Ten Things My Daughter Should Know

Darling, there’s a few things
I’ve learned toiling away
on this Earth, that’ve made
a blue-collar, street
smart scholar of my earlier

You may not have immediately
noticed it, but there’s been
a few trips to
Hell and back

touching devilish
walls in amazement,
stonework arrangements in
mercurial halls,
yet my modest
shawl was not
enough to keep me
warm in
their presence.

These are lessons excavated
from those uncharted depths,
where pieces of me got
caught in their
sympathies and were left like
meat for hungry wolves.

Don’t grab bulls by their
horns if you desire no 
appreciations for

The only true victor
in war is he
who doesn’t
care who’s

so long as
quarrels continue.

Truth is
one perspective, and no
mortal possesses it, only their
own version of

Sarcasm is
the coin flip
of humour, and the only
rumours worth a damn are
ones you forge yourself to
be passed along.

Nothing in this life will love you like
the song playing on
the day it was
raining cats
and dogs.

Nobody’s God is more
real or less
legitimate but we’ll
be fighting over fiction until
the end of time.

A poem doesn’t have
to rhyme, but it’s
guaranteed mine will never
break from iambic
panic, sandwiched between
true meter and mimes.

Do what you love, because it
can all be undone chasing a
price tag.

If you ever meet the
romantic you’re not, and he doesn’t
wince when you talk,

you may be onto
something special.

Godspeed, my love-

I hope your
journey will prove
something far less



42 thoughts on “Ten Things My Daughter Should Know

  1. “The only true victor
    in war is he
    who doesn’t
    care who’s

    This has a ring of truth to it for me despite my own naïveté about war.


  2. I’ve read a lot of your poetry over the last year, but never have you mixed this level of emotional resonance with this level of technical mastery. Your seminal poem, in my opinion. Submit it everywhere, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you do give these teachings to your future (or present) daughter, she would be proud to have a dad like yours. If I were to point one thing I liked I would end to copy pasting all of it. I do think “iambic panic” was a originally, smart choice.

    This is an extremely powerful piece!! Love it.


  4. Hi, was reading phone while trying to get my head ready to go back to sleep and read your poem. If your daughter is anything like mine, I’m sure she’s busy hacking her own path through the jungle (so to speak) and not too inclined to adhere to your ‘hell and back’ wisdom.
    Anyway, a few of the points didn’t fully connect with me so I tried to break down its meaning for a bit of sleep deprived fun. Take it or leave it.
    Thanks, Dan

    1. Don’t take stuff head on unless you’re prepared to be potentially damaged by its impact.
    2. In conflicts that become perpetuated by attrition and lose any end point, it is best to find an alternative, positive focused existence somewhere else (life’s too short)
    3. ‘Truth’ is subjective
    4. Using sarcasm to generate humour isn’t very reliable; bit hit and miss.
    5. Don’t be overly concerned by your perception of how you are perceived (?!) or any other existing narrative amongst your peers than the one are cultivating to be the true you.
    6. Music is your best friend (especially when you feel pushed into a corner)
    7. Religion is an interminable fantasy that is based on make-beliefs but it’s exponents think it is worth killing and dying for. It seems like human societies will never get over it and move on.
    8. Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme, as this poem is testament.
    9. Don’t sell out on your dreams.
    10. If you meet a potential partner that seems to offer a wilfulness, imagination and sense of possibility that you feel you may lack then that could be a good match for you. Fire and water etc..
    All in all, I hope you’re journey is blessed (figuratively speaking) and it has a less negative impact than my own journey in life.


  5. This is brilliant. I smiled on more than one occasion, nodded in recognition on others, and paused to admire many of the intellectual ideas, while marveling at the combined effect of poetic techniques, mixed with raw emotional value. The alliteration and repetition of sounds works extravagantly well here, and the message is as clear as it is precise. This is one of those rare gems one cannot help but think about long after the tab has been closed. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I too have a daughter and am inspired to write my own ten things she should know now that she’s still young enough to hear me out, and when these days turn into teenage years when hearing me means only that my mouth is moving, I will store the poem in her dresser along with the letter her father wrote to her before she was born, and wait until she’s ready to listen again. Thank you for the inspiration.


  7. Wonderful poem. I really like your, “iambic panic” stanza, and your internal rhyme. Your poems have a musical quality. Also, I like the last word. Surprising and satisfying. Thanks for reading my work on SereneArtist.


  8. I would keep reading till it isn’t my eyes perusing but the consciousness of a son uttering every word as they appear before him even while awakening from a sudden slumber. Good Piece…!


  9. beautiful words.
    these lines struck a chord
    “The only true victor
    in war is he
    who doesn’t
    care who’s

    so long as
    quarrels continue.

    Truth is
    one perspective, and no
    mortal possesses it, only their
    own version of


  10. A poem I will save for my daughter to read when she’s grown enough. By the way, I use to call myself an aspiring write until someone said “There is no such thing as an aspiring writer. Its either you are a writer or you are not a writer. If you write you are a writer, and if don’t, well…” So I decided to start. Please check out my page.


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