A Teacher's Day

The day in the life of an inner city large urban school district teacher after the high stakes testing ends and there is still three more months left before summer vacation.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

I have taught school for over thirty years always in the inner city and for the most part always upper grade students. I have two children and I have been married for twenty years.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Opera of the Wood

The silence of the forest is not the silence of the empty classroom, the teacher bent over his desk grading papers, a book open to page 202, a soft breeze blowing through a crack in the window. It is not the city at 3 AM, a residential street, everyone asleep, the cat leaning into the grass to nap. The forest is the love song of the loon, the call of the killdeer, an easy sigh through the leaves, the first fish surprised by a development of legs pushing itself out of the water into the tall grass where the crickets tell the temperature and the grasshoppers charm each other. The opera of the trees is just that grand, the wind that perfect, the harmony of the birds exactly right.

Words: Michael H. Brownstein

Bolivian Love Song

Voices fill the air. Somewhere a man has given himself to his god and stands at the bridge of a cliff looking over the white nipples of water cresting over sand and stone. He is a serious man given over to laughter and happiness as all serious men are. He understands the value of self, the need to comprehend the color of clouds and light reflected onto the sea, the way the sun ducks in and out like a goldfish among shells.

The man can stand still and listen a long time. He can taste the music. He can feel it bite his skin, smooth his hair, move through his legs.

He has known love and he lingers over it, smiles, laughs loud enough to disturb the herring gulls near his feet, and when he turns away, the wind tugs at his shirt, grass sweeps across his feet, and a single leaf crowns his head.
Have you ever heard an angel sigh? He has, but he cannot find the words to describe how it sounds.

Words: Michael H. Brownstein

Rush Hour Crawl

Even with the air conditioning on full blast and the radio humming along,
Even with the slanders of work.
Even with the haze from the factories near the highway.
Even with a settting sun and a lack of trees.
Even with a creek of cars and every dam in the exact wrong place.
Even with a silence when you turn, finally, off the road and enter the side streeets to your house.
Even with the rain.

Words: Michael H. Brownstein


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your message. I always appreciate your wanting to promote Positive Action.

Your poetry is first rate.

5:35 AM  

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