Sunday, March 6, 2011

For Jesse Wasser

You did what you thought that you needed to do
To be a man and provide and mold.
Worked with wood regardless of exploitation,
Joined the Navy – I have a feeling that you,
Never really wanted to do so in the first place,
But machismo was validity in the heyday,
And you bought into it like the rest of us wanderers.
If only you, if only you could have,
If only you could have not listened so intently,
If only you could have realized
That your life was yours and yours alone,
If only you could have had the courage to walk away
Or have even an ounce of gumshoe to be more like Jack,
Then it might not seem so fuckin' normal.
I stand 'neath the tiers of success where you used to
And pose like you do,
And observe vessels and quote verbatim from words you said when you made me a sandwich with butter and I didn't like it because I thought that it was strange.
That's “how it's done,” you said.
And from that moment, I wonder about the wherewithal
Of my mind, and of the ocean so vast
Standing and smoking a cigarette on top of a rock in Carmel,
Saying nothing but reflecting
Hugging grand-kids and whispering apologies to the wind,
“Sorry” for being nothing other than who you are and what you could
Have Been.


  1. nice trib...butter sandwiches, usually this is an allusion to poverty, which you paired with success...sounds like a fine man...being yourself and truly accepting that is a good thing...

  2. at times, we can only pray for a friend...
    be proud of your judgment..

    beautiful delivery of your sentiments.
    keep it up.

  3. lovely tribute.. thank you for sharing this.. my potluck-

  4. welcome to JP...

    beautiful one.
    have fun today.

  5. Your description here is brilliant. I'm always enthralled by the stories of wanderers and vagabonds, the traveling bringing freedom. Your character rather real or inspired is fascinating.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Was the man you wrote about a real living person?

  6. Thank you Brennan, this was actually inspired by my late grandfather...thank you again for reading. Cheers.

  7. Wonderful expression of the struggles we find ourselves exploring, the similarities to those respected and the desire to find our own paths.

  8. The ragged, ranger, the legend, the traveller. It's a great poem - I recall mere shards of the tale of the uncle that walked away to conquer the world, and never came home.

    Very nice.

  9. Greetings!

    Thanks for the lovely contribution to potluck on week 25,

    week 26 is open NOW, we treasury your poetry

    and welcome you in in your personal convenience…old poems are welcome!


  10. Okay this is exquisite.
    I'd like to interview you for Jingle Poetry "Sunday Rally Disptach.'
    Here is the link to last week's as an example:
    Please email me - it's in dispatch - to that we can coordinate if you are willing to do this.


  11. I would love to...thank you for considering me.

  12. The whole poem is great, but this line resonates: "machismo was validity in the heyday."

  13. the tyranny of how it's done ...

  14. Rich, intense writing. I got a sense of this man in just a few lines, as well as the relationships effected by his military life.

  15. Powerfully felt writing. I felt as much for the writer as the one remembered.......the nostalgia and regret in looking back at all the "could have been's". Sigh. I hear you. Really heartfelt writing. Loved it.

  16. A very warm and emotional account of the life of Jesse.
    No need for regrets.....


  17. Cheers all! Thank you for the heartfelt comments.


  18. Reading again in prep for our interview and reminds me of my Uncle Daher who shrugged off everyday struggles and went to live in a forest. I never met him, but admired him from a distance. Now I wonder if he ever wrote or painted or crafted ... I have to reimagine him. The gift of poetry does that, doesn't it. Helps us to reimagine. Thanks!