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Jake Dockter Apr 14
He spoke the language of birds
of pickle ****
and lichen
and ailerons
and shutter speeds

Where I saw a blackbird with a spot of red on a wing

He saw Agelaius Phoeniceus a  passerine bird of the family  Icteridae found in most of  North America and much of  Central America

His mind and mouth were full of facts and figures
about wind
and lift
and tides
and the right time to plant and to harvest tomatoes

Music and science were things to be dissected
and perfected
and each thing was measured
and calculated
and intentional
like the metronome I played with on the piano in the spare room

I did not always understand him
I did not always try to learn

a kid dabbling in punk rock and drawn to graffiti will
I found it hard to relate to someone so exacting

But while I do not remember his laugh
I do remember his joy
at explaining the circuitry in a handmade airplane
or the minutiae of the wondrous geometric cellular structure of a pine cone

A hike in the sloughs and I ran ahead
while he kneeled and saw a tiny marvel, a flower or a lizard hidden by my hurry, tucked behind a leaf and revealed by his slow and patient attention

He taught us to see
To look close
To take the time to do it well

And while we bristled at the pocket knife,
cutting candy into enragingly tiny mouthfuls

he taught us to savor
and make the moments last

He never rushed a photograph
He never hurried though a museum
He never pushed you out after dinner
He sat
and listened
and truly saw you
in focus.

While his eyes blurred with age
And his ears failed him
He never stopped taking in the moment and he never stopped his ever and perfect focusing
On the thing in front of him, perhaps small but made large by his attention

The last time I saw him
he clearly
and directly looked me in the eye
and in his way
gave a blessing
passing on his focus

“Send those kids my love. Take care of them.”

And in those words
I understood him.
allure Feb 3
When you left
I was shocked and dismayed
without your jokes and foolish claims
our lives will never be the same
so suddenly you went away
I didn't get to say
to those piercing blue eyes
and that handsome smile
I'll be broken for a while
yet on the mend
to my best friend
this isn't the end
my dear papa,
I'll see you again

I wrote this poem for my papa, who passed away suddenly on 11/29/18. I read this at his funeral.
His eyes were as blue as the sea,
they sparkled as he played with his young granddaughter.
He beamed as he watched her grow up,
he would never be able to express his adoration for her,
and she would never be able to do this for him.

Her heart sunk as she watched him grow old.
When she was younger she’d always joke that
he’d live until he was a hundred years old,
that age was creeping ever closer.
They saw each other daily and chatted as if
they had all the time in the world.

She couldn’t imagine a life without him…
She had always thought he was invincible,
but over the years his face had become hollow,
and he began to become short of breath.

She vowed to make the most of the time they had left,
she promised she wouldn’t view him differently,
the only difference now was that it was her job
to look after him, rather than the other way around.
Taijitu Jan 16
Cientos de estrellas contamos juntos cuando era niña
y jamas imagine que un dia te buscaria en cada una de ellas
Tu ausencia hoy me acaricia como la brisa de aquellas noches
en las que llena de historias me dormia junto a ti
Tus memorias son aventuras que se vuelven mi refugio
Tus dulces palabras, la unica melodia que me hace sentir bien
Se que el tiempo jamas podra curar el dolor de tu partida
Pero se que tu sonrisa me dara las fuerzas para continuar
Donde estes, te extraño, te pienso, te amo Papa.
JR Rhine Jan 5
My grandfather peels an
X-chromosome off his liquor bottle
skips it across the pool of my mother’s genes
until it reaches me
yellow cigarette stained walls
green ashtray carpet on his tongue
blue back room full of old guitars
black mechanic oil stained hands
sandpaper voice
watching Jaws 4
homeless woman on couch
feeds dog black coffee
brown belly dragging across tongue
Thanksgiving dinners
my brother plays “Purple Haze”
out of a reluctant amplifier
the old folks applaud
the colors are beginning to
battling cancer his way
watching Jaws 4
dog now dead
homeless woman now
no longer homeless
back skin where left ear
used to be
old guitars pawned for
Purple Haze fades to
black as colors do
and they say
it skips a generation
and now when shades
of pink appear white
my tongue grows thick
smoke burns my nostrils
I can only think of
how terrible of a film
Jaws 4 is.
For Tommy Robinson. Rest easy grandpa, hope you got that ear back.
Why didn’t I age a little faster

While in your prime I had no clue then, what I’d be asking

How your birth came just years after prohibition

You probably told me time and again of your rise in habitation

The work you put in made your body a wall of bricks

But my ignorance was far from bliss

Your sleeping stories have a magic passion
I could beg and dig in illusion to hear more

