His daddy is fighting in Iraq.
His mommy is fighting tears.
His brother is fighting death.
He is fighting his desolation and fears.
Friends are but a dream
and companions are an illusion.
School is a concentration camp,
but he stands, though alone, in the midst of confusion.
His training school is loneliness.
His milestones are fears, thrust in lies.
His only weapon is faith
and his bullets are soft "hallelujah" cries.
Strength left his fragile body
and he lost the fight in life so coy,
yet on his knees he conquered agony
and I call him the little soldier boy.
You asked me to forgive you
Still you would cause me pain again
Your words rained down like daggers
Soaking my soul with so much pain
I know i was taught to forgive
It became harder every day
All the ways you had to hurt me
I was the game you loved to play
You had quite an imagination
The ways you would describe my demise
Thankfully I chose not to follow
Yours was a pathway paved with lies
In my mind I reinvented
Chose a future that was worthwhile
Yes I took a few steps backwards
Still moving forward all the while
As the gap between us lengthened
God took my heart and made it whole
Yes beginnings are important
I learned forgiveness plays a role
It was not so much about you
Or all the things that you had done
My healing could not be complete
Without knowing God's only Son
There is light beyond the darkness
Perhaps one day I will see your face
I hope you asked God for forgiveness
Your sins will be gone without a trace
If my Savior can forgive you
The way he has forgiven me
There is more to who you were
Than what I was able to see
I forgive you dad
My affirmation deceitfully severed
forever robbed by selfishness
Left to tackle life alone
Tumbling in the wake of my dad's mess
He left when I was three
The crevasse has increased for 33 years
Traded his life with us
For another woman and a couple of beers
He wasn't there to pick me up
When I fell off of my bike
To teach me how to fish
Or enjoy a nature hike
Now I'm a father to my son
Hoping not to make the same mistake
Living day to day on this lake of life
My son in tow through my own wake
It's been nine years and we're going strong
Six more years with my son
That's more with him than I had with mine
My son I guard in a web I've spun
A web of love, discipline, and nurture
Full of "I love you's" and "see ya in the morning"
A kiss before school and one before bed
Lots of playing, talking, reading, and singing
My son doesn't know the pain I feel
To not know my dad in intimate ways
No hands to comfort me or words to heal
No dad in sight for 12,045 days.............................(and counting)
My son and I have a great relationship and for this I am thankful......
That's not my elephant! my father said to me
Mine is pink with wings, funnily, he likes to eat spaghetti
I think I'll call him Ella, named after a girl I knew
We danced at the 2nd graders ball, her dress was so see through
My father was once a politician, until his marbles began to set
I visit him as often as I can, introducing as if we'd just met
But somewhere in his confusion, he can recite The Bill of Rights
And once he does he smiles, to me he can still delight
As I turn to leave, to wave goodbye, in his eyes I see a tear
Still reciting The Bill of Rights, smiling from ear to ear
With Ella from the 2nd graders, he smiles in self triumphant
As he points towards the window, it's not pink, that's not my elephant!
Being the shortest in my high school gym class
Attempts to play basketball brought no success
Broke my finger while trying to catch a pass
Leaping to take balls from tall girls? What a mess!
Always loved football, baseball and soccer too
But in basketball I succumbed to defeat
Just couldn’t get into it, that is true
Till Dad took me to see the Miami Heat
Startled he was, watching me jump up and down
Although my enthusiasm was contrived
The cheers of other fans my loud voice did drown
This was the last time I saw my Dad alive
I’m so thankful now that I went to that game
Dad was so grateful for these moments we shared
When I watch basketball now, it’s not the same
It was Dad and not the sport for which I cared
*Entry for Deb’s “Play Ball” contest
I dreamt my father came to me
From beyond the grave words spoken
He held my hand and said to me
Your life cycle has broken
Mom sent me here to fetch you
And take you home to heaven
I rejoiced and hugged my Dad
Eager to see my late folks and husband
But before I could get dressed to leave
My father had departed
Does he still wait to take me home?
