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. A beautiful tribute.

    I love these lines especially:

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

    Boundaries being set truly show us deep love don’t they? When a parent knows their children won’t always like it at first, but perserveres in hope, trusting one day their labor of love will reap fruit. It obviously did with you, your Dad who once brought deep disappointments turning into: “no one ever stood grander”.

    It’s also beautiful hearing of his faith and the strength God gave him.

    He sounds like an amazing man.

  2. A tender portrait of a father by his loving son: you make us see him in his larger-than-life aspect as “young David who worshiped his Papa.” Beautifully transposed from heart to paper, I mean keyboard and screen. 🙂

  3. I have yet to try the ghazal form. I guess I haven’t yet come across the right theme to try out the form. So it was a pleasure to read yours. You’ve inspired me 🙂

Leave a Reply to ben Alexander Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s