SONGS FOR AN EARTH FAMILY
Poems of the Free School Community, volume 2
 
earthsongs.gif..
 
Here's one anong the many speaking poems in this collection:
The Magic Hat
by Chris Mercogliano
 
It began with a boy, (as it so often does),
Bespectacled, wise, soft-hearted and nine;
And a lone summer cap (one size fits all).
Of all the boys there, it caught his eye first...
 
Under the cap I had laid a brief note,
Hand-scribbled words claiming great promise:
This is NO ordinary hat; instead,
Lifelong happiness is its gift to the wearer.
 
The auctioneer held the hat high while he read:
Booger Hollow, Arkansas, population seven ---
(a most lucky number) Countin one coon dog.
"...Who'll bid five dollars for this here hat?"
 
A pudgy young hand shot straight up - it was Felix!
He'd watched me write that tantalizing note -
So this was no Frosty the Snowman routine;
No sleight of hand, storybook magic found here.
 
"...Five dollars bid, five dollars, I'm lookin for six...
I've got six dollars bid, now how about seven?
Now seven, seven dollars, seven dollars, do I hear eight?"
Felix was far from the only believer.
 
(Magic makes believers, believers make magic.)
"Eight dollars bid, eight dollars, do I hear nine?"
...This hat is guaranteed to change your life.
"Nine dollars bid, nine dollars, I'm lookin for ten."
 
It was Felix again - he'd understood my refusal
When he had asked for the secret.
The story of this hat is just for the winner.
"Ten dollars bid, ten dollars, who'll bid eleven?"
 
"I've got eleven dollars bid, now twelve, now thirteen..."
The bidding was fierce - for a tourist trap trinket?
Magic dares not appear in a careful man's ledger,
But forever lives on in free children's hearts.
 
"Fourteen dollars bid, I have fourteen, do I hear fifteen?"
No doubting Thomas, he just left his hand up.
(Felix means happy, so why want the trick hat?)
It was a question of when and not why.
 
It was simply a matter of time now;
For Felix surely had come for the hat.
"Fifteen dollars, fifteen, fifteen, who'll bid sixteen dollars?
I've got sixteen dollars bid, sixteen, how 'bout seventeen?"
 
(Sooner or later the others would realize.)
"I have a bid of eighteen dollars, eighteen, eighteen dollars...
Sold to the boy up front with the glasses."
(How had I known to bring him that hat?)
 
He paid his dues quick and came straight for my story.
I explained how the hat helped me through
And beyond my own cruel booger-man hollow;
Past cowardly demons 'till I reached my true self.
 
He tried on the hat and touched the bill softly.
"I've just got one question," he said, "but it's personal;
And so it's o.k. if you don't want to answer...
Can I ask what you paid for the hat?"
 
"Sure," I replied, "Just four dollars," and he smiled his eyes;
For he knew a real deal when he saw one.
Finally, Felix stood quite straight and quite tall,
And walked out into the dark Ozark night.
 
blownbywind.gif
 Blown by Winter Winds
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
Aditya (Venukrishnan):
Poem
Cat
Strange
Snowflake
End of the World
Stormy Night
The Shepherd
 
Allison (Ives):
Moonlight
All Cultures
Our Mother Earth
 
Alyssa (Zienkowicz):
Truth
The Moon
 
Betsy (Mercogliano):
Ellen's Morning Glory
Sticky Buns
Water Relief
Wet Wave Goodbye
Arlington Cemetery
The Visit
Juice-Bearers
Water Blossom
Helene
Live In, Live Out
Heated Waters of Life
 
Charlene Therrien:
All Night
Breathing
As a Woman
Sadness
Thirteenth
His
Ten Years
Initiation
Life tracks
 
Chris (Mercogliano):
The Magic Hat
Dug Hollow Daydream
Nantucket Time
Cemetery
Gently Down the Stream
Halloween
I
Christmas '93
Small Miracles
Storm Coming
The Reverend
How Do I Hear God Calling?
Self-Portrait
Emergence
Questions
First Frost
 
Connie (Frisbee-Houde):
Alyssa
Jesus Within
Duality
 
David (Boadella):
Revival
Pietà
 
Debby (Gillette):
My Heart
 
Elisha (Mittleman):
I Wish
Poem
Sleeping Tonight
Older One
Box Full of Love
 
Ellen (Becker):
A Telephone Call From my Mother
She
The Space
I Married a Jewish Man
 
Eve (Minehan):
Poem
My Friend
Mysterious Ways
Tears
 
Frank (Houde):
Cape House
More Cape House
Soldier, Warrior
 
Free School Community:

 

(Joint Free School retreat poems)
Accepting Cycles
Openings
Flying Inside
Listen!
Second Coming
Choosing the Moon
Inner Lightning
A Circle of September Dandelions
 
Gabrielle (Becker):
Poem
The Superintendent
Appaloosa
Joy is Coming
Cherry Pie
Love
Exist
Everyone Can Feel Pain
Cherry Tree
Beauty Held
Winter Bed
 
Heather (Merle):
Everything That Fell
 
Judith (Rubinstein):
Mother Theresa Speaks
 
Larry (Becker):
The Halls
How Is It
Snow Cave
His Wife Had Died
 
Libby (Carivan):
Sonnet
 
Lily (Mercogliano):
My Dream
Walking Up the Street At Sunrise
The Mouse Who Ate All the Cheese
My Dream (2)
 
Madeline (Leue):
Where Are Witches?
Snow Between the Toes
 
Mary (Leue):
To My Psychiatrist
Robert
Eurydice
Whiteout
Rodden Under Merry Hill
The Journey
The Meeting
Girl Child
Circles, Squares
England, 1995
 
Missy (Marceau):
Fumes
 
Monique (Roberts):
The Moon
A Poem
Poem
 
Nancy (Mittleman):
The Brothers
New Year Blessings
My Love, My Blessing
Kaylana
 
Richard (Mason):
Untitled
Southern Flower
Harlequin on the Finality of Unforgiveness
We Were Born of the Pond Bottom
 
Paul (Merle):
A Stranger in This Land
 
Ted (Becker):
Fire, Water, Air, Earth
The Moon and the Grass and the Stream
and the Fish and the Forest
We're All Related
The Tiger Jumps
And Sometimes
Stone
Fun
Two Humbugs
Bed
Hate
Wind
Untitled
 

See also The World's Gonna End at Loonchtime, Poems of the Free School Community, volume 1