Answer, Dad, I'm broken hearted
To join all my loved ones in the afterlife
Brings great joy to me, no fear
So I will sleep lightly again tonight
In hopes Dad will reappear
*Entry for the "Dream Land" contest. (Based on a real dream.)
Sore to the bone
Running on a drop of energy
Just gotta push through
I'll rest eventually
My shoulder has gone numb
But my body feels her weight
As if she's gotten heavy
Since her unconscious state
If I could, I'd stop right now
But who knows how safe it is here
And if I could even start again
I may fall asleep I fear
Soon my body will give up
But I'll make it as far as I can
And hopefully haven isn't too far
And I can put her in helping hands
Walking all day and night
It's hard not to think on past
And any thought I come up with
Has me struggling to hold sobs back
I've kept my ears open
Trying to focus on only sounds
But all I keep on hearing
Is my shoes crunch on foreign grounds
Bang. I hear it softly.
So far but still so near.
Bang. Another gunshot sounds
And I've collapsed in fear.
I close my eyes but another goes off
This time in a memory
And now I'm filled with rage
At how repulsive humans can be
My thoughts turn to my baby
Slipping off of my shoulder
I set her down and examine her
Bloodstained gown and skin colder
My worst nightmare but it can't be true
I listen in for her sweet breath
No. No No. No No. No No.
What's this silence? This isn't death.
This time I don't close my eyes
I see a sight that makes me sob
Memory of the last I saw my wife
And now my baby's with her mom.
Each one of us left covered in crimson
By a monster, a gunshot, a blow
Their death is the death of me.
This is as far as I can go.
Inspired by Morris Gleitzman's novel "Once," a historical fiction about a boy in Poland
during the Holocaust.
When I look into your eyes
I see right through
To the back of your mind
What’s bothering you
Everyday you carry guilt
Never bother to pick up the phone
Just to straighten it out
But it seems you want to be alone
You say you want to make up
The lost birthdays and years
For destroying our family
For the dreaded tears
Over a year no letter in the mail
Over year there’s no call
Over a year no sign of life
Over the years you never cared at all
You only want to get it out
Just so you don’t feel bad
Only for your benefit
So your life is no longer sad
Y say you want to be close again
By buying me anything I desire
But love you can’t buy
So all you are is a liar
I know you have regrets
But you’ll eventually pay
You might be happy again
When you grow up one day
You let the pain stand in your way
You tried to block us out
But you only put distance between us
Now your own kids you know nothing about
You never know what to say
Being selfish and covering up the pain
Never saw what it did to us
Tired of losing now you want to gain
Over the years I forgot how you hurt me
I forgot to call you dad
I forgot you all in all
I forgot everything bad
Once again, the powers that must
In rise again in what we trust
An overseas conflict, another war
Just what in the hell are we fighting for
Families are asking, Korea has just passed
Generations again reft, how long will it last
A country in need, to rebuild again
Flags at half mast, in wind and rain strain
Once again into war, sent by the Washington Post
To send back reports to hit home the most
Military observers were the first to be sent in
Another chapter of man entering existing sin
I'm witnessing our ariel power, Lam Son 719
US planners determine their incursion, saying all will be fine
Along the Mekong River, we'll carpet bomb their supply trail
Tons of munitions and napalm, this spread surely cannot fail
Many sorties are being flown, for the wounded and the dead
Whilst Nixon and his cronies, aren't thinking with their heads
The news of losses has reached me, nineteen have been killed
Eleven missing, fifty nine wounded, more American blood spilled
Seven fixed wing aircraft, more sons in action loss
Whilst back at home more protests, fading the dyeing's gloss
To to this job that I do, I was never prepared for this
To witness such bloody scenes, and ignore that life is bliss
How can I write about a soldier, whose name I'll never know
Killed at nineteen years old, his family he'll never see grow
Or even explain to his parents, when carried from the AH-1
His body bullet riddled and limp, when lifted it bloodily run
I never went back to the theatre, called the Vietnam War
Having witnessed the wanton killing, what were we fighting for
This colonial conflict that started, us on the side of France
So many came back as strangers, many to live in trance
James Fraser's entry into the contest " WORLD OF WAR: VIETNAM "
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
In the darkening room I stood:
tears welling in my eyes:
by the windowed-wall, looking out,
my small chest full of sighs.
