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

Poems my father left me

There is reason, evenDad Camp Plauche poem p2
some rhyme
in the stanza, the beat
the reading in time

of who, what, why he was
what he did and why he didn’t
why he maybe should’ve
not stressing on could’ve

Sometimes

His groove was far more
scat than stanza
he could always carry a
jaunty life tune
singing it with gusto

over thirty years since
his last oration
I can still recite
his many poetic forms

Some are tests
proctored from beyond
father/son veil and

I often refer to his
weathered, worn
hand-me-down crib notes
mental index cards
life lessons
guidelines
direction

admonitions and
insights

Cantos of appreciation
for good food
garnished with lively
conversation
the need for tolerance
futility in anger borne ofDad and unknown men locale year 2
frustration

To value people
by the
who not the what, that
words can be weapons
how deeply
they will cut

His iambic passion
for baseball,
Laurel & Hardy
how to properly be the
life of any party

Hard work doesn’t hurt
a broken heart surely does
that family is what it is, not
what it should be or once was

haikus on

How to laugh, how to
love; why the hell you always
should, chortle romance

at every available
opportunity

it is always O.K. to cry
at a favorite song or
at a movie
that age is no impediment
to being
cool, even groovydad and I 35 - Copy

My father left couplets
deli pastrami
crusty-soft Jewish rye

cottage cheese mixed
with sour cream

real New York cheesecake
ricotta cheese, not the fake

steak; medium rare

bourbon and sour
Glenn Miller’s music

all of them much better
from a really good chair

Madrigals for life
try new things
continually dream
life is good
strive to make it better
regardless how it seems

Friends will come,
friends will go

A few will stick around
all will leave you something
of great value

His odes to a son

if you like it, then
it is good – let
critics be thus damned

there will always be more
questions than answers

Not to sweat it
never regret it

you should laugh often
love well
and vice-versa

To smell the roses is good
to give them, even better
in bouquets
and one at a time

These are the poems
my father left me

I can and
often do
recite them

at will

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
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

Poems my father left me

There is reason, evenDad Camp Plauche poem p2
some rhyme
in the stanza, the beat
the reading in time

of who, what, why he was
what he did and why he didn’t
why he maybe should’ve
not stressing on could’ve

Sometimes

His groove was far more
scat than stanza
he could always carry a
jaunty life tune
singing it with gusto

over thirty years since
his last oration
I can still recite min in
his many poetic forms

Some are tests
proctored from beyond
father/son veil and

I often refer to his
weathered, worn
hand-me-down crib notes
mental index cards
life lessons
guidelines
direction

admonitions and
insights

Cantos of appreciation
for good food
garnished with lively
conversation
the need for tolerance
futility in anger borne ofDad and unknown men locale year 2
frustration

To value people
by the
who not the what, that
words can be weapons
how deeply
they will cut

His iambic passion
for baseball,
Laurel & Hardy
how to properly be the
life of any party

Hard work doesn’t hurt
a broken heart surely does
that family is what it is, not
what it should be or once was

haikus on

How to laugh, how to
love; why the hell you always
should, chortle romance

at every available
opportunity

it is always O.K. to cry
at a favorite song or
at a movie
that age is no impediment
to being
cool, even groovydad and I 35 - Copy

My father left couplets
deli pastrami
crusty-soft Jewish rye

cottage cheese mixed
with sour cream

real New York cheesecake
ricotta cheese, not the fake

steak; medium rare

bourbon and sour
Glenn Miller’s music

all of them much better
from a really good chair

Madrigals for life
try new things
continually dream
life is good
strive to make it better
regardless how it seems

Friends will come,
friends will go

A few will stick around
all will leave you something
of great value

His odes to a sonDad Camp Plauche poem p1

if you like it, then
it is good – let
critics be thus damned

there will always be more
questions than answers

Not to sweat it
never regret it

you should laugh often
love well
and vice-versa

To smell the roses is good
to give them, even better
in bouquets
and one at a time

