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Free Verse Father Poems | Free Verse Poems About Father

These Free Verse Father poems are examples of Free Verse poems about Father. These are the best examples of Free Verse Father poems written by international PoetrySoup poets

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Details | Free verse |

AS FATHER IS TO HIS DAUGHTER


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. Ir0nic Zink's Your Personal Favorite Poem Contest Resubmitted 5/19/2017

Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2013


Details | Free verse |

Between the words of my father

I tried my best 
To live between your cruel words
Yet there was no room
I felt less
Smaller than small
So why didn't I fit?

I wonder
Now that you are gone
Who's words had you borrowed?
Did the pain you gave to me come from another's broken heart?
Was it too much to bare?

I now have room at the end of your sentences.
Not forced within the confines of your spaces
Tracing the manicured pearls of your wisdom
You have not had the last word
I am not doomed to your hypothesis
I'm willing to dance on the edge
My cliff is of note
worthy of jumping from
For I am not Icarus 
There is no reason to fear the sun
Only your ice will melt from my wings

I do not wish to re-live your convoluted nightmare
The drifting of your mind
Those  barriers to my existence
Freedom at last
Yes
Freedom
At the end
Yes
At the end of your sentences.




The lesson I learned is that the only one who can define my being is me.
I also learned that painful words and curses can be passed on from generation to generation unless we put a stop to it. I thank God for the strength He provided me. I have been blessed beyond what I expected as a child. 

Copyright © Richard Lamoureux | Year Posted 2017

Details | Free verse |

Daddy

Daddy

Daddy, why did you go away?
Don't you know I wanted you to stay!

Daddy, when you left mom,
Don't you know you left me too?
Now all I do is cry and cry
--- I want to die!

Daddy, mommy say's it's better this way,
What does she know!
They're not enough band-aids to cover up the blues
Mom's kisses can't heal this kind of pain.

Daddy, I look around 
No one stands in your garage
Daddy, You took every tool
Except the hammer and sitting stool
Daddy, I still miss you 
--- I love you. 
***
Dear Daddy, I'm all grown up now
Haven't seen you since I was 10

Daddy, I sit on your favorite chair,
No longer do I miss the way you caressed my hair.
Daddy, I'm taking the old hammer and this BRAND NEW saw,
It's time to patch all the holes mom punched in the wall 
*The day you walked out on us*
Daddy, don't worry about the times I tripped and fell
Mom found someone to fix  the loose boards,
Got tired of scraping my knees 

Daddy, I finally realized I'm okay,
I agree with mom, it's better this way.

by- Not every dad is great (but step-dad YES!)

Copyright © Poet Destroyer A | Year Posted 2013


Details | Free verse |

Things That Seemed Poetic

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.

Copyright © Leo Larry Amadore | Year Posted 2011

Details | Free verse |

Isle of Bast

Memories of the North Sea
sift in like sand kernels 
on a fast, frigid tide:
events that transpired outside 
the confines of rhyme,
unfolding exactly 
as they were meant to.

Never before had I seen
so many shades of gray;
the overcast, monochromatic splendor
was awe-inspiring,
instead of being bleak and bleary.
___

The smell of salt and seaweed
awakes something dormant and eternal,
deep within me. 
I have a surging desire 
to flush stagnancy from my blood—

salty blood and water
come together in a communion
of distant relations and movements.

Beside me, a flash of bright red 
digs in the sand; my child 
is wearing the only vibrant colour 
to be seen for many kilometres.
The colour matches her 
enthusiasm and energy, 
as she moves from one spot to the next
like a dancing flame;
reflected, a fire glows from my eyes.

Unknowingly, I had dressed
in the same colours of the sky and sea,
blending into the scenery
like a chameleon:
an illusion thicker than the clouds;
an illusion of stone
for me to melt and reinvent
at the spinning speed of thought.

I watch my daughter
drink the seascape with a smile of wonder;
it's her first time visiting an ocean.
With our pants rolled up to the knee,
we wade through waves,
and collect stones and shells.
She knows the chameleon
who walks alongside her in the frothy surf.

