YOUR FATHER IS DEAD
And yet you will not let that dead man rest his dry bones
In the dirt, in the grave where he belongs.

YOUR FATHER HAS BEEN GONE THREE YEARS
And yet you speak of him like he sits up north still
In his cabin, smoking his wretched lungs to flame.

YOUR FATHER WAS ABUSIVE
And yet despite every beating, every murder attempt
In your mind he was the greatest man to ever live.

YOUR FATHER DOESN'T DESERVE YOUR LOVE
And yet even though he never told you what you wanted to hear,
In your head you make up his words: "I love you."

YOUR FATHER FUCKED YOU UP
And yet you tell me about the lessons he taught you like a saint;
In your life you repeat his brutalities, his learning legacy.

YOUR FATHER LIVES IN YOU
And yet you are blind to his quirks you repeat, that
In your daughter you have made a new you:

Blind, quivering, trapped, choking on tears
She is everything you were and you try to make her
Everything you wished you were
But in your repression, your denial --
When you cling to his grave and the things you made up about him
Like a leech, like a disease, like a haunting,
You let him live again in you.

And he was not a good man.
He was a hurtful man.
A proud man.
A bad man.
A killer of your precious, finite vitality.

And just like he destroyed you,
You will destroy her.

Ginny Webb May 19

Bent like an ancient oak with rivulets of
A simpler time
Running deep through etched lines
And leathered hands whose grasp tells stories
Of cows, and dirt, and constant work;
A lifetime of losses buried beneath the skin,
And in the earth.
Warm the way he coddles my babies,
Tussles their hair and stares
As if cradling diamonds laid bare
Against his work-worn arms.
Laughing, his eyes dance from face to face
As if he can trace the cords that tie,
That bind and intertwine,
So many generations.
Worn thin and torn, that same old shirt, those wrangler jeans,
Socks pulled up to his knees,
And a ratty baseball cap, covered in grease;
It still reads, “Hereford beef.”
And now, the ashes of a cigarette, a favorite coffee mug,
The scent of hay, the settled dust,
muddy footprints on the rug
Wait anxiously,
In a quiet house,  
For grandpa to win this bout,
To overcome the longest drought,
The meanest stud,
The cancer that cripples him up
In a hospital far away.

For my father-in-law, an old cow man, a farmer, a rancher, and the kindest man I've ever known. Please come home to us <3

By Garpal stream the young men came
Decades before the flood
On Garpal field they started the game
Quenching the grass with blood.
Down by the hill, near the copse, they lie,
The first to score was the first to die.

Every year the young men came
Where the roses and dandelions bud
Eager to play the game
Decades before the flood.
Beyond the hedge these young men lie,
The last to score was the last to die.

It rained before Advent, it rained after Lent
The rain fell on pasture and town,
The interminable water did not relent
But poured remorselessly down
By the end of the year, under the thundering light,
The world was a place of night.

A sodden land bereft of men
Garpal field was covered with weeds
As the women waited for the sun again
Spreading a blanket of seeds.
They waited as glorious golden rays
Fell during everlasting unending days.

The sprouting seeds grew tall and thin
Turning slowly into beautiful men
In a country filled to the brim
With cattle, wheat and fruit again.
Beyond Garpal stream where the rushes grew
The youths strolled over the grey diaphanous dew.

By Garpal stream the young men came,
Decades before the flood,
On Garpal field they started the game
Quenching the grass with blood.
Down by the hill, near the copse, they lie,
The first to score was the first to die.

New generations born to fight and die. Neverending, repetitious.

listening to contemporary soundscapes on the radio
I realize I am the  age of my grandmother
when she was terrified that I was
happily howling the latest Beatles  songs
and trying to play them on the piano which
    for her
was a sanctuary of late 19th century music
she liked to play with virtuosity and passion

much of what my culture radio station
calls contemporary music
or pop music stations praise in their charts
does not really catch my ear either

times keep changing

Our parents will become orphans one day -
this is not something you normally choose.

In that moment,
some of them will suddenly find
their inner child,
hopelessly
wondering around life;
others
will permanently lose it
and bury it
alongside their parents.

All of these grown-up children
are wishing more and more,
with every day that passes,
to become grandparents
for OUR unborn children.

We will become orphans one day -
that's something you don't normally choose.

In that moment,
we'll become the first generation
of children that
don't have a past,
nor a future -
we will only live our present,
till the day we die..

Or, at least, that's what our mothers and fathers believe at this point about us.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWFeUNyfpmM]

My children will wonder, some day when I have them,
why I gave up the glories of city life, why I chose
to labour and toil. They will ask me
“mais pourquoi as-tu abandonné le rêve?”

“Дечица мои,” I will answer, “It was not mine."

I blame men
that tell I'm dirty
that my desires are shameful
and think their touch has the power to defile me
they tell me my wants taint my being
damage my estimated price as a woman
reduce me to a wrongly preconcieved notion of femininity

I was first called a slut by my mother
who was a called a slut by hers in turn
who was called a slut by hers
...

I still blame men

Paul Butters Jan 12

The generations rumble on,
I know no reason why.
We build our countless tower-blocks,
Reaching to the sky.

Jacob is our newest one.
He’s only two years old.
Who knows what things he’s going to see?
Great nephew who’ll have…great stories to be told.

We saw men land upon The Moon,
For him it will be Mars.
His kids may go much further,
Even to the Stars.

He’s such a cheery chappie,
Chapman his mum’s maiden name!
I hope he will stay cheerful,
Though Life’s a funny old game.

I hope the world gets better,
For him and all his peers.
I’m sure he’ll be a pacesetter,
And not too many tears.

So here’s to futures bright,
For Jacob and the rest.
May there always be plenty of light,
Let’s wish them all the best.

Paul Butters

Jotted down in my diary "Notes" just after 1.30 AM. Jacob Gamble is of course my great nephew. As GM Hopkins said, "Generations have trod,have trod, have trod."

The children looked so cute on Christmas Morning
In their warm pajamas
And the Christmas Tree shined so brightly
With tinsel and lights,
But no one knew
That the Petro-Oligarchs
Had put  a Box of Ecoapocalypse,
Well-wrapped and concealed
In Positivism, Misinformation
And Dope
Under the Christmas Tree
For the Children to open this year,
Leading to premature deaths
From Cancer
Due  Toxic Petrochemicals,
No long banned
By the EPA.

Breeze-Mist Oct 2016

"Grandma, we're learning
About twenty-sixteen in
History class, so

I wanted to ask
What was it like living then?
Was it like the books?"

At which point, we all
Will sigh and say "It really
Was a dumpster fire."

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