When I Let Go

Somewhere, out in the endless west, is love: 
Strong like the mountains, beautiful like the autumn, 
But distant, untouchable, a dream. 

We are creatures of water, made to go through, 
But never around. When you live in the water, 
You never "get over it", you "go through it", 
And that is us.

Dreams may connect us to a greater reality, 
Or, perhaps, a greater escape than our reality allows: 
It is love that always connects us to the greater, 
Even if in feeling it, we are somehow lesser.

There was a day when I let go: I watched 
The love I had poured out evaporate and turn into clouds 
That floated over the strong mountains, 
Lovely, but almost the last thing you would notice. 

They had told me I would never understand what love was 
Until I became what I became; 
All these years later, I would only add that 
I never really knew what despair and emptiness were, either, 
And that is far less advertised part of the bargain.

Somewhere in a west beyond the real west, is love: 
When I let go of it, I didn't, really, and couldn't. 

(Timed write – 13 minutes. More from the NanoPoblano squad can be found here.)

How Soon They Forget

A boy and his mother, slowly walking
Kids voices behind them, indistinct
His head down, she reaches out to stroke his hair
He says to her, as they reach the car,
“I’m not good at sports.”

Stopping beside the car,
She looks at him, this little man (he’s become)
And says, “Sure, you are.”

“No, I’m not. I’m the slowest in my class.
I’m not, mom. I’m just not.”

And she knew, she’d always known, the day would come
When all the loving lies that parents tell
About how children can do anything, be anyone,
Would meet reality, that big, blank wall
That tells their child,
“You can go no further.”

And even though he has many, other talents,
She knows how soon he’ll forget this day, and this feeling,

Which is


Parenting vs Rocket Science


We’re all rocket scientists
And each get eighteen years
Before the day to launch comes, and
The rocket disappears

You might be aiming for the moon
But here’s the special deal:
This rocket has it’s own desires
And will go where it will

It isn’t how you aimed it, or
What you thought it could do:
Its on the path it chose to take
And its not up

To you

Ranger Tower

[Day 8 of my self-imposed 30 day prose challenge. – Owen]

For many years you’ve looked out for the first sign of fire.

Day after day, in a tower that gets more isolated with the passage of time, you’ve kept watch. You climb those long steps, because they get you to where you can see. Sometimes, you’ve had a partner to spell you, and other times — maybe even now — you’ve been alone. But you have a job to do, and a wonderland to protect.

Because you’re a parent, and being a parent is like being a forest ranger.

Once your kids get past a certain age, they may just see you as part of the tower. You know, that old structure where people come and go out of habit?

That’ll be you.

And it doesn’t mean they’re bad kids. It just means they’re focused on their own growing. Which is what we want.

It may be when they’re learning to walk, starting school, learning to drive, or having their 21st birthday — you’ll be there, in your tower, trying to head off the fire you fear so much.

Because fires do come, and we never know when.

I think a lighthouse would be the imagery for a parent more commonly used. Lighthouses are beautiful.

A ranger tower, on the other hand, is strictly functional. Like a parent’s love. It may be old, clumsy, or even embarrassing, but it’s on the job, looking to minimize fire damage. No matter how old the tower, or the people in it.

There will, of course, come a day when there won’t be anyone in that tower anymore. And sometimes it’s only then it’s realized what a wonderful thing the forest ranger did all those years. Because love is wonderful, but less glamorous than people realize.

You might pass by it for years and never even notice.

Like a ranger tower.

Ocean Of Regret

The Daily Post Writing Challenge

Hindsight is 20-20

What if you had the power to rewrite history? You do.

= = = = =

My choices for the future
Have been so very poor
That if I could rewrite the past
I am not quite so sure

That I’d do a good job of it.
My ignorance is great:
I don’t know what I ought to know
Or learn it far too late

The power to reform the past
Would mean I knew a way
To make things come out better than
The way they have today

But I’m not sure I would know how:
Concerning death and life
There’s misery that I might cause
New untold pain and strife

And so I sit here, paralyzed.
I’ve all this power, but yet:
I’m drowning as a parent
In an ocean
Of regret

The Ill-Begotten Mirror

He worked with all his expertise
To make a master’s mirror;
And into it, he tried to squeeze
A way to see things clearer

And as the years went by, he gazed
Into its surface proudly –
While doing so, he often praised
His own work, rather loudly

But years went by; he saw that he
Looked horrid through its lens,
Some sort of awful parody,
No class, no soul, no friends

He grew to hate the mirror for
The ugliness he saw:
He’d made it fine – now it was poor,
A giant loathsome flaw

He threw it out one summer day
With satisfaction grim;
He hated what he saw in it –
For it reflected

A Parent’s Fate

We do not know the ways we hurt our kids
Although we try our parents not to be;
We think if we’re not them, that is enough
And miss the faults we are too blind to see

But our kids see them everyday, and so
They build a catalog out of our sins;
And grow to want to be nothing like us
With our forgotten love
Shoved into bins


nights when they are crying you do all you can to comfort them
and when heartbreak comes in teenage years your heart breaks, too
you pour out every lesson you’ve ever learned
share every enthusiasm you know
and shape your very existence around attempts to bring them joy
teach them right from wrong
give them security
make them feel loved and worthy
give them what they need to go after the life they want to live

and then they grow up

armed with all that

and despise you

because it wasn’t enough