Blue hills

I wake up and I’m remembering my dream. How I was late. Going to a water park with someone I don’t see much of anymore. It was stressful, being with someone I don’t know how to be with anymore. And now it’s hours later and I’m thinking about how reading the news lately maims me. How my heart isn’t doing a good job of withstanding with all of the arrows dished out and delivered to my screen.

Yet I go back again and again. I fall into the hole that I know is there already. Don’t read the news! Don’t let the turkey bastards win!

Why — when I know I’m too tender right now — do I read the news?

Ack, I don’t know. But my dream reminds me of why I think before I place myself into situations. Why I know I’m best served by really thinking what’s good for me before I decide to attend an event. The media right now is an event. An event made further complicated by me myself being a journalist. A disgruntled one, if I’m to be perfectly honest. It’s something to put your sweat into a craft that doesn’t give back what you put in. It’s something to know that words matter so much, so much that I have to turn away from the news to make a safe space around my heart.

My safe heart space is served by what I do during many Tuesdays of the school year: I teach writing at a homeschool community. It’s a divine job, this passing on my love of language. It’s a refuge, the small classroom where we play with words and joke with each other. I’m thrilled to get to teach tankas and pantoums and to play exquisite corpse with my students. To ask them to think about what colors, sounds, textures, smells, tastes and feelings the poems we read evoke in us.

I wear so much color when I teach because it makes me happy and I know my poetry speaks in colors. It whooshes out of my battered heart, encircles it and makes a safe space for all of me. I’m wearing shades of blue today. I’m bringing this blue 6-part Haiku to my students, too. And here it is for you. I hope your Tuesday is good.




Navy blue answers

this teal cardigan who

asks for words that heal.


She wraps one soft scarf

on this color pile, to

spite heartless fools.


Can color win?

It can’t lose, not when five blue

shades cloak tender skin.


Sing a love song in

words, everyone who can’t

carry a tune: hum.


The whoosh of love wears

an ocean, these waves rap a

soothing sound, listen.

-NSA, 11/14/2017

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