All my father’s songs

The songs my father sang infused me with –
the deepest pain and I lay broken, not –
perceiving its height, length, scope, range or width –
the shrill shrieks echoing those battles fought –

The songs my father sang diffused me and –
I tried, on my knees, praying, Please! Help me!
But waves of silence washed away that sand –
of hope I fancied were rocks braving sea –

The songs my father sang refused me though –
I wanted to love them, make them my own –
and then, away to lands unknown, I’d row –
with broken boats and a deep dirge, a mourn –

I listen to songs my father didn’t sing now –
but in me, the pain questions, Why? Where? How?

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Protected by Copyscape

8 responses

  1. We can only take the things, religions, philosophies, that have been handed down to us so far on faith alone before we need to truly experience them first-hand to actually make them “ours”. Otherwise it really is mere religion.

      • Sadly, this is often the case. Far too often. Instead of letting a child grow into the beautiful person they were meant to be, many parents or guardians, keep their children on the tit, unable to pull their faces away even if they want to. Neutered. Emasculated. Chained. Clipped and tied.

      • And then they breakdown and rebel and develop mental health conditions. It’s tragically the story of my life. It’s more prominent in the east than in the west, or that’s my notion at least, but it exists. And that coupled with physical and verbal abuse destroyed me. I may be free of my father but I’m not free of my demons today.

      • Yes! For me, living with physical, verbal, mental, sexual abuse…. never measuring up to their expectations…. then continuing into a marriage of twenty years with some of the same shit… yeah, the demons have their talons firmly embedded. Sadly, many times I turn around and embrace them because they are, sadly, familiar and comfortable. What is crazy to me, being raised in a primarily Christian and Catholic nation is that the Bible warns against stirring your children to wrath. We are a nation of wrathful children though. Entitled. Emasculated. No lines of right and wrong. True, a child can rise above and move beyond the abuse but often times that’s not the case. My experience is that it is rarer. So in reality, it is the parents fault for the state of our world, not the children they view as disobedient and disrespectful. That’s my take anyway. Personally, I choose not to give my sperm donor any thought (usually) and I have forgiven my mother and we’ve somewhat made amends. Unfortunately not many are so lucky as I have been. I don’t have much room to complain.

      • Tara. You are very strong. Extremely strong. And since you opened up, here’s my story. I turned 30 this April. My father was a very abusive, perverted man. My earliest memory is him trying to kill my mother. I clung to my mother for support and she was always there. She still is. When I was 17 I couldn’t handle it anymore and beat my father up. My parents separated. My father was a Hindu and my Mother was a Christian and so he didn’t give her religious freedom too. But I was never drawn to Hinduism. I was drawn to Christianity. I finished my bachelor’s in journalism, despite leading a reckless life then, and then went on to do my masters in clinical psychology but I couldn’t complete because I was diagnosed with both Bipolar Disorder and OCD. The next three years were utter anguish until I finally picked up a Bible, read and eventually repented of my sins when I was 27. Then I knew God’s love, joy and peace. I was never kind to my mother although she loved me and provided for me. And my love for God just went cold and I had frightening experiences after that. I attempted suicide when I was 28 and spent time in a mental institution. I manged to get one poem published after I came out. When I was 29, I tried returning to my faith but I had both terrifying experiences and it was torture with blasphemous thoughts and fear. The church also disrespected me and labelled me a madman. I come from a Calvinistic Reformed Church Protestant Background. I finally gave up, sank into alcoholism, smoking and I’m finally here giving you whatever I can because people where I live don’t respect me at all. I often fall short and judge people and then my guilt accuses me because I have an oversensitive conscience. I’m on three medication combinations for my mental illness. I plan to live in solitude in the mountains soon if things work out. I’m fighting my battles but it’s hard. I’m very angry, I have bouts of rage, I’m bitter and I’m not a good person. I don’t know if I’ve forgiven my father or not. But my mother and I always stayed close despite my rebellious behavior. All my girlfriends left me and have moved on with their lives. And so I write quietly. But I’m thankful because I had a loving mother and God gave me the capacity to love people, and that’s the direction I wish to go in. Thank you for sharing this. Like you said, we’ll fight back to back okay?

      • Yes. Yes. Absolutely we will. Oh if I had a way to fly to you and carry you back here to seclusion. The mountains here…. they change you. I’m an ocean person myself, but I know you love your mountains and oh the spectacular ones we have…. I have spent many hours out there. The peace. Tranquility. Utter silence. And then a loon calls or a moose passes by…. but it’s a different kind of noise. It’s healing and whole. And you find yourself reaching for the alcohol less and the pills less. Maybe the cigs stick with you… although that’s how I quite chewing tobacco was to go into the mountains for a couple weeks without taking any with me… anyway, I say that to say, I understand in my own way, your situation although it is yours not mine. And I understand the need for peaceful solitude. Just make sure you don’t abandon everyone. You touch lives, for the positive as well. I know you touch mine.

      • Yeah if only. I love the cold and I’ll definitely love the misty mountains. Yes the silence and solitude always beckons me. And thank you so much Tara for all the support. It warms my heart. I will write. I might take a break now and then, perhaps even a long one, but I plan on writing. You’ve made me realize that writing is a two way communication and touching lives is important. A blogger on WP touched mine when I was still a young, hardly developed poet. I dedicated my next poem to him. Your lines affect my soul too. Very deeply. And your kindness always encourages me, my friend.

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