No more excuses.
Today is your day to begin.
No more excuses.
Today is your day to begin.
What if there was
another you who lived on the Isle of Skye?
And what if, in the soft light of that
you forgot to think the thoughts
that hold you back?
What if, in the mist,
you knew all,
you forgave all,
and you remembered to be
oh so gentle with yourself?
What if you, on the Isle of Skye,
could just breathe,
wearing a warm sweater
and half a smile?
And what if your heart’s own work just flowed out of you –
lipping in between the endless hills and endless sea – a balm unto the world?
© 2014 Samantha Bennett
Ode To The Drama Teacher
And as you stand there: Aghast
Because we’re three days from Opening Night and
Ado Annie still doesn’t know her lines and
The Dream Ballet is a Nightmare and
The Light Board Op just got Detention…
You, the Permanently Fatigued.
You, the Loyal-to-the-Point-of-Self-Neglect.
You, the Keeper of a Thousand-and-Eleventeen Secret Dreams.
You are the one who makes it all Look So Easy.
Who would have expected that the most important Skill you learned getting your BA
Juggling Paperwork and Personalities and oh, right – weren’t you supposed to have a
Private Life around here somewhere?
But even though you are Sick to Death of
Spoon River Anthology
You still puddle up every time you hear
There’s A Place For Us
No matter how Off-Key.
And while you still remember when you
Brought the House Down in
You now love This House.
You have created a House where any child – no matter how Flamboyant, no matter how Shy –
Can embrace their Inner Ethel Merman (and thanks to those English 101 classes you now must teach, you are keenly aware that using “their” in the previous sentence is increasingly considered correct and honestly, it’s really the only sensible answer as writing “his or her” is as damaging to poetry as the participle that dangles.)
And you have created a House where any child – no matter how Flamboyant, no matter how Shy – can dive straight to the Deepest, Darkest, Quietest corner of human suffering and bring a room of teenagers – and yes, you, too – to silent tears.
A Family for the Misfit and a
Safe Spot to land no matter how bad The Mid-Terms are.
Because despite all the Budget Cuts and The Paperwork and
The Meetings about the Meeting to Schedule the Meetings and
The Truancies and The Parents
Dear God The Parents and
Nothing on this Green Earth compares to watching a group of kids
Learn the true meaning of Ensemble.
And nothing compares to the pure joy of watching The Ones whom you knew would Eventually Get It
Finally. Really. Get It.
And nothing nothing nothing compares to The Confidences shared in low tones as they seek you out in
The Choir Room
The Front Seat of the Van on the way home from Fullerton.
You aren’t teaching Drama.
Which we all know is a Comedy – a Chekhovian Comedy – but a Comedy nonetheless.
And you aren’t teaching Choreography
You are teaching them to Dance.
And you aren’t teaching them how to be a Character.
You are teaching them how to be Themselves.
Making room for Art in a world that seems to have no room for Art.
(Because, by the way, that room has been re-purposed as the new Standardized Test Prep Center – you don’t mind rehearsing outside, do you?)
And here’s to you –
Scrounging around for new shows that somehow match the sets you already have
Because some Genius on the School Board has
Recently Announced that not only can you not perform Huckleberry Finn
Or Anouilh’s Antigone (probably because he couldn’t pronounce it) and
Given the flap over theScene from M. Butterfly last year, I guess
March of the Falsettos and The Vagina Monologues are
Out of the Question for the Spring
So Oh Dear God it looks like it’s going to be
Arsenic And Old Lace one more blessed time.
But that’s OK
I love Arsenic And Old Lace.
Making room for Another Coffee Mug with
Those Damn Masks on them
Making room in the Chorus for
Just One More
© 2011 Samantha Bennett
If you would like to share or reprint this poem, I’d be honored. Please be sure to credit me properly by including my full name and website address (© 2011 Samantha Bennett, https://theorganizedartistcompany.com).
