Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

the old man carried piglets

It’s the last day of National Poetry Month, and I find looking at a photograph can inspire. Here’s my last one for a while. Probably.

pigs

The old man carried piglets in his arms

under his armpits, actually

like two plump packages filled with

good things, they

squealed obediently, smelling

of earth and excrement, they

squealed curling and uncurling their

pink pig-tails, knowing

that the old farmer loved them

that a field of purple flowers was

waiting, patiently like a lover

the man walked many miles, or

what felt like many miles

(for what does a pig know

of distance

more than from sty to trough)

so he walked many miles, this man

setting one foot after the other, squish squash

squish squashing into the moistness

below his feet, and the pigs

snorted happily, short gruff grunts

as if they had just eaten a plate

full of scraps, short gruff grunts

confident that there would be lilacs

at the end of their journey, so sure

of his love, so sure of his love

he clutched them tightly around their middles

and they felt warm and safe

beneath the dark wool that made up his sweater

home, and they squealed

as he entered with them still

under his arms, still

not struggling, still believing

ever faithful

as he sliced off their heads

one, two

for his sweet sausage stew.

Have you ever experienced betrayal? Felt like someone was cutting your head off for their delight?

tweet me @rasjacobson

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Adolescence: Another Taste

In honor of National Poetry Month, I’m committing poetry.

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Click HERE to see other work by Paulina Wierzgacz.

While other girls, afraid

of their own soft hands hid

behind masks, under rocks, dreamed

of  boys in tight Levi’s

we met under a rotting pavilion

after roller-skating:  Neither of us knew how

to start so he stretched out, nervously

into my lap, settled

into thighs, exposed earlier

only to the hands of the sun.

His chest was jasmine

and we pressed together

silent, holding

our breath, in my hands

a slender purple flower.

Later, the girls squealed, begged

to hear about a single snake

pressing against the temple door

but I had learned to hold hands

with the night, listen

to the lunatic song of crossing winds,

to admire purple flowers

without words.

What do you remember about your first time? Or how do you wish it went?

tweet me @rasjacobson

Shecky the Meckyl and His Technicolor Groove: My Seussian Self-Help Book

A Bully Free Zone sign - School in Berea, Ohio

Image via Wikipedia

When my son was in 5th grade, he went through a rough patch socially. We had moved to a new house – which meant a new school for him, and there was one douche-bag boy in particular who made his daily life difficult.

In an effort to try to deal with what my son was feeling, I created a little picture book with weird little drawings of a funky little creature named Shecky the Meckyl — who just so happened to be getting teased by some other “Meckyls.”

My son let me read it to him.

Once.

When I finished, I asked him what he thought about my book. He exhaled with the kind of exhaustion that seemed too dramatic for a 5th grader.

“I get it, Mom. I’m Shecky. And some day some people will appreciate me for who I am. I just have to wait it out.”

In hindsight, my son’s annoyed tone wasn’t inappropriate. I was trying to simplify a complex problem. I was telling him “Be Yourself!” when he knew all too well the person that he was — his core self — was being rejected daily. He felt attacked, defenseless, and friendless.

Over the weekend, we found the old manuscript in a bin.

He didn’t remember it, so we read it again.

I thought I would share it. It may not have worked in the moment, but it reminds me that the woes of youth are, in his case, quickly forgotten. And perhaps my little story might offer something else to someone who is going through a rough patch.

• • •

Shecky the Meckyl & His Technicolor Groove

Shecky the Meckyl had a technicolor groove

He’d leave colors in his wake whenever he’d move.

Sweet Shecky had colors where shadows should be

He made rainbows on sidewalks for Meckyls to see.

Shecky loved colors, as most people do,

But Meckyls turned up their noses and said, “PICKLE-POO!”

Which was not a nice thing for a Meckyl to say.

It made Shecky sad, and his colors turned gray.

Said one nasty Meckyl on one nasty day:

“We don’t like your colors; we don’t like your hues

We step in your shades, and get stains on our shoes!”

“You are too bright!” said this nasty fellow,

“Your pink is too pink, your yellow, too yellow!”

“Why don’t you keep all those shades deep inside?

Lock them up tight,”

And so . . . Shecky tried . . .

He held in the purple

He held in the green

He held in the fuschia

And aquamarine.

But once in a while some blue would appear

And the Meckyls would laugh as they though he was queer.

Shecky was puzzled as Meckyls could be

He missed the bright hues which had filled him with glee.

Shecky sat himself down on a cold piece of birch.

And his smile flew away alone in that prickle-perch.

He was sitting deserted on his bum in the street

When who do you think Shecky happened to meet . . .

But his friend Schmeckyl Meckyl who was out for a walk

And when he saw Shecky he stopped for a talk.

“Where are your colors, Shecky? Where did they go?

Can’t they come back, Shecky? Please make it so!”

Shecky answered sadly, a tear in his eye,

“Other Meckyls don’t like them, so why even try?”

“Don’t let those Jabber-Flabbers rain on your parade.

I like you, Shecky and all the colors you’ve made.”

“Please make a rainbow, you know what to do.

Those Meckyls are just cranky. Don’t let them change you!”

So Shecky straightened the glockins which grew from his bum,

He squeezed and he pushed and hoped they would come.

And it started to happen, as things frequently do,

Shecky smiled a smile, and his colors shone through!

With colors flip-flapping, once more Shecky was high,

Ready for anything under the sky.

Some Meckyls still look at Shecky with shlock in their eye,

But now Shecky is thankful he is a colorful guy.

My son doesn’t like to discuss 5th grade, and he rolls his eyes at me when I mention it. Meanwhile, I remain on amber alert.

Just because he is able to “straighten his glockins” and refuses to allow the “Mean Meckyls” of the world to be his undoing, I’m not so sure the same can be said of his mother.

What would you do if you found out your kid was a “Mean Meckyl”? When do you let kids fight their own battles? And when, if ever, do you move to intervene? And would you ever have your child call to apologize to another?