Headlights bright white and tail lights red,
paired, meandered down the street,
yet the white headlights that I sought
seemed only to retreat.
Cold, calm, singular, tear drops fell,
soon reaching down turned lips;
as in the house across the street,
the living room was lit.
A Father held his baby high.
He hugged that toddler tight.
I wiped the corner of my eye,
and gazed into the night.
Above the darkened woodland near,
beneath a cobalt sky;
the highway brought their Fathers home.
alone again stood I.
Horns blared out in drives near by
sweet laughter filled the air,
and, in the drive across the street,
their Fathers did appear.
The children ran out slamming doors,
on small unshodden feet,
with tiny squeals, and upturned cheeks,
their Father they did greet.
Where was the father who I sought
our lives incomplete
a traveling man, my Father
did nothing but retreat.
*A memory from when I was 8.
I laugh as I think of it now, the dire warnings of hell
Nothing could scare me it didn’t matter, on this teaching I never did dwell.
I wondered why one dark night, again begging for sleep.
No fear of death of dying no foolish promises to keep.
It was then I found the answer as I slipped down through the floor
Could this be a dream or am I now no more.
Has death come upon me, I feel the air exude from my chest
Through eons of time yet seconds, maybe days or years at best.
Before me an evil thing but there are no brimstone and flames
“Now we will see this hell you mocked and you will know my name.
You never flinched about the hell threat but you are now here
Not only that I am your father and now you will know real fear.”
He breathed in deep; my skin scorched, it left my body in one piece
The agonies, I must be dead my skin floating in front just like a fleece
My muscles sinews and skeleton were all that I now had
“I thought you were my father I screamed you can’t treat me this bad.”
A thousand legions of devils all came round mocking me
Each breath they turned my way seemed to rip parts off of me
“You will learn to master them but until then you have to pay
You start at the bottom in this work.” then the hounds of hell did bay.
“To inflict the tortures required to give me the satisfaction
You must first suffer them all, that is my attraction.
When you have suffered them all you will know what to do
My work will be in your hands this is my legacy to you.”
“But how can you be my father?” I screamed as the hell hounds tore at me
“My mother was the sweetest woman on earth and all around could see.”
“Ha! I am the devil why would I want a whore,
They are already down here; it was sweetness I searched for.”
“Your mother scorned me, she did not believe in all the hellish games I play
So I showed her my powers and you are with me from this day.
You should have listened to the teachers teaching of my home called hell.”
He waved his finger at me and the screams I could not quell.
Now I wish I had listened and taken an earthly fear
It could have made a difference, I may not now be here.
I take delight in dismembering and gouging out the eyes
Flaying the skin off the ungodly, yet I do it for a prize.
One day I will rule this place then my turn will come
I’ll leave this underworld one day and do what my father has done
I’ll take a woman for my wife the sweetest there ever walked
And pass on my inheritance to the offspring that hell balked.
From my perch in front of the TV
I give the night’s first shout
“Are you kids listening to me?
Please, turn your lights out!”
“I want some water.” “I have to pee.”
“I didn’t brush my teeth.”
I try so very disparately
To not let my anger seethe.
“You have been up there for over an hour,
What exactly have you been doing?”
The peaceful night starts to sour
The ogre inside is brewing.
“It’s past your bedtime, now get to sleep
And turn those lights out!”
I hear the little one start to weep
I’ll be going up there I have no doubt.
“It’s too hot.” “I’m afraid of the dark.”
“I cannot find my Teddy.”
I restrain my next remark
Going up there I am ready.
When silence finally does arise
I wonder if all is okay
I go up and find a sleeping surprise
Turning out lights along the way.
When crashed to earth that mightful Oak
O'er that long. a'frighted night,
His tears did so high homage speak
As to slumber passed his Light...
Shoulders small, no more host to hands
Whose tender firmness helmed
Their little lad, and life, and joy
In eternal love enrealmed.
