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dvalentines Aug 2016
Monster
Trianna POV
It took me time to accept what I was being pushed into. Ever since I was young, my mother and father told me that one day, I might grow to hate myself. I know, what parents tell that to their child right? But they saw no point in lying to me. It was going to happen. I was going to hate myself.

I am half-vampire.

Not because of my mother, not because of my father. It was my paternal grandfather.

It was a miracle my father got none of the vampire symptoms. It was the best miracle. My grandparents were one of those unbelievably fated couples in the world. A vampire and a human fell in love and got married and had my dad. They were prepared to have to deal with a vampire child, but, miraculously, it did not happen. My father came out normal, as normal as any human could ever be. It was not surprising; he had more of my grandmother’s genes. Eventually, my father met my mother, fell in love and got married. I came along. That’s how the equation works right?

They had nothing to worry, for they were both human. However, something was not right. When I was 3, my eye color changed. The color was nothing like my parents’. Their eyes were a nice shade of hazel and dark brown. Mine, was green, dark, forest green. As a kid, my treats weren’t sweets. They were blood, small droplets of blood from my parents. But by the time I was 7, my parents and grandparents helped me grow an addiction to lollipops, making me turn to them whenever I had a craving attack. For blood that is. But craving attacks were rare, very rare. I was only a half-vampire anyway.

As the days passed, I grew into a teenager, my parents and grandparents aged, except my grandfather. My grandmother long got used to the fact that my grandfather would not be able to age with her. After a while, I found it weird that my father was starting to look older than my grandfather. Things all went well, until the night before I turned 18.

It was taboo.

All a taboo.

I really hated myself now.

No one saw it coming. So we didn’t make precautions.

I killed them. I killed my parents. I didn’t even know what happened. I couldn’t even remember. I only remembered that I was enjoying a movie on television with my parents alone at home as my grandparents were out for a friends’ gathering dinner or something. And the next thing I remembered were my parents, lying in their own pool of blood, not breathing. My hands and face, stained with blood. My grandfather tried to stop me but feeding me his blood, but it was too late. It was all too late. I held onto my grandfather’s bitten arm and lay there, just staring at my parents. The clock struck midnight and everything turned black.

I woke up the next morning in my own bed, an urge to puke filled my guts as I rushed to the toilet to throw up. Nothing came out, just regurgitation. I looked up in the mirror, and blinked. I blinked again, harder this time, making sure I was not hallucinating. My eyes were, green, not dark green, but a lighter shade. I pulled the side of my mouth to reveal my canine teeth. They were sharper than before. In a state of shock and panic, I ran down the stairs, where I knew where my family would be. The moment I reached the first floor, I saw my grandparents outside, in the backyard.

I hesitated to move. Someone tell me the nightmare I had was not real.
“G-Grandpa?” I murmured. My grandfather turned, making my grandmother do the same. My grandmother had a tear-streaked face and a handkerchief in her hands. My grandfather looked the worse ever since I knew him. I swallowed hard before walking closer to them, and I noticed two coffins being laid on the ground.

Tears fell down my cheeks as I realized who those two being laid there were.

“Grandpa… Tell me this isn’t real…” I struggled to believe what was happening in front of me. My grandfather held onto me before I could collapse.

“Trianna, please don’t be like this…” he pleaded.

I knelt in front of my parents’ tombs and bid them a last farewell before they were being cremated. The fire was burning away so many memories. I almost wanted to walk into it, almost.

“I’m sorry…” I whispered under my breath and said a deep prayer. I lifted myself up from the ground and dried my tears. Walking to my grandparents, I gave them both a tight hug before my grandfather could go on another trail of apologies about how it was his fault I am what I am now. Worse, I am not a pure. And that is making things so hard for us to decipher. It was something none of us wanted. However, I had to blame myself. And I blamed myself, a lot. But I never mentioned anything about my parents ever since my 18th birthday. I wanted to escape.

For one year, we continued to stay at that same house. And every day without fail, I would walk to the backyard where my parents were cremated and kiss the ground, apologize then do whatever I had to do for the day. I stayed away from school which my grandparents obliged. I doubt anyone is ready for me to have a sudden craving attack again and start ******* the blood out of my classmates since my cravings were stronger now. I used to only have to **** on lollipops whenever I see blood. But now, I had to have a lollipop in my mouth 24/7, considering the fact that we are in fact staying amongst humans, and most probably have to for the rest of my life, and I start wondering how long my life would be.

To start things anew, my grandparents decided we needed to shift to a new state. If we continued to stay in that place, as they assumed, would be bringing me way too much pain. I had no opinions; I just needed to follow them wherever they wanted to go. However, I did mention there was not much need to actually move, I was over the whole blaming myself about my parents’ death thing… I think.

We settled down in a small town called Kingslet based in the United States, where Grandpa once lived with his family. I heard that that town was secluded, but definitely still populated with humans, moreover, rich humans. And probably some vampires.

We moved into a cottage that my grandfather bought over from an old friend. And when I said old friend, I meant like, a really really really old vampire friend of his who happened to want to move away to another town with his family. My grandfather drove a van that he had rented from near the place where our private plane landed to the location where we were destined to live. Upon arriving, my jaw dropped. That isn’t a cottage, more like a mansion, for goodness sake. Alighting from the van, I took one breath and knew it was the signal for me to be ******* on lollipops again. I took one out from my backpack and opened it before popping it into my mouth.

“The smell getting to you already? That’s fast.” My grandfather, who was obviously already immune to the smell of blood, chuckled.

“Shut up.” I mock-glared my grandfather and smiled as I helped with moving the luggage into the house. Being half-vampire, for the moment, was not half bad. I get extra super strength, a cliché vampire gift. I did my own research of my own kind. We get super human strength, sense of smell increases and super human speed. But I figured maybe because I was only half-bred, I wasn’t sensitive to the sun, nor to garlics, or crosses. I consider myself lucky.

Entering the cottage, I placed the luggage on the floor before taking a look around the place. The place was really not bad. It was huge, comfortable and very cozy. My grandmother would definitely love it here. Well, she would be the only one hanging around the house 24/7. I don’t really want my 75 year old human grandmother wandering just anywhere she wants alone. High chances are that she was going to get hurt or something. But touch wood. And true enough, my grandmother was already taking her place on one of the sofas furnished in the living room by the fireplace, smiling at my grandfather.

“It’s wonderful here, Xavier dear.” She complimented.

Both grandfather and I smiled at her then at each other.

“Glad that you like it here, Katrina darling.” He said to my grandmother, making me quiver at their sweetness, but it was not like I was not used to it. “Come on Tri, let’s start moving the things.” He turned to me and suggested. I nodded with a smile. As we were at moving, I was told my room is on the second floor, in which I get to choose between three bedrooms, and the other two would become any room I want them to be, and that most likely means I would be having the whole second floor to myself. This really doesn’t sound so bad. I picked the biggest room, and poked my head in, realizing that the bed and all were already furnished perfectly. It must be grandpa. He knows me really well. Too well.

I threw both my luggage onto my bed and opened them, revealing my clothes and all my other belongings and started unpacking. First, my one and only family photo left after grandpa decided to keep the rest away from me at our old home. He only allowed me to keep one, the one we took when I was 15, in which I really don’t look much different compared to the present me. Staring at the photo, I wished so much that they were still here with me. It didn’t matter if we were going to move either way, as long as they were here, things would be perfect. I quickly put the picture frame at the side of my bed before I could actually start crying my green orbs out again. I proceeded with the rest of my unpacking and once I was done, I had also finished my lollipop. Being lazy to open another open, I chose to leave the empty lollipop stick in my mouth and chew on it instead.

Heading downstairs with my headphones hanging around my neck and smartphone, I hopped onto the longest sofa that was facing the wide screen television, switched on the television and started to channel surf, deciding to figure out the town’s frequency, hoping they have my favorite music and drama channels.

“Trianna!”

I heard my name coming from behind me, before turning to my grandmother. She merely shrugged at me, so I pouted at her and responded to my grandfather. “Yes, grandpa?” turning to meet gazes with him. I instantly felt a bunch of papers being shoved into my hold.

“What is this?” I asked, flipping through the pieces of paper, which I realized had my name and identification number printed everywhere.

“Your new school registration confirmation. I have already settled everything for you. And you are reporting to school the day after tomorrow, on Monday.” My grandfather said, taking a place next to my grandmother as they cuddled up.

“Isn’t this a little bit too soon?” I frowned. I really did not hate school. I just hated the fact that if I have to hang around humans, I have to deal with my control over my craving. It’s stressful and tiring.

“You are not getting away with anything this time, Trianna. It’s been a year since you last went to school. And the sooner you go out there to train, the better. Eventually, you will need to walk out of the house.”

Crap. I struggled to find another excuse. And light bulb!

“What about this and this?” I pointed at my eyes first, then my teeth.

“Don’t fret about it. I’m stocking up on your contact lenses for you, and your lollipops. Plus, your teeth aren’t obvious either, those lollipops are grazing them off.”

“But-!”

“Trianna!”

I bit my lips, “Yes grandpa…” I knew there was no way I can argue further. My grandfather was right; I have to deal with this someday, somehow anyway. Why not just go out there and face the music, get it over and done with? He had already obliged to me for a year, it was my turn to listen.

Dinner was spaghetti with carbonara, my grandfather’s best cuisine. Nothing beats this. It was my favorite behind lollipops. After dinner, it was sliced fruits and television. Once I felt I had my fair share of the night, I kissed my grandparents goodnight.

Third Person POV

After Trianna headed up to her room, her grandmother frowned.

“What’s wrong, Katrina?” Trianna’s grandfather asked, caressing his wife’s cheeks.

“Xavier, don’t you think it’s a little too harsh on Trianna? Making her go to school now? Go out there with the humans?” she questioned, as worried as her face portrayed her to be.

Xavier sighed. As much as he did not want to risk his one and only precious granddaughter, he had to. “Katrina, we have to let her go. She is very unlike me. If we don’t let her go, we will never have our answers about her. I know I promise to ask my friends more about Dhampirs. I will. But Trianna still has to go. I cannot protect her forever.” Xavier let out another sigh, “I don’t even know for sure, if she is a Dhampir.”

Trianna POV

The morning sun shone on my face indicating the new day. I struggled to open my eyes as I lifted myself off my bed. I stretched uncomfortably and yawned. This new bed sure needs some getting used to. After combing and tying up my shoulder-lengthed dark brown wavy hair, I washed myself up before heading down to the first floor.

“Good morning Grandpa. Good morning Grandma.” It was a habit to greet. A good one, I know. It was pancakes for breakfast, I could totally smell it since I was upstairs. Popping my head into the kitchen, I took another deep breath.

“Pancakes?” I asked, excited.

“Bet you smelt it the moment you woke up.” He laughed.

“Not exactly, but when I was upstairs, yes.” I chuckled along, moving to hug him.

“Good morning Tri.” He greeted, hugging me tightly.

“Where’s Grandma?” I bobbed my head around, not seeing her anywhere in sight.

“In the backyard trying to do some exercise.” He answered.

You are seriously letting a 75 year old woman do exercise alone in the backyard. Call yourself the best husband in the world. Creep.

I ran towards the backyard and saw my grandma doing some stretches to the morning radio slowly. Like literally, really slowly. I skipped over to greet her, shocking her a little before I pounced slightly to hug her and give her a daily dose of her morning kiss. Sensing that my grandfather was almost done with the pancakes, I led her back into the house and sat her down on her seat at the big round dining table. After helping my grandfather with laying the table, we three finally sat down for breakfast.

Picking up the maple syrup, I poured enough to cover my pancakes before placing my block butters on them, melting them and coating the pancakes. Love them this way. The silence during the meal was perfect, until my grandpa decided to break it.

“So,” he coughed slightly, “Any plans for today?” he asked, looking straight at me.

“No… Why would I have any plans made in a new town?” I asked, avoiding eye contact with my grandfather because I knew exactly where he was getting at.

“Why don’t you take a walk around the new town?”

I cursed under my breath. I think I forgot to mention. My grandfather’s vampire gift, was reading minds. That was exactly why, he knows me very well. ***** to be me, sometimes.

“Sure, doesn’t sound like such a bad idea before the start of school?” I replied. I was not out of my mind. But since I had already promised to go to school, there should not be a problem with just walking around town and try to get used to humans one day earlier. “Are you two coming with me?”

