Teaching has a heavy toll
It’s one I rarely speak of.
It’s not the tiredness
It’s not the work load
It’s certainly not my colleagues.
Teaching has a heavy toll
It’s hidden behind our smiles
It’s deep within our hearts
Touching us deep inside.
Teaching has a heavy toll
It’s in the faces
In front of us.
Some act up
You can’t always pick it,
But hidden beheath
The young facade
Are stories that make your heart bleed.
The parent who won’t take a child to get perscription glasses
The over crowded houses where there is no privacy
The child who protects his sibblings from the big DV
The child who is never told they are loved
The child sold for a sex ring
The child who lives with a friend of a friend because biology doesn’t want her
The child who had no food to eat for three days because her mother wasn’t hungry
The child who’s father gave her up – he couldn’t afford to keep her
The child that struggles every day to hide their illiteracy
The child that just lost two parents
I could go on for lines and lines
And never hit the end
Some stories bad
Some stories worse
These kids all have something in common
Each day they get right out of bed and put on their uniform
Then they walk right out their door and make it to their school
And then they hide behind
Or their rude behaviour
These children are the hidden toll
These children are the ones I dwell on
Someone it seems should do it.
These children take a heavy toll,
They rarely know anything different.
These children are the ones I rarely talk of.
Sunset across an urban water supply
Probably doesn’t sound so poetic
but despite our urban roadways
Our pavements and our driveways
We can find beautful visions a plenty.
A patch of moss clinks to cement
A flower fights through pavement
A potplant and a pet cat, enjoy the warm spring sunshine.
Beauty hides out, in plain sight
Just waiting for you to find it
It simply takes a simple walk
A bike ride or game of football
Beauty waits and pounces
In a moment of pure delight.
I supervised a class today
They were such delightful students.
All had smiles and welcome grins
All had some correct equipment.
We started off our lesson fine
Some writing, they had to do
We then discussed the topic
Good decision making.
“You have to research the dangers of
“Marijuana, Tobacco and painkillers”
Prompt replies set peels of laugher
“How do you spell marijuana?”
Clever kids can spell phonetically
So “Marry Juana” was the new catch phrase
All afternoon poor Juana
No one wanted to marry Juana.
I am meant to be inclusive
In all the teaching that I do;
I am meant to remove their barriers to learning.
I also like to think that I am good at what I do
Unfortunately I had a realisation.
When discussing some facts of sicence
Imagine my dismay
When I ask about an experience – so simple;
“Who’s been to the beach” – we live not far away.
A sea of hands shoot up with eager tales to tell
But my eye catches the one whose does not.
And I know to my core
That this child has never gone much further
Five kilometers from his door.
And I know the reason why
And I know that he probably will –
Never make it too the beach.
A deep sadness settles close to my heart
That I cannot shake.
I have – unwittingly excluded him
From the current conversation.
There is no way he can participate
I have marked this child as different
I can see it in his face
There is nothing I can do and I know I will exclude him further
For what am I to do?
There is no funding for free excursions, just so he can see
The glory of our beaches, the open expanse of the Sea
There is no funding for free excursions, just so he can feel
The hot burning sand, the salt spray, the cool water on his feet
There is no funding for free excursions, just so he can hear
The sound of crashing waves, the cries of circling gulls and the laughter of his classmates as they all explore the sea.
It’s bloody hot
The sun is down
Not a cloud mares the night
The termostat has not budged
Is there no end in sight
Another long hot humid night
We got a notice
The other day
Popped in the letter box.
We’re coming along
Your street this week
Doing some night works.
As I often do
Until they rock on up
Music temporarily blaring
Engines moaning softly
Not too bad
On most cool nights
Curtains I can shut
But oh the night
They pull right up
Outside my bedroom window
Oh this night
Just happens to be
The hotest night
No air conditioning
Curtains I must now shut
On a week day holiday night
I’m tucked up in my newly made bed
Sore feet resting up for tomorrow’s plight.
They’ve been sore for a good three weeks now
And they will for another few days delight
With their pain and their aching symptoms
Until the doctor gets a sight.
I used to have calm holidays
Time to take lots of care
But now I am studying
That time has slipped else where.
Why do I work all day
Family in the afternoon
Study for 3 hours each night?
Turn out the light exhausted
And promptly drift to sleep?
I wonder why each night
As I set up for my effort
Dragging my tired brain
Logging on to an online lecture
In person, lectures often
Sent me off to quiet dream time
Now I am voluntarily .
Logging on, with no one to see
Sound on mute
Eyes struggling to stay open
Camera on, just so that I cannot fall asleep.
Why do I put myself through this nightly?
A bucket list idea,
I simply want a Masters, not a PhD!
I enjoy the study
Despite the weary eyes
Learning new information
New fasinating ideas
Broadening the mind
Getting that grey matter
To seek out ways to improve
It’s sometimes much more fun
Than that fortnightly paycheck
So tomorrow, I’ll look forward
To the next topic on the list
And I guess I’ll keep on studying
A bit longer now at least.
She is burning
Both on the ground and in the air.
100 plus bush fires devouring
Any grass tree or gum in their paths.
Up and down the coast line
From Brisbane down south,
To way north of Cairns,
Smoke haze fills the sky.
Almost 7000 km available to burn
In this most unusual heatwave
That’s sucking water from everywhere.
Normally at this time of year,
Yes Queensland’s all a swelter
We bitch and moan and hide out
In our refrigerated air.
The humidity is something fierce
Sweat pours out of all our skin
And drips in the most uncomfortable
Places – it can be embarrassing.
This time, it’s some what different
The weather’s in reverse
There is no clouds to mar the sky
No welcome fall of rain
The humidity is so very low
It is just pure and burning heat.
Bring back some gastly humidity
To bring the rain and it’s relief.
We have this thing in Aus,
This thing that we call Nippers
And every Sunday for 6 months
The beaches are crowded
Aged from ankle biting
To teenage sauve and sophisticated
These fluro pink vested kids
Jump up and run for Flags
They sprint the beach
They swim through waves
They perform mock tube rescues
Their leaders point them into surf
And back out again for fun.
These fearless kids
Learn all sorts
From swimming to first aid.
These groups of kids that pack the sand
They are our surf life saving “Nippers”.
For those not from Australia – “kids” is a colloquial word for children and “nippers” is another Aussie term for children (usually the smaller variety).