Observing seabirds cover the steep cliffs
of the island located further out,
in a blanket of black and white feathers,
I wonder if people onshore
only see a solitary dash of red out here,
or if the chameleon 
is more noticeable than I had thought.



2012 North Sea Remix
December 17th, 2012






.

Copyright © Chris D. Aechtner | Year Posted 2012

Details | Free verse |

The Ripping

You ripped me 
One word at a time
Shredded my smile
Pulled at my sensitivity
I was never strong enough 
To pull back my paper heart

You took the pieces of me
Arranged them in your perfect order
I prayed for the wind to come
Hoping I would be carried away
Flutter to a new more loving home
Instead, I endured your paper cuts 

I became your paper mâché 
Shaped into the image of you
Glued with your inconsistancies
Coated in your endless smoke
Sarcasm and beer
I marinated in your endless tears

You painted me with a retarded label
Your stupid failure of a son
Forced to endure that brush
It was with your eyes I learned to see
Everyone else was better than me
I was a failure times three

My inside empty
I became light as air
As time went on I ceased to care
It happend slowly you weren't aware
Until one day I floated past your stare
No longer raw and bare

I clawed and ripped
Rewrote my page
My renaissance 
coming of age
Not your puppet on a stage
Contorted by your rage

I have lost you to your death
The air much clearer, still I feel your breath
Within my doubts your lies still hide
Yet within me a new strength resides
Your image of me no longer applies
Doubt and fear reduced in size
No longer your "DUMMY" 
On faith I rise

For Charlotte's contest, heart and soul confessional.
Written, September 1st 2014.






Copyright © Richard Lamoureux | Year Posted 2014

Details | Free verse |

Intangible

There was change, a new pulse, cadence, and tone, where my mother had been, the only place I had known Where two maples stretched out, to cradle my dreams, and shelter my life, in the house I called home On a make-shift bed, I was lying awake, Windows cracked open, a wind coming in, .... Intangible nights, in the familiar old room, alone with my thoughts, while sorting out things... There was a strange, jaundice glow, from the porch light, left on, and my pillow felt cold, where the moon used to go The sound of a moth, batting wings against glass, was begging for warmth, while seeking to ask, a place that made sense And a place to fit in My father was sleeping, with his newlywed bride in the same sacred bed, where my mother had died And a new child was dreaming in the soft yellow room where I spent all those nights, ... just me and the moon I was happy for him, and for the child that he gained. I was there at his side, when the changes became.. a part of his life, ...... a part of mine too But, I was lost in the amber, like a moth batting wings Yet, somehow I grew, with a new point of view The child that I was, still waits for the moon I've grown older and wiser, maybe stronger than then,... But, still the moth that looks in, while under the moon resisting the screen seeking the flame... batting my wings, while resisting the change, ....again, and again
__________________________________ 11/3//14

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2014

Details | Free verse |

Dad's Workshop

A clutter of wood and dust and cobwebby corners, And dappled sun shining through dirty windows; On his work table a drawing; a project in progress, And tin cans and jars of nails and screws on shelves. Tools on hooks waiting for hands that will never come, I touch the old tools like they were the finest of lace; And I cannot help thinking, who will want all this, He was a simple man, my father, and I loved him so. His death was fast, no one expected him to leave, In a blink he was gone, and all I have are memories; I linger there with the dust that floats in the sun, And I weep and weep for what I have lost this day. Then, I pick up his pencil and on his paper I write, I write this poem of pain and it is the beginning; The beginning of my writing as an adult with soul, I leave the child, that was me, and become a poet, Today. _________________________ Written July 21, 1997 at 11AM (one hour after my Dad's death) Free Verse Entered in the contest, Celebrating My Fav's, sponsor, Andrea Dietrich First Place ________________________ Entered in the contest, Any Poem, #36 (a poem that placed in one of her past centests) sponsor, PD First Place ________________________ For the contest, A poem written before Poetry Soup, sponsor, PD 4th Place

