Beast, or: “Memoir”

Every day he ponders writing; demons, seraphs jostling, fighting
O'er memories alighting, dreams and images of Papa.
  Late at night he sees him living, gentle-hearted and forgiving;
Daily, nightly, he is grieving- for Papa, forever gone.
  As the earth turns, he considers that he'll be forever gone
Naught is left of mind nor brawn.

As the earth's been spinning, turning, one dream has been oft recurring-
Deep in darkness there lies stirring a vile, shifty chimera.
  It's but wishful thinking really, very foolish, rather silly,
Still, through dreamscapes rugged, hilly, slinks that taunting chimera.
  She's unbidden, uninvited, is his taunting chimera-
Forward, forward she is gliding, fed on memories of Papa.

Asleep? Awake? He's kaddish speaking, praying, swaying, then- a creaking-
'Tis the floorboards creaking, squeaking; and behind him stands Papa.
  How, he stammers, have you come here, I've been mourning you all year, Dear
Papa, tell me, can you hear me- can you hear me, Dear Papa?
  Reading, thinking, writing, praying, I've been mourning, Dear Papa...
Aren't you... aren't you... actually... aren't you actually gone?

No, no... you must have forgotten (though you are my first-begotten),
That hospital was naught but rotten; the doctors said I didn't have long...
  But we dismissed their dire prognosis; HaShem reversed the diagnosis-
He gave me life that I'd find gnosis- bid me wear my black kippah.
  So here I am, and you're done praying. May I have back my black kippah?
Please give it here; I'm your Papa.

Dawn break; awake; dripping; sweating. And- then- he knows what's most upsetting- 
All this time he's been forgetting... to lift his phone and call Papa.
  Rising from his restless slumber, lifts his phone and dials the number-
Has he been somewhat unencumbered? ... but Papa's cellphone isn't on.
  The earth's still spinnin' n'a-turnin', but Papa's cellphone isn't on-
Naught's ever left of love forgone.

Today, for d’Verse’s “Open Link Night”, I’d like to share a poem that I wrote about ½-a-year ago, about one month after creating this blog.

52 thoughts on “Beast, or: “Memoir””

  1. The overall flow is so amazing and it becomes even more so when your father speaks to you in dream, that stanza took my breath away!

  2. Shalom Ben,
    Thank you for visiting my blog-that’s how I found you. I read this and I wept. My father died in 2012 and my mother has been gone 3 years now.
    I wept also because today- I didn’t feel like “doing” Shabbat. So I sat on the sofa and opened my blog – a blog that is kind of new and not many people visit. But you visited, a Jewish brother. So I’ll get up now and prepare for Shabbat because HaShem couldn’t have said it any louder. Shabbat Shalom.

      1. Shalom Ben- sure you can ask. My husband is Japanese- I’m a German with Ashkenazi ancestry. I’m a 3rd culture kid- lived in several countries. We retired to rural Japan- husband’s hometown.

        1. “David”- sorry.. I think covid19 is getting to my brain.

  3. the flow, the rhyme … you took us on your dream, haunted by your father … such a loving tribute, may his soul rest peacefully!

  4. Such a moving expression of your journey through grief. This is very brave and heartfelt poetry. I hope it also helps you on your journey.

  5. Aww wow David, this is deeply beautiful. Such emotional lines of intensity… I’m touched. Beautifully written 🙂❤️🌹

  6. There’s a sort of frenzy to this, as if you really needed to speak to your father, as if you knew time was running out. There never is enough time.

  7. A moving and heart-rending poem. The words “Papa’s cell phone wasn’t on” were filled with angst. Beautiful write.

  8. So intense and touching–the lines about your father’s cell phone not being on really got to me. 💙
    It’s been over twenty years since my dad died and less than a year for my mom. I think of them both a lot.

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