School poems

Some poets tried writing ronka on the theme of school (as I did earlier) and shared them with me.

4 by Jennifer Kosuda

Hate

Scribbled on desk, envious avenues of fear
Scribed upon the off, white begging board
To be heard, lessons as minutes lingered
Upon hallways aligned with weeping, awaited weapons
Fired down a domino of books, ammunition wasted.

Love

Taught to sit, anxious anticipation of future
Inscribed upon the tablets, signed to soar
To be learned, spray painted curtains, opened
Upon hallways covered with destiny’s awaited dance
Empowered own hands upon that very board.

First Grade

Backpack in bed over packs with innocence’s visions
Sleep escapes me that endless night before
Brand new outfit by mom, covers hope
Finally pretty enough finds forever a friend
At just six, dreams to be loved.

Senior

Pleated skirt rolls up the still present day-dream
Sleep haunts when time comes for night
New outfit lost to patterns on repeat
An indecisive mirror knows many friends, but
At seventeen, dreams still to be loved.

3 by Margaret R. Sáraco

June Ramping Up

Get them ready for their math final
Score them overnight, quickly calculate grades, worry
about class placements, attend meetings, workshops, meetings
Say goodbye to students, families, staff, retirees
Pack up room, lock the door, crash.

July Surprise

That’s your teacher in the swimming pool
Reading books, writing in a journal, that’s
your teacher strolling, no, power walking, running
There she is once more, smiling, laughing
In the restaurant glances over, waves hello.

It’s August and You Never Know Who You Will See at the Pool

What?! Who is that in a bathing
suit? Dripping from the pool? Does she
see me? Remember me? I failed her
final, and truth, I didn’t study either
hello there, she smiles, and we chat.

2 school poems by Patricia Thomas

An End Creates A Beginning

An End

The room is empty of personal belongings
Files thrown away, lesson plans all retired
Students will arrive, find a new teacher
The change either welcome or unfair surprise
July feels relaxed and full of dreams.

A Beginning

The room has many books, but is
Missing perfected lesson plans and helpful files
Students entering her room will find me
August feels uncertain, though full of promise
The first page of a new book.

and 2 more ronkas for summer

A Summer Afternoon

The lawn is mowed and fresh smelling
Chores completed with stolen minutes between thunderstorms
Thick grey clouds overhead, then the winds
Increase speed to reveal hidden blue sky
A mosquito tries to bite and fails.

More Rain

The beach read ends after all three
Women join a new man before September
Greek tycoon, young widow, delightful old gentleman
Their stories are preposterous, predictable, yet occupy
A rainy afternoon at a beach house.

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Reading Basho, I Notice the Cicadas

The tympanal clicks in the hottest hours

counting out a song in another language.

One of mating, and not of love,

that I know well and repeat myself

in the five seven of this poem.

 


Two Haiku by Basho

Nothing in the cry
of cicadas suggests they
are about to die

Lonely silence,
a single cicada’s cry
sinking into stone

 

The Double Ronka

There are several poetry forms that use a linked sequence of poems.

A crown of sonnets or sonnet corona is a sequence of sonnets, usually addressed to one person, and/or concerned with a single theme. Each of the sonnets explores one aspect of the theme, and is linked to the preceding and succeeding sonnets by repeating the final line of the preceding sonnet as its first line. The first line of the first sonnet is repeated as the final line of the final sonnet, thereby bringing the sequence to a close.

Renga, which means “linked poem,” goes back seven centuries in Japan. It was created in order to encourage the collaborative writing of poems. Poets sometimes worked in pairs or small groups and took turns composing the alternating three-line and two-line stanzas.

Finished renga could be hundreds of lines long, but the most common length was a 36-line form called a kasen.

It was several centuries after the renga that the opening stanza of the renga became its own short form, the haiku.

The ronka poems that appear on this site are 5 lines, but I started several this week that overflowed, so I think I will try at least a “double ronka” of two linked poems. The evolution of the ronka form continues.

Reading Ronkas

This last month of the year is full of  “Best Of” lists. I look at the statistics on views of my ronka poems here and have tried to figure out what makes some more popular than others. So far, I have not found a pattern or formula for popularity.

The two top pages here are the home page (which means the visitor may have read any of the five poems shown there) and a page explaining the ronka form. I like to believe that others are trying out the form themselves. I know that some other poets tried the form when I used it on my long-running website, Poets Online. I reproduced those poems here , but I haven’t seen many others, so either I am still the only regular writer of ronkas, or they are not being released into the wild.

During 2014, I wrote a ronka each day. It was an excellent daily practice. Now, it is a still a practice but not regimented. This past year, it has been more of a weekly activity, but one that I still enjoy – maybe more this year because I only write when I am inspired rather than trying to be inspired because I need to write. Honestly, if you can’t find an inspiring moment in your day every day, there is something wrong with you, not with your day. The important thing becomes to find a space in the day to set it down in words.

Here are the stats for the top reads this year that is 11/12ths over – a mix of poems from 2014 and 2015.

On to 2016…

Top Reads in 2015
Home page / Archives
The Ronka
Nothing Is the Force That Renovates the World
Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
The Pequod and the Rachel
Giotto Blue
If Two Roads Diverged In A Wood
Finding a photo of her
The Year to Ashes
Day of the Wren
Might I but moor – Tonight – With Thee
Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America
Shades of Darkness
Moonlight Sonata
The Scent of Old Poems
Labyrinth
Only Two Seasons
Geronimo [after Gary Snyder]
Writing the End of the Year
About This Site
Allhallowtide
At the Beach with Sylvia Plath
Before the Fall
The Trail Ahead
Losing My Grip

Form

“Form ever follows function,” said the architect.

The shape from intended function or purpose.

Long-necked giraffes reaching the tallest of leaves.

The poem beating with its 5-7 heartbeat.

Our life evolving into an unimagined design.

 

 

form

(“Form ever follows function” is credited to American architect Louis Henry Sullivan.)