Sunday, April 15, 2012

One for the money, two for the show...






The way people see you (a mystery no more)

if you really want to know
how people see you
have your child draw a picture

preferably in pencil
& certainly nothing colorful
like crayon, and maybe he'll---

write dad across your forehead,
like the cross on Charles Manson's
or give you a Hitler moustache
with John Lennon sunglasses

to go with the ZZ top beard
& if you are really lucky he'll
half erase stripes in your hair
to 'represent the grey', he'll say

hopefully you listened
& it's only in pencil---
because that just might mean
you have time still---

to change the way people
see you.

written for Poetry Jam.






the privilege(s/d) of membership

if i got to have a membership card
& be voted in your circle of friends

i'd much rather stay outside
with the peons, where poems live

poems of the living, and not yet
arrived.

written for Magpie Tales.

116 comments:

Laurel's Quill said...

very nice Brian. I am with you.

Kathe W. said...

amen brother!

Kathe W. said...

whoops- meant to add that your poem about your son's portrait of you is so charming and I love the drawing too!

Valerie said...

When MY son drew a picture of me - it looked more like a man than a woman. Couldn't wait to change it....

You made me smile with this one, Brian, and you won't ever need a membership card.

susan m hinckley said...

Love both of these, Brian -- actually, the drawing/poem combo gave me such a great smile to start my day. Doesn't get much better than that. Thanks!

thingy said...

Beautiful poem.

LOL. I have a drawing too, with monster teeth.

Helen said...

I think I may have one of those drawings sitting in a box on a shelf ... must go retrieve it. If only to see the magic I witnessed in your son's drawing. Great Mag .. I'm with you.

dulce ♥ said...

A picture says more than a thousand words... and yet we describe them using statements, so great indeed... I'll do the experiment with my own son and see what happens!
smiles...

rosaria williams said...

Oh, I love both of these. The first one, is a love letter too, and is held close to the heart, always.

turtlememoir said...

:) not sure we can change the way people see us, but if we can change the way we see us, we're laughin'. and oh yes! let me live where the poems hang out

Gloria said...

Nice I love the kids draw and is true!! ha! when mys kids were small (love it) gerardo draw so bad, blessing his, but always draw me with all the hair like with wind ..and is true!! always my hair is a little mess ha,ha,!
Love his drwas of course I saved a lot of him and Esperanza and she draw fantastic, is the life, lol

Gloria said...

Brian normally You use glasses?? cause he draw you with glasses lol!

kaykuala said...

They'll sketch and they have fun! They laugh for being able to include something funny in the sketch. Their brand of humor may turn out hilarious too! Great write Brian!

Hank

^.^ said...

I remember a pic ... mom feeding a newborn calf, dad on the tractor and my three kids standing there holding hands ... I felt so guilty ...

Daydreamertoo said...

It is amazing how kids do 'see' their parents, I agree :) Still have a pic Chloe drew aged 6 years of me, her mom and herself. It became one one my 'treasures'
Another lovely write from you and, yes, if I need a membership card to 'fit' in with a circle of so-called friends, I wouldn't want to be in it either ;)

Raven said...

Brian, these two poems are awesome ... of course! They echo my own sentiments precisely. You know, today ... it seems that each piece that I read is about being "real."

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Cute!... Gave me a good smile this morning...

JJRod'z

Tess Kincaid said...

Your circle of friends...thankfully poetry is immune...

Sandi McBride said...

Your poetry is depth disguised as whimsey...your talent still shines
Batgirl and Sandi

Claudia said...

nice..i'd rather stay outside as well with all the not arrived poems..that's the place to be..smiles..and rgd. the pic...i think your son captured you quite well...smiles

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Children have a wonderful honesty and imagination!

You're welcome anytime - no membership card required!

Anna :o]

hedgewitch said...

Pair to draw to here, man. Love em both. But maybe the second just a bit more.

Kay said...

i have a box of pictures from my two girls to cherish.....loved both your poems here...x

zongrik said...

the way people see you affects how you see yourself...it's a vicious cycle

Maggie May said...

I know, its really scary but rather sweet the way children capture you on paper! Had my portrait done several times. Wish I'd kept them all.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Brian Miller said...

gloria, i dont usually wear glasses...according to him they are sun glasses...smiles.

Fred Rutherford said...

really cool pieces here. The hope aspect in the last lines of the first piece I find strong and the disagreement with conditions for acceptance in the second is equally strong. Great writes Brian. Thanks

Simone said...

The way a child sees us is really the way others should. Children are non-judgemental and loving. They don't see the flaws, they see us the way we really are.

Cute picture. I'm sure it will be cherished for years to come.

