Sunday, 22 May 2011

California Cheatin'

Photo - Venice Beach, L.A. Friday night.

So I am still not really here (still there...) but as I am currently visiting this week's Poetry Jam host (in California, darling) it seemed very rude not to at least try to join in. Her two prompts are both great (they're here) and if I was at home and working as normal I would probably write new poems for both of them but as it is... I am not and so I won't. Truth be told I've barely written a line of poetry since we've been away... and I don't say that in any kind of bad or sad way - if anything it's been a really pleasant change. I feel very free of anything to say just now - just happy looking.

So what to post..? I have an oldish poem about the politics of kids' playgrounds and parenting and it is mainly about Dads so I thought I'd go with this one (I don't think it's been on the blog before... I might be wrong of course... it's not coming up in the search anyway). I do have lots of poems about my own Dad (of course!) but I'm really not in the mood for any of them right now. So here is the playground one... and maybe I'll get to honky tonk when I get home...

Dads army

In combat trousers
Some long
Some short
They wear the modern camouflage
For parks and play areas
It's a must
The beige and grey and khaki green
Nice modern men blend in
Avoid unnecessary conversations
Mums can't seem to dodge so well
These are the loaded guns
"He's very small isn't he?"
"Does she eat fruit?"
"Oh, an only child"

Shaven heads
Trainers in winter
Maybe risking open sandals
In summer
But in a neutral colour
Dads keep their mouths closed
Their eyes and ears open
Not at war but always prepared
They don't fall in traps
Mums could learn a lot from their approach
No hearts on sleeves
No nervous wittering
No defensive play
Just cropped heads steady
Resolve firm
No time wasted
We're here to play, kids
So play

RF 2005 (or so)


hope said...

Yep...all business even when it comes to play. :)

I can even see them, carefully avoiding the gaze of the Dad next to them in case, heaven forbid, someone starts a conversation non weather/sports related. :)

Glad you're enjoying your trip!

Enchanted Oak said...

I like that "loaded guns" bit on the part of moms, and the "no hearts on sleeves," because it is warfare, isn't it, comparing one child to another, being so fierce.

Titus said...

Ooh, that's a goody.

Bagman and Butler said...

Competition and warfare start so early...your poem makes me think. I am usually too naive to pick up on those conversations.

Helen said...

I had not considered kids play from the dad's perspective .. it's interesting, when my boys were growing up fathers 'playing' with their sons was a rare sight. Times have changed ... I so enjoyed reading your poem.

Rachel Fox said...

It's funny bringing out old poems... a bit like looking at old photos of yourself and not quite recognising everything. I'm glad this one still has something to it though. I did find dealing with other parents (the competitive breed) the hardest part of early parenthood though they bother me less now... my skin has hardened a little. I think I was surprised at first how thoughtless and nasty some people could be... that's my naivety though perhaps!

Brian Miller said...

nice...when i take my boys, my main mission is to not get stuck in the embarassing would that be? the kids are much more fun to talk to anyway...but yeah i do get a bit focused at times...

jabblog said...

Nicely captured - play is so serious!
Pity about the competitive mothers, though . . .

The Bug said...

Great slice of life poem. I think my brother has some of those pants. And now I know why he never knows anything about anyone else :)

Dave King said...

Beautifully done. It captures an essence of modern man, I feel.