And as you stand there
Because you forgot to allow time to park
And the elevator was slow
And you left 10 minutes late to begin with
With your shoes that pinch
And your pants that are a little too small
Since you started eating white bread again
And as you paw through your bag
Looking for the suite number
That you’re not sure you wrote down to begin with
You, the untidy.
You, the careless.
You, the easily distracted by sparkly things.
The money you spend on late fees alone
Could feed a family in Africa –
Which reminds you that you meant to send in the kids’ Unicef money and
And that despite your best efforts,
You rarely eat a square meal,
You almost never get enough sleep
And exercise seems like a word that magazines have developed
Just to make you feel bad about yourself.
You, flying by the seat of your pants
Making it work
Putting out fires
Saying your prayers
And dancing your dance of now and later and maybe and
As innocent as each morning’s sunrise,
Your good humor is as graceful as a baby giraffe,
Even if that joke you were trying to make to the hotel clerk fell flat
And your toast at the wedding came out sounding a little….funny.
But you have gifts that no one knows about.
You have the strength to bend in the wind
You have the joyful spirit that loves a good belly laugh,
You have the wisdom to understand that everything will all come out all right in the end and
You have the faith to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.
That is, if you could find the book of matches from that romantic restaurant that you went to for your anniversary but since you didn’t have a reservation they made you wait at the bar for half an hour during which you had two appletinis and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur.
So much for the overpriced lingerie.
You are beautiful.
Frazzled and overworked and underpaid
You are the one who forgot your wallet
And forgot your receipt for the dry cleaners
And forgot your keys which you just set down five seconds ago, so where could they possibly have gone?
But you never forget to say, “I love you”
And you never forget to give a big smile to that nice parking guy
And you never fail to show endless patience when the
Too-tightly wrapped and overly-conscientious start to offer their Oh-so-helpful suggestions about how you might feel better if you would just learn to alphabetize your spice rack.
So, wear the lingerie on Monday for no reason.
And why not just refuse to participate in the bake sale this year?
And give yourself a compliment for something you did well today.
Because you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.
I have made a piece that everyone loves, but God, I don’t think it’s very good.
The thing is, it’s not my best work. I feel uncomfortable being praised for
work I’m not that proud of. It’s hard enough receiving compliments I think I
do deserve, much less ones I know I don’t.
I just remembered that I am not responsible for other people’s experiences
of my work.
I am only responsible for creating and curating my work.
And all of my work is made in praise of You.
God, help me get over my own snobbishness, ego and false modesty. Help
me to feel the love that others are sharing with me.
Help me work and live always from the center of a joyful, humble heart.
And as you stand there
Hands clasped in front of you
Concealing the disobedient pounding of your heart
It dawns on you:
And while you no longer allow yourself the long, elaborate
daydreams in which everything works out perfectly,
You catch yourself thinking: Well, it could happen.
And though you have long since given up making bargains
You find yourself whispering: Please.
And since you have — years ago — quit telling
Anyone anything about anything
The things people say, such as,
“Oh, it will happen for you, I just know it!”
“I have a friend who went through the same thing and then one
day, just like magic. . .”
“The minute you stop wanting it, that’s when it will happen.”
So you haven’t told a soul.
Except, after long consideration, your very dearest best friend.
And you know the odds are against you.
You know that life is not a numbers game and
The Lord does, indeed, move in some very mysterious ways and
Haven’t you earned —
And there you stop short.
And it doesn’t matter how hard you’ve tried or how much you’ve
sacrificed or how positive your positive mental attitude has
What matters is reality.
And reality says: It’s possible.
So you dwell in possibility.
Between the dark and the daylight.
No longer storming off, slamming doors, and swearing, “Never
No longer crying out in agony because you had been so sure this
No longer elated by another promising sign.
Committed to enjoying the ride.
Trusting in the friendliness of the universe.
Awakened to your heart’s desire.
Knowing that there is no such thing as false hope.
Real. Hope. Now.
It’s all we have.
And who knows?
Perhaps the best really is
Yet to come.