Photograph courtesy of Victor Rodvang, Unsplash

Let’s Give the World To the Children

Let’s give the world to the children just for one day
like a balloon in bright and striking colours to play with
let them play singing among the stars
let’s give the world to the children
like a huge apple like a warm loaf of bread
at least for one day let them have enough
let’s give the world to the children
at least for one day let the world learn friendship
children will get the world from our hands
they’ll plant immortal trees

– Nazim Hikmet



After Nazim Hikmet

What happiness that today
I can be “open and confident”
Though normally I would hide
in the safety of feigned ignorance,
feign joy, pretend
that I can see my clear sky
in spite of his clouds

Respectfully, I provide the detail requested …

The year is 2016
The month, January
This the first Wednesday
The hour is 6 a.m.

now that i am getting to know you,
now that i am chest-high in your poesy
it’s your time that interests me
……….1902 ~

You were birthday twins, Nazim,
You and my mysterious father,
born the same year, into the same culture,
spent your youth in that turmoil

If I study you, Nazim, will I find him, my diffident father,
in the dissident roots of your Turkish sensibility ~
they said he left with a price on his head
only to be caught, chained, imprisoned
in America, between a lover and a wife,
……….strong women . . .
………………..well, at least stronger than he

Hello Nazim!
I say “Hello!” gleefully
……….without a wink
I think we could have been perfect friends
that we might have understood each other
……….Hello! to you and your poetry
……………….Hello Nazim, Hello!

© 2016, Jamie Dedes

Note: My father and Nazim Hikmet would have come of age just as WW I (1914-1918) was ending and the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1923) was beginning. Hikmet (1902-1963) was a renown poet, playwright and novelist, a communist and a revolutionary who spent his life in and out of jail. He won the International Peace Prize in 1950. My father (1902-1977) was a furrier. I didn’t know him well and saw him only two or three times a year, always at his office, never his home. This poem is after Hikmet’s Hello Everybody from Things I Didn’t Know I Loved. I appreciate his poetry for many reasons, but not the least as one way to get to know the world of my father’s childhood and youth..

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

June 21 is Father’s Day in the U.S., where I live. In honor of fathers everywhere, please share poem/s about your father or about something that reminds you of your father or makes you feel connected to him and ..

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose

PLEASE NOTE:

Poems submitted on theme in the comments section here will be published in next Tuesday’s collection. Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published. If you are new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, be sure to include a link to your website, blog, and/or Amazon page to be published along with your poem. Thank you!

Deadline:  Monday, June 15 by 8 pm Pacific Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know and befriend other poets who might be new to you.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


Jamie Dedes:

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For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

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“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

27 Comments

  1. Hello Jamie – here is my submission for this week:

    “Details”

    I zero in
    On the cracks in the walls
    The spaces between the tile and grout
    The layer of dust on the grand piano
    The peeling Formica under 80’s sought after giveaway cups
    The places where your innovative nature took precedence over getting the job done right.

    I zero in
    On the grays in your hair
    And the spots on your hands
    The slowness in your cane aided walk
    Your mouth agape during your afternoon nap
    The hand me up shirt you’ve been wearing for decades because it still fits

    I zoom out
    And see the humor and kindness in your eyes
    The hands that lovingly prepare my favorite meal
    The 20 year old bed that fits generations
    The clock where time has stopped but happiness lives on
    The struggle of remembering and honoring and forgetting and accepting.

    I zoom out
    And notice what you do without
    What you’ve sacrificed
    What you’ve preserved
    What you’ve done with love
    What you’ve done for love.

    I zero in on that detail.

    Hope you continue to be on the mend. Sending healing vibes….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is the 2nd poem for my father.
    FOR MY FATHER copyright Irene Emanuel
    My heart’s bereft
    now you have left this Earth.
    Just thoughts of you
    to see me through the years.
    When last did I
    see eye to eye with you?
    Your World and mine,
    by age and time, were different.

