Sunday, June 17, 2012

Footprints & Puddles (Father's Day)

MC Escher (via Magpie Tales)

'daddy, one good thing about when you used to
drink, was we always had beer can targets.'

his dad grunts, uncomfortable with any answer
that might fall out his mouth, if open

plink---click clack---plink---click clack---plink

coffee cans rattle with each plink of a pellet,
and they even let me pock a few, a break from
writing pertinent details of their visitation
to celebrate father's day
               
there's no manual to explain how this works,
between boy & man, especially when they turn
out so different---i always had my nose in books,
lived on planets of my own imagination, while
dad was nuts & bolts, wood & lathe

we could have met in the middle more, but

i carry snippets, like fading photographs
in the back pocket of my jeans, of learning
to drive, musical toots round campfire edges,
tee ball, soccer, early morning newspaper delivery,
the day he could no longer hide the cancer,
the snow was crimson, footprints & reflections
in puddles with unusual depth

(mom gave me the sex talk) Mr Booth, in Physics,
gave an equation asking if one car leaves point A,
traveling X miles per h(our), while another
leaves point B, where will they meet
                        & i only wonder, if they wave
as they pass, does it mean their love is any less?

plink---click clack---plink---click clack----plink

the boy has a dead eye at thirty yards, dancing
cans at the ends of tree limbs, his dad stubs ash
from his cigarette, says, 'you got a lot left to learn.'

plink--click clack

don't we all, there's no manual

plink

Happy Father's day everyone & specifically to my own dad who has always been a part of my life, we are just cut from different cloth and we could have met more in the middle. Written for Magpie Tales & Poetry Jam.

96 comments:

Daydreamertoo said...

Happy Father's Day to a very special and wonderful man, and I have no doubt ..father to your two boys.
Loved this...(I always do)
Have a special day ....special dad :)

Daydreamertoo said...

Wow... there's a first... I got first comment...hehe

Daydreamertoo said...

I ought to add, that where you and your own father went so wrong, has taught you so much now about how not to make those same mistakes with your own sons ;)

ayala said...

Brian, your poem made me cry it's just great. I wish you got to meet in the middle. Happy Father's Day to you... I hope you enjoy every moment with your boys and lovely wife.

Helen said...

'if they wave as they pass, does it mean their love is any less' ~~ produced my first few tears this morning. Happy Father's Day, Brian.

Dana Dampier said...

Beautiful words for a special day... a wonderful look back on your relationship. All we can do is live and learn.

awakenedwords said...

good stuff, a lot to learn indeed, more every day, and ...no...no manual. We figure it out as we go.

Leovi said...

Sweet poem full of feelings, I do. Saludos.

Laurie Kolp said...

Happy Father's Day, Brian. My dad sounds a lot like yours. I think we all do the best we can at any particular time.

Steve E said...

There is a manual somewhere here, but invisible under so much dust and 'other'--grin!

Found one on Google, re chromosomes. After a few paragraphs, put it to rest, NOT saving the URL!

It still amazes how much we all are different, yet really not.

Probably the best Fathers Day post to be found today--YOURS, Brian!

Eva Gallant said...

I am cut from a different cloth than most of my family. I do work on meeting in the middle some...I'm not always successful.

California Girl said...

No manual indeed.

Happy Father's Day Brian.

Raven said...

You know I am awfully glad that you sort of summed things up at the end. I was so saddened by the poem, but uplifted by the healing in your ending commentary.

My father was the love of my life ... and I his. It all ended when I was 6. I went on in life making hideous choices as a result. I changed myself for thew better but not until he was dead and I was about 63 ... maybe 61, I cannot remember ... did I have a fully healing experience regarding my father. And for about 3 months or so I bathed in his love ... in a spiritual sense.

Thanks Brian for a great piece.

DJan said...

That Escher painting pulled me in. I'm glad I entered into your lovely soliloquy about dads and kids... I am moved.

Claudia said...

this really moved me..sons and dads, mothers and daughters...can be so difficult when they're so different from their personality and on the other side, enriches the relationship as well.. i'm very different from my mother and it was hard at times but i learned much from her..and still do... happy father's day bri

Fred Rutherford said...

