.

Our Father loves us, one and all.
He lifts us when our spirits fall.
He knows the song of heart and mind;
He hears the fears of humankind
In every earnest, earthly call.

He guides us through the grind and gall
Of guilt and guile; the devil’s thrall
From where we pitch our prayers to find
__Our Father loves us.

His glorious gifts are wall-to-wall;
The sun, the moon, the starry sprawl.
His truth and light are intertwined;
He keeps the darkness silver-lined.
His mercy shines through life’s harsh haul—
__Our Father loves us.

.

.

Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England.  She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas.  Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets).


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34 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    This poem is for fathers, for those who have no father in their lives, fathers who have lost their children, estranged fathers, stepfathers, soon-to-be fathers, and any other type of father I may have missed. We are all blessed with a father… if we’d like one.

    Reply
  2. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, you never fail to hit the spot and this is no exception. My own father was brought up in severe poverty, fought in the war, came home to more poverty and recession but never complained. I will be turning my thoughts to him tonight after reading this. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Jeff, you sound as if you had an exemplary father who taught the lesson of humility and picking oneself up, dusting oneself down, and carrying on. My grandparents were of the same mindset, and when they refer to these wonderful people as the ‘Greatest Generation’, they are right.

      Reply
  3. paul buchheit

    Very nice, Susan! Fathers like me appreciate your heavenly words.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I’m thrilled to hear it, Paul. A very happy Father’s Day to you!

      Reply
  4. C.B. Anderson

    I hope you are right, Susan. If this is what a rondeau can do, then I just might try my hand at writing one. Your own twist on the Hallmark holiday turned this June convention on its heels.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you C.B. I’d love to read a rondeau of yours… I have every confidence you’d give it a linguistic twist that would turn my head.

      I’m kicking the ass of the ‘Hallmark holiday’ – and I’m glad you spotted it. In this fatherless age of chaos, this has got to be one of the saddest days of the year.

      Reply
  5. Russel Winick

    “He keeps the darkness silver-lined.” Fabulous! Again!!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Russel – I had great fun writing that line, and it’s one of my favorites too.

      Reply
  6. Sally Cook

    Susan, I love it. Like all fathers, I guess, mine was crusty, eccentric and I loved him. My earliest memories of him are the radio programs he chose for me. Pre-television, I remember Hawaiin guitar and chirping canaries who raised their little voices to John Philip Sousa. I could never understand how my father, who was a professional grade cellist could enjoy such simple tunes, but — he did. Tomorrow we will be singing “Happy Father’s Day, dear Donald”, and spend some time just reveling in his unique personality. Thanks for the lovely poem.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Sally, it’s a privilege to hear of the traits of an obviously wonderful father. It’s also lovely to hear that you will be in fine voice today while you revel in his unique personality. It thrills me to hear you had such a good relationship with him – a rare gift these days. I’m glad you like the poem. Thank you, my friend!

      Reply
  7. Peter Hartley

    Susan – Whenever I attempt to comment on your poems I always feel that I am going to run out of superlatives, which is why I have given up for a while. This one doesn’t disappoint either. It is short, unassuming and simple, but sincere, heartfelt and fervent, without a trace of religiosity. I’m no great fan of sight rhymes but guilt and guile together, brilliant!!! As is the iteration in the last four lines. Nitid? Refulgent? Lambent? The English language can’t do this class of poetry justice with its own resources. Hence my next comment on your work will be in Phoenician.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Peter, I’ve missed you! Your comments are always an absolute treat and this one is lustrous, radiant and positively resplendent! I am glowing with peacock-pride and my eyebrow now has the vain arch of an insufferable diva. I am also taken with the word ‘nitid’ – it is one of those words that bears the least resemblance to its meaning and for that reason alone, I love it. I cannot wait for you to light up my comments section in Phoenician for those words will indicate I’m a real poet. I’ll be utterly insufferable after that. Peter, thank you for your words of wonder and my Sunday morning smile.

      Reply
  8. BRIAN YAPKO

    For Father’s Day, the gift of a splendid rondeau! Susan, thank you for this. Having now written several rondeaux I understand first-hand the meticulous jewel-making precision it requires to make such a work sing and you succeed admirably.

    I especially love two things about this poem: First, the deep link you make between fatherhood and our Father in heaven; Second, the balance of earnest — almost pious — sincerity which is subtly balanced by an almost childlike joy, some of which is reflected in word choice “glorious gifts wall to wall” and in the alliteration which fairly sings. On my first reading I wasn’t sure if I liked the term “starry sprawl” but now I love it because it’s exactly right — cosmic but at the same time comfortable in a child’s messy room. Isn’t that just about right for our relationship with our Father?

