Timothy Clarke Jun 2012
On this first ever Day when I had no card to send,
My own children graced me with their tributes and breakfast.
The joy that they bring me comes with a sense of joy I must have brought him.
This weekend my father taught my son how to change the brakes.
And my father hugged my girls...
And teased my other boy, ruffled his hair.

As I keep moving forward with my projects and this life, that he was proud of, I smile.  
His love I feel because it is my own.

I know he is proud of me, I feel it.

My Father is With Me
Timothy Clarke Feb 2012
“Tell me about your dreams”
These words are comonly spoken
As the miles fly under the wheels of our family van.
As children shift constrained and belted
Anticipation focuses attention when one of us says
“Oh yeah… I had a great one last night”

Cars fly past windows unnoticed as crazy stories unfold
Bizzar and often histerical recollections recreated
Pulling smiles from faces that had been grimmed by
A sister or brother sitting
much…
too…
close.
We all share and in turn we spin our tales
Keeping thoughts inside and miles unnoticed.

In rare, fortunate times only one sits beside me
As we hurtle past thousands of dashed lines.
We talk about dreams of the future.
About possible lives.
And of where we are going, in the larger sense.
And sometimes dreams of love.

Were this another time, these would be fire side stories
Or told in a quiet cabin piled deep with snow.
On these fleeting days the chamber that traps this family togeather
Is of steel and upholstery and lost toys,
empty water bottles and forgotten french fries.
Time limited only by the seasons of these children and the miles of the trip.

“Tell me about your dreams”
Most of all, mine is that someday
They too share long car rides with their loved ones
And capture many extra miles of their children’s journeys,
As often as they can.
Timothy Clarke Nov 2011
There once was a far away Miss,
Who wished she could give her man bliss.
She knew what to do,
And immediately blew
Him a sweet little SMS kiss.

<3
Timothy Clarke Oct 2011
My Father passed away this Fall, finally overwhelmed by the Pulmonary Fibrosis that had slowly taken away his air and his vitality over the past 5 years.  Right before he died, I had the honor of being the assistant engineer on my Dad’s last project.  In his last month, my Dad had became focused on his “router project”.  Dad had sent Mom to the store to find a very specific and necessary *****.  They had spend hours bolting and unbolting the router from underneath the saw table.  With the help of mom, Dad had spend much of his precious last breaths of energy shaping pieces of aluminum and drilling and tapping holes in order to accomplish... “something”.

Mom was getting a little frustrated by the whole thing. She was indulging his efforts, but she didn't understand what he was trying to accomplish. After I had been working with him for a few hours she asked me if I could tell what his objective was because she couldn't understand why he was spending so much energy and effort on a router. I explained it this way, "Mom, he is just tying up loose ends while he can. He doesn't want the router to fall when the next guy uses it. He is making a safety device. It is important to him... I'll help him figure it out"

Truth is, I had already figured one thing out, Dad's design had a serious flaw. He has made some serious miscalculations about the direction which gravity acts. His "safety catch" would only prevent the router from floating up to the ceiling. He knew it didn’t work but he was not able to understand why. His very sharp mind was being worn dull by lack of oxygen... I broke the news to him as gently as men do “Well, Dad, your idea won’t work. Not ever going to work. I am pretty sure we have to abandon it, unless gravity is going to start pulling things up to the ceiling some time soon.”  and then I cut him a little slack... “But I think the general idea is a good one... let me see if I can think of a way to modify it”

All the time we worked together, he didn’t speak more than a few works. He didn’t have the energy or the breath.  I read his eyes, his body language and his emotions.  He was very disappointed that he could not solve this problem.

So I solved it... I came up with a solution that worked.  Admittedly, I was rushing a bit and it wasn’t exactly elegant.  I shaped the metal, drilled the holes, ******* things together and after a few minutes I showed it to him.  He frowned. Stuck his chin out a bit further and shook his head “no”.  

“But Dad... see it works... it can’t possibly fall now”.

(no)

And then somehow I read the reason in his eyes. “So... you think that it will all come apart with vibration? Is that it Dad”

(nod... yes)

“Well... I can put some lock washers on it... that will hold it all together”. I proceeded to find the necessary lock washers and bolt it all back together...
(frown... no)

“So... you just don’t like it do you?”

(no)

Then I got a bit frustrated. My design was adequate and would likely work. But then I realized that the tides had really turned and it was time for me to show him the same kind of patience and kindness that he had show me countless times over the years. “Well then Dad I think that we should toss out my idea, it is only getting in the way of the best idea... let’s take a look at it again and see if we can figure it out”

We stared at it for another 15 minutes or so. Both engineers confounded but open to new ideas. And then the idea came...

Dad spoke. “Take out that *****... cut a slot... Dremmel tool”

Brilliant. A solution much more elegant than either of our first ideas.  In short order I had the work completed and the router hanging back under the saw table.  

Last project done.

After he thanked me for the help I encouraged him, “Dad... it was you that solved the problem.  You just needed me to get you past your first bad idea so you could get to your good solution.”

Before I left to go home he thanked me again for helping him finish his project and I had the opportunity to tell him for the last time that I loved him. I sat on his bed and kissed his head and held his hand for a few minutes until he made it clear that I needed to go. He didn’t want me to see him cry.

A few days later Mom called and said that Dad was going downhill fast and that perhaps being relieved of that one last project had helped him to finally let go.  

What an honor.

The very next day Mom called again and told me that Dad had asked her to make some measurements for new rain gutters.
Timothy Clarke Jun 2011
She lays down in her down
Pulling covers to cover
My arms wrap like a gown
Legs entwine like a lover

A light kiss on her spine
Deep breath of her scent
Her body is thine
When the day has been spent

As her spirit sets adrift
Through her dreams to roam
I watch over this gift
Until she comes again home

Let free troubles you keep
I am with you in sleep
Timothy Clarke Mar 2011
She’s the daughter I never had,
All grown now, I am not her Dad.
All her childhood, I did not see
And yet, somehow, she seems like me.

She’s the daughter I never knew,
Only close to her a time or two.
Of my influence she's completely free,
And yet, somehow, she thinks like me.

But now I have a fleeting gift,
Of time with her to fill the rift.
Paths long parted finally blend,
I believe that she is now my friend.

Even if we had never met,
Her path to success has long been set.
She needs nothing that I have to give,
To live the life she is going to live.

And so, although I’ll never be a Dad,
I hope to provide what she has not had,
Shade underneath my family tree,
And a chance to know someone like me.
Of the many gifts that my new wife brings to my life, the most precious are her four daughters... Her oldest is a wonderful young woman ready to start a life of her own.
Timothy Clarke Mar 2011
There once was a nice small apothem,
Hidden below a beautiful blothem.
The equation would satisfy,
When set equal to the radii,
The results are always quite awethome.
This poem is a bit PG-13, but only if you know your geometry.
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