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  • honordads 9:56 am on 02/23/2016 Permalink
    Tags: , nelle williams, poetry   

    You got it from your father
    It was all he had to give
    So it’s yours to use and cherish
    For as long as you may live

    If you lost the watch he gave you
    It can always be replaced;
    But a black mark on your name
    Can never be erased

    It was clean the day you took it
    And a worthy name to bear
    When he got it from his father
    There was no dishonor there

    So make sure you guard it wisely
    After all is said and done
    You’ll be glad the name is spotless
    When you give it to your son

    Nelle A. Williams

     
  • honordads 11:01 am on 09/09/2015 Permalink
    Tags: Carl Sandburg, , poetry   

    A FATHER TO HIS SON

    A father sees his son nearing manhood.
    What shall he tell that son?
    ‘Life is hard; be steel; be a rock.’
    And this might stand him for the storms
    and serve him for humdrum monotony
    and guide him among sudden betrayals
    and tighten him for slack moments.
    ‘Life is a soft loam; be gentle; go easy.’
    And this too might serve him.
    Brutes have been gentled where lashes failed.
    The growth of a frail flower in a path up
    has sometimes shattered and split a rock.
    A tough will counts. So does desire.
    So does a rich soft wanting.
    Without rich wanting nothing arrives.
    Tell him too much money has killed men
    and left them dead years before burial:
    the quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs
    has twisted good enough men
    sometimes into dry thwarted worms.
    Tell him time as a stuff can be wasted.
    Tell him to be a fool every so often
    and to have no shame over having been a fool
    yet learning something out of every folly
    hoping to repeat none of the cheap follies
    thus arriving at intimate understanding
    of a world numbering many fools.
    Tell him to be alone often and get at himself
    and above all tell himself no lies about himself
    whatever the white lies and protective fronts
    he may use against other people.
    Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong
    and the final decisions are made in silent rooms.
    Tell him to be different from other people
    if it comes natural and easy being different.
    Let him have lazy days seeking his deeper motives.
    Let him seek deep for where he is born natural.
    Then he may understand Shakespeare
    and the Wright brothers, Pasteur, Pavlov,
    Michael Faraday and free imaginations
    Bringing changes into a world resenting change.
    He will be lonely enough
    to have time for the work
    he knows as his own.

    — Carl Sandburg

     
  • honordads 9:17 am on 08/29/2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , hebrew, , , poetry,   

    Unless Adonai builds the house,
    its builders work in vain.
    Unless Adonai guards the city,
    the guard keeps watch in vain.

    In vain do you get up early
    and put off going to bed,
    working hard to earn a living;
    for he provides for his beloved,
    even when they sleep.

    Children too are a gift from Adonai;
    the fruit of the womb is a reward.
    The children born when one is young.
    are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

    How blessed is the man
    who has filled his quiver with them;
    he will not have to be embarrassed
    when contending with foes at the city gate.

    — Solomon

     
  • honordads 2:57 pm on 08/27/2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , poetry   

    MY FATHER

    I took my father for granted
    never thought him courageous,
    A clean watchful man
    who never raised his voice;
    never stood at a barricade
    but quietly held his course.
    Never unjust to the young,
    never betrayed his trust.
    Secret in his love.

    Now I know
    the small disciplines of day by day
    spoke for a valiant heart.

    — Henry Chapin

     
  • honordads 8:59 am on 08/24/2015 Permalink
    Tags: Peter Gray, poetry   

    TO CREATE A CHILD

    Out of love for the tangible, the visible, the present,
    I have called the unknown;
    Out of the understood,
    mystery.
    Now she is flesh, nothing is adequate.
    This moment has set her beyond her mother’s
    knowing,
    beyond my comprehension.
    She is far more than we conceived.
    With her first breath she absorbed the world,
    with her first cry she accepted death.
    She is the heart of another universe.

    All I can do I will;
    Shelter her,
    teach her,
    love her,
    learn each day something of what she is.

