In-between sleep and wakefulness,
when my dream still lingers,
entwining free-flown fingers
with the morning rays, dancing across my eyelids.
It is in this state of in-between layers
that my inner-eye blinks its prayers,
and I can move backwards
through all of my many memories
until about the age of three -
the time when my imagination was truly free.
When I was three,
there wasn't one God for me to believe in.
There were thousands of Gods and Goddesses
hiding inside of each and every living thing:
Deities in the woods and wind.
Deities hiding beneath the surface
of our goldfish pond,
water nymphs kissing the feet
of the Lady in the lake.
One of my most vivid memories as a toddler,
was the day I caught a huge, black cricket.
My Father seemed shocked at the size of my catch,
punched holes into the lid of a mason jar
for me to keep the cricket inside of.
He had never seen such an enormous cricket before.
I was so proud.
I remember looking into its mysterious eyes,
believing for some strange reason,
that a loved one, was now inside of this creature.
Such strange thoughts for a three year-old to have.
But at the time, I truly believed in this.
This was sort of my first inner awakening.
My inner-eye was beginning to speye.
The first night with my cricket,
I listened to its hypnotic song,
and realized it sounded similar to the music
that the old Chinese lady listened to, down the street.
This was sort of my second inner awakening.
I didn't know about the Dao back then;
or maybe I just didn't know the labels?
But I did know how I was altering the destiny
of this creature....altering my own being.
The next day, my Father made me release the cricket.
He did not want it to die,
for it was the biggest cricket he had ever seen.
That was still the most proud I had ever been.
Reluctantly, I opened the jar,
waited an eternity for the escape.
That night I swore that I could hear
a distinct "Chiiiiiiirrrrrup" much louder than the rest.
This was sort of my third inner awakening -
my inner-eye, beginning to speye....
....just as I am awakening now,
the morning rays dancing across my eyelids.
What the Quack!
I dont want my poems in Poem Zoo!
A child with a crayon can color an imaginary world,
With dolls of mommies, daddies, boys and girls,
Full of horses, cowboys, cars and trains,
Can scratch them out and draw them all again,
Color me a rainbow with a pot of gold,
Color me a fairy with ribbons and bows,
Paint my face, a bright yellow sun,
In a green grassy field where a blue river runs,
With mountains and trees set in a colorful scene,
Monkey bars, teeter-totters, an old tire swing,
Color my face with a bright happy smile,
In a wonderful world, if only for awhile,
I can pretend my life is happy and gay,
Not worry about the mean stuff, just for the day,
Not worry about what I will eat, or where I will sleep,
Or the cockroaches and rats that make me creep,
Color me a family with brothers and sisters,
Color me a man to call Daddy, not Mister,
Color my mom in a bright yellow dress,
Stretched in a hammock under a tree with a nest,
In the yard of the house, we can call our own,
With neighbors on each side of our lovely home,
Color my dreams carefree and wild,
Color my life always as a child,
Color me a father, color me a Dad,
Color me the life that I never had.
Color me a garden with fruits of all kinds,
Apples, pears with grapes on the vine,
Color me a crayon that’s really a crayon,
Not this old sharpened pencil that I just found,
To draw my picture on this brown paper bag,
That was once filled with gin and Ole’ Granddad,
Now, Dream me a dream…Once upon a time,
I had a real father that I can call mine!
They needed help
Walking alone in the dark.
A broken down car.
The child frightened,
But not understanding
That would soon
Come her way.
Her parents petrified
That their baby was gone,
Over forbidden images
That crowded their way
Past ice cream sundays
And birthday parties
And wedding days.
A doer of good deeds.
He looks into
the little girl's eyes.
The girl speaks,
"This is not my dad"
And the coward
who took her,
Believing he saved
From a long, cold walk,
Saved a child
From a long, cold death.
your footsteps were crooked and a little off kilter
though I still tried to match your steps
your way of doing things was always a bit different
(detrimental to impressionable souls)
maybe you were not Mr. Brady or Leave it to beavers dad
but you were my dad…..and the only one I have….
through all the ruckus and the lunacy
I was a little girl who cried for you (while you cried)
through the tatter of ripped seams and too much whiskey
I whispered “its ok daddy” and I hurt for you….
so maybe you were never perfect in any sense….
and a round peg in a square hole trying to make a place
confused and confounded by life and its roller coaster ride
but I adored you in my broken heart (standing loyal)
through the crazy that you put me through
this one is for you daddy….and there is a silver lining
in every cloud that stings the sky…..beneath the rain
I have a smile I can toss to you through the downpour
and my small hands hold yours through the tempest
my eyes gazing up and watching each mistake you make
and loving you so much anyway…what else can I do?
Once I had a bicycle,
A loving present from my grandfather;
Since I was his favorite granddaughter,
He granted my wish at a snap of my finger .
Since he was so old,
A new bicycle he could hardly afford;
He took his bike when he was young,
Which I found it once at the back of our barn.
As far as I remember,
It was really so old and rugged;
But my grandpa was like Mr. Mac-Gyber,
Amazingly fixing all things all-over.
My granda was a well-known painter,
I thought he will repaint and use sandpapers;
When I surreptitiously sneaked into his hut,
He was there recycling all my milk cans.
When everything was done,
He gladly gave it to me with a big hug;
I hurriedly drove it at once,
Down the street and field with so much fun.
“My bike was real a unique one!” I thought.
So different from others in our neighborhood,
Its wailing siren was made up of a cow’s horn,
Tubes were made of dried bamboos and corn.
Other parts were still the same,
Like forks, hubs and chainwheel set,
The rest were made up of my milk cans,
They were pedal, brake and seatgear stem.
Handle bars were what I like most,
Converted from the handle of his old plow;
So sturdy and so strong all I knew,
And I can drive it so long in full control.
However, when I travelled quite afar,
Parts were falling one at a time;
Until everything suddenly split apart,
Eventually it dropped and rolled me down.
Date: Aug. 3, 2012
( A loving tribute to my dearest Father)
4th Place Winner
Contest: Any Poem of the Week Contest
Contest Judged: 8/4/12 12:00:00 AM
Poet Sponsor: Poet-Destroyer
learning from the past
turning the dark into light
grasping a lesson from our Father
climbing levels of enlightenment
The Almighty presents us with lessons each and everyday
it is our job to acknowledge the lessons and grow from them
Although presented in different ways
we all go through the same lessons in life
I call it "climbing levels of spiritual enlightenment"
if you grasp the lesson presented and live by that lesson you will begin your climb
if you fail to live by that lesson you will tumble back down over and over
hence the lessons will be presented to you once again until you achieve them
The lessons are not always pleasant as the flesh cries out in pain
as I climb and fall throughout my life
the agony is soon replace with delight
a little pain to receive a blessing from our King
What appears to be a failure or a loss with no way out
is simply a hidden blessing , a gift from our King......
It's time to start climbing!!!
lets grow strong..........
"Am I a man
I am old and frail son;
His smiles and hugs
could not be bought
My grandfather on my father’s side, was a pecker-toothed sidle who raped his
daughter when she was just ten. He threw down vodka from an eternal well and took my father out to buy prostitutes when he was just fifteen... It was here that my father first learned the true value of a woman. Mercifully, a permanent steel brace got loose at the Pennsylvania steel mill where he worked and crushed Grandfather into a pool of blood and urine.
My father was a dried seed rattling in an empty gourd… he had grown up
hardened with leather-stiff roots exposed too long in the sun. My mother knew
that he wanted to rape me, so I kept guard with knives and ran away whenever I could. I went to bed fantasizing how to sneak into his bedroom and kill him with
the kitchen carving knife.
My older brother hadn’t adjusted well to the chaos either, so he put all his expectations and dreams into a matchbook and burned down three houses in the neighborhood. He secretly, robbed his friends of their valuable coin collections. He grew weary and confessed and was taken to a local Mental Hospital for evaluation. At fourteen, I needed a good stiff drink! I was transferred to two different foster care homes and grew up like a weed.
My mother Dolly was an auburn haired porcelain bisque, matt finished doll from a
discriminating collections of dolls... her father's dolls. She was not a witty woman
but silent, afraid and alone. She gave birth to three children who grew up like
wild dogs while Dolly made Betty Crocker weekends and otherwise TV dinners
until she grew tired... very tired.
One day the brothers were playing with Dolly tossing her back and forth…
like a ball, one to another... until we dropped her. Fragile, she shattered into pieces
on the gray cement patio. My father came out determined to put the pieces back
together but clumsily, he repeatedly stepped on Dolly crushing the refined
fragments into powdered dust.
From the bottom of an abandoned gravel pit
behind my childhood home, seated,
leaning against its hardpacked sandy side,
he watched the July sun set,
the empty prescription bottle at his side.
Did he walk that day to his unnatural fate
slowly, shoulders rolling like a big cat,
alternating first one, then the other,
forward, head bent, one black errant
curl tumbling across his troubled forehead.
Did he hesitate or did he hurry
and did he think of me, just 12,
soon to be fatherless, before he
began his two weeks of decomposing
in the hot Texas sun until
the man on horseback found him
while looking for a lost calf.
I couldn't blame my mother
for the divorce she filed.
I had wanted him to leave, too,
and hadn't I prayed he would die
when he dragged her over the yard,
by a handful of her hair clasped
tightly in his fist,
because she had cut it without his permission.
Especially the next day when I found
the clump of auburn hair caught in the lush
purple blooms of the wisteria bush,
I wanted him to die.
He played his harmonica for me,
and I sang, "Daddy's Little Darling,
Don't you think I'm sweet?"
But I prayed my dad would die,
and though I asked God to ignore those
prayers of terror, I will never be able to
love enough wayward men to save my dad.