    As memories come creeping in,
    why, only now, do I begin to see your worth?
    How dumb and blind;
    how closed my mind to everything of you.
    You tried your best,
    why did I test your love?
    Love and warmth were always there,
    I just never gave my share to you.

    And now you lie beneath the ground,
    my words of love are tightly bound inside me.
    So all the times I ever had
    to say ” I love you, Dad,” are gone forever.
    Too late I’ve woken,
    the words unspoken remain unheard.
    Why did you go
    before I let you know
    how much I loved you?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I still recall the moments

    when I sat up in bed crying

    for how long?

    I do not know,no one came

    for quite some time, perhaps

    because it was

    in the late hours of night-

    I was hardly four or five

    playing more and eating less-

    I was crying for food

    I guess…

    and then he was by my side-

    Father sat patted and said,

    “What’s the matter dear?

    is it something that you fear?

    Its not the cold nor heat nor pain,

    its hunger you need something to eat”.

    And so I still feel the taste so sweet

    delicious to the root,full juicy was the

    tinned mixed fruit.

    Father opened the can right there

    made me eat with love and care

    what else so ready could he get,as

    I felt hungry in the middle of the night…

    No sooner had I eaten

    when all tears were forgotten

    I was overtaken by peace

    and fell off into a very deep sleep.

    Father your love was profound

    it sustains me still.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Respected Jamie Ji Thank you for the opportunity to honour Father ‘s blessings love care and life support, as the angel of God on Earth. May Allah reward you for all the good that you do.Hope and pray that you are feeling good too gaining strength and are comfortable. Love always.

      Like

    2. Beautiful tribute to Father. Here are my entries for Fathers’ Day.
      FATHER copyright Irene Emanuel
      He was otherworld;
      othertime, otherplace;
      he was othertongue;
      otherman, otherface.
      He was a Polishman;
      strongman; bright and aware;
      wiseman, everybody’s friend,
      busyman, goodman, always there.
      He was a workman;
      kindman; animal lover.
      He was caring and gentle,
      adored his kids, worshipped our mother.
      He was a sickman;
      weakman, fading away,
      he lingered on until he died
      one glorious bluesky day.
      He was Polish Henek, English Henry,
      different names and time—–
      for me, he was my fatherman,
      my dearest Daddy, mine.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. straight from the heart your love and regard shine through the life’s journey.You have related so well the values and qualities.I love the family side .He is a heavenly man.Thank you for sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love how you’ve used the recurring suffix -man in your words to describe all the roles and characteristics your dad had. It really adds to the rhythm and cohesiveness of the poem as it follows your father through his life. This was superbly written! Your love and admiration for him shines through.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A SEAMAN’S POUCH

    R166216
    Lost, replaced, now traced at last,
    my father’s.
    Neat cursive script in different hands,
    no wasted words:
    ships, dates, evaluations,
    a carpenter in a world
    of steel and water.

    Winnipeg2/ chartered once by Pablo Neruda/ to take from France/
    Spanish refugees/ and carry them to Chile/
    “The critics may erase all of my poetry if they want/
    But this poem, that today I remember, nobody will be able to erase”/

    Convoy ON-139
    A line of life stretched taut
    and fear haunts each keel.
    Curse/ bless the storm pounding
    against the knuckled rivets;
    pray that the head grinding
    down against the crushing walls,
    pray that the head will rise and breathe,
    pray that the engines will not fail,
    pray you will not be lost
    in the ocean’s wrack.
    22/10/1942
    U-443, Wolf Pack Puma.
    This line of life, men and cargo,
    war, time and water intersect.

    49°,51’ North, 27°,58’West
    Two sudden blows.
    The pictures show a ship in a gentle ocean,
    scuppers nearly under water, men in lifeboats.
    I magnify and peer, hoping I will see him.

    21.48. The line of life, a shipmate
    who saw he wasn’t there,
    who went below, hefted him
    over his shoulder. Four days unconscious.

