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Poem for the Time that Lies Beside the End of Time


To be one who prepares children & the future
      Is to be forever young, forever inside
      A material language which enlightens
      Students, which is both a kindness
      & a kind of nourishment one provides. 

To be one who nourishes the hearts & minds
      Is to feed both hungers—the one in-
      Side the belly & the one inside the lungs.
      To share manna w/ one’s neighbor is 
      To reap a compensation that keeps &
      Accumulates in the straightest of spines. 

To be one who uprights & illustrates & awes,
      To be at once reverent & irreverence,
      Both liquid & solid, like glass.  To be
      This sort of noble, to be one who en-
      Acts this sort of anti-dalliance is to be
      One who makes one’s homeland holy,
      A home one may palm with one’s hand.

To be one who finds the topical concordance
      & sings angel tenor & sings the mind
      Electric for students in humid class-
      Rooms where one might actually think
      Glass flows downward over time.  To
      Teach & feel the material being taught
      & feel teaching is one’s charge, one’s
      Lightning-charged calling, not one's chore.

To be one who charges the batteries of others,
      Illuminates student attention to the fact
      That in this life the most beautiful acts
      Humans are capable of practicing are
      To love & to learn & to love to learn,
      Perhaps enough to make the education
      Of others one’s primary function, one’s
      Charge & mission.  To do the lord’s work,
      To carry children across as many rivers

As one is able, to give one’s day to the daily bread.
Posted 03/19/13
Dedicated to Tim Curry (1953-2012), dear friend and master teacher.
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