Fathers From Around the World

My heartfelt thanks to Holistic Wayfarer (on A Holistic Journey)and the amazing writers with whom I share this space to pay tribute to our fathers.

Happy Father’s Day to dads … past, present and future.

A Holistic Journey

When I was not yet three years old, John Richard and Grace Elizabeth Ingram adopted me from an orphanage in southwest London. When I was four, a stroke left Dad paralysed down his left side; he died when I was 18.

I can still hear the cranky squeaks of your wheelchair. And the clicking of the calipers attached to your legs below the knee. There was the incessant wheezing from the asthma that later attended the paralysis. Your body was your burden. Your light relief was watching the BBC news and “being tickled pink,” as you liked to say, by the old classic British comedies. Dad’s Army. The Good Life. Rising Damp. As a child I longed to pick you up and carry you on my back. Far and away from your wheelchair and back to the fleeting memory I had of you as my able-bodied dad…

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Tribute to my father

When I was not yet three years old, John Richard and Grace Elizabeth Ingram adopted me from an orphanage in southwest London. At the time, my dad was the minister of a thriving church and I was the fourth (and youngest) adopted kid in my family. My heritage is of African descent and my adoptive parents are Caucasian. When I was four, a stroke left my father paralysed down his left side; he died when I was 18.

Due to the stroke, it was difficult for dad to speak so we spent countless hours communicating by playing games of dominoes. Dad would rest his paralysed arm on his card table and play a ferocious game of dominoes with his “good arm.” Invariably he won. Ironically, my dad’s nickname for me was “Topsy.” Even if I didn’t win against him at dominoes he expected me to come top of the class in all my school subjects. I did my best not to let him down.

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If I quiet the voices in my head I can still hear the cranky squeaks of his wheelchair. The clicking made by the calipers that were attached to his
legs below the knee. The incessant wheeze from the asthma that attended the paralysis. His body was his burden.

As a child there were times when I longed to pick him up and carry him on my back. Far and away from his wheelchair and back to the fleeting memory I had of him as my able-bodied dad. Now that I’m an adult, I believe there are no accidents. My dad is my role model and I have found my dream job improving the lives of persons with disabilities in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Thank you dad! Happy Father’s Day.

Poetry Challenge #24: Two Bodies

Two bodies speak to each other in smoke rings.

Signals blown back and forth. The mysterious air

between the pair: cloaking their mystery.

What are they saying? Is language extinct?

Are words with all their meanings pinned

down. Frozen. Stiff.

No map no GPS
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Poetry Challenge #23: Forgiven

She adds the tragic loss of her daughter “Michele” to the mystery of how humankind came to be here on Earth.

If God’s people cannot agree on the Beginning of Time, her wish is that her daughter will never trace her and save herself the disappointment of discovering the tale of her beginning  —

“Once

Upon a Time.”

Her homeland is a primitive island in the midst of the Caribbean Sea.

“Learning to reading

and

writing”

was reserved for the rulers of the island.

As Michele grows up, she will want to be read to at night. What

will her mother tell her? Should she say that her eyesight is poor.

              *        *       *

My illiterate, mother.

I span her like a shadow self,

calling out her name. “Frances”.

 

Step into my tracks, Frances. Frances.

Tell me your life story. In my dreams

you are a lifesaver.

 

You are a palm reader. You read palms.

You read me every night.

There beside me…. whispering incantations,

telling me what comes next…

Replacing fairytales? Replacing

sorrow.

I remember who I am today.

Tomorrow.

2Normandy Beach
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Poetry Challenge: #22: Coup de foudre

Am I genetically predisposed to be, forever, landlocked?

And, at the onset of my awakening, is that why 

Coup de foudre sounds

to my innocent ears, like —

Cup of Finding.

But as I grow older and wiser (maybe)… I

grow to accept the dictionary definition of Coup de foudre. 

As,

“Love at first sight

and, bolt

of

lighting.”

Of reachable sky. Omnipotent/all-powerful shelter.

In consideration of the seven billion [+] combinations of DNA living and breathing (just) individual lives on this planet: this blue interrupted Planet Earth.

We,

sometimes, call home.

When it suits us.  Depending on our native spirit, and, where,

we come from, (ab) originally.

“I tend to be locked in my own world and find it difficult to understand how other people think and feel.”

Love, Sara

Blessings,

“and when we speak we are afraid 

our words will not be heard 

nor welcomed 

but when we are silent 

we are still afraid 

So it is better to speak 

remembering 

we were never meant to survive”

And when the sun rises we are afraid 

it might not remain 

when the sun sets we are afraid 

it might not rise in the morning 

when our stomachs are full we are afraid 

of indigestion 

when our stomachs are empty we are afraid

we may never eat again 

when we are loved we are afraid 

love will vanish 

when we are alone we are afraid 

love will never return

and when we speak we are afraid 

our words will not be heard 

nor welcomed 

but when we are silent 

we are still afraid 

So it is better to speak 

remembering 

we were never meant to survive.”

Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn: Poems

And still I dream.

“Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time and the arena, and the manner of our revolutions, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.”

 In his monumental work ‘In Search of Lost Time‘, Marcel Proust transposed under the name of Balbec.

trans·pose  (trns-pz)

v. trans·posed, trans·pos·ing, trans·pos·es

v.tr.

1. To reverse or transfer the order or place of; interchange.

2. To put into a different place or order: transpose the words of a sentence. See Synonyms at reverse.

3. Mathematics: To move (a term) from one side of an algebraic equation to the other side, reversing its sign to maintain equality.

4. Music: To write or perform (a composition) in a key other than the original or given key.

5. To render into another language.

6. To alter in form or nature; transform.

v.intr.

1. Music. To write or perform music in a different key.

2. To admit of being transposed.

n. Mathematics (trnspz)

A matrix formed by interchanging the rows and columns of a given matrix.

Coup de foudre

Pronunciation: [coo d(eu) foodr(eu)]

Meaning: bolt of lightning, love at first sight.