Tuesday, December 27, 2011

OpenLinkNight: Cleaning erasers on the brick walls of the school


Four hours and 1254 Legos later
the Millenium Falcon sits in the middle
of my parents dining room table

Ready to make the Kesel run
in under 12 parsecs, take up
residence in the belly of asteroid worms
or be dropped,
which at this point would break
my heart

My son beams & i bask

Then go in search of his brother
who somewhere around piece 732
i told i did not have time

We were so close

Drawing him in my arms, i ask
to see the football game he wanted
to play before

And we do, until a quarter in
when he declares he is bored
and takes off to see which planet his brother
has landed on

He has already forgotten the words

Still they run their finger nails slowly
down the chalkboard in stuttered screams,
the feet of 1000 ants down my back

As if someone walked across my grave
without a glance at my name.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - Tired of leftovers? We have some verse fresh off the stove? A whole buffet for your poetic palatte. Write something poetic and come join us. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

99 comments:

Mary said...

If this is what you did on Christmas and after, Brian, whew...what a piece of work!

Fingernails on a chalkboard...yikes, gives me shivers even to read about it!

happygirl said...

1254 Legos!?! I think youd've lost me at lego number 54. And, seriously, I was bored with the game before the half. The only fascination was a high school coach being pulled up to play in the big leagues. I love your Christmas day.

Evalinn said...

Yes, that´s quite something! :-D

Heaven said...

Thankfully I am over that stage (though I miss my sons taking off for another planet). I am now in the "books" section.

The unfinished work at the ending verses gave this a creepy end. See you later ~

Pat Hatt said...

haha wow that must have took some patience to do
OCD would come in handy it's true
Snickered a little at the dropped remark
As if it were to park
And the falcon refused to land
Slipping into a glitch not so grand
Bang
The guts of the lego would hang..haha

Valerie said...

I've read this three times... it gets better with each read. Loved it. Totally.

Laurie Kolp said...

Sounds like my house!

Mxwll said...

Great piece. As a father of two little ones and a big one, this really hits home. It can be tough to juggle the affections just right, and the consequences of failing are as wrenching as they are mercifully fleeting. We remember much longer than they, and we learn. Merry Christmas.

Daniel said...

It's funny that we torture ourselves sometimes over things we say in a moment of concentration or frustration or whatever, but our little ones have long since forgotten it. I think you made up for things pretty well, after all, spaceships don't build themselves, right?

hedgewitch said...

If only we could be infinite--but we're not, just human, and fortunately, the legacy we leave behind is composed of many moments, all working toward a balance--last lines here are truly chilling, bri--your writing just keeps getting better, and plus--that Lego thing looked insane--you surely will get bonus points in heaven for making that work out. ;_)

Sheila Moore said...

time is precious - don't ya wish sometimes you had a clone? (smiles) Happy Holidays!

Morning said...

Our family used to have tons of lego fun by building a dozen stuff such as this, it takes a few hours to make it happen.


what an achievement between you and your boys. beautiful reminder of my own boys when they are at the similar age.


Hope that you have had a lovely Christmas,

Enjoy the rest of the winter break.

Cheers.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

What a magnificent flying machine!

Tara Miller said...

You and Logan did an awesome job building that all in one afternoon! He'll remember that time spent together for a very long time. Thankful kids love unconditionally and forgive so easily. Cole has long forgotten...

Love ya!

Sue said...

Too bad dads can't clone themselves. But you worked it out, Brian.

Seems to me like that's where a lot of good parenting shows up...in the end game more than in the opening moves.

And also in caring enough to even feel the ants and hear the chalkboard squeaking.

=)

Natasha Head said...

It's a jigsaw puzzle (somethings never lose their appeal) that presently sits unfinished on my diningroom table...we will finish, and while we do, my daughter will spill all her secrets without even realizing it, and I will be all ears. You must have patience, grasshopper...getting legos to resemble anything takes much! A wonderful share, Poet! And I do hope you had a fantastic Christmas

manicddaily said...

An intense time! Hard to be so split and also present, hard for parents AND children--a lot of legos--k.

drybottomgirl said...

Both my boys love legos, except now they want the Frank Lloyd Wright legos! Yikes, I have done my share of building, and many times had to spit myself to meet the needs of more than one child. They all survive, and at times believe they are stronger for waiting their turn. Looks like you had a great Christmas!!

Claudia said...

first, i just love when dads get so lost in playing and building with their kids that they just forget everything else for hours...and second, i think all parents know that feeling, you describe in your closure so masterfully, very well - and third - i think this is a fine, fine piece of writing brian

Anne said...

