Passing through framed windows like ours,
I recall your tales of reckless war and lost friends
that burned your innocence at 21... and though
you claimed flashes of courage, moist eyes
poured vulnerability looking calm, undaunted.
We both searched deeply into our souls
as a father is to his young daughter, that I wanted
to let you know, it was alright;
but that mound of shoulders turned away.
Down the years as officer and gentleman,
Time stole long weeks, absent from your dining chair,
leaving me resentful and bitter on hardened sills
until you arrive under crawling dock of stars.
But in free moments, how you cherished
me so; waking my cheeks at 3 am to race the winds,
to fly with a shooting neon, laughing with a blue moon.
You spoke of faith and honor if life dared a shame, oh
mild scent of your arms cuddling my girlish dreams...
until off you rode suddenly on heaven’s wheel.
I see you through all framed windows like ours,
that even if my iced breaths needed you more
as small flowers thirsted for rain, my anger was a cry
for love’s company... “ I have adored you
in moments of distance and nearness, if not
always, then for all eternity.”
Have I forgotten to open this, my soft, broken sigh?
Dad, everything is all right.
The Confessional Contest
Things that seemed poetic were always sad,
though I yearned for sparkle
and my dad's guffaw, which never came.
Familiar things were always drear --
repeated motions in the same old game.
There were only distant glimpses
of budding spring, fleeting views
of daffodils. The strongest
poems dealt me death and dying.
Yet I always hoped, never went under
to gray despair, always dreaming
of a garden of love that we could share.
But those forbidden delights faded
quickly away; the only reality
I understand is the ever-looming
and final one. Nothing's changed.
The strongest poems deal death and dying.
We talked at length
The hours we passed
The life you lived
Oh the horrors
So many men's live snuffed
Oh Arizona, a dedication
Whose souls be at rest
Amidst oily scum
And so many others
Sightless eyes watch
The world in disintegration.
Yes, you’ve seen
Many unimaginable horrors
Those only Man can inflict
You’ve grasped my heart
I watched you whither away
A hero by all accounts
God rest your soul
Oh gentle man.
God rest ye gentle man.
My heart aches
With your passing
Now I have your cherished one
She that you know
Rested in my heart
For years and years and years
The one that tended you
All that time
Oh yes, that woman of women
She is in my arms
Forever… my very first love
The thought of whose love
Brings tears to my eyes
Just so you know…
Semper Fidelis... you are my hero Donald Canan,USMC, WWII veteran Western
Pacific... he told death to get bent. May God Rest your soul.
* Written for my daughter, who really does have a precious pair of Little Yellow Socks.
Little Yellow Socks
by Amy Swanson 12/5/2008
Little yellow socks
running down the hall
"Slow down with those socks on,"
I'd yell... too late, the fall!
Little yellow socks
padding softly late at night
climbing up into my lap
one more hug, out goes the light.
Little yellow socks
follow me with squeals of laughter;
Oh how she loves to run in them,
Begging me to come chase after!
Little yellow socks...
now not being worn a lot.
My little girl is growing up,
No longer just a tot.
Little yellow socks
will be cast aside someday
I must guard these precious moments;
in my heart, they'll safely stay.
I'm sure this hill is where it stood.
Amazing shapes of stuccoed wood.
A glass-brick, neon stream-lined place.
As if it flew from outer space,
A swing band auditorium,
An Art Deco emporium,
When romance, innocent in pace,
From dancing to a teasing chase.
The town grew west in modern haste
And down it came, without a trace.
The war and culture's change in taste,
Predestined doom, the past erased.
The future sighs, with solemn face
The wrecking ball, the glittered waste
No plaque to read "Historic Sight".
The swirling dust, a dance goodnight.
A burst of white light
gamma rays, overbearing
a flash of brilliance
burns through to my soul
everything is like hell
the world starts to melt
in the blink of an eye
just the cold blackness
I don't care if I am not again
what I once was, for at this moment
I am greater now
than ever before
I took the path between
teetering, tight roping walking
right up to my right
divined in my unholy state
I thought I told you
I am your king
still you sit there, hesitating
I know you hate me
what does that mean?
I hate just about everything
still I'm chosen
I did not wish before
now bow down to me
refuse me no more
for I shall always be your demon
until you accept me as your King.
I don't even know you
though you say we used to be
best of friends, you and me
the day you ditched me
I remember now
exactly how it played out
back when we were just tiny things
even back then I still was King
you thought me stupid
just a ruse
I would laugh inside, you see?
not one of you single, mean people
ever even knew me
in a world, mostly seen to me
that is why only I can be your true King
and bring forth a new source
of light everlasting.
As two worlds collide slowly aligned
one wrapped in shadows
one bathed in white
evils swirling in the clouds above
I'll always be the king you love
to hate or despise as in your blood
I thought I told you, I am the one
I am the way, the way out shall be shown
breathe in my spirit as it carries you away
breathe in my faith it shall carry your empty space
and deposit you gently on a cloud just enough
higher than you've ever dreamed of
for I am king now, and your in my hell
your in my imagination, I'll just never tell
you'll feel as though dreaming, you'll feel now
if you try and see
you were always found the most
shared in the light cast upon me
the last bright star in heaven.
Denounce my name, if you may
One year later, still not afraid
A black sheep, a darkened spade
That's just life, I'm not right
I'm in the wrong, follow along
Like a piper, I'll pitch a song
Mesmerized, the weak wills sing
I thought he told you, he's still our king.
How did you feel when you woke? Were you frightened or lonely, or was your heart broke?
Do you feel alone or sometimes afraid? Is it clear that your life’s not meeting the grade?
Do you feel uncomfortable in your own skin? Do you feel that you’re losing, but just want
Are you having remorse about what could have been? If so, then it’s time to grab paper and
Jot some things down you’d like to achieve. Then read them each day and start to believe.
We cannot go back and change the past! Standing still today, just won’t last.
So get ready, prepare, and take care of your needs. It’s time to firmly plant His seeds.
Start with yourself and the rest will follow. I know right now it’s hard to swallow.
Be gentle and patient, for there is no doubt, you’ve been hurting so long, both inside and
If you know in your heart that something’s askew, you must be willing and ready to start anew!
There’s help for you along the way. You’ll receive it for sure, so start to pray.
Dear God, Please show me where to start. To You, I know I must open my heart.
So say each day, “Thy Will Be Done”, and you’ll see it, I’m sure, but just don’t run.
Be open and willing to hear and see, all that He is calling you to be.
Follow His signs and stay on the road, and when you ask He’ll help bear the load.
Don’t bring excess baggage for this trip. Keep it simple, you see or you just might slip.
You need to remember to stay on track. Once you start, hold nothing back.
For the new road you find is the only way. You’ll get there soon, if you just don’t stray.
Now is the time for discipline and prayer. You’ll start to believe you’re in His care.
As you practice and try to do the right things, you’ll be eager to see what the next day
Your life will be flooded with joy and gladness, and you’ll know he’s there in times of
Life is still life, but just stop and think. Nothing is solved by making a stink!
So put all your worries in God’s hands today! There’s no reason to keep them, let go and
I know that miracles do come true. Have faith and His promises will be given to you.
©October 17, 2006
UNGRATEFUL CHILDREN A parent's lament
Pounce on the fleetest of hearts
Hospital frights of prematurity
of EMS sirens
HIV trembling tests
Breathless Worry atop cloud kissed Trees
Sleepless Nights of bully battles
Struggles with Education’s foes
Mad Escapes from Fathers of Violence
The teary wave good bye for fledgling endeavors
Day night day night day night…unending
Slight Imperfections and Imagined Slights
Shortage of Cash
The last great snowflake standing
Little snowflakes fell swiftly
All around the house they fell
Eight male flakes_three little girls
House was lively in winter
As they all warmed by the fire
Boys' boistour tales, girls brush long hair
Then silence all rested heads
At four A.M. each morn_chores
Breakfast, lunch packed off to school
Walking that long mile was rule
School was important dad said
Soon the oldest snowflake wed
As life goes all followed him
Leaving the warm hearth behind
Some of them to produce twins
As life goes_death visited
All their humble doors sadness
Some had children die at birth
And some at very young age
What they saw in their lifetime
Changes that took place_cars_planes
Atom bomb that ended war
None their warm family disgraced
Death started visiting doors
One above middle went home first
Then slowly they all went home
But dad was the last snowflake
I climbed over trepidation
poverty's barbed wire night
torn by your prosperity
my one change of clothes
thirsting for a drop of civility
on a deserted desert road
Scorched by hell’s kitchen
fed to death’s desiccate dawn
I swallowed shards of sunshine
pride's perilous knives
for one chance to be an American
to provide for my family’s illegal lives
My eyes staggered with exhaustion
my ruptured lips too foreign to cry
I kissed a picture of my children
the withering smile of my loving wife
wondering if anyone would tell them
I died drinking liberty's light