Tuesday, February 5, 2013

OpenLinkNight: it's a long fall from the high wire, where they place us

the side of a truck

simple---

his piece doesn't fit the puzzle,
having all the tell tale signs;

pudgy face, cocked grin
assigned the stricken, odd gait
& clumsy as a new born calf

bowl cut doesn't help either
but fits the mould made of him

we sit in the library among bound thoughts,
his not, constant talk
of things just off the sidewalk
most stroll with ease

'Buggers and Ender,'
i read Orson Scott Card
when i was young as well,
hard for him to believe,
as he
just found it
'trained for war,' he twists fingers
as he talks & you have to really listen
to understand---i find it funny
the reports say he can't read but---

'it's violent,
i remember that
& not all take it well,
i like Locke & what's
that girl's moniker?---they post essays
or commentary, looking to
change things,'

he clicks/hums
processing my words & for a moment
i think
this might lead to another Obama tirade,
the next anti-Christ (in his opinion)
we spar this often

we all have Buggers breeding us
one way or the next, a twist here,
turn there, nip/tuck to shape
our mental evolution

he's simple, yes
this boy,
but thinks more than most,
that fear leaving
well worn
                  sidewalks

or talking with those
      ill fit puzzle pieces.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - verse away, write something and put a bumper sticker on it that reads poem, only the hauty will tell you it's not anyway...and you can ignore them, i do...smiles. Come join us, the doors open at 3 PM EST.

128 comments:

happygirl said...

You see the intelligence in your students behind the lack of skills. Your ability to take the time with them is such a gift. Thanks for sharing your heart for these kids with us. It changes me.

Chantel said...

Ill fit pieces--a beautiful way to put that. I wonder, do we keep turning them about until they do fit? Or whittle them down...

Mark said...

It's true that just because a piece doesn't quite fit, doesn't mean that it's not good. There are plenty of skills that people can use, even if they can't use others.

Kelvin S.M. said...

...sometimes what does not fit-in are the one that counts / weighs more... smiles...

kaykuala said...

Not fitting the puzzle can be frustrating. But often enough things work that way. Tolerance is a factor! Nicely Brain!

Hank

Mary said...

I always liked working with those kids who didn't quite fit. Found the way their minds worked fascinating. I'd guess a lot of adults who were later termed 'geniuses' didn't fit as young people. Sometimes we just have to look beyond what we see & just listen, which is the greatest gift. A touching piece this morning.

kaykuala said...

Correction: ..Nicely Brian!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love how you see the mind of your students and compassionately you write of them. I have no doubt that you must be amazing at your job Brian.

the walking man said...

I sometimes wonder why generally speaking most of us have a hard time understanding those with perfect diction but a predilection for walking on sidewalks of disturbed DNA they inherited from a well bred dog.

ND Mitchell said...

There's space for all sorts of people thankfully. Great reminder. Well penned sir.

Wander said...

Wiggins...

One of the best SF books of all time!

Pat Hatt said...

What does not fit
Can be that it
That makes one grand
Across the land
Or just shove the piece in
If you want to cheat to win haha

farawayinthesunshine said...

...he's simple, yes
this boy,
but thinks more than most,...

so not so simple after all?

Betsy Brock said...

SO much more in their heads than people realize!

JANU said...

Everyone is gifted in one way or the other. It is futile to compare. We have to see through the appearances and superficial. Good one.

Daniel said...

I was (and still am) one of those puzzle pieces.

Elsie The Writer said...

yet people still try to mold them into what they think will fit best...for their own needs...

Dave King said...

I found this quite a complex piece. Open to layers of meaning. Ultimately optimistic and humane throughout. O.K. that's a description of pretty much all your writes. I just thought it worth saying.

Mama Zen said...

Gorgeous look at the boy, Brian.

rumoursofrhyme said...

I sense your concern about this boy in these lines - and it touches my heart too. I didn't fit too well at school either - perhaps I still don't fit too well. For me the question is this: do we need to shape so-called misfits so that they fit our society, or is it possible that we might need to make some changes to society in order to reduce the number of misfits?

Valerie said...

I always felt a misfit... not sure that I was, looking back. It's good that you give so much time and thought and energy to your students.

She Writes said...

Oh, there is something heavy in me for the ones who don't fit.

Jenny said...

Nicely written, Brian. I often wonder if your students know how lucky they are! You are gifted for sure.

PS. how is F. I. L .?? [If its ok to ask]

Laurie Kolp said...

Love bound thoughts in the library... I bet he can read and is probably very intelligent. He is lucky to have you working with him!

manicddaily said...

sad story - well told. k.

Alice Audrey said...