    But never again in utter confidence.
    Never again unafraid.
    She, in her vulnerability,
    reveals the dangers of the dark.

    — Peter Gray

     
  • honordads 12:15 pm on 08/22/2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , poetry   

    GIRL’S-EYE VIEW OF FATHERS

    The thing to remember about fathers is, they’re men.
    A girl has to keep it in mind.
    They are dragon-seekers, bent on improbable rescues.
    Scratch any father, you find
    Someone chock-full of qualms and romantic terrors,
    Believing change is a threat —
    Like your first shoes with heels on, like your first bicycle
    It took such months to get.

    Walk in strange woods, they warn you about the snakes there.
    Climb, and they fear you’ll fall.
    Books, angular boys, or swimming in deep water —
    Fathers mistrust them all.
    Mend are the worriers. It is difficult for them
    To learn what they must learn:
    How you have a journey to take and very likely,
    For a while, will not return.

    Phyllis McGinley

     
  • honordads 2:34 pm on 01/21/2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , poetry   

    A Daughter Needs A Dad
    to give her refuge in a home secured with faith
    to teach her the importance of being a lady
    to teach her that her value as a person is more than the way she looks
    to protect her from scary nighttime creatures
    to answer the questions that keep her awake at night
    to make the complex simple and the painful bearable
    to protect her from thunder and lightning
    to teach her what it means to always be there
    to protect her when she is not wise enough to protect herself
    to help her take risks that will build her confidence
    to teach her to recognize truth and reward it
    to teach her to recognize sincerity and encourage it
    to teach her about fairness
    to teach her to stand up for herself
    to teach her that men and women can be good friends
    to teach her that a joyful heart is filled with peace rather than deceit
    to show her that true love is unconditional
    to teach her that forgiving is a natural thing to do
    to teach her that she can forgive more than once
    to teach her the difference between being firm and being stubborn
    to teach her that respect is to be earned, as he has earned hers
    to teach her that family is more important than work
    to prepare her to perservere through hardship
    to calm her when she is stressed by her challenges
    to give her a strong, willful character
    to teach her how things work
    to fix her favorite things
    to show her how to fix things for herself
    to teach her the joy of serving others
    who teaches her she is important by stopping what he is doing to watch her
    to tell her all she needs to know about boys
    to show her that all boys are not like the one who hurt her
    to teach her how to recognize a gentleman
    to stand with her on the day she marries the man she hopes will be just like her father
    to teach her that her role in a family is greater than the work she does
    to teach her to spend responsibly, save for a rainy day, and give with a generous heart
    so she learns that men can be trustworthy
    because without him she will have less in her life than she deserves

    — from Why A Daughter Needs A Dad: 100 Reasons, by Gregory Lang, 2002 (via)

     
  • honordads 9:08 am on 11/17/2014 Permalink
    Tags: e. e. cummings, poetry   

    34

    my father moved through dooms of love
    through sames of am through haves of give,
    singing each morning out of each night
    my father moved through depths of height

    this motionless forgetful where
    turned at his glance to shining here;
    that if (so timid air is firm)
    under his eyes would stir and squirm

    newly as from unburied which
    floats the first who,his april touch
    drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
    woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

    and should some why completely weep
    my father’s fingers brought her sleep:
    vainly no smallest voice might cry
    for he could feel the mountains grow.  (More …)

     
  • honordads 8:54 am on 10/24/2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , poetry   

    Moments before our walk that afternoon,
    I realized the path ended too soon.
    Not long enough to hold his hand,
    this amazing person, this loving man.
    Not long enough to engage his eyes
    and remember his always brimming with pride.
    Not long enough to stand by his side,
    as he was by mine after every rough tide.
    Not long enough to laugh with him still,
    after every bad joke,
    after every tough hill.
    Not long enough to walk with this man,
    who has taught me to be the person I am.
    Not long enough as we walked by his wife,
    to thank them both for my wonderful life.
    In all the walks I’ve taken in my life,
    first as a girl and now as a wife,
    I’ll remember that walk I took with my father
    and always wish it could have been longer.

