LEADERS - not followers

Saturday, June 12, 2010


For Writers Island Prompt #7 2010
And Monday Poetry Train Revisited


Thinking a lot

about my Dad

He would have been
ninety years old
on the first of June
Twenty Ten

He didn’t do
Metaphorical Milestones

‘Unnecessary fuss’

I think that’s because
they served as reminders
of things he’d rather
have chosen to forget

Terrible things

Unspeakable things

He’d survived the War
Nazi and Communist

leading to allied conscription

One of just a few
who came down the hill

Monte Cassino

Bloody Battlefield
to Bloody Battlefield

to Palestine

before England
where he spent
the next sixty years
struggling long and hard

to survive the peace

At home
Dad was one of those guys
you only needed to ask once

He didn’t forget or ignore

Ask him three months in advance
He’d remember

Every detail

He just had a gift for it

I once made the mistake
of reminding him
two weeks after first asking

You know what he said?

‘I heard you the first time’

I’m kinda like him
I don’t forget

If I can help it

I’ll never forget Dad

I can’t help it


  1. I love ths, Stan: a truly unforgettable man.

  2. Thanks ViV; The only real 'gentleman' I ever knew.

  3. Stan, this is a wonderful poem. I love the line, 'I heard you the first time'. You have done him proud.


  4. A very touching tribute. Dad's have so much influence.

  5. What an awesome tribute, Stan...
    I love the blog makeover too.
    mine is up


  6. Stan this is wonderful tribute to your dad!
    He must of been a great man.

  7. Wow, Stan. What a tribute to your father. A real gift. "to survive the peace" is hard, and I'm glad you noted that. The end was full circle. Thank you, and thanks to your dad, too.

  8. Hi, Stan. Like the new look!
    Your dad sounds like a winner. A warm, loving poem.

  9. What a wonderful gift to your father...now on "paper", even those who didn't know him, will forever be able to get the jist of the man he was.

    - Dina
    P.S. Love the elephant background on your page. Aside from my actually love of elephants, the texture of his skin is a very interesting backdrop to your words.

  10. Thanks to:
    TLH; He always got it right.
    Nessa; A lasting legacy.
    Shakira; So many memories...
    Pamela; Quiet and unassuming - the sort of guy people respect.
    Linda; The ghosts of war never really allowed him any peace.
    Barbara; We could always rely on him.
    Dina; The memories don't fade.
    Julie; Perhaps now he's found peace.

  11. This is soooo good! I have read it twice and probably will again after I finish this comment! You have a very special understanding of your dad, but I feel that some has only tuned in with time. Perhaps that is the yearning note I hear in your poetic voice. A wonderful tribute!

  12. Thanks GT; There is so much that I will probably never know.

  13. Lovely and touching. A great tribute.

  14. a father's love embraces everything and contains highest wit, humor, and fun!

    lovely poem.

  15. Thanks to:
    Anthony; A great Dad.
    Jingle; All of that and more.

  16. I feel I have gotten to know both your dad and you through this poem. This poem will be a family treasure.I am sure the giver would be very pleased that you still have this gift!


  17. Stan,
    my Mother passed away April 30th. She was 91 and well cherished. I wrote a Eulogy poem, so I know how difficult this might have been. Our ability to express such things is a true gift we give ourselves in moments like this. Thank you for this one.

    My Eulogy piece can be found at


  18. Stan, dad's of that era were strong men, the times dictated such -- my father would have been the same age. What a moving tribute you give him here. Thanks for sharing a bit of him with us in this piece... ;)

  19. By the way, whose your team in the World Cup -- the Brits? As I am sure you know, my Yanks tied the Brits 1-1. It was pretty good contest. I thought for sure we had choked giving up that first goal 5 minutes in. USA is thrilled to come away from that match with 1 point in the overall. But Green, the poor goalkeeper for England, may not be safe on his home streets. Hope he has better luck going forward in the Cup, if the keep him in the net...

  20. Thanks to:
    Diane; His influences are his legacy.
    Elizabeth; I still have moments of grief, but these are outnumbered by fond memories.
    Rob; Sharing was what he was best at.
    And Green... schoolboy error. But that's football. I see both teams progressing.

  21. Hey this is brilliant and nostalgic. Arrived from the poetry train. Plz chk out my post at


  22. Thanks Poet in flames; Just some of the thoughts going through my head.

  23. Stan, What a moving testament to your father. Man oh man, I wish I had his memory for detail. He lived quite a life, and bore a poet, to boot!

    I like this a great deal.

  24. Thanks Brenda; His wartime experiences were somethind he didn't go into too much detail about.

  25. I wish I'd known your Dad - my Grandfather.

  26. Thanks Changnoi; He would have loved you too.

  27. This is so beautifully done, Stan. Made me miss my dad. He's been gone for six years.

  28. Thanks Dee; Just passed the fourth anniversary of my Dad's too.

  29. Stan, this was amazingly done. A thoughful piece befitting a great man. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  30. Thanks Robert; Thoughtfulness was a gift he possessed and passed on.

  31. This was such a beautiful homage. :)
    Love the honest poignancy of your words.

  32. Thanks Felicity; He was who he was.

  33. Stan, a fine gift to us, as well; thank you. Fathers live on in strong ways, and you've expressed it well.

  34. Thanks Mr. Walker; Our parents are our finest teachers.