Saturday, June 19, 2010

patina




for Chester Lewis Hanna, 1914-2007


The last time I saw him,
he was a dandelion
pale with seed,
uneven and linty.

Under his bifocals,
his eyes had accrued
a thick luminous layer,
ripe with tales
of the great depression.

When he spoke,
his soft breath,
over his pocket protector,
smelled sweet and mellow
like his favorite prunes.

Mostly, I listened, mute,
afraid to shout large enough
for him to hear;

the sound might discharge
the fragile pod, a burst
of woolly seed, his DNA
in parachutes.



willow, 2010



58 comments:

  1. I looked all over this afternoon for a dandelion in seed to post with my poem. About 15 minutes after I gave up and came inside, WT came in holding up one lone little puffy flower!

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  2. i dont know if that is about a dad, but i would lik it to be...smiles. a tender poem willow.

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  3. Beautiful poem. My grandma passed away earlier this year, and I feel her last days in your words, in your heart.

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  4. A dad, yes, Brian, and my grandpa. :)

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  5. Awwwww! I wish someone would write something like that about me, several years after I had passed on. But I guess ya gotta EARN this kind of thing.

    I wanted to blow those seeds right off my monitor, a nice shot of something which I'd usually just walk over without a thought.

    And there it is, in your post, as beautiful a creation as anything created.

    Thank you REALLY!

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  6. Thanks, Steveroni! I had so much fun doing the photo shot of the little dandelion. I had to take a ton of pics, since I had a hard time holding the camera still enough, I should have pulled out my tripod. I'm really pleased with the results!

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  7. 'Shout large', I like that. Yes, we should all listen more to those who have little time. It's one of my own regrets that I didn't.

    Bisou, Cro.

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  8. Loved the picture and the poem.

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  9. I loved reading this poem Willow and seeing the fabulous image of this dandelion.
    But the poem...so spare and yet so eloquent. I feel so nourished reading it. Thank you!
    best,
    Sophie

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  10. Such beautiful words, Willow...just barely surpassing the beauty of that *dandy* :>]]

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  11. Powerful poetry and the dandelion incident a burst of tender love.

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  12. The last stanza brings it home so well. As he is your grandfather, that would make you, his "mute" granddaughter, one of those discharged bursts of "DNA in parachutes", shouting large your fondness for him in this lovely and moving tribute.

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  13. Beautifully written, Willow. I enjoyed the carefully selected images- like "pocket protector" and the prune smell of his breath. You captured a gorgeous image with the fluffy seeds too!

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  14. '..he was a dandelion pale with seed,uneven and linty.' What a wonderfully clear image this poem conjures.

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  15. Yes, the last stanza encloses his fragility beautifully, and his DNA /in parachutes is a brilliant revelation and finale.

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  16. Dear Willow, An unbelievably wonderful image of a dandelion 'clock' which acts perfectly as the sustained metaphor of your very moving poem.

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  17. brilliant. so touching. and a perfect photo to accompany the words.

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  18. Perfect description, I've had that experience. Beautiful!

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  19. Beautiful tribute to Chester! And a happy Father's Day to WT! The dandelion is perfect!

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  20. I can almost imagine him, lovely weaving of words. I like your use of the word "uneven" in describing the look him. The image, the image is breathtaking!

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  21. I can almost imagine him, lovely weaving of words. I like your use of the word "uneven" in describing the look him. The image, the image is breathtaking!

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  22. What a perfect symbol! This is most powerful.

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  23. A lovely tribute...perfect for Father's Day.

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  24. How sweet to find the real thing and bring it to you with love. This way the photo is more personal too like your dear poem.

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  25. This is very beautiful, Willow, your words have a unique and charming brilliance...your descriptions are a true delight :)

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  26. Beautiful image -- picture and poem!

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  27. Achingly beautiful poem. My favorite lines:
    his eyes had accrued
    a thick luminous layer

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  28. Beautiful tribute to a man we know you cared deeply about (and who cared deeply about you). I predict the next dandelion you see will contain his smile...

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  29. Such a beautiful and tender poem Willow.

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  30. What a wonderful Father's Day remembrance!

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  31. I especially love the visual image the last stanza conjures up for me!

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  32. What a gorgeous tribute to your father and grandfather. It makes me ache inside, as all the best words do. I can see and smell my own Grandpa in your own 'patina'.

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  33. Such a tender portrait of old age. So many evocative images. Wow.

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  34. What a beautiful tribute..excellent poem..the last stanza, in a class by itself! Thank you..

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  35. There is a soft, gentleness to this piece that I really like. Way to go, WT. You have a wonderful champion, Willow.

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  36. Wonderful image here to describe him, Willow. Happy Father's Day to WT!

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  37. Dear Willow: A sensitive portrait in poetry refined by your skill and talent; words perfect!Love this stanza; "his eyes had accrueda thick
    luminous layer, ripe with tales of the great depression". Reminds me of layers of an onion; very organic! Like a farmer would be; and the visual dandelion. We called them "santa claus'" make a wish if you'd catch on; it would go to the north pole. Also the paperweight I wanted with the dandelion in seed. Perfect Poem. Personified.

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  38. This is so lovely....it made me cry... my Grandfather died when I was 3.....but amazingly, I retain two clear images of him to this day.

    I especially love the correlation between your "Grandda" and the dandelion.

    Hugs,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  39. That's beautiful. I assume it's about your father. The dandelion imagery is poignant.

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  40. CG, this is about my sweet grandfather who lived to the ripe old age of 93!

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  41. willow, this is my favorite poem of yours so far. Joan Tucker

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  42. Beautiful symbolism Willow. You paint a great picture with your elegant words.

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  43. beautiful image,
    the poem is excellently delivered.

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  44. I love the imagry..such beautiful words

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  45. What a sensitive piece! One of the most heartfelt poems you've posted. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  46. LOve the final image in the last line. Interesting how one's DNA can also be passed along through actions and mannerisms.

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  47. This is so so beautiful. Shout large enough, eh? Oh yeah.

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  48. This is beautiful--the dandelion image works perfectly!

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  49. the photo and the words
    seem sacred

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  50. More amazining imagery...yes, they do look like dandelion pale, fluffy hair, fading eyes...

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  51. Oooh, "his DNA in parachutes"---looooove that. What a brilliant ending to an excellent poem again, dear Willow. :) you really shoudl try to get your stuff published, if you haven;t already.

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  52. Thank you, Mmm! I just finished a poetry manuscript I sent out to several places with a prayer and my fingers crossed.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)