Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘family’

The Way We Live

Woven into a living fabric
an item of clothing that was a gift
that became meaningful and was
unintentionally ruined,
like ourselves,
given this gift ruined by us
on every scale,

bleeding the globe
bleeding our personal souls
and their need in the actual
living of life,

do not accept the formula passed
down as necessary,
whatever it is or was for you,
cycles of poor trailer-trash shit
uneducated and pregnant
neglected and unfair
given an inheritance of the burdens
heavy, sick as sin,
inescapable, cry-able,

spiders that spin webs to trap
themselves and eat their own hearts
and burrow into their own flesh and
poison the tissue that connects our
hearts to each other, our minds
to a future and our spirits to the earth,
a poisoned vein that sprouts, stunted,
toxic roots, spills the overflow into
and back out of us
so we all hurt the ones we love
hurt ourselves and this place we live in
so warmness feels uncomfortable and
misery normal,

label it whatever you want,
create the form it manifests for you,
call it a disorder or depression
make it a substance abuse problem
treat the symptoms of misery
and stay in it forever because
it’s become normal,

or claim it unacceptable,
pick up the shit you’ve
been given, smear it on
your face as war paint
smile and say, “fuck it”,
I’m going to play the
hand I’ve been dealt.

Kyle McHale          2016

Read Full Post »

Where My Father Stepped

I have known the path trodden
through forest floor dirt
where my father has stepped,
the woods in the east whose
leaves hold that warm green
golden light of summer
whose forest rivers
clear and bronze
cast down through smooth stones
cut through steep hills
and hold his best footprints,
where my father stepped and left
parts of his heart on young hearts.

I have known the tragedy
of his bravery after war,
muddy jungle rotting steps
he took far from home
to watch friends step
their last steps
to watch friends gasp
their last breaths.

I have known his last steps,
those shuffling struggling sickness steps
and the march of Marine brethren
who carried him his final steps,
those were his feet
and his feet those
marching linked by spirit
breaths the fate
some soldiers chose.

He has known my first steps in a
humbling father’s joy to see an
early life after taking lives
thanking God my guns were toys.

I know now he steps where I step,
just ahead or just behind
our earthly wrongs matter not
even though he has left
I have known where
my father stepped.

Kyle McHale 2015

Read Full Post »

Nana’s Bears
Nana bought us brown and grey teddy bears
that each sat proud in their old fashioned chairs
before we had known or felt any fear
she had worried for us and kept our bears.

Her long life triumph of happy tears
of God-guided vision to combat fear,
I know she’ll return home one day to care
and again become sweet Virginia air,

two boys grown into men, both now aware,
though she had ours, we were Nana’s bears.

Kyle McHale       2015

Read Full Post »

Christmas Eve

Enough sun is left hanging low to
turn one side of everything golden.
Depending on how you enter into the fading day,
your mood is decided by which part
of your body enters the light first.
Golden hands. Golden feet.
Golden heart. Golden mind.
Filtering that light the neighborhood,
sifting that horizon gleam, every house,
every chimney, every small branch on every tree,
seeping into things as it passes by until it hits you.

Gold-kissed flurries swirl around,
gentle wind swept snow clouds whip up
and look painted in the cold sky.
Wind enough to chill your breath and let it
wrap around to your opposite ear,
almost a whisper to yourself,
wind enough to sneak a snowflake into
your mouth to melt on the tip of your tongue,
freezing all other senses for a moment,
or maybe you ate a flake of gold that circulates your veins,
maybe those clouds have gold trim like one of
your childhood pillows had.
Maybe it was all there just for you.

Standing where you used to live, thankful.
How could you have ever moved away?
How could you ever live here again?
Which side of you must be golden?

One day in the future on this night,
you’ll sit in a chair with a good view of the room and the tree,
among certain things, everyone else asleep,
whiskey in hand,
perhaps a fire softly roaring if you’re lucky enough,
what will matter most on that day of all days?

Your thoughts will say, “I hope what’s golden is seen
by those for whom my love is truly meant.”

Kyle McHale                                2014

Read Full Post »

What is Left?

After death
what is left?
When heart break wins
what remains?
Melting skin and
spirit sweats,
what is there and
what has left?
Broken dreams or
family gone,
so it seems some
more sad songs,
life remains, life remains
but what is left?
One more time or
every time
a mirror shows a
sad soul blind
to all the wonders
that are left,
that are left,
after rage, war, and death.

The world is
still there somehow,
love is left,
love is left,
If only it filled
every breath.

 

Kyle McHale         2014

Read Full Post »

Twenty-One Shots

On a blue October day twenty-one shots
echoed through my heart,
jolted me back into the current moment,
where my thoughts had wandered
back to Pop-Pop’s firing salute years before,
this time empty shells hit the ground
and heavy blasts hit the air for my father.

Warriors get what they deserve at Arlington,
where their heavy hearts can rest.
Left here with our troubled hearts.
Rest well and forever,
whatever losses life gave you
have been given back.

Have you ever seen Marines fold a flag?
I’ll only see it once,
Marines in perfect symmetry,
folding the flag over my father,
ceremonial, sad, perfect,
brothers honoring each other
separated only by time.

I’ve had family in every American war.
Dad said he went to war so
Kevin and I did not have to.

God, I hope I deserve not
to see combat. I hope all
their blood has been enough.
God, I hope I live well enough
knowing there is a burden
they carried that I will
never be able to repay.

 

Kyle McHale                         2014

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »