Welcome, First Snowfall!

Last Sunday brought the first true snowfall to our region of Western Pennsylvania. I came outside to find my younger sons flitting about the driveway, mouths open wide, chasing the elusive snowflakes. In all honesty, they didn’t have to try that hard. The air was aflutter with crystalline moths; our tongues, the warm branches uponContinue reading “Welcome, First Snowfall!”

Longing for Innisfree

For weeks now, there has been silence – the stationary pen that only marks the page of my journal when I nod off in bed. Some call it writer’s block; I call it “the dehydrated soul groping about in desert landscapes.” I feel like one of T. S. Eliot’s hollow men. I am a driedContinue reading “Longing for Innisfree”

The Likeness of Unseen Things: A Lesson from the Woolly Bear

Sky brought a caterpillar to class. Shortly before my seventh period British Literature course began, Sky introduced me to her caterpillar (Fred, I believe she named him), a token from her lunch outside in the park. Rather than send her back outdoors to return the woolly bear to its rightful domain, I allowed her toContinue reading “The Likeness of Unseen Things: A Lesson from the Woolly Bear”

All I Need to Get Up to Teach Tomorrow

I never expected to find this card in my mailbox last Wednesday. One of my colleagues had students write notes to teachers in the high school in honor of World Teachers’ Day. To be honest, I had no idea there was a World Teachers’ Day. I’m familiar with teacher appreciation week, but this was unexpected.Continue reading “All I Need to Get Up to Teach Tomorrow”

Nature’s Invitation to Pause

Autumn has burst on the scene with its varied invitations to deepen. In the midst of the full swing of a challenging school year, my son’s busy soccer schedule, and the general maintenance of cars, toilets, and lawns, I’ve still managed to stop to ponder the nuthatches feeding in the neighbor’s pine trees by theContinue reading “Nature’s Invitation to Pause”

A Midsummer Afternoon’s Dream

When I began crafting this poem, I fully intended to mimic the style of Geoffrey Chaucer’s “General Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales: “When that August with his beastly heat…” However, I found the set meter and rhyme too restricting for the random wanderings of a father and his young sons up and down the streamContinue reading “A Midsummer Afternoon’s Dream”

Remembering & Grappling with Loss

We found out this afternoon that our beloved neighbor passed away. On a day when we Americans remember the lives lost as a result of what took place on 9/11/01, the sudden loss of our neighbor reminded me of the fragility of life and the need to savor every interaction I have with those IContinue reading “Remembering & Grappling with Loss”

A Different Kind of Conscientious Objector

I do not want to detract from the following poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay through my own lengthy introduction. Only let me say, if you are unfamiliar with her work and worldview, I suggest you do a little research. You might start here. Let me clarify that I am NOT speaking of a militaryContinue reading “A Different Kind of Conscientious Objector”

Puppet or Kite?

Last Sunday, I started mulling over the phrase “marionette me.” I’ve always been impressed by the master marionettests who can bring puppets to life through the subtle, intentional movement of strings, operating unseen. I guess I’ve always appreciated puppets. I was raised on Sesame Street and, more importantly, The Muppet Show. I used to loveContinue reading “Puppet or Kite?”

At the End of Summer…An Invitation to LIVE!

And so it comes to a close… Another summer wraps up within the next ten hours for me. Tomorrow morning, I will rise in the dark of a new day, put on my dress clothes, perhaps even don a tie, and head back to the high school where I have served as an English teacherContinue reading “At the End of Summer…An Invitation to LIVE!”