Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday 22 February, 2007

Poetry Thursday
Todays prompt is: the body knows

A few days ago, the 17th of February, was the anniversary of my father's birth in the year 1920. Today, 22 February, 2007 marks the anniversary of his death at age 58 in 1978.

Friday , March 12, 2004 I wrote a letter to my father and shared with him my feelings surrounding the time of his death. When I read Liz Elayne's suggested "totally optional" prompt for today: the body knows, I knew immediately that I would share the letter here on PT. It is edited into poetic form here with out the loss of any meaning and perhaps it has been enhanced.

Dear Dad,

I'm hoping that you are still in tune
With our earthly endeavors.
Is heaven really UP there?
Is that what it's called?
Rhetorical? Perhaps.
Answer if you can.
I'll try to open up and be receptive.

It's been a long time,
in earthly terms, since
We've talked.
The last time we met face to face
Was on 17 February, 1978.
My memory, vague at times,
Recalls it thus;

It was your 58th birthday.
I had driven into town early
Hoping that we could share
A cigarette, a cup-a, and
A moments conversation.
Driving up I found
You leaving for school.

You said you were going early
To study before class.I wished you a happy birthday.
We agreed to get together
At some other time.
Neither of us knew
That would be the last we
Would ever speak to each other.

It really was unlike me
To do something like that;
Drive down early to have coffee
before work. Was it fate?
Coincidence? I don't know,
I don't really care. I did it
And I'm thankful I did.

the body knows!

Three years; 1975-1978.
Were the best we ever had.
We became friends, shared
Adulthood, and respected each the
other, man to man.
We were proud of each other
for the accomplishment we made.

Your graduation from Junior college
age 57 with honors
stood me in awe.
I thought; "how wonderful that you
Were using your brilliant mind
To it's capacity."
Proud; "thats my dad."

The tragedy of your
Untimely death
tempered by the fact
that you died in the center
Of academia.
No better place for you
To leave from..

P.S. By the way,
If you don't want these letters;
Just send them back ;-))




Blogger Lee said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, Rel. Thank you so much for sharing your is such a personal thing for you, from the heart. Thank you.

Fate...yes...there is such a thing as 'fate'.

5:52 AM  
Blogger Grish said...

Hi man!

5:54 AM  
Blogger Shaz said...

So lovely :)

6:16 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

What a great thing to share... How funny that you should have gone to meet your father at an unusual time- something you would not normally have done. As you said, the body knows...

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A wonderful and moving tribute to your father. Thank you for sharing what your body knows.



7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morning Rel,

I often wonder about things like this. Thank you.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Dennis said...

Beautiful. And so healthy for you to do that – to write to him like that. In doing so you are both a good son and a good father to yourself. – A well earned and deserved hug for you sir – (((REL)))

8:01 AM  
Blogger Jone said...

This is so beautiful. What a wonderful tribute to your dad. Funny how anniversaries will bring up remembrances for us.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

What a nice letter to your Father Rel. You lost him way to young...I lost my Dad at 63, to young too. Im sure your Dad is up there smiling and saying to himself " that my boy Rel!" Thank you for sharing it!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

This brought a tear to my eye. A wonderful tribute to your Dad and yes you must somehow have known something to go for coffee like that...

10:04 AM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

Beautiful letter to your dad. It brought tears into my eyes. I have a feeling your dad wants those letters from you.

In-between state of consciousness

10:22 AM  
Blogger Kamsin said...

Very beautifully written. So glad you shared those three years before your fathers death. I'm sure he's "up" there or wherever, smiling at your poem.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Joyce Ellen Davis said...

You have touched all of us in many ways. (I almost posted a poem I wrote several years ago about my dad's death). I think it was Theodore Roethke who wrote "we learn by going where we have to go." So true.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow--very touching memories, and it does work well as a poem, too. Thank you for sharing this with us.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Regina said...

Very touching, rel... I love that you wrote your dad a letter. My dad's been gone for 4 months now- I hope there will come a time when I can write to him as well. Thank you for sharing this and also for the inspiration...

12:03 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Rel, what a beautiful and poetic letter. I feel graced that you shared it, so thank you. Honestly, I am entirely fascinated with how the body always does know death better than we do ourselves - so many of these uncanny stories I hear - I am so glad you were "open and receptive" to what the body told you to do that day.

Thank you...

