April 12, 2016

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Poetry Friday: Down Days

Writerly Friends, it has been quiet over here at Author Amok because life has NOT been quiet at the Shovan household.

Santa Claus is on vacation, but
Poetry Friday never rests!
Thanks to Donna at Mainely
for hosting this week.

When last we posted, the gifts were wrapped, the in-laws were about to arrive, and we were preparing for a festival of eats that could have fed a bus-load of Shovans.

Our holiday table is a mash-up of traditions. Two of our five Christmas Eve fishes (rockfish and crab) were in the Maryland crab soup -- in honor of our adopted state

Our main course was Pasta Aglio e Olio with walnuts and anchovies my  husband's Italian family only eats on Christmas Eve. If you make it right, the anchovies are not at all "hairy."

And for dessert on Christmas Day, I made my mother's English trifle. That's a story and a poem for another time.

A poem about my grandmother's Christmas trifle
made its merry way to Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
for the Poetry Friday holiday exchange.

A few days later: more family in Florida, meeting a brand new nephew for the first time, a snow storm, high school applications for my daughter, my son building his own computer, me participating in Pitch Wars (!) and getting an issue of Little Patuxent Review ready for press, and a house filled with life and cookies.

Then, this Monday, everything magically returned to "normal." 

Whew! Hello, Routine! I missed you.

It's taking me a few days to get my self together (substitute jammies for Calvin's birthday suit, and you'll get the picture). I'd gotten used to eight hours of sleep and watching Doctor Who with my middle schooler.

It's around this time of year -- we're returning from the holidays, it's gray outside, and there's a full half of the school year to go -- that people get a little down. Not just us grown up writers, but our students and young friends, too.

Down Days

My mom’s at work, my dad’s online.
No one comes to wake me.

Even the dog forgets he should
jump on the bed and shake me.

My socks don’t match. My hair poufs up.
My homework isn’t packed.

My lunch has only healthy stuff.
We’re out of treats and snacks.

Dad gets annoyed when I point out
I’m going to miss the bus.

He says he’ll drive if I’ll just stop
making such a fuss.

Some days are like a fast, cold stream
and I’m a little fish

lonely in this great big school

afraid to make a splash.

Okay, okay. I admit that my first version of this poem had a different last stanza:

lonely in this great big school
afraid to make a splish (splash!).

I thought it was adorable, but no one else did. And my middle school daughter, she just found it confusing. It's one of those lines that's going to bother me forever.

For all of us feeling a little low, let's break out our light boxes, take the dogs for a walk, and get some sunshine.

You've got to love a routine that includes returning to Poetry Friday.


Donna Smith said...

Oh, you have to return to "splish". It's what was in my head before I read it. I think you could add another couple of lines in the poem explaining that you knew it should be splash...I won't attempt it because it is your sweet poem! (and of course, you can keep splash, since it is your poem!) But don't be afraid of splish! It is a good non-word.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Happy New Year, Laura! You've certainly captured familiar feelings of young and old alike, trying to reacclimate after a wonderful stretched-out holiday. I think it's those darned transitions that are so hard (says one packing up for a move...!) ;0)

Diane Mayr said...

Fortunately, falling back into a routine comes fairly easy-- especially when one lives with two cats!

I'll put my vote in for "splish," too! Happy 2014!

Linda B said...

I 'think' I'm back in the routine, but arising in the dark again have made the days very long! Your poem is one I'll certainly share with a lot of exhausted teachers, even after 2 weeks of vacation, or maybe because of them! Thanks Laura, happy you had a nice holiday it seems, and I see you finished your Review too! Congratulations!

jama said...

It's definitely hard to get back to the routine -- perfect poem. Loved hearing about your busy, delicious holiday. Anxious to hear more about that beautiful English trifle . . . :) Happy New Year!

Tara said...

29I feel your poem, Laura - it's been a rough week of back to waking at 5 and getting to work in the dark. Voting for the splish, too!

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Donna! I'm glad someone else likes my splish.

Robyn -- very good luck with your move.

Author Amok said...

Jama -- The trifle did come out quite as I remembered it. Maybe because my mother forgot some small details in her throw-it-all-together recipe (like the best kinds of family recipes). I'm going to have to make trifle again just to get it right. Sigh. I know how sorry you feel for me.

Bridget Magee said...

Thank you, Laura, for a poem that captures the second "Back to School" season. And I, too, vote for "splish". Happy New Year! =)

Tricia said...

I'm still thinking of all the holiday goodies and loving the picture of your trifle!

And I'm with the others ... I love splish! Thanks for sharing your poem.

I find I always hit a bit of a low point this time of year. Fortunately, the return of the students always puts a smile back on my face.

Buffy Silverman said...

That trifle looks delish...
and I cast my vote for splish (no splash needed.)

Violet N. said...

Though I've been back to routine for a while now, your description of holidays followed by your delightful poem put me back at the junction. And do keep the "splish."

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I loved catching up with your news, Laura, and thank you for squeezing Alchemy School in there. Your Down Days is spot on, but I was really interested in your trifle poem--we ate not one but two at my mother-in-law's in England--but I couldn't find it. Will you share?

Hope your next week of routine hits higher!

Mary Lee said...

Well, at the risk of sounding like a crank, I'm going to throw my vote in for the splash. No splish for me!

That verse about the lunch made me snort. Going back to the routine of my same-ol-same-ol healthy lunch was one of the hardest parts about this first week back!

GatheringBooks said...

Oh hello there Laura, I am sending you rays of sunshine from Singapore to ease the doldrums a little bit. My 12 year old is going back to school tomorrow, holidays are over, seemed like a blur as you noted. But she's also excited (I think). Loved your poem and the splish! :)

Doraine said...

Hoping the next week is just splishy.

Linda said...

I feel like that little fish lately too! Your poem really fits how many of us (kids and adults) are feeling! : )

Tabatha said...

Hi Laura! I thought that I already left a comment, but I don't see one from me. I like "splish" too. Thumbs up for trifles as well!

Dash has a six-day weekend coming up, so it feels like we're almost back in vacation mode.

I hope we can get together for lunch before too long!