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June Bugs and Willow Twigs

by Alan Reed (Age: 67)
copyright 06-05-2011

Age Rating: 7 +
June Bugs and Willow Twigs
Picture Credits: http://

I think neither you nor I father
Know if we can ever be sure if we turned out
Alike because I was intimidated and frightened
And hid from you in my room

I think neither you nor I know that we know
That each of us know that we are very alike and
We know that

I think that we know our striking similarities
Grew out of the distance between us
Like the same bread eaten in different parts of the house

I know that I left you to attend to the factory without me
And I know that you know that it was not that I did not care
I was afraid of you

I know and you do as well that it was impossible
To get along ably together because you know
As well as I do that it was profoundly hopeless

For you to talk calmly about any subject or person
That you did not approve of and I, in turn, lost the ability
To talk to you all together
Instead, you know, I hid from you in my room

You know that I donít know you well but that
I consider you a kind man and good father
You do not know that I was forever and deeply troubled

After that night in my early years when I repeatedly
Whimpered for water because I was thirsty, in a state of insomnia
And needed to amuse myself for a lack of things to think about and to do

You donít know the horrifying and lasting impression
Of a large burly man lugging me out to the privy
That chilly dark night made bright by the stars that twinkled
And the June Bugs that blinked only in my nightshirt

To be fetched at daybreak merely
To have my bare rear end be met with the strokes
Of willow branches stripped naked of their beloved leaves
Leaving such impressionable welts that roused

Fairytales and hearsay from the boyís lavatory all the way
To the strands where loomed Haystack Rock and the rickety
Stairs that zigzagged up and down the cliffs
Near Cannon Beach above the sands

I know that you are a caring man and took a kindness in me
Partially because you took special alertness to find ways
To ensure you never suffered from sleep deprivation

I think both you and I know father
That we are fond of each other and always will
I think we donít really know why father
Because I am afraid of you and hide from you still

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        07-10-2011     Walter Jones        

Who will hold my water, what the dream we live, oft in the distance I hear a voice to give, for time the mentor of ages, plays us many songs, but family is the reason most of us sing along, a poet is a writer that sees many leaves as they write, each a story before it dies, worth and so much more.. Walt

        06-09-2011     Susan Brown        

Wasn't it Kafka who said: "By believing in something that doesn't exist, somehow we create it"? The painting above this work fits this piece beautifully. Interesting....Alan, very moving! I found myself staring through the branches, "into the heavens" waiting for an answer...wide eyed.

        06-05-2011     Mae Futter Stein        

That is quite a story. My oldest brother was born in 1918 and lived to be eighty one. In days of his growing up, he had many tales, as did my sisters, to tell. The bare limbs from the hickory trees were stripped of the leaves, and the bare skin was used for a stinging whip for punishment, bringing welts and bleeding cuts to remember, and that's how they believed in those days. I can relate to Kafka being afraid of his father. I have many memories of the early 20Th century. My parents had eleven children, therefore I have many, many relatives and I could write a book. LOL. Your write is very educational. Thanks, Alan....Mae

        06-05-2011     Alan Reed        

Franz Kafka was a German novelist of the early 20Th century whose works were published against his wishes and most of them posthumously. Hopelessness and absurdity were thought to permeate his literature and it was largely considered existentialist in thought.

His father was a brash, overbearing and successful businessman. Kafka was terrified of his father but did not dislike him. He distanced himself from his father both physically and spiritually. In 1919 he penned a letter of approximately 50 pages (depending on the translation) to his father in response to his father's assertion that Kafka was in fact afraid oh him. The letter, in so many words, uniquely described how Kafka would be unable to describe orally how he felt about his father because there were so many feelings to explain that he would forget them and become confused and his speech therefore would become useless. His arguments were roundabout but clever and some of his sentences covered entire pages.

This write reflects part of what Kafka might have been trying to communicate and part of the write contains fiction as well as what occurred to and the thoughts of this writer -- all in Kafkaesque style. I hope it makes for an enjoyable read. Note that Kafka's mother intercepted the original letter and his father never received it. - Alan

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