Grandpa nodded and said that he had already suggested to grandma about taking a walk around town, to let grandma know the place better as well as get to know a few faces around us. He felt it wasn’t nice to not greet if you are new in town.

After getting changed into a simple tee and shorts matched with my favorite pair of converse shoes, I hung my headphones around my neck again, plugging the end into my phone and opened one lollipop to pop into my mouth before heading out. The smell was already overwhelming at the door. Thanks, you pathetic piece of body. But if grandpa could get used to it, so will I. I saw my grandfather picked out his favorite hat and placed it on his head and I smirked. At least I can handle some sun.

Walking around town, we got to know a few people. Like Uncle Tyler, owner of the Italian restaurant along the streets, and a few other people around my grandma’s age or slightly younger. I merely greeted and smiled at them, not knowing what to say. Sadly, my grandpa had to introduce himself as my grandmother’s son. Very heartbreaking, to me at least. My grandparents long foreseen this and had been mentally prepared, I really sal
Kathleen M Sep 2013
My grandfather was there
We were sat down at the kitchen table
He was telling my about my hands
Said that I had writers hands
Artists hands
Painters hands
Hands like Anne 
My grandfather was drinking 
He was always drinking
Anne was pacing around 
Angry at him
Angry at him for being drunk
Again
Angry at him for being an alcoholic 

My brother and grandfather in my room
We listen to music
My brother asks my grandfather why he's not with Anne anymore 
I don't remember the reply
I remember him saying that he still loved Anne 

The door bell rings 
Its late 
I'm supposed to be asleep 
Grandfather at the door
Im watching from the stairs 
He's talking to my father
Says he needs money quick
Asks for three hundred 
My father gives it to him no questions 
My grandfather leaves 

It's Christmas 
Grandfather shows up to everyone's surprise 
He's there with no presents 
I was just glad he was there
He told me he had a necklace for me
He just had to pick it up from a friend 
I knew better though
He fell asleep on the couch 
Im glad he was there 

Its bobbys funeral
My grandfather is there
He's unhappy 
He's tired 
I don't remember much of him that day

Im at the swimming pool with my friends 
Waiting for my dad to pick us up
My grandfather is there
I haven't seen him in a while
He's so skinny
I know he's still using
He doesnt recognize me

Family dinner 
Dinner is served late
As always 
Grandfather is there 
He's showing my friend some dance steps he learned
Mentions his new lady friend 
He seems happy

My family moves half way across the country 
Leaving Edmonton behind
The next time I hear news about my grandfather its from my father
He saw my grandfather at my great grandmothers funeral 
He's still using and it shows
He's skinny
He's lost teeth
He's sick 

But I'll always remember the time in the kitchen 
I'll always remember when he told me I had writers hands
Artists hands
Painters hands
Like Anne
SexySloth Dec 2014
Evening light is gentle, slow
Caressing leaves, metal roofs, soil
Plants, flowers, pavements and gates
Clouds are the mothers - they shield us
Lest the sun shines too much.

Take a breath and look around;
The sweet and tranquil garden will take it away.
All colour blend in synchronised harmony;
Blues and browns, pinks and whites
Crossing into and over each other like
oil paints,
Warm, welcoming, beautiful.

It is soothing - the sound of nothing
That disrupts; razes; hates
Disturbs; curbs quiet insight;
One's imagination is the lone
source of maximum sound
That vibrates through the garden.

My grandfather, my grandmother's brother,
Smiles as though the sun shines through his teeth
Dresses in a pale blue shirt
Black shorts
Both well-worn
Ready to play
some basketball.

Oh, the joy, the fun
The refreshment arising from this game in a courtyard
In grandfather's garden
Among young trees, leaves and other green growth.
There stands a home by hand made
Basketball stand,
A concrete base with metal support hands
Floppy strings of hoop
To shoot the ball into.

The garden has been bathed, it is fresh
It is refreshed.
Grandfather demonstrates, I listen and follow,
To throw the ball into the hoop
With precision and care; throw some force
Into the air.
The ball dances around the circle
then drops to the concrete floor.

We take turns
As I throw and grandfather returns
9/10 of the time my aim's bad
but the ball grandfather throws, I actually catch!
(Or it will tumble on wet soil)

Exciting, the thumping
of rubber ball against ground;
Keen eyes and agile hands and feet
To catch the stray ball;
With swift movements the ball flies!
From sideways, afar and near,
Into the hoop successfully, finally.

Back into the house we go,
As the sun leaves for home.
The garden prepares for night;
So do grandfather and I;
Grandfather washes up; I talk to
Grandmother in the garden;
waiting for night, to
fall
fall
fall,
into infinite darkness -
poignant memories
Originally written on Dec 9, 2014.
A grandfather's heart is always
under construction.
With plans that are never
complete.

A grandfather's mind continues
searching for the excitement
for which he's always
willing to share.

A grandfather lives in denial when
it comes to his grandchildren
having to leave and go away.

A grandfather is keen with a mind
that's sharp and knowledgeable.

A grandfather is warm with his
thoughts and his loving hands.

A grandfather is a bundle of joy
like candy on a Christmas day.

A grandfather is a spiritual leader
whether he wants to be
or not.

A grandfather is a mountain
of gold.

A grandfather touches the hearts
of many because he himself
has a very good
old soul.
for London and Laila, (my angels).
preservationman Feb 2016
The wise old man I am referring to is my Grandfather, Charles Blake
A man that had a commanding voice
However, my Grandfather was a Forman so that had to be the choice
But don’t make my Grandfather mad
Someone always got sad
He worked at Schaeffer Brewing Company in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn
My Grandfather would bring tons of Schaeffer Beer home
But because I was young, I had to leave alone
However, my Grandfather would always bring me a package of Bazooka bubble gum
I was always chewing having fun
But as years rolled on, it was the Dentist I had to look upon
My Grandfather had stories galore
It was pure inspiration being the score
My Grandfather would often tell me to be a commodity
He was preparing me for business being a reality
My Grandfather’s words of “Being my own asset establishment”
It was practice typing 4 hours everyday
Incorporate a word from the dictionary becoming my intellect
There was no room for neglect
Under my Grandfather’s guidance, I had an advantage every step of the way
My Grandfather emphasized knowledge that was going to be higher education
Well that wise old man passed in 1993
He is in Heaven with thee
He said I was going to remember this old man
My Grandfather is an old man I will never forget
I have nothing in my heart to regret
Two hearts all in the right place that propel like no other, but are the components of love coming together.
Mary Gay Kearns Jun 2018
I took the left path where hydrangeas grew and sleepy primroses under woods, edged shady trees.
The empty stream ran quietly dry
With grass cuttings piling high.
If one peeped, one would find tiny creatures
To cast a sparkle here and there, a delight.
So on tip-toe, with sandels bent
Up high I reached to take
The plastic fairy as she twirled a pirouette
In a theatre made by chance.
Reflected in a silver mirror intwinned with ivy branch
A mottled foal tends his dreams and Chrismas robin chirps.

My brother took the right hand path where the trees grew fruit
Ripe berries from the gooseberry bush bulged their prickles.
Dangling from hawthorn now a cowboy with a hat
Looking for his fellow Indian with the yellow back sack.
Sheep gather in a hollow, dark, protected from the sun
And Mr toad, now lost of paint, has turned a bit glum.

And so we leave our woodland friends and travel up the *****
Winding round the rose bed and goldfish where they float.
Then up we climb, the middle route, to jump the pruned clipped
Hedge.
The lawn divided in two halves, a contemporary taste.

Now we're nearly at that place where if one was to turn
Could see down across the land
To the sea and sand.
Of all the beauties that I've known
Nothing beats this Island home.

Love Mary x




My grandfather’s retirement bungalow was in Totland Isle of Wight.
It was named Innisfail meaning ‘Isle of Ireland’.
Behind, the garden led down to magical and delightful to children who came as visitors. My grandfather would prepare this woodland with some suitable surprises.
The garden and woodland deserved its own name and in retrospect
Is now named ‘Innislandia’ to suggest a separate, mysterious land.
Beyond the real world.
In the poem A Country Lane on page 8 the latched gate is the back gate to my grandparent’s garden and bungalow in Totland as above.
John Garbutt wrote the following piece on the meaning of the name 'Innisfail'.

My belief that the place-name came from Scotland was abandoned
on finding the gaelic origins of the name.
‘Inis’ or ‘Innis' mean ‘island’, while ‘fail’ is the word for
Ireland itself. ‘Innisfail’ means Ireland. But not just
geographically: the Ireland of tradition, customs, legends
and folk music, the Ireland of belonging.
So the explanation why the Irish ‘Innisfail’ was adopted as the name
of a town in Alberta, Canada, and a town in Australia,
can only be that migrants took the name, well  over a century ago
to their new homelands, though present-day Canadians
and Australians won’t have that same feeling about it.

------------------------------------------------------------­---------
The bungalow was designed by John Westbrook, who was an architect, as a wedding present for his father and Gwen Westbrook.
I do believe he also designed the very large and beautiful gardens.
It is there still on the Alan Bay Road. Love Mary xxxx
kevin morris Jan 2014
This is a fictional account of the abuse suffered by a young boy. Any resemblance to persons either living or dead is purely coincidental.
Chapter 1

Lady Macbeth remarked “Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil”. All children have their terrors. The bogeyman who lurks in dark corners patiently waiting to harm the unwary child. The ghost who haunts the attic where, even on a bright sunny day the child fears to go alone or some unspeakable terror, a horror with no name which lies just below the surface of every day life. In my case the ghoul who cast an all pervasive shadow over my childhood was Colin, a man small in stature but, to a child a monster of epic proportions.
I have, on occasions tried to comprehend why my abuser acted as he did. As a boy I had no desire to understand Colin. I hated him with an all consuming loathing. He was the devil incarnate who, if it had been in my power to do so I would have destroyed with as little compunction as a man would show when exterminating a rat. As an adult the hatred remains although now tempered with a desire to understand why Colin abused a small, defenceless child, physically and mentally over a prolonged period.
Was Colin abused by one (or both) of his parents? And, if so does this help to explain (but in no way excuse) why he took such great delight in inflicting pain on me? I met both of Colin’s parents and stayed with them on several occasions. At no time during those visits was I subjected to any kind of abuse. This does not of course prove that Colin’s mother and father where not abusers. It demonstrates that they did not abuse me, no more, no less. However, looking back at my visits to their home and, in particular the fact that neither of Colin’s parents abused me, I am inclined to believe that he was not ill treated by either of them. So what turned Colin into the monster who took delight in twisting my arm so hard behind my back that I thought it would break? The answer is, I have no idea. What turned apparently normal Germans into mass murderers in ******’s *****? The answer is the same, I don’t know. As with the concentration camp guards who committed mass ****** I can speculate that some where subjected to abuse as children and that this led to them becoming psychopathic killers. However not all of those abused in childhood go on to commit abuse, while many in the SS experienced apparently happy childhoods untroubled by abuse. Colin may have been abused by someone other than his parents but even if this is the case this does not explain or justify why he became an abuser.

Chapter 2

I was born on 7 February 1971 in the north of England. Soon after my birth it became apparent that all was not right with Donald Myers. I cried far more than any normal child ought to. In addition I banged my head against hard surfaces on a frequent basis which, obviously gave rise to concern. My mum, as any good mother would took me to the hospital only to be told that there was nothing amiss. However a mother’s instinct told her that something was terribly wrong with her son. She refused to leave the hospital and demanded a second opinion. This was provided by a Polish doctor who, having examined me diagnosed a blood clot on the brain. My distraught family was informed that I required an urgent operation and even if the blood clot was successfully removed I was likely to be severely mentaly disabled. Fortunately the blood clot was removed and I am not mentally deficient. The clot did, however leave me with very poor vision (I am registered blind and use a guide dog as a mobility aid although I possess useful vision which assists with orientation).

Chapter 3

As a young boy I spent a great deal of time with my grandfather. This was due to my sister, Janet being ill and my mum not being able to look after 2 young children simultaneously.
I have fond memories of playing in what I called “the patch”, a piece of the garden which my grandfather allowed me to do with as I chose. I recall making mud pies and coming into the house caked in mud literally from head to toe.
Being blind I relied on my grandfather to read to me. Most weekends found us in a book shop. Whenever I walk into W H Smiths the scent of books brings back happy memories of time spent with my grandfather, me sitting on his knee as he read to me.
My grandfather was a dear, kind gentle man. Had he known how Colin was abusing me he would, I am sure have gone straight to the nearest police station to report him. However he never knew and, being a small child I never confided in him.
I am amazed when I hear people ask “why didn’t so and so report the abuse?” As a small child I was terrified of Colin. Had I told anyone I was sure that he would deny everything and the abuse would intensify. I was not aware of the existence of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children (NSPCC) and even had I known of their existence I would, as a frightened little boy have lacked the courage to pick up the phone and call. Colin would, no doubt have accused me of lying and in the 1970’s and 1980’s children where rarely believed when making alegations of abuse.

