The Land

The land was distant

and unknown.

Fathers had spoken of it often,

but back then we simply

couldnt have known

that

there was no becoming then.

We were not ripe,

We we were not grown.

Years past

we laboured

and it remained

a sepia coloured

picture slightly stained.

A place far away

and vast;

A place away,

A place unknown,

A place of peace,

And just a dream,

a single digit out of grasp.

A place trees,

of dancing leaves,

of stone,

of flowing streams;

A place of sunlight

set in midday dreams,

that quiet white blankets

covered on distant winter eves.

As generations grew

to men and women,

as did the strifes and labours too,

with loss and fear,

And costly prices paid

the children died,

the children grew.

Yet with many long and distant

journeys,

coursing back and forth,

sometimes with the many,

sometimes one alone,

The father’s dream in time

became,

the children’s

father’s home.

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The Seven Directions / Story of a Childhood

The Seven Directions

As a child I lived in a bungalow

with my brother , mother and my father.

My father provided the house.

My mother sustained it ,

and made it a home .

We had many welcome guests,

and we all withdrew to the interior of that home

to safety and to a loving  warmth of family .

On the left side of the house was a funeral home.

On the right was a doctor’s office.

My father would often joke that if he ever became

ill he was all  set :

The doctor’s office to visit was just to the right

and if that failed the funeral home was a short trip to the left.

In the front of the house and across the road to the east

was the Church of the Nazarene .

Its’ doors opened and closed with adults

attending services

and children

attending Sunday school .

Late at night

in the silence of summer midnight,

my father  would sit in the front yard

facing the church and the road .

We would sit with him and listen.

He would sing in a single, sweet

and solemn voice

like a cantor.
His solitary song wafted gently

through the darkness alone.

The notes  floated upwards,

and bathed in moonlight
they sweetly  kissed the stars,

before rising up to heaven

At the back of the house, next to our yard

was George’s house and his yard ,

George went to work with his briefcase

every morning at the same time

and returned every evening

at the same time .

Every week George cut the grass in his back yard

with his  2 wheeled manual mower. He would garden .

The meditative whirring sound of the sharpened blades

back and forth was like a hard earned music every week ,

George’s lawn was beautifully immaculate and green.

He loved working it with rhythmic predictability .

His regular work kept it manicured

and prevented overgrowth and weeds .

In Greek his name meant ” worker of the Earth”.

And George worked the earth .

The doctor on the right worked to help and heal his patients.

George’s lot and the doctor’s lot bordered on each other

George’s lot was deep and long. The doctor’s lot was short.

Every morning I would get up and out of bed

and plant my feet on the earth .

In the morning as I walked out the door

I would see the church in front of me

and the sky above .

I thought of the funeral home on the left

and would look and check the time on a

large clock on the left

that was part of it .

As I walked  out further

I’d see the doctors house on the right

and George with his briefcase

coming around  the front

of the doctor’s house

to catch the bus.

I returned each afternoon from school at noon

and again in the evening to draw myself  inside

to the safety and warmth  of our home .

At night, one night in February, with a sigh,

my father passed away.

He passed away in his sleep unaware

that he was seriously ill.

His bedroom was a few scant feet

from the doctor’s office .

He never visited the doctor ‘s office,

though ,next to his room on the right .

He never visited the funeral home

to the left either.  Time passed.

The church across the street

continued receiving children

for Sunday school as it always did.

The sky remained above as it always did.

George continued working

and mowing his lawn

as he always did .

My brother and I

continued planting our feet on the ground

every day

and at the end of each day

we withdrew within to safety

in the seventh direction.

I often dream of that familiar house

which  my father provided

and  mother sustained .

From “Seeds of Self Fulfillment. Work of Love.”  by PWChaltas

Children

Children

Children are trusting
with a natural tendency
to the good .
They are closer to the source .
When children are abused
psychologically or physically
in formative years
or at an early age
the only thing
they can conclude
Is that life is harsh, cruel
unforgiving and that somehow
they are to blame .
Their only conclusion can be
that they must be prepared
to deal with it
by not feeling
or sometimes acting
in a cruel, harsh or
manipulative way as well .
It takes a unique adult ,
often with help,
to become aware
and reverse that kind of
damage done to the child .
Treat your children kindly.
Show them responsibility.
Teach them discipline,
but also respect for others .
Most importantly
give them love .
Children need the love
of both parents
to learn to love themselves .
Can we really blame
the thief, the murderer,
sociopath, or psychopath ?

Scarborough

Image

Scarborough

Scarborough

By the Shrine of the Little
Flower ,
near the crumbling cliffs of clay
on the sky, sand, and blue water ,
I stopped with
a few words to say.
Where a cross sword
set in stone stands
on the expressway island
tall
and stone statue
in white flowing robe,
all sooted with grey,
kneels and clasps hands
in eternity of night and day .
Under the green and rising dome ,
a remembrance of those in the past
who struggled in the times
and lands far away.

By the home where
both the children
and the young men
once use to play,
there I stopped to catch
my final breath at last ,
and quietly drift away .

Haven’t Been

 

Haven’t  Been

I haven’t been

where you have been.

I don’t know

the things you know

but as sure,

as surely,

as you have been

and known the places

and the things

that you have seen ,

I will journey there

far

and on my own

and will return

after I have

been and seen

and known ,

the places where

you’ve been.

And we shall then

begin

to be,

those who live within

each other

and within

the very one

and

the one within

ourselves .

From “A Matter of 4” by PWChaltas

Child Behind the Curtains Watching Rain

Image

Child Behind the Curtains Watching Rain

Photo credit : charmingthebirdsfromthetrees.blogspot.com

Child Behind the Curtains
Watching Rain

A small child
In a double breasted
velvet vest
with four
mother of pearl buttons
and in shorts,
Is eating almonds
behind the curtain.
He leans his
chin on the window sill.
He watches the
rain falling from the sky
landing In shiny
wet and dancing greyness
in hopping drops
and ringlets
on the surface of the asphalt
and in tiny bubbles
siting on
the blades of grass.
all so wonderful
and new .
He knows that
just a short walk away
there is a whole lake
of this stuff,
much bigger than
the puddles
forming in the street ..
He cracks the almonds
In his mouth vertically
at their seams in two
as the smooth surface
of their polished
marble insides
slide and fall down
either side of his tongue
to be crushed
into delicious ground
almond paste
that he swallows.
Why does it rain he thought.
It’s so beautiful and so sad
and I love to
watch it from this window.

The clouds part,
the sun comes out
and the child’s
tall thin Mother
with her falling
raven tresses
comes to part
the curtains
In her long
and shining
silver robe.
She finds him there .
He smiles and laughs
and looks up
at his mother.
The round orb
of the sun reflects
on the clear
and shining glass
In the rectangular
window,
that’s now full
of new lines
and gradations
of other
outside reflections,
As the room fills up
with bright 60’s sunlight,
the child knows
the solitude,
the almonds,
and the rain
are now
all gone away .