Interesting look into a mind.

Myrna R. said...

Glad the boy thinks, it's a good sign. I like that you see each student as the different person s/he is . And you play with those puzzle pieces that don't always fit it. Lovely write Brian.

Green Speck said...

You have described it well ... perhaps its time we change the way we judge !!!

Claudia said...

love how you describe and make us see him...help us feel him a bit as well..great work on the details as we're used from you.. i always think we can really learn something from those that don't fit quite in cause they think outside the lines a bit...

Tara Miller said...

You made him know that he is important and that his opinion, thoughts and ability to learn are just as important as everyone else's. You have a very special gift of being able to make those that may feel "ill fit" able to fit and feel confident in themselves. You're such a blessing...

ayala said...

I love the details you share of him..his piece doesn't fit..I love bound thoughts and ..he's simple, yes
this boy,
but thinks more than most,
that fear leaving
well worn sidewalks...A great poem, Brian

Vernon Wildy, Jr. said...

Frustration always comes with not be able to find a place for yourself. I'm glad you put in the way you did, bringing out the bauty of being different.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Gotta love the odd duck...where is it written that the mold is best. The "norm". Yuck...boring!
Good for you taking the time
Hugs
SueAnn

Rod E. Kok said...

Like everything I read of yours, I have to read it multiple times to get the message. Great write, Brian. I love how you make me think about what I'm reading.

Heaven said...

Interesting the way your portrayed your student Brian ~ He doesn't fit the puzzle and I like that you really have to listen to what he has to say ~

We may not agree with their sentiments but its important to give them a voice and light ~

Happy Tuesday ~

Wolfsrosebud said...

the inside package can be so different that the outer part... have a nephew so by appearance has little to offer society, but in reality stronger and wiser than most.

Wolfsrosebud said...

the inside package can be so different that the outer part... have a nephew so by appearance has little to offer society, but in reality stronger and wiser than most.

Yousei Hime said...

Oooo, Ender's Game. I've only read parts. I like the character development. There are judgments in the flow, but none made by the speaker. Not just tolerance, but also a bit of empathy. Don't we all want to be better understood, accepted for all that we are? :)

Natasha Head said...

Thank you for looking beyond what we are told to see. Thank you for sharing your insights and perhaps convincing another to look beyond as a result. All people will amaze you...if you let them...awe crap...i could cry...gonna be a long night, Poet! This was fantastic...

disastress said...

real nice one. likes.

Hilary said...

The pieces always fit somewhere. Sometimes it's just a different puzzle. Nicely done.

anthonynorth said...

Ah, to not fit in. Often great talent can reside there.

WabiSabi said...

There should be more teachers like you, who can listen to the square pegs. I enjoyed the details you used to capture the student's persona. :)

Susan Daniels said...

I love it when you write about your students.

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

your heart for your students is apparent - always enjoy a peek into your world. Thanks, Brian! K

darkangelwrites said...

I wonder if the ill fitted are here to trip us, make us to stop, look and think a little. Seems he did.

awakenedwords said...

simple, but thinks...something to aspire to in my opinion...

turtlememoir said...

"we all have Buggers breeding us
one way or the next, a twist here,
turn there, nip/tuck to shape
our mental evolution"

we do... and would that we all could have (especially the young) a sounding board that would hear our vents without judgment, without attempts to diminish or put down...

Yiota Luyu Ladybird said...

This is so familiar to me...I am always amazed by the talents and brilliant minds of my students :) The ones who seem that they dont fit, some times can leave you speachless with their way of thinking and the fire in their hearts :) I am touched.

Mark Kerstetter said...

"we sit in the library among bound thoughts,
his not, constant talk"

-Love those lines. This poem really makes me think. Mostly, that anyone trying to be their own person is an ill-fitting piece and that we'd do well to listen to them - we who are interested in making this picture of "humanity" as beautiful and harmonious as possible.

Apryl Gonzales Sweet said...

he's simple, yes
this boy,
but thinks more than most,
that fear leaving
well worn
sidewalks

or talking with those
ill fit puzzle pieces.


Love this, how you lead us toward a deeper understanding of him and how he sees the world and how you see him. There's beauty in perspective and your observations. Thank you for sharing them.

lori mcclure said...

This piece is a thing of beauty in many ways. Your intuitive nature is what makes you such a great poet, along with your ability to express those intricacies of spirit and personality with such amazing word pictures. May we all be encouraged to leave the path of the well-worn sidewalk from time to time. This is another favorite for sure. Hope all is well in your world :)

Nicole Sullivan said...

absolutely brilliant the way you paint the scene around the characters. so much depth in these worlds.

hedgewitch said...

