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Posts Tagged ‘poetry about family’

for Gabriel, who is fourteen

.

Wrestling with you, nowadays,

both in spirit and in form,

reminds me how much you’ve grown.

When I brace myself,

my arms around you,

trying to hold you,

I can feel you breaking free.

I don’t know how much is me,

getting older and what is you,

growing stronger;

but it makes me think of Jacob

and the angel, in the end,

wishing the night could

be just an hour longer.

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hermano, amigo

               I don’t gots nothing more

                    but words for you …

an open invitation

   like the blanket I hung

    as a door when we lived

side by side, all the places

          where we were young together

 .

even these things are leaving

               us now,

          that we don’t talk,

                    that you can’t call

     to say “I love you too”

               now that I’m just another

          Facebook friend or bit I.M.

 .

Te acuerdas,

               remember how we met?

          ¿como todo paso?

how by accident your mother

               bought the house across the street

          from ours? How twelve years

               earlier we had both surprised

          our fathers and bent their tomorrows.

 .

¿Que cosas, no?

 .

that so much had to go,

               had to break a certain way

to find us playing tag in

               the summertime, dodging

between cars or playing kick the can

              and waiting for the street lights

to turn on.

 .

Te acuerdas como nos conocimos?

 .

                    You doing your imitation of John

              Travolta from Saturday Night Fever

                 and singing the Bee Gees’

                    “Staying Alive”

                   to mock whoever the hell was “it”

                … except me …

         we were already running as a team

        Ploying silently to keep the

                rest at bay, pushing to be better

               than each other because no one

            wanted to be Robin, because

          we both felt absolutely golden,

      whenever we were together,

          you were Larry and I was Magic

              even though our skin said

                   we had it backwards

                      … we knew better

 .

Ya tu sabes!

 .

So here’s a list that only

          you will understand with your

decoder ring and secret index

        of punchlines and memories

Pink Champale and Greased Lightning,

     Lower Grant and their mutant bigs,

Hershey Park spinning on its side,

     Reggie, the bleachers and spaghetti,

Willie on the train and the fucking fractions,

     Missions to van Sicilen, Crescent or Norwood

The middle of winter and a rat’s nest,

     Pitufas and soft shelled crabs,

The Dominican outback needing dancers,

     Fernando in the ambulance,

Shoeless football, stir fry and home grown,

     Seafood Mamajuanas, Billy Joel and

about a million other words I could

     string together to hang around our necks

like totems signifying we know

     exactly what they meant.

But we don’t.

We have our own stories, no?

          Even if we shared that

glory time so long ago, all things

          can gather enough dust

to be covered in the end.

Te acuerdo, te amo, te extraño.

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2011. All rights reserved.

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for Paolo Ernesto

.

the rules for all of this

come from distant worlds

we are satellites of satellites

bound to every detail of the past

.

we trod around our

flooded rock imagining

we could be stars

but we know now

that we are very far

.

we are made from pieces

that fall apart to blend again

with earth and rain

and other broken things

.

like water at different degrees

we are held in a temporary state

awakened for a moment

and given a name and birthdate

.

if we are lucky,

our days cannot measured

only by our presence

or the illusion of our reflections

.

instead we learn to love and live

above the center of the dance

where the music is played

in plasma waves and memories

of romance and laughter; until

yesterday is more engaged

for moments …

.

before the bad news breaks

to remind us of our origins,

.

               that the lotus is retreating

               that the universe ends up freezing

               that there is no way to kiss your gentle face again.

.

* “passing through here” or “happening here”

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2011. All rights reserved.

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“Why didn’t you use my computer

          while I was gone,” asks my oldest son,

“seems like common sense,” he implores,

          and perhaps it is.

.

He is older than his ten years and it’s getting harder

          to explain how things work in the universe.

I sit him down and remind him of the noise

          known as the deep field, the background

radiation left over from the Big Bang.

.

He knows this story,

          so I skip ahead and tell him again

how it takes a while for a star to burst

          for planets to form around the star

how long it takes for satellites or moons

          to form around planets

and how all this happens because

          stars are so dense they pull reality

towards them, around them

          until they have a million things circling …

.

“I couldn’t keep track today,”

          I tell my boy, “of this little asteroid you’re making”.

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

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 It begins shortly after I serve my two boys

a plate of white cookies and some chocolate milk,

while I’m dipping my burnt whole wheat crackers

 

(the English call Melba toast and sell to us suckers)

 

into chick peas I could have squashed myself,

 

(but purchased as hummus instead)

 

when the questions appear about opposites,

but quickly become infected with laughter

 

(in between chewing and kicking each other)

 

they spill silly pairs of the commonest things

and finally break all the rules of the logic

that makes any sense of the meaning of opposites

 

(Think of a bar room late in a shift)

 

when one of them questions that since it’s

okay to say you’re comparing apples

and oranges like they are unlike, then

surely there must be an opposite for ears?

 

Mouth I say, and tell them to finish their snack.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved

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 In comes Alexander,

5, uninvited to my

office where I write

and where he’s

supposed to knock

instead of storming in

like his namesake would.

 

Want to hear about

my robots”, he asks

spilling a half dozen

mini sculptures made

of multi-colored legos.

 

Not right now, I said

and firmer than it sounds

on paper.

 

But he goes on

explaining that the

first one with wheels

is a rover meant

to explore the surface

and it sends back

information to

the second one with

panels that is an

orbiter which always

stays in space and

it, in turn, beams

down instructions

to the third robot,

a long spindly thing

that is a tower for sending

out directions to the

two battlebots,

clunky pieces that

look like squares with

blasters mounted.

 

I didn’t want to know

but now I’ve been taken in.

 

He animates the ones

he’s talked about

pretending that there

is some mission underway.

I can’t help but ask

what the last undefined

robot does or is.

Alex picks it up, the

most elaborate of the

bunch, it is made of

flat pieces with gold

extensions and tiny

white caps, resembling

an alien artifact and

asks me if I really like it

before explaining

that it’s art and it

does nothing at all.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

 

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I helped my sons

a few weeks ago

make a card with

flowers cut from

colorful construction

paper and peppered

with pictures of

them being cute

as babies can be.

 

Today is supposed

to be my day

and I expect to

be doing many

more things to

show them how to

be good boys and

maybe great men.

 

There is no sunshine

again but the rain

has taken a break

when we go out

my boys and me

and start blowing

bubbles that last a

mighty long time.

 

We laugh when

they burst and marvel

at how big some get.

The little one likes

the dancing colors

on the skins,

the older one loves

splitting them in half.

 

A few bubbles dare

to land on the evergreens

that border our

house and stay long

enough for us to take

pictures that will

make great Christmas

cards this year.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

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