Oh but this takes me back to when my children were but wee ones. Those were some of the best days of my life and those Christmas past can never be beaten. I await the birth of grandchildren with anticipation for such times as building legos and seeing them pleased. When they grow up they wan't mobiles so they can text friends, who are now more important than mum and dad.

Fred said...

Cool piece. Lovely illustration of your Christmas Eve. and your team won on top of it all, despite the QB situation. Great job here. Thanks

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

It's all about balance, isn't it? Nicely written.

poemblaze said...

A great write. Love the way you show your sharing time with each of your sons. The shift at the end is startling but vivid.

Anthony Desmond said...

oh, that's a powerful end to this... great poem... I used to be a huge lego head myself. haha

Lolamouse said...

My husband built that same insane Lego thing with my daughter when she was much younger (she's now almost 16). We still have it on a shelf in our basement! Your kids are lucky to have such a great Dad, Brian. If you feel pangs of guilt now, be thankful you don't have a daughter-they know how to use your guilt against you!

RD said...

I want to see the Legos and the game and the.....but all I see here is Love

and a man aware of the precious glimpse he has to get it done right

your doing fine Brian....I watched Estes Rockets land and we just left them there

Peace

Steve King said...

Yes, you've got the Xmas spirit. No leggos for me, thank goodness, but we were ground zero for the extended family gathering. I felt the pain in other ways...

Great ending. Hang in there!!!

kweschn said...

Excellent! :) Fun to read!

Happy Holidays, Brian!
Happy New Year!

turtlememoir said...

I love legos (and a lot of things I didn't have as a kid) - Interesting how the mood changes, the poem turns... and though we would want to we can't be all things to all people (even children) concurrently (though wouldn't it be nice if we could?)

izzy said...

Cool lego's! (leggo my eggo man-
dented and grey! Hah...) Two sons -that is good fortune, even if they don't always intersect or share
time. I think it is odd my newphew loved them too, but never got into those 3-D puzzles...

Steve E said...

Not to toss aside this most magnificent story of "One Christmas Day"...I wish to comment on last two lines:

"As if someone walked across my grave
without a glance at my name."

I visit a cemetery once a week--to be alone with those Peeps, and meditate. Often I've thought, "How rude of me to walk right on top of them, with nary a Hello, or nod!"

Now I know--even if nobody EVER looks at my name...it is still my name, and will remain so--for eternity!

LOVED the Legos--I gave a set to a grandchild many miles away--cannot help 'build it! (sigh!)

Pearl The Writer said...

If I learn to interpret things as well as you do. I could then write as well as you do. I love it.

Sweeter said...

How your brain works only you know. It's just incredible what you can make out of your family moments
Cheers and smiles and
Happy New Year Dear!

aidz said...

A wondrous insight into your world and Merry Xmas n New Year

Birdie said...

wow, it sounds like lots work & fun :-) we need to hire you over here next time as we had lot's! of work just to build a playmobil castle for our 4 year old one :-))

Brendan said...

When I became a stepdad years ago (first marriage), I was amazed how utterly easy and simple it was to fuck up as a father. Just get distracted, overwhelmed, tired ... and they're scarred for life. Or so it seems. I sure got a lot more gratitude for my father after the mantle was passed to me. -B

myraysoflight said...

A great example of why we should embrace the moments of today...because tomorrow is promised to no one. I love the lego project..the memory will live eternally within your child...and that can not be purchased.

Ed Pilolla said...

in under 12 parsecs. it's impossible to watch that movie and not dig ford's solo.

there's a lot here, reality in the boredom. tenderness in the moments. distraction in the football, but the humanity, and most especially the love you share with your sons is most sacred and brilliant. and cool, cooler somehow than solo sealing the deal with obi wan.

Daydreamertoo said...

Aww ... Love the Lego spaceship. Can't be in two places at once eh dad!
Sad when words that kids forget about quickly, hurt us more than they seem to hurt them. Kids think parents have all the answers and yet, we are learning how to raise them as much as they are learning how to grow. That's why I always say of myself I'm growing up with Chloe. Because, I've never known if I'm getting it right or not. And she runs rings around me with getting her own way unless I ask other parents for advice...LOL Kids!
You're a good man and a good dad Brian. The writing is lovely, as per usual.

magicinthebackyard said...

i always hated the sound of nails on a chalkboard. Another wonderfully crafted piece, Brian.

http://magicinthebackyard.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/singing-myself-to-wake/

Louise said...

