Born I was, still alive today, down, but I'll be back to say
Even at a small age, when our house burnt to the ground
Disorientated, confused, in it's smoke filled surround
With no other place to go, to a Caravan we called our home
It was the events after this, that allowed my mind to roam
Little me playing in a field, on a broken bottle I fell
Crimson fountains erupted, I survived, as I'm here to tell
That Monday night so special, Boys Brigade we headed to be
I tried to run faster, but my brother was faster than me
Out of the opening he went, boy running, was he skilled
He was there, but gone the next, knocked down, my brother killed
My mind now in roam and wander, fathers health started to slide
Where does a seven year old turn to, to whom does he confide
Pillar to post I headed, fostered out, and to children's homes
Six years later many more tears, my father in deathly roam
To my father I kept my promise, to the Royal Navy I would go
Whilst training, caught under a raft, my life nearing slow
Pulled from the water was I, nearly drained of what little I had
A release of water, a gasp of air, hours later feeling so glad
Eventually what I'd always wanted, to be happy and family be
Married to the girl whom I'd know, would love to marry me
But to a colleague I'd declared my worries, of a phone call I'd take
For History would repeat itself, to awaken to a possible wake
That call finally arrived, to the telephone, speaking to my eldest son
Liam his younger brother, knocked down, my tears in run
I'm blessed that he was saved, which cancelled out that call
I only wish that technology was, that I'd have a firewall
This is me up to date, apart this last weekend
Again I thought I lost my youngest, once again relieved of strain
Hours up at the Hospital, the first human skull I've seen
A serious cut to his head, but what it could have been
This my life's chapter, around the corner we never know
But all I can say to the above, around me continues to glow
Copyright © James Fraser
Year of the Acorn
(For my Father who
has Parkinsons &
Out on a winter walk
you solemnly put an
acorn into my hand.
Something in my head
"Keep it safe
and he'll be safe".
I kept it to this
One candle on my
burned into my
mind's eye forever.
You took a
to keep me in the
My sister arrived in
You took me to feed
she greeted us with
I fled, covering my
Mother told me the
facts of life.
You kept well out of
A disco at the end
of a long, quiet
You always drove me
safely there and
You were judge and
of all boyfriends.
Year twenty three.
You gave me away
to the best
boyfriend of all.
A montage of eras
replay in the bright
lens of memory
till the year of the
and the acorn.
And I kept it safe
so you'd be safe,
only now it looks
cracked and old;
not quite like an
and you are not
quite like you.
Copyright © Sara Louise Russell
T'was a splendid night and I'm feeling
'Had a good ol' time, just areeling
With stories to be told
Now the paint is running out of the frame
With my pockets emptied of all loose change
I was young when I left home
When the heart is great and the world
Proves itself too small
When a stark ambition arises
If only to fall
The battlefield was left bloody and cold
They all had knives and I came through alone
I was young when I left home
Now I hear your name from the darkness
As I'm walking through the snow
And a pleasant warmth embraces me, seeps
Deep into my bones
There is no pretence in your sweet smile
And I find the strength to go the extra mile
I was young when I left home
Copyright © Rightly Jennings
When I was a boy, my father used to say,
Why don’t you behave, and do it right away?”
And as I started growing up, I always knew who’s who,
With him sat in the driving seat and me the child at school.
Now as time marches ever forward, as I watch my children play,
And giving them the same advice: “stop that now and do that right away.”
The years keep on advancing, sometimes I feel so low,
Now him within his twilight years, as his memory starts to go.
Recollection of the journey, and how it made me feel,
As he is now the passenger, and I sit behind the wheel.
Copyright © nicholas windle
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 "
Copyright © James Fraser
The Hours of Alzheimer
It starts ticking away slowly
Longer needed to search what’s known.
Watching the hand jerk
“Twelve is for noon, then?”
“Yes. Yes, Daddy! Just like that.
Twelve noon is lunch.”
Very gently, oh so sweetly,
Out of love and kindest thought
Offering words and filling fissures
Keeping pace and instant beating
“The, oh, you know, the oh how silly, the the box thing”
“Yes, the box thing, the clock, Daddy. Says it’s 3 and time for tea.”
Now impatience starts its tapping
Chasms stretching longer still
Wanting this moment
to stop its running
“I I please fork I I food”
“Oh, of course, dear Daddy. Dinner time.
Here, your fork. ”
Lingering in the distance
This cavity expanding
“ I I I I”
“Oh it’s last course time Daddy. Some dessert, then time for bed.”