    Only once he talked about what he had seen and heard,
    annihilating seas and storms, men burning in oil.

    A father discharged from life
    with honour.
    This poem was published in my book, At the Storm’s Edge, published in January 2020 by Palewell Press, London.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “Vinyl Run”

    In a burgundy Buick LeSabre
    stopped before a storefront
    stammering “Records! Records! Records!”
    waited a professor
    with salt-and-pepper hair,
    puffing on a pipe
    packed with Dutch Masters tobacco,
    on a break from weekend yardwork
    while his bespectacled kid with brackety braces
    lingered inside,
    fingering forty-fives and albums and
    mulling over which artistes
    merited his allowance
    and the privilege of spinning on
    the stereo supplied
    by the chap in the car
    watched through a window
    by an incredulous clerk who
    clucked, “That must be
    the world’s most patient man.”
    Blushing with shame,
    the teen high-tailed it to the till,
    swapped crumpled banknotes for
    rock ‘n’ roll and
    rushed to shower his chauffeur
    with contrition and thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Dear Father, if you were alive today,

    Life would have been so different, I would
    have spent a day with you, served you hot tea,

    Discussed some aspect of English Language
    then played an exciting game of Scrabble with you.

    You inspired us all, by your elegant professionalism
    I admired you in uniform you honored it so rightly.

    Up early getting ready for office, I remember the
    sweet smell of lather, the small foamy shaving brush

    You would lovingly tease me by touching my cheek
    with it, your silver table mirror swinging back from

    time to time, and had to be adjusted again and again,
    the small mug of warm soapy water, I watched in awe

    when you changed the blade after shaving the cheeks
    a bit of chin, you respected the beard but never kept it.

    I remember the brand name Treet, sharp metallic cutter,
    wrapped in yellow and purple, while music played on

    Radio Ceylon,Triple 5 cigarette tin stood at attention,
    uniform clean pressed stiff, brass pips shining, awaited you

    How lovingly and expertly you would treat us in times when
    we injured ourselves running and falling, or getting fever,

    Your love of music always surprised us in joyful suspense
    till the needle of Grundig touched the HMV 75 rpm record,

    this reflected the musical moods of the Renaissance. The best
    collection was of books,every month from England

    “The Companion Book Club”classics arrived. I know all that
    reading created the writer in me. Thank you Father, I love you,

    miss you, I could write so much more, as there is so much more,
    with you in heaven, then I talk to you in silent prayers,

    I am fortunate to receive so much affection, care, teachings of
    true values of life in this world. Your best lesson was:

    “Have a big heart, forgive and relax, always try to do good with
    patience and courage, to be alive is a blessing”.

    Note: may be edited
    You were a true soldier, served actively in Burma and Java, experienced a brush with death against the Japanese, a healing doctor of humanity, veteran of WW II, awarded the Burma Star, King George the 6th Queen’s Medal 1950, Royal British Indian Medical Service Medal and Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Service and Indo-Pak War Medal 1965.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I still miss my father. He passed in 1988.
    Here are two poems I wrote about him.
    Dreaming Across the Styx
    By Joan Leotta

    My father walks into my view.
    He is in a long, narrow room,
    wearing his tan trench coat.
    A finely blocked felt hat
    tops his jet-black, wavy hair.
    He tamps down the tobacco
    in his cherry wood pipe, then turns
    to me, his brown eyes twinkling.
    He steps back into
    a poorly lit hallway I do not recognize.
    Dad removes his coat and
    sits in an orange plastic chair.
    Coat on his lap,
    he draws softly on the pipe and
    nods toward me .
    Cherry -flavored tobacco smoke
    soothes me.
    Dad is waiting for me,
    as always.
    Through theatre classes
    piano lessons, dance lessons.
    Patiently enmeshed in his own thoughts,
    he waits without complaint.