As always, a crisp and definitive character piece, full of a compassion that knows when to speak and when to simply listen.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A rivetting read. He's real for me now, and I want his story to work out well ... but of course, it is still unfolding over time.

Ah, Orson Scott Card! I discovered him with Ender's Game many years ago, and he is now one of my favourite writers. If he can read that, and grapple with the ideas....

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

(That last 'he' in my previous comment meaning the boy.)

Lincoln Freemont said...

Such a moving piece. I think we are all "ill fit pieces", in our own way, to some degree. A great way to start the OLN experience for me. :)

Bar None Publishing Group said...

"we sit in the library among bound thoughts"

that line in itself can take us jigsaw pieces anywhere.

as for those buggers...sez he shaking his head. how do we stop 'em from breeding or at least how do we stop them from blaming the prez for everything?

Ann LeFlore said...

Wow amazing. I think even if they don't fit they always have a place in the hearts of all. I did enjoy this so much. You must be wonderful at your job. It has been some time since I came here. But I am so happy to come back again. If yuo would like here is my entry for this week. http://gatelesspassage.com/2013/02/02/reflections/

Victoria said...

For me, another wonderful example of your ability to reach out to your students, the disenfranchised if you will. I like your use of the puzzle piece that doesn't fit and wonder if we don't all feel like that from time-to-time.

Leovi said...

For a healthy and effective mental evolution ...

Louise said...

I always admire the way you never judge people, and accept them for who they are...it shows in your poetry...another thoughtful and moving piece of writing :)

zongrik said...

i got stuck on the bowl cut doesn't help either. does the bowl cut actually help with anything?

HisFireFly said...

"nip/tuck to shape
our mental evolution"

these lines, yes...

Annmarie Pipa said...

maybe none of us really ever fit , maybe there's no such thing!

Susan said...

"bound thoughts" balances "he's simple, yes
this boy,
but thinks more than most . . . "
I love seeing all of us better through the mould and reality of this young boy, the puzzle pieces fit and unfit, and our walk on the sidewalk. "Ender's Game" is one of my favorite books--scarier than "1984"--and possible. Or as I think you are saying here--probable.

poeticponderings said...

Buggers breeding us...ill fit puzzles... Ah, they surround us sometimes, don't they? And I think, sometimes, we realize, we are part of that puzzle too. Heh. I like this one. Made me think. ;)

Gretchen Leary said...

Nice one Brian! Puzzle pieces automatically make me think of Autism and the confusion I often feel. I love this story because what I feel while reading this is your passion to listen and compassion for others :)

mrs mediocrity said...

So much more lies beneath the surface of everyone than we give them credit for.... I like the way you listen, probably what he needs more than anything. Another poem in which your big heart, and your patience, shines through.

Glenn Buttkus said...

like the fact that def get wound up in some poetics, as you did with this nice one. Also love & respect how you find such incredible stimulation within your life, your work, your family. You are a real poet, sir.

. said...

... and finally my grade 4 teacher believed in me ... I will never forget Mrs. Tillner ... lovely poem, B ... thank you.

Heather Sawaya said...

I read an article not too long ago about this issue. In a nutshell, it was saying how the kids who were the supposed 'losers, outcasts, misfits, weird ones' turn out to be the most interesting and intelligent adults, and how the 'popular, cool' kids mostly turn out to be just mediocre. Not that it just magically happens when they become adults, but that those characteristics were there all along. Your poem reveals this point, I think. It is amazing how the details you paint evoke a higher message that is not forced, and yet, it is impossible not to feel a sense of compassion. Just excellent, Brian.

Delaina said...

Fantastic! I could see it all unfolding. May you always have to energy to enlighten because your words are powerful.

Geraldine said...

I agree with Kelvin, sometimes those are the people and things that DO count more.

I love the artwork too Brian.

Geraldine said...

PS: Oops, used my non-active blog account to sign in. I'm not at that one anymore. :<)

RMP said...

I have a puzzle laying on my dinning room table. I've been working on it for over 10 years (it's followed me several places). it's called an impossibles. 750 pieces plus five extra and no edge pieces. to top it off, the puzzle is pink gerbera daisy on top of pink gerbera daisy (and so on). it's not an easy puzzle, still when I get a moment or two I plug away at it. there is such a reward in finding one piece that fits.

I know, I ramble...but the nature of your job surrounds you with puzzles, where not all the pieces fit just right and there are a handful of extras. you write about it with beauty, grace and insight. you bring to life the most impossibles of puzzles where there is no picture to help you out and yet still you manage to give us all a glimpse.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Don't judge a book by its cover. Good write, Brian.

