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Posts Tagged ‘dad’

Fishing on the Bushkill

When all that meant everything
Was a fire burning deep at night,
With friends to share life’s comic air,
The moon above to steal sight.

That was right, that was right, a time
And place suspended still somewhere.
A vault, untouched, unnamed, floating
Above those who wish they could stare.

Protected there my father lives
At that scout camp Resica Falls.
In his teens and full of living,
Hearing that Pennsylvania call.

One summer out there out posting
Past the main camp to staff Fawn Run,
My young father was on the edge,
A place where deep thoughts had begun.

He had time in those woods alone,
And ran his post when campers showed,
He’d often talk of Bushkill Creek,
Of its bronze color and how it flowed.

He’d make a fire, grab his rod,
At evening time he’d fish the creek,
Time spent in that flowing sweetness,
Relying on brown trout to eat.

Like a bear that is so content
To fish and eat and sleep so well,
Under stars from heavens glow,
The years to come no one could tell.

What thoughts my father had before,
Standing there on Bushkill’s shore,
Before he lost love and fought a war,
When life was moments, nothing more?

Did he know what the future held,
Or simply watched the river flow?
Was Vietnam even a thought?
Into that jungle he would go.

Did he know he’d be scoutmaster?
His sons to be and that boy the same,
All destined to be Eagle Scouts,
I knew the man that boy became.

Navigating rivers and life,
In that protected vault of then,
Trout, Brotherhood, Spirit, being
Among the links of boys to men.

Deep in the woods where wild calls,
Links that are not seen, are not heard,
Father’s gone but the Bushkill flows,
He has become that secret word.

Some of his ashes flow there now,
To keep the Bushkill’s spirit safe,
To guard by way of bird and fish,
To strengthen love and heighten faith.

What thoughts my father had before,
Standing there on Bushkill’s shore,
Before he lost love and fought a war,
When life was moments, nothing more?

Kyle McHale      2011

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Thoughts in Autumn

I become lost in the scattered mess as I always am,
or seem to be, unable to break my unhappy cycle.
When daylight begins to die with everything else I find some peace.
The modern world allows for many of us to
avoid panic before the cold comes,
too much time to think when survival is not the pulse of thought.

I let an early frost-covered weekend morning break the silence,
and watch the cold glisten outside the kitchen window.
The house is asleep, though I am not.
My head hangs, my heart hangs,
my thoughts aren’t of anything memorable or meaningful.

Coffee is a good thing,
I learned to drink it too young with Gramps who would wake
too early to watch frost with a hanging head as well.
A deep sadness carried by men who often spread cheer themselves
but know the grim realities of life,
staying with those who have love in their hearts despite
the darkness of the world.

Slow mornings are good.
I wish I could share them with Gramps and Dad.
I say bring the season on with a quiet passion.
Dying colors have that special beauty,
an irreplaceable hit on the senses.
The air is cold, the coffee hot,
and I somewhere in between.
If anything I am ahead of the day
but behind in everything else,
thinking on this autumn morning.

Kyle McHale      2012

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Dying in a Chair

I don’t want to die in a chair,
I’d rather be afoot somewhere,
To be out there when I’ve no air,
The men before me died in chairs.

For Pop-Pop faded in a chair,
All that he saw way over there,
The Pacific blood he went through,
Then understood what men must do.

For Gramps faded in a chair,
All that he saw way over there,
The prison camps that he went through,
Then understood what men must do.

For Dad faded in a chair,
All that he saw way over there,
That jungle hell that he went through,
Then understood what men must do.

I don’t want to die in a chair,
I’d rather be afoot somewhere,
To be out there when I’ve no air,
The men before me died in chairs.

Kyle McHale      2010

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Silence and Light

One night I felt the heavy weight,
The heavy heart and heavy ache.
I questioned loss and thought of faith,
How you departing was a waste.

A simple night, and I alone
Looked over what was once your home,
A single pack of clouds rolled by,
Cumulus night in quiet sky.

Silence heard and silence felt,
I peered into the puffy heart
Of what became an opening,
A tunnel of a strange type thing,

A portal with no end in sight,
Then a silent flash of violent light,
A few more still, then gone it was,
I in simple awe because

I knew it was you, it was you,
Letting me see what you could do.
I know that we go to a place
Beyond that seen by simple grace,

And that you rumbled for me so,
Gives strength in knowing where we go.
Magnificence in simple-ness,
When subtle truth is not missed.

Do not invite me in just yet,
Those that knew you will not forget,
Silent rumble protect my soul
On earth until your light I’ll go.

Kyle McHale     2012

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That Spot on the Trail

Chances are you’ll wait for me
At that spot out on the trail,
That spot I know that I have seen
Where beams follow that light trail.

And tailing out from sacred place,
The stones, the view, the forest leaves,
All breathing and dancing deep,
At last at peace, at last at ease.

Chances are you’ll wait for me,
Your tattered medal on your shirt,
In life wisdom is loneliness
And bravery is left on dirt.

But in it all I feel you now,
The order of things all in place,
That spot on the trail in dreams,
Becomes awake as real place.

As you guard, protect, and see,
That spot where gentle wind derives,
Chances are that you are there
To watch where all comes alive.

For with that gentle wind I know,
It travels to the sea from there,
To help the sails push on through,
To gently move through salt kissed air.

Guiding all from that trail spot,
Good company I know you’ll keep,
To show the others all you know,
To let the world beat so deep.

Then when I think of brotherhood,
I remember your handshake,
That so few sons and fathers shared,
In death, in life, asleep, awake.

The natural forces weigh on me,
When I think that I may fail,
That place will be there that we know,
That sacred spot on honored trail.

Kyle McHale      2010

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The Trees are With Me

Me: “For if I could endure it all
To make it through this dreadful fall,
When my father left with the leaves
To catch and glide that color breeze,

I may see what my father’s done,
Taking pride as his oldest son,
That clarity in autumn light,
That calling out, those pleasant nights,

Where I can send a fire out
Of whipping tails sending up,
Into the space my father went,
Warming all that pain he felt,

And gently touching life’s great web,
Listening to what those trees said.”

The Trees: “We have your father, he is here,
We have his heart out everywhere,

Let us touch you with our grace,
Your father’s heart’s in natural place,
When you gaze towards heaven’s glow,
When you are lost and want to know,

The Great Maker has taken care
Of his brave spirit in the air,
For you know what type he was,
Part wolf and bear, eagle and dove,

Part sea and land, part guiding hands,
Part father, brother, teacher, friend.
You see we needed him so much,
So that his soul could finally touch

All it earned in a mortal life,
To never feel a lonely night,
But you must stay and find that out,
Seek guidance in the spirit clouds,

Then closer to the heart you’ll be,
Yours and his beat beautifully.”

Me: “Dear trees I’m still travelling lost,
I stand where place and time do cross,
I’ll stay with fire close to ground,
I’ll stay lost and hope I’m found

By where my father’s heart has touched,
By how he filled my life with love.
Enjoy his heart in autumn moon,
I’ll see him again but no time soon.

Be at peace with everything,
I’ll look for you when eagles sing.”

Kyle McHale      2010

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