acceptance, Elaine Stirling, family history, Father's Day, form poetry, grandfathers, long life, marriages, Navarrete quatrain, nostalgia, reconciliation, reminiscence
Handsome man, you flatter me
with violets and violin, midsummer fire
lights your smile, while aurora borealis lends
you emeralds and silk to pour across my feet.
Handsome man, you flatten me
with shallow dreams that burn like paper
matches littering our bed with cardboard
perfumed crowds I don’t recall inviting.
Handsome man, you sweep away
the ashes of the promises I know you tried
to keep the crowds like hairs upon your head
from thinning, yet they tore your hopes apart.
Handsome man, you left too soon
the violin now sits upon a shelf unplayed
the sodden paper matches light no fires
save the ashen pipe dreams of my heart.
© Elaine Stirling, 2013
–image of my grandfather,
photographed by Oliver Maki
Such a beautiful, touching piece… and what a wicked twinkle your grandpa had in his eyes. 🙂
Thank you, Adriene! You see the twinkle, I’m so glad. 😉 He was the most incredible, charming Renaissance man, and it was the strangest (yet loveliest) experience to write of him as mortal…as my grandmother might have experienced him. Thank you for your kind comment.
Seen through a microscope of genetic lenses ground to edges just shy of incestuous, this hints at a much deeper story. An interesting choice for Father’s Day.
I’m pretty sure that my mother’s father was as moral as moral could be. However, when I saw that photo this morning for the first time in decades (my sister cropped it from a larger pic), I saw the man instead of the “Pappa” and was curious to know if I’d be struck by lightning for crossing perceptual boundaries. So far, so good.
Love the first two stanzas! I also like the photograph and his eyes are mischievous and witty.
Thank you, Lucy, my Pappa would have loved your recognition of him. He lived the most amazing life, and I’m sure that his wife, whom I knew as Mummu, had the chance to do it all again, she’d say yes. Here’s an earlier post of another aspect of his life, which you may have read. I appreciate your kind comments.
Beautiful. “the violin now sits upon a shelf unplayed” makes me cry even as I understand how blessed you were to have heard and enjoyed it at all.
Thank you, Mandy…your kind words assure me that the violin still plays, and that our loved ones never truly leave us.