I can't believe that after thirty years I can no longer call myself a teacher. I shall now be able to describe myself as a 'writer' on my passport and be refused entry to obscure countries with dubious regimes, such as Blogistan. Many of my pupils ( I must say ex-pupils ) spotted the irony of an interactive whiteboard being installed in my classroom the very week I was leaving. When the IT technician blustered into one of my classes wanting to measure up the place, it was like being measured for my coffin!
Bring back the slate, I say.
Many staff and students wanted to know what I was going to do with all my time.
'You're gonna be a poet person, are you sir?' one girl enquired.
Once a rumour got round that my book was being turned into a film, I had demands for parts , with some just happy to be extras.
'Where are you going?' one boy asked.
'Home!' I answered. And it did seem like a metaphorical reply.
Kind staff gave me pens and a notebook as presents, very useful for someone who always uses long-hand first. The most emotional parting was with my own form, who I have taken since they joined the school. I had come equipped with extra tissues and needed them. I left the staff with a parting poem ( of course ), which imagined my fellow Bluebirds' fan, Del the caretaker, commenting - ' Yer Mike, I yer they're givin you a free transfer back to Merthyr!'
I really do like writing for occasions and if the Poet Laureate had nothing at all to do with the anachronistic and extortionate monarchy and I was actually in with a remote chance of it, I 'd be delighted to respond to all kinds of contemporary questions like 'quantative easing' ( actually, I have written a poem about this economic theory). I have written for weddings and funerals in the past ,even my own (funeral, that is.........in preparation). If there was any demand, I could be employed as a 'Hire a Poet'. 'Dragon's Den' here I come!!!!!!!!!
So, on to the latest one, written this morning and perhaps a bit rough rough the edges and in the middle, but trying to express the clearing away and the change..........
Shedding paper skin
Day after day I shed my skin,
paper I bag and bin,
the print, the markings.
It has served me well
as survival and camouflage,
or to attract and entertain.
Piles and piles of it :
I'm wriggling free gradually,
I'm loosening its grip.
I am sad to abandon it :
stacked memories of faces, voices.
I know it no longer fits :
the shiny surface where
I cannot even write
is a shell I don't wish to wear,
its single eye preying red.
Some skin I leave, I fold
for others to try and wrap
(though it may be buried to rot).
The cupboard's a hollow cocoon,
corridors dark and subterranean,
the door opens into daylight :
now I am ready for flight.