I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

23 July 2016

The Teacher

I believed you were holy and strong.
I wanted a good teacher, wise enough
to instruct me faultlessly, so I could make
my life perfection. I knew you knew it all. 

The re-assessment was gradual. You said
things I couldn't agree to. My subservience 
to your understanding was shaken. Then,
on some facts that I knew, you were just wrong.

Yet you spoke with conviction. Oh well, 
it wasn't a lasting problem. I moved away.
Our correspondence was brief and infrequent.
I remembered you as a great teacher.

Twenty years later, while travelling, I visit
the bitter old woman you have become.
During most of our lunch, you castigate
one of my closest friends for an ancient mistake –

ignoring her many achievements since.
Our conversation has nowhere much to go
after I contradict you – though, in the old habit
of reverence, I say little. Soon it's time to leave.

I know I won't be back. I know I have grown
into my own opinions, my own ways of living 
my (imperfect) life. I kiss you goodbye, saddened. 
I see you are still an excellent teacher.


At dVerse, for Part 5 of the 5th anniversary week, we are asked to:  Write on a belief that you once had that has now changed or you let go of it.  Did it change any relationships that you had?  

17 comments:

  1. Yes, that last stanza, we should be able to learn also from those who should learn themselves. I think I have met those kind of people before.

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  2. Beautifully poignant, Rosemary. I can't describe many times I have encountered people like these in my life.

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  3. some people are so flat characters...opinionated & won't budge...really tragic for them...

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  4. sounds like they have gone through the change for sure...and perhaps you breaking from their spell a bit...hopefully now, they have taught you not to end up the same way, to let go so that the bitterness does not set in.

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  5. Wow, Rosemary. I have had a few of these moments both as the worshiper and the worshipped, and I've felt the dis-engagement both ways. Accepting imperfection as a state of being is one thing, living the moments of discovery takes it to another plane that is sometimes startling and always illuminating.

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  6. That last line...how the meaning had changed of "excellent teacher" no longer one to be admired, but a lesson of what not to become.

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  7. Beautifully done, Rosemary, I feel the sadness of that final leaving. That is a wonderful prompt!

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  8. I enjoyed this very much, especially the last two stanzas.

    This is my favorite:

    "Our conversation has nowhere much to go
    after I contradict you – though, in the old habit
    of reverence, I say little."

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  9. I say don't keep in touch and don't communicate with her after all. How sad that she turned into a bitter old lady. This is well done Rosemary. Thanks for joining our week's celebration.

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  10. SMiLes.. my Friend
    in every human
    interaction.. i
    go into
    it fresh
    as student
    as much as
    i can kNoWinG
    nothing.. and
    leave
    with
    the gift
    of lEarn..
    the more i think
    about in advance..
    the less i lEarn..
    an open
    mind
    is
    wHere
    i GroW..
    the best
    teachers
    are alWays
    disciples
    of
    lEArn..
    Have a great day!..:)

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  11. Hold fast to yourself. Keep being you and howling at the moon. At this point, you are your own best teacher.

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  12. I know this Rosemary. There have been many teachers' in my life, for which I am grateful. But now and again I find I don't really know a particular teacher at all, they are not the person I thought they were.
    I agree with Toni's thoughts above.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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  13. Bitterness, like rancor & anger is just below the surface in most of us. If life deals harshly with someone, too often the demons of emotion take the driver's seat; a sad, personal, truthful poem indeed; cool.

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  14. It's very, very hard when the scales fall away and we see people for what they are, especially if we have looked up to them. It's a blessing if we can learn, and not become embittered in the process.

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  15. Ouch, Teacher gotta loosen up a bit... Welp, you're still learning from them in a way. Must be hard tho, since it was someone you saw as great. ugh.

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