Day 4 of Gratitude: Poetry & Art

Today, I am honored to present the work of Marshall J. Stephens, friend and writer.  I am grateful for both his friendship and the talent with which he weaves his words.  Enjoy friends and readers.


These are the days when we say
We could have done so much more
The lean days, the poor days
The days where all that’s in the soup is stone

These are the days when we wish
We’d made better use of the time
Cared more carefully for our coin
Ate the scraps instead of trashing them

These are the days of no excuses
No forbearance or delay
The check has come due
Your empty wallet was not consulted

These are the days in which
Focus becomes sharp
Needs shout down wants
And subsistence becomes hope enough

These are the days of empty plates
Just patterns, no crumbs
Bedtime stories end in a full belly, now
And you no longer doubt what you can stomach

These are the lean days
To be followed by finer ones
Where children snicker
At how the old folks worry so

Love, we has it

It’s as if I have the quill and you the pot of ink
and together we write a love story on linen sheets.
Nothing revolutionary,
a tale told and retold since the invention of motion,
but worth repeating none the less;

Nothing is cliche while it’s happening to you.

The first act is all frenetic fingers fumbling
and lips wet and busy,
but the second act goes much deeper.

Repetitious, perhaps, in it’s development
but knowing what comes next
does not dull the impact, the impact, the impact
of the events.

The climax arrives in two meanings and for one moment
the world goes on mute;
There is just you and I and the denouement;
Sentences of only smiles, punctuated by giggles and
beads of of well earned sweat.

It’s as if I have the quill and you the pot of ink
and together we write a love story on linen sheets;
a tale I wish to read over
and over
so long as you are there to relive it with me.

If you wish to read more of Marshall’s work please visit his site. Go ahead, you won’t regret it.

Friday Quick Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy…


Hunger Games
Hunger Games – Rue

The first two weeks of school are always the hardest both for teachers and students.  When teachers reunited in the fall there is the usually catching up conversations and then if you are really lucky you have a chance in between meetings and desperately trying to plan the first couple of weeks of school, there is an opportunity to share ideas.

This year, I was really lucky and our school’s new Social Studies teacher offered me all of her resources on the Hunger Games for my English students.  The popularity of the series lead me to give a resounding yes to the offer.  The books I need to teach the Hunger Games will be in a week or two.

Even so I began reading the series..and haven’t stopped.   If you have read any of these books, you know what happened.  I was hooked.  Storytelling, genuine storytelling has kept me enthralled for three weeks.  Currently I am on the last book, Mockingjay, and if it weren’t for a stomach bug they would be finished.

The protagonist of the series, Katniss, the girl on fire, is a character that nearly everyone can relate to.. one whose feelings are echoed in many of our hearts and souls.  Self-doubt and self-discovery play a huge role in the novels.  Other characters like Rue and Prim steal your heart.

Hunger Games
Katniss & Gale

There are many that will criticize popular novels like the Hunger Games Trilogy and sometimes they have a point that these novels are the best crafted pieces of literature. What makes them popular is the story telling; which in this trilogy is amazing.  I couldn’t make it through the Twilight Trilogy, no matter how many of my students love it.  The Hunger Games Trilogy has all the right stuff.. Check it out. … More later…. back to bed with this sick blogger.