Father’s Day

dadday

The Bill of Spring   2007

This sunrise,

I sense your eyes

In the chill of Spring

And want to sing—

Just because,

Winter’s gone

And you —- my song.

Water snow is on the ground,

And all around

Brown leaves cap

Tulips deep in earthen nap.

It is then

I remember when—

You so clear,

Disappear.

Even before

I closed the door.

You knew it last,

All those Seasons of the past,

When,  wild mustard  files,

Down the rows of grape stake ties,

I feel the choke

Of time’s quick stroke.

As the years go by

And the inner eye

Still holds you dear

It cannot fear,

That it’s too late

To relive fate

As if ever new,

The wonderful presence of you.

That you are gone

And sorrow’s song

Becomes light

In the holding of your flight

Away from us.

When the white birches sing

In the nascent Spring

Photo shards bring you close,

Pushing me on a backyard swing.

And thus,

Always there

I never fear

You are lost,

Though I am lost,

Without the life of you.

 

LETTERS

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately, particularly because Father’s Day is coming up in a few days. I reflect on my life and the incredible gifts you have given me—-gifts that seem to be realized at each their own time. You always told me to seize the moment, to embrace the perfection of a perfectly rip peach, a summer tomato, the first snowflakes, autumn leaves and smokey burns, and the embrace of an infinite sky filled with stars. I got to thinking how many people pass through such exquisite states and never realize it! You gave me the gift of knowing such states and the vision to pause and be in it. Especially now in these darkened days of our reversal of fortune does that gift of perception turn our days bright and devours the potent energy of despair.

Every day Trace and I are able to savor some moment—-perhaps the way light strikes the trees at dawn, or fields of wildflowers around us, or the scuttling beautiful flock of wild quails that live around here, and so on. To my way of thinking this gift is like the breath of life itself.

I think of you mired in numbing corporate work, struggling with the enormous weight of sustaining a family, the countless sacrifices of opportunity that came and went, your incredibly disciplined mind and determination. At my age now I can begin to understand much of it. And, I wonder and give thanks for you and all those moments you took to let us know how ‘to smell the roses.’

Not a single effort has been wasted for now in my advancing years this great gift is my solace. It has enabled me to find friendship and companionship for the remaining years with one who knows as I do that the ‘exquisite state’ is forever. Not even death can destroy its call. ‘Some say it is like a river that surrounds the earth. Others say it is a beam of light flying forever into the universe.’ It is love.

Your life and care for me has taught me how to love on all levels and I would say that the impulses of compassion are the most blessed.  I am blessed for knowing you, for being taught by you and being loved by you as your son.

In this light you can see that I am not so much a prodigal son as one following the ineffable paths of the quest for love, for the spirit, for the divine, and having exhausted the world found the treasure so long sought in the loving smile of a life companion and the gentle strength of a father who knew it all along,

With love,

Michael

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