family

My Grandparents' House

When I think of my grandparents, I imagine them sitting in their dining room and talking about their day. Every day, almost without fail, when I was visiting my grandparents, we would sit down, drink coffee and eat bread at almost exactly 6 o’clock. My grandfather would make the coffee while I sat with my grandmother. They had a coffee maker that is old enough that makes me wonder how it is still working but not old enough to be considered trash and thrown out. When the coffee was ready my grandfather would sit and eat plain white bread with strawberry jelly. He liked to drink coffee with milk and a little bit of sugar. My grandmother, on the other hand, would just drink plain black coffee. She was always trying to cut down sugar. I liked to eat sweet bread and coffee with a lot milk. Without fail, they would always have a basket of fresh bread in the middle of their dining table, wrapped with a cloth so it would stay warm. They used to buy the bread from a bakery two blocks away. If you happened to walk in front of it while they were baking, it smelled like heaven. My grandmother would always make us use her old cups even though she had like a million of new ones in her cabinets. When I was younger I loved to take them out and play with them and my grandmother would get angry at me. I didn’t understand then but now that I’m older I realized that they were probably really expensive. She had gotten them piece by piece in all her trips to the United States when she was younger and some were gifts. They probably had a sentimental value to them. Thankfully I never broke one. Now I understand that her cool dishware was for displaying and her normal stuff was for everyone to use. My grandmother also used to have a shelf of neatly folded handkerchiefs, towels and other cloths that belonged to her parents. They all where embroidered by my great-grandmother with flowers, butterflies and other things she liked. My grandmother liked to take them out and show them to me. Our favorite was a tablecloth with a hundred sunflowers along the edges. When I saw it, I imagined my great-grandma sitting on her favorite chair, working on it for hours until she proudly showed it to her children and husband. The tablecloth was old but since it was made of a very thick fabric, it didn’t look worn out. Sometimes my grandmother would use it on the dining table and make the dining room a little bit like a sunflower field. 

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Chicago Skyline

Folder: 
2017

If we tear it apart and I hug you too hard

maybe we can go

back to that Chicago skyline

and not worry about all the monsters and mountains we’ve seen here.

 

I’m made of feathers when you breathe out

words I’ve never wanted to hear

so I am crying out the dust you’ve left in my chest

I want to catch what you want between my teeth and give it to you

I want to dance until I can build myself back into stone

but I have never been able to dance

when you’re not here.

 

Now I can see how we are so good at failing.

 

All I want is to go

back to Chicago

so we can be the girls standing where the earth meets the water,

so the tide will never rise if you stand so still,

close your eyes,

only open your mouth

to tell me this is where we belong

and I will clutch your pieces even if they draw blood from my hands,

make me believe we are surviving and

you will never fade again.

 

If I can’t take you with me

I will paint you into the Chicago skyline.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 2/7/17

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Karma for the Healing (day 178)

This is karma for the healing,

remembering to be proud of

everything I’ve learned to love,

remembering to be proud of

leaving someone behind when

they don’t choose this bond.

 

This is karma for the heartwrenching romantics,

knives in the sparks in his eyes,

ropes every time he talks to her like that.

 

But you cannot reverse me,

I will not take back the words that choose to plant their seeds outside my mouth

They’re heavy and hard to swallow

even when I build them on truth

 

A spoonful of sugar helps the lies go down

so I have opened this room myself and cemented the door

but the key locks love and we are all inmates-

I have learned to know this prison as a sanctuary.

 

This is karma for the healing,

knowing there will always be things in his head

my breath is too shallow

my voice too quick to steal seconds

my arms are too short

to reach.

 

This is karma for the healing,

remembering through the field of spikes in my chest

to be proud of everything I’ve learned to love.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 1/21/17

A spoonful of sugar helps the lies go down

In Songs (day 175)

Sometimes I measure the time passing in songs.

 

An especially long moment with you

is the Beatles’ Her Majesty.

 

A night I don’t want to let go of

mutters the power of Dream On

A breath I don’t want to set free

holds the haunting chords of Amber Run

and when everything seems shattered

I Set Fire to the Rain.

 

We’re making soup out of beginnings

and catastrophes out of finish lines

and along the way

there’s music behind the curtain.

 

A heartbeat is old pop songs

I can still sing as well as I can smile.

 

Free falling is

snippets of 500 Miles

sprinkled with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

 

My screams crack your walls,

I’m OneRepublic’s Burning Bridges,

Lights lyrics on my stepping stones,

and when I carry a voice that doesn’t trust you

my throat is etched

Sara Bareilles’ Lie to Me.

 

I sprint and I can feel his heartbeat in my pounding heels,

Taylor Swift’s Sparks Fly,

it’s funny how now

runners and her voice

summon ghosts of his fingers to my face.

 

Pieces of Halsey and Sia and Florence & the Machine and Lost Frequencies,

invisible playlists,

you could call them my devotion

because I feel and feel and can’t speak,

maybe you should

learn the music filed under your name

to know what’s going on in my head.

 

Invisible playlists

spell out the names

of everyone I love,

each of them

messy and heartwrenching and incongruous

and yet somehow

they fit together,

just like you.

 

Half my life has sped by in colors

like the highway on these foggy mornings,

bass and chilling vocals echo

Sometimes I measure the time passing in songs.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 1/18/17

Devotion

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More Than I Say (day 172)

I love you.

More than I say.

Less than I should say.

 

I wake up with every bone rearranged,

I’m tripping over sentences we’ve never said.

 

I have been told we are titanium but still

I think you’re more breakable

than you say.

 

I think we might fall apart

so I’ll hold you like a champagne flute

until you tell me we’re colliding like a breaking wave.

 

They were all my training wheels

and now I have wings

but I don’t wear them like a symbol

I fly like it’s enough just to be untethered.

 

The colors crawl back behind my eyelids and still

I love you.

More than I say.

Less than I should say.

 

The universe crashes particles together that don’t fit and still

I love you.

More than I say.

Less than I should say.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 1/15/17

Training wheels

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A Daddy's Father

Folder: 
Tributes

by DaddyO 

 

I inherited from my Father some of the very best qualities. He also passed down some traits that I have had to work on daily to accept and come to terms with.

 

His personality spanned both ends of the spectrum. His vivid imagination as well as his unflinching stubborness is near legendary status. His unique flirtatious bravado was potent enough to land him my amazing Mother and set a twinkle in the eyes of nearly every woman he encountered.

 

His love for fun was so valuable as to endear my sister and I to him as a wonderful and entertaining Father.

 

Unfortunately his penchant for stubborness and unwillingness to change was dangerous enough to provoke estrangement from key members of his family, shorten his life (and argueably his quality of life), and was an influence in his divorce.

 

One thing's for sure, no one who met him ever forgot him. He is legacy personified. A person who influenced everyone he met.

 

And this is why he is my role model.

 

His miscues became lessons for me to learn by and his successes became qualities for me to emulate.

 

On the evening of September 24, 2012 he sustained a brain bleed. The cause is irrelevant; the doctors said something as minor as him sleeping on his pillow wrong may have caused it due to the high level of blood thinners in his system.

 

He started feeling bad (an almost daily occurance) and unknown to him, his head began filling with blood. After getting to the Veteran's Hospital ER, with help from his wonderful friend Eva, the brain bleed was determined. Due to the blood thinner medication he's on for his heart ailments, they had to wait for his blood to thicken in order to operate...we waited while his head filled with blood and threatened his brain functions.

 

At just after 4am this morning the operation began. The surgeons removed a portion of his skull to allow the blood to drain and give his brain room to move (they feared it was swollen). They were prepared to sew him back up with a third of his skull bone removed and kept on refrigeration for a later operation where they'd put it back in. Luckily his brain wasn't swollen bad enough and they were able to finish the operation just after 6:30am and reattach the bone plate to his skull. He is still recuperating and it is unknown to what degree he will recover...or if he will recover. It's a waiting game right now.

 

Keep him in your thoughts. And if my deist friends out there want to keep him in your prayers, that's okay too.

 

But whatever you do, please remember him as the clever and kind hearted man who, while sufferring through his own pain and loneliness, always had other people's laughter first on his mind.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

2012 

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tags:

"Death of Dad"

by Jeph Johnson

 

My father died
In the arms of my lover;
Something I
Will never do.
But when I die,
If not alone,
It'll be in the arms
Of a lover who
Just won't be her.
It'll likely be
Someone else's
Lover too.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

2017 

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And so I learned sunsets can't fix everything (day 166)

Cool metal on my fingers

but through my eyes this door handle is the swords of an army

and as I enter my blood goes from icy winter to a perfect clean cold,

my boots thunder or tiptoe on the pristine tile.

 

This is a hospital.

I have to keep reminding myself

this is a hospital,

and I don’t want to believe this is where you live

but it is where you exist.

 

I want so badly to go in

to keep walking

God knows you’ve faced this better than I ever will

but I am choking on your absence

and I don’t know if we will ever stop carrying this weight

if we will ever be the same once you’re home.

 

And no, nothing broke your bones

but that would make it easier to sleep at night

knowing without question you are healing.

 

And no, no one took a blade to your throat but

you might as well have

I can’t speak,

I want to write you a letter

but I don’t write in prose

and if I try I know all it will say is

this is just a broken link in your chain

zoom out and you’re the silver necklace someone has always wanted to wear

you are blind but we all have to watch as

you try to burn yourself down.

 

You have always been the perfect elixir when every piece of me is exhausted

but here

you are washing me out

like the walls

like the floor

what do they think, you’ll drag colors down your arm like a blade?

 

And just because the sunset is perfectly orange on the way home

does not mean my head is less tangled or

my heart has stopped boiling into steam-

I could tuck myself into a corner and not know the difference

because when you’re here you fill up the air all the way to the ceiling,

all I know is that you are only a seventh of the beating hearts in this house

but now that you’re gone I can hear the shadow of its sharp stab to your chest

like the silence could kill me.

 

People break so easily.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 1/9/17

Broken links

This has been a struggle lately.

Santa's Arrives

Folder: 
Childrens Poetry

Santa's merriment this coming Christmas will be something to behold!

The family's sentiment at this time of year a joy to see.

All ready with their attonement; however,none needed as they'd all been so good.

Santa notices the ammendments on the Christmas lists; left where they lay.

Santa's announcement that he had found the food,

Santa's ammusement with a mouth full of mince pie.

The reindeers ate to fullfillment, the carrotts left , as they too had. had a hard day.

Now to the arrangement of the presents piled high to the sky.

In contentment around the Christmas tree Santa carefully arranges the gifts.

Someone's up already, quickly time to leave and fly.

 

By Anita Griffiths 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas for 2016, best wishes and regards, Happy Holidays.