Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Poem for Father's Day: My Father's Photos

Today is Father's Day and I've been thinking a lot about my father's life. One thing (among many) I've learned from him is how you have to seize your dreams.

He was a great photographer and yet never pursued it. He took the safe route as an accountant for the IRS,

In some ways I am grateful...but then I wonder...

Six and half years ago, when he was just about to get on with his life -- after years of a horrible marriage -- he was hit with an aneurysm that he has never fully recovered from. Even after all this time he is not the same man. It is like a stranger invaded his body. So in a way a large part of him has died -- his former self and personality -- but he is still alive.

I wrote this poem for him a while back to celebrate his talent and sacrifice.




My father
was an
for the

Every day of his working life
he dealt with

But I believe deep in his
he wanted
to be a photographer.

His love took seed
during his stint in the Navy.
He served as a photographer on an aircraft carrier
lovingly documenting
plane landings,
life at sea
and the exotic places they visited:
Taiwan and

Later he showed
the same care in documenting
our family's lives with thousand upon thousands
of photos.

Every step we took from the cradle,
every birthday,
every occasion,
my father was there
capturing snapshots.

The documents of our past,
the photos
now sit in boxes in
the closet of my father's den room
like forgotten artifacts
collecting dust.

The other day
I pulled one of the boxes out
and looked at the photos.
Faces of my youth
stared back at me
shot with such care and love.

I wondered why my dad shelved
our photos.
I asked him but he wouldn't say.

He's retired now
but still the photos sit untouched in the boxes.
I even bought him a photo album
but he just put it in one of the boxes.

I think the photos
remind him he put aside his true love
to crunch numbers.
They represent a picture of sadness and regrets.

His dream is languishing
piled in cardboard boxes
captured in pictures of our family's past.

George Pappas
Copyright 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A poem about the death of Dr. George Tiller & Religious Intolerance: Holy War?

I don't care whether you support abortion or not, but there's no justification for cowardly murder of Dr. George Tiller.

How can someone defend the rights of the unborn with murder? That shows no logic and reason.

Fortunately, abortion is still legal in this country despite an insidious domestic TERRORIST campaign that has gone on for years.

Yes, terrorism.

How can this campaign by the lunatic fringe of the anti-abortion movement be described as anything else.

If someone of Arab descent had done something like this against our government or individual officials, they would be branded as terrorists by the government and the media.

The definition of terrorism is as follows:

1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

These all fit the ongoing violent attacks on women's health physicians, nurses and clinics. The Obama Administration needs to aggressively enforce the law established during the Clinton's Administration making violent threats of intimidation, vandalism and attacks on abortion providers and clinics a felony.

Sure, anti-abortion activists can protest peacefully, but that is not what I am referring to. That kind of protest is protected under the constitution. Violent protest is not.

Yet this problem of religious intolerance is much wider than this issue.

As it is early Sunday morning or the Sabbath, I thought I'd share a poem about my disgust with the misuse of God and religion all over this precious globe we call Earth. So many commit unholy acts in the name of so called holy missions.

What can be holy about killing in the name of God? How can this ever be justified period? But using religion to justify such acts is the height of hypocrisy...and I mean ALL RELIGIONS.

I take no sides...I favor no religion.....I only take the side of the kind and the generous...and those who truly try to improve the lives of those around them..

Remember we are all in this thing together...and no one human is matter how powerful we may think we are




In the name of God,
bomb abortion clinics,
shoot doctors,
murder nurses
to protect fetuses
not yet alive.

In the name of God,
bomb passenger trains,
down airplanes,
destroy buildings
torch villages,
toss bodies
of innocents
into ditches,
rob souls,

Using the God's word
like a club,
bludgeoning all your perceived foes,
vanquishing your so-called enemies.

Where's God's forgiveness and compassion in your actions?

You're killing the spirit of God
in the name of religion.

You're killing God
in the name of

You're killing God
in the name of blind intolerance.

Your war is a holy war
anything but holy,
waged against everyone
except your own
deadened soul.

You're conducting
a modern day
of our souls and dreams
in the name of God.

What's holy about that?

George Pappas
Copyright 2009