A great write with a powerful sentiment. Shows you're human and care. Bet your kids know that. Happy New Year.

Eva Gallant said...

That's a lotta' legos!

Arron Shilling said...

the mil falc man...the best space ship invention...ever and the best christmas present i ever received as a kid...if only id kept it (with the box) my old man reminds me we'd be rich... love this poem bro...a superb snatch of the xmas moments and memories... all the best my friend to you and your peeps :)

Goofball said...

holy what a space ship...looks scary to me

jen revved said...

Fabulous write, Brian-- xxxj

LauraX said...

"and takes off to see which planet his brother
has landed on" MY favorite line!!!

anthonynorth said...

Ah, memories. Excellent piece.

Catfish Tales said...

Awhh...too much distraction. But they'll remember, yes they will. :)

Mama Zen said...

This hurt my heart, Brian. I had a similar moment recently, and I'm still beating myself up over it.

Zoe said...

Ouch. Those moments happen far too often to me too. And they do leave their marks - I think you captured that feeling perfectly (and uncomfortably!) - excellent write, and that lego masterpiece is spectacular!

Anonymous said...

These lines are awesome:

"the feet of 1000 ants down my back

As if someone walked across my grave
without a glance at my name"

~Shawna
(rosemarymint.wordpress.com)

skyraft said...

One: That is an excellent poem.

Two: That Lego may be the greatest thing I have ever seen. Ever ever.

marousia said...

Love this! the contrast of the attention span of children and the patience need to build Leggo masterpieces - I have been on both sides :) Fingernails on a chalkboard are excruciating

lynne said...

One day that lego spaceship will be a memory you reflect on and smile over.. i used to color with my kids and yes, i am the proud owner of the big box of crayolas and 2 snazzy coloring books and yes, i sometimes color.. makes me rememeber them as small children bit clearer when I color..

loved, loved this piece..:-)
lynne

cj Schlottman said...

Bless you, my child. I so admire your ability to survive. The Legos alone would have had me calling 911 because of a heart attack!

Namaste..........cj

Fireblossom said...

Man, the things kids can do with legos. I saw on the cover of Bloomberg Business that they are trying to finally connect with girls, too.

KB said...

It's tough trying to spread yourself around.

jackiedick said...

Whatever happened to train sets..now it's legos. What the hell, whatever you can share with the kids..is what counts. Interesting write..with some tenderness there too. Thanks Brian!

secret agent woman said...

The guy I have been seeing is engaged in building a huge Lego vehicle of some sort now. I sure put in my Lego hours, too. Time well spent. Merry Christmas!

bajanpoet said...

WOW Brian... I have my two small boys and the feeling of emotional abandonment you paint in this picture "he has already forgotten the words..." speaks volumes to me.

"Still they run their finger nails slowly
down the chalkboard in stuttered screams,
the feet of 1000 ants down my back

As if someone walked across my grave
without a glance at my name."

I feel that, buddy!

DJan said...

Oh Brian, this is how you spent your Christmas? You are priceless... :-)

G-Man said...

Help us Obi Brian...
You're our only hope!

Zouxzoux said...

Wow, I could use just a smidgen of your patience. I'm quite sure it extends to your kids 99.9% of the time so don't beat yourself up. Life's too short. I enjoyed reading this!

sheila said...

Legos. THey really hurt when you step on them with bare feet in the middle of the night. Just sayin. lol.

And funny how just the description of nails on the chalkboard can produce the same feeling as hearing it in reality.

Margaret said...

...there are Frank Lloyd Wright legos... oh my. Can you believe I gave them all away... and then had a boy after all (my girls never really liked them) ha ha. So, I am sure next year will be my turn. ha.

Margaret said...

...there are Frank Lloyd Wright legos... oh my. Can you believe I gave them all away... and then had a boy after all (my girls never really liked them) ha ha. So, I am sure next year will be my turn. ha.

senses of soul said...

greeting from Malaysia =)

Victoria said...

Probably the best description I've ever read of the fingernails on chalkboard phenomenon. Arrrgh. Just thinking of it gets to me. And a poignant moment with your sons, a glimpse into your life.

wood said...

"As if someone walked across my grave
without a glance at my name."

yeah, ouch! those last lines really hit hard, well described. a childs disappointment when he hears "not now" (its hard not being the center of the universe... bless his heart). as always, enjoyed the read.