12:22 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

This is sad and beautiful at the same time, I'm glad you got to see your dad one last time even if only for a few minutes. You feel about your dad the way I feel about my mum I think - a great friend as well as a beloved parent.

12:38 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Rel, this is a truly beautiful poem that brought tears to my eyes. What a magnificent tribute to your father and to your special relationship!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Tammy Brierly said...

Rel, this was a touching poem and you were right, it was enhanced by poetic form. I'm sure he heard it from your heart where he is.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Susannah Conway said...

that was incredibly moving - thank you for sharing it xo

3:50 PM  
Blogger twilightspider said...

This is so beautiful, I'm literally moved to tears. There's such love here, such sensitivity and understanding - you are truly incredible.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Giggles said...

Poignantly shared, full of love and substance! It’s touched me beyond words. Your dad would have been a year younger than mine! He was 66 when he passed. Too young for both! The invisible thread of knowing! Wonderful tribute, as always a fine read!

Hugs Sherrie

4:33 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Wow. Just wow. That was so nice.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a lovely way to honor a father. Rel this was beautiful and touching and so hopeful.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

This is beautiful and works very well as a poem. A wonderful use of the prompt and a gift to all of us reading it.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wonderful. I dread the day I'll be writing letters to my dead father. I hope I do it as well.

9:16 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

This poem filled me with yearning.I never knew my dad well enough to write a letter full of loss and life. I envy you.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Very powerful, Rel. Makes me think about the death of my own father and what it all means to me now.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Rethabile said...

What to say? A moment of silence for the literary pleasure to wash over me, and also out of respect.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

Rel, I was so moved by this graceful and thoughtful poetic tribute to your relationship with your dad. Beautifully written :)

8:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I like to lurk here, commenting occasionally as you know.
But todays post was exceptional. Most of yours are, but today, you moved me to tears.
Thank you.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

This is so wonderful; I'm really having some trouble swallowing at the moment. I'm happy for you that your body did take over that day and lead you to where it knew you needed to be.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Jellyhead said...

Rel, why is my computer screen all blurry?

This is one of the most moving posts I have read in a long time. You have honoured and remembered your father so perfectly - he would be so very proud.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Carole Burant said...

Beautiful Rel, and written from the heart. Just in that one little poem we could sense everything you felt about your father. You look very much like him and I know how proud of you he is still! xox

5:33 PM  
Blogger Clockworkchris said...

this is what writing is all about-awesome and beautiful. i have never thought about writing my deceased father a letter but it sounds like a brilliant idea. so emtional-i really felt this deep in my being.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

Rel, I left a comment on this post ages ago ... but when I check again, it's not there. I seem to have trouble with comments 'taking' sometimes - whether I forget to check that the word verification believes me, I dunno.
ANYWAY - I am here again to say that this is a touching letter to your father anad one in which I can identify having lost my Dad when he was aged 48. He too was born in 1920. I too wrote my dad a letter (a while agon now). But this makes me want to write him another.
(Now this time I will make sure the word verification believes I can read!)

7:45 PM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

Just beautiful, Rel. That letter tells so much of the relationship you had with your dad. It's such a shame he died so young...and it certainly seemed as if your body knew.

Hope all is well with you, my friend.

8:17 PM  
Blogger mareymercy said...

I can only echo what others have said. This is just beautiful.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Dear Rel,
To say I'm "moved" doesn't begin to describe my feelings! Like you, and like many others, I get those "feelings" that can't be explained... I'm so glad you saw your beloved dad ON his birthday for happy and special times. Your sense of humor in the last stanza is you.

Although, you keep your poem upbeat, there is no denying the heartache of losing a parent so young and in an untimely fashion. It must be hard in recent years, too, as you have passed the age he died. Somehow I think you are strong and optimistic, the type of man your dad IS proud of.
Hugs to you,

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing, that losing your dad at such a young age, his and yours, must have been such a difficult thing. What a wonderful tribute to him and the fact that your intuitive action left you with a wonderful memory to hold on to! Thank you so much for sharing. This prompts me to write a letter to my dad, who is still living, but we don't see each other often enough (he lives in West Virginia & I am in Michigan).

12:31 PM  
Blogger Mary J. said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom a year ago, too, this past weekend (Feb. 25th). It's strange that the date can sometimes be etched in our minds like that. We're never quite the same afterwards, either.

I love this poem. I think it was quite succinct and moved well. The "body knows" part is not as effective as the earlier stanzas.

2:42 PM  

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