Words That Inspire: Yes

Poetry: yes, by Charles John Pace, with Note to Educators.

Northern Sky.  Photo by Gary Braasch

Northern Sky.  Photo by Gary Braasch

the morning is my lamp and I say yes
the rain that dances slowly is a sister of the sun
so I shall smile and eat bright candy
on the funny prismed bow of sister's streaming hair
I will paint the yellow leaves a different hue
and sing forever on the land that is my mother
and is yes

for I am young and I am yes
and I will yes and I shall yes and
let no thought repeal my laughter in the darkness
which is old so like a father who is dying

no gray
for I shall make my world of crystal
that shines brightly on the green
and in the freely flowing waters
of the streams within my dreams
and in the night I'll light a candle
in the promise of a morning and a day
it's as I say:
I'm yes
I'm yes


Note for Educators:

Do you ever walk into your classroom and sense this feeling of no from your students? Do I have to do this? Do I have to do that? Do you simply want to shout, “Let’s be a classroom of YES!” Yes, I want to get along with others. Yes, I want to work hard. Yes, you are my favorite teacher!

Read this poem to your students today. Read it twice. Read it the entire week. Read it as a choral poem, as a choir. Read it to your students with them joining in as a chorus on the word yes. Read it daily for the rest of the year.

The author had every reason to say no. Maybe, by reading his poem, you will be energized and inspired to become a classroom of YES!


Charles John Pace died 12 years ago from AIDS.
This poem is a gift to us from his sister Stephanie Pace Marshall. It originally appeared in the Winter 2001 issue of YES! Magazine.


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