Friday, June 3, 2011

This May Be the Time ...

Summer Trying Its Best Outside My Studio

Okay, so that title might be a tad overdramatic, but perhaps this really will be the day that summer begins in the northwest. These pansies still look as if they're huddled together for warmth, but they aren't giving up! Yesterday was the last day of classes at the college where I teach and today starts a one week grading frenzy. At the end of the quarter --- and I mean in the last week --- there are some students who decide to put education as their first priority and some make great strides. It's both exciting to see students really "get it" and heartbreaking that they wait until the last possible moment. Yesterday afternoon I simply talked with a student about her ideas and late last night she sent me what she'd written. Her best work of the quarter. All it took was an exchange of ideas, a probing conversation and her work took off.

So perhaps it's not summer yet given what's on my mind... I don't usually post my own poems here but I think since I am teaching "Paradise Now" and my students are writing about the film right now, I'll share this poem. Happy Friday!

Paradise Now at Highline Community College

The boys argue about the end of the movie, did the bomb detonate?
They can't agree. They try out multiple meanings for white

light, two human eyes, the break-neck speed of Said's life;
his grief. The black ash of question marks begins to rise

reluctantly about their freshman heads --- the procrastinated
fall into inquiry, so what has this to do with me?

I cry out flashback, foreshadow --- hope to teach the world
of mise-en-scene --- to watch students interrogate

their own thinking. They side so easily with the suicide
bomber; understand instinctively two best friends

toppled by geography, their familiar junkyard lives.
In class discussion my students appear almost dreamy ---

Can there be a film industry without a country? 
Intifada and Mossad lift off their tongues

with new found confidence; the glossary --- their global gun.
On which side of the checkpoint can they rely? Arab

or Israeli? The questions with new answers lead them on,
keep them fractured, shapeshift some through to another side.

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