May Poem of the Month: What I Like and Don’t Like, Philip Schultz

JV Icon Poem of the Month

A month ago I had just finished the first of four major events — two conferences and two intensives. I’ve now just finished the third event, the spring training intensive for Journal to the Self certified instructors (I wrote about it in my blog this week) and now I’ve got a week off before I head into the last and final event of this series, another five-day intensive next week.

After that, I’m settling into some serious summer. My perennials are popping up in my garden, although I think a wet, heavy spring snow has probably broken the stems of the peony bush and I’ll have to cut it back and anticipate next year’s double-blooming. Sigh… I like peonies and I don’t like spring snow that kills my flowers!

 What I Like and Don’t Like

I like to say hello and goodbye.
I like to hug but not shake hands.
I prefer to wave or nod. I enjoy
the company of strangers pushed
together in elevators or subways.
I like talking to cab drivers
but not receptionists. I like
not knowing what to say.
I like talking to people I know
but care nothing about. I like
inviting anyone anywhere.
I like hearing my opinions
tumble out of my mouth
like toddlers tied together
while crossing the street,
trusting they won’t be squashed
by fate. I like greeting-card clichés
but not dressing up or down.
I like being appropriate
but not all the time.
I could continue with more examples
but I’d rather give too few
than too many. The thought
of no one listening anymore—
I like that least of all.

–Philip Schultz (c)

(c) material in the name of the author/assigns used for educational purposes


Journal Prompts

  • What do you like and not like? Make a list poem.
  • What do you like “best” of all? Write about it. Ditto with “least” of all.
  • Do your preferences ever cause silly or serious arguments with others? How do you manage differences?
  • What do you notice about what you like and don’t like?
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