Copyright © Broken Wings | Year Posted 2015

Details | Free verse |

ONE STONE COLD HEART

My father’s funeral, a sad occasion but his cruel actions go beyond the grave My sister had organised a display A silver frame contained a picture of his smiling face Many other smaller photographs were scattered on the table One picture in particular caught my eye I’d never seen this photograph before … One stone of cold chiselled grey granite Three generations of names embellished with gold letters a permanent family memorial… But MY name was missing One of the mourners asked me why my name wasn’t there It is a question I still don’t have an answer for Two years have passed since he died … I am still yet to grieve (This has been a very cathartic poem to write. I have since discovered that in 2007 my father organised for his name, my mother’s name and my sister’s name to be added to the family grave in Lithuania. Just the dates of death are missing… along with my name) Two word challenge contest Sponsored by John Lawless 11-05-17

Copyright © JAN ALLISON | Year Posted 2017

Details | Free verse |

No Greater Hero

Struggling through the Great Depression
Growing up fatherless in the care of a loving aunt
Losing her husband, his weary mother could not cope

Working for the Civilian Conservation Corps
Trying to support his family
Attending school at night to provide a better life

Playing his sax and clarinet
Resounding notes of joy cast blessings
Filling our home with happiness many children never know

Loving eyes and deep, gentle voice
Drawing admiration from all who came to know him
Speaking softly, never in harsh tones

Accepting life’s challenges
Forgiving when his children seemed ungrateful
Nurturing, caring, standing by our sides

Picking us up when we fell
Offering support in every endeavor
Being the kind of father he never had

Teaching us to work hard and achieve
Reminding us that life offers no guarantees
Encouraging us to rebound from challenges as “come-back kids”

Gathering at his hospital bedside New Year’s Day 2009
Astonishing nurses with the depth of our love 
Never leaving his side, three grown children rested hands upon his

Lingering six days in a coma, perhaps his soul already in heaven
Speaking to him, hoping he could hear
Wanting him to feel our love one last time

Siblings who rarely agreed
Concurring just this once
Feeling blessed by our father, the brightest star we see in heaven



* Dedicated to my father, Arthur Schwarz, who died January 6, 2009

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2010

Details | Free verse |

Out of the Park

It wasn't because he brought her flowers....
 It wasn't because he wined and dined her....
   She loved him because he spent hours on the computer
       trying to track down the 1970 Brooks Robinson baseball card
                                                                   for their oldest son's birthday
She loved him because he played with their kids, even after a hard day at work...
     baseball games in the big front yard...
            cheering them on...
                not getting angry when the youngest son 
                           knocked a homer 
                               straight through the living room window

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2009

Details | Free verse |

Eve

Does the past really matter?
 Does it set you free? 
I’m absorbed in the sin,
That is surrounding him and me. 

Lost in the curiosity,
Cold to the touch. 
Drenched in the poison,
With my dignity in his clutch.

Feeling like I was cheated;
I chose the evil instead of light.
I traded in the sunshine,
For what lurks in the night. 

I disobeyed his orders,
I gave up security to be unsure.
I went against the warnings,
Gave into darkness instead of remaining pure.

Once my bed was made of soft grass,
But now it is made of stone.
Was plump from all of the luscious fruit,
Now I’m starving to the bone. 

My curse is one of circumstance.
The punishment a crime,
I’m stuck inside this dampened cave,
For the rest of time. 
My world came crashing down,
The grief has not subsided.
My heart broke completely,
When my sons collided. 

My misery a token,
From the abandonment I earned.
Upon the time spent in sorrow,
There was a lesson to be learned.

Have I found the moral?
Only in time we shall see,
For all I did was eat an apple-
From the Knowledge tree. 

Copyright © Alyssa Waters | Year Posted 2013

Details | Free verse |

Speaking with a loud quiet voice

You speak into your child's life in whispers
With the strength of the four winds
No need for yelling
For your child has expectant ears

Wisdom
A fathered gift
Born out of pained understanding
Mistakes not needed to be repeated
Your love an inoculation to failure
Resilience will permeate a new generation

You smile with furrowed brow
For time passes much to quickly 
There is fear there is some lesson you have forgotten
Not what you want for your begotten 
Still you see this precious ones progression
He possess strength laughter and compassion
Humored moments and strong funny bones 
Will insure this child will never be alone
A tender heart and a will like a stone

One day 
You will have to let go
Time progresses it never slows
Deep inside your heart grows because you know
You have given your all
This child will rise up tall
Won't be afraid to fall
He heeds your Father's call
For he has learned at your loving feet
Wisdom has been his bountiful feast
Some day he'll be a father too
He'll bring blessings back to you
For you have been faithful 
and a father true


Inspired by Funom's poem, "Words of Wisdom to My Child".






Copyright © Richard Lamoureux | Year Posted 2015

Details | Free verse |

The Circles

Looked at the outside of steel window
Around in the dark, awesome feelings into the mid-night air
What the news was brought in the feelings!

Eyes of the orphan cat was flaming on the corridor.

Waiting for the light in the window 
Dark vision comes down into my eyes by cycle-weariness
Down from one circle to another circle in time-blindness

Who stands here, the Islamic old man!
Frustrated vision!
History of terrorism was carved on his burnt body
He wants to say something!

A white-complexioned Christian young man stands into the neighbor circle,
Surprised eyes! 
White-skinned history was printed on his blood-stained body 
He wants to know something!

A dark-colored Hindu boy stands into the third circle, 
Illusive vision!
History of third world is awakened on his envenomed body
He wants a little smile!

The old man, young man and boy are coming forward from the circles
Great distance... Near ...in front the room... 
Who are you? No reply
They disappear into the tuberose equipped black and white photo of my father
Dad is smiling, I am senseless! 

Tears are dropping from the eyes of our cat on the corridor.

SANDIP GOSWAMI, INDIA

Copyright © Sandip Goswami | Year Posted 2014

Details | Free verse |

Since First I Saw You

Since first I saw you, it was your eyes,
mesmerizing, your gaze transporting
me to a realm, not of fantasy, real,
where young men go when cupid’s
arrow takes root.

Since first I saw you, it was your lips,
captivating, holding me frozen 
in anticipation of our lips brushing
for the first time.

Since first I saw you, it was your voice,
a crescendo, light, invigorating, 
each word you speak intensifies 
my hearing, enveloping each
note, time ceases as I hang motionless
savoring, memorizing.

Since first I saw you, it was your hair,
long, flowing, gently rising above
your shoulders as a slight breeze
passes through sending waves
of your essence my way. 
The sun magnifying each strand, 
highlighting the minute
variances of invigorating color, 
creating a halo effect, a portrait of
your beauty forever imprinted.

Since first I saw you, It was you,
my love forever more for you,
only you.

Copyright © Mac McGovern | Year Posted 2010

Details | Free verse |

Brother Of The Quill

Brother of the Quill
Join me in a dance
For mother sings nightly
And father sleeps within a trance
Deerskin feet 
they'll never hear our steps
Through hemlock and the fields of wheat
All night long we will dance
Moon Mother lights our way
And our ancestors shine as bright stars
We will run as the wolves
And sing from our hearts
Brother of the Quill
Join me in a prance
We will shoot stars with our arrows
And wish for another dance
Deerskin tents
They'll never hear the swish
Of when we sneak back in
And fall asleep before Father wakes again

Copyright © Jay Loveless | Year Posted 2012

Details | Free verse |

Pressed Leaves

By chance, I found them, there...
Three pressed leaves, with brittle veins of delicacy
Tucked between the pages 
Of a tattered book of poems
Overlooked and gathering dust, 
A cover worn, with broken spine
It had your names, an autumn date, 
With script inside, a faded time...

Caressed in yellowed tissue, these three from ancient trees
Discarded long ago from russet crowns 
A memory, kept, of time, so keen, 
Of a long ago, brisk autumn day?

Where leaves had fallen so bold and gay, then twirled on down
From breezes that gently made the Sycamores sway
A place you walked and held his hand, and knew forever your love would be
Perhaps beneath those trees you made a plan for me
When winter's chill and stolen years had not yet come 
Where fragrance of fall and new young love was found
From soft carpets of scarlet, red and brown

You chose these three from all the rustling hordes that grew
A tree had finished using them, in remembrance of you 
They were yours for awhile...for your love, perhaps a lover's bed
now....here in my hands they lay....
             They are mine to to keep,  pressed leaves, 
                 To keep for now, close to my heart instead...




Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2009

Details | Free verse |

BACK WHEN I WAS A CHILD

The song that moves and
 touches my heart is dance 
with my father again.
Because I will never forget 
the man my father was.
Back when I was a child 
I longed to be in his 
presence.
He had a larger than life
personality. 
His nieces and nephews
looked at him as a father.
“Oh lord I’m dying to dance 
with my father again”.
Everytime I hear the song I 
begin to cry.
I long for his hug
I long to hear his voice
“Oh lord I’m dying to dance
 with my father
again”
“ Oh lord we’re all dying
 to dance with my father 
again”.

4-4-17
Alexis Y
Inspired by my favorite song
Dance With Father Again
Written by Richard Marx And
Luther Vandross
https://youtu.be/wmDxJrggie8

Copyright © Alexis Y. | Year Posted 2017

Details | Free verse |

Home Of The Hang Man

Home Of The Hang Man

The children are so full of doubt
No one is allowed to speak
No one is allowed to shout
Opinions are driven underground
Seems that every time they do it wrong
Always been the same old song
Never get it right
Never allowed to speak
Never allowed to fight

It’s a strange house
The children are so full of doubt
A strange house

The kids just don’t understand
They don’t see that this is the way it’s all been planned
Keep them frightened is the game
Then all those “other” things won’t need to be explained
Why is big brother always mad
Why is younger brother always sad
Why does he sit in his bedroom all alone
Because it’s a strange house
And not a home

It’s a strange house
The children are so full of doubt
A strange house

Everything they do or say
Is turned into to a weapon to build upon the barricade
And Dad pretends he’s not afraid
Of the sudden discovery of suffocated memories
The dark deeds linger in a cage
Of ridicule and violence that makes the babies cry
So Mum has buried her suspicions worryings away
In Sunday lunches usual farce
A make believe gathering of corrupted loving and pretended merry making

It’s a strange house
The kids are so full of doubt
A strange house




Big brother hit the self destruct
With pills and needles long before he decided he was gay
No one ever asked him why he was so mad
And  no one ever asked why younger brother was so sad
He sits up stairs in his room 
Surviving in a sea of doubt
The suffocated memories have all come out
He’s always sad and he’s always alone
The babies to they both have grown
But he doesn’t know them anymore
It’s been so long since he left that so called home

It’s a strange home
The children are so full of doubt
A strange house

Their children are so full of doubt
Brought up and made this way
All their futures turn to grey
As all the buried memories fight their own way out
Remember why they always felt so wrong
Remember what happened when we were young
And mother just closed her eyes she did not help
All the future turns to grey
Brought up and made to be this way

Father was the hang man who took their lives away



Copyright © colin mitchell williams | Year Posted 2008

Details | Free verse |

I Sat Beneath A Veteran Oak

I sat beneath a Veteran-oak,
In awe of His strength—
Here was a solid spirit!
Sympathy you get from Willow,
But stiff upper-lip from old soldiers,
With forged bark —
His limbs flexed, cut, rippled against the wind…
No chinks in this warrior-wood…
“Divide and Conquer!”

Then I thought of my Father—
A cook at the end of the war—The Big One!
You know the One I mean, as if there are small ones—
When the commanders were through eating
He was instructed to toss the leftovers
From the belch of plates—
Trashcans were in the alley,
The steel that seems intrinsic to battles
In one form or another—
The hungry German children
Would sneak pass the guards
And line-up;
My father would sneak pass his superiors
And his honor
To dispense carefully wrapped scraps…
Well, soon the line was out into the street
As my father was compelled to seek food
From wherever he could steal, beg or barter
To procure—This brought attention—the cat-out-of-the-bag,
And all hell down on my father,
As the captain screamed: Gus, these are the enemy (the children in the alley),
What in God’s Name are you doing?
He was forced to stop—no Court Marshal though…

I looked up again at the old oak,
Through the snarled branches
Deep into the staunch soldier,
Where I spied a nest
In a small, compact fork—
Having a canopy of extra leaves
For shade and shelter from the wind—
I smiled—hum…
His bark reddened, but like my father, no apology from this weathered soldier…

Copyright © Joe DiMino | Year Posted 2016

Details | Free verse |

ALWAYS A PRINCESS

In my father's eyes, I'll always be his princess,
No matter how old I've grown, he still sees
His little girl, dancing across the invisible stage
Before him.
A living Cinderella in miniature form, whom
Will never grow up, and thinks her dad is prince
Charming, and the strongest man on earth.
Cradling within this wondrous heart, is devotion’s
Biggest fan, the man I call my father, he's protector,
Comforter, and the everlasting image, of the perfect
Man that I idolize.
No wizard's wand or sword, holds more magic
Than his tender words of wisdom, as I stroll
Down the yellow brick road of life, I'm his
Dorothy, and he is, the Wizard of my oz.
Oh Papa, you've instilled the wonderment
Of this world within me, and I know, no matter
Where I roam, he shall always be a part
Of me.
You've always said, no matter how old I get
That within thy heart, a princess remains, timeless, 
Ageless, as if Alice, hidden behind the looking glass, 
Peering through from wonderland, magical world.
Perfection's cherished rose, whom never loses it's
Petals, but blossoms nourished by loves fertile soil,
That only a father's faith can provide.
I'll always be his princess, no matter what bad
Choices I may make in life, I know he'll pick me
Up and smooth out the wrinkles in my velvet gown,
Wiping away my tears, turning them instantly into diamond
Shards, and letting me dance away again, clapping
For this his darling princess. 
So let the musical waltz of life, play forever forward,
As I lightly tip toe, across destiny’s ballroom floor.
My dancing card remains eternally full, written within
One name stands out, it is yours dearest sweet man.
He is after all my prince charming, and I am
His dearest little girl, and of coarse in his eyes
Always his little princess.

BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN










Copyright © cherl dunn | Year Posted 2014

Details | Free verse |

Two pieces of paper and a photo

She searches  through his remnants
Trying to find her broken pieces
Had she been important to him?
She finds a single piece of yellowed paper
Her name written in his elegant hand
Those hands that had held her once
Strong hands
She had felt safe in those hands
Unaware of his weakness,
his lacking
Why had he left?
She kept looking though drawers and boxes
Feverishly searching for answers
Only one photo
Taken so very long ago
Proof that they had been part of his life
The proof felt like a knife
Those young faces smiling at her
Blissfully unaware of what was to come
Daddy was leaving
He wasn't coming home again
She hands the photo to her sister
There must be more
She keeps searching
Unaware of what was important to him
Wanting more clues
Answers 
Reasons
Another piece of paper
Her sisters name with her children listed underneath
The grandchildren he never got to know 
She can't help wonder
Why were they not enough
And she realizes it was his lacking
It was never theirs
There was nothing they could have done
They could not be better girls
Happier girls
Good enough girls!
He was broken 
Lonely long before them
His remnants scattered
Indecipherable 
She looks at her sisters
They cry together
Sad for the loss of what they did not have
Yet beneath the tears they smile
Holding each other's delicate hands
For they possess a strength he never had
They have stayed together
Loved each other
Carried each other's burdens
Resilient
Loving 
Caring
They have survived
If he had known them
He would have been so proud

Dedicated to and inspired by Bev Smith.

Copyright © Richard Lamoureux | Year Posted 2015

Details | Free verse |

Pain of Night, Joy of Morning


He is now a band of sky, a bird, a cloud, a stream of blue drifting by in midafternoon, a dragonfly, a butterfly, a speck of light dancing by, an abandoned sheet of loose leaf paper with a poem scribbled on it, or maybe a grape ripening on the vine sweetening to perfection in the summer sun; he is now a feeling deepening, gravity, energy, peace, commotion, the tide – forever August, forever June… an ocean wave never reaching the shore (the sand and sun evermore), a smile, a tear, laughter that never ends, a child’s open, inquisitive mind, a friend, the welcoming voices of home, the cracks in the walls holding my secrets, the comfort of a favorite blanket or familiar pair of warm arms. Perhaps, he’s eternal summer, youth running with ease in his favorite shorts and flip-flops, hair sun-bleached tumbling free, or perhaps, he is one feather floating high on the ocean breeze. I often see his face in rain clouds mixed with tears, singing the Grateful Dead or a great hymn. He is the music forever playing in my ear and the sweet tropical air filling my lungs; He lives in the cozy log cabin in a clearing of pines and the largemouth bass jumping from the lake at dawn’s break, He’s the tortoise sunning on the shore, the buck running wild, the heartbeat of a father holding his baby for the first time, the joy of my morning, the pain of night, and the wind calling my name, dancing with the leaves on the trees… he is the trees, the air, he is in my eyes and theirs. He is in Heaven but his love is everywhere. Written, 3/7/15 for The Pain of Night Contest

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders | Year Posted 2015

Details | Free verse |

My Inspirations

In a moment of understandable frustration with me,
My wife demanded to know what I really believed in.
I thought for a minute, tear glands filling,
"The essential goodness of my parents."

My mother was a child of the great city of Philadelphia,
In hard times in a hard family, soon to fracture,
She withdrew from the days when her father would leave his little girls
In the car all afternoon in back alleys near the taverns,
From which he would emerge, full of volume and vomit.
She grew through school, emerging herself to be a wonderful mom,
To kindle her children's interest in the physical world,
Geology, astronomy, physics, and the patterned realms
Of painting, music, and poetry.

She showed me that she loved me.
She showed me that parents were people.
She showed me that parents were fallible, 
That not everything could be controlled,
And that that was okay too.

My father was a child of the land,
Of farming in the age of innocence,
Long ago down in the southern part of the state of Indiana.
He knew of seeds, of frost, of the earth and time,
Of rock and root, of wind and drought and rain.
He never complained about rain - we kids didn't like the muddy yard
That was supposed to be a football field - he'd say,
"Tell you what - I'll take the rain.  I've seen the other."

The most honest man I know, the most honest person that could ever be,
He watched the night sky with me when I said, "Moon and tar."
He took me to a hardware store on a stormy summer Saturday,
Dark clouds coming close, in a car with the thicker sheet metal of the old days.
Just as we parked, the first raindrops, that irregular rhythm, compelling,
"Hey Doug!  Would you listen to that rain?!  Let's just sit here for a while."
We sat with the rain on the roof as it began in earnest,
That rain of a thousand thousand hits,
A million baby birds doing their firecracker tap dance above us,
That rain that has lasted me the rest of my life.


December 31, 2016.

For Brenda Chiri-Carroll's contest - 'Who has inspired you most in your life.'

Copyright © Doug Vinson | Year Posted 2016

Details | Free verse |

I'm Your King

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 of night 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.

Copyright © Bj Fard | Year Posted 2011

Details | Free verse |

The Father I Never Had

When I'm alone I wonder why you didn't fight for me
You get more credit for being a dad that you deserve to be
All the times you gave your word and left me standing in the rain
All the promises you broke and left my heart with pain
Even as a little child I never could understand
How you could ignore me all the time and still call yourself a man
All the times you said I love you and never backed it up
All the love you never showed and all your lack there of
I only wanted you to care, I longed for your attention
All the mistakes and problems you caused, I won't waste time to mention
I wanted you to be there for me, though you never were
So how can you still say you miss me, you've really got some nerve
Others made of for the loss of you, but it's never been the same
I now have the only man I need, I hate to even speak your name
I have someone else who makes me feel good, it will never be my dad
I just wish you would have been the father I never had

Copyright © Larissa Lane | Year Posted 2006

Details | Free verse |

Soul of a Daughter, Life of a Stranger


Yesterday when I stood before him, he spoke my name
Today, I still stand, but the floorboards are cold
and he no longer knows the color of my eyes. 