Brian Miller said...

sandi, me hide something in my whimsy, never...grins....

Magpie said...

What a touching portrait. And we got two lovelies for the price of one today...no membership card required.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"hopefully you listened
& it's only in pencil---
because that just might mean
you have time still---
to change the way people
see you..."


Hi! Brian...
I have to admit that "both " Of your poems "rings" so very true this Sunday morning.
[Through a child eyes [and with a child's heart] can sometimes = truth]

Tks, for sharing both images too...
[Especially, your son's drawing Of his dad with his readers]

...because both images compliment your very [poetic] words very nicely.

deedee ;-D

Daniel said...

Brian these both were beautiful. I mean very much. The first brought back memories of the art work of my little one. She always drew me with hair! The second piece was also pertinent to me for so many reasons. Blessings to you on this day.

Pat Hatt said...

The eyes of a child
Are anything but mild
As they draw you quite wild
And it is fun to see what they compiled
Surely captured you
He's a gawker too
Getting all the details so right
That it is just a fright..haha

everedwater said...

Wonderful Brian! And that drawing is just fantastic. :)

Mama Zen said...

These are both fabulous, Brian!

Anonymous said...

Love this:
"poems of the living, and not yet arrived"

And this:
"you have time still---
to change the way people
see you"

That picture of you cracked me up. Great accompanying poem. :)

rosemarymint.wordpress.com

annell said...

I like them both...can anyone really see how others see us?

Myrna R. said...

Clearly, your son sees the real you.

I saw a snippet of a reality show the other day. A lady let her husband get an eight car garage but he had to agree to let her build a ballroom. Like you, I don't want membership in such a club of privilege.

Tabor said...

the honesty of a child that loves you. Best ingredient in the world.

Grace said...

Very lovely poems Brian. I have to agree with you on letting the child draw you, to see the real you.

As to the second one, I am happy for the open membership that we share. Nothing else is needed, just share your thoughts and work ~

Happy day to you ~

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

We always have time to change. :)

Laura said...

really enjoyed your poem about how others see us...well done!

Suz said...

a treasure!

sage said...

I think my daughter is too old and too much like me to have her try this experiment... I can only imagine what she'd do with my bald head, graying beard, belly...

christopher said...

Your Magpie reminds me of Groucho Marx who would not be a member of any club that actually invited his membership.

Your Jam touches my heart.

Leovi said...

You've described perfectly the sympathetic portrait.

Mary said...

I love what you wrote for Poetry Jam, and I am thinking about having my granddaughter draw a picture of me and then explain what she drew. It definitely is an act of faith to do this!

Vicki Lane said...

Love both poems and your son's drawing is charming.

Ryan Taylor said...

Glorious picture
Really made me smile
Must be proud c:

Nikki Rules said...

Always wanted to know how people saw me, now all I need is a child and a pencil...

Strummed Words said...

your poem reminds me of the pencil drwing my young son did of me, with my newly curled hair. Not a bad sketch. I kept it!

Tumblewords: said...

You look like the quintessential dad - and a cheer for the membership!

Uma...that's Me ;) said...

Very well portrayed the child's eye and a dad's smile ;)

Tara Miller said...

I think in some way you're connecting both poems together but haven't figured that out yet. I love how Cole drew this special picture of you and how you described it yet I feel a deep sadness in both of these pieces. I see how our boys look up to you and try to emmulate you the best they can - you are their hero....even when it seems to be "pick on dad day" and you don't feel like their hero. You still are!! And your are mine as well, love <3

lifeisaroadtrip said...

It looks like he gave you the 'hawk though. I don't which of these two poems I like more. They are both sweet surprises for a Sunday evening. Thanks for doubling our pleasure!

Linda said...

Chagall has a childlike sense of expression and a childlike color sensitivity. These are two of the qualities that made his art so fantastic. Most adults adore these traits in children, as your responses here clearly demonstrate. Yet your first poem was not about Magpie Tales, was it? Your second poem I think, is against the number of art movements Chagall was linked to. After all, it's not about the movements, it's about your own sense of expression, what you have to say as an artist/poet. Thanks for the wonderful visit here, Brian. =D

izzy said...

Chagall is so much fun isn't he ?
I have too many favorites; but he is playful- thanks!

twinkly sparkles said...

I loved your poem about the drawing your son did.

I never got a picture of myself from my kids, what was I thinking? They are so much older now, but I could still see their impression of me....but I think they might like me a little less than when they were small.

I hope you cherish it, though your poem may suggest otherwise. A great pairing.

twinkly

otin said...

I don't want anyone to draw me. lol

PattiKen said...

