family life poems & stories

Fighting the Flow

A couple of poems I wrote while my nephews are visiting:

fighting the flow

we tried to change the flow of a river yesterday
we three boys
moving logs, mortaring with sand
changing its course before it empties to the ocean
doing that what we all do
fighting against the flow of our lives

my youngest nephew got cold
after falling in our game where we would count
and plant our feet in the sand awaiting the ocean’s leviathan breaking wave
closest to the wave’s edge without getting wet wins,
first to 10
he lost that one, much to our joy
but did get to 10 first
i hate now that that moment is gone because I want it back

after we finished
he wanted me to carry him home
trying to alter the flow of his river where
he’s grown 6 inches in the past year
and now weighs over 100 pounds
sorry but i can’t
only last summer he danced on my shoulders in blissful perfection
at Harmony Fest
Sorry my love, that summer has flown and now we must begin from here

i am only a human being
although sometimes i doubt the being part
trying to make everything fit into forms and shapes
that i want, rejecting whatever doesn’t
fighting my own river

when you put a log into a sandy bottomed river
i didn’t really know that the water would undermine it
and flow beneath it
i have been known to holler lately
that i will not be whatever anyone wants me to be
a feeble attempt to dam my river
keep piling sand into the cracks, tossing it
backwards between legs like a digging dog
not caring about the mess and whose eyes
get filled with irritation from wayward flung grains
just dam it up, change the flow

flow of love, flow of money, flow of generosity, flow of time
maybe the boys and i could practice undamming
and see what that might teach us

King L’il Tut

We did undam today
not the river, but my heart some
so much love and play
and also genuineness and meaningful connection and conversation
my heart today feels as it’s breaking open, a love for these boys
too big
to be contained within a constricted heart
no one ever has touched my heart as these boys have always done
love from me so pure, unbounded,
free flowing, as my heart in relationship
has forever
struggled to know.

Mattson played King L’il Tut
as we built walls and moats of sand against the oncoming tide
quarters for his people in Knockerland in breast shaped homes
his only specification for his castle was that it be
large enough for all should tragedy
ever befall his populace
his beneficence befitting of a true king
I, assigned his castle construction, made
him a triple tiered birthday cake style one
and we dedicated his royal abode singing:
Happy Birthday to Thee
Happy Birthday to Thee
Happy Birthday L’il Tut King
Happy Birthday to Thee
Joyful moments etched in time, in my own forever

My eyes tear simply from love
from my heart that knows itself through it’s love for them
I don’t want any of this to end
I need their help in retrieving my heart
Stoic recluse that it has been.

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