School by Elizabeth Albert

The math books have melted

Into puddles of numbers.
Illegible questions drip
Down the white board.
Desks fry paper. Books lie
All over the rug, unable to stand
On their shelves. Everywhere,
Heads droop like daisies
After days and days without any rain.
And our teacher, usually so cool,
Wilts in the shade of our papier mache,
Fanning herself with poetry.
They close school early for snow,
Why won’t they do it for summer?

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Alexey Goral, Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons

Step right up! Take a peek!

Spy the Striking Circus Fly!

Above the crowd she spins, she streaks.

There isn’t a ring she won’t fly.

With daring feet, she cruises your cheek,

Gathering crumbs before they fly.

No matter how well your swatter sneaks,

No act can beat the Circus Fly! 

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Today’s poem was inspired by Laura Purdie Salas’ 15 words-or-less photo of two fencers who looked to me like flies. I then took up Miss Rumphius’ challenge to write a kyrielle, a set of couplets that end with the same word.
So there you have it–a kyrielle about a fly. Thank you to both Laura and Miss Rumphius for putting out their weekly inspirational challenges.

My bed is not for sleeping.
It’s my special place to be.
I come here when the person
I need most to see is me.
My bed is where I curl
To read a brand-new book,
So I can make a friend,
Or go someplace to look.
My bed is a swirl of blankets
That makes a cozy nest.
I burrow here when I’m lonely
And I don’t feel quite my best.
My bed is like a stage
Where I give myself a prize
For doing all the things
No one knows I tried.
My bed is just for me.
There’s no one here to play.
My bed is where I take myself
When I’ve nothing good to say.
My bed is a waiting ship
That I can sail alone,
Exploring distant lands
Where the sun has never shone.
My bear lives on my bed
And sheds her worn gray fuzz.
Sometimes I like to visit her
And the self that I once was.
My bed has a magic view.
If I look out past my feet,
I can see my grown-up self,
Walking down the street.
My bed is perfectly comfy.
When each long day is done,
I snuggle here to dream
Of the day that’s soon to come.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

On Dead Sled Hill
I sit stone still,
Smelling the thrill
When I choose Go!
I’m fit to ride
This mountain slide
Without a guide
To howls below.
I don’t need wheels!
My dream’s so real,
I’ll never feel
The cold winds blow.
I’m not too shy,
Not scared to die.
I’m set to fly!
I just need snow. 

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Imagine a day
without the sun.
Imagine a circus
Without any fun.
Imagine ice cream
At every meal.
Imagine scrapes
You can’t even feel.
Imagine a train
Without a track.
Imagine a cat
Whispering back.
Imagine seconds
Standing still,
Imagine Jack
Without a Jill.
Imagine me—
The oldest.

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved
Sometimes late at night
I hear a train whistle,
Like a coyote howling  
At a moon too far to fetch.
I’ve never seen the tracks.
I’ve never seen the train.
Still I wonder who’s riding,
And if they’ll ever reach
What they’re wanting.

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

When I hear music, I jump to my feet.

I twirl. I whirl. I bop to the beat.
When I dance, my body sings.
I love to dance more than anything!
When I hear music, I ditch my seat. 
I shimmy like a snake that has no feet.
I soar like a hawk on open wings.
My body needs to dance more than anything.
Come on! Get up! Get off your seat.
Listen to the music. Move to the beat.
Shake and sway! Spin and swing! 
Wriggle your hips like a shimmering spring!
When I’m dancing, my body sings.
I love to dance more than anything! 

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

She couldn’t do it,

Couldn’t make herself
Put her foot
On the strange
Moving stairs.
Alice had done it.
There she was
Rising into the sky,
Smiling even.
But still,
On the ground
They seemed dangerous,
These steps
That moved by themselves
Taking you only
Forward and up.
What if she changed her mind?
People crowded
Behind her
Urging her on.
“What’s taking so long?” they asked.
It was nothing to them.
She pushed
Through the crowd,
Watching Alice
Rise above her.
Who knew what could happen
In this country
Where you took just one step
And were swept away?

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

Dear Mr. Wordsworth, here I lie

On my couch in a pensive hour,

Listening to chill winds cry,

While shivering branches scour

The window glass, but thanks to you

I am not limited to this view.

Through your words and by my will

I am transported to another day, far away,

Where daffodils gather along a hill,

Put to shame the waves in a bay,

Challenge the stars with their multiplicity,

And give my life a joyous duplicity.

But even as my cheeks grow warm

By the glow of ten thousand faces,

The sky changes, clouds form,

Rain pours down, ruining your graces.

For it is not your daffodils I crave,

But your company, as I watch them wave. 

© 2011 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved