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Posts Tagged ‘Poem’

Then there were times when

    The poetry flowed.

My words fell on paper,

    My creativity glowed.

*

The writing was easy,

   The meanings were clear.

My inner child,

    Always was near.

*

Then came the hurting,

     The word flow did cease.

I spiritually died,

    I knew no more peace.

*

Long years of silence,

    By my poet child.

I tried to be happy,

    Inside I was wild.

*

It grieved me to hear,

    The silence within.

I wanted so badly,

    The words to begin.

*

Years of discovery,

    Led me to causes.

I worked and recovered,

    Without many pauses.

*

I went back to Tulsa,

    My dead father to see.

To tell him I loved him,

    To set old hurts free.

*

It’s now a year later,

    The word flow returns.

Creative freedom,

    Again mine to learn.

*

Now there are new times,

    When the poetry flows,

The words fall on paper,

    My creativity grows.

*

Yet it seems like a new world,

    My heart is at ease.

Not flowing from hurting,

    My words are at peace.

*****

This poem was written in 1999, but I’m having this experience so strongly now that it’s really relevant today.

Photo credit:

“Inspiration” photosteve101 @ Flickr.com Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

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My Dad disappeared

For about a year

When I was seventeen.

The last I saw him,

We left him

Passed out drunk

On the living room couch.

Relatives came and got

My Mom, sisters and me

Leaving Dad

Who wouldn’t quit drinking

Who wouldn’t accept help.

I thought

I might ever see him again.

 *

Later

He returned to our lives

A changed man.

He sobered up

Got back his old job

Built back his old life.

*

But twenty years later

After he died

I realized

I never knew what happened

When he disappeared.

When he was on the edge

Of killing himself

With the drink.

Rumor had it

That he worked

The wheat harvest

Something he had done

In college.

Wheat Harvest

*

I started to write

The story of what I thought

Might have happened.

I realized

The piece I was missing

Was what it would be like

To work on

The wheat harvest.

*

I said to a friend

“Someday…

Someday,

If I ever want to

Really explore

My Dad’s story.

I might just have to

Work the wheat harvest.

My friend Pat

Listened quietly.

 *

Later he said

“You’ve talked about

working the wheat harvest

three or four times.

I just want to mention

Someday – if you want

To work the wheat harvest.

I have relatives in Oklahoma

Who do that each year.”

*

I did what I do

When hit with

The unexpected.

I sat there

Numbly,

Quietly.

And then said

“Thanks for telling me.”

Talk about upping the ante

On a spiritual quest

To walk in

My Dad’s shoes.

My friend had

Certainly done that.

Now I was left

To put it all out there,

Or leave it as “someday.”

*

I finally called Pat

And asked if he would

Do me a favor.

Check with his relatives

To see if I might

Join their harvest crew

For the summer.

*

Meanwhile,

I tried to figure out

If this was

Completely nuts.

Quit my job,

Go off and work

On a harvest crew

To find out about

My Dad’s story.

I checked it out

With Scott – a good friend

Who was really grounded.

He’d give me a solid answer,

Besides, he was

An accountant.

Logical, linear.

I later realized

I was secretly hoping

He’d tell me

“This idea is crazy”

So I could give up

The whole thing.

Instead he said

“Makes a lot of sense

I think you ought to do it!

It will be part of

Your healing.”

Major gulp!

*

Two months later,

I was living in a trailer

In Lone Wolf Oklahoma

With six high school farm kids

Learning to drive a huge truck

Used to haul grain.

And following

My Dad’s story.

*

Bunk trailers and work pickups

Cara - the grain truck I drove on harvest

It was the adventure

Of a lifetime.

We followed the wheat

As it ripened.

Living like nomads.

It was a world

I had never seen before.

Living in an old house trailer

In one place for two weeks

Then moving,

Trailers, trucks, combines

A caravan

To the next farm

As the wheat ripened

From Oklahoma

To North Dakota.

Combines and tractors

*

Combines dumping grain on trucks

I learned many things.

I grew up in the city

But had the heart of a country boy.

I love driving a tractor

Or a wheat combine.

I don’t do well on little sleep.

Living in a trailer,

Farm boys are not

Particularly neat

When Momma’s not there

To clean out the tub.

When pulling wheat from

A plugged up combine

The dust really itches,

When it gets down your neck.

 *

And special things happened.

    I got to visit the filmsite

From Dances With Wolves.

We saw Mount Rushmore,

Me at Dances With Wolves filmsite

My first pic of Mount Rushmore

Both affected me deeply.

All in all

It was a magical summer.

*

It gave me the truth

About what I believe

Happened to my Dad.

How he had

A spiritual awakening

And realized

He had to return

To clean up his past.

I finished the story

I wanted to tell.

I wrote it as a novel.

It will be called

“Nothing Left To Lose.”

 *

But as I look back

What Pat said

When the idea

First came up

Turned out to be the truth.

He had said

“Dan, you think you’re going

On the wheat harvest,

To learn about your Dad.

I think this trip

Will be about you.

You will learn about

Yourself.

Heal yourself.

Claim your own power.”

*

He was right!

I often look back

On the wheat harvest experience

As a turning point in my life.

When I claimed the truth

Dan the writer

Of my path

Not to follow the business world

   Of my Dad and my friends,

But to claim my birthright

As a writer

Dan the writer

A teller of stories.

And a country boy.

I am completely convinced

I did the right thing

In going on harvest

To walk in Dad’s shoes.

Because I found – myself.

********************

Photo Credits:

Photos by Dan L. Hays Copyright – all rights reserved.

“The Wheat Harvest” the slowlane @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

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Being true to yourself,
Can involve losses,
Things don’t ever
Stay the same
As I evolve
Sometimes things change
Friends drop off
Along the way
Why do they leave?
Sometimes they don’t say.

But one person said,
“It just wasn’t that important
To talk to you any more.”
Well ain’t that the shits?
She and I had been friends
For ten years,
Been through tough times
Supported each other.
Then I felt
Her pull away.
I still don’t think
I know the real reason
Why she left.
I suspect
She doesn’t either.

I tell myself
That it’s OK
But that is to
Protect myself
Because it hurts like hell,
When it happens.

Sometimes its gradual
Time spent together
Grows less
Interest in your world
Grows less
Then comes a point
Where you sense
They are listening
Out of politeness
And not because
They care any more.
Don’t disrespect me
By faking nice.

What can you do?
Try to hold on?
Won’t work
If someone is intent
On leaving.
Just gotta let go
But it hurts
One less person
To be there for you.
One less person
Who’s got your back.
The group gets smaller
That you can call friend.
You feel the twinge –
I feel lonely.
Well that really sucks.
It is what it is.

The other side of it,
There’s room in my world
For new people
To flow into my life
And as surely as
The old friends fade away.
New friends are emerging.
Being there.
Honoring my writer
Enjoying my poet.
Hearing when I speak.
I really like this part.
Life feels more rich
Because of the new friends.

*******

Note: I read some of my older poetry at an open mic event last Saturday night. I came home and wrote this poem. I went back and read it this Saturday night at the open mic event. I think they call that generativity! 🙂

Photo credits: Courtesy of Stephen McCulloch, Kevin Higgins.  Creative Commons via Wikimedia.

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October 13, 1986
Although I wrote this poem in 1986, it exactly captures what I’m going through right now, as I separate from some very damaging old messages my Grandma gave me. (See posting on And Then I Stop)

I fear total freedom,
To live without grey,
To transcend the past,
And live in today.

To grow and create,
Inner voice to guide,
And from other people,
Not needing to hide.

To accept all the love,
God wants to convey,
The light of His love,
My life to portray.

I have not encountered,
This freedom before,
The chains have been broken,
So walk out the door.

So why hesitation,
To believe it is true,
It is unfamiliar,
Is it scary for you?

I must take the risk,
To give it a feel,
And thereby to know,
That freedom is real.

 

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Outside the Walls

I wrote this poem October 13, 1986, then realized today that it was what I was going through right now, but in a different way. Back then, I thought I built the walls all by myself. But now I’m realizing how much my Grandma built walls of fear for me when I was just 8 years old! See my June posting about my next book, “And Then I Stop”, to see what I mean. With God’s help, Little Danny, the terrified 8 year old who lives in a corner of my soul, is about to step outside the walls forever!

Outside the Walls

I lived in a prison for many a year,
Inside the four walls that I built with my fear.
The air was rancid, surroundings were stark,
I sat in my chains, alone in the dark.

The safety of prison, inside my cell,
No one could touch me in my private hell.
I sat and I pondered, what could be wrong?
I would not leave, so I sang my fear song.

God showed me a picture, life sunny and free,
I shrank in the corner, not wanting to see.
He drew me so gently, through the cell door,
Freed me to love, not keeping score.

Looked back at my prison, from down the road,
How massive the walls, my fear to hold.
They fell as I watched, rubble and dust,
I scarce could believe, but do so I must.

I felt very naked, the walls were not there,
People could see me, people could care.
I tottered along, mid flowers and grass,
With a foreboding that this too would pass.

My eyes grew stronger, facing the light,
I no longer hungered to hide in the night.
My step grew steady, bolder, more sure,
Freely accepting the loving so pure.

 

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Loving

My friends have all loved me,
Through the years did express,
Their love and their caring,
But without much success.

I know they were puzzled,
When they said a kind word.
That I did not receive it,
As if I had not heard.

I thought I could hear them,
Thought I could receive,
But that someone could love me,
I could not believe.

And I see that their loving me,
Fell on deaf ears.
I thought I was worthless,
Because of my fears.

So to tell me you loved me,
Brought a blank stare.
Even made me feel edgy,
To know that you care.

But to learn the real reason,
Why I was that way.
Was far from my vision,
I could not even say.

God had to unravel,
To let me see.
Why I did not feel worthy,
I never felt free.

He showed me my value,
As a child of His own.
I began to believe it,
And to not live alone.

I can let others love me,
All of my friends.
The love that the Father,
So freely sends.

I hope they enjoy it,
That I finally hear,
The love that they give me,
It is ever so dear.

I am drinking love freely,
To quench my thirst.
For to let others love me,
I must love myself first.

 

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In the fall of 1986 someone said to me “You write very lyrically. Are you a poet?” I replied pretty vehemently, “No, no, I’m not a poet!” as if I was physically trying to push away the concept. I was also ignoring the fact that I had published poetry in a school literary magazine when I was in junior high. Several weeks later I remembered why I stopped writing poetry. Shortly after that, I composed the first poem I had written since I was 14 years old – and it explained why.

Heartbeat

My heart stopped beating when I was fourteen,
Avoiding the pain that could rarely be seen.
It hurt me so deeply, I pushed it away,
Never to feel what had happened that day.

I published five poems, and bubbling with joy,
I showed them to Daddy, be proud of this boy.
“You’re good for nothing,” Dad drunkenly cried,
In shame I stopped breathing, my heartbeat had died.

I blocked out the words which my father had said,
But ever the message still hummed in my head.
I felt I was worthless, was frozen with fear,
Could not see my talents, yet the signs were so clear.

I followed his footsteps, did what he had done,
I felt like a nothing, but I still was his son.
He had stayed fairly average, so I did the same,
So that a mere nothing would not bring him shame.

The life I endured was seldom my best,
Success I avoided, defeating the test.
I could not surpass the hero still there,
Fear ruled me and conquered, though never aware.

I tried to be happy, but something was wrong,
My heart still carried the childhood shame song.
All my self effort was wind through the trees,
At the point of despair, I sank to my knees.

If the blessing of grace is to try once again,
I stood before God, so to begin.
He asked “Are you willing, now to be free?
To live full of joy, as I wish you to be?”

I answered my life, Dear God, is for You,
Do for me those things which self cannot do.
You must give me the strength, for I am weak,
Many the time I am too frail to speak.

God took the hurt, and showed me the pain,
Gave it back to me, myself to regain.
I walked through the anger, the shame and the fear,
My part to be willing, His to be near.

I thought it would kill me, so deeply it hurt,
I tried many ways, the path to desert.
God guided me gently, feeling to live,
Trusting in Him, with nothing to give.

I rested in Him, the fear washed away,
Along with the wounds of that horrible day.
He has freed me to feel my heartbeat of life,
With peace to replace the old internal strife.

To see my true talents with humble clear sight,
To rejoice in the pleasure I feel when I write.
From God be the power, in myself to believe,
And to feel I deserve all the love I receive.

 

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