Dear grief – 26

Dear grief 26,
I haven’t seen Dad in three years,
this morning, before dawn,
I got to smell him,
and hold him,
and feel his silken strands of hair on my face.
It hurt so much more than I thought it would.
I wept, and thirteen hours later as I write this,
I weep.
It’s taken my eyelids this long to break their silence,
my throat, this long to burst from its cage.
Now there’s rage,
shame, not guilt,
that I didn’t bow more,
kiss your hand more,
massage your feet more,
just a whole lot lack of more.
Waves of hate inside me,
towards me,
and there’s no recompense,
no console.
There he is abundantly graceful amongst God’s servants and here I am drowning in sin.
There really is no rest for the wicked,
that gnaw of your soul,
taking notes,
like a stenographer of your deeds,
tattooed in your heart,
beating between your lobes,
that grief is not ‘a thing with feathers’,
it’s a fucking jumbo jet with engines ablaze.
Fuck, I haven’t cried this much in a day ever.
You’re the best fucking man I’ll never be.

dear grief – 12

I miss him.
I want to be five again,
ten, thirteen, twenty two.
To relive a moment when he knocks the door,
and we knew it was him.

To not even let the door knock,
just to hear the jingle of his pockets,
keys, coins, bags of shopping in his hands,
not even,
just the rumble of his car in the driveway,
and meet him at the door once more.

We had to love him silently,
that’s how he loved us.

Head down, heart up,
eyes averted,
mind occupied, with the future of his family.
Do they have enough, do they have what they want,
am I enough, maybe I can carve another piece out of myself,
maybe I can give away a bit more of my health for them.

The things that race through a unselfish man’s mind,
double, triple shifts,
and still,
he came home every morning, every afternoon,
smelling of cedar, leather and muskiness of sweat with a hint of lemon zest.

In 38 years, I never once smelt body odour on him,
a testament of what was inside him,
if ever I saw evidence of a man’s insides.




Like him, I don’t say much,
but in writing, I chatter and prattle,
word bloat and fat, like well fed cattle,
the cure he didn’t find, the endless rattle,
mind bend, mind broke, bludgeoned in battle.

How many a man loses this fight,
how many a father with sleepless nights,
how many lay idle, and out of sight,
dormant in quiet, you’d know not their plight.


fatherly subtleties


fatherly subtleties

You know you’ve had a good father,
when he allows you to be yourself
when he’s alive
and when he passes,
all you want to do is be like him.

-Wesam El dahabi

Today, I missed you.
Whilst others see you in their dreams,
They only see you whilst asleep.
In every corner and crevice of my waking hour.

I find you in the hair on my forearms,
Did you know we share the same colour?

I feel it in the belly of my being,
This distant longing,
Of un-belonging,
Now I know why silence was the closest companion you had.

There’s much to be said,
About boys growing up,
With or without a picture of their father in front of them,
I don’t know if your passing will be my biggest growth spurt,
Or I will remained dwarfed here forever.

What I do know, is that forging an identity,
Is the most subtle art,
The softest paint stroke,
In a calligraphers brush.

Know when to press hard,
And when it is too much.

And somehow,
All the bravado,
All the pomp and high horsed-ness of a son,
Becomes what it is,
Because of the fathers silent dismount.

Aloof he trots, viewing nothing but himself,
And there he is gently caressing the ear of your horse,
With silent whispers.

A father knows,
When to take the limelight away from their son,
But mostly they are the light,
And the son never realises until they’re blinded.

When your father is alive,
You fight with every ounce of you to be your own man,
To be so unique,
A better and upgraded version.

These all come with the notion of your arrogance attached,
That somehow your father isn’t your ideal.

When He passes away,
You will skirmish every inch of your existence,
Just to be as he was,
To feel him one more time.

You want nothing more than to feel his being,
By complete imitation of what he did, how he was,
So you can be who he was for your son.


-asl (origin)



we all have a home
some, just can’t hear it’s call
just can’t feel it’s hold

my home strangles me with the rope of poetry
noose as tight as the rhymes it loops in the mind of me
in between the sides of me
back and forth grinding down the meat of me
taking out my feet from me
swept up and into the fingers of trees
blown and breast fed to the eastern seas

my home is inside of me
it’s always been
i was just too full of shit to see

not now
not that he’s gone and taken that part of me
the veil that whilst kept me blind
also kept me warm
now naked and exposed in entirety


The final ode


My fingers are heavy,
the weight of burying your father,
does not lift that easy,
his loss not felt,
until like misplaced items,
you miss them when privilege of their presence is absent,
when your memory is alight,
with the comforts you once enjoyed,
and are now left without.

He dreamed that the roof of his home,
collapsed when his father,
my grandfather, passed away.

But I don’t dream such dreams.

Instead the walls of my heart,
have caved in.

I feel the constriction,
the deterioration,
and diminishing all at once.

What was once a boisterous and beating heart,
that could be seen heaving my chest,
has turned frail, into a gentle tap,
rain patter on a corrugated roof,
the gentle hum of a washing machine tumbling linens,
the whirr of a light bulb flickering it’s filament,
an attempt at artificially lighting a room,
when darkness is meant to just be.

Why won’t we let it be,
so fearful of what can’t be seen,
is unknown, perhaps not meant to be known.

Our fears abase us and betray our senses to feel,
to let pain carve Braille of guidance,
to use our fingers to caress over our wounds
and feel our way to healing,
to suturing what is severed,
mending and patching our way to being whole.

And this poetry of being whole,
still it escapes the best of us.

We write shameful prose,
of being so apt and self made,
of boastful prowess,
in finding our true selves,
and then crumble like cheesecake base,
between the fingers of tribulation,
and what is left is this gooey cheese instead.

We’re all ashamed of our mess,
so we decorate with sugar,
to make ourselves palatable,
pied pipers of approval,
we all want to be licked that insatiable lick,
that lick of longing,
and lick of satiation.
But here we are pretending,
bitter to the core,
wanting more,
we’re all ok,
that the roof of our house hasn’t in fact already collapsed,
long ago,
so long ago.
The roof – our souls, dead,
the father of our very being,
obituary written in the way we act so lifelessly,
so out of tune of what is real.

‘Death is the ultimate destroyer of pleasures’,
said a more noble man than me,
and he tasted it’s fruits,
bitterness on his lips from birth until death,
with loss so grand that should have crushed him,
an example of how to remain erect,
irrespective of circumstance,
dignified and poised,
even though hurt be our way,
healing, illuming the path,
to carry on this dark life,
to the very end with cheer,
gratitude and a yearning to return,
to the womb of our mother Eve,
the loins of our father Adam.

To the elements of the earth which fashioned them both,
with the soul that was blown into them by them same Godly breath.

We’re all from that same breath,
but we’re looking not to catch it’s waft,
but ignore it’s very existence.

Why are my fingers heavy?
Because they know they have not even begun to write,
but this ode has to end.

May God wash your soul with light,
and keep your dwellings perfumed,
with the musk of His Love.
You gave it your all father,
how am I supposed to keep up?


-who gave birth to this

who gave birth to this

she must have hated him,
for giving her me.
bashful youth,
how did you bring yourself sir,
to be with her?

she must have hated him,
for pausing her life,
with new life.

she must have grown to love me,
new poetry,
a book of folded pages,
a shelf keep.

still she must of hated him,
cervix to bosom lamentations,
that feeling is awfully familiar.

Who is worthy of the hate,
or do I love them both regardless,
just by default,
the expected thing?

Reconciliation of detachment,
is a haunting thing.
combing the contradictions,
palpating for a pulse,
colour, love and hate blind.