Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What does not kill you

The theory is that what does not kill you makes you stronger. I would posit that this is not entirely true. Some days being at the bottom of the pecking order (or, in my case, one fairly large and elegant step to the side) can wear you down, a little like a constant drip of water can wear down a stoic stone. You may counter with 'water off a duck's back' and I would counter that with the fact that I neither look nor smell like a duck and if you were to throw water at me (as has happened in the past), it will not roll off me, it will make me wet and a little humiliated. Over the 11 and a bit years I have been at school, I have endured much at the hands of my poetically-challenged peers and when you're bunkered down under constant fire it's a given that you'll retain a few injuries here and there.

Today's poem is a haiku:

My school bag is full
Of emotional baggage
Nowhere to put books

On a lighter note, in English we are studying Edgar Allan Poe and I am gaining some very good tips for the future.

Yours in poetry,
Poet Laureate Telia Nevile

Saturday, September 11, 2010

True or False

Your school years are the best days of your life...true or False?

Would that we all ended up with tickets to Iron Maiden... :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Siren call of the Slow Dance

Gentle listeners, in the past you may have heard my ode to the dances I attended while in the tender years of primary school - 'Blue Light Disco, Green Light Romance'. Ah yes...the heady days before the whole issue of popularity or sexual appeal really kicked in under the mirror ball. With advancing years though, and the onset of body hair and pheremones, school dances became increasingly fraught with tense undercurrents, dimly understood body language and much second-guessing of self and others.

When the slow dance number played, were you filled with hope or with despondency? Did you feel the gentle warmth of a much-desired partner, or the moist, clamminess of someone you simply didn't know how to say no to? Did the genders divide like the red sea, each clinging like barnacles to the safety of the gym wall? Did you indeed know how to dance, or did you perform the preoccuppied shuffle that passed for dancing when all you were really looking for was a quick pash and maybe a stolen cigarette out the front before your parents came to pick you up?

...oh the memories...

It is experiences like these school dances that can shape your reactions to dancefloors (particularly those at weddings, where the lack of a partner is most obvious) for the rest of your natural-born life. As a long-time denizen of the dreaded 'singles table', I can tell you that there are a few songs whose opening chords still make my heart sink. Watching happy couples shuffle around, stepping on each other's toes and giggling, or lightly stroking each other's buttocks, I heave a heavy sigh, but deep down I know that Billy Idol has the right of it:

"When there's no-one else in sight
In the crowded lonely night
Well I wait so long
For my love vibration
And I'm dancing with myself"

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hot for Teacher

Romance in the classroom is the heady stuff that daydreams are truly made of. Every newly-pubescent teenager is eager to try their hand at the exciting sport of love that has kicked off in their midst, and while some have the option of actually taking to the court and handling the ball, others are unfortunately side-lined due to a lack of talent or appeal.

If you have known the pain of being on the alternates bench, forced to learn by observation rather than participation, eeking out small amounts of pleasure vicariously rather than viscerally, then you too may have turned your daydreams to loftier heights. After all, if you're not given the chance to take part in your own league, what's the harm in day-dreaming of playing at a higher standard...say, pro-ball?

During my tenure as a teenager, my eye was caught more than once by one of my learned teachers. As my intellectual equals they were more desirable than my classmates, who often seemed to have been raised by wolves. Pointless posturing and displays of supposed bravado were not for them - they were assured in their knowledge and power, and this assurance carried with it the power to attract people like myself who were hungry for the timeless, romantic side of love.

While I knew that I could never consumate my crushes on these secondary school superiors, dreaming held frission enough to satisfy...for the time being at least...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Penetrating the jungle

They say evolution has come a long way since the dawn of mankind, but under the flickering light and shadow of the classroom canopy you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. High school is a blackboard jungle and inside its difficult-to-navigate confines, survival of the fittest reigns supreme.

As you penetrate this uncivilised terrain, brushing away the vines that scratch at your face and avoiding the pits that have been dug to trap the unwary, you must be on your guard at all times. Should you find someone of the same species to watch your back, or better still, a pack that you can become part of, you achieve some measure of safety. If you discover, however, as I did, that you are the last remnant of an almost-extinct breed then it is now you against the rest of the world. It is a thriving ecosystem you have just entered and those above you on the foodchain are always hungry for fresh blood.

In my own struggle to maintain my delicately poetic lifeforce, I adopted many jungle warfare strategies. Camouflage was particularly effective, and while it can sometimes stifle the creative spark, if approached as a grand adventure, there is a silver lining to the subterfuge. During my time undercover in the wild and unruly depths of higher learning I gleaned what knowledge I could of the human animal and its strengths and weaknesses. Putting myself at risk, I plunged headlong into the dense vegetation and sought the seeds of truth where they lay discarded after the feeding frenzies of my classmates.

National Geographic's most intrepid reporters have nothing on this poet.

What memories of the blackboard jungle are lurking in the darkest depths of your mind? What squawks and what growls still haunt you as you try to drift to sleep in the dead of a winter night?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Learning to swim

Transferring into a new high school part-way through your secondary schooling career (a career more lofty for some than for others) is perilous, above and away the usual trauma of life-relocation that usually happens in tandem with it.

Picture yourself as a goldfish that has been scooped out of the pet-store tank (which may have been manky, but was at least familiar) and placed into a temporary plastic bag - a bag through which you can view the entire world that now swings fleetingly before you. You do not know when you will leave your isolated plastic bag, and you do not know what location you are being taken to. This bag-bubble, while comfortable and full of possibility, is unnerving precisely because you do not know when it will all disappear and you will be expected to assimilate again.

Picture now, your plastic bag approaching a new aquarium full of new ornaments and a sleek host of strangers. The current inhabitants of the aquarium you are being dropped into are bigger, more confident,and much more capable of either excluding or eliminating trespassers in their patch of the ocean.

Now swim.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

First Day

First times, of all varieties, can be heart-palpitating rollercoaster rides of emotion where one minute you stand on the verge of a wonderland of opportunity, and the next minute you stare blinking into the light, alone and afraid, and very much aware that your legs are the only things that are standing up for you. My own first day of high school had some dizzy highs and some breathless lows, but I knew, looking forward, that these first difficult steps would set me on the road to a breadth of learning that would lend my amateur aspirations to the poetic arts the kind of gravitas that they truly needed.

It was a journey of many miles that I faced...