Parallex Error

I wanted to see the big picture.

A panorama, not just the illness,

But of life itself.

Played out from the field,

Where a child toiled in the hay with his father.

Waiting for the little call from his mother

“where’s little Mikey”.

Giving him a call for tea,

But only providing milk to sustain the boy’s constant hunger.

A guarantee of love painted white,

and well cleared plates.

Expecting the worse,

And seeing the turmoil,

The doctors were not optimistic and

Neither was I.

Just two words, caused the parallax error,

And combined with no explanation,

The panorama was complete in my mind,

And incorrect.

God gave him a second chance, and a story continues.

The Day of the Waterfall

It seemed as if the dam forming would last forever,

As I could not see over the edge,

Or feel the pressure building up behind me.

Like the frog in the water, not noting a gradual warming.

Till at last it happened.

First my head was thrust onto the rocks,

Letting me peer at all below in the pool for a second,

Then it was as if all the wrestlers hurled me forward,

Each one with a unique and special strength.

So, unexpected, I flew across the top,

Surrounded by a torrent of water to protect me,

As I was caught by God at the bottom of the pool.

Underneath, all bubbles, I wanted to breathe,

But didn’t.

Suddenly, the illness seems to be passing to the next phase,

Where he can drift down the river,

Away from the noise and the needles,

And blue frocked hearts.

And he finds his way home.

The Baked Beans

Baked beans

Should I open them or not,

These last beans from the shelves

Plucked by the healthy hand of a life of labor,

Placed nonchalantly into a basket

And driven from town in the arthritic automatic car.

Here, the can sits, now lovingly placed as a monument.

The last one purchased by the man before the incident,

Should I leave it like all the other ornaments around the house?

A reminder of life’s maintenance, when things were normal,

Before the bacteria crept out from the hospital walls; and did its worse.

There, I have opened it.

But each cooked mouthful is a reminder of my singular meal.

This “Last Supper” of one, as I consume the remains of his days,

Tasty memories of the shopping he so enjoyed.

So holding a legacy, I AM nourished by food and love.

“Michael, Am I Dead?”


“Michael, am I dead?”

Came the words laced with a new sincerity,

Only reserved for the most profound questions.

It sat there for a moment,

As I pondered the state of mind that prompted such a enquiry,

From the man lying in the hospital bed.

My father.

“No dad”, “you are not dead”

I AM here with you.

All is well.

Things Don’t Matter

Things Don’t Matter


Sitting by the beside the old man

Is older no more.

Looking for his mother and father,

His first love and wife,

He asks desperately where are they?

They were there a moment ago,

Real and touchable,

As we brought the hay from the fields,

And took the warm milk from my mother,

In a rural Ireland, long since deserted.

But today, by his bedside,

I notice something else.

What he isn’t talking about,

The things he has completely forgotten,

His home, possessions,

The precious car.

Because they don’t matter.

At all.



Driving from the Hospital

The winding country roads have no illumination,

Just a line to stay safe

On one side at least.

My mind is screaming stay awake,

But a new form of tiredness is upon me,

Exhaustion, peace, desperation for sleep,

All together pulling me astray,

as the hospital, and dad, become more distant.

Eventually, I pull over, leaving the dismayed cars behind,

An opportunity to pass,

And the pressure of my needy awakeness subsides,

For a moment.

But soon I am home,

safe and resting.

Living in your shoes


Now, as I live in your house,

With your clocks chiming time away,

The odor of your life is upon me.


Each glance reminds me of how the day goes for you,

What surrounds and stimulates you,

Makes you remember

And cry.
I notice the you in me,

And the me in you.

Not just looks but ways,

I never saw before.



I Don’t Understand

Dad 11.5.2014

“I don’t understand,

Why I don’t understand.”

Came the logic from the emptiness,

A vacancy where he knew something was missing,

But not stolen, because he could not remember what it was.

So are memories real,

Or fleeting images of the past,

Of nothing if not integrated, savored, remembered for what they were,

And become the essence of us.

My reply to the question was “that’s understandable”.

Which only shows facts without reason are not accepted,

And love with reason alone isn’t love.