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To Ed  


What child were they
When piercing squeal
Grabbed the foreman by the *****?

What child were they
When putty tears
Smeared and blobbed
On the sheeting?

Running from
The construction pit
The thrill of sand and truck
Implodes.
Metal **** makes decent scar
That keeps the girls’
tongues a-wagging.

‘Always heed the ‘Keep Out’ signs,’
The stony man booms at the boy;
‘I told you not to wander where
Granite pavement yields to digger.’

Years ago, that child, was I and
Diggers now are doors and roofs;
Then here, one day, my own boy falls,
And blood comes oozing from elbow.

Running from
The construction pit
The thrill of sand and truck
Implodes.
But, how should I, with damaged tools,
Be the  
Grafter Dad
He’s seeking?
This recalls an incident from my childhood when I was playing clandestinely on a building site and went running and crying in search of consolation...
I remember twirling around in circles, bare feet on the gray concrete floor of the one car garage.
The space filling with the thick smoke from your cigar drifting about, filling both our lungs with the poisonous chemicals.
My five year old self wearing a loose fitted Barbie dress,
“Daddy, look at me! I’m a Princess!” I shout with laughter, posing dramatically.
“Not now, the adults are talking!” You said sternly.
I cower away from you and go back to my childish dancing,
Oh, how badly I wanted your validation,
Your love and attention.
But I was a mere child,
Not worthy of your time.
Perhaps, that was how I learned to be silent,
To be submissive.
How I lost my voice,
But did I ever have one to begin with?
You stole my voice before I even found it.

~sdr
At one point I called you father, and meant it.
You were not my father by blood, simply by marriage.
I had longed for a father figure for as long as I could remember,
A man who would love and raise me as his own.
The good memories were brief snippets of happier times,
While the bad were vivid, distinct memories that lasted for what felt like hours.
A nightmare that I could never escape from,
They were engrained in my memory like the words to my favorite song.
I wish I could forget all the difficult memories and focus on the good times that we had together.
What little they were, anyways.
I wish I could forgive, the way my five year old self did,
Oh, the love and admiration she had for you.
Now all that was left was anger and a bitter resentment.
The anger and confusion that came with the abuse that you perpetuated.
I would never call you Father again, if I ever saw you
I would look at you in disgust and pity,
For you will never know true, selfless, love.
And for that, I feel sorry for you.

~sdr
TomDoubty Jun 26
“You are treading on thin ice”
the impatient tones of my father
arrive at my ear as glistening
I liberate my treasure prized away
from the dark-cold pond,  the ice raised distorts my sight
to comprehend  an impatient God

“Look boys, this is the land of God”
you praise the valley carved from glacial ice
you are filled with the beauty of the sight
four sons in crescent around their Father
breaths misting the air, turn away
along the ridge above the fields, which are glistening

Are memories always like this? Glistening
where everything is theatre and God?
Now I feel the urge to look away
there is truth in the distorting ice Father
which held tightly fractures, to reveal you in plain sight

That day you praised the sight
with prayers not glistening
but all sour odour and “our Father”
If you conceived a greater God
you never told him to the boy who lifted the ice-
to those who raised their arms in prayer you looked away

We are left to find a way
in life, there is no seer and no foresight
only earth and dirt and ice
but in this barren tundra glistening
scraped out with our bare hands is God
God the Father

Now I stand at that same pond a father
my son treads its edge and turns away
I am no longer in his world, but looking over it his God
And what of my sight?
Is it glistening?
I feel an unease as he raises his own comprehending ice

To all Fathers with their fading sight-
Don’t turn away from all that’s glistening
An impatient God turns to ice
The snapshot of Now
folds in the middle:
me on one side,
kids on the other.

The snapshot of Then
split in the end --
me torn apart --
them with their mother.
Joey Jones Sep 2020
The sun slowly rises outside the window,
I watch the peaceful ascension for a while
drinking coffee from an old chipped mug
tasting the moment as much as the brew.

The day before me is one that is far too busy
breakfast is to be made and errands to run
but in this moment my mind can only drift,
a leaf lost on an autumn field of reflection.

I savor a sip and allow the moment its due
thinking back on my youth and its ambitions
I find them unfulfilled but lacking in regret
then weep as I realize there will be one to come.

Daughter, I have worn so many hats in my life
played the roles of heroes and foes on its stage
obtaining my titles and fighting for positions
but your father has been my favorite one.

It is through your eyes I’ve seen this world,
as your tiny fingers unveiled for me it’s beauty,
in my lessons to you, you taught me to dream,
gave voice to my song, and rhyme to my verse.

With you I’ve surfed the shores of foreverland
holding your hand along its tides and beaches
living this amazing dream that began with you
a dream my youth could have never dreamed.

Today, we’ll laugh and play our games together,
finding joy in all those tasks that lay before us,
I’ll hold your hand and call you my baby girl
assuring you my hand would always be there.

But one day, like me today, you’ll watch a sunrise
with your tears blurring its wondrous beauty
my promise will break, the one all fathers make
and that day will fulfill my life’s only regret.

On that morning my breeze will have calmed
my leaf will have found its place in the field,
leaving you with just a memory for a father,
daddy’s little girl without my hand to hold.

Weep child if you must, for that’s living too
then close your eyes and lift up your hand
and I’ll find it, I’ll be the caress of the wind
to lift you back to the shores of foreverland

Where each wave is a forgotten memory
that crashes on those timeless beaches
where a father’s promise is never broken
and daughters are forever daddy’s little girls.


Joey Jones
Zac Shawhan Sep 2020
Is it another year so soon?
My little man, my dear big boy
as time goes on it begins to wound
yet still there remains a lasting joy.
Surprise hugs and silly kisses
shrink my world to you and I
and time’s wounding power decreases
as you teach me to deny
all I have and all I desire
to give it up, to self forget.
This is a truth that reaches higher,
to become content as vignette
Son’s third birthday
Sirad Jul 2020
I imagine you at my age
Younger, stronger and ambitious
You literally cracked your spine
Once healed, cracked again by soil foreign  
That bore you no fruit
But fruit were born from the womb
Of the love of your life

I imagine you had it all
But poverty was placed between your eyes
Tried to go back home
Catch the dream you once had
Build a home your children could inherit
But all they wanted, was to snuggle in your strength
Listen to a strong heartbeat
Reading them nursery rhymes

Tears begin to flood my vision
When I realise, your life
Is mirror to my own
I inherited recycled dreams and hope
From a land that bore me no fruit
When all I wanted, was to inherit extra time with you
Snuggle in your strength
And listen to lullabies
Fathers are wonderful people
Too little understood,
And we do not sing their praises
As often as we should...

For, somehow, Father seems to be
The man who pays the bills,
While Mother binds up little hurts
And nurses all our ills...

And Father struggles daily
To live up to 'his image'
As protector and provider
And 'hero of the scrimmage'...

And perhaps that is the reason
We sometimes get the notion,
That Fathers are not subject
To the thing we call emotion,

But if you look inside Dad's heart,
Where no one else can see
You'll find he's sentimental
And as 'soft' as he can be...

But he's so busy every day
In the gruelling race of life,
He leaves the sentimental stuff
To his partner and his wife...

But Fathers are just wonderful
In a million different ways,
And they merit loving compliments
And accolades of praise,

For the only reason Dad aspires
To fortune and success
Is to make the family proud of him
And to bring them happiness...

And like Our Heavenly Father,
He's a guardian and a guide,
Someone that we can count on
To be always on our side.
(Helen Steiner Rice)

አባቶች ግሩም ሰዎች ናቸው

አባቶች ግሩም ሰዎች ናቸው ፣
ምንም እንኳ ባይታደሉም በደንብ የሚረዳቸው
የሚገባቸውን ምስጋና፣
በስፋት አልዘመርንም ገና!

ምክንያቱም አባታችን
የወጪያችን ሽፋን ሆኖ
ስለሚሳል በእይታችን፣
በአንፃሩ እናታችን
ሐኪም የቁስላችን
ለሷ ህመማችን ነው የጋራችን፡፡

ቆፍጣና፣ የተንከባካቢነት፣ የአስተዳዳሪነት
ብሎም የችግር ፍቺነት ተግባር
ለማስጠበቅ የሚጥር ዘወትር
ለዚህ ይሆን ምናልባት
አባቶች ተገዢ የማይመስሉን ለስሜት?

ግን የአባባን ልብ ብታዩት
ባትታደሉም ያን ለማየት
ታስተውሉ ነበር በውነት
ያቺን ቡብነት የሚያምሳትን
የልቡን ስሱነት!

በሥራ ከመጠመድ ነው
በዚህ አታካቹ ሩጫ የህይወት
ጉዳዮችን የስሜታዊነት
ለውሀ አጣጩ ለሚስቱ የሚተውላት!

ግን አባቶች በጣም ግሩሞች ናቸው
በሚሊዮን መንገድ
የፍቅር ምላሽ ምስጋና የሚገባቸው
ብቸኛው ምክንያት፣ አባባ ሁሌ የሚሯሯጠው
ቤተሰቡን ለማስደሰት ለማኩራት ነው
ልክ እንደሰማዩ አባታችንሁሌ ያለ ከጎናችን
ነው መከታችን

በሄለን ስቲነር ትርጉም ዓለም ኃይሉ
In connection with fathers' day. I love the sweet and uplifting poems of Helen Stiner Rice(An ambassador of sunshine) from America. I have translated many of her poems including her book in The Vineyard of the Lord.
She lived 1900-1991
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