Filled

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Filled 

Tired and happy

My heart is full

I close my eyes
to end a great day
Another great day

I am a lucky guy
With all that I have
With all of those
who fill my heart

A wonderful family
who don’t judge
Who want nothing
but the best
for me

So many good friends
Unbelievable friends
who are always there
No matter what
this crazy life
brings my way

A modest home
where my heart resides
That reflects who I am
Where my mind
rests peacefully
after another
great day

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Brink

BRINK


What do I do

if I start to fall again?
Do I pull myself up, take a step back, 
and brush off the possibilities?
Should I just back away now,
or approach the probability? 
I shudder when I think
of going through it all again
Yet, I’m on the brink
of colliding with now and then
I could just decide, right now,
that it’s time to say when
  
Brush it all off, 
before I get hurt again?


Why am I so afraid

of feeling fulfilled?
Do I ignore my heart, at this moment,
and turn off the possibilities?
Is it safer to back away now,
to avoid the probability? 
Give in to my head,
and seize the chance to leave
Slink away from a temptation
that I can barely conceive
With my worn-out heart
clinging to my sleeve

Turn it all off,
and just leave?


Why am I so worried

about being selfish?
Was I not searching, and hoping,
for the possibilities?
Do I really want to back away
from a healthy probability?
My instincts are whispering,
get away, you are getting close 
Yet, there is a reason why
you are the one that I chose
Where we are headed,
neither one of us knows

I just hope that I am prepared
before I get too close.


My smile seems to have an answer,

and here it is, I suppose…
This may be possible, probably.
Let’s just see how it goes.

Implicit

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Implicit

I sense it in your demeanor

I hear it in your voice
You’d appreciate my input
to steer you to your choice
You are hesitant. I understand.
The long-term is your concern
You digest the output
from my live and learn

The strength of our friendship
is our mutual respect
My honest thoughts
are all you can expect
Frank and forward,
telling it like it is
My honest observations
go something like this

Age is just a number,
as the saying goes
It’s really just a matter
of who knows
Fifty-three, the new forty-three
Forty-two, so thirty-two?
All that matters, really,
is her,  plus you

Perspective is everything,
when it comes to the heart
You are far better together
than when you’re apart
Fulfillment is truly reciprocal
It’s all about how you feel
If it feels best together,
what you have is real

So much common outlook,
that it’s effortless to share
Life is far more full
when you’re both there
The physical, the cerebral
The intimacy, the fun
Life seems more complete
when any two are one

We are in absolute agreement,
that the enemy is regret
It becomes more assured and clear
with the further we get
My words are implicit,

coming from the right place
As honest, and reassuring,
as the smile on your face


I sensed it in your ease
I can hear it in your voice
Both relaxed, and relieved
with your obvious choice
You are happy. Bottom line.
Nothing selfish in that smile
You’ve known what you want
for quite a while

Deliberation


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Deliberation

It’s been a full and active day already,
with even more still on my plate.
Feeling pretty sluggish at half past ten.
Been going since this morning at eight.

Some friends I saw earlier, are visiting from Toronto.
Was planning to meet them later for drinks.
I am going to have a hot shower first,
and then I will see what my body thinks.

I toss my shirt and gitch in the laundry
and grab my bath towel from off the rack.
As I leave my room, I hear a faint whisper,
so I stop, I listen, and then I go back.

Scanning the room from the doorway
I can see, of course, that there’s nobody there.
Must be my phone, in the pocket of my jeans
which earlier I’d slung over the back of the chair.

I slide my cell phone out, and I take a look.
Nothing to see there but my cover screen.
No open apps, or videos playing,
so I slide it back in, to where it had been.

Turning once more to leave, I hear it again.
This time a little louder, and a little more clear.
It seems to be coming from near my bed,
and the voice I hear says, “Gary come here.”

A little less tired now, and a lot more freaked out,
I inch a little closer, and the voice speaks again.
This time adament, with much more authourity.
“Do you really need to go out? It’s well after ten.”

“Who’s there?”, I ask, speaking to no one,
looking in the direction of the pyjamas on my bed.
“Who are you, and what do you want with me?”
“I want you stay home tonight, just like I said.”

Now certain that I must be hallucinating,
I flee my room and head down the hall,
past the closet and toward the bathroom,
rocking the print that hangs on the wall.

I come face to face with myself in the mirror.
Needing a reality check, I smack my cheek.
Feeling it’s sting, I speak my thoughts aloud.
“It has been a busy day. And a very busy week.”

Still hoping that a shower might wake me up,
I hang up my towel and pull back the curtain.
Spend equal time washing, and convincing myself,
“pyjamas can’t talk, of that I am certain.”