    Suddenly I wake.
    I’m at home.
    No hallway. No chair.
    No cherry tobacco.
    Only the smell of coffee.
    My father smiles from his photo.
    Some say dreaming across the Styx means
    Ferryman Charon will soon arrive.

    Not for me.

    Instead of Charon,
    my own beloved father
    waits, patiently, to
    ferry me across the Styx
    in his white 1960 Thunderbird.

    First published, Red Wolf Journal, Summer 2014
    Included in my chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon

    Donut Dialog with Dad
    by Joan Leotta
    Published in ovunquesiamo spring 2020
    Once a month on an

    afternoon when my

    dad worked night shift,

    he’d pull up to my school in

    his white Ford Thunderbird

    at one, to fly downtown.

    so the orthodontist could poke,

    prod, and adjust the cacophony of

    wires and metal bands

    promising to shape

    my teeth into a better smile.

    By 2:30 it was over.

    Dad would check his watch.

    “Time for a donut?”

    We headed to the swirly counter stools

    of the Mayflower Coffee Shop.

    Dad ordered coffee, and I hot chocolate.

    Sour cream cake donut—

    always his choice.

    I vacillated between Boston Cream

    and vanilla cake with chocolate icing.

    One afternoon, after our donuts came,

    I poured out a litany of all the day’s

    wrongs – friends, studies.

    “Why do I need a better smile, if

    I have nothing to smile about?”

    Dad sipped his coffee quietly.

    When I finished, he pointed to the

    ceramic mosaic behind the counter

    with its iconic poem and read,

    “Keep your eye

    upon the donut, Joanie,

    not upon the hole.”

    Words to live by,

    not just when eating donuts.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. ..father’s side of the family..

    it goes deep. they came from malta. maybe gibralta. they rhyme you see.

    it was because of her accent, her size and working in the laundry. sun light

    was the name.

    she could not say electricity nor mattress i believe. thought it leaked through

    the wire.

    he was deaf when i found him, could not hear my words, so not the right

    answers there, wherever it was.

    we wonder , we wander in drifts.

    even if we knew the truth, it may be wrong.

    for us.

    sbm.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. ..desertion..
    my father told me that he was too deaf for the war

    so stayed in britain instead

    of fighting

    my father said he did not understand my mother’s illness

    no one told him beforehand

    the incidents

    said that the doctor advised his leaving; the desertion

    he said that he was there at my brother’s funeral;

    stood back

    where no one saw him, no one heard him

    my father said he was always around if we had needed him,

    so i said where?

    but he did not hear me.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. NDEKE.
    The name that is also a thing,
    What a story in the history of a man,
    The man who give me his love wrapped in a name,
    Ndeke; loosely translates to Aeroplane,
    A bird too, both creatures of flight,
    A man married to the soil of his land before a wife,
    A man true to the seasons,
    Now, firmly rested in the very soil that so amazed his hands,
    Every cup of coffee bears memories of this man,
    Every bird, every jet and chopper,
    A poet melting metaphors of the crops and sweat,
    A boon to his brood and provisions,
    A legacy of tireless endeavors,
    Laughter was a short affair in a grunt,
    Discipline came with a stern look and a wave of the head,
    When he pointed a finger in admonishment, raised remorseful regret spoke,
    For this rough and refined figure of my father,
    Led the example with his own ways,
    School meant much to him, and rebuke came by way of sample failures,
    Never heard a single ” I love you child ” from his tongue,
    Yet, never doubted this love withheld verbally,
    Only once in my life,
    Did I hold my father close to my heart,
    A hard time fell on his son,
    And age added to great sorrow,
    Brought my father to my bossom,
    He said nothing, but said everything in that moment,
    A year later, he went his sky way,
    Now, he lives in my name and bones,
    And the wonder of his efforts,
    That’s a testimony to this verse.
    May all father’s leave something to hold for their children.
    I have a name.
    And a legacy too.

    © Nancy Ndeke
    @ June 2020

    Liked by 2 people

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