Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
unnamed May 1
Though I know I’m just
Pleading with my palms -
I say a prayer anyway
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2014
the irises have passed,
their existence, entirety,
a three week, 21 day, gun salute,
to which I was witness to but four

the Kabbalist among us says Kaddish,
and a-Buddhist so-be-it,
celebrating the brevity cycle
of natural things,
and that death makes room for more

**** yelloe'd and black now,
these irises are now
misfits on a breezy, dancing summer lawn

today, shriveled and misshapen,
they compare and contrast
on a normative, glorious,
June Sunday that
picturesque presents
the living and the deceased,
side by side

all comrades,
all summer sundries
on a dancing grass blanket
half-graveyard battlefield, half-heaven

oft I have writ of the beach detritus,
the shells, the sun burnt *****,
a recycled funeral rectory where
no one utters prayers for the
no longer alive historical artifacts

what has this to do
with that human construct,
artifice of memory,
a string on the finger
of the mind,
a pausation, a man-made creation
to momentarily recall another of nature's cycle -
yours

Have children
Am a father
Had a father in my youthful days

this is a boy scout qualification medal,
marker of me as Expert,
permitting me  to commentary
with gravitas
having becoming a grandfather,
I enjoy superstar freedom
to opine inanely on such matters

of my father have I writ,
of my sons, those remain unseen,

likely neither will mark these day
with a telephone call
or an all-I-got-was-this-lousy-t shirt
gift of gall

I say that's ok for what else is there,
certainly not an unthinking, dismissive
whatever

it saddens me some for sure,
but it makes judge myself as human being
on a gradation of one to none

but more than this internal reflection,
I ponder this hallmark'd day,
as life cycle point notarized,
in verse and rhyme,
for that is what I do best

for before,
many father's day in the priory passed,
most unrecallable,
just another ceremonial checkmark,
habitually acquitted,
but somewhere in a drawer of shirts,
in a home I store stuff in,
I do believe, there are some cards
from decades past, that prove nothing,
other than life goes on,
and we best capture
what we can, as best we can...
with small, objet d'art of sorts

Perhaps one will call after all...
in any event,
to honor the dead,
to mark the existing,
the bannered ship's bell rung,
its sonorous sound,
notable and onerous,
fades as well

but man and animal,
plant and tree,
a living fraternal sorority,
who all look over my shoulder
as I compose on
that chair you see

they know,
for whom the bell tolls this day,
and why as well,
as we all pause and contemplate
where we are on this day,
on our own overlapping cycles
Daniel J Weller Jul 2018
You weren't the poetic one, but I just read Kaddish
and thought of you;
           of 1998 beach photo, Sussex somewhere - as I
remember you, perhaps a bit younger;
           of sweet peroxide blonde, hiding brunette. I was
naive to the dye 'til I saw 'the Hepburn shot' - that 1950
something print, you in Rembrandt light,
           or the black beehive wig in family portrait—
1970ish— dicky bows and cocktail dresses - Dad, aged
seven, in a shirt and trousers;
           of youthful snapshots: Portobello Beach, Edinburgh
(4), with parents in Kent (8), your gang of girls some snowy
place (14), painting the house with Raymond in Croydon (20);
           of latter digital images, 2012, more gaunt and wrinkled,
but ever-beautiful - seemingly ageless, as you wished;

           of care and trust and overdone vegetables, thin gravy,
brussel sprout production lines - beautiful, mundane memories
at Cowfold breakfast bar or Langley Green kitchen tops;
           of seaside trips to Shoreham, Portsmouth, Brighton, dogs
homes and holding my hand past the loud ones;
           of picking roses from the garden for 'perfume' - sticky
hands, wet floors and beautiful smells;
           of early morning rude awakenings, met only with cheer
and offers of tea and toast - I still have your butter tray
(hospitable even in death);
           of my brother's wedding, taking time to jive and seem
alive whilst everyone else was dying inside, despite the fact
that it was you, and you only, who should care the most (and
thus, if you didn't, why should we have);
           and of that very temperament, infamous tempers never
shown—at least to us—just pure, kind acceptance and
forgiveness.

           You weren't the poetic one.
           You were; the ninth child of a ****** and his wife
                              the girl with the Scottish accent
                              the wife of an engineer from Mitcham
                              the mother of three, the loser of one
                              the stern face of discipline
                              the BT telephone operator, the masseuse
                              the grandmother of three boys
                              the ageless face of beauty
                              the one I remember best

           You told me you couldn't recall your siblings' names -
I've looked into it. Ada, Jack, Edie, Emmie, Mabel, Joyce,
Raymond, Terence.
Beaulieu, France, July 2018

(to my late grandmother Margaret Rose Olga Weller)

— The End —