Category: Poetry + Flash Fiction

Poems are Made by ‘Fools’ Like Him, My Dad, 95 Years Old

My dad is 95 Years Old. He will be 96 in December. I asked him recently if he’d ever thought of being a poet. I was surprised to hear his answer.

My father was born in 1921 in Oklahoma. He referred to his family as dirt poor because they lived in one bedroom shacks with dirt floors. He slept in the kitchen next to the wood-burning stove, the youngest of six children. His mother was a pentecostal preacher. His father, a quiet farmer.

At 6, he witnessed his dog being eaten by a bear. At 7, he worked in the cotton fields for the first two weeks of each school year (harvest time) to pay for his shoes and school books. He rode a horse to school bare back. At 14, he convinced his parents to buy a car, telling them he’d drive them to church instead of them having to take the horse and wagon.

At 18, he was the first child from his family to graduate from high school. The photo in the video is his high school graduation photo in 1939. He was drafted shortly after that for WWII, and was trained by the army to be an electronic technician. He was stationed in the islands near Japan including Okinawa resetting the friend or foe codes daily for pilots. Wherever a new air strip was set up, he’d go. He was one of the few service men in his unit who could drive so he always drove.

At 24, he moved his parents to California, to get out of the dust bowl in Oklahoma. He settled in San Diego, then Sacramento.

I always found my father curious as he was very quiet but he listened to classical music, read a lot and loved to read poetry. Very odd pastimes for a blue collar worker with a high school education or so I thought. He loves to travel like me and thanks to him, we lived in Italy when I was 11. He has always encouraged me to travel, to see the world, and follow my dreams.

After briefly interviewing him, I realized he chose to not follow his dreams, and instead provide for his family. He did the best he could given the circumstances. He always worked for the army, in Civil Service after the war. Retired from Civil Service. I’ve always wondered what his passions were. Now I have a glimpse.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad who do the best they can. We appreciate you.

In the Beginning

Poem originally published September 23, 2016 in Love and Ensuing Madness on
Rat's Ass Review

Warning Graphic - 18+ Audience suggested.

Play me, Tempt me, Pursue me
Go ahead. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. I am here for your enjoyment.
I won’t break.
I’ll come when you call. I’ll jump at the chance. I’ll enjoy the challenge.
I won’t refuse.
This is the fun part. I’m a good sport. I won’t disappoint. I want to be better.
I won’t fall.

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Published: Rat’s Ass Review

I am thrilled to announce that two of my poems have been published in Love and Madness, a collection on Rat’s Ass Review, an online poetry journal. Please take a look if you are so inclined. The poems “In the Beginning” and “Prey” both cover the broad topic of Love along with a little bit of Madness. I hope you enjoy reading them. I know I enjoyed writing them.

You can read my poems and many other great poets here.

Photo: I’ve chosen a photo of a forest I took north of Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s fitting for my poem “In the Beginning,” which features a woman that happened to have been excommunicated from a garden similar to the one in this photo.

Flesh & Blood

I was three years old when my parents first decided to become foster parents. By the time Joanne arrived at our house, I was used to the revolving door of youth. In fact, I became addicted to the anticipation of new arrivals. Joanne was the ninth or tenth. I’d lost count. My parents never had more than three foster children at a time and after John had left, when I was four, they requested only girls.

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