TALON said...

legos! Oh, this brought back some fun memories of my two sons and my daughter when they were young and the pure fun they had in creating lego worlds. Nothing as elaborate as that, but my daughter did do the pirate ship. :)

Yes, sometimes we do speak hastily and unintentionally. We're human, sadly.

Reilley said...

Absolutely killer ending Brian, totally satisfying. Wonderful setup. Keep it up.

lori said...

Yes, parenting takes much patience. I just finished a never-ending game of Monopoly with mine. I have had those moments, too, when the words haunted me more than they seemed to haunt them. You have to forgive yourself because I know they forgive you :)

Patricia said...

Hi Bri...
I still have all their legos and for the fun of it, still buy the tiny legos for the stockings. They are 20 and 18. =)

You would not be so hard on me if I told you the same story. What matters is having a Dad who seeks us out and restores... a Dad who asks forgiveness and admits imperfection. Your sons are blessed to have an imperfect father like you.

Anonymous said...

T:

I admire you,

enjoy a lovely evening...

hugs...

Appreciate your open mind and kind spirits...always, bless you and your family.


your kids and your loving husband are of the best treasure to all.

m

Seek The Sun said...

Brilliant piece of writing. The joy of playing mixed with your pain at what you said to your son. Words are so powerful! I love how you drew him in your arms. Very powerful write!
Thanks

Margie said...

This brought back some lovely memories!
My son so loved legos and we spent many fun hours putting them together!
Oh, I miss those days but cherish the memories!

Really enjoyed this one!
You are a great dad!

Smiles :)

Jebbi said...

what an accomplishment, like how you tied the ending up as well with pure reality.

Rachel said...

stunning.

wow.

Shashi S said...

Its so perfect and lovely... the way you take things from the day to day life and bring it alive in words and emotions... Lovely.

Shashi
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/12/whisper-no-one-is-there-in-living-haiku.html
At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

beckykilsby said...

Oh Brian.. really feel this one...how many of those have I suffered..and a perfect image..the rasp of nails on our guilt-gland.

Enjoyed this for its authenticity from top to toe.. bravo.

Rahul Bhatia said...

A good read! Happy New Year..

Dave King said...

And we do, until a quarter in
when he declares he is bored
and takes off to see which planet his brother
has landed on

Priceless!

(Speaking more generally: to my mind, a perfect poem.)

SueAnn said...

Yes! We do remember their words...and they do claw their way into our minds..! If only....
Hugs
SueAnn

kaykuala said...

`It takes lots of guts to be involved with them. But time spent with the kids is time well spent. One can be so engrossed with them. We never realized the kids need 'a friend' They've been very lucky for such a dad.

Hank

JANU said...

So much patience...it is a gift. nice poem.

Lorraine said...

You're a wonderful dad:)

the walking man said...

Don't feel those ant feet yet or hear that screech from the chalkboard. It was a day out of the ordinary, those two are going to need you around for a while longer yet young fella.

ayala said...

I love this, Brian. My older son loved Legos and I loved watching him build them. I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

oceangirl said...

I love Ed's comment. He said it perfectly.

Kerry O'Connor said...

You have captured the bitter-sweet moment perfectly. Such times are brief, and once gone...

C Rose said...

Love the duality you carry through this Brian, the final bit

"Still they run their finger nails slowly
down the chalkboard in stuttered screams,
the feet of 1000 ants down my back

As if someone walked across my grave
without a glance at my name."

a captivating close...love the build too, impressive! ~ Rose

Leo said...

Oh wow. You are a very patient person, Brian! to have taken the time to spend with your kids in such a way..

I agree with Happy Girl, I'd have got bored and left under a hundred legos perhaps!

darkangelwrites said...

I got a couple of "I'm bored" too. How with all those new gadgets and toys? I heard myself say, "Only boring people can get bored." I have turned into my mother.

adeeyoyo said...

I know how one feels when you can't undo or unspeak words you have said. Your descriptions are brilliant again - he beams & I bask - lovely! And your last 2 paragraphs... superb!

Celestial Dreamz said...

sounds familiar :) ... if only we could have been infinite ... a superb ending.

Yousei Hime said...

Had a conversation with my youngest moments ago that made that same jarring sound. Happiest of New Years to you and your family, Chewbacca and Han as well.

Whosyergurl said...

Ever step on a Lego in the middle of the night in your bear feet? OW
Cheryl

Whosyergurl said...

Ever step on a Lego in the middle of the night in your bear feet? OW
Cheryl

Syd said...

Wonderful creation. Very cool.