An Occasional Poem for Pa’s 60th Birthday

It was my father’s 60th birthday yesterday & all he got was this lousy poem; he asked for it though.

An Occasional Poem for Pa’s 60th Birthday

Well, as requested, here y’go Pa
: i bought (yes bought) & read, a copy
of Birthday Poem Ideas for Sons
Considering Occasional Poems rather
than Buying a Real Gift Bi-annual Magazine

— not an easy subscription to get your mitts on.

i wish i knew what you were expecting,
& in the replicable show-boating
of a proper libertine son, do the opposite
: to illustrate that you raised a son
who can think for himself, hold his own
when the world presses its issues

against the palms of his hands.
i’m not there, you have no doubt
noted this, because you have to read
this poem instead, which i have done my best
not to make a drivel steeped pile of shite.
To inject it with a syringe of giggles

& some nifty vocab; to show you
that you raised a fascinating specimen
of Homo Sapien; none of that test tube rubbish
coming up in the ranks of futurity.
i’m not there, i should be. i’m always sorry.
But i’ve worked hard on this, so…

you best be grateful & not bellyache
to mom; note what i’ve just said, which
can be surmised: independent, Herculean,
dashingly handsome, cunning as Ulysses,
as swift of wit as Wilde & as nauseating
as an iffy kebab after a few too many lagers.

You raised me. You’ll never forget me,
when everyone else has grown sick
of me, you’ll always be there, you
have invested a whole life to the project,
spoon-fed me, nappy-changed me, hand-held
me— do you realize what one hand can do

says the Korean poet Kim Seung-hee;
i think i can understand that line more
if i try to put myself in the boots of a dad.
So you are 60 & what am i to give you?
That’s how this birthday malarkey works.
i’m no good at this. i’m bloody awful, i conclude.

i have joked, apologized, wrote a long
winded literary spectacle that elicits gasps
as honest as a swig of Banks’s;— i could send a DVD
you’ll watch once, a book you may never read;
but really the best i can muster, is to say,
happy birthday Pa, love Dan.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Happy Birthday Mr Marshall 🍻

    1. Jammy gits in Montenegro.

      1. Nice. With a whole bunch of people to celebrate?

      2. Na, He doesn’t have friends, he’s a Marshall. haha. Just my mother, which i think is ample company for him.

  2. kvennarad says:

    I was enjoying the ride through this, and then right at the end I suddenly heard Noddy Holder saying “Yow can keep yer thankses…” Turns out that didn’t stop me enjoying it.

    1. Phew.
      i miss Banks’s. The Smooth Pour Mild is the best beer on planet earth.
      The Monster Raving Loony Party HQ was in our town. The Roebuck which became the Laughing Leopard & was painted yellow with black spots & the Loony’s met & i think Noddy was involved with.

  3. robert okaji says:

    Your Birthday Poem Ideas book would be a fitting companion for my Book of Excuses. 🍺

    1. i think an increase in people receiving poems & excuses for their birthday will make us extremely unpopular with the recipients.

      1. robert okaji says:

        Aw, screw the recipients. Think of how useful our books will be to the givers!

      2. Ok but you have to take full responsibility when the protests begin.

      3. robert okaji says:

        We’ll recruit the Amiable Ethnomusicologist to handle that. I’m too cowardly.

      4. Tongue of silver that fella.

      5. robert okaji says:

        Exactly. And then there’s the saxophone.

      6. Pied Piper of Canada charming our enemies into lagunes.

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