Dead of night
First published: Poetry Quarterly
Copyright © Heather Browne
Dancing all around
Frolicking through fields
Just like you!
Copyright © Smail Poems
Raised on a farm in the South, Father ended up farming most of his life. He loved the land, the growing things, and the animals. He went off to work early in the morning whistling and singing. We kids would tag along to work in the fields and secretly hope for early thunderstorms.
early morning stars
the sound of roosters
When he was about to retire, he could no longer make a living as a farmer. Elderly, he had trouble finding work in the rural area of the South where he lived. The only job he could find was working for a chicken processing plant. They had thousands of chickens crammed in cages and behind wire fences awaiting slaughter.
They gave him a job using a heating iron to burn off part of the chickens’ beaks, so the they would not damage each other through pecking.
He lasted a week
Making pets of them all
started smoking again
(Published Haibun Today - 2008)
Copyright © Thomas Martin
I live where angels fear to walk
Don’t ask questions, no one’s gonna talk
Another kid’s innocence is being take
Their thirst for blood will never slacken
Love is something only found in a fairytale
But those don’t comfort, when home is spelled H E L L
Left alone for days on end
Nothing else to do but play pretend
Trying to get lost in a dream
But when that doesn’t help, all you can do is scream
I’ve called the devil by his first name
His eyes are cold, mine are the same
I live where angels fear to tread
By the time you find me, I’ll probably be dead
Copyright © Grace Faolian
Mother Nature has all but consumed
Their little graveyard by the sea, where
Sands bleached white, slide
Across the cemetery floor
Drifting like pale capsized hulls
Floating between tablets marking
The long forgotten dead
It was here, fifty two years ago that
I held my Grandfathers weathered hand,
More so for the want of a brace
Than the sympathetic touch of a Grandchild
My little hand lost to the wrist, gripped
By a generation lost to the elements
I watched him kneeling by their angled stones
Tracing their names; first his father’s father, then
The mothers, with a finger crooked by age
The sandstone letters crumbling in the wake of his trace
Grit sifting through his heavy fingers; history, being erased
Returning it back – to where it all began
I followed behind his shuffling shoes
Kicking up dust that settles on the bones of ghosts
My Grandfather’s voice lost to an ocean breeze
Is he speaking to the dead?
Whilst our shadows lengthen, then dwindle into dusk
I imagined, back then as I do now
Of a graveyard full of pirates and thieves
With their ship resting - just out there
~ At sea
But for the stout chimney and hearth, beyond the grounds
Baring testimony to pioneers that
Once toiled this barren coast and now
Standing defiant, resolute against the
Advancing flotilla of sand
He is buried just beyond the little graveyard
My Grandfather, next to my Grandmother
On his farm; or
His father’s farm before that
My farm now…
On a hill
Overlooking the sea, where it all began
8 Dec. 2014
Copyright © Mark Trichet
Dad: Ever since I held you when you
were first born,
I knew that my princess would grow
to be strong.
Dad: At first I was scared. I know
how the world works,
I don't wanna see that my little girl
Daughter: But daddy your here and
you have my back.
Dad: But if some body hurts you
daddy will snap.
Daughter: Relax dad I'm smart and
you taught me well.
To respect my body and at school to
Daughter: I know what you do is so
we can live safe.
Dad: When I get locked up out isn't
Dad: There's two side to this and jail
is one side
Daughter: I love you more daddy for
doing your time
Dad: I love you to baby that's not
Daughter: You'll be home soon dad
I'm counting the days.
Dad: Please be good for mom she all
Do the right thing and give her some
Daughter: Ok I promise I'll behave
best I can
If mommy needs help I'll give her a
Daughter: Your the best dad in the
whole wide world
Dad: I love you my princess my
Copyright © Willie Rathbone
P atrick is a special kind of man
A lways there to help folk if he can
P erfect is the way his children see him
A nd now they have to watch his lights go dim.
Copyright © Peter Duggan
I met myself today, not that many years away.
A most arresting sight; it filled me full of fright:
My mind in disarray, all my senses, gone astray.
Every hour come what may, planning meals for the day.
Checking locks. Are they tight? Checking clocks. Are they right?
I watched myself today. not so many years away.
Only driving in the day. After dark I lose my way.
Hardly hearing, blurry sight, nothing seems to taste quite right.
All my senses gone astray, and my mind’s ... in disarray.
Searching for each word to say. Can’t remember yesterday.
Bathroom visits through the night, cursing til I find the light.
I heard myself today not that many years away.
