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Posts Tagged ‘father’

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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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

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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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Reflections

The way our souls are drawn to the underground
As if roaches were surviving the end of times,
Crowded, shoulder to shoulder wishing the
Worst to be over.
We travel in trains under the earth like blood vessels
Moving us to work everyday, from light to darkness to light.
Time moves normally above ground.
The complexities in a day that never cross our mind
Lead us somewhere unknown in the layers of daily routines.
Outdated D.C. metro trains pass by through mind numbing tunnels,
Our reflections flicker in train windows
And we rarely notice them spying on us,
Like mirrors aligned at a barber shop
In endless worlds of ourselves,
Each receiving a slightly different haircut.
My reflection self may have had a better day than I,
Stepping left instead of right to avoid tripping,
Or arriving a minute earlier to catch a train on time.
Our reflections live every part of our lives and theirs.
The poor ones who live only underground,
Stuck to the windows of things,
Remind us that when we have a chance for light, or love,
We must take it without flinching.
Time is patient, though we are not,
And we must love so that our
Limited reflective selves know there is hope for them too.

Kyle McHale       2012

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Man’s Heart

Always now, as always then,
A place to form a perfect age,
When chivalry and better men
Had fine-tuned their sharp, skillful rage,
Or showed their love with letters sent,
With blood and earth on an old page.
Better or worse to woman that
Could then play puppet, tit for tat.

Always now, as always back
When only strength in men had failed,
Crushing thoughts of a woman that
Gave wind to an empty sail,
The only thing that men do lack,
Finding strength in loves betrayal.
Old knights and new knights do their best,
Holding hearts from a bursting chest.

Always now, as always ago,
Carried honor but could not pass,
Through or around the awful show
Of two body prints in soft grass
Where love was formed and made to glow,
But no one told not made to last.
A time or two duration of,
When honor thinks it can keep love.

Always now, as always had
To carry swords and steel plates,
But battle flesh is far from sad
When stacked against loving’s hate,
Of that which kills a lonely lads
Chance at keeping honors fate.
What swords of men, what honor set
Of traits can make good men forget?

Always now, as always past,
Dark ages come and go away,
It’s sweetest things that do not last,
That make men men in honors way,
Carrying forth the only task
To say the words when one must say,
I am man with armored heart,
I lead worlds that once were dark.

Kyle McHale      2009

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Toy Soldiers

A child with his soldier toys
Shoots and bangs his war time noise,
Knowing not the real cost
Of fallen brethren and true loss.

No one can fault the little ones
For thinking play time soldier fun,
For maybe raised on bravery,
A father dressed for full duty,

And back he comes from war alone
Blessed to see his child at home.
“Go on son with your soldiers play,
I’ll let you know the truth some day.”

Kyle McHale      2012

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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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