his story — untold

My dad is a strong man,
who doesn’t always know
how to express himself,
but whenever he speaks
of his mother, his dark
green eyes boyishly
twinkle with reverence
and regret.
He loved his mother,
as all good sons do.
There’s so much more
to the story that his eyes
reveal, but he keeps
those words locked up
behind his teeth. One day,
I hope to hear all about it,
but for now I’ll settle
for the parts he’s willing
to share.

The Rocking

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My heart swells
as I hold you
so tightly
in my arms

This is
Love

I was
told that
I would
understand it
when I got
older, but I
didn’t believe
them

Until now.

Your sweet
little lashes
kiss your
soft doughy
cheeks, and I
pray…

I pray that you
that you will
be safe

I pray that
you will find
happiness

I pray that you
will feel
loved

I pray that you
will find
love

I pray that you
will be
wise

I pray that you
won’t feel
pain

But mostly
I pray that you
close those
relentless
dark eyes
staring back
at me

and

fall

asleep.


The picture is of my daughter when she was only a week old. They say, all babies have blue eyes, but my daughter had gray steely eyes — her eyes have since turned into a rich brown color, which is stunning against her blonde curls and tan skin. I will never forget all those lovely (and sometimes not so lovely) nights rocking her to sleep. I would think she was finally asleep only to look down and see her dark eyes intently staring back at me, so I would pray — just as I pray now for her and others who are dear to me. 

Rain

Your condemnation of all that I am
and will become
rains down on me like
a harsh and heavy hand—I almost don’t feel it
at first, like a speckle of rain dropping onto my
cheek, your palm—open and surging—
finds its target.

Your disapproving eyes shift into focus—
a flood of words falls from your lips
as your palm forms into a fist
to deliver your strongest message to me.
I am listening but I can’t hear you
over the volume of your pain—

My heart—like wetted cement
drinks in the poison and darkens
like the starless night.
Burning and searing—
your daggered love crashes into me—

The sky bursts free
and oceans cover me dulling the sharpness
of your kind of love—the waters enfold me,
bearing me up

like a Sacrifice for all those vices I have.
Water fills my ears so full I can no
longer hear your arid words. My body,

encased in a flood of tears, can no longer
feel the blow of your anger. My pied

heart, no longer needs your cleansing.

 
 
 

 
 
 

Day’s Rain Is Done
by Aleksandr Pushkin

Day’s rain is done. The rainy mist of night
Spreads on the sky, leaden apparel wearing,
And through the pine-trees, like a ghost appearing,
The moon comes up with hidden light.
All in my soul drags me to dark surrender.
There, far away, rises the moon in splendour.
There all the air is drunk with evening heat,
There move the waters in a sumptuous heat,
And overhead the azure skies…
It is the hour. From high hills she has gone
To sea-shores flooding in the waves’ loud cries;
There, where the holy cliffs arise,
Now she sits melancholy and alone…
Alone… Before her none is weeping, fretting,
None, on his knees, is kissing her, forgetting;
Alone… To no one’s lips is she betraying
Her shoulders, her wet lips, her snow-white bosom.

No one is worthy of her heavenly love.
‘Tis true?… Alone… You weep… I do not move.

Yet if…

 
 
 

Dear Reader, 

Each of these pieces, my poem, the song, and Pushkin’s poem, have a similar sadness to them, but what I wanted to point out before I sign off is that there is hope that one day we will be renewed. Each ends with a glimmer of hope for something more — for something better. I think that’s what humanity needs — we need to see and acknowledge the pain, the darkness…the melancholic parts of our hearts we may try to hide — those are unavoidable realities in life. And they are not easy to deal with or confront, but there is something more — there is hope.

Until next time. 

Innocent Flirtation or Cupid’s Missed Arrows

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It always makes me smile when a young man
unwittingly flirts with an older woman.
There’s a blush of pink that comes over his
cheeks when he realizes what he’s just
decided to engage in. This is no teenage
girl who giggles and flips her hair
when he says what he’s read in books or
heard in movies. This woman’s sharp tongue
slings the arrows right back at him —
aiming just a bit lower than the jugular.
Not enough to kill, but just enough to maim.
Those boyish smiles never really leave their
lips…but over time, the wounds of arrows
near the heart make their blush a little harder
to see and the zing of their banter a little harder
to swallow.

An Open Letter to the Nymph (you know who you are),

Not sure if you are aware, but that poem was for my LOVE
not some sprite who runs around without any clothes on.
If we want to talk about liars, why don’t you go ahead and
tell me your age, or who you were with last night —

What was that? I couldn’t hear you over the symphony of the
birds. The nightingale in particular is sounding lovely these days.
In fact, I can’t get him to shut up. I guess we just
hear what we want to, don’t we?

Winter, yes, the killing frost will come, but I’ve got a nice
little place in the woods by the lake. I build fires
and drink a little hot cider — it’s really enchanting.
You’re right though, the flowers do die, I never really said they wouldn’t.

A honeyed tongue, sounds messy, but if you’re into that sort
of thing I hear the satyrs are game for anything.
Me? Myself? Well, I’m more of the sensitive and romantic type:
you know, the kind who makes more than breakfast in bed.

Best,

The Passionate Shepherd

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to “write a persona poem – a poem in the voice of someone else. Your persona could be a mythological or fictional character, a historical figure, or even an inanimate object.”

Christopher Marlowe’s pastoral poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” has inspired many poems, so I wanted in on the action. I wrote back in response to Sir Walter Raleigh’s poem “The Nymph Reply to the Shepherd” in the form of an open letter (that’s poetic free verse, right? So it counts, right?)

Here are the poems that started it all:

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Marjorie Parkinson

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Eirojram (ee-roje-er-am) Nosnikrap (nose-knee-crap) is what my dad would call her.

Simply put, it’s the backward spelling of my late grandmother.

Stronger and smarter than most; Marge could finish a crossword before the coffee was done.

I never got to meet her and for that I am sad, but this I do know, she raised a good son.

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: “It’s the weekend, so I’d thought we might go with something short and just a bit (or a lot) silly – the Clerihew. These are rhymed, humorous quatrains involving a specific person’s name.”

I wouldn’t call my quatrain humorous, but the backward spelling/speak is funny. My dad told me that he went through a phase as a kid where he spoke everything backwards, and his favorite thing to say was his mother’s name. I remember belly-laughing so hard I got the hiccups as he pronounced all the words and names he knew backwards. I tried to provide a pronunciation key in the parentheses, but the characters are limited (e.g. the o sound in “roje” is the long o sound, but I couldn’t find an o with a line over it, so I added the awkward e after it to show the long sound as in rope).

Thanks for reading!