Chapter 4

I used to dread leaving the safety of my grandfather’s home to spend time with Colin and my mother. My heart would sink when Colin or my mum came to collect me from my grandfather’s. On one occasion I deliberately dropped the car keys behind the kitchen worktop in the forlorn hope this would prevent my mum taking me to stay with her and Colin. Oh vain hope, the keys where discovered and I found myself in the lair of the abuser.
Colin took care never to abuse me in the presence of others. He was, however adept at tormenting me when my mum or other people where nearby but couldn’t see what he was doing. One incident is indelibly etched on my memory. I was sitting on the sofa, in the living room. The room opened straight out into the street and I was seated close to the front door. My mum called to me from outside asking whether I wanted to accompany her to the supermarket. I replied “yes” but before I could leave to join her Colin, who was sitting on the same sofa twisted my arm behind my back and whispered that I should tell my mum that I had changed my mind. I continued to attempt to leave but Colin increased the pressure saying that if I didn’t inform my mum that I had changed my mind he would break my arm. Naturally I called to my mum that I no longer wished to go with her and she left without me.
Being outside my mum did not see the abuse taking place a mere few feet from where she was standing.
On another occasion, while Colin and I where sitting in the living room, he forced a chipped mug into my lip which drew blood. Again my mum was present in the kitchen, which was located next to the living room but did not observe the abuse. On entering the living room and noticing the scar a few minutes later she enquired what had caused it. At this point in time I don’t recollect whether Colin put the lie into my mouth or whether I concocted the story in order to avoid further abuse. In any case I informed my mum that I had cut myself with a chipped mug, a version of events she accepted.  
At times I thought that I was going to die. No small boy likes washing but I used to dread bathing due to Colin’s own unique method of assisting me to wash. This consisted of holding my head under the water so that my nose and mouth filled and I felt as though I was going to die. I would emerge, terrified coughing and spluttering.
Colin obviously derived tremendous pleasure from half suffocating me. On numerous occasions he would place a cushion or pillow over my face and hold it there until I felt that I was about to die. Years later when I attended counselling with the mental health charity Mind, the counsellor asked me why I thought that Colin had not killed me? I replied that he probably derived more pleasure from having a living child to torment than he would have gained had he murdered me. Also, had he murdered me the prospect of detection and Colin spending a long period in prison would, I said have acted as a disincentive to  him taking my life. .  
Colin was a sadist. In adition to systematically abusing me he also abused my mum. I remember him hitting her on a regular basis and on at least one occasion pushing her down the stairs. He was (and is) a ******* of the first order.
Colin didn’t confine his cruelty to people. I recall him flinging the family cat at me. The poor animal stuck out it’s claws to gain purchase with the result that it scratched my face badly. Like all bullies Colin was, at bottom a coward. I never once saw him abuse the family dog. I am sure that this was not out of any affection for the animal, rather it stemmed from the fear that had he done so the dog would, quite naturally have bitten it’s tormentor in self defence. Oh how I wished that the dog had sunk his teeth into Colin.          

Chapter 5

We all have nightmares. As a young boy one of my recurring bad dreams concerned being chased by a hoover. To anyone unfamiliar with the abuse inflicted on me the relating of my dream will, no doubt result in mirth. However my nightmare was no laughing matter as to me the vacuum cleaner was a thing of terror. We owned an upright hoover which Colin would, periodically place on my head while the motor was running. I well recall the terror as the wheels of the machine ran across my head. Colin was nothing if not inventive as in addition to putting a working vacuum cleaner on my head he also made me hold the machine above my head. My arms would ache terribly but I dare not put the hoover down until ordered to do so by Colin. For many years following the ending of the abuse “the chasing hoover dream”, as I refered to it stubbornly refused to go away. While the nightmare no longer plagues my sleeping brain, whenever I use a vacuum cleaner the recollection of a terrified little child being tortured by a hoover comes back to me.
In another of my childhood nightmares I would enter the spare bedroom only to be grabbed by a clicking monster which wrapped it’s hands around my neck attempting to strangle me.
Colin choked me on numerous occasions. One incident remains vividly imprinted on my memory. It was evening and my mum, sister, Colin and I sat in the living room. All of the family accept for me where watching television. I was listening to a talking book about a footballer which contained many amusing stories. I laughed uproariously throughout much of the book. Later on that evening, following the departure of my mum and sister to bed Colin choked me telling me never to laugh like that again as I had “disturbed” people. As I recall Colin’s strangling of me the old terrors reassert themselves. At the time I felt that I had, perhaps done something wrong. However the logical part of my brain told me that I had done nothing whatever to justify Colin’s barbaric treatment of me. He ought to have gone to prison for that incident alone. He was (and remains) the personification of evil to me. To this day I can, on occasions feel self conscious about giving in to the natural desire to laugh at a great joke when in the company of friends. I can (and do) let myself go and laugh uproariously but Colin remains in the background, like Banquo’s ghost putting a dampener on the feast.

Chapter 6

Colin possessed considerable charm which is, perhaps how he came to entrap my mum into marrying him. I remember sitting around the dinner table with guests present and Colin holding forth on Charles Darwin amongst other topics. Although not university educated Colin was by no means unintelligent and could, if one was unfamiliar with his propensity to abuse, appear to be charm itself, a man whom it would be a pleasure to have over for dinner.      

Colin possessed the capacity to make people laugh which he used to devastating effect when making barbed comments at the expense of my mum. I hated him for his comments but laughed none the less which is proof of the idea that hostages frequently try to please their captors by forming some kind of relationship with them. I can not at this juncture in my life recall in detail how, precisely Colin undermined the confidence of my mum, I suspect that this inability on my part stems from the fact that I was, quite naturally concerned with my own suffering and the abuse perpetrated on my mum was of secondary concern. My own pain preoccupied me. I had little time for that of others.

Chapter 7

My counsellor and my dear friend, Barry have raised the issue as to whether my mum was aware of the abuse to which Colin was subjecting me. I have thought about this question long and hard and I still can not provide a categoric answer. I am sure that my mum never actually observed Colin in the act of abusing me. She was, as explained in the forgoing chapters, never in the same room when the abuse took place. The fact that her son showed a profound disinclination to be alone with Colin should though have caused alarm bells to start ringing. Colin was clever. The only time I can recollect when he caused me to bare a physical manifestation of abuse was the incident of the chipped cup related earlier. On all other occasions the marks where deep psychological wounds not visible to the casual observer.
I have tried discussing the abuse with my mum. Her reaction has osilated between stating that the abuse occurred a long time ago and that I ought to forgive and forget, to questioning whether it did, in fact take place. My gut feeling is that my mum does not doubt my veracity. The anger she manifested on discovering that I had informed my wife of the abuse perpetrated by Colin demonstrates that she does not doubt me.
Shortly prior to my wife and I separating we went to stay with my mum and sister. One morning my mum, my daughter and I went for a walk during the course of which my mum received a call from my sister. Janet said that my wife, Louise had told her that I had informed Louise of the abuse to which I had been subjected to by Colin. My mum rounded on me asking “why the hell I had told Louise about the abuse”. There ensued a blazing argument during which my mum hit me. On returning home the argument continued with Janet stating that I should talk to Colin about the situation. The fact that Janet did not defend Colin and state that he couldn’t, possibly have abused me indicates that she was, to some extent aware of the abuse.
I love my mum deeply and have no doubt that she loves me. Yet whenever we are together the elephant in the room (Colin) stands between us, seen by both but mentioned by neither. In my case I fear the eruption of a blazing argument. I have always shyed away from arguments which is, I suspect down to me having grown up in a family in which vilence and arguments where commonplace. As a small boy I developed strategies for minimising the likelyhood of being abused. My main strategy was to make myself as inconspicuous as possible. I became a master at sitting quietly, not speaking unless I was spoken to and doing everything in my power not to antagonise Colin. While I don’t fear being physically abused by my mum I shrink in terror at the prospect of a verbal tyraid eminating from her.
In my mum’s case she does, I believe feel guilty due to her not having protected her son from Colin. The fact that she refuses to discuss the abuse to which I was subjected shows her inability to acknowledge to me her own sense of culpability at her failure to prevent Colin’s behaviour. On at least one occasion my mum has told me that the abuse could not have taken place as, if it had she would have been aware of it. This is contradicted by her statement (refered to earlier) that it was a long time ago and I ought to “forgive and forget”. Both statements can not be correct and in her heart of hearts my mum knows that I am telling the truth, she lacks the courage to admit her own failings and apologise to me.      

Chapter 8

At this distance in time I can not pinpoint the precise point at which the physical abuse stopped. At some indeterminate point (I think during my early teens) I began to challenge Colin’s behaviour. I remember wishing to join a social club and Colin informing me that I could not do so. Full of fear and trepidation I said that I would join to
Josh May 2013
Ephemeral isn't beautiful unless it's beautiful and beautiful.
And beautiful isn't this unless it's this.
And beautiful.
And Literature is the water in the ocean,
as the ocean gathers sunshine for Grandfather, who is beautiful.
Grandfather is the man in the ocean who was there.

Those who gather literature this autumn in the ocean
are not beautiful and are not men or ephemeral men
nor are they there in the ocean with Grandfather,
but are beautiful for Grandfather - but fleeting.
This lollipop is fleeting but also not a toy.
It's a lollipop.
It's this.
This is not a toy lollipop,
but was a lollipop when Grandfather was a boy and beautiful.
One night as I lay to rest
In my mind came a man from my past
It was my very own great grandfather
For a moment he was not a bother
Then I remembered he had died

The old man looked as good as he ever had
But his features looked tired and sad
He said “Hey Ashie, how’s life treating ya” as if nothing had changed
I looked at him and muttered, “I must be deranged”
We sat down on the porch of his now deceased wife’s home.

The weather and school and how much things had moved on
As he had passed when I was four, he was not sure if anything was wrong
He asked me if I loved life and when I said no
He shook his head too and fro
Marshall (that was his name) looked at me and whispered “don’t you know?”

Puzzled we looked each other in the eye
And he whispered, “Ever wondered what it’s like to die?”
“Of course it has all that crap they talk about like walking on clouds
But then there’s the part of living under a dirt mound. I miss living life on earth.”
I looked at my grandfather, with a tear rolling down my cheek.

As the topics went by, my grandfather looked at his wrist and checked the time
Standing, he said he had to go; a ray of light fell and began to shine
Suddenly, the scenery changed into that of a cemetery, at the end stood the casket
My grandfather opened the lid, silently, in he slid
I screamed, “Grandpa don’t go!”

