PERFECT POEM NOMINEE: ‘Dear Dad’ by Bella Poetry


The 4th annual Word N Sound Awards are almost here where we will salute an extraordinary league of writers those who have worked hard and stood out on the Word N Sound stage in 2015. We celebrate excellence in our craft with eight prestigious awards including Poet of the Year, Poetry League Champion, Best Newcomer, Word N Sound Honours, Best Showcase, Perfect Poem Award, Innovation Award.

‘Dear Dad’ by Bella Poetry has been shortlisted for a 2015 Word N Sound Perfect Poem Award. Read her poem below and cast your vote (you can vote every hour).

Voting closes at 20:00 on Sun 31 Jan. You can vote once every hour. The 4th Word N Sound Awards will take place on Sat 6 Feb at the Market Theatre Lab in Newtown.


Dear Dad,
We don’t have those types of conversations.
The feelings of our souls are conveyed through different tongues
and you left too long ago to ever learn my heart’s songs.
I guess you never meant to stay.

Dear Dad,
I do not use that word.
It has never quite felt deserved, imbued with respect and love you left it out in the rain, on the curb, alone, to shrivel into nothing.
-No meaning can be gleaned from smeared ink on fly away paper.-
The syllable hangs lifeless in my mouth from a noose
you knotted there so many birthdays ago, unable to come lose.

Dear You,
I think ‘father’ is more suitable.
It betrays nothing of the emotional,
And the distance is pushed wider by the addition of ‘biological’
On fire-fuelled days, I reduce your role to the mere functional –
Sperm donor.
I say it with venom.
Insinuate cups and syringes, test tubes and needles;
perhaps if the process were clinical the abandonment would not seem quite so pitiful!

Dear Donor,
I met a girl.
She turned my head like a sunflower to the sun
And now she lights my path with every one
Of her radiant smiles,
Through my tear stained eyes, the effect is a rainbow,
Proving to me the truth that pain and joy combined
Is what creates the most beauty. —
Dear 23-Chromosome-Giver,
You met a girl.
Did you ever even love her? –
The woman you made your understudy in being my caregiver.
She is an over-used, underpaid actress in uncomfortable roles that you forced onto her!
I suppose the letters are stronger in the word “mother” –
Able to replace you, support me and love both me and my sister.

Dear Betrayer,
How could you?
They say; “men must carve their dreams into weapons,”
So what kind of horrorstruck nightmare must I have been,
For you to aim those guns at me?
To swap sides in a war, and turn on those you were fighting for
Is an act considered criminal (by law)
But you still left these family trenches unmanned and vulnerable
This nuclear unit was yours to defend and protect,
So what kind of man are you to choose neglect?

Dear Abandoner,
No entiendes nada.
De mis gustos, de mis odios, ni de mi vida.
And I have to shout at you in Spanish because your love for me
did not even extend to the purchasing of an English dictionary!
No puedo llamarte ‘mi padre’.

Dear Stranger,
You do not belong here.
Pack up your nothing-filled words, remove them from my heart whose chambers are already bursting with empty spaces, waiting for actors to play roles they ran away from.
There is no more room for empty promises here.
I can no longer save seats for fickle audience members in my living theatre!

Dear Dad…
Consider this the funeral of our pretend love and this dead-to-me syllable.
You were never meant to stay.
You and I, were never.

by Bella Poetry

Read the rest of the poems nominated for the 2015 Word N Sound Perfect Poem Award:


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