For What is Faith?

The prompt for PAD Day 24 was “faith” . The day before I had just posted the following quote while hashtagging on twitter

 

“…you don’t have to understand things for them to be.” – from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

faith

September, 2016

 

For What is Faith?

I find myself questioning without doubting
Not understanding but believing
For what is faith?

The substance of things hoped for
Even when my mind is perplexed
My heart is pierced with truth

The evidence of things not seen but sure
Indications and manifestations to hold me
To keep me on the way

Hope, that thing with feathers
Faith fluttering as a breeze
Mystifying yet dependable

PAD Day 23’s prompt was “Last…”.

The Last to Know

She never heard the whispers whirling around her
In smug puffs of jealousy
She didn’t see the averted eyes of the savvy

Walking in confidence and innocence, she
Did not notice the growing gap
Did not feel the frostiness creep in

She was the last to know

 

 

I found my poem from PAD Day 23, 2013. You can read it below.

 

Music of the World

The music of the woods
Is not just a bird song
It’s the beat of the brook
The harmony of wind and leaf
A twig, a scamper, layers

The music of the ocean
Is not just the cry of the gulls
It’s the crash of the waves
The melody of wind and water
A splash, a scrape, laughter

The music of the snow
It’s not just the hoot of the owl
It’s the patter of flakes
The rhythm of wind and white
A crunch, cold, whispers

The music of the world
Is not just a song, a cry, a hoot
It’s beating, crashing, pattering
It’s melody, harmony, and rhythm
Love, peace, it’s God’s creation

Inside the Object

PAD Day 21 was to write about an object. So many of us confuse the church building with the one true church. I didn’t give this poem a title (yet), but I was think of the building that houses the church.

church-mountain-church-landscape-nature-158043

photo- pexels.com

 

This building with its multicolored panes
That tell the stories of the saints of old
The highly polished wooden pews that creak
These pews that hold the sheep within the fold

This structure built upon a little hill
Though humble brick, within a message bold
Is spoken there for all who come to hear
The sweetest story that has e’er been told

This house of worship gathers saints who sing
Clear voices lifted up, God is extolled
Melodious and reverent the refrain
Amazing grace abounds in this stronghold

They Won’t Let Me Teach

 

“I’m a teacher, but they won’t let me teach – not the way I can. It’s just not worth it.” – Miss Shaw, the Wonder Years, Season 5

I recently binge watched the entire Wonder Years series. I’d say I teared up during about 80% of the episodes. But, I must reveal that Kevin, the main character, was just two years my senior. I’m talking the character, not the actor. So, all that 70s stuff, all those family issues, the clothes, the culture – that was my world.

Instead of my teen-self, one episode got to the heart of my teacher-self. Miss Shaw was an unconventional teacher. She loved what she was doing and it showed. The kids knew it and her fire lit them up. I’m not saying I agreed with all her methods. But, when she said, “…they won’t let me teach – not the way I can”, I felt like she was speaking for so many other teachers. I recently talked to a teacher who is certified and experienced in one thing and has a desire for it, but she is being forced to teach something else. That’s just sad.

I’ve been in four different school systems in the past few years as a substitute and I’ve seen the mindless test prep and the daily wasted hours in “study hall’ where maybe on a good day five kids were studying. I’ve been in middle schools where seventh graders can’t write a lucid paragraph; in high schools where students spent more time “googling” an answer on their phones than it would have taken to read the article in front of them to find the answer.

I’m not saying there is no good teaching. I have come across pockets of creativity and solid math lessons; I have met some very caring teachers. It’s not usually the teachers, but it’s the system, the “they” that Miss Shaw referred to, that is killing education in our country. And every June, there are teachers who decide, like Miss Shaw, “it’s just not worth it.”

 

“…So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way…” from Both Sides Now by Judy Collins

 

I’ve seen teaching from both sides now; as a full-time teacher and as a substitute. I wish I knew how to make a change.

 

Somewhere

w1

April-2014 Jacksonville, Florida

Somewhere
Is this system of minutes and hours
In the pattern of vacuuming
And the stacking of dishes
Help me to find my way

Somewhere in this system of work and play
May I not just see the alignment of bricks
And the traffic outside my window
But sad eyes that need a smile
Slumped shoulders that need a touch

Somewhere
In this system of sharps and flats,
Sweet notes and sorrowful,
May I find melody note by note
And harmony day by day

 

The PAD prompt for today was _____ System.