I finish up with a cold blast of water, 
with similar results as the slap to my face.
If I am going downtown I had better hurry.
With renewed focus I pick up the pace.

Wrapped in my towel and rapt in thought,
I strategize my night while I brush my hair.
Thinking now of my best way to travel,
glasses or contacts, and what shirt to wear.

Distracted by the tasks on my mental list
and the momentum of my slight energy burst,
I find myself standing back in my room,
with a tall glass of water to quench my thirst.

After a lengthy guzzle, I reach for my jeans,
pull one pant leg up and then make it two.
As I tighten my belt I hear a different voice,
“So glad we’re going out, Gary. Good for you.”

I take a quick step back, with an audable shriek,
knock over the glass in my astounded haste.
“It’s me Gene, Hey, I’m right down here.”
The words seem to have come from below my waist.

“Good thing you didn’t listen to that guy.
He’s flat and lazy, and a complete bore.
Grab your cash and your keys.  I’ve got your cell. 
Let’s call a cab and we can wait by the door.”

“Who you calling flat? You denim deadbeat!”
My head jerks quickly in the direction of my bed.
“Ya you, Levi, with your zipper and your attitude.”
And yes, I clearly just heard what my pyjamas said.

“Always making this guy empty your pockets.
Give him a break. Your material is wearing thin.
He is a bad influence on you Gary. Take a night off.
Listen to PJ, get comfortable with me and stay in.”

“Come on lounge boy! Don’t zap his momentum.
You, with your save some money, save your liver crap.
He knows when to say when, and it ain’t now.
Not with good friends, and so many good beers on tap.”

At this point, stuck in the middle, I decide to just go with it.
I muster up some courage and I join in the debate.
“Gene, I get it, you have some some very valid points.
And PJ, I am tired, and been going non-stop since eight.”

Immersed in this, and actually needing to make a decision,
I get an idea, that gives both sides a chance.
I take off the jeans, or Gene, and I lay them/him on the bed.
I will take some time to think, and decide between pjs or pants?

“When I get back from finishing in the bathroom, I’ll choose.
You two try to get along. I’m giving myself ten minutes to decide.”
My underwear and I depart, back down the hall to brush my teeth,
both with a vested interest in selecting one side.

As I floss and weigh both of the night’s options,
I can feel the cumulative effects of all that I did today.
Yet, it would be nice to see Greg and Chrissy again.
I only saw them for a bit, and they did come all this way.

Spitting out the last swish of my mouthwash,
a realization comes over me, and suddenly I know.
I figure, if any of my clothes are speaking to me,
I obviously need some rest, so it’s wiser not to go.

I make it official, by going from contacts to glasses,
confident and pleased with the logic I choose.
Proud of myself for deciding to be responsible,
I return to my room, to deliver the news.

I can hear some murmuring and muffled obscenities.
The bickering gets louder as I walk through the door.
Once inside, however, I am met with complete silence,
fully expecting to find one of them lying on the floor.

Still side by side on the bed, are anxious jeans and pyjamas.
And you could cut the tension with a knife.
I preface my delivery with some token respect,
“I appreciate your concern fellas, but it is my life.”

“While I am seldom one to let responsibility slow me down,
I do have to learn, sometime, when I’ve had enough.
After careful deliberation, I’ve decided to stay home.
Sorry about that Gene, but if you don’t like it, tough.”

“A little harsh Gary, but I suppose it’s okay, just this once.
But I hope you don’t make it a habit to be so boring.
Because there is nothing more sad or pathetic
than a lazy ass, on a Saturday, at eleven, snoring.”

“Point taken Gene. Speaking of a little harsh.”
I toss him in the basket with the other dirty guys.
“I guess it’s you and me PJ, let’s watch some tv.”
“Good idea Gary. And you’re not boring, you are wise.”

I immediately feel comfortable as I put on the pyjamas,
adding a sweat shirt to my lack of cares.
After texting my friends to politely apologize,
I refill my water and we head down the stairs.

After flipping on a lamp, I turn on the television,
pick up a remote that had fallen on the floor.
I plop myself down into my favourite lazy boy,
which seems oddly appropriate, because of before.

“There is nothing wrong with a nice night in.
It doesn’t always have to be go, go, go.”
That was just me, justifying to myself,
wanting to make sure, that both of us know.

Finally settled, I scroll through my movies choices.
“Don’t sit there. Come lie down with me. No need to slouch.”
I am more exasperated, really, than surprised.
It’s a sexy female voice, coming from the couch.

