Poets’ Corner: Feela Celebrates Back To School

Editor’s note: We reached out to our circle of poets for their take on the arrival of Fall. Telluride Inside… and Out regular contributor David Feela answered with a poem about heading back to school. His school. The school of life.



Substitute Lesson Plans

When I’m gone I want those left

to understand where they’re heading.

Remind them behavior counts.

Ask them to open their books

to any page they haven’t read

and get familiar with listening

to what someone else has to say.

Teach the difference between will

and willpower.  Have them practice

mastering the art of explaining

important matters to people

who don’t care.  There will be questions

to answer.  If they raise their hands,

thank them for participating

but point out that in the end

they’ll have to decide for themselves.

If anyone arrives unprepared

have them curl on the floor

in a fetal position and ask them

to try again.  Contrary to popular wisdom,

people get second chances.

Show them how to relax without sleeping,

how to laugh without making fun of

someone else.  If you run out of time

I’m sorry.  Real learning requires a lifetime.

You will only have one hour.


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David Feela

David Feela

David Feela, recently retired from a 27-year teaching gig, was a “Colorado Voice” for the Denver Post. He worked for over a decade as a contributing editor and columnist at Inside/Outside Southwest magazine and now contributes occasional pieces to High Country News’s “Writers on the Range”, as well as a monthly piece for the Four Corners Free Press and the Durango Telegraph. David’s first full-length book of poetry, The Home Atlas, was released in 2009 through WordTech. A book of his essays, How Delicate These Arches: Footnotes From the Four Corners (Raven’s Eye Press) is now available.

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