My father died April 20, 1998. He suffered most of his life
with health issues surrounding a heart condition, which fought him at every
turn. My dad was one of the most loving and personable men I have ever known.
He left a legacy of perseverance in suffering and selfless love for his family
and friends. He was, as his grave marker reads, “A loving father of three
My dad loved life and he loved his family, and while I did
not know him well, I treasure what I do know about him and what he has taught
me. After his death, the following poem, “Life,” was found in his personal
belongings. I was made aware of this poem well after my love of poetry had
developed and well after I had started writing poetry myself. I cannot help but
believe I have received this love of poetry, and the ability to craft poetry,
from my father.
Another treasure that I found in my dad’s Sr. yearbook was a
quote by Owen Meredith beside his picture. This quote simply states, “Who knows
nothing base, fears nothing known.” My dad’s courage, zeal for life and
rejection of fear in the face of his own illness and hardships inspire me in
the face of my own fears, insecurities and uncertainties. I treasure these
gifts that my father has given me, even after his death. Discovering these
treasures has been a continuation of knowing my father and growing in my
relationship with him until I see him again in paradise.
This poem "What the Moon Say" is published as part
of a collaborative work in the anthology "A Sense of the Midlands".
This work was "Edited by Cynthia Boiter with poetry editor Ed Madden, A
Sense of the Midlands anthologizes 33 Midlands area writers." (From the book's press release here)
My poem that is included in this work is What the Moon
Say. This is an older poem, which I wrote from the rooftop of the old, and
then abandoned, Olympia Mill back in 2001. I was bored one afternoon and was
doing some “urban hiking,” when I found myself staring at a full moon in the
evening hue from the roof of the old mill. The cityscape was before me and it
was strikingly beautiful.
I thought about the moon that night and all that it has
witnessed over the course of time and how it seemed to look down on the world
with unspoken wisdom. Time sort of stood still and I thought, “This moon was
here when we were born, it watches us live and it will be here when we die.” My
next thought was getting off the roof of the mill before it was pitch-black
Here is part of the press release and the invitation for the
launch of A Sense of the Midlands:
The public is invited to celebrate the launch of A Sense
of the Midlands on Saturday February 22nd from 5 – 7 pm at the Columbia Music
Festival Association Art Space at 914 Pulaski Street in Columbia’s historic
Vista. Admission is $15 which includes a copy of A Sense of the Midlands,
admission to the reception from 5 – 6 during which authors will be available
for signing, and admission to a reading from the book from 6 – 7. (Two
attendees sharing a book will be admitted for $20.)
“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.
‘Simon,’ he said to Peter, ‘are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one
hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is
willing, but the flesh is weak.’” –Mark