David, or: ben Alexander

In memory of Papa

My 1st ghazal

I remember his toolboxes, table vice, hand sander
Still remember foul humor, impatience, frank candor

I remember clever math tricks and right-wing politics
And sultry actresses at whom he would gander

I remember him sitting, reading, problem solving
Frustrated, resigned, when his mind would meander

I remember long summers he nannied my daughter
Love all-consuming, warmed bottles he'd hand her

I remember brilliance; I remember his strength, God
Deep in principles anchored; and not one to pander

I remember no bullshit and deep disappointments
Because and regardless no one ever stood grander

I remember young David who worshipped his Papa
None could ever replace him, not one ben Alexander

For today’s OLN, I’d like to share my first ghazal, which I wrote nearly one year ago (~11 months). TBH, I’m not sure this is technically a ghazal, because the rhyme is only on the last two syllables of the name ‘Alexander’, as if they were two separate words, rather than on the entire word…

Anyway, it’s a deeply true and personal piece. The photo is of my parents holding me at my brit milah (circumcision).


Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

105 thoughts on “David, or: ben Alexander”

  1. David, though you published this a while ago it showed up near the top of the WP feed on a keyword search — glad it did as I’d somehow missed it before — it is truly great. You’re very talented and disciplined in your poetry work, and I know you turn your nose up at supposed flattery — but anyone can be aware of this through observation of your blog. I love this poem…. honest, well crafted, heartfelt, it has it all. We get a very human picture of your Papa, and through this picturing, also a beautiful clairvoyance of your insight…. wowsers, good one. xoxo

  2. David…this touches my heart…I’m thinking of my father too. You’re not going to believe this…but for G, i wrote a Ghazal too ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I’m late reading the last OLN poems. This is a wonderful memory poem and so relatable. โ™ฅ

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