I jolted awake and tears slid down my face
Slowly, I got on my knees and prayed
“Goddess, though he didn’t believe in you,
Thank you for taking my grandfather to a better place.”
I cried until sunrise.
This poem was for a class. I had to write a recollection of a realistic dream in poem form. I had dreamt my grandfather had come back from the dead....I miss him.
Audrey Jul 2014
Grandfather,
I'm sorry.
I know we don't talk much anymore..
Barely once a year.
You're old,
Your skin the weathered brown of a man
Who has lived in among the trees and your own roots,
Hard work and New England weather shaping the crags of your muscles and
The hills of your mind.
Grandfather,
I don't know you
You've gotten too distant,
Nothing more than a collection of colorful memories drifting lazily in
A summer lake.
Your face is familiar, but it is too large,
Bloated, with 3 days worth of stubble on your double chin.
Grandfather,
It's not your fault, I know
You've had a hard life
Your body has just finally failed you
And you pretend to not notice that you are too old to not notice your aging
You creep so slowly with your walker,
Looking wistfully over the water,
Seeing shades of yourself sailing on the breezy waves.
I hear whispered conversations of doctors offices and
Estates and wills and old family rivalries,
Too much for you to hold in your mind anymore.
Grandfather,
You don't ask for anything.
Maybe you don't know what you need.
Grandfather,
This is my gift to you.
This moment of privacy and silence
When you lean on the counter to steady your hand as
You take your innumerable medications
Your breath catching quickly in your ruined lungs and your eyes squeezing shut over 7 decades of memories.
I don't let you see that I notice your
Blank look or gentle snores at the table,
Or see how much you struggle to get down the stairs with a leg swollen to twice the normal size.
Maybe you don't see what you need
Or don't care
But maybe I can help
In my own, selfish teenage way
I can assume what you need,
What words might make you reconsider your stubborn
Indifference to your dying health.
Grandfather,
I love you.
Jeanie Aug 2017
Our grandfather was a grandfather you would draw
He would make pennies appear from our ears and remove his thumb for our delight
He whistled to say hello, and had a voice that made green grow the rushes
He embodied the joy of a child and so the fairies came to live in his garden to whisper messages to us

Our grandfather greeted us with an apple or pear or cucumber or something of Bob’s best
He would dress for our arrival making a belt of string and show us the latest marvel in his treasure trove garden
Our grandfather hugged like a bear and gave kisses so freely that you would never forget how deeply you were loved

A man of principle, a man of courage, a man who fought the titans for the Lilliputian’s of this world
A man who did not live on his knees, but stood and looked you in the eye, respected you and with compassion put forward his truth
Our grandfather taught us right from wrong in front of his fire, as the clock chimed and the chandelier shivered and the scarlet chaise longue told you how far this man had come

Our grandfather withstood pain in his life, sang songs with prisoners of war, made great machines and dreams for his grandchildren
His soul shone out and people loved him, not just for who he was but for how he made us feel
Bridget Jan 2015
They lay on Normandy.
Two hundred miles away, the empty shells of humans
Who lie below the streets
Felt the poison that lurked above.

They shuffled out of the underground,
Boarding trains and ships like corpses
And dropping bombs from miles above.

A little French boy is spared.
His brother whispers “Bon courage,”
As the rest of the family are taken out back
And shot like mad dogs.

Twenty years later, he stands on the beach
With his young wife
Watching their sons roll and play in the sand.

His tongue tastes a warm salt
That couldn't come from the ocean.
All he can taste from the ocean is blood.

I can see my grandfather clearly
With tears falling down his face
As his mother shuts the piano.
“There will be no music,” she says quietly.

She is an immigrant
And I wonder if she questions the choice
That brought her son to a country where he might lay down his life
For strangers, four thousand miles away.

I can feel him now
Hiding in the apple trees,
High above the others.
He is in Sainte-Mère-Église, and there are enemies below.

And now I take them in my arms
Cradling them like children
“Je vous embrasse, les deux,”
And I lie down on the edge of the ocean at Normandy.

I exhale and hold them close.
The sun is shining, and I do not cry;
It is nothing but salt and water to me.
Grandfather speaks repeatedly
In the same repiticious tone
Repeating the moments away
Till each second he has is gone

Grandfather never lets me forget
The passing of the hour
He sings at his appointed times
As long as he has the power

Grandfather works under a heavy weight
And only when this weight is lifted can he play his song
A sound as cymbals on a drum
Or the beating of a gong

Grandfather talks till his heart winds down
Only then will he stop
Then unlike me ,he will breathe again
When once more is wound my Grandfather clock

RLB
Lvice Nov 2017
The house that I grew up in is growing old.
I can barely distinguish between the house and my grandfather, and both have given up. Tired..of people walking inside of them.
I used to fall in the house running around the hallway and through the kitchen and now I'm falling through the floor.
There is no one to say "Get out of my kitchen!"
I've never been in the attic and I've only seen my grandfather open the latch once; I'll never get to see what was stored.  I thought Katherine's ornaments could be up there, but neither knew what had been done with them.
It broke my heart to see what I had seen. I wanted to have those memories again but not all the money in the world could buy them back.
The magic I had grown up with is dying. There is no more children to fall on the cinder under the fur shed and burn her forehead, or see snow for the first time. And after making snow *****, running hands through water and letting Katherine rub them through her bony hands. It doesn't snow in Louisiana but for this house it did.
I loved being old at such a young age. Picking blackberries with him and learning to preserve them. Staining my mouth, cheeks, hair, hands, my shirt with Mulberry. Then rolling dough on the counter and staining it with little girl hands and thin fingers and bear paws.
And still the only jelly I'll eat is blackberry jelly.
Cards at the table with Katherine was the best. She had this laugh. More of a cough and she wouldnt stop coughing until she caught her breath and then I would laugh so hard and try to walk it off and trip over her oxygen tubes.  That machine  used to haunt me. It looks with green eyes at night and stood in the open doorway of the door that I never understood why it was there, it never closed anyway. The doorway I used to hide in that one nightmare  about the dinosaur that would chase me around the same hallways that my grandfather would. I've always loved dinosaurs after that.
And eating at the kitchen table where there was always honey because grandfather was also a beekeeper and loved honeycombs and fresh honey.  The one flaw in that table was the window where I always thought raptors or a bobcat would jump out of while I was eating and eat ME. Tough little five year old me would put up a fight and scream until Paw would save me.
  The dining room table where Granny Velgin always had pancakes. The BEST pancakes. Where I learned to make them years later along with paine perdu, or French toast.  Little Cajun french me with my French name and father who was Czech but I have a  Cajun French grandfather.

The magic that was the now 60 year old house is going. It was always "50 years old" every time I asked my grandfather how old it was. It was his childhood house too. He says he still remembers Granny chasing Ayo with a pan for staying out too late..and I still chase the Christmas lights we used to walk to see. I still chase my cousins around the backyard geese and chicken and duck pen. I'm still chasing the magic that sat in the attic of the house I never looked in.
amanda martinez Apr 2014
Mind - tripping eyes subconsciously getting lost in grandfather clock.
Thoughts frolicking through fields that time could never stop.
From a lotus flower shinning bright from rejuvenation.
Born to all things new, putting the past in stagnation.
No matter the hardship, there's never a need to let petals start wilting over time elapsed.
Grandfather clock never stops, there's only so much vitamin d the day allows to grasp.
From this it's learned we must water our own apple blossom, one commonly missed,
As we search for the perfect bouquet of eternal bliss.
Yet it projects good fortune and releases hopeful vibes.
Grandfather clock couldn't let memory forget it, even if it were tried.
Apple blossom in hand, into daisy fields memory wallows about.
Holding tightly to what’s left of innocence, youth cannot run out.
What a gentle smell carried through the breeze, the sun with warmth to share.
When grandfather clock strikes a certain time, reflections will take me there.
When time is due, a valley is to be embraced.
Within which lay a single lily, in which happiness is grace.
Grace can be given all around, especially to those closest.
Even when you’re the only bud bloomed, the only lily floating on the surface.
In fact, the lily of the valley is grandfather clock’s key.
The only one to break through the surface; the code to set time free.
With not much else around, we work with what we’ve got.
But happiness doesn’t exist so give it another shot.
Happiness is something we must create; our own bouquet of eternal bliss.
So as grandfather clock tics & tocks…. tic…. tock…
I toss a single black rose at twelve on the dot…time stops.
Farewell may be forthcoming, but rebirth has already been assumed.
Thanks to you my bouquet has been created, my blissful soul has bloomed.
March 8, 2013
Dorothy A Dec 2014
I think of her often, for thoughts are all I have—not a single memory. She died before I was the age of two.

From what little that I heard, there was little reason to view her in a good light, but now I can see something admirable about her.  After all, this woman endured so much, and the odds seemed stacked against her. Incredibly, between the ages of eleven and sixteen—at least five times—this poor Lithuanian girl crossed the Atlantic in attempts to get into America. Twice, she was turned away. Some may not have had high regard for her, including her own son—my father—but I can see a heroic nature, a survivor, through and through. Just a toddler when she died, I missed out in knowing her. Throughout the years, I really had only gathered bits and pieces of information while trying to know better about her. It has been like constructing puzzle in which the pieces fit here and there, but the gaps are too big to cover.

This woman that I write about is my paternal grandmother. Out of all my grandparents, her story is the one that stands apart, an amazing, heart wrenching and most thought provoking portrait. Evoking emotions of anger, sadness and sympathy, I find it a rich tale of a poor woman.

This has been in the works for quite a while now—in my head, that is. I pictured what I wanted to say, the words playing out in my mind.  What a story it is, too, a tremendous one of sorrow and struggle, of need for love and acceptance, of perseverance and strength of the human spirit. Yet things get complicated when they come from my mind to the page, as I try translating my vision down into words. Before long, like a snake, hesitation surely comes slithering through, as it quickly snuck its way within, fueling my fear, a fear of disapproval and rejection by two people who are now dead and have been for some time—my father and my grandmother.  

And while writing, I imagine what my audience thinks—critics in my head abounding before I even finish. Well, I am the first to stand in line for that.  It’s kind of scary relating such things. I am not sure I am doing the story any justice.  I’m not sure I’ve captured the essence of it well.    

And who would want to read this anyway? Is it too long and of no significance to anybody but myself? I have my doubts. Celebrities do this all the time, and people just eat that stuff up.  I think we all just want to relate to what others have to say about themselves. But it does bare you—your thoughts, your secrets, your soul, —and it feels a bit unnerving, to say the least.  

So, naturally, I still drag my feet. If she were here right in front of me right now, what would my grandmother think? Would she throw the papers in an old fashioned stove—in the fire—as she angrily did to my father’s flowers?  I can only imagine my father as a child—in an impoverished scene that I only have sketchy knowledge of—with his young heart being crushed and shamed, his sign of affection and desire to please his mother, drastically rejected. In return for his small token of love, my father’s mother was furious that her boy spent a few coins on something perceived as useless, a waste of good money. Away like trash, they went. Like the flower story, would my father be ashamed and angry that I revealed some family history for others to read, stuff that he would rather have kept quiet?

This is why I am mentioning no names. Nothing is sugar coated—it is what it is—often not very pretty. Yet this is not intended as an exposé or a smudge on any family members. A slam on my father and grandmother is surely not my intent—far from it.  Rather, it is my offering of affection. It is my little bouquet of flowers to a history that includes me as a part of it.

Like those flowers of long ago, I’ve so wanted to scrap this story in the garbage. Often seeming like a knotted mass of yarn, I have had to work and work to get a smooth flow.  Like a sculptor, I wanted a fine piece of clay to emerge into form, but the chunks, lumps and bumps just frustrate me to no end.

It’s complicated to relate it all. It is revelation about my father’s origins which hold no real pride for him.  There was much pain and shame associated with his mother’s mental illness, his distant father, his broken home and lack of a solid, safe family structure, his constant poverty and fight for survival—the list goes on and on  As I unravel this tale, I continue to fight with the many tangles. As I try to find the face, I feel that my sculpted story is left wanting. So I continue to chip away.

Dishonoring? Embarrassing? I hope it this tale is not.  I envision an admirable purpose instead of the pain and the shame, redeeming the pride that was lost. My father’s origins are mine, too, and they help me to know myself better, and my father—to build that better, more complete puzzle of my grandmother.

Much of what I heard was unflattering terms. From a young age, I knew she was mentally ill. But what did that mean anyway?  Well, to my father she was crazy and nuts, not a good mother. No, she wasn’t mother of the year. Clearly, she had a temper and was known to instigate fights—with her husband, with one of her sisters. When my young father was physically disciplined it was by her, and it was probably quite harsh. If I didn’t like her, it was due to all that I heard. And when I had problems with my father, who had a bad temper, too, I probably felt that the apple didn’t fall very far from the tree.  

But in spite of all the remarks, I grew to have great sympathy for my grandmother. It makes me wonder how mistreated she was as a child.  My father deemed her as neglectful, not in tune to her children’s needs. It is obvious to me that she was in lack, herself.

So what was she really like? I very much wanted to understand her, to be able to relate with her. I don’t know—perhaps, it is because I root for the underdog.  Often, I felt like one, too. And Lithuania is the perfect underdog, under the thumb of Russian rule until much recently.  Perhaps, it was because my dad’s dislike for where he came from made me all that more interested to discover what his roots were all about.  

History often repeats itself—what has shaped my father had a strong influence on me. Like my father, I grew angry and bitter from the upbringing I had. Getting a similar brunt of problematic parenting made for a tough go of things.  I could have easy said, “Who gives a ****?” I could have been thoroughly disgusted about my dad’s old baggage that I had to handle—all the wreckage of rage and shame that became dumped into the next generation.  I evolved from a more sensitive, inquisitive child to one who battled between the feelings of hate and love, painfully clawing my way out of the emotional garbage and with the terrible stench of it.  