Trudged he stoic, that deserts waste
With heart beset and stormed,
His soul a stone-turned edifice
Then from parched dreams was formed
A kind but spectral silohette
Up from the nighted sands,
As boyish eyes enlivened gazed
Once more upon old hands...
They held a heart which yet did beat,
"For you, my bonnie Dan!
I'll love you from Forever, boy,
And in Love, live as a man..."
Ah, but dream, for now he wakes-
But so curious a thing!
For in his grasp there rests some sand
Which waking did not bring!
He was the bard from Stratford, and as a teenager
he helped his father in his trade; he married and had children
and became the most popular and admired play writer
in all England...acting was also his other pleasurable passion.
Curious Queen Elisabeth was one of the thousand spectators,
who came to see him in the Globe theater...she shed tears,
and was stunned by the performance of his timeless plays,
and yet, some of his fellow-poets criticized him for his writings!
I wish I had lived in that Victorian era so intellectual and refined,
and had met him in person and had showed him my ample admiration;
I would have asked him the secret, which made him so legendary and loved...
and he would have whispered it to me, to make me revel in that revelation!
I have read his inspiring works, and tragedies rampantly occur
from " Romeo and Juliet"...the Verona's immortal lovers, through" Hamlet "
whose insanity was undoubtedly caused by the specter of his father;
and why didn't Shakespeare choose less dramatic plays not ending in death?
He wanted to teach us indelible lessons to show us how the human spirit
can be passionate, adamant, loveless, envious, cruel, unfair and treacherous...
to outline all kinds of guilt: from murder to envy so well-expressed with eloquence;
it's no mystery to anyone how he conjured up such plots with grief, madness and wit!
Shakespeare was no ordinary kid, and he played with his siblings on Henley Street,
neighbors saw him trot to his grammar school, later he would make everyone weep;
early in adolescence, did his prodigious mind envision one from a vague thought?
It's no wonder that he is widely read even today...hear his speak, he'll impart worth!
Entered in Amy Green's contest, " Wow Me With Inspiration "
I'm sure you think I'm crying.
You think it hurts so bad.
The only thing that truly hurt,
was when I lost my dad.
He really wanted me to know
the way life was meant to be.
He always tried to help me out.
He truly cared for me.
I pray one day I'll see him
laughing once again.
He was so much more than people knew.
He was part of a bigger plan.
Now he's gone to heaven
and I hope he's looking down.
I need him still to guide me
when I laugh and when I frown.
Love in His name.
Saved by grace;
I have some choices to face,
But these are not my decisions to make.
God told me what He wants me to do;
He said, "Listen, Son, I have a plan for you."
I have fallen victim so many times
To nobody's fault except only mine.
I will ask for forgiveness and have faith,
Even though I feel like I am not saved.
My hero to me, was just a simple man
He was ill throughout his life, but he raised two sons
Two jobs he held down until he couldn't anymore
Then fate took it's turn, and turned his heart sore
First was the youngest, on a broken bottle he fell
His artery slashed, was the start of his hell
I recovered from my trauma, nearly losing my life
But my accident increased, his ill health into strife
Over the next two years he was hospitalised
His sons fostered out, in fatherless cries
To children's homes they went, from pillar to post
Yearning for the person, who loved them the most
He gradually recovered, we became a family again
Once again fate took it's turn, returning life's pain
On a Monday night back in nineteen sixty nine
What every parent dreads, returned him to ill health decline
His two boys excited, joining the local Boy's Brigade
Running as fast as they could, for time to be made
The older was faster, he ran well ahead
The younger lagging behind, his little legs so delayed
On turning the corner, all I could see
Was my older brother, running well ahead of me
Without looking left or right, onto the street he ran
A split second later, he was hit by a van
My life entered slow motion, whilst I witnessed it all
To see your brother knocked down, a sibling to fall
He was caught under the van and dragged down the street
At seven years old, too terrified to greet
Over the next six years, his heath gradually became worse
He was more in hospital, in illness immersed
That's why he is my hero, to my lost brother and me
He's the kind of man that I've turned out to be
He had no quality of life, but what he gave meant more
The love for his two boys all through his life's sores
Holding down two jobs through illness and strife
Admirable, that's just a word, he gave me my life
My entry for Crystal Wilkins contest 'My Hero'
Who is Bigfoot’s Great-grand Daddy?
