My father was a man like Augustus.

My father was a man like Augustus.
Lest, (I) don’t forget absence
in the family tree—he turned away
from his as they, crimson, were delusional. Blood doesn’t mean anything
on my bosom, and loneliness was refracted
by my memory.

                                                                        Forgiveness alone
                                                                        does not mean a thing to me
                                                                        in the madness of roses.

My father was a man like Augustus.
He started with nothing. It is unmistakable
the disenchantment he feels when he was born still,
naïve at a time, but now withdrawn from their stares
and dying, penitential lips.

We are all capable of antenatal
emptiness. Then duplicity. Just as forgiveness can be forgotten,
so can be blood.

© 2021 Pseudopsychosis All Rights Reserved.


Written for the 08/02/2021 dVerse haibun prompt.


87 thoughts on “My father was a man like Augustus.”

    1. Thank you! I know it does come off as sinister a lot and especially with the comparison to Roman emperors, it can look bloody. I was hoping to communicate that sometimes blood is not enough to forgive the people who raised you. Hence, the bloodiness. 😀

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you very much! That’s something that always bothered me–how we wouldn’t tolerate some things if done by someone else, but if family, it’s almost as if we have to feel like we should forgive them.

      I’m so done with that narrative, honestly.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My son-in-law described his father as “like living with Mr. Spock, a man devoid of all emotion, spewing a twisted sense of logic and a heart frozen in a glacier of indifference.” A pox on such fathers and grandfathers. I like your feistiness in dealing with the Haibun form. You always find a new path and perspective, and never disappoint.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s a sad case for many indeed. My father lived through that, and because of it, he’s been the best damn father he could be to me. Thank you so much for your thoughts and analysis. ❤ ❤

      Like

  2. Strong and proud piece Lucy, darkly elegant — and I love your interpretive reimagining of the Haibun form. Extremely effective. You always, always captivate my friend. For you it’s your father. For me it is my mother.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much, Rob. You flatter me, my dear friend! I’m glad my father turned away from these people. Really goes to show how blood doesn’t mean you should tolerate abuse and mistreatment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved this Lucy. It resonated with me on many levels. Your ending ‘We are all capable of antenatal
    emptiness. Then duplicity. Just as forgiveness can be forgotten,
    so can be blood.’
    Why should we forgive and forget the harm done to us because of blood? There are many wrongs that do not warrant forgiveness in families 😢 Well done! ☺️

    Liked by 4 people

    1. So true, Christine! I don’t think there should be forgiving and forgetting. I think forgiveness can be for ourselves to let us go from the pain caused by others, but I don’t think forgetting is part of the process here. Acknowledging what’s happened and trying to grow with it is probably the best thing to do.

      So many people in families do not deserve forgiveness. We shouldn’t give them the luxury of having forgotten the issue either, even if we can’t confront them. It’s heartbreaking what some go through in this. Thank you so very much for your thoughts and feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. God, I’ve felt that way a lot. I’ve since come to realize that I’m not defined by them, and neither is my dad. You are exactly right–it is what it is. Thank you so, so much Pat! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Powerful and hitting really hard, dark but so so elegant. Sometimes blood means everything and sometimes absolutely nothing, I really liked how you compared your father to Augustus, the way you went on with it was brilliant. I even loved the last lines, the perfect way to put it all to rest. Exceptional writing Lucy, loved this so much ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aww, thank you so very much AB! That really means a lot to me, especially coming from you. You are very right–it can mean everything or nothing, and that’s the beauty in how we define family and bloodlines. ❤ ❤ I am so happy you enjoyed this piece.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much, Punam. I always like messing around with established forms and I usually struggle with haibuns, so this came much more naturally. ❤️❤️

      Families are so complex and difficult in their own right, but essentially we don’t need to give our forgiveness to those who hurt us time and time again.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I love the haiku… the madness of roses, i just imagine all those thorns and the deep velvet colour (crimson?) and that violence set against the (weakness?) of forgiveness.
    Forgiveness alone
    does not mean a thing to me
    in the madness of roses.

    And the line “We are all capable of ante-natal emptiness.” So haunting.

    This is strong stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so very much, Worms! I always enjoy reading what you think and how you interpret my work. 😀 It’s ironic how I implied forgiveness is weak here as in reality, I think it’s such a strong action. Though, I think that specifically with forgiving to let the pain go from us and not so much forgiveness for others’ past actions—if that makes sense. I only recently learned that forgiveness has hurdles and setbacks. When I thought I could forgive someone and the pain comes flooding back tenfold, it’s a process of grief and letting go, in my experience that is.

      That’s the beauty in it—we get to determine where our forgiveness lies, to what extent, and with who.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There seems to be violence between everyone and everything in your poetry. Is this a reflection of your family relationships? If so, why not be more direct? If not, what is your reason for presenting the world in that way? (K)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I see Jane asked you about your father and you replied it was not to be taken literally–that makes me feel better. I’ve seen how the inability to forgive and/or be forgiven can tear people apart. I’m glad this is not you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, K. I wanted to write a piece about my father turning away from the people who treated him badly. In this case, this is more non-fictional but I always like to add a spin of dark imagery so that’s not to be taken too literally.

        Most of my poems are fiction, but here and there, I’ll tell a real story through them and they’re not too bloody. 😉 I am so often inspired by Plath and Sexton, I just slip easily into the imagery especially as a writer who likes sprinkles of sci-fi and horror.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I wanted to play around with the form since I really struggle writing them. Making it as a poem and re-arranging it slightly to follow the paragraph structure made it easier for me to write. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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