June 16, 2008
Last year, on my father's birthday, he began to reminisce about being six years old and catching tadpoles and bathing in the washtub in front of the fireplace which was the only heat. His family lived in poverty in a rented wooden house near the train tracks. There was a cut in the hillside to make it easier for the train to make it up the grade and, on the other side of the cut, was an upscale hotel where Roosevelt and Churchill sometimes stayed. About 15 years ago, my father visited his hometown and had dinner in that hotel. He felt guilty, he said, about enjoying that meal knowing that neither his parents or grandparents could have afforded it. The rooms, he read, are all furnished with feather beds, fireplaces, and ball-and-claw foot tubs so deep that you can soak up to your chin. My father is intelligent, if under-educated, but more prominent are his distrust, fear, and anger. He has never lost the sense that the world did not treat him fairly. These stories help to fill in the mosaic of that man. I'd like to rent him Roosevelt's room.
July 10, 2008
On a Tampa beach many moons ago, when the tide was out and the gulls were laughing, as they always do, a miraculous event occurred. A child of nature was born and swept ashore upon the change of the tide. She ran naked up and down the beach joyfully breathing in the fresh clean air. Then, swooping down from clouds above a large white stork setttled on the smooth white sand and said, hop aboard, don't you know you can't go traipsing around all bare and new. So the child of nature climbed aboard and the next thing she knew she was in a smelly hospital bed having no idea how she came to be there but she couldn't wait to return to nature once again and the stork that brought her. Happy Birthday child of nature. Our card, as usual, will arrive late. Stork mail wasn't available. People just don't believe in storks any more and thus they are much more rare. You can save this for when I become a great and famous poet. Love, Mom & Dad
July 10, 2009
Maggie: I sit here savoring the warmth of the madera I toasted you with, my dear. It was to celebrate your birthday, wasn't it? Let me refill my glass, and perhaps the Madera will remind me again. Yes that was it. Your birthday---How could I forget? I must be aging more rapidly than you. I remember that first birthday well. That was when you were cavorting on the beach one day long ago. Well, maybe not so long....So hang on to your memories child of nature. Stay close to nature always. And stay forever young. But be careful of the Madera. Love, Dad.
September 28, 2010
I got a reminder note from you awhile back that I had neglected to write you a birthday poem for your birthday. Do you realize what a drain that places on my limited creative resources? It is a lot of work, that's what it is and besides I am certain I will not be able to top the one I did last year. But I tried anyway and this is it.
There was a time when you and I
Would stand barefoot in the sand
As the waves grew quiet and the sky grew dark
And the sun sank slowly into the sea.
We would look together at the sky and
Wait for the stars to appear one by one
As a lonely Pelican flew solemnly seaward
The Egmont lighthouse would come alive portside
And the Anclote lighthouse would respond at starboard.
The park was closing; we had to go.
So our time was up for this single day
And so we went to return next week
To once again clear our minds and
Refresh our souls.
Remember those days???