Whether living in a city or on the mountain side,
People from the world around astound us with their views.
He’s nine-feet tall, a hairy thing, uprightly he flees astride.
Only tracks are left behind and the mystery accrues.
They say that Big Foot does exist and for eons has survived.
A humanoid of greatest size a hairy manlike beast.
Is he really all they say, or are the stories contrived?
And if he lives, tell me, are our imaginations fleeced?
(Genesis 27 … paraphrased…)
Jacob goes to get two goats and steal his father’s blessing.
Their mom prepared a feast of goat, delicious, to Isaac’s taste.
Then, tied goatskin to Jacob’s neck and hands, realizing.
Jacob dressed in Esau’s clothes calmly goes to his father with haste.
Meanwhile, Esau, far away was hunting for venison as asked.
Traipsing around through the scrubby woods tracking.
Moving quickly with his great might to fulfill his father’s task.
A man with hair like that of a goat, his birthright was loosing.
Jacob smelled like Esau and the fields, but his voice…
Isaac questioned, so he felt Jacob’s goatskin clad hands.
Satisfied by the goatskin disguise, destiny made its choice.
Jacob received a blessing of wealth and all of his father’s lands.
When Esau returned with the venison feast, deceit was revealed.
But it was too late his birthright was gone; he was very mad.
“Give me a blessing, father please.” He begged as he kneeled.
You shall live on the fat of the earth…unyoked…his father said.
I wonder –
Is Bigfoot, like Esau, a hunter-gatherer with hands as hairy as a goat?
Does he live independently, a type of man, a scary giant beast?
Wandering upon earth, too and fro, with life barely afloat.
Brothers separated by that ancient deceit filled feast.
Is Bigfoot the hunter-gatherer living on the fat of the land?
Has he since the day of Rachael’s scam lived secluded and beastly?
Have generation upon generation descended that ancient hunting man?
Could Isaac in the Bible be Big Foot’s ancient Great-grand Daddy?
Happy Father's Day Mom,
Without you this day would be,
This day just would not be.
Dad is great, don't get me wrong,
I think that he is grand.
He's always there to play some game,
Spend time or lend a hand.
He taught me how to cast a line,
When we go out fishing.
He taught me how to speak my mind,
That there's no gain in wishing.
I don't think I'll e'er repay,
All that he's done for me.
I know for sure in all the world,
There's no one just like he.
I'd like to give him something,
To show there's none like he;
But you already did that,
On the day you gave him me.
As the orchid blooms its long beautiful flower
The perfume of which fills the air hour by hour
The strength in its leave when open from bud
No decay just a little wrinkle as in age it should
If Orchis the son of the nymph and satyr
Had not drunk of the vine and showed his desire
As he drank long and hard at the feast of Dionysus
His eyes fell on a priestess and caused all the fuss.
He wanted her, was his drunken decree
And he didn’t care if she didn’t want he
He coveted the priestess as he drank by the hour
Determined he was soon her going to deflower.
His advances she said she would not take
But he did not listen and her he would make
But for this insult to a revered priestess
The gods were determined he’d pay for her distress
He would not go unpunished this was THEIR decree
And ripped limb from limb they decreed he would be
The bacchanalians did tear him apart and justly so
He should have accepted the priestess she said NO!
The father of Orchis prayed the Gods would restore
The son that he loved and would for evermore
After they listened to the prayers of a father distraught
The Gods returned Orchis not as a man but as a flower they thought.
Orchis became the flower with the strange sounding name
Whose beauty enchants and its perfume does the same
The orchid, the bulbs shape we will recognise today
The part under the body, where a man likes us to play.
I've had so many moments in life
full of love, loss, hope and strife,
never have I fully lived as I do now
with loneliness my only pal.
