Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Fathers

"Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you've got, say "Oh, my gosh," and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It's not a question of choice.” 

“America used to live by the motto "Father Knows Best."
Now we're lucky if "Father Knows He Has Children."
We've become a nation of sperm donors and baby daddies.”

                                                   Stephen Colbert, I Am America

“We were kids without fathers, so we found our fathers  on wax 
and on the streets and in history, and in a way, that was a gift. 
We got to pick and choose the ancestors who would inspire 
the world we were going to make for ourselves.” 
― Jay-ZDecoded

File:Fathers day father with kid on lake.jpg
father with child on lake
Poets United Midweek Motif ~ 

Many nations have a holiday to celebrate fathers and fatherhood and fathering and fathers' influence on society.  In the USA, it is the third Sunday in June.  All species have fathers, too, though the roles they play out are not like human roles.  Or are they?

During last week's prompt by Sumana on "time," a few poems reminded me of personifications like "Father Time" and designations like "The Father of Industry"  and "The Father of Off Off Broadway." Are these like human parent-child roles?  

Your Challenge: "Father" a new poem. Let your motif address some aspect of fatherhood.

A Father's Day Tale by Juan Felipe Herrera, the new USA Poet Laureate

More inspiration:  
To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he'd removed
the iron sliver I thought I'd die from.

I can't remember the tale,
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face,
the flames of discipline
he raised above my head.

Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought you saw a man
planting something in a boy’s palm . . . . 
              (Read the rest HERE at The Poetry Foundation)          

Excerpted from The Father of My Country

. . . . 
If George Washington
had not
been the Father
of my Country
it is doubtful that I would ever have
a father. Father in my mouth, on my lips, in my
tongue, out of all my womanly fire,
Father I have left in my steel filing cabinet as a name on my birth   
certificate, Father I have left in the teeth pulled out at   
dentists’ offices and thrown into their garbage cans,
Father living in my wide cheekbones and short feet,
Father in my Polish tantrums and my American speech, Father, not a
holy name, not a name I cherish but the name I bear, the name   
that makes me one of a kind in any phone book because   
you changed it, and nobody
but us
has it,
Father who makes me dream in the dead of night of the falling cherry
blossoms, Father who makes me know all men will leave me   
if I love them . . . . 
          (Read the rest HERE at the Poetry Foundation.)


Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below 
and visit others in the spirit of the community.

Next week Susan's Midweek Motif will be Entering Summer or Winter  (depending on where you are).

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  1. Thank you for the prompt - a challenging one in a way.. on a cheerier note happy Wednesday writing!

    1. Happy Wednesday, Jae Rose. And the rest of the week. I am happy that you are here!

  2. Hello everyone,

    Wooo hoooo!! Its Midweek Motif again :D hope you all like my ballad.. a difficult form but rewarding nonetheless :D

    Lots of love,

    1. Your definition of Ballad is different than mine, but I love your poem! I am so happy to see you today!

  3. I don't know if anything is wrong with my computer I can't post my Midweek motif poem as Mr. Linky is not working here...

    1. Give me your link and I will put it in.

  4. Hi Susan here's my link

    I can't see anyone's poem :(

    1. You are #4. After old Egg, Jae Rose, and Sanaa Rizvi I wonder what's happening?

  5. I have not written my poem yet. All of you inspire me to go in different directions! Wow! And I have 3 poems to my father, so I should deal with a different aspect of fatherhood. In case you can't wait (haha) for a new poem, here's the link to one I wrote last week:

    Now--to the blank page to take up the challenge I gave and give to you.

    1. Whew! Finally! That was hard. I sorted through a flood of incoming thoughts. I think here are more poems in the same flood, but I've had enough for now.

  6. Susan,

    The Mister-Linky link, seems to be working now, thankfully!
    My poem is an honest sharing of my personal experiences with my father. A most difficult write, but courage assisted me today.

    1. It was very brave of you Eileen.. I admire your courage :)

    2. Bless you, Eileen, and Thank You! Honest experience in poetry is a gift you give.

  7. Thank you for all of the wonderful inspiration, Susan!!

    1. And thank you for adding your unique and loving voice.

  8. Thanks for the prompt. Look forward to reading the poems.

  9. I am frustrated!!!!!....can't see anyone's links though I've been able to comment on a few ....

    1. I just sent you an email. I don't see anyone else on here from India either, which makes me wonder if it's possible to block only part of a transmission--

  10. Today, Fathers is Parker Palmer's topic in the On BEING blog. You may gather inspiration and humor there: "Maxims for Father's Day" BY PARKER J. PALMER "shares some of his dad's most humorous gems and a poem by Dana Gioia to celebrate all the men in our lives."

  11. Happy Wednesday, fellow poets. Looking forward to some good reading today. I hope everyone has a wonderful Father's Day this weekend.

    1. Thank you, Sherry. It is good reading. Very good.

  12. Something for everyone to write on here, I should think, whether good or bad. Happy Wednesday everyone! X

    1. Happy week! And thank you for your poem.

  13. Hi Poets
    Happy Father's Day to everyone here!!
    Great prompt, Susan. I returned home from a vacation recently ..How easy it seemed to change environments, climates and even continents :)
    Wrote a tiny poem with renewed energy...smiles.
    Coming back tom to read the other entries....G'nite!

    1. I've felt your absence! Happy week!

  14. P.S. I can't see the links either (i posted via my iPhone) so am visiting blogs through these comments....

    1. And use our comments on you, too. I wonder what is doing this?

  15. I'm having a problem with the mr linky thing so here is my link

    1. Welcome! I linked you in and believe the link works, so you should be getting a few more visits.

  16. I cannot get Mr. Linky to open at all.
    Mine is up at:

    1. I have linked you in, so others will be able to get to you. I am so sorry about you not seeing others. Perhaps you can visit those who come to you? I will be fixing this, but not this week--because I am afraid of losing the 17 who are linked normally. There were two others in the same boat as you. I should have it fixed by next week and Mary believes it will be working fine for Sunday's Pantry. Good to see you!

  17. Didn't think I was going to write on this one, so busy with other things — but such an evocative subject wouldn't be denied. :-)