Closer to Home, Father I Roam pt. 2 


In an earlier post, Closer to Home, Father I Roam, I talked about the loss of my father. I talked about our relationship, about his being supportive of my writing and how his passing affected me.

I talked about how I am embarking on an inward journey, in attempts to better understand him, creating some of the same neural connections…through reading the same books he had read. He left a map of his adventures–his Nook reader and a library of titles. 

I picked The Shannara Trilogy and was not disappointed. I’ll be the first to admit that I moved through the first two books slowly. It was as if I was subconsciously coming up with excuses to not buckle in and read, at least not nearly as often as I had in the past. However, I did really enjoy them, as they are definitely in a genre that I love. Now I’m not going to do anything close to an in depth book review, but simply say how the journey went and what I took away from it. 

I’m currently about 100 pages away from finishing the third book. I take it with me to work and inevitably I end up going down an internet-search-wormhole and make no use of my breaks, whatsoever. Irritated with myself I’ll return to work, vowing to read the next time. Some part of me doesn’t want the story to end, just like I wish my father’s story was still going on, I guess. 

My takeaway, at this point, is simply my seeing a parallel between my father and the Druid Allanon. He wasn’t really there at the beginning and until later in life he was kind of a mysterious figure that moved in and out of my life. Most importantly, he gave me my love for reading, which blossomed into writing and is the most powerful magic I know. 

I will try to push through the last 100 pages and then see what’s next. I hope to report back on this pilgrimage. I miss him sorely, but these breadcrumbs I’m following will not only bring about a deeper understanding, but will also take time…putting me closer to him in a more final way. 

To me, sharing a book with someone is probably one of the most intimate things you can do. It was, for a time, a life you lived and now, through your actions, they share that life. Share your lives with those you care about, my friends. 

Advertisements

Park bench

Yesterday

I sat on your bench

I tried

To feel your resonance 

I didn’t know you

I saw you on my walks

Apparently no town 

Is too small

For homelessness 

You’d disappear 

During the day

Leaving behind your

Belongings

A ratty backpack and

Your tattered sleeping bag

Returning in the dark

To lay your head down

To sleep

The article said 

Your heart gave up
The fight

Enjoy your rest

As I lie in bed

Hating myself 

For never even

Saying

Hello

Line


Get in line

Toe the line

Walk the line

Fall in line

Take a hard line

Draw a line in the sand

Color inside the lines
Someone has fed you a line

So I’m gonna drop you a line

It’s time to be out of line 

Time to cross the line

That’s right…I’m laying it all on the line 

Take the line of MOST resistance 

We are on the frontline 

You may be next in line 

And that’s the bottom line
We are the creatives, so color outside the lines

Before you…flatline 

New traditions


My father, who I think about all the time, used to go nature walking at some local trails (Beaver Lake Nature Center). It’s where I laid his ashes to rest. 

I now take my little man there as often as I can. I need him to see these trails as sacred, as our church. 


These are the stained glass windows that hold more solemnity than anything man made. 


These are the waters that should hold reverence, be sanctified like the entire natural world…protected. 


I’m trying to raise an eco-warrior. 

Just remember…

At the cellular level

You’ve changed

New interconnections formed

The web thrums

From conscious to subconscious 

It lurks like deja vu

Like the food that you ate

Is now a part of you

Microchimera mothers

Carry baby’s DNA in their brains

Symbiotic…parasitic relationship

The inoperable conjoined twins

Dormant virus waiting in the wings

Hepatitis in a Trojan horse

Rolls through the liver’s gates

I’ve passed through the blood-brain-barrier

A transfusion of illusion 

Go ahead and close the app

Shut off your phone

Power down your PC

Just remember…

I’m still here

Blemish

Early morning stillness

The rusted out dumpster

Behind the local grocery

Holds the promises of love

The tap tap of rain on cellophane 
Really mourning illness

The busted-out lackluster 

Remind with vocal sorcery

Old is the ominous ‘enough’

The apt rap of reign on ball and chain
A few black spots

And couple dropped petals

Instead of clutched to breast

You rot giving no pleasure

The picking and pruning’s love’s lost labor
A view lacks plots

A decoupled, cropped unsettles

It’s dead if touched to behest

You wrought gifting no leisure 

The licking and preening sloughs last savior
Take these discarded roses

They’re not perfect

These second chance tokens

No one is perfect 

And we all deserve a second chance. 

Summer

I’ve basked in the warmth 

Of summer days

A golden skinned child

Faced sunward 

Heliocentrically tracking 

The star’s arc

Childhood friends standing 

Tall as sunflowers 

Photovoltaically kinetically frenetic

Darting like hummingbirds 

We drank the nectar of youth

Denying tomorrow’s existence 

Invulnerable in our naïveté 

We walked the wire

Between boy and man

Eventually the rain clouds move in

And I learned to enjoy

The time 

To think

Sediment 

Take the tap

Hammerfist it into the base of my heart

Turn the spigot 

Drain the too-heavy-sludge, the sediment

Press through cheesecloth 

Boil my blood into syrup for your paincakes 

Wear good gloves

A single scratch and a mad hatter you’ll be 

Moments too heavy

They lay upon the cloth, dull like lead

My soul’s poison

Dry it in the oven’s heat until powder

Fill the urn 

Sprinkle it in the woods in a hollow log

Tethered I’ll be

Until the day the moss purifies the mecury

Then I’ll soar

Binary 


Crazy old man

Greasy spoon

Corner booth…alone

Speaking in tongues 

He knows Magic is real

He’s seen the beneath

*          *          *

She’s sitting passenger side

Sun has dipped beneath the tree line

She closes her eyes to the strobe

Sunlight…shadow…shadow…sunlight

The flickering activates optic nerves

*          *          *

He’s said this passage a thousand times before

This time he stresses new syllables 

Empty corner booth no one but waitress notices

He tipped everything he had

*          *          *

Latent memories from eons ago

Press at the back of her closed eyes

She weeps, knowing her path as clear as day

Her mistakes, her victories all led her here

*          *          *

He is twenty-two again and ground falls away

His true love sits next to him, holding his hand

The Ferris wheel stops with them on top

The world stretches out before him

He can feel in his marrow it’s a different world

Close…but different and he doesn’t even care

*          *          *

She opens her eyes

Leaning over she kisses her boyfriend’s cheek 

Her left hand releases the seatbelt 

Her right reaches for the door handle

She’s airborne for a moment then…

Nothingness

*          *          *

He kisses her hard and deep

The air rushing around them

They make their descent

He feels weightless

*          *          *

A neon light flickers overhead 

Light…shadow…shadow…light

She’s sitting in a classroom

Graduate level organic chemistry 

She’s top of the class 

*          *          *

Off…on…black…white

Right…left…love…hate

Matter reacts differently when observed

Reality is subjective 

In another world we are in love

In another world…a zero transposes to a one

Fatherhood 


Early this morning, hours before our normal wake up time, he woke up crying. His crying had peaks and valleys of sobbing and screaming. I picked him up and drew him close. 

I spoke soothingly, “Did you have a bad dream?”

“Yes.”

“It’s okay baby, you’re bubba is here,” I assured him, as I rubbed his back. His crying quieted and I could see he was starting to drift off. 

Then, just before dozing back off, he brought his face forward and kissed my chest. I smiled and was overwhelmed by a mix of emotions. Tears rolled down my cheeks. 

In that moment I felt whole, that I could be the father he needed, and simultaneously I felt the loss of my father, who passed just a couple years ago. I also felt the gratitude from my little man and knew that, despite typical two-year-old behavior, he was becoming the kind of person I’d hoped he would. 

Every day is an adventure that I look forward to.