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Two Poems About My Father by Peter Menkin

by Peter Menkin  
1/18/2009 / Poetry

Thursday, August 03, 2006 I wrote this poem after my father's death in 2000. Surprisingly, he was born on Christmas day and so I recall him when this time of year comes along. There are two poems here. The first tells of my visits to him and the last days of his life, though he struggled on to live beyond what I thought the best thing for him. I wanted a peacable death for him, with no special actions by doctors to keep him alive.

I did not prevail in my wishes and was over ruled by my family. He lived on a respirator for some days afterward, and that grieved me for I believed he suffered and was cheated of a quiet and peaceful passing. I am not bitter about this, since it was the overwhelming wish of my family. Nonetheless,

I was saddened and disappointed that they did not agree with what I saw as religious considerations towards a natural death.

The second poem is about his life and talks of his work as a writer for Television and Radio, which he practiced as his profession from the time he was 19 years old. He was a prolific writer with many credits to his resume. I sent this poem to the Writer's Guild, West, and also posted in some years ago on The Atlantic Monthly Writer's Workshop. If you have suggestions or thoughts on either of these poems, please comment.

With you into death itself, to rise an angel star heavenward...(2000)

by Peter Menkin

The struggle began with a tear,a sign of spiritual gift.

Insight and the groaning inwardly as the

body knew before the implacable

crocodile part of the brain began

to take on the autonomic system.

Death was coming, being held back

with ancient gestures, as the Lord

Himself was present. Above the bed

a vision of the presence of an angel,

hiding the remembered as a story.

This entry to paradise, heaven the God,

the ever present and I am was with

awe approached as a cantor would the voice

listen for the very sounds of serene quiet.

The ever singing welcome and adoration of this

gracious position of the frail old man, waiting,

breathing, knowing, struggling, and wanting.

The wanting to be with the light, to turn

towards the goodnesses, the kindnesses,

the welcome of the warmth in the majestic

and the ark of the covenant held mighty in the birth

of the Messiah, King who gave all for an acceptance

into the Church, and the people. Hold up your hands

like magic moments in prayer, the Saints themselves

sang with this man alone with company on the bed.

Not yet ninety and in a quiet peace of dreams so

bountifully remembranced like an old word about

riding behind cars on a set of skates, and being

in the 20s when Mother was alive, and asking for

his wife who is dead, but here. This is entry

of the living waiting for the words to say goodnight,

you were a good man many times. That is good enough.

I was/am your friend. I came to say "I am sorry.

I will miss you."

We sent many to say we forgive you, a prayer

that we confess for you: a Deacon (morally),

a Chaplain (walked nearby), a prayer book (read

with tender genuine call), a Nun (to see if all

is well), a Priest at a distance to be with you, a

discussion with a Reverend Doctor, a Spiritual

taste of the body and blood, incarnation,and the coming of

grief--yours more than ours for you hold

on despite the presence of angels, a comfort.

Surprise there is a hidden Saint watching,

there is the treasure that bids you

come heavenward,called to paradise and rest sublime to rise.

Is it Benedict? What friend is this waiting.

Audio reading of poem by poet is here:

The poem about my father's life as a writer:

My Father who played badminton

by Peter Menkin

There is a story about the screenwriter

Who faced the multitude of inquiry, and

Regarded the ministrations of his soul in

Concert with others, in a group experience

That brought to the little houses and manifold

Riches of Art Carney and the cigarette smoking

Jackie Gleason a merry mailman on twomountains.

My father played badminton in the backyard and

Hunt and pecked a radio writer's dream from atop

The empire state building with a young man named Allen,

Died young. With a Josh White on radio gramophones, and

Guy Lambardo with continuity through the Death Valley Days

And Ronald Reagan. This Highway Patrol of Ziv grade b was

Always an experience of Steve Reeves proportion, brought to

The candy counter heaven of the green ring wearing producer's

Wife and the Maybomb of writing old for the likes of Sean and

His comic duos who grace the pages of the puzzle writer's

Dream People magazine, and TV Guide with The New York Times.

WBAD New York, Philadelphia, across the Appalachians to a

Signal of more than 40,000 watts of broadcasting power to the

Delight of Westinghouse and staff names not forgotten in old

Alpine racing cars and house large in Westchester or Pacific Palisades.

From the streets of New York City, there were the loves of charity

In the beneficence of the Red Cross,and light houses for the blind

And sighted. This was my father before and after the tribunal of

The 50s, with Let's Make a Deal and Hollywood after the purge

Of ABC, NBC, and the CBS Network with national correspondents.

This ode of remembrance of makeup and the theatre from the

Elementary level of youth to the wonderful voice of the Cantor

Was and is a Life Magazine picture of Universal Fame and Hollywood

Bungalows. Do you like your milkshake: Chocolate. Do you like the pier,

Oh, yes. What is a Wyoming memory and a few stand up moments for

Reruns and Perry Mason and the guy who did it as The BountyHunter:

Dead of a magical mystery tour towards survival and another ride on a

Motorcycle like a movie star in a sports car race of Paul Newman Skill.

The child actor still lives, though Make Room for Daddy's little boy

Is gone and the remembrance of Sunset Strip and the foo foo is still

Yet to come, even to the likes of Broadway and comfortable seats of

Writer's Guild screenings on a summer's night with Billy from Superman

And the pretty girls who never stop coming to visit: Ah, stardom the

Lot man let's us in and the walk along the route is always a game of

Waiting and using a Royal Typewriter to hear the bell ring to bring in

The money in Guild time, residual after residual after residual so that

The Shadow Knows, oh yes Kimo Sabe Tonto is the masked man's friend.

Father's Day 2000

Marin County, California

Audio reading of poem by poet is here:

Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA where he writes poetry. He is an Oblate of Immaculate Heart Hermitage, Big Sur, CA and that means he is a Camaldoli Benedictine. He is 64 years of age as of 2010.

Copyright Peter Menkin

Article Source: WRITERS

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