Talk about childhood days, no matter what you had to say.
Both my knees rusted tight, can’t get up with out a fight.
Bent and frail, drawn and gray, everything’s in disarray.
Do I need this P.O.A. Deeds and wills seem OK
What about a funeral site? Who will give my last rite?
I asked myself today: “just how many years away?”
While visiting my Dad this past Father’s Day.
Copyright © Bob Bergman
When I was about twelve years of age it was plain to see
That my father was quite dim not nearly as bright as me
Stupid words and inane sayings embarrassed me to hear
I cringed at what he’d say or do when I had friends near
‘Don’t talk with your mouth half full’; as we ate he’d say
‘Fill the bloody thing’; he’d add with laugh like asses bray
Then came the age twenty one and my eyes opened wide
As I listened to my father now with deep unbridled pride
Wisdom flowed from learned tongue upon my older ears
Amazed at all that he had learned in those nine short years
6th in Contest 'My Parent' by Francine Roberts
Copyright © Eamon Duffin
Is It God We Trust? Or Leave In the Dust?
As our courts remove God from this great nation.
We are left with a confused and lost generation!
As God is taken away from our public schools.
A huge tide of immorality is what “rules.”
The Bible is often mocked and discarded.
It was on it’s principles this country was started!
Just about anything of God seems to get scorned.
So many “rush” to worship many ungodly forms.
As God’s name is often tossed and thrown out.
We tend to forget what HE is all about!
Too often, his plans for living are tossed and abused.
No wonder, there’s many who are lost and confused!
As people forget God and worship the fallen creature.
They look to themselves and “glorify” their features.
Many ignore God, and get involved in deep addictions.
And with this, come disease,
heartache and afflictions!
As God looks and sees this nation “bleeding.”
It’s his righteousness, that we need to be seeking!
If we would humble ourselves, he would hear our prayer!
He loves all of us! And he really does care!
Won’t you come to HIM, And invite him in?
Won’t you allow him to be your master and friend?
He brings strength and nourishment to the soul!
It’s only in him that we can be made whole!
By Jim Pemberton
Copyright © Jim Pemberton
I wrote this after a conversation with an old retired fisherman whilst sitting on the harbour wall at Mousehole in Cornwall, UK ...
The old man sits by the pots on the wall
He looks out to sea and remembers it all
Although he's retired and now lives life at ease
he's spent fifty years upon the high seas
He first went to sea as a very young lad
and was trained in the fisherman's ways by his dad
He had little schooling, was not good at reading
but his father had taught him the skills he'd be needing
How to tie knots and to swab down the decks
and just where to fish to avoid sunken wrecks
He could forecast the weather with a glance at the sky
the shapes of the clouds and a well practiced eye
When his dad died, this now grown up nipper
inherited the boat and became its new skipper
As the years passed he became a dad too
and taught his young son to fish as he grew
It's now a few years since the man lost his wife
so he sits all alone and looks back on life
A life that was hard with no time to rest
but he knows in his heart that he's done his best
The son carries on the family trade
a life on the sea is the life he's now made
A new generation to carry it on
The boat will still sail when the old man has gone
So he sits on the wall and waves to his son
His life nearly over but his son's just begun
He knows that the boat has a really good skipper
and all in good time it will pass to HIS nipper
Copyright © Rob Biden
The Apple PASTURE
Oh how I long
To drift into the apple pasture.
Were once was and all well meet.
A pure and dear site.
Where silver reflection cover the still waters that holds the golden
grains of morality and the grazing souls lie young amounce no stars.
Oh how I long
To drift into the apple pasture
Were winds smell of melon and the trees whisper spring corals in the mellow dark and best of light and time creeps into no tomorrow.
