swingersYou are swinging your child or grandchild in the park on a crystal clear day. Write a two stanza poem. The first stanza, from the child’s point of view; the second from the adult’s view. Or you can be an observing bystander watching the interaction between the two. You can make the poem about any kind to give and take between child and parent/adult. You can build a sand castle together, or you can be taking a walk. But make it two from different points of view!



“Higher Daddy, higher!”
in the air I soar, I’m a flyer!
My wings are small, but if I fall
you will catch me! I can see a lot
from high up here; I can see clear
to the slides. I love the park
and the rides you give me. I live
to fly free with you close at hand.
You’ve helped me to stand,
you’ve helped me to walk,
as soon as I could talk, it was you
I called. When night frights came,
it was your name that sent them away.
And today, you help me to be that flyer.
“Higher Daddy, higher!”

“Oh Little One, how you’ve grown!”
Had I known you would be such a wonder,
I would have stayed under your spell
for well over the time we’ve had together.
Whether you walk, or talk, or cry,
you will always fly where love lifts you.
It is a gift you give to this tired, old soul.
And I know when my days are through,
it will be you who carries my spirit forward.
Always headed toward the sun, the one who flies
where my eyes will  fail to see. You fly with me.
We had our ups and down; smiles and frowns
were the masks we wore. And all that is
in store for the coming years, may hold some tears
but will fill my soul, oh Little One. How you’ve flown.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014


62 thoughts on “PROMPT #165 – THE VIEW FROM HERE


    When I was small, I was amazed
    that time could stand so still;
    but now I’m old and watch, unfazed,
    as years fly over the hill,

    and I suppose that when I die
    I’ll be that child, and grace
    the everlasting and heretofore
    as time melds into space.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

    • Yes, indeed, and the line, “the one who flies / where my eyes will fail to see,” sums up a proud parent as well as anything I’ve seen.


    Those chocolate chip cookies
    Mommy bakes she always hides
    inside the big fat jar
    behind the cans in the pantry.
    She’s not in the kitchen now
    so I twist the lid, get my hand
    down in it and take a few
    as quiet as I can.

    Billy! What are you doing?
    Get your hand out of the jar.
    I baked those cookies to eat
    after our dinner, not now.
    What did we teach you
    about being naughty
    and behind our backs, no less?
    This time no cookies for you.

  3. Priorities

    Flying up so high
    Toe-tips touch the sky
    Clouds laugh at me here below
    Stones rush by my toes
    And back the swing goes
    Then up in the blue I go

    Stand and push the swing
    Many songs, I sing
    Can’t do a thing on my list
    But swing her awhile
    And take in her smile
    There’s nothing better than this

    • Connie, I love the form, especially the juxtaposition of the last lines of each stanza from those two points of view. Good one, girl.

  4. Higher and Higher

    Kid: Push me higher, Mom. I want to see what’s on the other side of that bunch of trees.

    Mom: Hold on tight. Make sure you don’t let go of the rope.

    Kid: I am. Higher, Mom higher!

    Mom: I’m pushing as hard as I can

    Kid” Higher, higher!

    Mom: You’re high enough!

    Kid Keep Pushing Mom! Mom?

    Mom: I said you’re high enough!

    Kid: But I can’t see over the trees!

    Mom: You will when you’re bigger!

    Kid: You always say that

    Mom Enjoy your ride! I’ve pushed you far enough!

    Kid: “I.’m not coming down. I’m going to stay up here forever!

    Kid Mom? Can you hear me? Mom?

    Kid MOOOMM!!

  5. a great prompt and poem, Walt. Here’s my attempt.

    Three Views of a Parade

    Down here, I cannot catch a breeze;
    I’m hemmed in by a sea of knees.
    I give my Daddy’s hand a squeeze,
    but he’s up there.

    I hear the drums and marching band.
    I’m shouting, tugging Daddy’s hand.
    You’d think the guy would understand
    his child’s despair.

    Then up I go like a balloon
    to Daddy’s neck and none too soon:
    as elephants trumpet a tune,
    I float in air.
    I hate parades, but this child loves
    her elephants and winging doves,
    so I must brave elbows and shoves
    so she can stare.

    I jockey for a closer place
    a bit outside the crowd’s embrace.
    She has a scowl upon her face
    I cannot bear.

    I lift and seat her shoulder high
    so she can see what’s passing by.
    I hope her heart to satisfy
    because I care.
    Soon all along the crowded way,
    children like bubbles rise and stay
    on parents’ necks where there are few
    obstructions to their birds’ eye view.

    Years pass, they grow up, bear their own
    children and memories they’ve sown
    and learn, though they may not know why,
    love lifts us all up, by and by.

  6. In An American Playground

    “Higher, Grandma, higher.”
    She doesn’t push me
    as hard as Dad. I bet
    next time Dad swings me,
    I could reach right up
    to that big bear cloud.

    Oy, I hope she doesn’t fall
    off that swing. It does not
    look so sturdy to me. Eh,
    what do I know from swings.
    Who had swings in the old country.


