• Grant Handgis

Grant Handgis ~ Author/Poet

from "Journey From the Child"

Learning * Punishment

How was I to know strops were

leather dragons, licking fire

bringing death

to gluteal nerves

for touching girls


bringing home bounty not in trade, and

using wonderful yarns explaining

the discrepancies

invited the dragon upon me again, much

closer to the heart of reason, from my world

teetering on the precipice of unknowns

into yours

of swearing and tears,

leaving behind their trails

of pain

on an unshaven face.

The dragon lives, even now

only fettered by the chains forged from trials,

held at bay

by habit and trust

and years of searching the heart.

He isn't dead

or on vacation, but alive and thriving in habitude

gorging on tradition, just laying low

silently in wait of your darkest deeds

until evoked by the strokes of enlightenment

riding on the hand of truth

now your small voice forming the guile

opening the door of ordeal

Our world is the same,

father to son to son

one from the other

one molding the other, and

given time, and your tribulations

you will

find your spot

in the corner, where the dragon stands

chained, and roaring

at your quiescent grief,

and the pain of tears

on an unshaven face

will bid the dragon lie down

and yield.

When my son was a small boy, and tended to do what little boys do when they are feeling feisty, and challenging, the natural response from the father is showing force in the hope of keeping command of the household. This tends to come through as spanking, sometimes not so thought out. As a single parent for the course of my children’s lives, it was up to me to be all things in said household. When challenged by my own little miscreant son, the Dragon of retribution wanted to come forth. Perhaps it was a vestige of my own upbringing in the Victorian principles of a traditional Greek household. Perhaps it was a vestige of combat experience as a Marine.

What was clear to me, rationally, was that it was up to me to break the cycle of this reactive punishment. The Dragon derives from the deepest realms of our emotional connection to the world around us, including our children. This poem was written during that period of emotional adjustment, and learned control.


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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