Poem Portal #13: Change

Happy New Year!bedtime

My New Year’s Resolutions:no latte

1. Get to bed with at least 10 minutes left for reading time each night (books are good incentives to go to bed on time at all!) & punish self with lack of significant caffeine the following morning if bedtime ignored the night before.

P.S. Starbucks maximum of once per week.

ruby2. Finish writing Ruby (11 chapters left) and have first 3 chapters written for a new middle grade novel by the dawn of 2015 (resolution #2 is not to be confused with permission to disregard resolution #1 entirely).

It goes without saying that I also intend to continue this poem portal blog, regardless of the readers it does or does not accumulate.  When I was a kid, I wrote because I had to, and only as an adult have I truly cared that people outside my family read what I write.  This blog is where I can still be a kid: put my poems up just so they’re there.  Anything can happen when I look back…I’ve found good enough ideas in some of my elementary school stories to inspire whole new writing projects (“Boot for a Date” for instance, which is a storybook I’ve recently completed, based on a poorly plotted and badly punctuated masterpiece from childhood).

ElementaryI wrote a song, in 2001, about that very same elementary school where so much of my creativity first expressed itself.  Highglen Elementary — the only Montessori school in Prince George — was heavily damaged in a fire on April 22 2013.  My first thought when I heard was how relieved I was that it didn’t happen while I or my sisters were attending; my second thought how sorry I was for the unknown children who can no longer attend today.  The school has reopened at a less convenient location for those families who purposely settled close to the original – just as my parents did.

Growing up, I was privileged to live in walking distance of both my elementary and high schools.  When I was 13, I often wandered through Highglen’s playground on my walk home from D.P.Todd Secondary.  I wrote this because I was a strangely nostalgic teenager who looked back more often than forward:

Walking on home; home from my high school, by the place where I used to roam,

The grounds of my beloved old school; I went right on in to see what I could see.Highglen

The trees seemed short and oddly small,

Yet I knew I’d been here recently.

When my friends and I played here the trees were tall,

Their leaves made our beds,

Their roots divided rooms in our homes,

Their branches made roofs over our heads.

Now these same trees they roar, rustle and moan,

And they seem to be telling me: “You don’t belong here; you’re a giant in our playground!

You cannot be here!  You’re a ghost in our world!  Give up the dream; it’s time you moved on.

This place is mine, and it never will be yours again.