Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Teaching the Syllabus

I picked up a used copy of Sometimes Gladness by Bruce Dawe at a garage sale over the weekend and have been rediscovering some favourite poems.

This one struck me very differently today than when I first read it, so I thought I'd share.

Teaching the Syllabus

Teaching lions to leap through flaming hoops
Teaching baby elephants to waltz
Teaching dogs on bikes to loop-the-loop
Teaching chimps to undo nuts and bolts.

Teaching doves to pick out painted numbers
Teaching hawks to sing
Teaching bears the latest Latin rhumbas
Seals, the Highland fling

Teaching those with wings to walk up mountains
Teaching those with feet of lead to fly
Tossing coins in intermittent fountains
Calling in the plumber when they're dry

And lastly - when it seems that each performer
Has learnt the lot - to teach them one thing more,
The thing that in the process they've forgotten:
Dogs, to bark again; lions, to roar...

Bruce Dawe