Sunday, June 15, 2008

Eino: a poem

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With publication of this poem in my blog I free myself of all anger concerning my father, Eino.

I am awash in peace and forgiveness after having reeled him in to this space, where, over the past six days, I've taken a hard, honest (and, surprising to me: loving) look at him. Now I'm releasing him.

Truly, this is the first Father's Day that I recall feeling untangled. Thank you for sharing it with me, friends.




Eino

Finland won't claim your bones
when your last mocking whimper
flutters Her tongue.

America, where your parents sailed to bear you,
which you criss-crossed on trains and railed against
has soil in Her belly to digest your shell.

Thus eternity will absorb you, my father,
and your children may test peaceful waters
without endless ripples from your
stony negligence.

Heathen of my heart, maybe you loved me
when my letters came, when I sent books
to open up your boozy cage -
when I traveled to see you one last time.

Evenings now hang your face in the dark -
your watered red eyes, your monster walk -
and shaking hands reach through the night
to violate me again.

Ransom me and let the memory
be planted with your other horrors;
omit my name from your final plea,
your first prayer.


(copyright 1986: MLydiaM)





18 comments:

seniorwriter said...

It's a very positive thing to express these feelings about your father. Mine did not have such serious flaws, but I didn't come to terms with who he was until I wrote about him in "Reinventing Myself." You may have inspired me to mention him today on "Never too Late!"

timethief said...

I was so affected by your poem that I had goosebumps. I wish I had the ability to express myself through peotry as you have done but I've tried and I don't have the way with words that is required.

After reading your poem I briefly reviewed my own relationship with my father, who died 5 years ago, and celebrated the fact that I had forgiven both myself and him for all that went before.

Unlike most people I do not consider forgiveness to be something that I can choose to offer to someone else or not. I have learned that by holding onto negative feelings from things that happened in the past I poison my ability to enjoy the here and now. So I choose to view forgiveness as a gift that I give to myself. And as a recipient of the gift I can let go of any bitterness other other negative emotions I had in response to whatever went down.

In all things I have learned try to do the best the best I can to be the best person that I can be in any given moment. Doing this means I can avoid self judgment, self abuse and regret. It also means I can avoid labeling others as abusers, enemies, etc.

I wish you all the best in all things and want to strongly encourage you to keep publishing your wonderful poetry.

Love &hearts TT

Lydia said...

Seniorwriter,
I just returned from my visit to "Never too Late!" and loved what you wrote about your father. This makes me all the more anxious to finish my current read and get into your book. Readers: The set-up at "Never too Late" is a bit different. She features other text in the body of the blog. Readers must scroll down the right-hand side to see Marlys' current post. It took me awhile to figure this out!)

Lydia said...

Timethief,
First, the way you compose your entire blog IS poetry!
You have described the forgiveness I now feel to a tee, the roots of it, the gift. When I began my six-day focus on the topic of father last week I knew that it was going to culminate in the poem on Father's Day. On Tues. I was filled with bitterness and a "so there!" attitude. By Sat. night it was simply gone. I think it might have vanished some hours before I realized that I had shed something naturally. This was a totally organic and even spiritual process, and not by my design...

francessa said...

Lydia, this is a deeply moving poem, you're an exceptional writer!

But what impresses me most is the development and the change you brought about by thinking and posting and writing and sharing it with us.

Lydia said...

Francessa,
Danke! Your impressions are important to me. (The soccer crowds in Vienna sound amazing!)

a little bird said...

I can not believe you wrote that poem, it is absolutely beautiful... I have shivers running up and down my body. You are so talented, and so soulful... I will continue to go over that poem for the rest of the day. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

Lydia said...

Little Bird,
And now I have shivers running up and down my body after reading your comment. Thank you so much.

Honour said...

Lydia - it's very brave of you to delve so deeply into what your father means to you. And, I don't mean -- delve on the blog -- just delving. So many people just ignore these things ... let it fester ... and by bringing it out into the open, you're setting it free, and yourself free too. What courage and bravery :) I hope we can all learn from you. It is a truly moving poem ... peace to you ...

Lydia said...

Honour, what kind words. Your spirit seems to always convey peace. How special that is.

Mibsy said...

lydia, fianlly I am at my working computer, just had to brush off the cobwebs and mothballs...isn't writing THE most cathartic art form in the world? great posts and inspiring poem...its real, and that's what I look for in writing and in friends. god bless.

Lydia said...

Mibsy,
I wonder what wonders will come from you at that computer. Your words mean so much.

deus ex machina said...

i could well be plain to you that upon reading through the lines tears washed up my eyes. It's a wonderful journey learning and discovering what you had gone through in life and that
finding people who endured familiar pains is no less than comforting as in a shared sorrow.I am glad you're way past the pain. Forgiving someone close to your heart is not as easy as between strangers. In doing so, Lydia
you showed courage and reflected hope
in my case.

Lydia said...

Dex,
Your comment meant so much, you mean so much to me. I'll write soon to you. :)

hedgewitch said...

A fine, sparse, unsentimental and undramatized wringing out of the soul, very well structured and clean. Thanks for posting the link at my place. It deserves a wide reading.

Lydia said...

hedgewitch~ Your comment was absolutely great to receive. Then we had that 20.5 hours of Blogger outage and it disappeared. I was so happy to find that it had been returned by the kind folks at Blogger. Not as kind as you, but kind...

Roxana said...

your poem touches me so that i see myself unable to talk about it, and what it does to me. instead, i am here, silently, overwhelmed. i just wanted you to know that i am here...

Lydia said...

Roxana~ Having this comment from you over the weekend provided comfort that I really needed and I am thankful to you and so grateful to have you in my life.

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