For Sam on His Graduation Day

In celebration of Samuel Benjamin Mähler’s graduation from high school, Friday, 14 May 2021. A blessing from his parents. Sam is the fifth and final child of Kurt and Karen Mahler, who are rich with three daughters, two sons, two sons-in-law, and a grandson. Sam is just as at home under the hood of a car as he is with a guitar. He is cool to little tikes and a comfort to the aged. We are proud of him as he contemplates a gap year after high school to invest in the nations.

The poem is written after the manner of John Milton’s unrhymed “English heroic verse” of ten or occasionally eleven syllables per line. Milton looked to ancient poets Homer and Virgil as precedents for unrhymed epic poetry.

You entered our drama as a drama
Passing through Caesarean straits into
Our arms carrying you from Pakistan
To Persia with Afghanistan your home
Until Kuwait and Boston unfolded
Manifold influences on your soul
(Yet never quenching your tongue’s Texan tone)

Growing you into God’s grand finale
To your siblings cheering you up the road
In breaking the tape of the test beyond
Our nest of nurture where truthful topsoil
Covered you, your root wrestling to find
The stream beneath the desert dunes of youth
Until artesian wells gushed up springing

No thanks to our upbringing but planted
Long before by Eden’s Gardner seeing
The two trees you would stand between and the
Tree He Himself would die on to open
Rivers of song, art, and joy cascading
Across Greece, Lebanon, Indonesia
–even Israel, where you never met

A stranger good humor couldn’t convert
To neighbor in the space of passing by
Cafés, metros, traffic cops becoming
A new creation family crossing creeds
To seeds of future orchards and vineyards
Carrying that same flood within you as
A living, singing river to the world

And now we hold our heads up to the one
Who’s grown beyond us, broad shoulders bearing
Possibilities near and far through straits
You yourself will choose as you win a crown
No Caesar ever grasped, which heaven’s King
Grants sons who place their plans like olive shoots
In God’s green hands un-uprooted and sure.

Be blessed, O Son, to run your marathon
At Heaven’s pace with heart that shall endure

© Kurt Mӓhler

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  • Joseph Helou (PhD) says:

    An amusing free style, unbridled by the shackles of rhyme that emerge, oft in undue time.
    I loved the smoothe stitching of the stages of growth.
    Much appreciated.
    Thanks dear Kurt.

  • Amy Curiel says:


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