Sunday, June 28, 2009

-For Barton, Jr-

I was sitting tonight, musing really,
alone as Melissa had fallen asleep
(those silent thoughts unable to compel her!)
my mind ambled along it's wandering course
and for some reason it settled on you.

There arose a memory, resurrected
one that dwelt in a dream
(tho never a dream, for 'twas felt too real!)
where you and I sat in a grand room
and I was confused with who you were.

In an instant I'd settled it, prematurely,
made up that you were an old acquaintance
(strange settling on that friend so ambiguous!)
and so I talked, and fudged, and tried to bridge
the gap from before, when we'd last met.

I should have seen the bushy brows
and twinkling eyes, recognized them then
(for now they were merry, and winking!)
and I think it was at last your laugh that awoke
and replaced, the childhood memory kept of you

It was really you! Not the other who I'd
passed off and tried to build a platform to.
(you and none other, singular to me!)
the blinders I wore then, fell to nothing
peel'd away then from my typhlotic eyes.

You were happy~but the laugh was more
besides the humor in the way I'd mark'd you
(Oh how you seemed to glow!)
and I felt your love, despite my hybris
and all the space and time between us.

Perhaps this then was a singularity?
as of I were earthbound and you a star
(fix'd in the heavens, on which I still gaze!)
a sparkling point of blue burning fire
the scabbarded tip of Orion's sword.

Strange recollection, this memory of a dream
brought by an angel, those long days ago
(so sharp to the quick, and piercing my center!)
awoken again tonight, by the muse
and I type when instead I should be asleep.

My wife, our kids, and even our dog
all know better than I right now and nod
(ebon skies and a waxing moon keep my watch.)
yet I type on, writing for my late grandfather
no latent elegy, but full-throated song of felicity!

-Jay

Friday, June 26, 2009

I am about to start my weekend. I've got 35 minutes left on shift, and then freedom!

Going to start plasma donation again today, haven't been bloodletting for cash for nearly a year. I have done this on and off for a number of years; the cash the plasma center pays out is well worth it (approx $250 per month), and well used for plethora of purpose.

I am pretty tired. As you perhaps can see from my fragmented trains of thought. It has been a tough week @ work. Lots of issues, and many of them so odd they defied rational thought. Customers asking for weird support, accusing of strange things, demanding out-of-scope actions. I am gld to be done.

On another seperate grain of thought, I think I may try and write something spur-of-the-moment. Here goes.

Untitled

this vessel, ungilded chalice
holds little more that water
yet costs more than kings mead
it carries the cost of life
weighs the grains of death
and works, works, works
until its finished
seized up, pegged.
solo drum beats, only so many
pushing this little stuff, more than water.
once taken away, dust~
hammer on, on, ON!
simple chalice, soul's steed
tympanic movements
in the strange cantata of life.

Hmmm. And I end up writing about Michael Jackson anyway. Didn't mean to. Yet there you are. For Michael.

-Jay

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers day, what a thing.

My kids are all pretty young still, so today was just like any other day. Their hugs and kisses, wrestling and roughhousing with me were just like all the others. They knew no differently, and rightly so.

To them, this is normal. Father's Day is every day, it is not a special moment set aside on the third Sunday in June, it is in every leaf, every explanation, under every rock we turn over together. Strangely enough it is also in every dirty diaper, every late night with a sick child, and in every scraped knee and wet rolling tear shed by my youngsters.

Father's Day is found in the mundane and the exceptional, these moments that jumble and jostle together and make up a childhood. It is 365 days a year of youth, 365 days of parenting. It is also made up of my own childhood. It's also about my own father who worked at the steel mills. It is not linear, it is looped, and exists in the future actions of my children as well.

Father's Day permeates and surrounds, the same way Mother's Day and Grandparent's Day do. It makes up an outward expression of an inward feeling, as as such the day is a good one. It allows and encourages my little children think about what it means to be a father for a moment, to catch a small vision of their own future roles, and express gratitude for all those other 364 days.

I am mostly projecting at this point as my kids are all under age seven. But perhaps in twenty years when they have kids of their own, these words just might be read by them, and they'll understand.

All this makes me think of my own dad. I mentioned the steel mill he worked at, but there were other things besides work that he taught. My dad showed me his sense of humor despite obstacles, showed me that it was OK to truly fall in love with reading, taught me about where my family line came from and that Scotland is The Brave. He taught me about his religion, taught me to be true and to work hard. These are things I love my dad for.

Oh the strange road I traveled to realize these things about my dad! Time and experience were the vehicles that peeled off the blinders that I wore; a divorce and pent up teen angst had me jaded against him for so very long. It took raising my own children--the worrying that they had eaten enough, were dressed in clothes that fit, and were getting an education, to get me to realize he did his best for me. That he still was trying his best as a father and grandfather.

This makes me think of Frost and his poem Choose Something Like a Star. My dad is steadfast, unflinching, solid.

Frost mentions in his poem that we should not carry praise or blame too far; and I will not. I do thank my dad for showing me the way that I will succeed. And that is the best Fathers day gift of all: hard work and love are the legacy that I will to pass down to my children. It is the same as was passed down to him by his parents, and theirs to them.

May God continue to allow us to pass this legacy on down the line to our children.

Happy Father's Day today and every day this year!

-Jay

Monday, June 15, 2009

I've just submitted the first chapter of my book to a contest with the League of Utah Writers.

If you know me, this is a big deal. I am more of a hide-my-talent-under-a-bushel kind of guy. The last thing I submitted was back in my senior year of high school, a last minute sort of thing, the three poems I submitted to Argus, Orem High School's student literary magazine. I turned them in on the day of the deadline, and I apparently was the dark horse--a student who never had attended any of the teacher's classes who ran the contest, but I took third place. I was elated!

I have a colleague, Eric Mutch, who is an aspiring author as well. He has taken me under his wing and been pushing me to finish, edit, and submit something to the LUW for weeks now. True to form, I worked on it last night, and procrastinated again to the eleventh hour before turning it in. The deadline was today, and my brother-in-law and I raced for the post office after printing my submission.

My feelings are jumbled now--excitement mixed with a bit of apprehension; the trepidation over the extra 213 words beyond the 3000 limit, wondering if the submission will be received well. All in all I am glad, these new actions of editing, submitting my work for scrutiny, and dissecting my writing with Eric Mutch. I feel as if I am on the path which will lead me to the ultimate goal, to become a published author.

Here's to a good reception of my work and to helpful feedback from this new literary group I am joining!

-Jay