With each spoonful of the steaming grey I lift my arms,
Up, then down, again and again, a repeated motion – weeping,
My arms are trembling with the weight of the spoon
that holds in its cupped womb my raw, injured soul.

Father, I say, in a voice cold from straining not to break 
I prod away the soup dribbling down his chin, gently.
The wrinkled hands are limp at his sides, lost.

What should be mad and free is caged within me; fluttering
feebly, thumping about in a circle of broken pieces
The look in his blank eyes has labeled me a stranger
But when they are closed my name is written on his face.

Copyright © Grace EunSong Lee | Year Posted 2010

Details | Free verse |

PAPA

You never said the words yet I heard them
all the time in your eyes as they crinkled
in laughter when you lifted me on your shoulders,
as I ran to you when you came with the dusk,
with the gold in sunset and silver at moonrise.

You never asked me not to cry, yet I saw
the dark chocolate in your eyes turn sour 
at the salty waters running down my cheeks.
You went on a plane and I wished to have wings,
to travel free over your desert flyways for a while.

I never dreamed your dream, and had I known,
O, had I known, I never would have said yes.
Then, you never would have had to go away;
I wouldn’t have had to meet you, now inside a box.
My glass too shattered, I damn the river in my eyes.


Devices :Alliteration, Allusion, Assonance, imagery, metaphor,  mood


For Cyndi MacMillan's FIVE PROOF:  FREE VERSE THAT SHOWS IT AIN'T NO PROSE
21 January 2015

Copyright © KP Nunez | Year Posted 2016

Details | Free verse |

Surprising Kindness

I came upon an old man,
A homeless, wretched soul.
He looked so sad and helpless,
In his hands, he held a bowl.
He was propped against the building,
So, his weakness would not show.
He saw the world through glasses,
With hair as white as snow.

I heard my father whisper,
As my eyes filled with tears,
“One need much more than money,
One needs his loved ones near.”
My father loved his family,
Does this old one feel the same?
With my father’s soul beside me
I asked the old one’s name.

His name, he said with feeling,
Was lost with all he owned.
A thief assumed his identity,
Then, all he had was blown.
His wife died in December,
The vulture, then closed in,
Pounced while he was grieving,
Then, his life changed again.

I gathered the frail body to me,
Spoke kindly, acknowledged his need,
A home and a heart full of loving,
My family would plant the seeds.
Love is the first to be planted,
Followed by trust in their care.
My father’s spirit surrounds us,
His example taught us to share.

The old one lost all his pallor,
With love and trust he gained
More than he ever hoped for,
Another family, who gave him a name.
Grandpa, we decided to dub him
As we fought for all he had lost.
As he won the last legal battle,
His life was the price that it cost.

The old one wanted cremation.
My mother did not and she prayed.
Next thing we knew came a lawyer,
And the Last Will and Testament played.
My mother, for once, became speechless,
And I drew in no better air.
Grandpa was there in the picture,
Leaving us undisputed heirs.

Copyright © Janet Vick | Year Posted 2006

Details | Free verse |

Noah counting love

I woke this morning
yes this morning
and felt the warmth of love
‘pon mine forehead
and my face
and my ears 
and my nose

I woke this morning
yes this morning
and heard the warmth of love
close to mine forehead
and my face
and my ears
and my nose

I woke this morning
yes this morning
and heard his words of love
“Don’t worry Pops
I washed my fingers before
I counted the wrinkles on your
forehead
your face 
your ears
and your nose"

Copyright © James Peranteau | Year Posted 2015