Poetry Fair Issue
Vol. 7, No. 7 The Fourteen Percenter
October 1, 2004
A publication for parents on the wrong side of the standard possession
I see my child two days out of every fourteen; 14%. That's not enough.
Do not carry the child who can walk.
Do not speak for the child that can talk.
Do not think for the child who has thoughts.
Do not blind a child who has sight.
Do not bind a child, let them take flight.
Guide them; it is their right.
As parents, we reap what we sow.
If we want children to grow,
we must let them go.
To grow, they will stumble and fall.
As parents, we watch, bruises and all.
They must stand on their own.
We cannot carry; we can only point the way.
If we carry, think, see, and speak for a child,
a child they will stay, and lost they will be
when no one is there in their place
to step, to think, to speak or to see.
- Steve Johnson
For My Son
You ask me
for the third time today
if little boys
are my favorite. And I tell you
for the third time today
that little brown boys, with dimples
and new teeth
and purple Now-n-Later tongues,
usually running, hardly walking feet
are my favorite.
Youıre pushing the basket, looking up at me
as we walk through the produce
aisle at the grocery store.
Iım thinking I need celery for a new
recipe, which you probably wonıt like.
Then I wonder,
when rushed hugs,
become more important,
and maybe children
(in that order, son)
are imminent in your life,
if youıll remember this.
I bend down when I notice your shoe is untied.
You automatically put your foot forward.
As I pull the laces,
you put your hand on my shoulder and
kiss my forehead.
I smile when I stand to look
at the not-so-fresh celery through the
sudden emotion that comes
with tying a little boyıs shoe
and Iıll remember for both of us
and write this in my heart
as a poem for you.
- Sheri Anderson
The Black Widow
The chair on the end is empty
in the evening when you eat.
The sturdy deck will no longer
welcome its carpenterıs feet.
The cellar workshop is silent
as its tools succumb to rust.
The wicker chair sits abandoned,
covered by summertime dust.
Now your children have no father
to give them a kiss each night,
to help them with their homework,
and make everything all right.
By your will you had him banished.
Thereıs no meaning in a vow.
The chair on the end is empty
except for spider webs now.
- Michael P. OıNeil
Heıs a Man Lash Him
Heıs a 29-year-old man.
He inseminated a woman (lash him).
She bore his baby.
He stayed apart from that child life
for ten years (lash him).
He didnıt pay child support.
He doesnıt think he should pay now.
He hasnıt learned his lesson (lash him).
So what if he was only 14
and the married woman was 20
when she raped him
and got her body pregnant (lash him).
Her husband supported that child
for 10 years (lash him)
before she decided to divorce him.
The DNA test say,
lash him anyway.
Four years ago, the ex-14-year-old
and the cuckolded husband
learned of the womanıs deceit (lash them).
And the courts, mostly men,
in their infinite wisdom,
decided, ³Lash him, lash them, lash men.²
But when your arm gets tired, maybe then,
you can realize itıs not all the fault of men.
The Macomb Daily headlined an article, ³Man, 14 when he fathered boy, must
pay support.² He may have sired a child but the 13 years the mother kept his
son a secret, he did not father the child. Don Mathis
Netherlands Sacrifice - For the men at
In a heavy mist,
a man carries a box
from his car
to the steps
of the State office.
He arranges toys
under the overhang.
The light rain
highlights the pain
of his damp duty.
These are gifts
bought for his child
he was never allowed
to see. He sighs,
bites his lip, cries.
This is good-bye.
Seasons of legal battles,
quantities of money,
years of tears
have produced naught.
The megaphone squawks feedback.
He speaks to blank windows
his longing for his child,
His protest is effective
but his posturing is in vain.
The love for his child
will always remain.
- Don Mathis
Oceans of Pain
Here we stand, shore touching shore,
Oceans of pain felt to the core.
Standing this close, words can't describe
The intense lashing, crashing pain inside.
The battle rages against the restraints
Hidden behind brave smiles and a soft hello.
Your waves of pain approach mine
Then crash together becoming entwined.
We are driven to the murky bottom to gaze once more
At that terrible scene frozen in time.
We watch that heavy separation door close.
Stop! Our hearts cry out to an empty echo reply.
We feel again that searing, tearing heat
Of hearts that are torn but still beat.
Is this hurt we feel worth the chance to heal?
To stand face to face and speak words of grace?
Words not yet spoken that will release the pain
Sailing across barriers to open a forbidden door
To find the line that connects your heart to mine
Perhaps then, with the bursting of restraints
We would find our oceans of pain cannot remain.
- Charity Ruff, email@example.com
Alexander The Great
I am standing in a ToysıRıUs
Agonizing over a birthday present.
He is not Superman.
He is not Wolverine.
In fact, Iıve forgotten for the moment
Who he has become this week.
He WAS Superman at one point
But against all odds, he found it lacking.
The man can fly, and lift everything,
And turn time backwards
by circumventing the earth.
Not good enough.
Not nearly as cool as adamantium claws.
I remember the plastic flurry
Of a 6-year-oldıs Berserker attack.
He was the miniscule incarnation
of mutant rage.
And then he got into trouble
For climbing makeshift hand-slots
In the walls at school
Because he was Spiderman.
I have seen him wear a ninja mask
with chaps and six-shooters,
A cowboy ninja combo
that there is no defense against.
I donıt care who you are,
You cannot beat a ninja cowboy
A Bruce Lee John Wayne special condensed.
While my logic cringes at the anachronism
of lasers and dinosaurs,
Thinking, ³How can I glimpse this place
Where absolutely ANYTHING is possible?²
Easy. Be six again.
And never believe a thing they tell you,
Because as right as they are,
They still canıt beat a speeding bullet.
- Gabe Garza, http://www.ardentspaces.com/
All poems in this issue copyright by the author. For more parenting poetry,
click Poetryı at http://custodyreform.com/ or visit
sage&mview=1&ID_Message=6343> contains the poem, ³Children that
Belong to Other Men.²
The Fourteen Percenter is an international newsletter that seeks to promote
equal parenting rights in the US, the UK, and worldwide. We welcome
feedback, as well as any article, poem, or review relating to the
child-parent bond. Send your letters to FourteenPercenter@yahoo.com .
The Fourteen Percenter thanks A-1 Product Distribution for donation of their
printing services. Typesetting, binding, and laminating are other services
available at 2015 McCullough in San Antonio, TX. Contact 210-734-9355,
800-652-8477, or http://www.a1laminating.com/index.cfm
The Seventh Annual San Antonio Poetry Fair will be Saturday, Oct. 23, at 1
p.m. in Chapman Auditorium on the campus of Trinity University. The Poetry
Fair is free and open to the public. Winning poets, selected from entries
submitted before the spring deadline, will present their work.
The Poetry Fair will be dedicated this year to the late Floydell Neugent, a
founder of the event and inspiration to many poets. A member of the Neugent
family wrote the foreword for the anthology, Voices Along the River, which
will be for sale. The anthology will contain the best of the poems submitted
Lianne Mercer, Editor of the Texas Poetry Calendar, will present several of
her poems at the Poetry Fair. She is a Certified Poetry Therapist and an
avid believer in the fun, enlightening, and therapeutic uses of reading and
writing poetry. Her work has appeared in Windover, Icarus, and The American
Journal of Nursing.
Olga Samples Davis will be another featured poet. She is a widely published
author and stays in constant demand as a speaker. She is a professor of
English and speech at St. Philipıs College. Her charm and spirit make her a
favorite in the San Antonio community of poets. Her new book, ³Things My
Mama Told Me: The Wisdom that Shapes Our Lives,² will be available.
District Judge Janet Littlejohn will be Master of Ceremonies and District
Judge Martha Tanner will present awards and cash prizes to the best of the
best (list posted at http://www.sapoetryfair.org/winners/index.html ).
Entry forms for next year's fair will be available.
The San Antonio Poetry Fair takes place with the sponsorship of Trinity
University Press. The Poetry Fair recently attained nonprofit status and is
seeking corporate sponsorship. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see
http://www.sapoetryfair.org/ for more information.