Poetic Impulses

The boy genius, Gloson Teh, has entered the “Think, Kid, Think!” online “poetry slam” again. This is an annual contest, and I’d be competing against him if I hadn’t misunderstood that “kids’ poetry” didn’t mean that the contest was open only to kids who write poetry. I like to tease Gloson about being a boy genius, because – well, despite the fact that he is one, he’s also a good sport and an all-around great kid. His mom’s the real genius (sorry, Gloson, you know it’s true), as was mine.

Alas! Gloson’s poem didn’t win – and the time to vote has passed. But his entry inspired me to reply to him with a poem of my own (read his, first):

Spite Over SPRITE??

“Do tell me,” said the counselor,
“why would you start a fight,
over anything as stupid
as an icy can of Sprite?”

We looked at him, and soon regretted
playing childish games
And letting petty squabbling
ruin our good names.

The counselor held out his hand,
while wiggling his fingers
“Give it here, boys,” he admonished.
Oh, how the shame still lingers!

And as we slunk out of his office,
shuffling back to class
We heard him pop the tab
and pour our Sprite into his glass!

We turned as one – that burly bully,
the Sprite Monster and me
A common enemy, now, we had –
that much we both could see!

We charged back to the counselor’s office,
a righteous angry pair!
He handed us TWO glasses
and reminded us to share.

I may be biased in favor of Gloson, but I’d have voted against him if I’d thought the other poem was the better poem. The other one didn’t inspire me to write poetry, though. Not only did Gloson win luck of the draw – getting the word “spite” instead of his competitor’s unenviable “milquetoast,” his word choices were visually evocative and his topic was quite relevant to kids, focusing as it did on bullying and senseless confrontation.

Gloson told me, this morning, “hmmm… if you are free you can still participate.. kinda. http://www.thinkkidthink.com/7-snippet-vs-10-perpetual/

Well, well, well… y’all know my “weirdly competitive streak,” so of course you know I couldn’t resist. There’s no prize, of course, and I cannot advance to the next round, but it’d do my ego good to win the “people’s choice.” Only if mine’s your favorite of the “everyone else” entries, of course! Just find the poems in the comments section, here: http://www.thinkkidthink.com/7-snippet-vs-10-perpetual/#comment-1293375723 To vote, click the ^ to “upvote” the comment. You can vote for a different poem, if you prefer – but only vote for one or you’ll just cancel out your own vote.

The word was “perpetual.” If you know me at all, you know I dove in without reading the instructions, first. (How humbling to have them explained to you by a teenager while you pout and moan over having to cut out half your poem.) This was the original:

Perpetual Poetry

Thoughts travel round, perpetual,
Inside the writer’s head
In dreams, she’s chased by villanelles
And so leaps out of bed

In English class she’s well aware
She ought to write a theme
But haiku thoughts are all too brief
A fleeting moment’s dream

In art class, she is doodling
A sonnet with her brush
And then she daydreams limericks
While dining on her lunch

While struggling with algebra
A sonnet she devises:
ABBA BCCD…
And fails her exercises.

But I hadn’t read the rules. Eight lines, maximum, and so, I had to cut it down. Murder your darlings… right. Snip, snip, snip… sniff.

10 – Perpetual
Daydreams of a Writer

Thoughts travel round, perpetual,
Inside the writer’s head.
In dreams, she’s chased by villanelles –
And so leaps out of bed!
In English class she’s well aware
She ought to write a theme,
But haiku thoughts are shattered
When the bell disrupts her dream.

Gloson sent his own suggested edits. I’d thought he was offline, so I had already posted the previous version. Here are his edits – posted here to demonstrate how much better this would’ve been:

Perpetual Poetry

Thoughts travel round, perpetual,
Inside the schoolgirl’s head
In art class, folks are painting
but she’s daydreaming instead.
While struggling with algebra
A sonnet she devises:
ABBA BCCD…
And fails her exercises.

That’s teamwork.