These are the poems
my father left me

I can and
often do
recite them

at will

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

The Letter

IMG_20160819_180012Dear Grandchildren:

There is irony in that the

last thing you will ever forget

will be one of your firsts

crush

love

kiss

sex

broken heart

IMG_20160819_173909first to never be forgotten

first to stick with you

first to make you feel like that

first to make you hurt

first to make you feel alive

knowing that the firsts will

teach you the most

honor you the least

IMG_20160819_180312cause discomfort

provide perspective

be impossible to explain to others

yet explain everything there is to know

These things I tell you

because they are true

because I know

Love,

IMG_20160819_181546Grandpa

P.S.

Don’t tell your parents

you learned any of

this from me

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

Afternoon at Lakewood

IMG_20160608_180407Whatever remains lie beneath

six, eight, feet; compacted dirt
atop concrete lid, polished walnut box
thirty years I have come to this spot
far longer to this place
to the eye, comfortably little is changed
thirty years say everything has

yes and no

he would be one-hundred now
hard to imagine him at a full century
gone nearly a third of that
what I have needed since, I found
elsewhere, in old lessons retooled
for different times, I am a different son

This is my default settingMe age 4

there is nothing left here
nobody who can help me with this one
today is not fixing a broken toy
drying a child’s tears
calming a bad dream
grabbing a ball and two gloves

things he really didn’t do much anyway

never playing to the archetypes
to his everlasting credit and my heredity;
some nature, some nurture
something else altogether unique
sometimes I wonder if I would
engender more pride than eye rolls

I cannot hint for compliments
I can only sit, contemplate

sometimes I ask questionsIMG_20160608_181941
every now and then I swear I hear
answers in a crisp, familiar timbre
tinged with the irony of knowing answers
before asking but needing to be sure
I come, sit in the grass, bask in the
adoring glow of ancient, swaying, elms
casting no less a shadow than
those wafting up through hard dirt

I can only sit, ruminate
a wineless communion

The bronze plaque at my feet
perpendicular to the rows of weathered
marble and granite stretching out in
neat rows to not-so-distant horizon

squinting into late afternoon sun
dad’s marker a welcome mat beforeIMG_20160608_181854
two rows of sunken, off-kilter markers
of familial consequence, inspiration
roots of a family tree
some limbs I knew, loved in life
other branches only by quirky legacy

my DNA fertilizes this lush ground
rich dust-to-dust opportunities
for second opinions abound

there is cool contentment here
maudlin sentimentality not a game we play
I have come here with purpose, pride
as always soaking up what I can
gleaning what I need to
address whatever challenge I have

or sometimes, just to kill a little time in
idle, silent conversation with my dad

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

3:22 P.M.

Smiling broadly from the bottom step
from yellow-and-black command ship
my forty-two pound, thirty-seven inch
Neil Armstrong plops dustily down

Successful touchdown,
Tranquility base. Home,
The Eagle has landed.

Perfect timing; his silver-and-black
supply case is depleted, as is he.
Time to replenish, explore local terrain,
relax, recount the day’s adventure

Pausing, he then runs and embraces me
Mission accomplished. For today.

Mark Lucker

Manly

At eight-years old
machismo has a
very different feel

‘Don’t cry like a baby,’
my son would admonish
his second-grade peers
‘…cry like a man!’

As he is now sixteen
I wonder…would he
challenge them at all?

Like son, like father

The daughter of close friends
looks at my son like that

they have known each other
since first grade – a time when
looking at each other like that
would have been unthinkable;
icky, gross…dis-GUS-ting!

Now she looks at him like that

When I first noticed her looking
his obliviousness was a comfort
but now he looks like that
at someone else, still clueless

I remember the summer I was
fifteen, noticing for the first time
looks like that directed at me…

thought were aimed at me
until late July’s heat removed all
ambiguity, before summer escaped

He doesn’t yet realize but it’s the
un-auditioned for role-of-a-lifetime
the chance for a starring turn
as someone else’s first love