Cloudia said...

sometimes I cannot go into the deep places where you swim so strongly.
But I admire the pretty ripples from your real, submerged strokes (of the keys, synapses)


Sending YOU Aloha
from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° >

Jessica Lynn Lang said...

So many children don't fit the mold.

C Rose said...

I believe when we get tangled with someone that presents a difficult and opposing energy we should engage in curiosity and love, I like to ask questions, as I tangle with them I find I untangle pieces my self <3 Always connect with and enjoy your poetry Brian, hope you are well! ~ Rose

Ginny Brannan said...

Brian, I so appreciate your writing, you always touch on something that is important and "in the moment."
Because they do not "fit the puzzle" as we understand it does not mean these children (sometimes adults) are not part of some bigger picture. And each in their own way have something that we can learn from, irregardless of how others may judge their handicap. I have a little cousin that is part of this puzzle, and am a big supporter along with the rest of my family of "Spread the word to end the word" http://r-word.org
Thanks so much for sharing this story, my friend!

Heidi said...

Lovely description of the boy and setting. I can see y'all discussing books in a library. I like how you use that to illustrate that he does indeed obviously fit while the whole time emphasizing that he doesn't. This struck me as a jab at a society that wants to see this child not "fit" when the whole time that is exactly what he's doing. It's clever and I think it is well done.

Kim Nelson said...

ill-fit puzzle pieces... so many of them in our world. I so appreciate the way you make us look at this particular one, this particular time, increasing understanding.

Semaphore said...

Wonderful metaphor there, with the high-wire act, as a referential framework for the conversations that follow. I love the connections between experiences, books, stories that are made across the distance between two people.

Arron Shilling said...

Top write Brian . . . poetry can really nail things sometimes where straight up prose just couldnt cut it . . . this for me is a great example . . . Locke's Blank slate is soon scribbled on . . .

we all have Buggers breeding us

yes sir!

cheers bro

colleen said...

A piece of work?
Well told.

Lady Nyo said...

Wow, Brian...you are hitting on all cylinders here.

What a marvelous weave of imagery and compassion. I really like this poem.

Lack of skills...well, most of us can be accused of something of this in some aspects. You do a marvelous job of getting us to attend to what is important in the human capacities.

I am not linking to dversepoets for a while, Brian. I find that I have fallen into a 'lack of critique' laziness and 'that a boy' for poetry critique. I think it's rampant amongst poetry groups and i have to figure out a way to not do this. Poetry, regardless its subjectivity, doesn't get a pass in critique. We are so damn afraid to step on toes...but poetry doesn't grow within critique. It might sting, but the purpose is to dissect and look deeply into what we write.

Will check back here because i think your poetry is something I need to read...for many reasons.

Lady Nyo

Poet Laundry said...

Love how you painted him...feel like I'm right there. And I suppose we're all misfits in some way or another.

Gloria said...

Ah Brian yiu are so special and nice with your students what amazing have a teacher like you:)

adeeyoyo said...

How really sad, Brian. We are all forced to fit, in some way or another and normally we just accept it. It takes someone like ths to help us see... So well expressed!

adeeyoyo said...

Btw, not being from your continent your remark about Obama is over my head. I thought he was cool, calm and collected?

ohsuzzzana said...

"we sit in the library among bound thoughts". Brilliant line, I thought. I like the references to "puzzles" and "moulds", and how not fitting just makes someone that much more special! Very moving.

Lydia said...

Now that kid would take some patience. .good thing you have what it takes.

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

Nice look at the challenge of teaching ALL the children,and the value in it. Thanks for this one. Taught in an inner city school once where all the boys just wanted to grow up to be a janitor, so I know there are many kinds of challenges.

1emeraldcity said...

this really resonates, Brian...It's always the one in the back of the classroom...that doesn't quite fit...that I wanted to reach...to listen to...So well done here, and bless you for listening :)

Abruvanamedsly said...

ill fit puzzle pieces...

...I know that life...felt.

Paul said...

When my mum died I wrote a poem called Peace in Sleep. One of the lines was 'and a piece of the puzzle has been lost for sure. The ladder is broken the parts are dispersed. The roles that we live with are turned and reversed. It is wonderful to share thoughts in poetry.

Ina said...

Your poem gave me food for thought. The structure of the poem and the message are not simple btw :)

my heart's love songs said...

you know i love your writing style, Brian! and i am certain that you are an excellent teacher!

happy Wednesday!

Fred Rutherford said...

really interesting scene, really interesting character. What's most interesting of all, is that this scene/character exist everywhere. Great write Brian. Looking beyond the exterior into the depths of being, strongly done. Thanks

Dana Dampier said...