Copyright © JAY JOHNSON
Everybody knows that it's against the law for grown men and grown women to date all of the underage boys and girls,. let alone a 14-year-old boy or a 15-year-old girl. The law also states that any adult who tries to have this so-called "intimate sexual relationship" with any of the underage boys and/or girls would likely go to jail for a period of time and upon release, they'll have to be register sex offenders for the rest of their lives. It seems that those teen girls would rather date men in their 20's or 30s than guys their age and those teen boys would rather date women twice their age than girls their age, as well. but luckily, their parents (the mothers and the fathers) are here to prevent these so-called "May-December" relationships from ever happening, especially when they're protecting their teenage offspring from dirt-bags like these would-be pedophiles. But no matter what the parents do, no matter how hard they try, their teen sons and/or daughters, they secretly continuing dating older men/older women, even at night (midnight, 2 am, or 3 in the morning, e.g.). And the next thing everybody knows, their parents, they will have found out about it; thereby finding them in bed with the adults; their parents should make multiple police reports and pud the cradle robbers behind bars for good. Boy this is starting to look like an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (Season 6-Episode 19-Intoxicated featuring Danielle Panabaker) and an episode of "Snapped," especially when Sarah Johnson killed her own parents in cold blood because she was afraid that the late Mr. and Mrs. Alan and Diane Johnson would send this guy name Bruno Santos to prison or have him deported back to Mexico for statutory rape (by way of dating a then-16-year-old girl). There's no way that those teen boys and teen girls are ever going to get into a bunch of serious, intimate relationships with a bunch of would-be cradle-robbing adults. They need to concentrate on their education and they need to be with guys and girls their age. I mean, one teen boy dating a n adult female? One teen girl dating an older man? My God, their parents will be seriously upset about this. Who on Earth would be dumb enough to fall for an older woman or an older man? And if these would-be pedophiles in the form of grown men and women even attempt to rob these teen boys and girls of their innocence and whatnot, the parents are going to have a problem up in here.
Copyright © Brashard Bursey
History is repeating itself now
The cutleries at home weeping
Your clothes in midst of confusion
All in desperation, trying to regain composure
The tables, chairs curtains, all missed you
When are you coming home, father?
The birds had stopped singing on the trees
In the family compound because you're gone
The children of my mother beheld your smiles but it faded
Fiercely on them and moved away drastically.
Tears welled up in our aging eyes
Where are you father?
Where have you gone to, heaven or Jerusalem?
When shall we see and embrace?
Stitching my tears together won't safe me
Because my heart is clapping in remembrance of your words
I picked up your footprint yesterday but
The broken home damaged it totally .
Your image stares at me each time i entered into
The room where you once laid to re create the history of the commoners
When are you coming home father to sew our minds together?
when are you coming home from the battle field?
Our souls are in debt of your face
Teasing the walls of our hearts
Return home father, come home Odenigbo the great
The forest that killed dreams in nkporoland
We wait your return father in the Agbala
Our sack cloths darker than the coal
We took in all the Hawk-like eyes that stole
Suspicious stares at death,
Come home father, we wait thee
Copyright © john chizoba vincent
I'm still wearing the
red lusted lipstick he hates
as I try to explain that
it's impossible to
wash this disease away.
My father says I'm
a picture of teenage cliches,
mourning puppy love
as if it is something tangible,
him, always one to rip
the band aid from the wound,
quick and with only the
slightest sting of nostalgia.
He wonders why he was cursed
with the mass of emotions
bleeding before him.
"It's later than midnight..." he says,
but they are everywhere,
dampening my hair,
flailing into my mouth
already creasing into
the laugh lines and
fleeting moments of yesterday.
My father wanted the boy,
five years younger and
dead before born
but all he got
frayed heart and torn jeans,
sheet stains from two kinds of
the moist aftermath that I will
swallow in sleep, as the
constant question marks
adorn his face.
Copyright © Felicia Aguilar
To Err Is Human
Would if I could, earn a spot
in the farthest part
of your bleeding heart
to bridge the gaping chasm
that for so long separated
and kept us apart.
What fate does the future holds
for a weary father growing weak and old;
while the whole story has yet to be told?
Through the prism of my aging tears,
rainbows color the present delight
radiating in the remaining waning years.
With a love that is pure and divine,
please forgive the painful err that was mine.
Copyright © millard lowe
Daddy, check my room for me, because I know they’re there.
I’m frozen in the doorway, I’ve never been so scared!
There’s monster’s in the dresser, and some beneath my bed,
They’re lurking in my closet, can I just sleep with you, instead?
Please don’t make me spend the night, in this monster ridden room,
For I will lay awake all night, imagining my doom.
Dad, I know I’m older now, but the monsters still remain,
A different house, a different room, yet still my fear they gain.
Daddy you were wonderful, on monster watch for years,
You tried to reassure me, you wiped away my tears.
You never found a monster, as you nightly checked my room,
You tried so hard to understand my ever present gloom.
They were never in my dresser, nor underneath my bed,
The demonic little bastards reside within my head.
The pill the doctor gave me made those monster run and hide,
But no matter what I do or take, I know they’re still inside.
Daddy, you protected me but alas, it was too late,
Mommy made those monsters, mommy sealed my fate.
I know she didn’t mean it, for she was in such pain,
I know she did the best she could, but it happened just the same.
