Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Poems in the Midst Meetings and Siloes

Today is a day of many meetings--never my favorite kind of day.

In part, it's because these meetings revolve around information that is not new to me.  But I must sit there, patiently, while the more pressing work remains undone--pressing in terms of my priorities, I do realize.

Yesterday I scanned through my e-mails.  I thought, O.K, I'm good for now.  No one found a better job over Christmas break.  No one is in the hospital.  No  one has quit in a huff.

Ah, hubris.  By noon, I got a call from an instructor who has been deleted from the system.  He thought he would not be returning until Spring or later--but then I moved the class so that he could teach it.  We called our sister school in Miami, where he was housed.  We left messages, since their HR person was on holiday.

I'm not sure what happened in the past 2 weeks, and in any case, it doesn't matter.  Now we must go through the whole laborious, hiring process again.  Now my fear is that my instructor will say, "Just forget it."

In my early days as an administrator at this school--and in the 1990's, in a community college in South Carolina--hiring was so much easier.  I understand why some of the changes are good.  It forces everyone to be conscientious.  But it also means that I hire fewer people these days.

So, I will sit in meetings and wonder what problems are arising that I might be able to fix sooner rather than later, if only I wasn't sitting in a meeting.

Let me remember that these days can contain blessings.  Some meeting days, I get a scrap of a poem.  Some meeting days, I get a whole poem--see this post for an example.

I have already written a poem this morning, so in some sense, my most important work of the day is done.  My thoughts have returned to the solitary missile that sits in the Everglades, at the Nike Missile Site which is now a historic landmark

I thought of that missile that once sat in community with other missiles.  I thought of the newer, larger missiles which got siloes of their own.  And now, this one remaining missile sits in a silo of its own.

And yet, it's not lonely.  People like us visit it:

I thought I might write a poem that says more about siloes.  Perhaps that poem will come later today.

Here are the last 2 stanzas of my 11 stanza poem, stanzas which seem prescient in all sorts of ways, in terms of sea level rise, in terms of aging and becoming obsolete (the fate of the missile but also of all of us), in terms of work:

The missile also hears the sea,
once more distant
now creeping ever closer.

But the missile sits,
its fate, as always,
in the hand of others.

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