asena, have i ever told you
my darling little one
how your fingers so small
tracing my graying hair
calm the worries of my heart

how the weight of you
squirming on my bowed back
is lighter than wishes
as your wildly woven hair
tumbles across my neck

how the sound of your laughter
rattles the mountains
to the east and to the west
inviting the trees around them
to dance like silly pixies

how your voice echoes
off the walls like rainbows
sliding perfectly painted hues
across an enchanting world
in colors that cradle my soul

someday i pray you too
will know the joy i feel
when you gently hold a child
of your own in your arms
and smile the sweetest blessings

into her
tiny hands

Salt Lake City 08 Apr 2013

embracing what may be

marching eagerly she assaults the sea
like a proud eight-year-old warrior
intent on the mightiest conquest,
her tender tiny fists clenched
in brazenly hopeful defiance
cursing the world weary waves

on and on they roll relentless
in their time indifferent course
obeying a lusty lunar deity
rising so unlike her ancient solar
form flesh desiccating master
the pitiless all-seeing sun

see how newborn Ramesses she
stands boldly alone against
the terrible Hittite hordes
on the bloody plains of Qadesh
casting pebbles into legions
that undulate with her pleasure

but surely sleekly simple stones
are not enough, she must see
not enough are they the waves
to defeat as if mere feeble foes.
no, she must now turn back
the very onslaught she endures

and as I grinning whimsical watch
my daughter’s so daring feats
I see waves about her begin to roil
as she seething flings her arms
back and forth seeking to force
the very tide to retreat before her

and I am in awe of this undaunted she
as an expiring voice meekly argues,
waste not your effort, silly dear.
but I silence this fool quickly indeed
for I would not have her cease
her efforts for any of his truths

she generous endows mellowed me
with vivacious visions of life
enabling me too to see as she
to embrace such distant maybes
rather than bow before austerity
and each moldering maturely no

and this being so…

why should I bow before expectations
not impartially imposed by others
and my life bend theirs to follow?
so that thus may I be acknowledged
a decent man like any of my lot
who are also unlikely to disappoint?

or dare I court nonconformity
casting slippery stones at sullen seas
shedding skins of scaly wisdom
and love embrace, though my beloved
I may not touch for an hour yet
or a day or even forty days hence?

purposeful I step along the shore
and raise my arms to assist her
confidently knowing that it is not
those easily attainable goals we seek
that do compose the nature of us
and establish truly who we are

rather in our finest moments
are we the spirits of flesh seeking
one another despite expectation,
self-composed of ideals and needs
and striving for what most futile seems—
it is these impossibilities that define us

Çeşme, Turkey 05 July 2012

Asena laughing and playing against the waves