For now, I’m very happy, and the monsters are at bay,
But I am almost certain they’ll return again someday.
Daddy, check my room for me…
By Jodee Morin 2/17/2015
Copyright © Jodee Morin
A kaleidoscope, a mixture of colors and light
So hard to describe so hard to write
Just like a life just like mine
Here is mine my time to shine
The colors change just like time
A life goes on to hit its prime
No matter what it keeps on changing
Just like life keeps on arranging
My story begins at age six
When life was suddenly no easy fix
The Kaleidoscope began to turn
And its center began to churn
My father left our family home
He left alone to go and roam
Suddenly the Kaleidoscope went dark
Even now it’s left its mark
It remained unturned for about two years
And the movement became quite severe
My Mother moved away from home
To improve her new teaching career
The shades of blue came into play
As most of my family had passed away
My mother was strong and held my hand
Even though nothing had gone as planned
My family will always be in my heart
Those small blue beads will play their part
At that time I was almost nine
I pretended that I was just fine
The colors changed from blue to red
I went on with almost no dread
At age eleven I moved once more
I moved again to the California core
I spent the next year in shades of green
All the kids were just too mean
I went to Junior and then Senior High
Then it was time to say goodbye
The Kaleidoscope turned and made a painting
My life became very entertaining
That’s when I met you for the first time
My hope and happiness began to climb
But My Father turned my Kaleidoscope for me
And I asked and cried my pitiful plea
On the weekends the kaleidoscope turns black
With nothing there to change it back
There are ups and downs, lights and darks
With many blond moments and smart remarks
My life will always be turning fast
Even so I have time to look back at my past
If I remember one thing it is that
My life was nothing like combat
But I still fought wars of my own
Without them my world would still be unknown
There is nothing quite like a kaleidoscope
It’s a symbol of change and hope
I like to think my life is like this
So look back and reminisce
Look back at your thoughts and dreams
But remember nothing is as it seems
The Kaleidoscope will turn to show your past
What was boring and what was a blast
Mine shows everything you’ve done for me
You showed me how fun life can be
You made my life what it is now
To this day I still wonder how
Thank you for turning my Kaleidoscope
And giving me strength and the power to cope
You made my life a beautiful rainbow
You deserve more than you will ever know
Copyright © Molly Alcorn
He read the newspaper every day,
turning the pages, two at a time.
My father’s addictions were deeper than mine,
he gazed at those pages and drifted away.
Once in a while he’d share a good find
sipping his coffee in that old, easy chair.
My father’s obsession was current affairs,
and watching for signs of market decline.
One day, he stood up and gave me a stare
read all about it, it’s all written there.
It’s coming real soon and it’s just so amazing,
I asked him to show me but I didn’t care.
The words that then staggered out of his mouth:
“digital newspapers, the next big thing”.
Copyright © James Fredholm
My father and my mother sat me down one day
to tell me how wonderful that I was growing O.K.
The years passes by as I got to be a teenager
with high hopes of becoming the first young manager
Life turns out a manager job is not for me
so I kept things to a minimum working hard you see
My family had taught me with all do respect
the life we lead is the image of our age in an aspect
Like queens and kings we bow our head
to the people who is wiser in age even when dead
Life as our guide the time we have aged
is what we leave behind that we are gaged
In prospective we are the stars and we are the earth
because we age and leave behind a new birth
To those that seek such blessing of heart
remember this age is respect for living from the start
Do you remember your father, mother, and teachers
they are the ones cheering you on, sitting on those bleachers
Copyright © Reynaldo Mast
His name is Joseph Ratzinger, the new pope Benedict XVI,
Installed as the two hundred sixty-fifth pope since foundation;
he’s a staunch defender of orthodox Catholic doctrine;
he’s German, an accomplished polyglot and theologian,
a good friend with sincerity and humility in every action.
He’s remembered too as someone who’s in opposition
to include Turkey as part of the so-called European Union,
his fear that this Muslim nation may dilute a certain culture
like Christianity in a particular continent vis-a-vis Turkey.
Born on April 16, 1927 in Markti am Inn, in Bavaria,
ordained in 1951 at the age of 24 in his own native town;
his theological studies punctuated with intelligence,
truly, a gift to the church and the whole society at large.
Cardinals from fifty-two countries who voted for him,
veered away from the traditional choice of an Italian successor,
for four hundred fifty-five years before a Polish pope,
Karol Wojtyla, known as Pope John Paul II elected in 1978.