Thankfully, the war is over. I am enjoying the peace.  
  
With insight, I grew to understand my father, to accept what he was—capable of good and bad. I can relate quite well in that sense, for I made plenty of mistakes that I wish that I could do differently, ones that hurt others as well as me.  I could not deny that, in my dad, there was a wounded man who could not really figure that out—not until he was much older. I saw a man who was remorseful, and humbled by his costly mistakes. I was able to heal from some of my wounds with that forgiving perspective, though it was not easy and did not come overnight.

Unlike my dad, I’m surely a talker and I ask questions, perhaps my father’s worst nightmare in that sense——he had to have at least one child who always wanted to know things about him and who he came from. That means both sides of my family. Perhaps, I was born that way, with a tremendous sense of wonder. Curiosity always got me, and I am much too hungry to remain clueless about my more secretive father.

Maybe that’s good. Maybe it’s bad. It involves risk which can lead to a boatload of hurt. Where do we come from? What were your parents like? What were your grandparents like? When where they born? When did they die? Do you have any pictures?  Can you go any further than them?  Sometimes, the answers aren’t what you want to hear.  

It’s nice to belong to something, to somebody. It isn’t always possible or realistic to relate to one’s family, I wanted to belong. Not just to my mom’s side did I want to identify—I wanted to fully belong—to both sides.

My mom and dad both had common backgrounds, both coming from poverty and chaos. The fallout from my mother’s unstable father created a similar unease within her childhood home. Yet her family actually seemed like it existed. I knew all of my mother’s seven younger sisters and five younger brothers, as well as all nineteen cousins. We used to visit mom’s parents in Detroit fairly often. My best knowledge of life in this unfamiliar, yet close by, city—my native city—arose through this connection. I heard stories of grandmother’s German immigrant parents and learned of my grandfather’s Polish and Prussian roots, part of his family’s rise from poverty to wealth—to poverty once more.

Born in the latter part of the nineteenth century, my father’s parents were much older than my mom’s. Impoverished Lithuanian immigrants, my dad’s parents surely wanted to be Americans. My grandmother really had to fight to even be on American soil, and my grandfather sought out citizenship and became naturalized. I have likely seen them both, but had no relationship at all. I heard that my dad’s mom came over our house for Thanksgiving dinner—a rare visit—and she died not long after.

My grandfather died the following year, when I was closer to three. Possibly having a primitive, early memory of this man, I am told my dad had him over the house once.  I have a vague recollection of sneaking into the living room, when I was supposed to be in bed, and got a smack on my behind from my dad, crying in protest as I walked past an older man starring at me. But I’ll never know for sure if that is even a real memory.

Since my grandfather was a supporter of the Communist party—a big taboo in those days with the McCarthy era and the Cold War—my dad was mortified and afraid to mention it.  I doubt I’ll ever know much about this grandfather. My father found only one photo of him in his wallet while trying to claim belongings from his flat after the man died. My father eventually gave it to me, and I was shocked by one of the most bizarre photos I ever had seen. In it, my dad’s father was photographed with a woman that my father cannot identify, but the likeness between her and me is so uncanny. I look more like this woman than I do my own mother, but I cannot say if she is even related. My dad knew almost nothing about his father’s family except that he came from a big one back in Lithuania.

Family must have been like foreign word to my father. I can see why. Since boyhood, my dad lived apart from his dad, and they became more strangers than father and son. My dad even admitted that he hardly understood his own father because of his thick, Lithuanian accent. My dad’s background still remains more like shadows in the dim light.  I don’t clearly remember my father’s older brother— out of the two that he had—because I only saw him three or four times. Since my father cut ties with his younger brother, I hadn’t laid eyes on him. Not even a picture was available. When my estranged uncle called on the phone to try to talk to my dad, I would speak to him, instead. One to be sympathetic, I never got why my dad wouldn’t bother with his brother, though the call usually involved asking for money. I was pretty much told that he was a no-good ***, plenty to keep me fairly leery of him. His first wife kicked my uncle out.  Most of his six sons—just as unknown as their father was to me—wanted nothing to do with him. No doubt, the guy was an odd and deeply tormented man, yet we both wanted to meet one day. If I remember one thing he said, that was it, and I agreed. This did seem unlikely, for I didn’t want to stir up the hornet’s nest, not creating more friction than there was.

Years later, that wish came true. One day my dad did get a picture of his brother from the older brother. Much later on—several months after my dad died—I was able to meet this troubled man when he was dying in the hospital and had tubes down his throat. unable to speak to me any more.  

My mom was my source in finding out about my grandmother, but she knew little.  She admits she didn’t know what to say to her mother-in-law, being young and not very savvy when it came to making conversation. What she remembered about my grandmother was that she was very quiet and often stared out from the position of an obscure woman in a room full of people. My mom thought her “spooky”. My mom recalls that my dad said that she smoked down her cigarettes the nub, burning and blackening the tips of her fingers.  She even might have started a small fire in her sister’s waste basket with a burning cigarette.

There is one thing that sticks out that my mother recalls that is sweet. What my grandmother asked my mother shows her humanity: “Do you love my son? “ It shows a woman who has genuine feelings, has desires, and caring. I could see the love that she had for my father when I heard that she brought his boots to school in bad weather, and he was embarrassed by the look of her—rolled down socks and an old fur coat.  I doubt, though, he ever heard the words of “I love you”, as my father did not say these things to his children.

Near the end of his life, when my father was getting dementia, I knew the time was short for us to talk and now was the moment to ask questions. “I know so little about your childhood”, I told him. He said there was nothing worth mentioning, and when I probed him a bit, he told me, “We were the lowest of the low”. It saddens me that the pain was still very much there.

What my parents couldn’t or didn’t tell me, I learned from a few other relatives. I called up my dad’s cousin—who lives in Las Vegas—with plenty of apprehension, never having met her, and not knowing if she’d want to talk with me. Slowly, I sensed her grow from suspicious of my intent to warming up to me a bit. She said she liked my father, but “he could have been nicer to his mother”. This cousin told me that he avoided her a lot, and she felt my grandmother was aware. My dad’s younger brother did, too, I am told. My mom related to me that once when my grandmother would knock on their door back in their flat in Detroit, in their early years of marriage, my dad told her not answer the door to prevent her visit.

If it wasn’t for this cousin’s mother, my grandmother’s sister, as well as two of her daughters, the poor woman would have been quite lonely—though I’m sure loneliness defined her. I am glad they took an extra interest in my grandmother. They would take her out for coffee or have her over.  This sister “felt sorry for her”, the Las Vegas cousin told me.  I’m glad, but she “felt sorry for her? I hope it was more than that.

Considering all what she went through, I am wondering what went through my grandmother’s head. Did this woman ever feel loved? If she did, it must have been like a glass of water in a desert.

Another of my dad’s cousins, from another sister of my grandmother’s, helped me out. Her family stories filled in some gaps, but what she couldn’t tell me records did. The records seemed to prove the stories correct, as some family stories can be more fiction than fact.

I did my own research, as well as get records from others, and finally hired a genealogist. I verified that my grandmother was born in 1892 in a village in Lithuania, not ever knowing the exact date. Loss began early in her life, as her father died of small pox when she was four months old. He was twenty six, and he wasn’t even married a year. Records show this bit of oral history to be almost spot-on.  My parents made a single visit to my grandmother’s youngest sister, and this great aunt told me that my grandmother lost her father at six months old. My dad never knew his real grandfather died, thinking his youngest aunt had a different father. He was surprised to find out that his mother was the one set apart from the others.

So my great grandmother was left a widow with a baby to care for all on her own. This would have been bad for both, so this gr
Grandmother, may you feel the warmth of God's embrace now, and hope you can know that I care and you DO matter.
Donall Dempsey Aug 2016
RUNNING THROUGH HISTORY
( for Grandfather Sheedy )

I, a creature of flesh
& mud.

Mostly mud I
train...run...running

across Curragh
Plains...pain. . .pain.

School cross country
running is - not:

my forte.

I, being constantly told I
am not my grandfather.

Obviously.

I plod after grandfather's
famous footsteps

inheriting only his calf muscles
but not...his stamina.

I am all skin & bone
merely my mind keeping me going.

Grandfather Sheedy is
running on into history.

I, the clod forever
running after his fame

into many a Curragh
sunset.

I run back through
time.

"In the year of the world
4608. . "

The Annals of the Four Masters
a running commentary in my mind.

I run through
my mythological past

the ghosts of kings famous
before time began.

Cobhthack Gael is still
killing Laoghaire Lore.

He highfives me as I
stagger past.

St. Brigid casts her cloak
it covers the entire plain.

I greet and thank her
with a wordless nod.

The Curragh Camp of today
coalescing into being

thanks to the Crimean
Campaign.

I recite Tennyson to
startled furze bushes.

"Furze bushes to the left of me
furze bushes to the right of me. . ."

into my mind rides
the 17th Irish Lancers

leading the Balaclava Charge

their mascot terrier Jemmy
following close behind

barking at the Russian guns

surviving it all
to roam around where I am

raoming now.

My Uncle  Tossie's
familiar greeting

"How ya...howya...how ya
are ya winning...are ya winning!"

Grandfather and Uncle
Balaclava dog & mythological

kings and saints

all urging me on
claiming I can do it.

I can & I will
...come. . .last.

Me the non-runner runner

driven by
history
"Ar son Dé...faion spéir cá raibh tú?"

The Academy didn't do art so the only way I could do so was to go to the Convent on a Saturday. I did this for about 6 months before throwing in the paintbrush! I was always told there:  "You are not your sister June...are you Donall!"

Alas the mere me I was was good. . . for nothing! So I knew who I was not as good as but  - not what I was actually good at. Alas the story of my life!

Brother Laurence our Science teacher for some God forsaken reason introduced  cross country running all of a sudden!  He was lovely man with an energy that that almost burst out of his body as if he were a human dynamo. He always had a little smile just Mona Lisa'ing on him as if he were constantly amused at something or as if he had just told himself a very good joke in his head.
It was just as if it were an English school and we were good old chaps! It was like being in a boy's own story but it was really  "Hard cheese!"

When Brother Laurence got totally exasperated with my lack of prowess he( to not risk swearing )would step into the Irish.

"Ar son Dé...faion spéir cá raibh tú?"
( "For God's sake..in God's name where were you!" )

I not being good at the auld Irish would always answer: "Amuigh  faoin spéir!" which was the title of a well known nature programme at the time. It mean out under the sky!

Some time later I answered with: Ag Dia amháin atá a fhios!" which translates at "God only knows!" He laughed at this and said: "Ahhhh Dempsey...at least the running has taught you a bit more Irish than repeating television programme names to me!"


I was more interested in reading LP Hartley's THE GO BETWEEN. It was my mind that was running and covered not in mud but in glorious words. I ran shouting Gerard Manly Hopkins to the skies to comfort the agony of chest and legs and to soothe my poor troubled mind. Or the Wreck of the Deutschland: "Thou mastering me..."

All it did was make me more aware of my own history that was right on my doorstep. And it was the history I was more interested in than being a mud splattered waif. Oh I knew the loneliness of the long distance runner!

I was surrounded by Sheedys....Sheedys to the right of me....Sheedys to the left of me and I had before me that most lovely of men **** Sheedy whose kindness knows no bounds so Grandfather **** Sheedy lived on in our minds. I thought he deserved a poem so this is that...poem!

