To My Son Daniel on His Graduation Day

A poem in Milton’s unrhymed English heroic verse


You are the one in battle setting the
Trumpet to his mouth ready to rally
Scattered soldiers at the gen’ral’s command
In fever pitch pressures against all odds
Remaining confidently calm, catching
His glance as he nods to you to give blast
To brass that pushes back the fear and dark:
A holy sound in blade-spiked wrestling match
For truth, your eye piercing the confusion
To see the golden key to victory—

Your faith in Him

You are the one on mountain climbing peaks
Unmarked by man’s familiar, tamer trails
Off’ring slipp’ry surfaces to trekkers
Who would dare explore there—and yet you climb,
Tethered to your friends, the band of brothers
Faithful-fast to stand or fall or rise up
After tumble together dusting off
Debris of disappointment to move on
Ascending by one solid anchored point
Secure in unseen boulder far above—

Your hope in Him

You are the one at workshop underground
Off the gird and off the map but amply
Supplied with possibilities for the
Inventions your keen eye perceives could be
From all these parts and compositions set
Before you: fresh from the earth or salvaged
From the pile of forgotten machin’ry,
Here you see a whole city assembled
Where waterfalls frame skylines and homes host
Aviaries with eagles and [hidden rice] finches

Metropolis empowered with one source—
Your love for Him

  • Photo copyright Janos Gaspar  , #49249137. Swiss Alps: Jungfrau, Monch, Eiger North face,  and Mannlichen cable car station. Grindelwald, Bernese Oberland.
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