What an awesome beginning Brian. The thoughts conjured by the child's observation is as profound that it fills the mind with chapters, if not novels, of inquiry into the man, his family, and his relationship with them.

Then a few stanzas down, the snippets, one, really liked the way it read on it's own, but especially as it fit with the rest of the piece. Great write. Thanks and Happy Father's day.

hedgewitch said...

Happy Father's Day brian--this is a fine celebration, and a bit of mourning, of all that is and isn't between fathers and sons.

Lorraine said...

You know how much I love everything you write, I love the fact that you're a great dad and also a wonderful human being, so my dad I Haven't had one in a long time, I do remember being a child with a dad, so to you, I wish the best father's day ever...but your boys will only ever know just how great you are, when they are dads themselves...although I have this feeling they're on to you lol
Happy Father's day Brian x

Neva Flores said...

Brian, this is simply wonderful.

Jinksy said...

Clever, but unusual link with this Mag subject...

Wander said...

Happy fathersday good sir!

Mary Mansfield said...

A beautifully written Father's Day tribute...hope yours is wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this :)

Myrna R. said...

Beautiful poem Brian.
Sounds like growing up had its challenges, and clashes. It's funny that no matter how different our parents were, we maintain such a strong connection.
May your connection with your sons be healthy, loving always and be full of shared joys - even if personalities are different.

Hope you're having a great day.

manicddaily said...

Hi Brian - hope you are having a lovely day despite the possible openness of your own mouth (meaning tooth issue?)

A lovely poem. Hard to reconcile these just basic differences, personality, grain, ingrained. You've written about it beautifully - targeted and hit. k.

Grace said...

Love the sounds and images here, between son and father. We all wish we could meet more than in the middle, don't we? But we learn along the way, there are instructions manual for being a parent really ~

Hope you have an awesome father's day Brian ~

brenda w said...

I'm with you with my Dad, Brian. Thank you for this contrast of plinks and clacks. Excellent exploration of a relationship. I like how you brought it round to the puddle.

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderfully human search for perfection or at least - better!

Daniel said...

Kind of sad this one, but I feel your words deep within my bones and I understand all too well. Have a great one today.

Tess Kincaid said...

Happy Father's Day Brian...yeah...don't you wish there was a manual? But then, not everyone would read it...

ND Mitchell said...

I understand this one too. Very moving.

Mary said...

Sad about your dad, Brian. I couldn't tell if he is still living, but you mentioned the cancer. Though he was different than you, somehow you learned the important lessons, and he impacted your life. No, there is no manual for certain things; and sometimes it is amazing to see how differently people turn out who grow up in the same environment. Happy Father's Day, Brian.

Gail said...

Awesome knock-my-socks-off Father's Day tribute!

Susan said...

Fabulous. I love this without knowing any of the players; I hope someone who knows also gets the gift of this poem, the father's day greeting and the huge sense of belonging!

patteran said...

A vivid evocation of your father, Brian.

Gloria said...

Happy fathers day dear Brian, always think.in you like an awesome and lovely Dad, have a teally happy day!:)

adan said...

"we could have met in the middle more" -

i know it! from both ends now, from my dad to my son and me in the middle, but then, each of them was or will be a middle too

no wonder there's no manual...

great write brian, thanks!

Pat Hatt said...

Nope not a manual at all
Some stand tall
Others run away
Oh the dismay
And those cans are fun to shoot
Beer or coffee either works so the point is moot

^.^ said...

Happy Father's Day, B ...

Matt said...

Happy fathers day, your dad sounds like my dad!

Betsy Brock said...

happy father's day, Brian. :)

At least you got a sex talk...lol.
Sometimes we learn how not to do things...and hopefully we're better parents than the past generation, too! And if the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, you can choose to roll far down the hill! haha.

Annmarie Pipa said...

happy Fathers day!
what a good point for many of us...we could all meet in the middle a whole lot more.

Marie Nicole said...

Gha! I always try to avoid reading somebody else's take on a prompt before writing mine. Bummer. What a great take!

Plink. Plunk.

Too bad you didn't find a middle ground to meet upon. Maybe one day it will happen. You never know.

Plink. Plunk.

The Empress said...

So sad but we learn how we want to be, from these relationships.

me, too, with my mother: absolutely different cloths.

Not one shared thread.

farmlady said...

