Posts Tagged ‘father’

what’s the nature inside the nature of one wolf?
a wolf drinks what rain has risen from earth, drinks melting snow that has answered first thirsts of others and falling for the valley crease river down below, drinks those last lasting moments of fear then pain then longer night, drinks sadness doubts regrets and with equal pleasure joy and the sweet taste of new grass, drinks what you never said to mother but thought about repeatedly, drinks a father ghost, drinks those buttons you gave away for a kiss that took years to arrive, drinks the baby’s smile like dew, and the baby falling to the dirt, drinks waving wheat farther than an eye can imagine yet.

so there’s the matter, the measure the manner of a life, all justified by sharp willing teeth.  how much harm or laughter matters the meaning of spirit in flesh?  here belly, here mouth, take this wedded bliss.


neil reid © october 2012

Write a stream of consciousness poem, was the prompt for writing this.

No great shakes as a poem, just a poem-in-play, but true to the process as I sense the quality of this prompt. Most all simply as it arrived over a few minutes time; not edited much at all. Did have to resist the desire to edit/add in more material afterward. Time does play a role in writing like this, sort of how broad the river goes. Would be good to do again.

Amusingly, the title, done long after the (prose) poem went through far more “thoughtful editing”, changing many times until!
Written for the We Write Poems prompt #125,  Streams of consciousness
Read the prompt for more detail.

Read Full Post »

Thanks to Deb at Big Tent Poetry for this poem prompt, as well Elizabeth for her “dead woman” poems that caught my eye, reeled me in.

About the dead man and his son

About the dead man and his son

The dead man thought, it could have been the war that killed him first, but no,
it wasn’t.
Not that dead thoughts made any difference to the world, or him, and it was all
out of his dead reach anyway.
The dead man’s first memories of being dead had come years earlier.
It started in the space between cushions on the couch.
Spare change rattled in his pockets but he was silent otherwise.
He felt it first in his toes. Numb.
It tasted like mud.
But that’s how all thoughts tasted when his mouth was already dead.
He was dead the same way a father isn’t.
The dead man spent his youth proving that.
Going to war was just the third step before the last.
And funny, but his last breath looked like bright ribbons, ticker-tape storms,
and a well pressed tan uniform.
Everyone celebrated, but he only smiled the smile of the dead, convincing
enough for some.

More about the dead man and his son

The dead man mumbled through his lips.
The air exhaled, said one word – emptiness.
Odd to be so vastly vacant and small in one breath.
With all the wisdom of a vacuum he moved his limbs
to fill the space. Movement can be deceiving.
The dead man found a woman smiling at him.
He stood in front of her. She confused the two.
She married him.
It was like falling into the emptiness inside.
In the brightness of illusion the dead man had a son.
It was years before the son finally healed,
long after the dead man was dead again.

neil reid © january 2011

Follow the BTP link for more information about this “”dead man” type of poem. (That was on December 13, 2010, so yes, I simmered on this for a while.)

This “dead man” form has some resonance for me. Even though I didn’t care for my unpublished first attempt, it stuck with me till this second poem arrived. The format states the content may be “informed” by your own life yet is not literally meant to be directly yours. Then “dad” arrived into the poem, most appropriately because near all I know of him is a photograph and about a paragraph’s worth of history. So the poem is indeed tangential to reality, however I want to examine that person and relationship at least in an archetypical mode.

I think my poem here is not all proper to form, but will do for a first endeavor.
So be it. I suspect there’ll be more.

Read Full Post »

Drinking from the jar

a cento poem study group, (Read Write Poem Challenge #1)

from the work of poet Li-Young Lee

cento poem group index

By day, voices inside the jar

Who hasn’t thought, “Take me with you.”

Dreamed my father reading out loud to me,

and what’s sweet, what’s round and what’s steep

what allows you to pass through smoke

what keeps you safe even among your own

She said, “The lake is like an open book

I said, “The day is a book we open between us

My sweetening draws death nearer, it can’t be helped

Questions asked into the mouth of the jar

Sister, we died in childhood, remember?

Do you see the space between our bodies?

Into her voice we died, that white singing

it is the space mountains and rivers are made of

He says I won’t always be an apple

what’s fragrant and what no one can marry

Now the loud sun. Now the deafening moon

now the shadows of pages on the waves

A cento, or patchwork poem, stitched together

from lines of various poems by Li-Young Lee,

in his collection, Behind My Eyes, 2008

Read Write Poem poetry mini-challenge:

fall in love with a poet, February 2010

by Carolee Sherwood and Jill Crammond WIckham

Drinking from the jar, gathered by Neil Reid

Read Full Post »

Four feet tall

Four feet tall

Four feet tall

poem group index

A child today entered my eye.

Then a thought. Briefly. But

what I saw was feeling most.

Unblemished. Playfulness. Joy.

I’ve never been a father. But

now I understand. A beautiful

craft of thighs and desire told.

Yet there’s that thought outside

myself. Aching perfecting

becoming ripe. Me not me.

Just like God must see in us.

Neil Reid © January 2010
appreciatively, humbly said

Read Full Post »

A little play to do, even if I drop the bowl. A small step away from usual. Disclaimer. Any similarity between this poem and anyone real much less a poet is purely coincidentally amusing. Life is nothing if not associative.

Interview with a poet

Poets mend some words, but only fair
because others they’ve broken apart.

To begin an evening, my feet hurt.
In or out of shoes. Standing for eight
hours a day isn’t very kind.

Labor is not for the timid of feet.

Poets stare sideways. Unnerving,
some have said of them.

It’s like a bowl of fruit after
it’s eaten. Second meanings have
already escaped first glance.

Like socks you wear until
your toe becomes visible.

Like the pear you peal, maybe
that only happens once in a life.
Perfect I mean, till a peach arrives.

All of this is underneath the words.
Like fish contain the lubricant
that makes water flow.

Seven bucks to cross on the ferry.
Nothing to come back except
your shoes. That part you’re
responsible for yourself.

Dad, he gambled away what he
won from the war. Including me.
But what really irked, was
the sister lost.

Just when she might have saved
a life. She had copper skin.

Mom, she just wanted what she
wouldn’t say. Not till two days before
she passed away. That’s why.

Two in the afternoon and all
I have are crumbs. Shouldn’t
I be confident yet? Shouldn’t
love be shouting loud?

Toast with butter would be better.

A bicycle is probably a better
way to write poems that don’t
stand still.

Expression does trust to score
away the stone of life less lived.
And a last breath is only a comma
we seldom perceive.

Holding hands is essential
for getting it right.

That big yellow school bus
and all the kids singing, smiling,
where have all the flowers gone.
I wasn’t pleased.

Not that I wanna be sad.
It was years before I found what
roots have been saying all along.

Faultless is more than starch.

Foreign soils are only an inch
away. Depends where or when
you wanna go. Like when
mother was young.

Would my life have been greener
if the fence was over there instead?
Mother said my diapers froze solid
on the laundry line. Polynesian
tattoos would have been nice.

So poems are like archaeology,
like the best peach, like colors,
like ants in the soil. Just when
a mole comes along.

Everything is more and less
than it has always been.

And broken things are just the
first step toward a mosaic bowl.

Neil Reid © December 2009

Read Full Post »