Friday Poems: I Brought You Here Today

I’ve written much poetry through the years, but always in occasional bursts, seasonal storms of inspiration that produce five to ten new poems and then no more.  I hope I can begin writing poems more often, but until then, I wanted to start something new (and add some regular content to the blog) by introducing Friday Poems, a regular series in which I’ll post an old poem every Friday.

Today’s poem was written when I was teaching high school English at Freeman Academy.  We were reading Walden by Thoreau and so I took my junior class to the prairie arboretum behind the school in hopes that they would more readily identify with the text and in some way, catch a bit more of Thoreau’s message.

I brought you here today with hopes

That cricket calls and autumn breezes

And the fading warmth of sun

Might somehow help,

Might somehow call you as a class

Into a Thoreauvian trance.

You would read a bit,

Raise your eyes from the page and ponder-

“I went to the woods . . .”

“I did not wish to live what was not life . . .”

“I wanted to live deep and suck the out all the marrow . . .”

“Our life is frittered away by detail . . .”

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity . . .”

But your minds were swept up in

“Saint Vitus’ dance” of cheap talk and flirting

and hanging out as friends.

Born was a  gazebo sanctuary

Of talk and procrastination and

The sweet scent of friendship.

Perhaps today was a failure.

Perhaps, success unseen.

October 2, 2006

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