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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Thanks for visiting. I am no longer updating Notes to Self. I hope you'll join me on my current website,


Al Pittman, April 11, 1940 - August 26, 2001

When the lesson begins,
I am six years old,
standing on the silty bottom of a lake in Maine
face to face with my father
who lowers his black beard into the water
and demonstrates how to leave earth behind.

Push off, he says, with a breast stroke.
His mouth breaches the surface
and he smiles, whiskers and teeth glistening
like a flash of trout leaping.

He is just within, and out of my reach:
thirty-six years old,
as I am now thirty-six.
We circle each other, like Pisces.

I remember thunderheads gathering
at the edge of the sky.
The water was cool and dark
like the river near our home
where he canoed and fished and where
I poured out by the fistful
the ash of his teeth and bones.
How it glinted as it fell
through my hands
rain falling
on a lake in Maine
my father
like God
moving over the face of the waters.

I believed in it,
and pushed off.

copyright kp 2006
all rights reserved
filed under: poetrywriting



Blogger bluebird of paradise said...

what a shock i got opening your blog. i had forgotten. how could i have forgotten?uipybg

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. Please keep writing.

4:14 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

this is stunning. and i don't mean to sound vain about this, but i've written and studied poetry for several years at both the graduate and undergraduate level. i am writing a thesis on poet Rosmarie Waldrop. and i love this.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

Disclaimer: This is a recently, much revised version than what was commented on above. I was working within the blogger editor program and it overwrote the original.

The original was published in a Canadian anthology. I'll try to restore it here when I can, for the sake of not messing with the space-time-blog continuum. But I think this version is much better.

4:40 PM  

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