Imperfect Copy

I’m an imperfect copy of an imperfect father
Adopting his failures
Mimicking his weaknesses
Poorly duplicating his better qualities
His virtuosity in music
His confidence with women
His tenacity in publication

Patrick and JP at Piano with a Rally Book

We shared the joy of teaching
A love of words and music
A sharp wit and curmudgeonly air
A familial void
The absence of each another
Over too many years

I’m an imperfect copy of an imperfect father
Yet I must self-acknowledge
My few qualities, the ones he lacked
As a racer
As an engineer
As a responsible man

7 May ’17
Palma, Mallorca

Copyright © 2017, 2019 John Dillon

These Memories

These memories
Unfairly risen from distant, awkward past
Shimmer on horizon
Distort the view

Reflections
From murky mirror in rusty frame
Hint at what once was
Mar the recollections
With clouded silvered glass
And cobwebs draped in ornate corners

Eyes focused forward
We march toward the future
But our boot laces
Like these memories
Remain entangled in the thickets
From where we tread before

© 2019 John P. M. Dillon

shattered in the fountain

the moon
shattered in the fountain
swings west while we sleep
and dream:
the moon is shattered in the fountain.
let's wake the poet
with so many dreams
he will have things to say.

I have no idea when this was written, or if this is even Patrick’s. It was at the top of the file called poems.doc, which contained a collection of his writings. 

Nathaniel Hawthorne has a book called The Shattered Fountain so perhaps this is the reference, or perhaps even a quote.

For what it’s worth, I’ve been told that Nathaniel Hawthorne was my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. (Not sure how many “greats” belong there but I think it’s five.)

The Nightingale Express

How many springs is it now
that Tomeu pretends he has heard the first song?
And I dispute his word?
 
The trouble is
Tomeu is native
and I
a stranger with no such bird
in the land I knew.
 
But so strong is my wish
I cannot shake my faith:
 
There must be a wind to bring them
up from Africa – such small creatures
need the charity of a gale
to find the lemon tree
outside my window.
 
Listen:
you remember.
Last night only the draft of the woodstove
and the torrente in the bottom
inhabited the silence.
An abrupt squall
drowned the water sounds,
trees buffeting.
The shutters strained their latches
and then instant stillness fell.
 
Remember:
we both questioned the air
our eyes met
mouths round to wonder if…
 
In the renewed hush of pitch black morning
the notes at once rang the valley
like a glass bell declaring
after miles of sea
the joyful dominion of a thicket.
 
Tomeu of course, heard one last week.

Deya 1980

She Is Happiest

She is happiest
facing the morning sun
among her snapdragons.
 
Or with the pregnant cat
on her lap
while she reads.
 
Or trimming the bramble
on our path.
 
Or playing the flute
listening to the owl
 
Or when we are alone.
 
Whatever she is doing
she is happiest
when she is doing it.

Deya, 1980s

A Dos Dedos Frente Ti

De Ivonne: Aqui te envio mi escrito para publicarlo si quieresen la web, junto con la foto de Deia. Un beso y cuidado en las carreras.
From JP, to those who don’t speak Spanish: use the Google Translate feature, located above the search bar on the right.

Deia – foto par Ivonne

.
A dos dedos frente a ti
cada mañana tu brisa llega a mi
a dos dedos frente a ti
tus palabras a mi oido hablan sin fin
de nosotros, de ti y de mi
a dos dedos frente a ti
tu descanso me turba a mi
de volver a aquel abrazo
que sin saberlo, era el fin

.
A dos dedos frente a mi
mi esperanza sigue en ti
de todo lo que sembraste
para volar sin ti

.
A dos dedos frente a mi
mi amor vuela junto a ti

14 December (Poem by Stephanie)

Stephanie’s brother Tate sent this poem to me to share on the site. You can see the handwritten version more clearly by clicking on the images, but the copies are faded so it’s typed here as well. 

Page 1

Nobody, nobody at all
is going to care
when I die.

My brother and I were our mother’s
legacy to the world.
My father left his papers and letters to fill
in the gaps of what I know of him and what I didn’t.

I have a son alive somewhere in the world
a son I gave up for adoption
when I was nineteen and he was born a 9-month baby in the 9th
month of the year 1960

I as a child–mother gave up my
responsibility for his life.

Page 2

Where is he now?
Is he well – happy?

Nobody, nobody at all
is going to care
when I die.

No child of mine
will want to hold dear
the moments of my life.

My son – adopted
living where – how
will ever know me.

No one, no one at all
is going to care
how I lived and died.

My soul, my soul’s life
had himself made sterile.
We will have no child.

When I die
no one at all
is going to care.

Cada Mañana

La voz de Patrick en las palabras de una amiga.

Cierro los ojos y lo oigo…cada mañana
Que bonita es la vida!, que bella!…
hoy he visto al hombre con su tractor
bajo el sol, entre els marges
cuanto trabajo le queda
cuanto trabajo hace
como redibuja mi montaña
como me enseña sus secretos
siempre ante mis ojos
siempre sobre la ventana
cada mañana
que hermosa vivirla
acaricio mi albahaca
su olor me embruja
y yo seducido quedo
por el brillo del sol
tras la montaña

cada mañana