I adore the Four Masters' phrase: "...in the year of the world..."
preservationman Aug 2015
My Grandfather’s knowledge being a preparation to achieve
Through my Grandfather’s guidance, a method in how I should proceed
It was pick a word from the dictionary, and find out’s its definition and add to vocabulary
My Grandfather taught me typing everyday for 4 hours
He wanted me to be able to type to perfection
The obvious being the indication
Inspiration coming to participate
My Grandfather wanted me to be up to date with business affairs
This was my Grandfather’s philosophy he wanted to share
He often said whatever young people are doing wrong, and I wanted you to be educated where you belong
Then it was off to College in getting Higher Education to preserver
All the above I did
I have no regret and thank myself for making the try
But my Grandfather wanted me to have more
So it was the Piano and ***** he wanted me to explore
The Career my Grandparents wanted to too strive was to be a “Court Reporter”
Well I didn’t go quite in that order
I wanted to go into a totally different field
It was to be a “Broadcast Journalist” which I felt would be ideal
However I did achieve in business detail
My Grandfather and God are who helped me preserver
My Grandfather’s motto, “You are going to remember this old man”
He is in Heaven but he was the truth in my establishment caravan.
Captured in the psych ward Part 11



You see Ron's grandfather died 10 years ago, and he was having these weird nightmares
As he was sleeping on the couch. And suddenly the phone rang at 4-30 in the morning
And it woke him up in a way that he fell off the couch and he ran to the phone and it was
The hospital and an 8 year old boy was rushed to the emergency room who had bipolar
And yes, he was saved, but he started to have these weird dillusions that Ron was his
Grandson, and yes, he demanded that the hospitals call up Ron cooper and when Ron arrived at the hospital the staff brought him to the operating theatre and Ron said hi
And the boy said, hello grand son and Ron was shocked, and said back to him, no buddy,
I am not your grandson, I am older than you, anyway, and the boy said he is Abriaim salie
The spiritual Buddhist leaders son, and he told me that Ron Cooper is your previous lives grandson and Ron said, ok your a Buddhist, well, they are really peaceful, but, what makes you say I am your grandson, and the boy said well, my dad said, he has the power to put a
Doctors grandfather in his wife's ******, to keep seeing them and Ron said, no I know nothing about your fathers beliefs but I know reincarnation as something that nobody can guess, but I would love to hear more about your beliefs and the boy said no dad said, no son of his is ever going to the psych ward, you see that is the nut house, and being a Buddhist
I mean that in the nicest kind of way, you see, Ron cooper is my grandson and the boy
Shared this with everyone and Ron went to the HDU to get Pete, who had these dillusions
That Jesus has healed him and the beliefs that came from an 8 year old boy were better than this messed up old man, but Pete, wanted to actually know, how he knows that for sure, he is only 8 and then his Buddhist father said, he had voices that no kid has ever heard before, and Ron asked him, how much TV do they watch, and his father said, I
Try and discipline them about what they watch on TV, but I am sure there is nothing on
Between 3-15 and 5-15 and I don't let them have a TV in their room, only because TV
Can spoil aura, of a child's beliefs, but then Ron said, it is great to see kids with an imagination, and TV is good for that, and the Buddhist said, yeah mate yeah, imagination
Is great but, being good in a spiritual way is great, so I want to find out more about your
Grandfather, because I don't want my son growing up, fighting me and breaking Buddhist
Code and be disrespectful and Ron left him and took Pete back and told Pete that not
Everyone has the same beliefs as you, I was trying to tell you that yesterday and then
Went into the HDU and Charlie said hi di partner and Ron said howdy mate, how did you sleep, and he said fine how did you sleep, well the Buddhists said my grandfather is an
8 year old boy on the operating table and Charlie said, he is crazy hey, and Ron said
He is about as crazy as you, saying you are silent movie actor Charlie Chaplin, and
Charlie said, but I am, Buddha said, in a dream, a few years ago, that I was Charlie Chaplin
And I lost my kid at the age of 23 and I wss devastated, I mean I was 23, and he was 6,
Mind you Ron, Buddha told me, my kid, is too much for me and my wife to handle and Ron
Said, it's hard to lose a child, and the new foster family thought so too, and Ron thinking
He lost his kid through death and said, have you thought, of trying to find your kid, and
Charlie said, I broke off with that ***** and started to have visions of being Charlie Chaplin
And I have no idea of if I ever see him again, but if you can find a way, I would go with you
Mind you it give me closure, cause really all I did back then was just drink beer in front of the television, watching the footy, and I was at the MCG for the 1996 grand final when
The kangaroos beat the swans, and I cheered and partied all night with the Roos, and
When I got my kid, I said one day, I will take you to a grand final,one day, but, we never
Made it, and it looks like we never will, and I have been in this ****** psych ward for
So many 3 weeks stints, cause I really want to be with my son, but, the adoption agency
Keeps ******* me around and it drives me really crazy, Ron told Charlie, what is your real name, if you feel safe enough to tell me, and Charlie said it is Noel Gordonsmire, but I hated
That name as a kid, but I grew to like it, but when my kid and wife left me, I said **** Noel
I am Charlie chaplin, and I am a real person, and I really did do a silent movie, my parents
Tried to get me into a few groups of today's silent movies and I enjoyed them, and that is why I am Charlie Chaplin and Ron said goodbye and clocked off and went to the coffee shop and had a milkshake a cappuccino as well as a vanilla slice and Fran said how was your day, and Ron said, this kid, was brought into the emergency room claiming to be my
Dead grandfather and his Buddhist father gave me a Buddhist teaching and I found out Charlie chaplins new name, who is another Noel, and he had a kid taken from him by an adoption agency, mind you, this man, looks to me, he could be a great father, and he is
Heavily into the kangaroos footy club, when he gets out, I am shouting him to a footy game
I am promising that tomorrow and Ron went home and half left over Chinese and sat
On his balcony and watched the cars down on the road, you see, he really had a change of heart, or maybe a spiritual change, Buddhism really sunk in today, he say there, for hours
And hours, looking really serious,


Sent from my iPad
Amber Grey Jul 2013
I call my father's father Ye-Ye
because he is a traditionalist
and the word grandfather reminds him of England.

My mother calls him a selfish *******
because he never approved of her wallet's emptiness
and walked out of her wedding.

My father calls him an immature *****
because he throws temper tantrums at eighty-seven
and still doesn't respect anyone.

When I was five,
I stayed over alone for the first time.
I accused him of trying to poison me
because I found a dead fly in my soup.

When I was ten,
I found a coupon at the market
And got him a free box of Cheerios.

When I was thirteen,
I was sitting with him outside.
I got stung by a bee
and didn't say a word.

I have not seen my grandfather in seven years.

He has since almost died four times.

My aunt calls him a racist snob
because he refused to put my biracial cousin's picture on the mantle
and boasts of his friend's grandchildren instead.
SS Jun 2013
Buddha (may or may noy have-its controversial) once said, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  I am a strong believer in this statement.  For as long as I can remember, I have never been able to hold a grudge.  The longest timeframe that I have ever been upset with a person was twenty hours.  I counted back the hours because at the time, I realized that the anger was not worth it.  Being angered by people’s thoughts and actions is a frustrating thing, and in my opinion is not worth any of the stress. Anger is a poison to the body, and causes more stress and pain to yourself than to the person you are upset with.  As a relatively positive person, I have managed to stay as happy and grateful as I can no matter the circumstance. However, I was not always this way.
As a toddler I would get easily frustrated with the smallest things. When I would get upset I would begin having labored breaths, and my chest would tighten.  Sweat would begin beading down my face, and my little fists would contract and expand periodically.  The smallest things could set me off, such as not being able to listen to my own cassettes in the car on the way home from church, or rainy days when I would want to play outside.  Bed times and naps made me want to pull my hair out.  Controlled and healthy snack alternatives would make me zip my lips tight and had me throwing away the imaginary key to the lock that secured my lips against the unnaturally orange carrots.
On a different note, my grandfather on my mothers’ side was my babysitter/partner in crime/best friend as a child and he could bake the best sugar cookies on the planet.  I kid you not.  I always loved having them, and whenever I spent the day with my grandfather, we had to bake sugar cookies.  Days spent with him were always good days, and I loved listening to his stories he would make up about grand princesses and strong princes in far off lands.  My grandfather had been diagnosed with a severe form of diabetes and had several heart attacks and seizures as I was a child, and he was told to stay away from all unhealthy snacks and things with high sugary content.  My mother soon turned into a mother bear and would carefully watch over my grandfathers’ diet, because she was frightened she would lose her father.  As a child, I did not understand their conversations fully and never realized that my grandfather stopped baking and eating snacks because he was not allowed to eat these things.  I would throw the biggest tantrums for his cookies, and generally he would give into my constant bickering and give in to his cravings for sugar.  We would bake, and in the end my mother was always upset with my grandfather for eating sugar, and I was told that sugar was bad for Poppy (that was my nickname for him).  I did not understand how sugar could be bad at that age, because it tasted so good.  I constantly craved the way that the cookies practically melted in my mouth after being taken out of the oven.  I did not mind a temporarily scorched tongue if it meant getting my grubby hands onto those cookies as soon as I could.
One Sunday evening, Mommy and Daddy had a church meeting to attend to after the main service, so Poppy was in charge of me for the evening.  He took me home, and was asked to take care of me for the day.  I begged, screamed, twisted, and shouted for the heavenly cookies that I had not had in what seemed like ages to my childish mind, but Poppy did not budge.  “The answer was, is, and will forever remain to be no, pumpkin.” He calmly spoke to me. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that my Poppy had said no to the cookies.  I remember my chest beginning to feel tight, the labored breathing, and the light headedness that came afterwards as if it was yesterday.  Hot tears streamed down my chubby face, my bottom chin popped out, and my lower lip accentuated until I had a full on pout formed.  ‘No’ just was not in my vocabulary, at least not for that day.  I became so upset with my Poppy and my chest began to hurt so badly that I could not bear to see his face any longer.  I shouted at the top of my lungs, “I HATE YOU!”  I ran up my stairs and locked myself in my room for the remainder of the day and did not bother to come out until the next morning. That next morning my mom received a phone call at 7 AM.  My poppy had gotten a heart attack at about 6:20 that morning and was pronounced dead at the hospital at 6:54 AM.  Help was not reached in time to heal him.
The last thing I said to my poppy was that I hated him.  I will always remember that.  The fury I felt over something as trivial as cookies makes me so frustrated with myself, because in the end I only upset myself more.  Being angry with people does not hurt them nearly as much as it hurts you.  People are not always out looking for intentional ways to upset you, and in fact most humans nowadays only seek acceptance from others.  Whenever I am upset with someone, I always try and look through their eyes to see where they are coming from and what made them do such a thing to upset me.  The girl who called me a mean name? She had been abused at home and the only way she could uplift herself was by putting others down.  The boy who did not like me in the seventh grade?  His mother walked out on him as a child, and he has not trusted women since.  People constantly think that the only opinion that is right is their own, and if someone upsets them that person should disappear forever and feel incredibly horrible about upsetting you.  In reality, we should try to realize why they are thinking the way that they do.  Being upset with a person does you no good.  Forgiveness is always the answer, because you may not realize it at the time, but people generally get upset over the most trivial things that they will not remember anything about twenty years from now.  The anger you feel for a person is not nearly as strong as the anger they had for you when they did whatever it is they did to upset you.  
Anger poisons your body and never makes the other person feel any less sympathetic about what they did.  It only makes you worry more about the past things that you can do nothing about.   “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  It has been twelve years since my Poppy passed away, and no matter who actually said it, I am still a strong believer in that statement.
This isn't really a poem.  I just needed to let this out somewhere.  Thank you for reading, who ever you are.
preservationman Nov 2016
I was backstage all set to perform
Well this was the daily routine being the norm
My practice would be a step out with turn around having a surprise shout
As I was backstage, stage fright sat in
I had loss the courage to truly begin
My thoughts, “What did the audience expect or didn’t?”
I remember my Grandfather’s inspiring words, “If you don’t step out, how will the audience know what you are talking about. It’s about being Confident and knowing you can perform and believing your talent from within”
Right after that, one leg at a time became two
As the curtain went up and I stepped out
The rhythm hit the right notes, and sang and spoke
I even added some jokes
It was an effort that stood out in my Grandfather’s words being “Try”
My whole performance surrounded my Grandfather’s inspiration
Tomorrow being the spotlight of my path
I am finally performing being at last
It’s dignity and honor that gives one class
Time truly does move fast
The stage with a memory of my Grandfather I will never forget
Oh that old man that pushed me beyond my own expectations
Well enough down memory lane
The love for my Grandfather that will always remain
The show continued on
The theatrical stage my Grandfather knew I belonged
Turn on the spotlight, let the curtain stay up and bring in the music
I sang, “Oh man you were right”
My performance tonight was out of sight
I had been thinking it was a plight
It took more than that spotlight
I had a reason to dance and a message to give
Thanks Grandpa, you were my adjective
Perform I will with entertainment being shall
Well the show ended with an upbeat note
But all it took was my Grandfather’s words he spoke.
Samantha Goodman Sep 2013
I remember I was sixteen, and it was raining.
My father told me he was going to take me somewhere I'd never been before,
and I knew immediately where it was we were headed.

As we drove past used car dealerships all claiming to have the lowest rates,
and Dominican and Cuban restaurants painted in their vivid reds and whites and blues,
their reflections painted the roads in murky puddles of summer rain and gasoline.

