

colors of the heart

that mirror the soul

from moment to moment

the energy changes course

seeking a balance

the feelings of life come and go

our strokes tell it all

simply showing us with different colors

Creating Our Pilgrimage

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the earth turns

our journey begins

crying out

our breath speaks

pushing through

high and low tide

we begin our pilgrimage

holding hands

with the sun moon and stars

we create our life and our death

we experience pain

we experience joy

we listen to our hearts

we mark our steps

design our path

our presence here

is an honor