I feel the earth as it moves on
toward the setting of the sun,
when all of life has gone away
no more night only the day.
God the Father on the throne
never more to be alone,
heavenly angels sing above
always peace, hope, and love.
He was the leader of the band till age ninety-three
Won the Senior Olympics five-mile race thirty times
In the Depression Dad worked to feed his family
And succeeded by pinching all nickels and dimes
Never raised his voice in anger; that was not Dad’s way
Gave money to educate Native Americans
But he didn’t once mention the cash he gave away
To animal rights causes and disabled veterans
At six feet, broad-shouldered, he handled Mom’s depression
And brightened children’s lives with his dramatic antics
Making up stories on the spot with imagination
He mastered the art of pulling laughs from his bag of tricks
Friends were jealous; none had a father as kind as mine
Imagine the pride I felt when he walked me down the aisle
A humble man who never complained, not even one whine
Though I’m alone now, Dad made my childhood worthwhile
He didn’t wear Superman’s cape or have a magic ring
Some might have mistaken him as an ordinary man
But Dad set the bar so high, to me he was a king
No boys could ever match him, the hero of our clan
*For Jeanette Fisher’s “Holding Out for a Hero” Contest
In the black of night they come to me.
The hauntings of old have begun.
Memories of hatred and fear
of such evil under the sun.
A tender shoot was I back then.
Blooming in the spring of my years.
I'll never fathom or understand
swimming in a cascade of tears.
Life had dealt me a difficult hand.
Innocence had been ripped to the core.
Shame and misery in my young heart
and I couldn't feel love any more.
Broken and drifting in a haze.
Crushed beneath his weight.
and learning the way of hate.
Children should not have to cry
for safety and peace of mind.
Wee ones needn't have to worry
how love's cruel and so unkind.
These memories of way back when
have left their scars on my soul.
Through grace I somehow made it
though the heartache took it's toll.
written by Deb Wilson for Gail's contest
Happy Father's Day, Dad,
You know, You Da Man,
And I just want to let you know,
That I'm your biggest fan.
There's no one else in all the world,
Who'd do the things you do.
You're there whene'er we need you.
No matter what, there's you.
You're the man who has the plan,
The one I always turn to.
My buddy, pal, my mentor,
There's fathers, then there's you.
Now sits the redeye gravy in the pan
It certainly is not at all like jam
Mom made it years ago for her man
Fry some country ham, pour coffee bam
Never knew why it was called redeye
Then my grandson informed me just why
Men who had been out late had bleareye
Who looked like they had been drip-dry
I always thought that it was because
It had dark red color from drippings
In my home it got an applause
I thought that it was God's blessings
I learned my husband doesn't like it
My grandson doesn't like redeye gravy
When I make it only make a bit
Always redeye gravy left heavy
Today decided to place on grits
Feed to the cats see if they like it
Now cat is running around won't sit
I guess that caffeine gave them lift
Once before, I had walked down a red carpeted isle
to glimpse your solemn face, a memory forever mine.
Why fate had to be so vile,
I still can’t comprehend, and yet here I stand before your shrine.
I had thought of the future, of what lay ahead,
and it stung. I would tread an isle again,
without you. My supposed joyful day would be my dread.
My white gown would bear sorrow’s stain.
Still, I could envision it: beside a rocky shore,
in the rain, ravished by the wind, beneath a veil of thunder…
Would you have thought it foolish lore?
This fantasy and chase after nature’s wonder?
NO! You would also have seen it, wouldn’t you?
The ocean rising violently like a stampede of wild mustangs,
the wind racing for its destination: adventures new,
the heaven’s shower baring its fangs?
Or would you have had me trod in a valley
under crystalline dusk and precipices,
appearing unbroken, all smiles and glee,
along the isle of roses?
I'm captured in a fantasy
a prison so it seems...
A never ending search for you
each night within my dreams...
I can't escape the way I feel
no matter how I try...
This longing deep within my soul
sometimes I sit and cry...
Oh come and take me in your arms
and hold me all night long...
Whisper words I long to hear
and stay where you belong...