the Man and me

the Man and me

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto

the Man and me




if he had been a writer, too

would Father have referred to my writing

as "just passable"



his engineer self

put together mechanically---

form and structure

but not the rhyme or meter kind


he never understood me

until his hair grew completely gray

and he let his beard grow out---


as if there was a part of him that wanted always

to rebel against the norm

against the upper class form


to find a certain construction

in things outside the box---

he lived within a world created for him

in refineries, New York offices

a marriage of moving upscale


of black and white

of things having a place and a place for things

of neatness


near perfection


kindness a bit soured with prejudice

a helping hand that might pick and choose


and words---

a strong voice


more technical in a hands-on sense

than a heart-on sense,

although in his core

deep love existed---

(he just most times hid

behind the gruff exterior of his life)


and it existed for me,

despite a side that lacked understanding

for what i was,

i wrote poems

his nomenclature for that was "hobby"


we didn't take each other seriously


until recently

even as the conversations diminished


found limits


love flourished

i still wrote poems

he acknowledged them

without really reading or understanding


but got "it"

whatever "it" was or is



he accepted, i accepted

and today we write together,

even though


i am still the one who holds the pen.




© 2017 jacob erin-cilberto

My Review

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This one brought tears to my eyes. Our fathers were from a generation that did not show much emotion and did not have much patience for poetry or art. They loved us and provided for us even if they never said the words "I love you." As they age, roles do reverse though. We understand more....perhaps because we are older now. You are so fortunate to still have a relationship with your dad. He is proud of you...believe that. Lydi**

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

very true...not much emotion, but much more in these later years...thank you, Lydi.
I think from the age of 3 till 11. Your father is the hero. Then after that he doesn't understand you.
You then drift apart. Years later you sort of tolerate each other. Sometimes becoming buddies.
Hope that's the case with you.

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

similar...but we have always been pretty good buddies...just very different when it comes to the art.. read more
As a father, I found it difficult to avoid trying to influence my son, who had decided to become an artist. My father thought me mad when I gave up a secure government job to become a scientific photographer.
Parental disapproval never succeeded in being
a bar in either case. Happiness and satisfaction wins out eventually.
You demonstrated this beautifully in your poem, Jacob.


Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

thank you for your very kind review, Norman---yes, wasn't an easy road all the time---he wasn't that.. read more
your father reminds me of people in my freshman year of college and my high school environmental science teacher. They would always pick on me because my major was English or I wanted to major in English, followed by "what would you do with it?" "English is useless" (of course that's why nobody uses it, right?). It used to bug me, even got to me so bad I changed my major until I came right back to my love for literature.

I came to the conclusion that the love and passion I have for literature fulfills me and everyone is looking for that fulfillment in different ways.

I loved how you described your father. My favorite lines were this: "of black and white
of things having a place and a place for things
of neatness
near perfection" they showed a great contrast between the eyes of a poet, and the eyes of someone with a completely different view. Poetry can be messy, outside the box, and full of bursting color/possibilities.

Thought provoking write.


Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

thank you for sharing how you relate, Jazz....yes, exactly what my dad said once about my poetry," c.. read more
Some people are football fans that would never read a poem. That type of thing is too flowery and weak for them. The same holds true with hands-on people. If it has no machinery, no gears, no parts, they don't understand it. They don't understand the people that participate in poetry and writing.

Understanding another's mind is not always easily grasped by some. Time must be taken. Yet, when the wall is slowly chipped away, there is not only an allowance but a degree of love that blossoms.

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

very insightful words, Pale...thank you for them...

This is a very touching piece Jacob! I am so glad I took a few to peek into today🙄back a bit later for more easy reading. Happy Friday!

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

thank you for your words, Queenie..

I remember my niece in this piece. She's into visual arts. Sure, we support her on what she does but some members of the family may have preconditioned her to chose a more traditional profession in the future instead of focusing on arts.

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

yes, that is in so many families, and so unfortunate...
the arts have their place and some ar.. read more
There is a certain sadness throughout this piece and a touch of resigned resentment as reflection on years of non-approval bit into the psyche. The ending is of course a resolution and an acquiescence to the maturing of the love bond that bound the protagonist and his father despite the rejection felt. A poem full of insight, confused emotion and love Jacob.

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

thank you for your kind review, John...

You eventually appealed to--and reached--your father's beatnik, hippie, artistic side.
Now, you and he rock on--even though, you're the one who still holds the pen.

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

thank you for your insights, Jimmy...a long road it's been, indeed.

They say the Apple doesn't fall far from the tree but maybe it rolls a fair but. Then when it takes root itself they can grow closer and their branches share the same space and Sun.
A lovely coming of that other age Jacob. Truly beautiful writing from the heart.

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

i like how you used the phrase, " A lovely coming of that other age"
i like that...thank you,.. read more
Tony Jordan

1 Year Ago

My pleasure Jacob. :)

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31 Reviews
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Added on January 13, 2017
Last Updated on January 13, 2017


jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL

Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..


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