Monday, January 9, 2012


I dreamed
he was my father;

that I came
from hard water
tucked in his timeline
between New York
and Hollywood,

a summer
of root crops
and soy beans,
wild oats sown
in a Hoosier farm girl.

I craved a king,
some kind of Ramses
from heaven,
to strut clean,
make good the role.

Maybe I understood
the Mongol,
the far-off Tartar,
as not so magnificent
a number as seven.

tk/January 2012

Listen to R.A.D. Stainforth read this poem:

Image:  Lee Friedlander


  1. that's a fine tribute. my favorite was the king of siam, with ramses a close 2nd

  2. Oh, it would never do to have Yummy Yul as my daddy... there are laws against that sort of thing! *wink*

  3. Nice work! Oh my gosh, I love this new reader that you have! His voice is amazing a makes your poems pop! I also like it when you read as well! :)

  4. 'that i came from hard water tucked in his timeline'....stunning line,xx

  5. Excellent words and great meaning.

  6. I like this a lot, especially how you've woven the cultural references with the mythic, built a story from so few words. Wonderful!

  7. Tess,
    As King Mongkut and RamesesII he exuded a regal bearing. As Chris the Magnificent he could maintain the same aura even in cowboy garb. Such was he an actor! Great verse!


  8. A wonderful tribute Tess.

    Anna :o]

  9. Nicely captured a conjunction in space and time that, although slipped into the stream of the past, is rapidly returned by your verse.

  10. oo la la nicely written the city back drop in the pic...and very nice blend you put in there of culture and fantasy

  11. One of Friedlander's best photographs ... packed like your poem is with images ...

  12. Ms. Geek, Stainforth's voice is amazing. He delivers my poetry on a silver platter!

  13. R.A.D. delivers per usual,
    of course it is lovely to hear
    him tackle "Hoosier" with an
    extra syllable dangling; reminds
    us that a half a planet apart,
    there are still things to share.
    Really, this is a naughty tribute
    for you still worked in some
    randy and lusty images that
    only a stepdaughter could get
    away with. I have to find out
    the derivation of "Jules" yet.

  14. I love the wonder in this, the ray of hope the girl gets from imagining it as her father.

  15. How odd. I wrote the same poem in my way without seeing yours.

  16. Quite the paean to Mr.Brynner. I like the distance you stress between king/magnificent and common/hoosier farm girl

  17. What a great take on that picture!

  18. Glenn, I rather like Stainforth's charming pronunciation of Hoosier. There's nothing dangling about it, in the least. I'm not a stepdaughter, by the way.

  19. This is incredible, Tess! I love "that I came from hard water" and "wild oats sown in a Hoosier farm girl."


  20. Marvellous Tess.

    And I saw him in the London run with Deborah Kerr.

  21. Thank you for the prompt I had fun with this one...and I realy liked your poem.

  22. Goodness, the stepdaughter mention
    refers to the lady of the verse, finding
    such attraction for the king, and
    I certainly would never make a
    derogatory comment about the
    R.A.D. narrations, the pronunciation
    just tickled me is all.

  23. All so interesting. k.

  24. Beautiful, Tess.I loved this.(Actually, my first thought was "Damn, girl. That's good stuff!" but that sounded glib, so I started to revise it, but it was a true response.)

  25. Oh yes. He was such a powerful actor. The first person (I think) I knew of to have a shaven head.

  26. i do love the Friedlander photos you have been using. Yes, the dream of a farm girl's mom having a romance with someone like this. sort of Oz
    like though I am getting that from my imagination.

  27. i love the anything is possible feeling!

  28. Love this...He was a commanding figure. Nice tribute to his work.

  29. love this image- so much can be found in it- and your poem is divine!

  30. You always capture the spirit...

  31. did u really dream he was your father? my dad and he were born in the same town, in the same time. my dad's cousin was best friends with his sister.

  32. Zongrik, yes, I had a vivid dream in which my grandfather called the family together to tell me that Yul Brynner was my biological father...crazy...

  33. Love this tribute to a favorite of mine. What a great shot too.

  34. So intriguing. I always learn here at Willow Manor.

  35. Great poetic tribute to a fine actor!

  36. Why is it that so many other Blog poets bore me after a time, but you never do? This is not a rhetorical question - I demand an answer (in verse, if possible)

  37. Alan

    It gives a quiet
    little thrill
    to know I satisfy
    you still

    enough to draw
    you back for quirk
    and wordy craw
    my friend.

  38. A glorious tribute and write Tess!
    :-).....gotta love Yul! :-)

  39. Dear Tess: Incredible magic you weave in this dream of Yul! Me too; yah he's hot tartar!

  40. The King would have been proud to call you offspring .....

  41. He was a handsome man and that Russian bearing made him irresistible

  42. dreams of a hoosier girl
    wonderful, Tess

  43. Oh, Tess, this is truly wonderful!


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