Oh Brian, you were born to write poetry.

Paige + Shauna said...

hi brian, most excellent. yep.
so often we are cut from a different cloth than our parent.

Tara Miller said...

Happy Father's day my love! A father's love is so important and I'm thankful that you so easily express that to our boys in the way you spend time with them, encourage them, talk to them and love their mama!!

You and your dad may be different but you have a good relationship and love each other very much. It's never too late to meet in the middle and find things you enjoy doing together....together. love ya!

izzy said...

Oh I do miss mine terribly! he was not nuts and bolts- I often wish he had been...BUT- he gave me the creative encouragement:"Write something every day" (of course
their was more to it over the years.)
So I really like the layers of your poem!! Thanks :)

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Happy Father's Day, Brian!

Linda said...

You always manage to capture the out loud thinking of children so masterfully. Thank you for sharing your brilliance at that. If the kids came with a manual, would you read it? Not so much... exploration and learning is much more fun. That's what children are all about. If life improves from one generation to the next, it's successful. Happy Fathers' day, sir.

flaubert said...

This made me sad, because of its honesty. But, that is good poetry in my book, sir.

A very Happy Father's Day, Brian.

Pamela

Loredana Donovan said...

It's sad when you can't be as close to a parent as you would like to. A parent-child relationship is so important. I can feel the yearning in your poem for that closeness. Does waving mean they love you any less? Tough question. But a hug feels a lot more loving than a distant wave. Happy Father's Day, Brian. :)

Magpie said...

I believe something that binds all cultures and peoples, is our struggles and victories with our family relationships. Happy Father's Day, to you!

cloudia charters said...

" here's no manual to explain how this works,
between boy & man, especially when they turn
out so different---i always had my nose in books,
lived on planets of my own imagination, while
dad was nuts & bolts, wood & lathe

we could have met in the middle more, but"



AMEN



Have a GREAT Week

Aloha from Waikiki,
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Kaylen said...

I think most of us need to meet more in the middle with our family members. It's easy to get hurt feelings, hold onto them, and let it eat up your relationships.
If we had a manual, it would help us work through those things and just focus on the love.

kaykuala said...

Happy Father's Day Brian! Obviously there're commonalities and differences, that's the spice of life. We appreciate the difficulties our parents went through.Hopefully our kids understand just as well. We just cannot be the same. Enjoyed the write!

Hank

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

What a perfect poem for Father's Day. Just wonderful.

Catfish Tales said...

Hahaha. Wonderful read. I am reminded suddenly of that TV series that aired in the '80s, I believe, about the all American kid. His mother telling him he can't have a BB gun. "You'll shoot yer eye out!" she says. :)

Valerie said...

Hope your Father's Day was a good one, Brian. We learn a lot from Dads yet a lot of us wait for Father's Day to pay tribute. I wish my Dad was still alive, I could have told him so much.....

Dave King said...

there's no manual to explain how this works,
between boy & man, especially when they turn
out so different---i always had my nose in books,
lived on planets of my own imagination, while
dad was nuts & bolts, wood & lathe

This is so true. It is my father and myself exactly. It is also my son and myself, though he is as different to my dad a she is to me. Having been so different, though, I was not inclined to fret when he proved to be.

A really telling and enjoyable piece. Thanks for it.

Lydia said...

This is marvelous, Brian. A real work of art, surpassing any and all Father's Day cards ever created by companies who think they can define what they cannot.

Lyn said...

Brilliantly done, this stream of conciousness...Dad gets better the longer he's gone..hope I do too...

Pauline said...

This line - we could have met in the middle more, but - with the word but dangling, is so evocative. It makes the poem work on both a poetic and emotional level. You continue to amaze and delight me.

missing moments said...

Another beautiful piece of your writing Brian. I love the phrase "the snow was crimson, footprints & reflections
in puddles with unusual depth".

JANU said...

Lovely poem...Happy Father's Day Brian.

Alice Audrey said...

I like the plink click-clack. It really brings the setting to life.

Helena said...

How true, Brian. Meeting in the middle is so hard for most. I sometimes feel my hubby is disappointed that the boys took to music rather than fishing (the younger one could NEVER whack a fish dead!).

plink---click clack---plink---click clack---plink.......it's beer cans and peanuts in my pad unfortunately!

ladyfi said...

