08 August 2015

Lee's 90th/Family Reunion

Leann, Lee, Arnie
With each stab at birthday verse
The best that I can do
Is share those streams of consciousness
That may apply to you.
Unlike my father's precedent,
My rhythm varies little.
In a world chaotic and unglued,
It's easier to whittle
From that wood already milled
To uniform dimension.
May the wood-shop of my mind
Carve it with invention.

What does a birthday mark?
What length the shadow cast?
Is it just that less time lies ahead
With more lodged in the past?
The cooking we have savored,
The flowers we have sniffed,
That they were long ago partook
Makes them no less a gift.
Better we accept with grace
The odometer's reading.
There is no hack can sneak it back
To aid us in misleading.
Terry S.
Look at all the people!
How did their paths get chosen?
Have their lives turned out as hoped
Or did their dreams get frozen?
The 'Y' pool stocked with children,
Low mileage on their dashes,
Who dominate the water
With their squealing and their splashes.
How will they find a living wage?
Where will they park their cars?
Where will they build houses?
Will they end up taking ours?
Our journey of perfecting
The nuances of living,
Will they be left to navigate
A world that's less forgiving?

Bricks of time stored in the vault
Absconded by a thief.
Though it would not feel like theft
Had I the ego of a leaf.
To let go of my perch,
No thought of asking more
Than to take my humble place
Upon the forest floor.
For is it not the final gift,
Of our precious time on earth,
To feel and know a peace within
Transcending death and birth?

And so to you my mother,
Who gave my soul its entry,
Your deeds surpassing mortal thanks
For serving as my sentry,
Patiently encouraging
My gifts all be explored,
Passing on the tools to build
A life of vast reward.
The most important lesson,
You taught despite distraction:
I am enough just as I am,
No need for further action.

In parental mentoring
We were truly blessed
By your offering of thought and skills;
Our friends were so impressed!
You encouraged us to not conform,
To give questioning looks.
Which left us, sadly, ill-prepared
To rid ourselves of books.

Your legacy runs tandem with
That of your brother's wife;
Who through two daughters and two sons
Dwells in the afterlife.
You both taught us to value
Refined human expression
And service to community
Regardless of profession.

What of the further offspring
Of Samuel and Jeanette?
From one New Jersey pharmacy
Predating internet.
How much of what's transpired
Was in the family plan?
What questions would they ask us now
From their celestial caravan?
"We worked hard for what we had,
Confronting imperfections.
Pray tell, how did the Hamiltons
Surpass Steeles in conceptions?
And why is it both firstborn sons
Married single mothers?
Is it true that blended families bring
New sisters and new brothers?"

Jean, Tom, Terry H.
We gather here to celebrate
The last of a generation,
And for our collective willingness
To stay in good relation.
May that willingness stay strong
Wherever we may roam,
Such that within the other's heart
Each one may count a home.

Jeffry, 8/8/2015