Turning into the cemetery we were unsure of where to look for my grandfather's grave
as Jewish names cascaded by us;
and there it was.

It was thundering then, so we waited for the weather to calm a bit and then we hopped out of the car.
We walked over to my grandfather's tombstone, and placed our respective rocks atop it.
Then my dad and I stepped back, looking at my grandfather's grave.

And while smiling in the way that is appropriate in cemeteries,
when recalling a fond moment with a loved one,
the sun began to shine on our backs.
Ai
     "Sit in my hand."
I'm ten.
I can't see him,
but I hear him breathing
in the dark.
It's after dinner playtime.
We're outside,
hidden by trees and shrubbery.
He calls it hide-and-seek,
but only my little sister seeks us
as we hide
and she can't find us,
as grandfather picks me up
and rubs his hands between my legs.
I only feel a vague stirring
at the edge of my consciousness.
I don't know what it is,
but I like it.
It gives me pleasure
that I can't identify.
It's not like eating candy,
but it's just as bad,
because I had to lie to grandmother
when she asked,
"What do you do out there?"
"Where?" I answered.
Then I said, "Oh, play hide-and-seek."
She looked hard at me,
then she said, "That was the last time.
I'm stopping that game."
So it ended and I forgot.
Ten years passed, thirtyfive,
when I began to reconstruct the past.
When I asked myself
why I was attracted to men who disgusted me
I traveled back through time
to the dark and heavy breathing part of my life
I thought was gone,
but it had only sunk from view
into the quicksand of my mind.
It was pulling me down
and there I found grandfather waiting,
his hand outstretched to lift me up,
naked and wet
where he rubbed me.
"I'll do anything for you," he whispered,
"but let you go."
And I cried, "Yes," then "No."
"I don't understand how you can do this to me.
I'm only ten years old,"
and he said, "That's old enough to know."
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
.ludo savis... play nice... ludo savis... play nice:

i knew the relationship was over when i encountered her ex-boyfriend sitting in her st. petersburg flat drinking ***** with me, no, wait, it was when she started questionning me using cosmopolitan magazine quiz about perfect girlfriends on our way from st. petersburg to moscow to see metallica, while all i wanted was to listen to bob dylan and appreciate whatever rural russia had to offer... beside that? it took me quiet a time to fiddle through and find the glagolitic alphabet, the slavic alphabet before the learned greek came across "my" people, given the romans never venture that far... good luck finding an african phonetic encoding system, beside the hieroglyphs... i won't bother looking right now... not to insult, though: so much for a large phallus megalomania contra envy... Ⰶ: życie (life) is not the half of the caron ž in the form of: the acute... (ź): ździra (don't ask, seriously, the word implies worse than ***** / szmata)... źródło (source)... eh... the one-armed caron (ž)... ź... i can't explain it any further: you need to speak the lingo to keep the "nuance" alive... southern slavs treat the caron akin to ž = ż... how beautiful... given the english language has no diacritical marker application: can't exactly claim diacritical markers using only the automated hovering decapitated heads above ι & ȷ... i'm not english i'm tired of looking up h'america's *******! i don't need not fancy pants to debrief the people i'm concerned with to mind, not giving a **** about them... thanks for your jeans: subtitle made in canada... beside the whole mao shitshow of: made in china.... back in the 1990s! *******... even in terms of music h'america isn't really relevant.. it just is... and "whatever" this "is" is to be, will remain... but only as an r.e.m. ref. pointer, that requires the physical translation of the lyrics: the one i love... a simple prop: to occupy my mind.... fire! the silesian vampire... because... said so... learning about monsters is what i could only fathom, which included me... but, sorry... the glagolithic script... ⰄⰀⰏ: dam... i.e. i will give... fun fact: r.e.m. didn't sell their: it's the end of the world as we know it (and i feel fine) to microsoft for a commercial break.. glagolitic script... where are the africans? oh, right, nowhere when phonetic encoding is turning heads... **** me... even the blind are onto the affair...  i went as far back as the glagolithic script: pre cyrillic, about the same time that the latins incorporated the northern "savages" with applying the chisel to the ᚱ / R... ᚠ / F... copernican "up-side down": why do all tree (beside the pines) resemble a Y shape, a gamma? why did god compensate his existence with opiates?! refresh my memory, though, why am i drawing blanks at african phonetic encoding? **** me, the blind drew something, the deaf too... if you played the guitar, forget about reading braille... you need tender, french, fingertips.... you can't play the guitasr and read braille... mind you... encoding morse overshadows braille... but even the european blindman overcomes the fully ****-naked butter-cup sprinting *** of a black man every day of the week: i'm not here to compensate for a leprechaun's sized *****: mind you... in the hands of a porcelain ***- beauty? everything looks like a hiroshima... i just started to entertain an asian fetish... 4th knuckle mizzing... missing... the most ****** aspect of a female aesthetic? her hand... when *** & the city cited trimming ***** hair (no circumsion, really?), so no asian porcelain hands, no 4th knuckle missing?! i hate what the anglo-speaking world has become, it's this, this, this quasi-Islam.... at least i respect the Quran... but 1984, by the secular prophet of the western world? why do people still calling it: silicon vallyey... it's a ******* curtain, smart-you not seeing the replacement mechanisms of the silicon curtain: now wow... ******, where you're getting-to-go get from? any ideas?! a tehran baza?! ******. 1960s homosexuals fiddling their way past the tunis police, happy? loitering sucker-****** pansie? again... entertain me... where is the african phonetic encoding system... this is my "i.q." avenue masterpiece... i don't care about i.q. but a ******* blind man beat the african at phonetic encoding... personally?


one just simply falls, tired of the right-wing momentum regarding beauty, it's such a bothersome crtique of its generic foundation if beauty..... i hate it, this objective classicism: back to the future take no, 4; *******...

             again, where were the africans sorting
out their invetement in the slave trade...
ONLY WHITE PEOPLE
WERE BAD, CONCERNING BLACK PEOPLE...
Idi Amin... Idi Amin Idi Amin Idi Amin Idi Amin
Idi Amin... Idi Amin Idi Amin Idi Amin Idi Amin ....
******! please!
ever see an african-h'american in africa?
   ******! please!
ever see an african-h'american in africa?
i said: ******! please!
ever see an african-h'american in africa?
i'd love to see an african-h'american
in africa... mouthin-off their stature...

                   african phonetic encoding....

debussy                                       chopin




satie                                              schumannn...

­and?
              there's too much of loon'don....
                   had enough of it, ****'s....
too much ***-kissing,
too much of the h'american swindle...
carelesss buggers; these brits...
******* ****** jolly-tribe
               ****-ups....
  
i drink and relax solving a sudoku -
i'm not doing it to compete -
   just having a conversation with
my neighbor about the difference
between Alzheimer's
and dementia brought back memories
of what i negated for some time...

it's only when someone else tells
you of their elder relative's dementia
you muster the courage to
spot the same symptoms in
your relative...

         my grandfather has dementia...
my early teenage years,
every summer visiting him,
traveling to Krakow,
     going fishing,
riding our bicycles in the afternoon...
he feeding my what books
i should read...
      i still visit,
  spend about a month,
say, keep him company,
   fix up the kitchen...

  but it's such an exhausting disease...
not so much for the sufferer -
this mild form of Alzheimer -
no killer proteins eating away at
the brain cells -
   dementia?
the ontological nadir of old age...
then again, perhaps the zenith...

a closure...
   the long term memory opens,
while the short term memory
closes -
   he still can solve a crossword
puzzle like a mad genius...
but he lapses into what is
the cinema of mortality...
                 he remembers things
like the two SS-men
   posted in my home town,
running up to them
and saying -
herr bitte bon-bon!...
  the raven black of the uniform
and the glaring *******...

    i blocked the fact that it was
dementia, when my grandmother
thought it was wise to scare all
of us, uncle, mother and father
into thinking it could degenerate
into Alzheimer's...
        he still recognizes me!
Alzheimer's sufferers can't
even muster that!

   at best... dementia couples itself up
with melancholia,
  the natural melancholia
akin to the sadness expressed by
Nietzsche: only when the house
has been completed,
but never during the construction...

dementia is just an endless memory
loop...
   when man is allowed to finally
put down the hammer, the sickle...
and retire?
  he's standing on the precipices of mortality...
on a dam about to crack open,
and release a surge of the sea
of memory...
   why wouldn't he take the time
to remember?
  to remember himself?
        
the tedium comes when the same
persons implores others to listen to them...
when memories become less
of the old man's cinema and more
affairs of an oral culture -
our culture has lost the point
of oral transmission -
  hence dementia sufferers have
to evolve -
                  into not talking so much...
not as a mean spirited conviction -
why? i do the same -
   i have about 10 focal memories
that constant revive me -
               and i'm only 32...
          but i don't talk about them...
hell, i won't write them...
   it's my own, private cinema -
but my grandfather comes from
a time before the optical explosion
of television...

         i don't need to hear what he saw -
all i need is to tattoo his mannerisms
and face onto my psyche...

   but dementia, thank god,
is a listening tedium...
                     point being...
a life opens up,
   but any immediacy of life disappears...
hence his persistent ability
to solve crossword puzzles,
enjoy reading the newspaper -
but the significance of remembering
yesterday is missing...
    
he's an old man...
   he has no obligations in terms of
duty in a professional arena of
the metalwork factory...
why wouldn't he attempt to push death
aside and not linger on
the memory of his, magnum opus -
his life sigma oeuvre?

     me?
  some would call this music neo-**** skinhead
****...
   wumpscut, two songs...
   thorns & wreath of barbs,
     bunkertor sieben (reprise)...
but it relaxes me when sitting on a sudoku,
drinking Bacardi cola and lime...
      enjoying the cool August air
after just enough rain
that manages to exfoliates the flowers
with refreshed sensuality...

  sudoku no. 10101...
    after enough numbers pop up,
the tactic is to hone in on one number
in each of the 9 squares and 9 vertical
and 9 linear line...
for sudoku no. 10101 in the Friday's
edition of the times?

   it went something akin to this

[8, 5] - [3] - [1] - [9] - [7] - [2, 6] - [4]

that's the closest schematic
i'll have for you,
   with regards to how the grid is filled.

i drink and relax solving a sudoku -
i'm not doing it to compete -
   just having a conversation with
my neighbor about the difference
between Alzheimer's
and dementia brought back memories
of what i negated for some time...

it's only when someone else tells
you of their elder relative's dementia
you muster the courage to
spot the same symptoms in
your relative...

         my grandfather has dementia...
my early teenage years,
every summer visiting him,
traveling to Krakow,
     going fishing,
riding our bicycles in the afternoon...
he feeding my what books
i should read...
      i still visit,
  spend about a month,
say, keep him company,
   fix up the kitchen...

  but it's such an exhausting disease...
not so much for the sufferer -
this mild form of Alzheimer -
no killer proteins eating away at
the brain cells -
   dementia?
the ontological nadir of old age...
then again, perhaps the zenith...

a closure...
   the long term memory opens,
while the short term memory
closes -
   he still can solve a crossword
puzzle like a mad genius...
but he lapses into what is
the cinema of mortality...
                 he remembers things
like the two SS-men
   posted in my home town,
running up to them
and saying -
herr bitte bon-bon!...
  the raven black of the uniform
and the glaring *******...

    i blocked the fact that it was
dementia, when my grandmother
thought it was wise to scare all
of us, uncle, mother and father
into thinking it could degenerate
into Alzheimer's...
        he still recognizes me!
Alzheimer's sufferers can't
even muster that!

   at best... dementia couples itself up
with melancholia,
  the natural melancholia
akin to the sadness expressed by
Nietzsche: only when the house
has been completed,
but never during the construction...

dementia is just an endless memory
loop...
   when man is allowed to finally
put down the hammer, the sickle...
and retire?
  he's standing on the precipices of mortality...
on a dam about to crack open,
and release a surge of the sea
of memory...
   why wouldn't he take the time
to remember?
  to remember himself?
        
the tedium comes when the same
persons implores others to listen to them...
when memories become less
of the old man's cinema and more
affairs of an oral culture -
our culture has lost the point
of oral transmission -
  hence dementia sufferers have
to evolve -
                  into not talking so much...
not as a mean spirited conviction -
why? i do the same -
   i have about 10 focal memories
that constant revive me -
               and i'm only 32...
          but i don't talk about them...
hell, i won't write them...
   it's my own, private cinema -
but my grandfather comes from
a time before the optical explosion
of television...

