Sunday, September 27, 2009

7-Poem Dad Suite/Teknologee/Wendell Berry/

Ed Coletti 9-9-09 edcoletti@sbcglobal.net

7-Poem Suite For Dad

So Many Poems
(for John J. Coletti)


My father lies dying
(so many poems)
His chest rises and doesn’t
(so many poems)
then rises again
(This is our moment)
My beacon now phoenix
(so many poems)
I draw him,
soothe him
(so many poems)
I sponge his lips with cranberry
He sucks on it
(honey bee)
So many poems
he’ll never read —
has never read —
so many.


Sailing Towards My Father Dying


My beacon
a faint flicker
will sputter
extinguish
leave me utterly
beyond vision
stranded.



No Bullshit

Think you’ll make it
to your 95th birthday
next week?

I’ll try

Do you want to, Dad?

I don’t care

You okay with that,
no fears?

Nope, When you’re dead, you’re dead!”

our father

my younger sister
tendering farewell
one last time


the dying

day primeval
progenitor’s flame
failing bed beside
me writing something
of a forbearer nearest
then and now
no more always
this day tomorrow


Becoming Friends


As with death himself
I too sit close
to my father —
death all too close
I breathe hot to his cold
jealous we must share
my father, me exhaling,
death inhaling
No contest,
just a rhythm

My Own True Father Passing

I watched my father die
unencumbered by the Catholic hell
he provided me. He meant well.
I doubt he ever fully
swallowed communion
or my school named
American Martyrs
for Jesuit missionaries
(eyes boiled away by Huron Indians
who did not understand
this other hell)
and for an Indian maiden —
Katherine Tekawitha —
protecting her sacred virginity,
saved but for her life.

So as I prepare for my own death,
I recall my father,
both eyes open
to his past and future
unafraid
unexpectant
fearless.

What lesson can I,
exposed to childhood myths,
horrid legends disguised as truth,
learn?
How do I wager all eternity
upon the premise of integrity?

Just being here informs me
that I know my own open
blissfulness far outweighs
that remotest hell.

Why would I ever want to spend eternity
with a vengeful monster
whose idea of a relationship with mankind
includes narcissism, sado-masochism?
He ain’t no father

Why pretend to choose
to believe a fiction,
over my own true father passing?

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For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three. Alice Kahn



How To Be a Poet

(to remind myself)

i

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.

ii

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

iii

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

- Wendell Berry



Comment Here on any of the above or below and read the comments of others too. Log in under "Name" or "Anonymous" if you like, but please be sure to sign some facsimile of your name. Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net if you have difficulty.