Classy Humour.

The teacher stood at the front of the room, textbook in hand, as the students settled down to business. 

“Please open your text book to page four hundred and four, and… yes, James?”

The teacher looked with anticipation at the young man sitting in the second row, hand raised and an awkward smile on his face. 

“That page cannot he found.” 

His classmates looked confusedly at James, and then at the specified page in their own books.

The teacher frowned. “Are you sure? There must be some kind of mistake.”

James’ smile became a triumphant grin. “It’s an error 404.”

***

Credit for this story must be given to my student, James, who actually did this in one of his classes, and gave me permission to write it as a drabble.

Final Notice.

Listen,
Now that you’ve made it clear
That I don’t matter to you,
I need you to return my things:

The time you were always asking for,
Countless borrowed hands,
The respect you mistook for deference,
The love you took for granted,
My confidence,
My dignity,
And everything else you took
When I wasn’t looking.

©2018 Joanne Van Leerdam

Full.

“I’m full of good ideas,” I told him,
“Full of something,” he promptly said,
And he was right: there’s always more
Than just bright ideas in my head.

Vivid memories stream on a cinema screen,
To a soundtrack of favourite songs,
A maple tree full of autumn leaves
So my heart can visit where it belongs.
There’s a flowing river of storylines
And a deep well of imagery,
A box full of timely lessons, hard learned,
And useful facts from world history.
The walls are lined with shelves of books
And pictures of beloved faces,
There’s a graveyard to visit with those who have passed
And doorways to favourite places.

And right at the back, where no-one can see,
In the darkest part of my brain,
There’s a very deep hole where I throw away
Things I don’t want to think of again.

©2018 Joanne Van Leerdam

Fairy Lights.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com
 
Just like a bundle of fairy lights, stowed carelessly,
I am a mess of entangled emotions
A jumbled catastrophe, knotted and messy,
Some parts are missing, some coloured glass broken;
Synapses misfire in slightly frayed wires:
There’s danger in causing my power to surge,
I don’t always light up the way others desire
But I can be quite lovely when I have the urge.

©2017 Joanne Van Leerdam

1.37am

Promo Leaf 1.37am Plain
I’m crying when I should be sleeping
And I’m not even sure of what’s wrong,
But sadness whispers it’s cruelest lies
When I’m alone in the dark for too long.

The blackness is filled with aching
And misery heavier than air,
Velvet blankets of darkness enfold me
As I drown in the waves of despair.

I wish that my mind would stop churning,
Let my body and soul find some peace;
But the pain and the fear keep returning,
Denying me any release.

If the coldest, darkest hour,
Is the one that comes just before dawn,
This darkness must give up its power
When the first hint of morning is born.

Oh please, let the first light come quickly
And replenish my heart with its fire
Let the daylight drive out the darkness
And bring me the peace I desire.

Leaf 2nd Ed Title Only copy
©2016 Joanne Van Leerdam

This poem is one of 43 that appear in the collection titled Leaf.

Still Here.

Before you read this poem, there is something I would like you to know.

This poem is absolutely, 100% true. It is personal, it is painfully honest, and it tells of my own experience, not anyone else’s.  And you may find it quite confronting.

Despite its darkness, it is written to be positive, not negative. 

It was not written to win sympathy or make anyone feel guilt: it was written so that people might understand what’s in my head, and what I’ve been feeling, and why I’ve made the choices I have.

To answer your concerns: I have chosen to stay here and to defy all impulses that tempt me otherwise. I don’t always feel okay, I’m not always okay, but I will be okay. 

For anyone in a similar position: hold on. Stay here. You matter more than you know. 

Promo X Still Here Plain.jpeg

STILL HERE.

For a moment-
One fleeting, isolated point in time-
Or maybe two,
I thought about it.

I had the means.
God knows, I had motive.
But I couldn’t do it to you.

I know you would have understood.
But I know, too, how you would have mourned.
The grief.
The anger.
The questions.
I would have destroyed much more than myself.

So I resisted,
Summoning strength I didn’t have,
Holding on desperately
To everything that matters-
To everything I know that I love-
Even when I couldn’t feel it anymore.

I am thankful to still be here,
Despite my fragile state of mind,
For I know too well what it is like
To be one of the left behind.

©2017 Joanne Van Leerdam

This poem and fifty others are published in a collection: titled ‘The Passing Of The Night’

Stained Glass.

A masterful, vivid mosaic,
A fragmented work of art;
She finds her greatest beauty when
Light shines through the tinted glass.
Though fragile, her strength is in the scars
That unify her; thus, she remains
Beautifully broken and mended,
And permanently, poignantly stained.

This poem is published in the collection titled ‘Stained Glass’.
Available in your favourite digital bookstore.

Poetry Reading – ROGUE WAVE by Joanne Van Leerdam

This is a video reading of the poem ‘Rogue Wave’ by Joanne Van Leerdam.

This is a poem that uses the action of the waves as a metaphor for mental illness and its effects on my life.

Reading of the poem ‘Rogue Wave’ by Joanne Van Leerdam.

Originally posted on POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film. : Performed by Michelle Alexander Get to know the poet: What is the theme of your poem? ‘Rogue Wave’ is about the way life and stress makes us feel, especially when things build up and…

via Poetry Reading – ROGUE WAVE by Joanne Van Leerdam — WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

Exposure.

Three shots, one scene: my favourite naked tree.

 

What is without reflects the truth
Of that which lies within:
Stormy sky, vulnerable soul –
A metaphor of my reality.

A Poem In Honour Of My Birthday

Today I’m forty-nine years old,
And I’ve achieved a lot,
I’ve been a teacher for decades –
A career as a nerdy swot.
I’ve loved and lost and laughed and cried,
And had some fun along the way,
And I’ve learned that faith and loyalty
Beat popularity, any day.
I’ve sung and acted on the stage,
As a director, I’ve shown my worth;
I love to entertain my friends
With both sarcasm and mirth.
I’ve had my poetry published,
It’s nice to be in print!
It’s just a shame that famous writers
Are generally fairly skint.
I’m proud to be Australian,
And I’ve adopted Canada, too:
If I could live in both places
That’s absolutely what I’d do.
So today I’m going to smile again
I’m prepared to take my place
As the birthday queen of June Sixteen,
Exuding style and charm and grace.
So unleash all the birthday love,
And send it all my way,
I’m more than ready to indulge
In my celebration day.
PS: Come to my book launch tonight,
It should be really great,
You can buy a copy for twenty bucks
And I’ll sign it as your mate.

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