Piece back every one of your ashes
to lend an ear with my heart open
to be in your presence and listen to your folklore
Philomena Dec 2018
You were the best man I have ever known

You always loved me
And I know you still do
Just from up above

You had the warmest smile
Accompanied with your mustache
And you gave the best hugs
When we would leave I would save you for last so it was the last hug of the night
A final impression to take home with me

You catered to my imagination, and never stifled me
Even when I wanted to cover myself in ribbon from head to toe and be a Christmas fairy
Or refused to eat Capt'n Crunch simply because my bother liked it

You made me strong
Always taking me out into the woods
Or letting me play just like the boys
Firing arrows in the garden
Or learning to ride motorcycle and ripping up fields

You taught me to be kind just like you
To love like you
And believe me
I want nothing more than to be just like you

The day you left me I felt sick before I even heard
Something wasn't right in the world
And when they told me I knew why
It tore me apart
I tried everything to keep myself busy
And put on the most beautiful black dress

I laid a daisy on you casket
Because Daises are your favorite just like me
And we put you in the ground

I'm told they found you in those woods we played in
That you died where you loved it most

And even though I cant hold you in my arms
I carry you in my heart
About 5 years now, and not a day goes by where I'm not reminded of you. So thank you for being the best grandfather I could have asked for.
Ilion gray Nov 2018
When we fall,
We are not raindrops,
We are the dust of stars,
The puddles we make destroy
The concrete,
And, god does not hear the sound
Of our bones crashing-

Though I knew
you would never be home again,
I knocked on your door for hours/


Was there,
In the stair well  


you were gone.
          Three days ago,
I watched
men in black Suits,
lower the expired shell you wore,

down into The parts of earth that never age,


I've been calling for days,

      The phone rings-
and rings...

no angel,
has answered.

I imagine
that you are dancing,
Along some coastline eons away,
In a galaxy where
words like,

And Cancer
Were never spoken-
Where the killers aren't pills,
Because prescriptions are  scarcely  written/
And the Hours  Of delirium,
Can not Wash away clusters of days.

The tragedy of forgetting,
patiently stalks
Memory in the quiet caves;
Where the secret pieces
of us
Are hidden.


I know what I remember,

Watching your eyes,
empty Their light across the cold ceiling,
into The bone white light
Above your hospital bed,
As if your sight,
had legs and feet,
you could escape into it,

         that's not what dying is like/

                          I knew you would leave me here/

With all the demons,
their devil fathers,
Their heavy,
*****, Sweating
calloused hands...

Dragging me
out of sight,
Through the raggedy barn doors
Of  aged alder wood
From rain and wind,
And Stained
As perspiring palms
innocence that is
And Creeping,
Thick as molasses,
Leaving your body
Escaping, through tiny
clenched openings.

Rolling over the ridges
Then dripping,
from trembling cliffs of fingertips;
Shaken loose at the hinges,

                                Outside of the light;
Down Into their whiskey dreams/

                      I knew you wouldn't say goodbye.

How,  when the worst wind came Roaring,
and cold-
How, You would just grow old...
                                                          ­                         And die.
Zukiswa Mvunguse Nov 2018
When I was little
The township we called home was the centre of my world
Our mud and zinc house was a Palace
My father it’s King
And we were his little princesses
My mother was just my mother
She wasn’t regal enough to be a queen

When I was little
We vacationed at centre of the universe
Nevermind that my grandparents farm lacked running water or electricity
And stood at the bottom of the valley
Surrounded on all sides by majestic hills
In comparison, it was just a stepping stone to the heavens
Even so, it was my heaven

When I was little
I looked to the heavens and I saw God
He wore a threadbare, leathery moonless night sky for skin
And had a cloudy facade with fallen stars for eyes
But when My God smiled
Sunlight shone through the cracks
And we all wanted to busk in his radiance

When I was little
My grandfather seemed a God
On cold winter nights, huddled around the fireplace
Stories of youthful escapades and adventures in the big city Spilled from his ambrosia loosened lips
Mesmerised by this linguistic wizardry
We hung onto every word as he switched from English to Afrikaans to Sesotho to Xhosa and back

When I was little
I was happiest lying in the sun
But than I grew up and the shadows were more inviting
Kingdoms fell and Gods became mere mortals
When I was little
The women in my family were merely extras to their male leads
But as I grew up they evolved into pillars
Holding up the roof their male counterparts have left to disrepair
I had to write an essay for English class about my childhood, but ended up with this. My grandfather died 2 years ago and I was emotionless at the time, so this suprised me.
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