He was fifty-eight years old when he became a pope,
while Cardinal Ratzinger was 78, the oldest pope chosen,
like Pope Clement XII in 1730, same age like his
showed strong leadership, competence and faithfulness.
Being a sovereign pontiff and Vicar of the Catholic Church,
he’s very articulate in a prolific academic achievement;
a man of culture, a voice of careful reservation,
indeed, an answer to the growing darkness of culture and corruption.
I love his maiden speech, his first words as the newly elected pope,
“the Lord will help us, and Mary, his most holy mother, will
be alongside us.”
tat gave me a strong impact as I carry with me that same hope
along with my desire to be faithful to the Lord in my ministry
a a priest, a humble worker in the Lord’s vineyard.
As the Church in this generation faces a number of issues
so complex and ethical that enable one to be open and faithful;
to the doctrine that heralds its openness to the changing times,
a huge task for his papacy, for his governance and pedagogy.
He’s the right pope for me and I vouch for his abilities,
his gifts and vision as the new pope in this century,
will continue to bring us into the splendor of God’s light,
between believers and nonbelievers alike, he’s our bridge;
who’ll listen to the cries of the mother church and obey God’s will.
Hail to our Pope Benedict XVI, first Germanic pope!
after nearly five hundred years since the pontiff was of the same background;
his pontificate is a celebration and affirmation of God’s love for us,
with his unwavering leadership - a continuation, a return to earlier traditions.
Copyright © mark escobar
You’re lying in a hospital bed,
Shaking, and so small it seems
As if you’re the child and I, the Father
I hold your hand as you once did mine
And tell you how I want to live to be 100,
And that you are getting closer and closer
As if that will inspire you to shake off this
Bitter process, the body’s reckoning with time
Put off the inevitable and sad conclusion
And somehow then, your smile appears
Then you tell me how precious I am
And become again the Father, and me, the child
Copyright © David Brown
You longer blaze in the summer heat,
You breeze in the autumn wind.
Does my change concern You as much?
By what means,
do we clinch the elasticity of Your skin?
By what measures,
do we clench the extensiveness of Your muscles?
To keep You warm,
To keep You here,
To keep You.
Copyright © Jessica Goldstone
The old man sits on a bench in
the late afternoon sun
his walker nearby,
his little dog,
the last day of summer
they watch the line up of trucks
coming to retrieve their
boats from the water
as the sun crawls
towards the sea
Like the tide,
the same people who
lined up in the morning to launch their boats,
now line up in the afternoon to retrieve them
Someone says to the old man,
they must truly love their boats
The old man replies,
once, I loved my boat
I remember being on the water in the sun,
breathing the sea air, feeling the wind
and the spray of the water on my face,
feeling the force of the waves,
the pull on the heart to the open sea
Feeling the anticipation
of the day, the chance of it all,
the good and the bad;
dry feet or wet clothes,
an empty net,
or a full belly
And the freedom
Oh, the freedom
I haven't been on a boat in so long,
that I can't even remember
when it was, son
I miss it so, but I'm happy
just that I loved it once
Copyright © David Brown
It was a time to bond and booze with dear Papa,
An interval all the more naughtily charming
As it inflamed the temper of irascible Mama.
Before happy hour, we two went shooting
With the three o three I bought for drama
In a gauche youth that was always dragging.
Out we drove in my short, fat pa's beetle,
Two maladroits equally socially feeble.
We stopped by some neatly stacked cans
That we shot, exploding wet excrement
Putting a brown pall on our bonding plans.
I fired a random shot as if by witty accident.
Off we went driving by unbroken fences
Till we saw a policeman in bewilderment
Standing over a black and white cow,
By a farmer making a bellowing row.
“We shot the beef, my son,” joshed Pa,
And put the foot down upon the pedal,
Laughing merrily in the hurrying car.
I smiled at his jest however feeble,
A tasteless jibe at the furious farmer.
The very thought I readily dismissed
With a sly, effete flick of the wrist.
The matter of the dead cow was forgot
Until not too long before oblivion
Took hold of every thought of the sot
Aged stupid by whisky and bad living.
“It was because of that cow we shot,
A sin that God has not yet forgiven.”
For a neighbour's dog gored his heifer,
A punishment he had to decipher.
But I think he obliquely gave me blame,
For it was I who shot the bovine brute.
Before his fading mind went fully lame
He reasoned it best to stem guilty root
Before old sins haunted shaky mind's frame.
Dark disputes lingered as he was less astute.
But for me the cow is a point of indifference,
In the abattoir a month earlier of its existence.
Copyright © Gregory Deane