I was never one to fit the mold... and I'm okay with that. Just as long as I don't try to convince others my way is better, I don't see any harm in it.

Nilanjana Bose said...


Hi Brian, you've captured the misfits with your usual gentleness..sometimes the pieces that don't quite fit are the ones that make us appreciate the whole picture better...it's great to be back lots to catch up on, a bonanza of posts here and elsewhere :)

Lady In Read said...

your ability to look at the pieces that don't fit and see where they might is such an asset to your students..as always, well written

Syd said...

So glad that you are the one to work with those who don't fit. I think many of us felt we didn't fit and yet there was a person somewhere along the way who assured us that we did through kindness and mentoring.

Lolamouse said...

I really wish all kids could have someone like you who sees past the surface and really connects.

Addie P. Abbott said...

Great Story man!

poeticlicensee said...

"Bowl cuts" reading "trained for war"; in the ones who don't quite fit, perchance lies hope...

Nico said...

Very well done--we can all learn something about freedom from expectations from the profound "simple" ones.

kkkkaty said...

a tribute to the teaching profession in that each day they (you) work with the diversity of DNA's results in the form of children..with a wide range of attributes and skills ..and you have a hand in shaping their lives..making a difference at crucial times in their lives..an immense power and noble calling..

Brudberg said...

I really like the respect you show this young man. Sometimes you just have to see through a facade of bravado and listen to them and he will listen to you. Actually true for most grown ups too. I like what you wrote.

joanna said...

fitting in is over-rated, anyway.

love the phrase "bound thoughts," and the contrast there. another strong write, brian.

Okie said...

Nice. I just finished reading Ender's Game.

Cool to read it with someone else and see how they relate to the book and the characters.

adan said...

made the whole touching empathy fit so well :

"we sit in the library among bound thoughts,
his not, constant talk
of things just off the sidewalk
most stroll with ease"

not to mention the patience to both listen and capture this, then share it with us, thanks so much brian ;-)

Ann Grenier said...

"We sit in the library among bound thoughts..." a surprise, what we hope to find each time we read a poem, I think. Thoughts bound in books and in the mind of the one you deem simple.

I liked the comment that referred to you as a blessing...

scotthastiepoet said...

Hi Brian, my first time at your Waystation! I have to say I found your work to be quite arresting - quite physical, muscular writing (sometimes angry too..) interesting work - you have your own distinct voice I think,. which is an achievement in itself... Loved the last stanza of this one -very skilful and effective.
With Best Wishes Scott www.scotthastie.com

vivinfrance said...

This piece tells me that you are a splendid teature - you seem to get inside your students'heads.

Laura said...

every person brings their unique gifts to life's party... of this I am certain.

Renee said...

A really nice write, Brian, and so glad to finally joined you at dVerse.

razzamadazzle said...

Think I might have met this fellow a time or two. :-)

daydreamerdreams said...

Vivid imagery Brian. Most teens are molded into a stereotype and often pretend they are what was thought of them.

flaubert said...

Brian, I love this piece, and my favourite is;

"we sit in the library among bound thoughts,
his not, constant talk
of things just off the sidewalk
most stroll with ease"

Perfect!

Sorry, I am so late getting round to read, I am so busy with work right now, and I am neglecting my poet friends and my blog. I have so little time to really sit down and read other's work with complete respect and attention.

Pamela

Cressida de Nova said...

It takes a lot of patience kindness and understanding to be a special ed teacher.

dragyonfly said...

as a grandmother of an Aspie...i can relate to the kid marching to a different drummer, and in most ways its refreshing. But they are gifted and handicapped at the same time...thanks for this piece...i may try writing about her one day.

dragyonfly said...

as a grandmother of an Aspie...i can relate to the kid marching to a different drummer, and in most ways its refreshing. But they are gifted and handicapped at the same time...thanks for this piece...i may try writing about her one day.

odyzz said...

Splendid piece ,Brian..you could see the special ability in your students..positive attitude .. for that you have to have a caring and a tolerant heart ( for sure you have it Brian)..( I hope um on the right track)

Mystic_Mom said...

Ah you have seen something behind the 'face' most others stop at. Well done my friend. So well done. A new favorite of yours to print and paste into my journal. Bravo! BRAVO!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"he's simple, yes
this boy,
but thinks more than most,
that fear leaving
well worn
sidewalks

or talking with those
ill fit puzzle pieces."


Hi! Brian...Thanks, for sharing the image "the side of a truck" Of a man walking a tight-rope. I think that we all walk a tight-rope in this thing called life.
deedee :)

Sue said...

The children you work with are so lucky you came their way.

You really see them.

=)