    Lastly, you make me so happy in the memory of my father gone now for 24 years. He definitely helped me get through life’s “harsh haul” and I’m grateful for the reminder.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, I know you know exactly how intricate this form is and I appreciate your understanding of it. Your descriptive ‘meticulous jewel-making precision’ requirement for this form is spot-on. It’s very difficult to maintain a smooth flow plus the meaning while writing one of these tricky little poems. You did a marvelous job with ‘The Dove Returned’ and I highly recommend it. Here it is for anyone who would like to read it: https://classicalpoets.org/2021/05/18/the-dove-returned-and-other-poetry-by-brian-yapko/

      You also have a knack for getting right to the heart of my poetry and explaining it with clarity and beauty. Thank you very much!

      I’m also thrilled to hear you had a wonderful relationship with your father – something to be cherished during days where fatherhood is given scant respect. To have a father’s guiding and loving hand through life’s harsh haul is a gift. A nod from me to your much-loved dad on this celebratory day.

      Reply
  9. Yael

    This is a great Father’s Day poem Susan, I love it!
    Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers out there, and to our Father in heaven: thank you for being who you are.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I’m thrilled you like the poem, Yael, and I’m with you on the Happy Father’s Day front. Thank you!

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Peg, your comment is lovely and I appreciate it. Thank you!

      Reply
  10. Paul Freeman

    I don’t have enough dittos on my keyboard.

    The ‘silver-lined’ and ‘starry sprawl’ lines I found inspired.

    I was wondering if there is a tune (or if anyone has written a tune) to fit a rondeau. Wasn’t ‘Jerusalem’ a poem before it was a hymn? Putting this piece to music would be a fitting tribute.

    As for rondeaus, I’ve written two. The first is awful. The second I feel is one of the best pieces of poetry I’ve ever written. They certainly are challenging to write.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Paul, thank you very much for your informative and inspirational comment. The rondeau is a lyric form that was popular among medieval court poets and musicians, so setting it to music is a great idea.

      I think Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’ was a poem first, unless he wrote it as a hymn (I’ll have to look that one up). It’s a great pity the Conservative party have hijacked it as their conference anthem… it’s certain to lose its former lustre with the way politics are these days.

      It’s great to hear you’ve written a couple of rondeaux, and I only hope you’ve submitted your finest one to Evan. I’d love to read it.

      Reply
      • Paul Freeman

        My better rondeau is out in submission land. If it’s grievously overlooked, it’s all Evan’s on Thursday.

      • Paul Freeman

        It only got an ‘orrible, er, ‘honourable’ mention, and due to the extension of lockdown in England (which keeps it topical) I have to mull over its future.

  11. Amrita Valan

    Such a wonderful poem, the refrain soothes because the lines preceding it are not pious but a simple exposition of grandeur grace and mercy. Loved this from the bottom of my heart.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Amrita, thank you most kindly. I appreciate your warm words of encouragement and I’m thrilled you loved the poem.

      Reply
  12. Margaret Coats

    Father’s Day may have begun as a Hallmark holiday–but the card company recognized a real human need. Although many children and fathers are sadly recognizing deficiencies today, there is a much-needed outpouring of honour and gratitude anyway. This can only help, and your contribution is encouraging, consoling, and forward-looking.

    Reply
  13. Margaret Coats

    Father’s Day may have begun as a commercial ploy, but it meets a social need. Although many children and fathers are recognizing deficiencies today, there is all the same a much-needed outpouring of honour and gratitude. This can only help, and your contribution, Susan, is encouraging, consoling, and forward-looking.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Margaret, I am with you all the way on this. Fathers who are present in the household are a rare asset these days and they need to be recognized and acknowledged with a poetic pat on the back for their parental input. It’s awful how the male role in society has been demeaned and even demonized. I honestly think we have whole generations who have missed out on a father’s love and guidance because of this.

      Reply
  14. David Whippman

    You chose a demanding form and produced a piece that was moving as well as skilfully written. Good work, Susan.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      David, thank you very much for your comment with its attention to detail and its encouragement. I’m glad I was able to do the rondeau justice.

      Reply
  15. David Watt

    Although Father’s Day in Australia will be celebrated on the 5th of September, the beautifully expressed sentiment of your ‘silver-lined’ rondeau arrived right on time.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, David. I’m glad you enjoyed it and I love the ‘silver-lined’ rondeau observation – how beautiful. I also adore the month of September. My birthday is on the 4th, which means I won’t forget to toast your special day in Australia on the 5th.

      Reply
      • David Watt

        My birthday is on the 10th, just when the warmer weather
        commences here. I won’t forget your birthday now I know that it falls so close to mine.

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