    — via Family Friend Poems

     
  • honordads 10:50 am on 09/25/2014 Permalink
    Tags: poetry   

    He’s philosophy’s conundrum,
    He’s religion’s pesky thorn…
    He’s a stumbling block, a myst’ry ,
    And the Way to be reborn.

    He’s the Answer to the question,
    Nicodemus nearly missed…
    He’s where all the prophets pointed,
    He’s where “Love” and “Holy” kiss.

    He’s the Reason light illumines,
    He’s why Beauty stirs the soul…
    He’s why Goodness finds expression,
    He’s why sheep come to the fold.

    He’s the One whose Plan’s unfolding,
    Still today before our eyes,
    He’s the One the meek all wait for,
    And the Proud won’t recognize.

    He’s the One who gave fair warning,
    When He set the bar so high.
    He’s the Narrow Gate to glory,
    And why “good works” just won’t fly.

    He’s why Pharisees still tremble,
    He’s why Sadducees complain,
    He’s the One who frustrates scholars,
    And the One the world disdains.

    He’s why mourners dance at daybreak,
    Why the poor in spirit sing,
    He’s the Morning Star of Promise,
    The Good News his lovers bring.

    He’s the One who stirs the spirit,
    Of the sinner who repents…
    The Eternal Life that’s waiting,
    Grace and Mercy Heaven sent

    Tom Graffagnino

     
  • honordads 9:12 am on 09/16/2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , heaven, hell, poetry   

    The wave breaks
    And I’m carried into it.
    This is hell, I know,
    Yet my father laughs,
    Chest-deep, proving I’m wrong.
    We’re safely rooted,
    Rocked on his toes.

    Nothing irked him more
    Than asking, “What is there
    Beyond death?”
    His theory once was
    That love greets you,
    And the loveless
    Don’t know what to say.

    — Mark Jarman, Descriptions of Heaven and Hell, 1952

     
  • honordads 4:22 pm on 09/12/2014 Permalink
    Tags: poetry   

    “How much do you make an hour?”
    asked the timid voice with idolizing eyes,
    greeting his father
    as he returned from work.

    Surprised and glaring,
    his father said,
    “Son, not even your mother knows.
    Don’t bother me now, I’m tired.”

    But the boy insisted.
    And his father relented.
    “About twenty bucks an hour,” he admitted.
    “Okay, then can you loan me ten?”

    Restless and disturbed,
    his father yelled,
    “Is that why you asked?
    Go to bed – don’t bother me anymore!”

    Later, in the darkness,
    he mulled his words.
    Maybe his son wanted to buy something.
    He went to his room.

    Easing his conscience,
    his father whispered “Are you asleep, son?”
    “No, Dad. Why?” came the sleepy reply.
    “Here’s the money you bothered me about earlier.”

    From under his pillow,
    clutched in his little fist,
    more money emerged.
    “Now I have twenty dollars!”

    Confused, he gazed at his son
    and asked, “For what?”
    “Dad,” said his son,
    I want to buy you for an hour.”

    — Anonymous 

     
  • honordads 8:20 am on 09/09/2014 Permalink
    Tags: , poetry   

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    — Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953)

     
  • honordads 12:43 pm on 09/05/2014 Permalink
    Tags: eulogies, , poetry,   

    Poetry: The Day I Stood in the Command Tent Hearing of Your Death, Father

    Twenty­four hours earlier I’d earned the right
    to have my nametags sewn onto my uniform.

    In a week I would be called Airman, not puke,
    moron or imbecile. The talks I thought we’d have

    surged electric as I sat there on the bus heading out
    to Warrior Week—finally my flight and I away

    from the dorms, away from the blue ropes
    and concrete parade grounds. All I had to do

    was be a great night watch, learn self aid
    and buddy care, qualify with an M­16, (More …)

     
  • honordads 10:45 am on 08/25/2014 Permalink
    Tags: , poetry,   

    Reads: Father and Son poetry

     
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