The Lantern


Image

Do you see that lantern on the mantle?
Its light has shined on three generations of this family.

My grandfather learned to read under the tutelage of its glow.
He wrote love letters to my grandmother in verse reflecting
The warmth gathered from its flickering beam.

My mother found her way home through lost woods
To the waiting arms of my Dad,
And on the night I was conceived, it lent its sexuality.

Bright and slightly hesitant, still burn brightly
The night I was born, weaving moonbeams
Linking silver threads through the tapestry of our lives;
Illuminating my path through the years,

It has lit my tears and calmed my fears;
Beneath its flame we all found ways to heal
To bind up old wounds; to celebrate new beginnings,
While keeping vigil as loved ones passed away

One day I’ll pass it down to my children
Now crawling on the ground
And in its light they’ll learn to see within themselves,
Beyond themselves

I take it down and light it it’s blackened wick
Whenever I am consumed by darkness;
It watches over me and comforts me;

It reminds me that there are so many ways
To become illuminated

 

The Lantern


Image

Do you see that lantern on the mantle?
Its light has shined on three generations of this family.

My grandfather learned to read under the tutelage of its glow.
He wrote love letters to my grandmother in verse reflecting
The warmth gathered from its flickering beam.

My mother found her way home through lost woods
To the waiting arms of my Dad,
And on the night I was conceived, it lent its sexuality.

Bright and slightly hesitant, still burn brightly
The night I was born, weaving moonbeams
Linking silver threads through the tapestry of our lives;
Illuminating my path through the years,

It has lit my tears and calmed my fears;
Beneath its flame we all found ways to heal
To bind up old wounds; to celebrate new beginnings,
While keeping vigil as loved ones passed away

One day I’ll pass it down to my children
Now crawling on the ground
And in its light they’ll learn to see within themselves,
Beyond themselves

I take it down and light it it’s blackened wick
Whenever I am consumed by darkness;
It watches over me and comforts me;

It reminds me that there are so many ways
To become illuminated

 

Father’s Day


Image

He pillaged the title the day I was born
and like most thieves, he took for granted that which he stole.
Being a “father” meant no more to him than taking the trash out
the only difference being, he preferred to bring the trash in.
Each night, drunk and puffed full of false bravado, he would
return home from the bar twenty minutes after closing
with some strange woman who was half his age
who still managed to look twice as old as he was.
They all smoked and smelled of cheap perfume and beer,
and as he pushed by my mother with
with a violence that seemed to rattle her bones,
he would look at me, a frightened five year old
with no understanding of what this all meant,
and flip me the finger.

Every day was “father’s day”..
his to do with as he willed.
They took their sins into
my mother’s bedroom and slammed the door behind them.
I feared my father, but hated my mother
for not taking us out of this broken house and into
the world where somewhere, someone could love us.
That’s all I wanted…love. What I got was limitless contempt
for complicating their lives.
She just sat in the living room before the television, defeated
and sipping her gin, counting the years down until she might
find the courage to cut her wrists,
leaving us to…him.

I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award


Nominated by Tersia Burger

Nominated by Tersia Burger

In accepting the honor of “I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award,” I am moved not only by a profound gratitude for the recognition of my writing, but also by a very poignant humility coming from being nominated by such a courageous and awe-inspiring woman as Tersia Burger.

For those of you who don’t already know the story of  Tersia and her beautiful daughter, Vicky Bruce, I strongly encourage you to visit their blog, http://tersiaburger.com/.  It chronicles the incredible devotion and grace of a mother suffering the joys and heartaches of her daughters journey through an agonizing illness, which only recently took her from her mother’s enduring embrace.  It is a powerful story that will once and for all define what is meant by unconditional love.

Let me assure you that words fail to convey the deep emotion which stirs within me at this time, when it falls within my province to receive this testimonial, as I do, on behalf of the memory of Vicky Bruce. Thank you Tersia, for the award and love you have conferred upon me.

With Gratitude and Love,

Dennis

Appalachian Woods


cabin

Our lives can best be understood
in all the things we craft from wood
The dogwood laid our cabin floor
hung knotted pine our shanty door

Six bowls we carved from fallen maple
a burnt mahogany sets our table
A dozen spoons and forks by hand
hewn perfect fit for every man

And woman, too, with pocket-knives
whittle tokens of our humble lives
Soft wicker thatched this rocking chair
and spruce the toys sprawled everywhere

In wooden homes that we have built
we hang on pegs our history quilts
Each patch a memory lovingly stitched
our purses poor, our lives quite rich

Our beds and wardrobes never falter
we hand-carved those from summer alder
Our coffins, too, of stout mesquite
for when our journey is complete

In wood we find our heart’s desire
or pain if come the wayward fire
And even so, most grievous sin
not to build from wood again

So now you better understand
how we live upon this land
Within the forest, and it in us
in God we hope, in wood we trust

Awakening


I have lived on the cusp
of knowing, and still my days
are filled with
incertitude,
Laughter rings my home
where generations have
gathered,
Flesh and bone betray
and to this day
I cannot make out the faces
that call me brother!
My father fell from grace
the day I was born and
stumbling, perfumed by
the scent of failure
and sweet vermouth,
he made his exit.
I never knew him.
My legs stretch long
before my faltered steps
but they cannot carry me
far enough away.
My dreams are salted and
weathered; my hope reserved
for the scattering of
copper pennies upon foreign
streets.
My only wish is to sleep
through this overture of
nothingness until cool
waters redeem my parched
awakening.


Do you see that lantern on the mantle?

Its light has shined on three generations of this family.

My grandfather learned to read under the tutelage of its glow;

Wrote love letters to my grandmother in verse reflecting

The warmth gathered from its flickering beam.

My mother found her way home through lost woods

To the arms of my Da, and on the night I was conceived

It lent its sexuality.

Bright and slightly hesitant, still it burns, weaving moonbeams

Like silver threads through the tapestry of our lives.

Illuminating through the years, it has lit my tears and

Calmed my fears; beneath its flame we all found ways to heal,

To bind up old wounds; to celebrate new beginnings, while keeping

Vigil as loved ones passed away.

One day I’ll pass it down to my children now crawling on the ground

And in its light they’ll learn to see within themselves, beyond themselves.

I take it down and light it whenever I am consumed by darkness; it watches

Over me and comforts me; reminds me that there are so many ways

To become illuminated.

The Lantern

The Trinity and Me


First They took my father, and then consumed my mother
Without the slightest hesitance, They came and took another
My sister left in tender years, They left me naught but pouring tears
We’re promised today and not the other, so They came again and claimed my brother
I prayed They’d come for me one day,, but here I stand with feet of clay
And this belies my ardent fear, They’ll not return for many years
Leaving me with nothing more than dreams of how it was before
How cruel and painful can They get, my day will come, but not just yet
And so I stand here all alone, with a wounded heart and an empty home.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; which of these I hate the most?
The Trinity it’s plain to see, for it’s all for One and none for me.