So poignant!

I'm sure you're a great Dad who knows how to meet his sons in the middle.

AmyLK said...

Love the story. Happy fathers day!

Ginny Brannan said...

Lost my dad at 16 (he was 51). Barely knew him. I too, carry snippets.
Thanks for sharing this story, Brian.

Lo-Fi Poetry said...

Amazing poem. This really captures the relationship between many men and their fathers. I like how you don't hide the fact that there is a difference between the father and son, but there isn't any animosity over this difference either. Well done.

poeticlicensee said...

"A lot to learn", yes, but the older we grow the less we know, if you know what I mean...

poeticlicensee said...

"A lot to learn", yes, but the older we grow the less we know, if you know what I mean...

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, I guess "like father like son" does not apply in your case. But, this was a lovely tribute to your dad or to fathers in general. I still sense there is nevertheless a connection and a closeness between you two, even if only at some level.;)
Have a great week dear friend,
xoxo

DCW said...

Once again you use concrete images to give words a power to express feelings that needs no abstract structure for support.

Rebecca S. said...

Sweet, and a little bit sad. But that is life, isn't it. Meeting in the middle is harder for some people than others. Sometimes one of us has to reach farther across the divide.

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

Happy Belated Man Cave day for you Brian :) The only cloth that matters is the cloth is being a the great day That I'am sure you are.

Sue said...

Happy Father's Day, Brian.

Hope you had a great one. I know you will be one who meets his kids in the middle.

=)

Friko said...

A poem to break the heart.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

It's harder for some to find common ground than others. I hope you always have it with your kids.

darkangelwrites said...

I guess my Dad and I didn't have common interests either but there is no pressure when you are not the son. I know the love was huge regardless of my inability to rebuild a motor. What a great capture Brian.

Kutamun said...

Must be tough to be n the avant garde of the new emerging America! . Thanks Brian

mrs mediocrity said...

So poignant and written with kindness. My husband and his son are having "cut from different cloth" issues just now... it is a tough one.

Hope you had a wonderful Father's Day.

Mama Zen said...

Just beautiful.

Margaret said...

My oldest son and husband meet in the middle quite well, thank goodness. Very poignant write!

LadyCat said...

I hope you had a good father's day. I enjoyed this very much.
Trying to please one's parent is so important to a child. But is a struggle so many never achieve, through no fault of their own.
My father and I never understood one another. I'm sure we both could have tried harder. But we did the best we could at the time.

Sreeja said...

Thoughtful and touching.....you said many things here...happy fathers day.

Archna Sharma said...

It's funny how things melt together in puddles. I'm glad that you are able to take the misunderstandings lightly and dwell in the memories. I'm sure that your father takes sincere pleasure in knowing how his son carries on.

Your writing in rich, in depth, and goes to many place. Thanks for sharing this.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

awesome write again sir brian... hope u had a wonderful father's day!

JJRod'z

sheila said...

this is so beautiful. Happy belated father's day! My dad and I are a lot alike. Maybe it is different with boys. I'm glad there is not a manual sometimes. I never read them anyway.

my heart's love songs said...

i hope you had a good Father's Day, brian! there's no manual for how to be a son/daughter either. we all do the best we can.

william said...

excellent Fathers day post with so much truth involved, hope you had a great day with the boys :)

Rachel Hoyt said...

Excellent father's day poem! There are many of us who love our parent(s) despite being very different from them. :) I'm different from my parents, but I think we handle it well. :)

ds said...

Sorry to be so late reading this. Exquisite. Yes, we all wish we could meet in the middle more.
Hope you had a wonderful Father's Day (for you, I suspect, every day is Father's Day...)!

Bee's Blog said...

I have always said that parenthood doesn't come with instructions. My father was far more open with me than his father was with him. And I was a boy until I popped into the world! They'd even named me Michael John! That caused some confusion especially when father told the ward sister that there had to be some mistake!

susan m hinckley said...

This was sweet and affecting, and I loved the punctuation of the plink and clack...Such a perfect selection of images from the relationship. And now I have to go read it again.

Mom said...

Been really busy..had time to catch up this morning. Love this reflection...such a clear picture...each of you is so special in my life...love both of you with all my heart.