You are so right about a child getting right to the way people see you with a portrait. I have one of those portraying me as a purple-haired block-head. Fortunately, most people are too polite to say anything, but maybe that's why I don't get invited into that inner circle.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I don't want to see what my children would draw of me. Their own self portraits I frame and admire, but one of me? Oh God! Might I still have time to change the way people see me?

Lovely poem and thoughts and style. And I was always more comfortable on the outside with the dweebs and the freaks where poems live.

Thanks Brian!

Me said...

I love your Magpie poem, but the picture your son drew and your words to go with it are my favourite part of this post. By the way...my Facebook pic is a pencil drawing my youngest did of me! :)

Karen said...

I love the portrait and poem. Gives you a bit of a startle to see what your kids see sometimes! And I so totally agree with your second poem.

Anne said...

Brian you still remember how to see the world through the eyes of your childhood self and this gives you a sharper sense of your present self. That was so nicely written, short and perfect. And when I read the second poem what that meant to me An artist and their art are rarely formed through a sense of belonging to a group. Rather, it is from the sense of isolation and the time gained by isolation that allows an artist to become. If I'd had loads and loads of friends growing up I wouldn't have had time to spend learning to play an instrument or how to draw and paint. I like the way things turned out. Thank you.

Steve E said...

OMG! I am having enough troubles letting God change some of MY bad. However People 'see' me, this I KNOW!--it is only for that instant, before they are again thinking of themselves.
I'll ask Anna to draw me--in PENCIL! NO eraser.....

missing moments said...

Lovin' that portrait of you as only a son could draw! Wonderful words Brian!

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I agree that sometimes the magic lies in being outside the charmed circle. Once voted in, some of the spark that motivates us in the first place is gone.

Tina said...

A double dose of my favorite poet! LOVE the kid portrait. I should show you how my YellowBoy drew me...but he had magic markers...it's not pretty.
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

manicddaily said...

Hi Brian! Both very clever. They'd have to do more than stripes for me! Feeling very decrepit.

But very clever poem. Second one too--yes, I want to stay with the lively (as well as living.) K.

Goat said...

Love the portrait. Love the poem with it. Internal dialogue, still blessed by imperfection brought to light.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

I really liked both of them and the first was very insightful.

Wander said...

Brian, I am going to comment for the two posts from today...I couldn't think of anything for the mag...but I realy like your spin...stay with the poems for sho!

And I cant wait until my son and daughter do that...this is for the grey...HAHA good chuckle there!

Wander

and thanks for waiting around for me (your comment on my last post) I have finaly had a few hrs to write...:-)

adan said...

double whammy of really nice poems! nice brian ;-)

i did a drawing, unasked, of my dad, when i was under ten somewhere ;-) and he, i remember vividly, was outright startled by it - didn't realize til decades later why ;-)

and definitely gotta agree with the preference for peons with poems than some fancy membership -

"poems of the living, and not yet
arrived." - hey, if it's of the living, i say it's arrived, at least for some of us ;-)

thanks brian

Dave King said...

Two charming poems. Both absolutely on target. Brilliant responses to the prompts - and quite able to stand by themselves without them. Reading the first was a great delight - imagine how much more so, realising there was yet another treat in store!

♥ Braja said...

art from the heart :)

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

There's an artist i know who never draws in pen, and I am so grateful that each creation changes exponentially as the spirit moves!

AWESOME!

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

There's an artist i know who never draws in pen, and I am so grateful that each creation changes exponentially as the spirit moves!

AWESOME!

Bonnie said...

Double delight Brian. I appreciate the sentiments in both!

Laurie Kolp said...

How sweet the first one is. Children have special eyes, that's for sure. I'll have to get one of mine to draw me!

And I love the second one. It should be posted in middle school halls.

Stacy Uncorked said...

♥LOVE♥ this. And what a handsome drawing of you! ;)

the walking man said...

Those erasures are they gray streaks or lost hair...in my case it ain't gray.

Once again Waystationone is Entertainment central. All are welcome and no dues or membership cards needed.

Sreeja said...

that was cool....for mystery I too thought something like this..the way people see you .haven't posted yet. Do check when time....

DCW said...

"poems of the living, and not yet arrived"

That is a phrase that is so encompassing.

Kutamun said...

Hey Brian you have given yourself a red card, in the soccer parlance, good stuff.

Kat Mortensen said...

Nice. The last two lines are very powerful.

Stephanie said...

I adore your son's portrait!! I've kept some my girls have done of me for years! Love the way they see the world.

Peggy said...

Two wonderful poems here. I love the pencil portrait idea--and it works at any age. See what they do to you at 15! I too prefer to remain outside the approved circle you describe in the second poem!

chromapoesy.com said...