    Cheetah Power!
    I can run REALLY fast!
    65 mph.
    I have Cheetah power daddy!
    Daddy, look!

    Subject clocked at 65.24 mph in 25 mph hallway zone.
    Verbal warning: STOP RUNNING!!
    Slow down!
    Kids, just don’t listen….

  8. safe harbor

    that time my son, at two, raced
    after his brother, who was
    always strides ahead.

    in that phase of darting off
    then turning back to make sure
    I hadn’t just faded into the horizon.

    and when he fell, which
    he often did, his tears
    fell easily too, and between sobs

    he issued his accusation:
    you let me fall down!
    you let me fall down!

    i gathered him up, held him
    close, examined the evidence
    and admitted my guilt.

    mama always keeps you safe,
    i whispered. our mantra. a mother’s
    lie persisting through the ages,

    like the oak’s annual springtime
    pledge to hold tight to the leaves
    whose fate we all realize.

    he wriggled free, tossed me
    one final glare, and
    off he ran. unafraid.

  9. Night Talk

    By: Dr. Nurit Israeli

    Mama, it’s unfair
    and I don’t agree −
    why am I the littlest
    in our family tree?

    I am little, just four,
    and it makes me cry
    that I’ll be last to die.
    Why? Tell me why?

    first daddy will go −
    he is the oldest,
    then you, because
    you are the closest,

    next, my brother Ron,
    so, you’ll all be gone,
    and I’ll be all alone.
    All alone… All alone…

    My sweet little girl
    cannot be consoled,
    she is upset because
    we are all getting old.

    So, I need to withhold −
    truth cannot yet be told,
    instead, lo and behold,
    false promises unfold:

    We’ll not die, not soon
    (I pretend we’re immune),
    you’ll never be alone
    (now I sigh and I moan).

    Forgive me for promises
    I know I can’t keep,
    but I want you to dream,
    go to sleep… go to sleep…

  10. I may have shared this before…

    Aunt Tilley

    Dear Aunt Tilley, you were a woman rare,
    even-tempered and unfailingly fair.
    I never heard an ugly, unkind word
    slither unbidden ever as a slur
    in jest or teasing from your honeyed tongue,
    nor in hottest anger spitefully flung.

    I try so hard to practice what you taught
    but every time your lessons come to naught.
    To that stuck-up, snobby girl at my school
    When she snubbed my best friend, I called her fool.
    I know, dear aunt, you’d be ashamed of me
    I’m no saint like you, only wish to be.

    Shift Perspective

    To My Niece

    My dearest beleaguered niece
    I’m sorry to have bequeathed
    this lesson, though truth be told
    it was not intended so.

    Do you think I left this world
    still young and strong and willing?
    No, I died too soon I fear
    Choked on sweet retort, my dear.

    If a lesson can be gained
    Let it be that thus is true
    Outspoken tis best to be
    Than dead and voiceless like me.

  11. Interesting exchange between these two! And, yes, I agree with aunt Tilley — better “outspoken” than “dead and voiceless”…

  12. Walt, your poem touches me deeply: both the delight of the little girl and dad’s lamentation-celebration: “how you’ve grown!” How you’ve flown.” So much love here. Wonderfully crafted and very evocative.

    • Thank you, Nurit! We were given these incredible people to love and nurture. As they grow our roles seem to reverse in a way. It’s how we know we’ve done our part. In the wink of an eye, they have grown; flown! Walt

      • Yes, Walt, so true. Your poem just conveys it so powerfully, that I read it over and over. And yes — in the wink of an eye, such a short wink of an eye…

  13. Pingback: First Day | Metaphors and Smiles

  14. First Day

    Annnd here we are again – not together – again and each time I wonder why I don’t just try to teach you myself and are you safe – have the bus brake lines been checked this summer, is the school’s security up – are the teachers rested or has the summer flown by for them too…will they see him and love him – will he get caught up in the numbers and the shuffle-hustle – will kids be kind?

    Here I am again! Hello to all my friends and to the new ones, too – we had art today and that’s my favorite – we played chase on the playground and hide and seek…we read today, did math and science…I got to sit with a classmate from last year on the bus ride home…in the back because I’m a big kid now! Am I going back tomorrow? I sure had a great time.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  15. Just You and Me

    My toes touch the sky
    tickled by the breeze
    and then my mommy’s hands
    tickles as she gives me a squeeze.

    Up, up she goes
    so high she could almost fly,
    capturing those giggles
    as time floats by.

  16. Pingback: Disjointed Thoughts | echoes from the silence

  17. Pingback: Hold Tight! | The Chalk Hills Journal

  18. Hold Tight!

    Push me high into the clouds
    Into satins silvered blue
    Hold tight!
    High as swings that rock and hop
    High as hiccups and tummy jumps
    Hold tight!
    High as dresses that billow free
    High as winged fairy sprites
    Hold tight!
    Push me, Daddy, into the sky.

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