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FATHER'S DAY POEMS __________________________ Nicholas Gordon Copyright 2006 by Nicholas Gordon The poems in this book may be used free for any personal or non-commercial purpose. For commercial use of these poems, please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Published 2006 Printed by CafePress.com in the United States of America A FATHER AND A DAD ARE NOT THE SAME A father and a dad are not the same: One can be a dad and not a father, Or one can be a father and not bother To earn through love the more endearing name. Some find fatherhood a bit too tame, Leaving all the details to the mother, Or dumping the sweet burden on another Man with just a passing twinge of shame. You have been our dad so many years That you've become the landscape that is home, The mountain that we look to from afar. No matter where we go we're not alone, For you remain within to still our fears And be the word that tells us who we are. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 5 A LITTLE GIRL NEEDS DADDY A little girl needs Daddy For many, many things: Like holding her high off the ground Where the sunlight sings! Like being the deep music That tells her all is right When she awakens frantic with The terrors of the night. Like being the great mountain That rises in her heart And shows her how she might get home When all else falls apart. Like giving her the love That is her sea and air, So diving deep or soaring high She'll always find him there. 6 NICHOLAS GORDON AFTER MY FATHER GAVE ME HIS BLESSING After my father gave me his blessing For the first time, saying, "God bless you" As I left him to the darkness, He held me there and kissed my hand. For the first time saying, "God bless you" In all the years that I had loved him, He held me there and kissed my hand, And the child shivered with delight. In all the years that I had loved him, We understood no need to speak. The child shivered with delight; The man in silence turned away. We understood no need to speak As I left him to the darkness. The man in silence turned away After my father gave me his blessing. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 7 BEFORE I WAS MYSELF, YOU MADE ME, ME Before I was myself you made me, me With love and patience, discipline and tears, Then bit by bit stepped back to set me free, Allowing me to sail upon my sea, Though well within the headlands of your fears. Before I was myself you made me, me With dreams enough of what I was to be And hopes that would be sculpted by the years, Then bit by bit stepped back to set me free, Relinquishing your powers gradually To let me shape myself among my peers. Before I was myself you made me, me, And being good and wise, you gracefully As dancers when the last sweet cadence nears Bit by bit stepped back to set me free. For love inspires learning naturally: The mind assents to what the heart reveres. And so it was through love you made me, me By slowly stepping back to set me free. 8 NICHOLAS GORDON DADDY, I LOVE YOU Daddy, I love you For all that you do. I'll kiss you and hug you 'Cause you love me, too. You feed me and need me To teach you to play, So smile 'cause I love you On this Father's Day. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 9 EVEN THOUGH WE'VE LIVED APART Even though we've lived apart, I do not love you less. There's provision in the heart For storing tenderness. There's a love that like a star Must reconfigure space To turn the far-flung wanderers Towards some predestined grace. Time matters not, nor pain, nor death, Nor fate as hard as stone. This truth needs but a single breath, And that we now have known. Ah, Father! What a joy to live With love at last expressed! Life has no greater gift to give Than that with which we're blessed. 10 NICHOLAS GORDON FANTASIES, LIKE WORDS, AWAIT WHAT'S REAL Fantasies, like words, await what's real, Anchored only when attached to things. The dream of fatherhood, that long-sought dawn, Has now become the light of early morn, Exact and merciless in what it brings: Riches to which one can only kneel. 'Mid all the truths the package will reveal, Sensing well the wonder as it sings, Drawing well the world to which it's drawn, A love beyond all words will give you wings, Yielding joys beyond what you can feel. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 11 FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS HAVE A ROMANCE Fathers and daughters have a romance That goes on for the rest of their lives, Destined to ripen and age as they dance Through the days of their husbands and wives. Up near the surface their love is distinct, Like a garden surveyed in the sun, In which seedtime and full bloom are credibly linked By a consciousness shared and hard won. Deep down below, where the world is a dream, And the dream is a world of its own, All manner of memories the moments redeem In a place where one's never alone. 12 NICHOLAS GORDON FATHERS CAN BE SOLITARY MOUNTAINS Fathers can be solitary mountains, All their love rock-like, steep, and strong. Though warm and caring, somehow they belong Halfway home to mothers' bubbling fountains. Each of us needs love that knows no quarter, Reminding us of bonds that cross a border, Strengthening our sense of right and wrong. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 13 FATHER'S DAY WITHOUT YOU IS LIKE MUSIC Father's Day without you is like music Muted by a distance undisturbed. It is so faint I cannot tell the feeling, Though I myself am gripped with pensive sorrow. I listen all the more for what I cannot Hear, and you are somewhere close beside me. "It's joy!" you say, and then I nod, unbending, Listening still while weeping like fine rain. Yes, it's joy, and you again are with me. I turn to you, and I am in your arms. The music is a rhapsody around me, And I am safe again and free to cry. It is so beautiful, I cannot stand it, I am a torrent, shaking in my gladness, And you recede, as distant as the music, Smiling dimly far across the plain. "Please, please!" I say, yet know that what I'm asking No longer is. Your day will come and go, And I will crave and fear its restless turning Because my happiness must be my pain. 14 NICHOLAS GORDON FOR YOU I FEEL AN OVERWHELMING LOVE For you I feel an overwhelming love, All the more because you're far away. Though all the continents of Earth may move, Here is my love, and here my love will stay. Each time I feel my fortune go adrift, Realities like rocks poised in my way, 'Ere I feel that fearful, shuddering rift, Some memory of you holds them at bay. Dad, your love can still my heart uplift; After all these years, my spirits sway; Your strength and courage still my fears remove. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 15 FREEDOM IS A CASUALTY OF LOVING Freedom is a casualty of loving, As one must freely choose to be unfree, Taking is, instead of what might be, Holding onto essence for dear meaning. Each father ought to be the nearest mountain, Rock-solid, unmoving in his passion, 'Twixt wind and world the will no will can fashion, Sustaining innocence through sheer intention. Depths are in more places than below, As those who dive for melody well know, Yielding memories sunlit and certain. 16 NICHOLAS GORDON HANDS ARE A BOND BETWEEN FATHER AND SON Hands are a bond between father and son, A tool that one teaches the other to use, Needing to pass on the passion, or lose Doing what long generations have done: Sowing the seeds of what they have begun. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 17 HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, TO ONE WHOSE LOVE Happy Father's Day to one whose love Asks nothing more than that it more might give! Praised be those whose self-love selfless proves; Praised be those who by such pleasure live. Years of longing find no better plight, For everything that is, is ever here. A love that gives, gives unalloyed delight, Taking in more breath than it can bear. How lovely, then, to give this day to you, Embracing who would rather us embrace, Rejoicing in the ballet old anew, 'Twixt give and give a shy and awkward grace! So may you ever be on Father's Day, Despite yourself, the hero of the play, Accepting from your loved ones what you would Yet give yourself to them, if you but could. 18 NICHOLAS GORDON HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO THOSE WHO LOVE Happy Father's Day to those who love As amply as the angels love the light, Pleased to be for us the scourge of night Pacifying rage we know not of. Yours the passions in the pit that prove Fierce enough to fend off nameless blight, And yours alone the rectitude to right The jigsaws jumbled when the monsters move. How came you to such competence and valor Even as we wait to take your places, Rife with fear, uncertain of our courage, 'Twixt the world and chaos bent on pain? Since we first knew, we knew no hint of failure, Desperate as we were for your good graces, As you must sometimes look back at your knowledge, Yearning to be innocent again. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 19 HOW CAN I TOUCH YOU WHEN YOU'RE FAR AWAY How can I touch you when you're far away? A poem is not as salient as a kiss. Poems but poorly presences convey, Perhaps because of all that words must miss. Yet write I must because you are not here, Father farther from my eyes than heart, A face more frequent than it might appear, Tempered by the tyrannies of art. How might I be with you in ways that are Equal to the passion of my yearning, Reaching for a grace beyond the bar 'Ere there's any word of your returning. So may the time between us quickly pass, Days of longing that long cannot last, A time when but through words we may embrace, Yet know that soon we will be face to face. 20 NICHOLAS GORDON HOW LUCKY TO HAVE HAD SO GOOD A FATHER How lucky to have had so good a father! On us his warm, unstinting sun long shone. We were, of his hardworking life, the center, Loved for the pure joy of love alone. Uncanny are the requisites of pleasure, Coming as they do within the will. Knowing well where lay his greatest treasure, Years on years of love he labored still. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 21 HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU I CAN'T SAY How much I love you I can't say: It's more than words can hold. You're all at once my rich, red clay, My potter and my mold. Yours the words that shaped my voice, The spirit within mine. Yours the will that shaped my choice, My fortune, and my sign. How lucky I was to have had you At the core of me! Wise and good, you always knew Just what I could be. And so I came to be someone Whom I could be proud of. For this I give my swollen sum Of gratitude and love. 22 NICHOLAS GORDON I DO NOT SEE YOU OFTEN I do not see you often, but I see you every day. I've taken you along with me As I have grown away. We talk about the things that fill A life with love and pain, But our timeless golden time, Unspoken, still remains. You will always be my dad, And I, your darling daughter. The days may turn like waterwheels, But that will never change. The thought of you will make me glad No matter where I wander. You are the place that cannot feel Uncanny, dark, or strange. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 23 I WAIT UPON THE LOVE THAT WAITS FOR ME I wait upon the love that waits for me Unknowing as I grow within the womb, The creature of an unheard harmony Between the voices of my dawn and doom. Half of me is you: how strange! Yet more Uncanny is the fact that we are two. I live within a room whose only door For good or ill must open onto you. Be there for me, father, in your heart, As I for you will be the child you will. Play with all your love the father's part, And I will with my love your dreams fulfill. I will rebel, of course, but pay no mind: Years of love will stand against the wind. 24 NICHOLAS GORDON MY LOVE FOR YOU IS HUNGRY AS THE SEA My love for you is hungry as the sea: As turbulent, as tidal, as forlorn; As deep with unrequited mystery; As elemental, vast, and tempest-torn. No mountain is more awesome and enduring; No moon so full of passion for the light; No garden more forbidden or alluring; No watchman more acquainted with the night. I've learned such love leaves me with little pleasure, Nor does it die from lack of recompense. It is from birth a precious, haunted treasure, Long buried just beyond my innocence. It is a treasure I now offer you: That you are loved regardless what you do. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 25 PERHAPS WE'LL NEVER UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER Perhaps we'll never understand each other. Loving doesn't mean that we agree. If that were so, then I would say, why bother? But there are things I know I'll never see. I'm sure your heart knows what I don't yet know: The pain of loving a reluctant son; The anger, coming fast and building slow, Of being helpless to control someone. You want only that I grow up right, But you know what right is, and I still don't. I have to learn to wield my inner light, And if I follow yours, well, then I won't. I'm sorry for the anger in the air; Though we fight, my love is always there. 26 NICHOLAS GORDON THE THINGS YOU TAUGHT ME I WILL ALWAYS KNOW The things you taught me I will always know. How could I not? The roots have sunk so deep: All lessons of the heart that I will keep No matter who I am or where I go. Kids learn from what their parents are, and so You are my book of life, the thoughts I reap; Only in your arms I quiet sleep; Under my words your voice sings soft and slow. From you I learned the rules of right and wrong Against which I at times had to rebel, Though with regret I carry with me still. How lucky I am to have been loved so well, Even as I pushed against your will, Relying on a father fair and strong. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 27 THOUGH NEW AT FATHERHOOD Though new at fatherhood, you're surely not A novice at the art of giving love. With quiet tact you find the perfect spot Among the needs of those whose hearts you move. I never feel you slight me, even though At times your time for me of need is slight. Though working long and hard, you seem to know Just how to make our son feel loved each night. These gifts you give I know cannot come easy, Although they seem to flow so easily. You have a lovely air that's light and breezy, That says: I get from you more than you see. And so I am in awe of what you do; You love so well that I love you well, too. 28 NICHOLAS GORDON TO MY DADS ON FATHER'S DAY To my dads on Father's Day, On both of whom we both depend: My daughter reinvents my themes. Years pass, and well-wrought love remains. Dads are saviors, straight or gay, Always where our oceans end, Deliverers of desperate dreams, Solid land where sunshine reigns. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 29 TO THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN To the father of my children: Open up your willing heart! Take what music I can give you, Hearing, too, my silent song. Even as, arrayed in passion, Finding love, I play my part, A wonder like a wind whips through me, Truth unknown for which I long. How beautiful, this unspent yearning, Ever for the darkness burning, Rising like a summer storm! 30 NICHOLAS GORDON YOU ARE OUR KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR You are our knight in shining armor, Pilgrim of our plea, The Atlas for our wounded world, Our rescuer at sea. You are the pillar of our hopes, The deep bass of our song, The strength that underlies our strength, The calm for which we long. You came into our house of dreams And turned it into truth, Entering at just the point Where yearning shatters youth. What could motivate someone To bear another's load But that most beautiful of lights, The inner lamp of love. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 31 YOU TAUGHT ME HOW TO LOVE YOU You taught me how to love you by The way that you loved me; And by your unseen sustenance, To see what you could see. You gave to me through who you were The gift of what I am. Your pride in me is now my pride; Your faith, my caravan. Your life does not conclude with death, Nor will it end with mine, For all the lives I touch, you touch, And so on through all time. 32 NICHOLAS GORDON YOU'VE BEEN EVERYTHING TO ME You've been everything to me: a father, Teacher, playmate, model, conscience, friend. Sometimes I'm not certain why you bother, If your feelings on my words depend. I know I haven't been the child I should: Far from it, and I really can't say why. I know exactly what I'd label good, But in the real world something goes awry. Underneath my actions there is love, Gratitude, respect, and admiration. Sometimes I don't know what I'm thinking of, But I thank God you're in for the duration. I'm sorry, sorry for the things I do, But please believe I cherish Mom and you. FATHER'S DAY POEMS 33
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