Happy Birthday Dad xxx

Hi all.  Today I want to share some poems I wrote for my Dad, who sadly passed away in 2004.    He was a wonderful father and I miss him every day.  To be able to pay tribute to him through poetry has been amazing and rather fitting as he took an interest in poetry himself. In my head, I can still hear the poem of the Pied Piper of Hamlin in his voice.

Today, 23rd July, was my Dad’s birthday.  If he was alive today, he would be celebrating his 96th birthday.  He was 83 when he passed away.

I am truly thankful for every moment but also I feel sad that my Dad was taken from me before I really got the chance to know him as an adult.  I was 23 and just coming into my own, having just finished my first year of teaching.  I learned so much from Dad but he still had so much to teach me and I, to this day, have so much I want to ask him.  What I wouldn’t give for one more conversation!

My first poem I would like to share is one I wrote back in January, close to the anniversary of his death.   I did not want it to be a sad poem but a message of hope and keeping Dad’s memory alive.   I hope that is the way it comes across. Here is the poem:

Never Forgotten

On the anniversary of when we lost you
I try to be happy and not to feel blue
Although it’s been many a year
My memories of you are forever so clear

I still remember  the things you used to say
I hear them as clearly as if you were here today
I remember you trying to get me out of bed
“Come on, there’s a world out there,” you said

And long after I moved out of home
(But before I had children of my own)
Although it may sound absurd,
I could still hear you say those words

Or maybe that was your intention
But the fact that you neglected to mention
Was that your words would echo on
Long after you had gone

But my dear father I have to say
That I wouldn’t have it any other way

Jen Elvy

 

I was pleased with how the poem came together and I really do still hear his voice in my head and in my heart.  Certain things he said to me have always stuck and as I say, I’m sure that was his intention.   He was a very wise man who believed, or should I say he knew that Knowledge is Power.   Another piece of advice he gave me was:

“Love all, trust a few, always paddle your own canoe.”   (My Dad,  circa 2001)

I’m not sure of the origin of the quote but as far as I’m concerned it came from my Dad.  And see? It rhymes!  And it carried an important message to impressionable little me back then. I still live by this today.

Don’t get me wrong, not all advice was gratefully received at the time.  Like any daughter, I didn’t always want to hear what my parents had to say, but as you grow older you learn why they say it. They love you and they want the best for you.  This leads me on to the next poem I want to share.

You see I realised too late that everything my dad ever said and did was because he loved me and that is the message of my next poem:

A Father’s Love

You helped me with my project 
On the second world war
You helped me with my science,
My maths and so much more
Because you loved me 

You told me not to wear short skirts
You said I shouldn’t eat junk food
When you said I was getting fat
You weren’t trying to be rude
It was because you loved me

You made our house a home
You worked so hard for us
And when I didn’t thank you
You didn’t make a fuss
Because you loved me

You told me of the vices of men
That not all are honest and true
You just wanted  to protect me
And for that I’ll always love you
Because you loved me

Jen Elvy

I like trying out different rhyming patterns.  The alternate line rhymes – 2nd and 4th lines –  work well here.    Also here, I like the repetition of “because you loved me”  as it brings the meaning home to the reader. I mention the talk about the vices of men in the final verse because this was something he did towards the end of his life and at the time, I don’t think I wanted to hear it but, of course, he wanted the best for me and he had my back.   For that I am eternally grateful.

On fathers day I wanted to write a poem for my Dad as well as one for my husband who is a brilliant dad to our boys.   In my poem to my husband I included personal detail, which I enjoy doing in my poems.  However, in my poem for my own father I wanted to leave out such detail so the poem could be shared by others whose Dads were no longer with us.   Here it is:

Miss you on Father’s Day

Thank you for giving me the gift of life
Thank you for your love and care
Whenever I needed a guiding hand,
Thank you for being there

Although you are no longer here
I will not be feeling blue
Instead I always feel grateful
For every moment I spent with you

So here’s to you my darling Dad
And happy Father’s Day
I love you and I miss you
More than words could ever say

Jen Elvy

 

So if you miss your Dad every fathers day (well, every single day really), the above poem is for you too. I think I struggled slighty with the final verse, but I kept trying different lines out until it came.  I am pleased with the final version.

Finally, I shall say there are times in a poet’s life when they read a poem and think “I really wish I’d written that, as it’s so much better than mine!”  Not you? oh maybe its just me. Call it poet envy.  Or self doubt.    On father’s day, during the evening  I read a poem that someone else had shared and I just thought Wow! thats actually lovely.  It shared the same subject matter, about Dads in heaven, and to me, it said it so much better than my poem had.    Cue a bit of a sulk. Haha not really!  Perhaps what I should say is it brought the message home in a different way and as a writer I am always looking to improve my work and part of this process is to read other poems and think about why they are successful. So I will not discredit my work, I’ll just think of this poem as a bench mark for future success. Something to aspire to.  Here is the poem:

Dad
If I could write a story
It would be the greatest ever told
Of a kind and loving Dad
Who had a heart of gold
I could write a million pages
But still be unable to say, just how
Much I love and miss him
Every single day
I will remember all he taught me
I’m hurt but won’t be sad
Because he’ll send me down the answers
And he’ll always be MY DAD

Author Unknown

If you are the poet behind this and you happen to be reading this, well done you. I love the way this is written.  I love the rhythm and the rhyme and the idea of the “greatest story ever told”   It just sums up every day for me. Yes I’m hurt but I am grateful too and I have my memories of him.  My dad lives on through all he has taught me and he will always be my Dad.

I will sign off now but not before I say, thank you for reading this.  Let me know if you would like to see more of others’ work on here rather than just my own.  I wanted to use this blog as an opportunity to showcase my work and the inspiration behind it.  But it is a poetry blog so maybe including the work of other poets will enhance it and add another side to it.   Suggestions welcome.

I apologise if you have found this hard to read for personal reasons but thank you for doing so, it is always appreciated.

Jen xx

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Dad xxx

    1. Aw thank you so much that means a lot , and sorry to hear of the loss of your dad, who I’m sure was a wonderful man too. Yeah I still hear many of his words of wisdom today, but that one really stuck. : )

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s