Sunday, April 06, 2008

smile -- J.A. Spahr-Summers

Sunday, August 27, 2006

justin at fifteen

hes almost as tall as me now hes as
thin as a rail with weeping willow hair
hes so much like me the poor boy is
so shy so hesitant so certain (that)
he doesnt measure up somehow (that)
hell always fall short somehow (that)
hes not quite as brilliant as i say he is

(2006)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

playing favorites

all his life
make him spaghetti
apple sauce
buried under a
heap of cinnamon
frozen peas
frozen grapes
fig newtons
oh
and
chocolate...

here is a happy boy

(2006)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

clever

my son thinks me clever
my son the young genius
i assume that he's right

(2006)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Fatherhood

Many men dream of their sons
Following in their own footsteps
Some certain rite of passage
My step-father was a geologist
A man of the world an adventurer
And an alcoholic through mid-life
A macho man of love and bigotry
Idolized by his flock of daughters
My father was a failure I'm told
By the people who keep score
A mama's boy with talented feet
Whose very name inspires anger
A boring competitive man that
Never drank a drop until mid-life
I suppose this truth leaves me
Sitting somewhere in between
Holding the bag of reconciliation
Left to sort out the contradictions
My sisters will never understand
I loved them both they loved me
I give my son the best of each to
Him I offer what is the best of me
I think this amounts to something

(2006)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

The Seedling

Planted deep
And strong he
Is growing like
A Redwood
Towering
Above me

(2005)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Never give up on the gravy

(for Justin and Lars)

or the cherry Never
stop chasing tornadoes Never
turn away from sunshine
full moons or wisdom
Never settle for less

(2005)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Justin Time

To save me
From myself

(2005)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Justice

This is your name
Carefully chosen
What it means I
Mean in the scheme
Of all things that
Cannot be denied

(2005)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Do you remember?

One night you came to work with me
My brilliant little assistant I gave you
A color test you quickly aced the only
Person I ever knew who did it's true
You gathered work finished by others
To process and clear my department
That night I taught you to run the old
Printers and so there you sat a gnat
In comparison to the huge machines
Dwarfing you like monsters hanging
Above you your fingers blue streaks
Across the touch screen computers
Your blue eyes alert looking for dust
To their amazement everyone in the
Plant came to stand and watch you
Through the window of the two-way
Door my pride and joy in the groove

(2004)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Born of the Sun

Think like Leonardo da Vinci
Curious renaissance attitude
Taste the 47 basic laws of life
Paint life fresh bold everyday
Graceful strokes of mystery
Cover endless canvases with
Beautiful dreams and visions
Invent your own opportunties
Laugh at your own mistakes
Embrace paradox ambiguity
Logical Mona Lisas of mine
Body and spirit believing that
Mountains can become hills
And before you know it they
Will be connected somehow
Like old enemies becoming
Friends or becoming lovers

(2004)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

justin at thirteen

for hours i lie awake
fascinated by you my
son snoring slightly
like an old movie
projector
across the room
in my mind you are
instantly twelve
eleven eight seven six
five four three
two years old again
then the baby with such
serious eyes sometimes
slightly snoring your
head in my left hand your
limbs dangling from my
arm swaying in rhythm as
i breeze about the house
so many things i want
to say so many thoughts all
crashing in like hitchcocks
birds such relentless
things reluctant lessons
i like to think that
i have learned

and all of this just to say

learn all you can learn
about something and still
love it or be prepared
to lose it

(2003)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Son

Your troubled eyes trouble me so.
So much like my own as a child
When throubled by the quarrels of life.

But I want to see your eyes alive,
Flashing pools of deep blue fire
Entirely your own, inspired by
A plethora of sights unknown to you.

Just not so very much like mine
That grow tired of strife aand
Bemoan the arguments I find.

(1993)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Shadow

I don't want to be this thing
To be reckoned with like the blues;
This weary presence beckoning
Swelling like fear or delight
On the ocean of your day,
This wind dragging clouds
Across your star shrouded sky
Lifting your eyes like kites,
This shadow that never quite leaves
Yet never really seems to stay,
This father delayed
By the weight of his day.

(1992)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

The Weaning

Already she misses the suckling,
The bashful little fingers
Lingering on her breasts
Like her husband's unspoken desire.

And she misses the eyes too...
Those deep baby blues
Glued to her face and smiling
As it to intice
The milky white love her husband
Could never hope to know.

(1991)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Tourist Trap

My son has learned early
How to stop traffic on busy streets,
How a flash of the deep baby blues,
The dimpled cheek and pink gums
Will flush admirers to his feet.

What beautiful eyes he has, they say
What a smart boy, see how he laughs.

But I know why he laughs. I do!
I'm onto his precious little game.
It's all in the genes, and he is my son.

It's the same game I played
When I snagged seven sisters, my mother,
And trapped the girlfriends I'd found.
The game that worked so well
When I flagged his mother down.

(1991)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

The Mistaken Master

He sits and tests the water's depth
So very near his father's love.

He gingerly dips first one foot
Then shortly thereafter the other.

And he moves his feet like rhythm
Sounding a certain heartfelt beat.

His childish feet pound thunder

And he wonders, whether this
Is what a big boy does.

(1991)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

There Are Babies in our Tree

They swing from branches
And cling like crab apples
Swaying in the breeze

My wife believes
We should wait nine months
For them to ripen
Before we pick one

Impatient
I climb up to see
But they scatter and avoid me
Eyes tight and flustered
I muster my strength
And shake the tree wildly
Then slide down to gather what falls
But my wife snatches the pieces
Swallows them and crawls inside
Plump fom the feast

Later she tells me

blue eyes
your fingers, your toes
your neck, your nose
but no sex yet

(1990)

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers