“Teacher” by Christina Knowles



There’s nothing quite like the light in the eyes of a student

Understanding dawning unexpectedly

A signpost revealed on a destined journey

Previously lost, the way revealed

Better still, enthusiasm kindled

The desire to know just for the sake of knowing

I can see it when our eyes meet

Suddenly and unanticipated

A kindred spirit

I see the spark glimmer

Sharing the love a favorite poem

An incredible novel, words that move and stir

Words that burn and change them

The philosophical depth of Thoreau

The insight of Dickens

The straightforward profundity of Steinbeck

And then . . .

The birth of something new

The product of a student’s pen

The baring of a soul, the beginning of knowing

Who they are and what they have to say

To a world listening, eager for a relationship

Between writer and reader, poet and philosopher

There’s nothing better

A new writer, excitedly asking you to read his work

The pride in his eyes as you express your awe

In the phrases he creates

A new Whitman is born

And I contributed a verse

To the inspiration of a new generation

The state can’t document this on a form

But I know what I’ve done

Evaluate away

I’ll be right here, creating the Emersons of the future

My job is to find the spark in a student’s eye

And start the fire.

—Christina Knowles

Obsessive Vehicle Attachment Disorder–Do You Have It? by Christina Knowles

flower (1)O.V.A.D. Obsessive Vehicle Attachment Disorder. I have this condition. I have it badly. While some people revel in the thrill of trading in their cars every few years for something more modern, with less miles, and less repair headaches, I have owned the same vehicle for the past eleven years, and it was used when I bought it. You may think I am just being frugal or practical. No, that’s not it. I have poured thousands of frivolous dollars into my 2000 Chevy ZR2 Blazer just because I love her obsessively.

Maybe it’s because I paid hard earned cash for her when I was first striking out on my own after finally getting up the nerve to abandon a terrible relationship. Maybe it represented my independence in ways besides the ability to go where I wanted or the financial freedom of having no car payment. I already had a car that was paid for when I bought Flower (Yes, that is her name). I think she may have represented independence because I had just found my independence and was making a fresh start. I was flowering, and as I did, I projected those feelings on to my car by covering her in bumper stickers of which no one in my previous world would have approved. I decorated her with daisy embroidered seat covers, put a fabulous stereo in her, and bought her thousand dollar tires. I drove her like I was shouting to the world who I really am for the first time. I mean she really is a rolling billboard of my values, my hobbies, and my political views. I was discovering who I really am and announcing it to whomever would slow down long enough to read my opinions.

Needless to say, my sixteen-year old car needs a lot of love and attention these days. Love is no problem, but the attention she needs costs money and time in the local autoshop, and even though I love her, the realization that no matter how much money I spend, she isn’t going to last forever has finally settled on me. And although Flower drives as good off-road as she does on, makes it through any blizzard conditions safely, and is as fun to drive as she ever was, I made the decision to buy a new vehicle after the last $1100 repair bill.

I sulked for a few days after bringing my new car home. Everyone kept asking me if I was excited for my new purchase—a 2015 Nissan Juke, but they didn’t understand that I was grieving for my old one even though I still have it. I suppose I’ll have to sell it soon. Forcing myself to accept my new ride, I bought some new daisy seat covers, some controversial bumper stickers, and am planning on checking out car stereos in the near future. Suddenly, my little Juke started growing on me. Maybe she will represent a new era in my life. I’m not sure what this era will be—we never know that for any era until it’s over. But I think she has the potential to be my next car obsession.IMG_4842

Flower wasn’t the first vehicle I was too attached to. When I was twenty, I bought a 1978 AMC Concord for $800, named him Watson, and drove blissfully for six years before sadly giving him up for a newer car. But I haven’t been attached to every car I’ve owned. I’ve heard it said that some cars have souls and some are just machines. I think we just love the ones that we can easily project ourselves onto—the best sides of who we are, of course—who we want to see ourselves as. That’s why we have trouble letting them go. And if they’ve been good and loyal to us, it’s even harder. I think I may be moving into the acceptance stage of grief, but I still have my days when I want to say never mind, I’ll pay the repair bills; take the new car back. But then I think I would already miss Daisy. Yes, my little Juke already has a name. I think it may be too late. I admit it. I have O.V.A.D. and there’s no treatment.—Christina Knowles

“Morning Light” by Christina Knowles

  “Morning Light” 

morning light

As light dances across the room we share,

You smile your love on me

Gently waking us to one more day spent together

How many we have, I wonder

Burying my head in your shoulder

I try not to think of a day

When I may wake alone

But you breathe hope on me

And gaze at me with your clear blue love

I don’t like knowing that you own my heart

That you could hurt me irrevocably

Pushing away the fear

Because I know you feel the same

So I will live in this moment

As light dances across the room we share

Christina Knowles (2006)

Photo via Pinterest

“A Willow Bends” by Christina Knowles


“A Willow Bends”

A willow bends to the wind.

In approbation, she attends,

pledging fealty to the goddess.

The goddess waxing great, her promise.

An accomplice, sacrosanct yet equal,

she presides. Congenial,

she pulls the tide.

Bursting wide,

streams spill,

worshipping still

with their liquid hands,

sculpting stones

and building thrones

and shaping earth,

growing shallow for rebirth.

Cracked and dried beauty,

the brittle earth, ripe to be

encompassed in fire.

The elements conspire,

bringing the seedling forth anew.

Draped in the morning dew,

the seedling willow weeps

in joy, breathing deep

the ether of the stars,

and growing aging scars,

the willow reaches to her goddess,

the promise of her solace.

Then slowly the willow bends

in acquiescence to the wind.

–Christina Knowles

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