Note to the son 3:

He couldn’t look me in the eye. I couldn’t hold this gaze much longer either, the tears were slowly welling and I didn’t want him to see me cry: I didn’t want him to think me weak.

[What is weakness but strength hidden,
what are damned tears and a stern face
if not markers of fear victorious
flags at the feet of mountains
and courage lost…
and courage lost.]

He only ever cried once when I was around. That was a while ago, nearly a decade. Time has made me unsure of the honesty in the droplets he slowly wiped with his handkerchief, folded into a perfect square.

[These ‘spots of time’ like brushstrokes loose their paint the further they stretch,
colour rages against the canvas, the canvas wins – unless the painter dabs once more.
But some streaks are seared, from the furnace to the mind they are etched
and like the wounds they are, remembered they are ever sore.
And scarred ….
And scarred…
And maybe sacred.]

Shame had brought us here. The same that made me quiver when I thought of how I might end up opposite you. Just as he does opposite me. Afraid to become a composite I had lived up to my name – his name. IF we end up here I hope you’d not hide as I did.

And thus we stood in silence. The words like a torrent had flown out and filtered downstream. Wetting the hard stones on their way to the plains. Forgotten until our descent.

[… and like wounds they were, remembered ever sore.
and ever sacred…
never sacred…
always scared like courage lost…
and no more…
no more.]

“Yet to those who believed”… Help my unbelief.

© Denis Adide 2013

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Note to the son 2:

They tell stories of sons and Fathers
Of names passed on, with love and luggage;
Tales of love, passion, compassion, courage,
longing, sorrow, and rites of passage;
Hammers, nails, paints, and screws,
waiting patiently in absence for news.
Sulking quietly in pebbled mews
after leaving the playing fields
assailed by apparitions –
the visions of happiness,
Fathers and sons arm in arm with dog leads,
kite strings: heart stings – like wasp stings
inciting anguish where absence flourished
and the word unspoken never became flesh,
like songs they linger, hovering over the deep,
Keeping without form, void of love:
There are no parting skies here,
no falling dove, no world of Love,
no baptism, and indeed no name,
not pat on the shoulder.
Just the boulder – unassailable emptiness –
pressed down by these long tales they tell.

Maybe as I sit recounting what ails,
my hope is that in my edicts –
sorrowful they may seem –
are sinewed songs to entice you to –
in your grand oddessy – settle by my shores
And change the colour of the ink I use,
Scent the pages, accent the alphabets,
give prominence to my loftier notes,
amplify the chords that bind me together,
roof the house that leaks
and light the fire.

And light the fire

light the fire.

© Denis Adide 2013

 

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Note to the son: 1

I saw you today.
deep in my happy-time dream
as the sun shone through the clouds
landing on the lavender covered fields,
and the re-greening branches,
and the brown carpet
magnificently laid across the woods,
and the silver barbed wire fence,
and the tarmac.

You smiled,
with a face I recognised but forget,
increasing my longing with your call to play.
running from bark to fresh bark
at a pace my bones can’t follow.
past the border of our clearing,
into the deep away,
enticing yet fraying the dream.

Once beaming, I frowned,
crowning my hearts love for you
with the anguish of waiting,
assailed by the strengthening anxiety
that actually – and far from your fiction:
my affliction may indeed be
that you may never come.

I slay the beast with mortal weapons,
he heals and rises up again,
casting his shadow with a cloud
over the discoloured lavender,
chocking the daffodils with rain,
drenching the forest floor so
that ir’s muddy snares slow my bones
as they attempt –
as they attempt –
as they attempt –
to run after you.

Fingertips away from bark,
ears to the lark.
vision spurning in the blackness of waking,
of half empty chalices,
and poorly marked tarmac.

But…
I saw you!

© Denis Adide 2013