Father’s Day Requiem

We never had one of
those TV sitcom
father-imparts-his-sage
wisdom, serious sit-downs
that I can recall

I have no fatherly counsel
fortune-cookie-inclusion
viral-meme-worthy
wisdom to share
rarely proclaiming,
“As my daddy used to say…”

Sans great punchline

parts of my father
I carry with me, mirth more
tangible than profundity
less open to interpretation
than mere platitudes

a life lived differently,
enjoyed fully

real examples used regularly:
treat people well
don’t sweat the small stuff
experience new things
appreciate old one
learn from whoever you can
because you
always can and you should

we never
discussed those things

what I learned most
from my dad was by osmosis
glacial, inexorable
noticeable only in retrospect
soaking up a life
generously poured, oftentimes
inadvertently spilled

hit me again, bartender.

conflicted by faith, he
simply lived faithfully
more-eighteen-than-
twenty-four-carat
Golden Rule doing-unto-others
sort of living

real gold doesn’t tarnish

I could say I never took a lesson
though that would be wrong
I unknowingly Jedi-mastered
mystical arts of wry observation
sardonic commentary, satirical jabs
serious points cloaked in
functional parables

uproariously serious,jester1-2
seriously funny

Like my father

I can never resist or not
appreciate a
humorous turn of phrase,
slapstick comedy,
ribald satire, bad pun

I learned from my dad
have confirmed by living: life
is a fine definition of irony

cursed I am, by
the grins of the father

  – Mark L. Lucker
© 2018
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

#FathersDay2020  #FathersDay #Fathersandsons

1958

Eight-by-ten, glossy

Women’s gowns a snowy hue
men’s jackets polar-colored
pants black, everything else
radiant shades of grays

drearily brilliant tones
off-black, dark-white
vibrant portrait in celluloid

Twelve adults, a young boy
bouffants and buzz cuts, ogling
camera, mischievously

dead serious, mindfully aware
playful magnitude of the day

fighting off hangovers
practicing feigned solemnity
due charmed couple at center

She: youthful, stunning purity
dress, pearls, teeth, aura
He: counterfeit waiter miscast
starring male in tuxedo

a split second before
being frozen in time and
now tarnished frame
someone must’ve blurted
“Smile!”

If a thousand words
barely equal a single, old
Kodak portrait, the
bold, vivid, monochromatic
color does provide, with
absolute certainty

The camera never lies

  – Mark L. Lucker
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Father’s Day Requiem

We never had one of
those TV sitcom
father-imparts-his-sage
wisdom, serious sit-downs
that I can recall

I have no fatherly counsel
fortune-cookie-inclusion
viral-meme-worthy
wisdom to share
rarely proclaiming,
“As my daddy used to say…”

Sans great punchline

parts of my father
I carry with me, mirth more
tangible than profundity
less open to interpretation
than mere platitudes

a life lived differently,
enjoyed fully

real examples used regularly:
treat people well
don’t sweat the small stuff
experience new things
appreciate old one
learn from whoever you can
because you
always can and you should

we never
discussed those things

what I learned most
from my dad was by osmosis
glacial, inexorable
noticeable only in retrospect
soaking up a life
generously poured, oftentimes
inadvertently spilled

hit me again, bartender.

conflicted by faith, he
simply lived faithfully
more-eighteen-than-
twenty-four-carat
Golden Rule doing-unto-others
sort of living

real gold doesn’t tarnish

I could say I never took a lesson
though that would be wrong
I unknowingly Jedi-mastered
mystical arts of wry observation
sardonic commentary, satirical jabs
serious points cloaked in
functional parables

uproariously serious,jester1-2
seriously funny

Like my father

I can never resist or not
appreciate a
humorous turn of phrase,
slapstick comedy,
ribald satire, bad pun

I learned from my dad
have confirmed by living: life
is a fine definition of irony

cursed I am, by
the grins of the father

  – Mark L. Lucker
© 2018
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Stratas

As a kid I collected rocks –
as many colorful pebbles as my
six-year-old jacket pockets
could smuggle via subterfuge

mom and dad later humored my
geologic interests with a small,
paperback, field guide to rocks –

which I always took with on trips we
took – grandpa in tow – playing along,
helping me find increasingly larger
chunks of ancient igneous,
sedimentary curiosity, to store in
boxes in my room, much to his
daughter’s eventual, excavating-her
grown-son’s-vacant-room, chagrin

rocks, and my self-motivated,
D-I-Y study of them, still serve me well
curiosity being a developed skill as
much as a personality characteristic

Where my parents simply indulged whims
Gramps saw wisdom in Fool’s Gold.

  – Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

1958

Eight-by-ten, glossy

women’s gowns a snowy hue
men’s jackets polar-colored
pants black, everything else
radiant shades of grays

drearily brilliant tones
off-black, dark-white
vibrant portrait in celluloid

Twelve adults, a young boy
bouffants and buzz cuts, ogling
camera, mischievously

dead serious, mindfully aware
playful magnitude of the day

fighting off hangovers
practicing feigned solemnity
due charmed couple at center

she: youthful, stunning purity
dress, pearls, teeth, aura
he: counterfeit waiter miscast
starring male in tuxedo

a split second before
being frozen in time and
now tarnished frame
someone must’ve blurted
“Smile!”

