Home > Lessons for the Modern Man, Men and Spirituality, Men's Movements > A POEM: “Honor Your Grandfather”

A POEM: “Honor Your Grandfather”

I have decided to begin sharing some of my poetry. Mondays seem a good time to do that, a good way to start the week. If you enjoy these I’d love to read your comments!

The following, “Honor Your Grandfather” I subtitled: ‘A remembrance of “A Day for Men” with Robert Bly and Michael Meade at the Lisner auditorium, Washington, DC’. I had attended this day, a lot of years ago now, in the middle years of the men’s movement known as the “Mytho-Poetic Men’s Movement.” I was very moved and influenced by this day for men. And I did then and still do honor my grandfather. As we approach Thanksgiving here in the US I particularly honor all of my ancestors whose product I remain.

The clear day was filled
With heightened expectations—
“A Day for Men.”

At the entrance we were guided
Through a side door leading to steps
Descending into the womb of the theater.

Winding through narrow passages
Voices whispered “Remember your Grandfather.”
“Remember the ancestors,” “Honor your Father.”

A faint rumble echoed
At the Edge of perception—it began
To resolve into rhythm.

Dark warmth held us, then
Suddenly we were birthed
Onto a stage amongst fifty men.

Drumming! Dancing! We were urged on—
Asked to dance across the stage,
To perform for the sea of faces looking back.

The short trip was filled
With tension—light, sound, motion
Blending in splendid cacophony.

Off stage, at our seats, we stood
Dancing in place, pounding rhythm
Of drums, hands, feet—driving.

“Remember your Grandfather” echoed
On the rhythm. He appeared on stage
Larger than he had ever been in life.

Tears streamed—“He would have loved this!”
Primeval sensation drove his body
And mine as we entrained with the drum.

Remembered days with him—the
Dark tavern—blue smoke hanging
Sullenly in the sodden air.

The bar supporting elbows
Of overalled farmers—fresh manure still
Clinging to rubbered boots.

The sweet/sour whiskey and beer breaths
Mingled with aimless talk
Of weather, crops and cows.

They laughed and cried, shared lies
That covered their fears and
Broken dreams—we laughed/cried.

The almost painful rhythm
Brought back the now—then stopped!
We had arrived.

 

 

 

©1990 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

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