Wednesday, April 25, 2012

IMHO, Don't Take It To the Bank

I pace the floor back and forth, back
to the back window, forth. The sun a splash

of golden light, dust dancing in the wings
as birds tweet their morning melodies

my sweet children sit in a desk for four
hellacious hours, coloring in the right

answer, I hope, but I really don’t care
because this test, this *STAAR* test

is like the government, not run by
lobbyists, though, but by textbook

companies, I bet you $50.00 that’s
the truth hiding in Texas’ balanced budget.

It’s all about the money MON-EY, it’s all about
the money; not the fresh air of childhood

that breezes through school in a floral
springtime bliss, or the dryer’s pacifying

whir as I stir about like a mother hen
looking for answers in the sky.

©laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: IGWRT Ella's Edge- Inner/Outer poetry

~~~
**I changed it up a bit. I'd love to know which one you like better.

I pace the floor
back and forth,
back to the back
window, and forth.
The sun a splash
of golden light
dust flecks dancing
in the wings
as birds tweet
their morning melody

my children sit
in a desk for four
hellacious hours,
coloring in the right
answer. Check it once
twice, thrice; but
don’t read or draw
or blow your nose
lest you disturb

the air of childhood
breezing through the school
a floral springtime bliss.

I pace the floor
back and forth,
back to the back
window, and forth

and look to the sky for answers
as money blows through the trees.

23 comments:

Patricia Anne McGoldrick said...

Laurie, your poem brings back memories of such mandatory testing with all its militaristic rules and hoopla. Chose a bit of an early retirement from teaching and am enjoying the time to write. This poem was a great way to vent--well done!:)

Mary Mansfield said...

Ugh, standardized testing, nothing like government involvement to make things more complicated and difficult. And I'd venture that you are absolutely right, it's about the money. By the way, a balanced state budget?? Must be nice!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Hmmmm.....I think I like your first one best, Laurie..........it drew me right in..........great write!

Mama Zen said...

First, you are absolutely right. And, Texas' textbook purchasing power is also getting our history edited beyond recognition.

I actually like the second piece. I adore the break and transition:


"don’t read or draw
or blow your nose
lest you disturb

the air of childhood
breezing through the school"

Great write!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Wonderful take on a dry subject. Yes, you're right, but you often are. :)

Karen said...

I think the second one flows easier. I love the last two lines!

Mary said...

I like the second one...with some additional details. I think it reads crisper, and the shorter lines work!

Anonymous said...

I really like this: "back and forth, back to the back window, forth"

And I agree with you on testing and textbooks and money and schools and the lack of air being breathed inside buildings.

I prefer the second poem.

rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Brian Miller said...

ugh...i cnat stand standardized tests....and it is about money...which sucks....i actually like hte first version better....

Kay L. Davies said...

I'm with Sherry, I like the first one best, although I can't explain why.
Well done, Laurie, both of them, very well done.
K

Ella said...

Well Done! I love the first one best~
It is sad, it is all about the $...

Ella said...

Sorry Laurie~

Marian said...

the first one! fantastic!!

Margaret said...

I like some of what you say in the first...

I like reading the second - it is tighter and easier to read... but I would put a bit more of the content in the first into the second...

Don't even get me started on standardized testing, no child left behind, and Texas's publishing power. I actually will be homeschooling (I think) two of my children next year ... I'm just fed up!

Daydreamertoo said...

The first one nailed it for me!

Kerry O'Connor said...

To me, the first one seemed more measured - I took my time reading it, while the shorter lines of the second version seemed more frenetic.

One thing that gave me pause, was the line: as birds tweet their morning melodies... Sad that this could have more than one meaning these days, birdsong replaced by tweets.

turtlememoir said...

I like the first one best, I like it very much... and standardized testing says nothing about those being tested, and everything about those who force this kind of testing on others

Peggy said...

Not to be just different, but I like the second one. I almost always prefer shorter lines and the more concise approach. Just easier for me to take in the ideas and images I think. I always just told my kids to do the best they could and forget it. As for the teaching part--there is a reason i did not go into teaching!! Write on!

Peggy said...

Not to be just different, but I like the second one. I almost always prefer shorter lines and the more concise approach. Just easier for me to take in the ideas and images I think. I always just told my kids to do the best they could and forget it. As for the teaching part--there is a reason i did not go into teaching!! Write on!

Susie Clevenger said...

I hate standardized tests...it is not a test of knowledge but how each child copes with taking a test...I actually like both of them...

Heaven said...

I like the first one....for me its more "angry" than the second one...I hate those kind of schemes...all for the money ~

Happy day to you ~

Herotomost said...

First one has weight...and I am in total agreement, we have similar here in Arizona...when are they going to come to grips that children learn in different ways and retain information in different ways. Weirdly, a lot of the teachers know it and are able to do what little they can...but the handcuffs of small mindedness and liability are hard to unlock. Great thought process and writing.

Mystic_Mom said...

I can't pick one I like best. I felt different reading each, and I like that. it was like looking at the same thing but one through a window or while talking and the other observing. Both are very well done!