         i don't need to hear what he saw -
all i need is to tattoo his mannerisms
and face onto my psyche...

   but dementia, thank god,
is a listening tedium...
                     point being...
a life opens up,
   but any immediacy of life disappears...
hence his persistent ability
to solve crossword puzzles,
enjoy reading the newspaper -
but the significance of remembering
yesterday is missing...
    
he's an old man...
   he has no obligations in terms of
duty in a professional arena of
the metalwork factory...
why wouldn't he attempt to push death
aside and not linger on
the memory of his, magnum opus -
his life sigma oeuvre?

     me?
  some would call this music neo-**** skinhead
****...
   wumpscut, two songs...
   thorns & wreath of barbs,
     bunkertor sieben (reprise)...
but it relaxes me when sitting on a sudoku,
drinking Bacardi cola and lime...
      enjoying the cool August air
after just enough rain
that manages to exfoliates the flowers
with refreshed sensuality...

  sudoku no. 10101...
    after enough numbers pop up,
the tactic is to hone in on one number
in each of the 9 squares and 9 vertical
and 9 linear line...
for sudoku no. 10101 in the Friday's
edition of the times?

   it went something akin to this

[8, 5] - [3] - [1] - [9] - [7] - [2, 6] - [4]

that's the closest schematic
i'll have for you,
   with regards to how the grid is filled.

oh sure sure, the uncircumcised man,
crucified when all the orthodox were
drunk,
                   פור day,
       drunk cruxion?!
                 lovey purin "misgivings";
what's next?

   oh sure sure, the jews would hav e crucified
me on the hill of: tel megiddo
****-heads throwing up their kippahs
into the air in some skewed form
of celebration...
       like bacchus entering
Valhalla asking: where's the mead?
    i've had too much wine...
where'y the whiskey?

   i'll keep repeating...
              talk about jews among the polonaiase?
hush hush: ****, dont want to bring
bad luck... jews in poland are very much akin
to roma gypsies: lucky charms...
but... do you see any ******* leprechauns
around? look at me: i see none...
  let's tell the joke in verse,
not the stadard: a priest a rabbi and an imam
walk into a bar...
****... is that even a joke?! muslims don't drink!
what's the imam having; cranberry juice?!

and englishman a scot and an irish walk
into a bar... the three of them walk
out on stag-duty with inflanted sheep and
speaking cymcru... terrible joke...
as all my jokes were to begin with...

         i am currently navigating,
my uncle's ex girlfriend is sleeping downstairs
on the couch,
blah blah Tuscany... blah blah prosecco...
i'm becoming suspect: she's a gemini,
isn't she? all the geminis i ever met where
extroverted self-absorbed louis XIV types...
they need to, they need to self-absorb themselves
in order to extract the sort of energy
associate with rhetoric,
   and how they constantly digress,
there's always a sub-plot to the plot... nay,
there are always sub-plots...
          great company, i mean...
when a person speaks all the time there are
no awkward moments of silence,
until the said person tells the "eager" listener...
play some music...
she's a warsaw girl, so she's a pretty learned
in the ways of the world,
i'm just an ostrowiec commoner...

    oy vey! oy vey: she'***** 40 and lamenting...
i too complain about my uncle...
she had an abortion with him...
i once talked with my uncle about music
while he surfaced at mrs. roshandler's back garabe...
we ate sri lankan fried chicken wings and
chips and listened to californication
for the very first time...

   abundance of hope in Tuscany...
"apparently"... but if you have ever watched
a woman, borderline on asylum incarceration?
i was looking at one just example...
  it's not a pretty sight...
even when she asked: how's *** and business?
i'm a monk...
          or at least i tend to...
even if she came from a stock of
failed relationships: fine fine...
            now?

i served up decent food,
a malvani and a tikka masala curry...
          naan bread,
     turmeric infused rice,
vanilla cheese cake with strawberries...
she enjoyed it,
i like to please people...
    mind you: ever see a slim chef?
i wouldn't trust a slim chef,
i never have, i never will,
you need some chubby chub chub rounding-offs...
mind you: i much prefer cooking
food than eating it,
but i would never trust a chef associated
with a c.o.d. associated with counting calories...
never have, never will...
two noteworthy proverbs:
1. too many cooks in one kitchen =
no decent meal is being made...
  one cook, one couldron, that's your best bet...
2. never trust a slim, athletic cook...
those ******* can shove their kale
       smoothies....
they can slurp up those smoothies
turning their ***** in straw ******* vortexes!
i'll cook on lard trimmings,

em....
  [9] - [2] - [6] - [3] - [8] - [1] - [4] - [5, 7]?
that's when the sudoku puzzle was filled...
all the nines... all the twos... etc. became filled
in the 9 grids...

well...
     "apart" from: my uncle's girlfriend:
i've been living in englamd
for nearly 30 yeasrs...
i've dated a french girl,
an australian, a russian....
but u've never dated an english
girl: i guess they much prefer
aged pakistani grooming gang
members....
            i guess:
**** gasoline on them,
they're all readied and geared up!

braille contra morse?
if you want to play the guitar?
forget the braille....
you need tender fingertips
to read braille...
morse? nit so much...
here's a comparison...
i see!

    a.:   ⠓⠑   ⠺⠓⠕
                       ⠎⠑⠑⠎
    ⠊⠎       ⠁⠃⠇⠑
                   ⠞⠕
                                     ­   ⠗⠑⠁⠙

b. play the guitar and learn to....
read finger tip braille, ******....

· · · ·  ·         
· − −  · · · ·  − − − 
· · ·  ·  ·  · · · :
                  · ·  · · · 
▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ · − · ·  ·  (a / b)
      −  − − − 
                   · − ·  · ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ − · ·  (a)

(he who sees: is able to read)...

           i can attest...
             i would find myself readily reading
morse in braille,
than braille by itself...
                far more easier.

finger-tips... i'd sooner read your morse
as braille, than braille as morse..
For a Child of 1918

My grandfather said to me
as we sat on the wagon seat,
"Be sure to remember to always
speak to everyone you meet."

We met a stranger on foot.
My grandfather's whip tapped his hat.
"Good day, sir. Good day. A fine day."
And I said it and bowed where I sat.

Then we overtook a boy we knew
with his big pet crow on his shoulder.
"Always offer everyone a ride;
don't forget that when you get older,"

my grandfather said. So *****
climbed up with us, but the crow
gave a "Caw!" and flew off. I was worried.
How would he know where to go?

But he flew a little way at a time
from fence post to fence post, ahead;
and when ***** whistled he answered.
"A fine bird," my grandfather said,

"and he's well brought up. See, he answers
nicely when he's spoken to.
Man or beast, that's good manners.
Be sure that you both always do."

When automobiles went by,
the dust hid the people's faces,
but we shouted "Good day! Good day!
Fine day!" at the top of our voices.

When we came to Hustler Hill,
he said that the mare was tired,
so we all got down and walked,
as our good manners required.
Echoes Of A Mind Feb 2016
This is my grandfather
Or rather
It's his grave
You see
there's just the thing
that he and I never meet

He died before I was born
He didn't even meet his grandson
none of the grandchildren
did he meet
tho' he had always whished for it

So this cold stone
which is covered by grass
is the only kind of grandfather
which I ever had...
Donall Dempsey Jan 2018
RUNNING THROUGH HISTORY( for Grandfather Sheedy )

I, a creature of flesh
& mud.

Mostly mud I
train...run...running

across Curragh
Plains...pain...pain.

School cross country
running is - not:

my forte.

I, being constantly told I
am not my grandfather.

Obviously.

I plod after grandfather's
famous footsteps

inheriting only his calf muscles
but not...his stamina.

I am all skin & bone
merely my mind keeping me going.

Grandfather Sheedy is
running on into history.

I, the clod forever
running after his fame

into many a Curragh
sunset.

I run back through
time.

'In the year of the world
4608.. '

The Annals of the Four Masters
a running commentary in my mind.

I run through
my mythological past

the ghosts of kings famous
before time began.

Cobhthack Gael is still
killing Laoghaire Lore.

He highfives me as I
stagger past.

St. Brigid casts her cloak
it covers the entire plain.

I greet and thank her
with a wordless nod.

The Curragh Camp of today
coalescing into being

thanks to the Crimean
Campaign.

I recite Tennyson to
startled furze bushes.

'Furze bushes to the left of me
furze bushes to the right of me...'

into my mind rides
the 17th Irish Lancers

leading the Balaclava Charge

their mascot terrier Jemmy
following close behind

barking at the Russian guns

surviving it all
to roam around where I am

raoming now.

My Uncle  Tossie's
familiar greeting

'How ya...howya...how ya
are ya winning...are ya winning! '

Grandfather and Uncle
Balaclava dog & mythological

kings and saints

all urging me on
claiming I can do it.

I can & I will
...come...last.

Me the non-runner runner

driven by
history
JL Nov 2012
Do you feel it when you look into the fire?
The hairs on your neck will stand up
Do you feel it pulse inside you when
Your sight narrows
and sweat. It whispers in the heart
When you have been denied
The crimson anger swells
and its nails tear into
the flesh of your
Being

The first time I felt it
In the fifteenth winter of my life
When my grandfather was still
On this side of time-
I watched his wrinkled hands
load the rifle
And the snow was thick
The cigarette smell of his truck cab
The walk into the forest
Birds that sing in morning
Suns ray. We crossed into
The valley and walked around the
Circumfrence. My feet were wet
And the rifle was heavy
My skin was cold
I dare not complain

the long wait

There a golden stag
My grandfather pointed
And with an urgent whisper
We drop to the frigid ground
And I follow his finger out
In the  valley among the brambles
He stands

Heartbeats among the silence
and the smell of stale cigarette
breathe among the pines...
the grain of wood on the rifle
I see every line and the black
of the beast's eyes through the scope

the feeling of time dragging slowly
no longer seconds and minutes but
the multitude of years between heartbeats and breaths
I see the "target" as the ten thousandth time I have fired
This rifle I breathe
He breaths and my grandfather whispers
a scream in my ears

I hear the golden watch around my
grandfather's wrist tick away
centuries and I am a thousand
years old and that buck is
ten thousand years old
Both of us hungry and cold


then the morning was broken
and birds flew away in haste
My grandfather's loud cheer
and his wrinkled hand clasping
my shoulder.

"You've caught the fever now boy!"

It's warm coagulated blood melts the snow
And the cold steel of the knife
My grandfather's ****** smile and the look of pride
"Good shot, son. I hope no man is unlucky enough to find a place between your cross-hairs."

You feel it now and again
A greater high than any
Chemical can give
Even that tightening of the chest and the smell of blood on the nostrils.

I see it sometimes in the fire
In the red embers late at night
I gaze into the glow
Inside it's deep heavy laugh
As it gazes back at me
Valerie Nov 2010
Grandfather's are full of stories
Fairy tales and rhymes
Jokes from books and lots of laughs
To keep your strong in your stride.

They collect the coolest things
From stamps to golf *****
Keeping things entertaining
When you're bored or bouncing off the walls.

They never tell a lie
But sometimes stretch the truth long
But how could they be Grandpa
Without singing you a wild song?

There's something in their smile
That keeps you happy all around
With a twinkle in their eye
Their love knows no bounds.

They have the knowledge of the world
And some simple daily facts
They keep your imagination running wild
And always keep your secret pacts.

Don't underestimate Grandpa's
Cause they might lead you for a surprise
They're strong, they're fast, they're super smart
No one should mess with these guys.

So remember to love your Grandpa
And stop to hear a story or two
Cause even when you think they won't
They'll always look out for you!
SSK<3  AKA: Valerie
Michael John Aug 2018
my grandfather from liverpool
and my father too
sat in the kitchen
and discussed nothing  new

tired from a long day on the busses
he fell into a trouble slumber in
his arm chair
he thrashed and fussed

we his family would quietly gather
cries of protest and stifled incredulity
cut the warm air
the great grandfather ticked..

(before television
or we listened to arther askey)
he was a proud man
with right of way..

he told the boss to f himself
if he were n´t a gentleman..
what he would make of this
world today..

so,he went through his day
and we tried not to laugh
the man who earned his wage
tired of this *******

i guffawed and he woke
he fixed us with his pale
beautiful eyes..
and later the next morning

in  the lovely little back
garden
in the hushed roar
he said we would be friends..

— The End —