Inspired poetry

One of my favourite writers is Charles Bukowski. He is blunt, filthy, at times depressing and always entertaining. I often look to him for inspiration when I am in the mood to write poetry.

This poem of his called, This Kind of Fire, is a favourite of mine. I don’t know about you but I have definitely found myself wondering if the “gods deliberately keep pushing me into the fire” I love that line. Have you felt that way before?

This poem came to mind this week as I have been so focused on trying to show some members of my team that there has been in a shift in the way we should be approaching the instruction of reading and writing. I have been feeling like I am talking to a concrete wall, unable to move it even an inch. I thought I would try writing my own version.


This Kind of Fire by Charles Bukowksi

sometimes I think the gods
deliberately keep pushing me
into the fire
just to hear me
a few good

they just aren’t going to
let me retire
silk scarf about neck
giving lectures at 

the gods need me to
entertain them.

they must be terribly
bored with all
the others

and I am too.

and now my cigarette lighter
has gone dry.
I sit here
flicking it.

this kind of fire
they can’t give



My Kind of Fire by Shannon Taggart

sometimes I think the gods

deliberately keep pushing me

into the fire

just to feel my



they just aren’t going to

let me give up

convincing others





They are going to leave me

to sing and dance

pulling research

out of my

well-educated ass


the gods need me

to entertain them

they must

be bored

with all the others

I know I am too


my fingers are tired

my research

has been exhausted

I sit here hopelessly

hitting my head against

the concrete wall

hoping that one day


it might budge



18 thoughts on “Inspired poetry

  1. Thank for introducing me to Bukowski. Change happens one crack in the wall at a time, so keep at it. For me, I returned to the classroom to try out these research based practices and now see they are evidence based. I partner with colleagues who are willing, and before you know it, you have a community.

  2. This is a great inspired poem, and really reflects the Bukowski original well. Keep banging your head on that “concrete wall” of your colleagues. We all have some like that, but how can we not try to bring them better methods of teaching and learning?

  3. You know what works, so keep doing that. Eventually one person may try, then another, and so it will go. It takes time to get ideas that aren’t even new accepted by those who have done the same over and over. So don’t hit your head on that concrete wall too long, you need those brain cells to teach the teachers.

  4. Keep at it! Change is so hard for some, but you can’t give up. Remember to lead by example and let the students’ work speak for itself. Sometimes that’s the only way. I’m cheering you on!

    Nice poem btw 😊

  5. Nice imitation of Bukowski to express your voice of frustration. I hope the resistance weakens. Have a great week!

  6. I LOVE this! I love that you used Bukowski to serve as a mentor for you. And I love that you introduced me to a new poet. One of my reading goals was to read more poetry this year. So, I thank you for guiding me towards a new poet.

    • Thanks Brian! Bukowski is probably my favourite poet at the moment. He actually writes novels too. They are mostly R rated but so much fun! I hope you enjoy Bukowski as much as I do.

  7. I love the way you used a mentor poem to inspire you. I understand your feelings. Are you a literacy coach? I am. Sometimes, I too, feel like I am hitting my head against the wall, but then..a shift. Hope you see a shift soon.

    • Thanks! I am not a literacy coach but I would really like to create that position at my school, we are in desperate need. I know how much I learned from my literacy coach years ago. It is such an important role.

      I have sort of taken on this role in our K to 2 grade level and I am trying to make a shift. Slowly but surely I am hoping it will happen!

      I am going to follow your blog, it would be great to connect!

      • I think it is great that you are trying to create a literacy coach position at your school. Hang in there! In my school, I have had to learn to appreciate even the “baby steps.” Not everyone is in the same place on their journey, but, hopefully, everyone is still moving in the right direction.

  8. I love that you used a Bukowski poem as inspiration for expressing your own frustration. I have felt pushed into the fire many times. I’ve also known the difficulty of change and colleagues who are absolutely resistant to it. It will get better (or they’ll leave!) Good luck in the meantime.

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