Wow, that is an awesome poem! I really miss so much by not having children. Thanks for the laugh; I really needed it :).

Other Mary said...

Me too! Love the portrait, btw.

Ruthiey said...

love this one. children are so loving and yet so honest...

In response to what I'm doing, I'm collapsed into a little ball of trying to survive work and life. I have a lot of things I'm working through that I don't dare blog about right now... Thanks for asking! I always appreciate your comments and posts. :)

Helena said...

Both a pleasure to read....and the erased hair just tugs at the heart....x

Sue said...

These two go together, don't they?

I'm sure I am not quite as my children see me...for good or for ill.

=)

Catfish Tales said...

Hahaha. Brilliant. Living life is the best poetic movement, methinks. :)

Carrie Burtt said...

Love the message in this Brian! :-)

Glenn Buttkus said...

I took the eight synonyms for red
and wrote my standard page & 1/2;
but as I see what can be done with
a couple of sparse stanzas, my piece
feels bloated & top heavy. You go
all Hemingway sometimes. I have
real difficulty staying short; my
imagination shifts into second
gear and the poetics get their
second breath, and stanzas
pound themselves out hot & ready.

adeeyoyo said...

We, all of us, see things differently. Hitlet's moustache is, to me, pure Charlie Chaplin. I love the last 6 lines especially - very astute, Brian.

adeeyoyo said...

The second poem reflects just how I feel! Well said.

Rachel Hoyt said...

I love both these poems but enjoyed the giggle with the message in the first a little more. Kids really do reveal the brutal truth. Smiles.

Lucy Westenra said...

What can I possibly add? (I should maybe have waited a bit and become your 100th comment!)

Little Nell said...

Loved the poem about the drawing, it really made me smile. If we could see ourselves through a child's eyes.......

Lolamouse said...

Great poems! The drawing is spot on! And as Groucho said, "I'd never want to belong to a club that would accept me as a member!"

ayala said...

I rather stay outside as well with poems of the living...:) and I love your son's capture of you and your poem :)

Heather said...

LOVe them both....you know when my kids draw me it's rather funny...and sometimes they tell me i have yellow hair with streaks of black! LOL
funny how they see us!
you captured it so well!

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

I'm an outside sort of person too. Well done. Also love your son's portrait of you. We should all pay more attention to the children of the world.

The Empress said...

This is so beautifully true.

I had Auggie draw a picture of me last year..and it made me cry hot tears of disbelief of how lucky I am.

He drew me with big blue eyes. My eyes are very dark brown.

I thought he wasn't paying attention to what I look like, but when I asked him about the color, he said, "your eyes make me feel like I'm in a sunny day. So I made them blue."

I know, straight to the heart.

Every parent should ask for a picture from their kids, while they're still little ones.

Brigid said...

Yes, its definitely better to be outside where the poetry lives.
Love your son's drawing, every time my son does one of me, I book a haircut straight away, they are so accurate in their observations:)

Joanna Jenkins said...

I love that-- erase to "represent the gray". That is so cute. Love the drawing and your son clearly LOVES yuo.
This made me smile-- BIG.
Thanks, jj

Margaret said...

ha ha. If anyone else drew that picture, you wouldn't find it so lovely. BUT, I have a few, like this one, that I have in my "treasure" box and love. ;)

This magpie was a hard one for me to write... and you did a wonderful job on it. Some circles I'm quite thankful are closed and I don't want in them anyway :)

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brian: I'd rather too, "stay on the outside with the peons, where poems live"...so much more interesting there. Very Original~!

farmlady said...

The Way People See You.
Excellent!! Children will always tell it like it is.

Always be on the outside edge just a little bit... but, if they asked you to be the Poet Laureate for the US or write a book... say Yes.
Just don't forget your edge.

emily wierenga said...

wow.

Katherine Krige said...

Cherish that one Brian. It is a sure sign of love, as they see you perfect in every way still and don't count our (flaws?) quirks - nope, our character, as a bad thing. ;)

Josh Hoyt said...

That is cool about the pencil. I like to think that i am drawn in pencil at least I hope so. That way hopefully after much work and a lot of erasing I can turn out as well as my kids draw me.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Very cool drawing- and the prose is perfect.

Lydia said...

Both of these are wonderful. The drawing by your son and your poem about it, however, are more than delightful. Suddenly, I am wondering what kinds of pictures my friends' grandkids are drawing of them (and writing that fills me with amazement that if I'd have had kids I might have g-kids by now!).

Syd said...

So nice that he sees you with his pencil as well as his eyes.