University of Toronto's Poet in Community

Entries Tagged as 'Poem of the minute'

A Blessing for a (Future) Nurse’s Hands

October 4th, 2013 · No Comments

A Blessing for a (Future) Nurse’s Hands

May your hands first and foremost always be clean.
May they be steady enough to landmark an injection.
May they be strong enough to hold someone up.
May they be gentle enough to comfort and heal.

Maria-Rosa Laneve

Maria-Rosa Laneve is a first year nursing student. This poem was written in the first workshop of the season held in September in the department of nursing.

Tags: Poem of the minute

The Spontaneous Poetry Booth

March 26th, 2013 · No Comments

On Wednesday the 27th, I will write you a poem for a dollar!  

The Spontaneous Poetry Booth will be at Mount Sinai Hospital
600 University Avenue, south of College
(in the cafeteria)
Noon to One-thirty PM  

Everybody welcome.

Tags: Info · Poem of the minute

Protest at College Park: What Kind of Problem?

January 16th, 2013 · No Comments

At 1:30pm today a group was gathered in College Park as I was walking past, and a frill of policemen in yellow stood around. I asked the story, and a tall one quipped: “an old real estate problem.” It took a flicker for me to say “is this an aboriginal protest?” I walked away, down to where they were pounding and singing, and I stood there.

But it made me so mad what he had said that I went back to tell him, who apologized, but only because he knew he should, not because he felt it. And I wish I’d asked: if the Nazis’ stealing gold from the teeth of Jews was an old dental problem; or the slave trade an old question of changing property values. I wish I could have reached up and punched him in his tall, white, handsome face so far removed from retribution that reproach was only a word from his boss. When he said he didn’t mean to be dismissive, I said it was to me, and if there were more like me perhaps he could consider. He was polite. Which he could afford to be. And so was I.

Ronna Bloom

Tags: Info · Poem of the minute

What if you didn’t?

December 14th, 2012 · No Comments

What if you didn’t?

What if you didn’t answer that phone call you just got
It was her
But you had left her a message
asking to call before 11:45 or after 1:00.
What if you didn’t leave her the message
Would she still call?
What if you didn’t have a phone
What if you just told people you don’t use the phone
It’s against your religion-or something
What if you didn’t have Facebook and Twitter and
Gmail and Outlook and Skype and Facetime
There was a time like this
What was it like
Do you remember
Do you want that time back
How badly
——JK, participant in the workshop “What If You Didn’t? and other questions to ask when you’re exhausted”

Tags: Poem of the minute

The Inside Story

March 21st, 2012 · No Comments

This collaborative poem emerged from the Hart House series “A Writer’s Process: The Inside Story” March 2012. Participants were asked to take a line or a phrase they’d written in the three week series and to write it on a flipchart on the last day. The poem was put together by Poet in Community and Hart House Writer in Residence, Ronna Bloom.



The Inside Story

More than just the weather has my spirit soaring.

I am at this poetry workshop. I have absolutely no idea what to expect.

The teller sees the marks on the walls and joins them into new constellations, takes the disorder, the unknowing, births stories.

Like the fake sand, synthetic; the fake coconut attempts to be alive,
attempts to let the white creamy paste bury it.

Growth can’t be achieved without risks.

Why does it feel like I am always putting out fires?

Did the same green grass meet them,
did the same blue skies mock them?

The blueprint email informed the meeting will take place in the Bickersteth Room. It was locked. I felt a sudden strange feeling of impending doom.

I really really think things are going to be Okay.

A breath between words

…an everlasting puncture/bruise…

A break is not to do anything at all.

Two lines I heard at the workshop:
“All that can happen is that I might feel something.”
“What did I survive for…to stand cowering?”

We don’t talk,
yet I see her.
she sees me
we talk that way.

I am still listening to the conversation below.

Tags: Poem of the minute

I’m Not

November 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

I’m not

I’m not the kind of person who writes letters in support of other
people’s causes. I may have been, once. But not now.

I’m not the kind of person who signs up for a zumba-yoga marathon
for charity. Perhaps I was, once. But not now.

I’m not the kind of person who plays the piano for three
hours each day until Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude
goes streaming through her blood. I’d never think of stretching

my fingers that way, spreading out and unfolding like a wire
coat hanger over the keys…even though I may have dreamed it, once.

I’m not the kind of person who goes to live
with an indigenous tribe in Colombia for three weeks

and actually believes that her presence might be positive…
even though, five years ago, it would have been.

I’m not the kind of person who breaks from routine.
I’m not the kind of person who changes the world.

I’m not the kind of person,
I’m not that kind of person…

Please, someone, please take me back, show me the
person I used to be, the one I thought I might become

before everyone told me
that I had grown up.

—-written by Jeannine Pitas, in “The Courage to Connect”   November 2, 2011


Tags: Info · Poem of the minute

We Move Together

October 21st, 2011 · No Comments

We Move Together

we move together
an amorphous mass
a buzzing body
breathing in steps
gained with each exam
each building,
each lab
we spill all over campus
cram in lecture halls,
cafeterias, our
bedrooms, we listen
to the same profs
we toil alone
avoid each other’s eyes
trace our steps
sweat the anxiety on tread mills
imagine beautiful shapes
of where we would like to go
not realizing we are there already.

— by Svetlana Lilova, written in “The Courage to Connect”.
For more on this workshop, or to participate, see Workshops.

Tags: Info · Poem of the minute


November 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

“Poetry is news that stays news.”
— Ezra Pound

See Poet in Community in the news:

Tags: Info · Poem of the minute

What the Soul Said Today

November 9th, 2010 · No Comments

What the soul said today:

Either I look up from these scuffed shoes or she will
dance in another room.

— written by a participant in the series, “A Soul’s Tongue”

Tags: Poem of the minute

Eating the Dark

October 25th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Eating the Dark

I walk upstairs with you
into the dark
and you feel safe,
not right away, but, eventually
you become the dark.
You put it on
like a coat. You eat it
like a bar of chocolate.
Or you spit it out.
It is yours, this
dark to explore
get to know. Look
under the bed
or into the cupboard.
Close your eyes in the dark.
I am there,
even when I’m not,
so are you.

—– Ronna Bloom, January 14, 2010 at the Spontaneous Poetry Booth.

Victoria Littman, who worked at Accessibility Services, died on October 11, 2010. She asked me to write a poem for her son who was scared of the dark. This poem is sent out in her memory.

Tags: Info · Poem of the minute