Dad 2.0 Summit, Dad-Voices, & 3 sonnets

Why Dads Who Write Gather Every Year

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DadVoices @ Dad 2.0

The Dad 2.0 Summit was this past weekend. Virtual, but also very real. The Summit? From their website,

The Dad 2.0 Summit is an open conversation about the commercial power of dads online, and an opportunity to learn the tools and tactics used by influential bloggers to create high-quality content, build personal brands, and develop business ideas…

It’s more than that; a lot more. It’s a chance for Dads who write about fatherhood and men’s issues to gather, share a couple drinks, talk shop, and just, well, talk. Talk about stuff you might not ordinarily talk about: How you were raised a Dallas Cowboys fan but you hate the Cowboys but you don’t feel you can bail because of your Dad. How you and your wife managed to get through a miscarriage together. How you and your child who wrestles with significant emotional issues managed to connect. Where to find good BBQ brisket in Syracuse (the answer is Dinosaur BBQ, BTW).

One of every attendees favorite events is Dad Voices. A little like a poetry slam, late-night Dads have a chance to share their stuff before a very friendly, often tipsy room of friends. We did it on Zoom, made the drive home a lot safer — most of us just walked up stairs.

I read these three sonnets. Since the death of my Father in January, 2019, I’ve become a poet. Weird, I know, but here we are. Thanks for reading.

Sonnet №10 — I Kiss My Son

Last night, I kissed my son upon his head.

As I’ve done near thirty years, man and boy

I kissed my father, too, yet now he’s dead.

Now, ’tis my son who fills my heart with joy.

There are many ways to grieve, say the books

Some find themselves well-dried out from their tears

Some run, and hope their mourn doth overlook,

I believe one leans in, to face the fear.

Soon I will die, and you, and you, and you.

We hope that those behind will say good things.

Fain live life well, and all those round who knew,

Will sing your praises, and true mem’ries cling.

So I will always kiss my son upon his head

He’s once removed from me and my last bed.

{David L. Stanley}{DStan58}, February, 2019

Sonnet №16. Grey & glistening

A tousled head lies there beside my own

Grey glistening, and She bespeaks pure love.

From spark’s first glow, our blessed life has grown

And with its flame, our life has bloomed thereof.

We weave, as chickadees fulfill their nest,

black-capped, first mate, then mud, and mind the egg.

They share the burden, prithee gets a rest.

She’s my heart, our love never needs a’beg.

Destined are we, to love with souls in pairs

Fair luck it was that she doth came my way.

When my love, my wife is there, shall I dare?

Without, perhaps, I gainsay seize the day.

As with yin and yang, black and white make whole

Our hearts beat in and out, and form one soul.

{David L. Stanley}{DStan58} April 2019

Sonnet №77. For My Black Brothers.

I pick up heavy things and put them down.

The weight room is a refuge from my fate.

A bulwark made from muscle is my crown.

I leave my burden there whence leave the gate.

I cannot imagine what a Black man sees.

He carries weighty burdens all his life.

A crushing load, it drives him to a knees,

and rips apart his innards, a gutting knife.

His every move is scrutinized on end.

He wears his hoodie up, he is a thug,

His very right to live, he must defend.

His “I Can’t Breathe!” met with a heartless shrug.

A white man, I can set my loads aside.

For my Black brothers, I can only cry.

{David L. Stanley}{DStan58} August, 2020.

DStan58 is a teacher, a writer, a dad, a voice-over actor and poet. He's a melanoma survivor and a pulmonary embolism survivor. He's bringing sonnets back,

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