If a thousand words
barely equal a single, old
Kodak portrait, the
bold, vivid, monochromatic
color does provide, with
absolute certainty

the camera never lies

  – Mark L. Lucker
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

It’s all in the card

Greeting card aisle
all celebratory sins
at your disposal

birthday, anniversary
shout-outs
long-time-no-sees
Thank-yous!
Love you!
I’m sorry!
pronouncing gratitude
for things and flings
sorry-you’re-feeling-blue
get well tomes

Good luck!
kiss-offs
congratulatory
over-priced nods
to milestones
earned, attained,
survived
sweated out

colorful, sentimental,
creased tagboard
matching-envelope;
touchstone marked by mirth!
merriment! maudlin mooning!

four-ninety-nine a shot
plus postage

Same price of a latte
someone else
gets the kick

mid-April; the usual
array of acknowledgment
gets crowded out,
relegated to status
Miss America-runner-up

Making way for
kitschy, kindly
sunny and sentimental
mantle-sitting
maternal mementos

Momuments.

row upon row
testaments to
matriarchal tolerance
sage wisdom dispensed,
ignored, disposed, pondered
much valued only
after-the-fact;

nature of boundless nurture
boo-boos bandaged
busted hearts mended
steamrolled dreams
dusted off, put back in place

wrongs of others she righted
lessons she pointed out
that you heard but haven’t
learned as yet

Commemorating years of
“Aha”! moments
via dramatic script
comedic font
soft-focus flowers
pseudo-witty cartoons

Yearly cardboard holy grail

vainly laboring to convey
the significance  of
who, what, why
you are – where you are –
because of
who, what, how, why
she was, is
always will be

mom.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Thanksgiving

Gratitudethanksgivingpoem2

the appreciation of
gratefulness
an understanding
that you stand not alone

mindful of abundance
not dependent on it

honest thanks is given
freely, sincerely, often

with malice toward none,thanksgivingpoem5
charity for all

true

thankfulness is no
appreciation of
personal abundance

never simply

a pre-feast prayer of
appreciation for
a bountiful table

Truethanksgivingpoem3

giving of thanks
is acknowledgement
of your indebtedness

God, family, friends
countless life paths
crossed by forgottenthanksgivingpoem4
foes, friends, folks

authentic gratitude
begets awareness

appreciation of purpose
gratefulness of life
thankfulness to others

True
giving of thanks is
honest giving of self

Mark Lucker

Changing of the Guardians

Changing diapersbabywipesetc
we once foolishly hoped
were a passing fad

too soon wistfully outgrew
all-star wrestling bouts
on sopping pads

consoled ourselves with
years of wiping runny noses
becoming laser-precise,
discreetly or not

plucking
odd clumps from noses,
Cheerios from ears via
pointer-finger-and-thumb
industrial tweezers

overcame
defiance deftly utilizingusedkleenex2
Kleenex-and-spittum
wash cloths to rub
off or deeper in
crusted, dried
residues of often
unknown origin
and composition
frequently enough
for EPA containment
certification

Hazmat suits be damned.

Balled-up tissues,09 14 12a
sanitary wipes, pilfered
restaurant napkins
hand-me-down
cloth diapers,
parental shirt sleeves
tools of our lofty craft

Formerly resistant
now pliant,steady
hands carry QTip-
villager’s-torch

generational transference
fondly messy duties
resistant-to-disinfectant
memories will
render a someday
fragrant nostalgia

Mark Lucker

Waiting for Felix

pppart2Quintessentially American; refrigerator door Louvre
stylistically Picassoesque, Daliesque
though Dadaism and Mamaism predominate

as pudgy-finger tempera on newsprint evolved into
more complex designs, bolder expressions
of the artists vision in markers on white paper,
macaroni on tag board, leaves melted in wax paper

Like any good museum, the exhibits rotate; handsomely,
haphazardly framed via magnets-on-white-enamel

”l’art pour l’art”

Great art appreciates in value as the artists output declines
from striking, carefree, post-modern, outside-the-lineism topppart
photos-from-magazines montages, lopsided-clay bowls

groundbreaking quirkiness giving way to more sterile,
artistically utilitarian ‘art’ for-the-masses prints

practice schedules, bake sales, dates of note, deadlines;
dentist appointments, scribbled grocery reminders, odd
phone messages all lacking appreciable aesthetics

”l’art pour l’art”?

the gallery stands dormant; the art in cardboard storage,
unseen but appreciating in value with the artists now retired

having moved on to other pursuits, different mediums,Easter 2013
none displayable here; we are curators with empty frames

”l’art pour l’art”…

Though the artist-as-a-young-woman has a budding protégé
his apprenticeship just beginning with stark, bold lines of color;
marker-on-white copier paper, crayon-on-restaurant-placemat

in his future there will be gallery openings, oohing-and-ahhing
over his immediate masterpieces; form always trumping function,
experimentation will be celebrated, inspiration never questioned

”l’art pour l’art”!   We are waiting for Felix.

– Mark Lucker

Cross training

Some think we’re simply running away
not believing that what we are running to
is something, someplace that needs us
just as much as we need it

Just the act of running moves you away
from something, towards something else

life is running; not living is sitting still

We are running away; running away
from a professionally futureless present
mired in the stagnant quicksand of the
material world’s indifference to belief

running to new challenges, opportunity
for the chance to really get into the game,
to make a difference in the lives of others

running to get even healthier spiritually

Not running away from people we love
but to carry their love with us to a place
often unloved or misjudged as unlovable

their love is the baton we carry to pass to
other runners, other racers, other races.

Yes, we are running away – not to get away
but to take the lead, hoping others follow.

Not a race to the finish, but a pursuit
to new beginnings.