Category Archives: Buck up

Triptych [smallpox blanket]

Three little girls lined up in
A row. Their father
Towers in terrible wrath.

“Did you do it?
Or you?
Or you?”

The girls, near-mute,
Look sideways at
Each other. Who

Did it this time?

“Swear on the Bible.
Put your right hand
On the book,
And swear.”

We all swore
Our innocence
Though one of
Us was always
Lying – usually
The youngest
Difficult child.

But we all knew
What would follow
The lie. One by
One, the girls
Were ordered
Face down –
The oldest sister had her
Own room, so
Her bed was most convenient—
For their beatings.

But everyone
Was fully clothed,
So it was decent
And the neighbors
Could safely
Ignore the screams.

I always screamed loudest too.

See, he wanted
Sons, so
I became his son
And fought him back.

Yes, I broke the comb.
Yes, I was playing
With your shaving cream
In the bathroom
Where you keep
The Playboy magazines.

Of course I need a beating. And sorry,
Sisters, I’m just too scared
To confess.

by Karen M. Seeley,
copyright 2014


Credo; Guardians


I’ve always wanted
to believe
In happy endings


to kill my reason
and my thought
they burst into
my room one night
and broke my tongue.
we few who struggle
in our time
for just one word
are dangerous.

– L.W. Seeley, Jr.

Dad’s Poetry: Landscape

This emptiness we call a world,
swept edge to edge by aimless winds
is rubble built on ashes, where
six dancing shadows follow faith
and blisters answer prayer.

The counted moments of the clock
are stacked in crates upon a plain
besieged beneath a clouded sun,
beaten by incessant rain.

If landscape cannot make a refuge
nor memory a place to stand
yet you and I on this high rocky
pinnacle are met, and touch, and know
the realms where mind alone can never go.

– by L.W. Seeley, Jr.

Tags: dad’s poetry


This one’s about 4 years old.


I sleep in our king-sized bed,
And you in the sub-basement storage room.
I envy you your happiness
As you laptop with friends and lovers.
Father, job and self-respect
I carelessly misplaced.
Finally my losing streak’s complete,
My hands grasp negative space.
Lover, husband, partner, friend,
All these men are gone.
A polite and distant stranger
Lives behind your door.
You assure me it’s all my doing,
While checking your phone for texts.
Our near-15 years together folds:
Full house, Facebook chats.

Tags: same old story spilled ink don’t take four years to break up

Daddy Issues: Duty

by L.W. Seeley, Jr.


In Nineteen Sixty-one

I sold myself in bondage

and marched in khaki pants

for everybody’s sake.

I went where I was sent,

the old Germanic battleground,

to count the bricks,

report each strand of wire,

observe the towers rising,

watch Berlin, amoeba-like, divide.

gaunt faces staring through tight knuckles

empty eyes

slack mouths

pictures in a history book

By the blasted, broken bunker

we marched in January snow

shouldering an empty rifle

around the deadline motor pool.

You were very proud.