Swimmer

Swimmer
I had been treading water

for far too long,
when all I wanted to do
was swim
Head and shoulders
above the surface,
scanning the horizon,
 for a life beyond him
Sometimes, just floating,
motionless, on my back
Alone with my thoughts,
staring into the sky
Worrying, wondering,
can I move on? 
Still not quite sure,
but I know I must try

Standing near the edge,
I look for my place
I am in no hurry,
unsure of my needs
It’s natural to hesitate
with the unfamiliar
I search the shallows,
leery of the weeds
I want to get going
away from the past, 
somewhat certain
I am over that hump.
When the time is right
I will find the spot
I will get in for my swim,
but I will not jump

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Sticking one foot in
to test the water,
I am tempted to dive,
but mindful of my haste
Wading into the unknown,
both cautious and curious
Safer to get in slowly,
just up to my waist
The farther I venture,
the deeper I will get
The calmer the current,
the more risks I’ll take
In the waves of my worries
it seems like the ocean
When I rise above it,
I will see it’s a lake

There is so much of life
that I still want to feel
So much about living,
that I still want to know
Strong and steady,
I swim into the distance
The less I look back,
the further I’ll go
Buoyed by my family
and a lifeline of friends,
I am content where I am,
but searching for more
Rough waters behind me,
I look toward my future
If I see love on the horizon,
I will head for that shore

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Past

“So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light…
Just promise me we’ll be alright
But the ghosts that we knew made us black and all blue
But we’ll live a long life
And the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view
And we’ll live a long life”
‘Ghosts That We Knew’
– Mumford & Sons


Past

I took a chance
and let you into my heart.
I let all of my feelings show.
Uprooted my life,
for me and you,
but little did I know.


I discovered your wounds,

written in your own words,
there, for anyone to see.
Cuts and bruises,
vital accumulation,
scars, that you never showed me.

The breadth of your struggles,
so much I didn’t know,
spread across my screen.
Instead of in my mind.
Instead of in my heart,
where they should have been.

I took your determination,
for never again,
as a personal affront.
Your learned defensive posture
as harsh belligerence,
 you just being you, being blunt.

Your fierce independence
was stubborn vulnerability.
Your frustration, was our fate.
The voice of your experience,
sad and specific,
finally heard, but far too late.

I would have tried harder
to let you speak to me,
to let your words get through.
I could have helped you 
confront your demons,
instead of confronting you.

 It became impossible
to live with you
when you wouldn’t let me in.
Hard for us
to start over,
with nowhere to begin.

Had I only known
 the slippery slope
  of dealing with your past.
Known that I would struggle
to wade through
the depths
and dangers of your doubt.

I still would have wanted you.
I still could have loved you.
I would have understood.
I could have pulled you out.


I chose the challenge,

and gave you my heart.
Let all of my feelings show.
Uprooted my life,
to be with you,
but little did I know.


If only I had known,
I could have earned your trust.
I would have opened up my mind.
Instead, I read of our demise,

   determined before we met,
 by those you left behind.

Takers, martyrs, bullies,
sad and hurtful people,
there on my screen.
Instead of in our talks.
Instead of in my thoughts,
where they should have been.

 Until I read it,
I never once heard you 

refer to your mother as
Mom.
In fact, I barely knew
where all of the hurt
and resentment
were from.

Never could I picture, you,
together with your ex.

Made no sense to me at all.
And, until I read the name,
  typed in bold hostility,
I had never heard of Paul.

Bitterness and bravado.
 Broken pieces of the past,
clenched inside your fist.
   Our time, our spirit,
spent fighting with your ghosts.
One more added to the list.

It’s tough to share
with someone
who barely gives.
Hard to live
with someone
who reluctantly lives.

Had I only known
the bleak history
of your emotional pain.
The depths to which
those before me
had sunk inside your mind.
I still would have wanted you.
I still could have loved you.
I would have understood.
I could have been more kind.

I gave you my heart.
Had I only known…

 

 

Desensitized

Desensitized

My inner voice is muffled by my apathy,
now but a dull monotone of exasperation…

I saw the news scroll by, just before 9:00
Made a vague mental note of where and when
My immediate reaction was indifference
Didn’t bother to look, until a little after 10
What once was a cry of shock and disbelief,
was little more than a feint echo of ‘not again’


Appalled, by my complacency
Stunned, that I was not more sad
Concerned, yes, but not that surprised
More annoyed really, than mad
Uncaring and ashamed
My heartbeat but a dull ache
Desensitized and demoralized
How much death did it take?


My outlook is deplorable, yet realistic,
never once thinking that this can’t happen again…

What I read was just more of the same, only more so
Fifty-plus dead, thousands of lives changed forever
Was not surprised by how many were killed
More surprised that is was the most gunned down ever
It’s America, remember, the land of opportunity,
so you can never ever say ‘never’


Embarrassed, by my attitude
Disgusted, that I see it that way
Dismayed, yes, but not surprised
Another senseless act, another senseless day
Inconsiderate and detached
My heart too hardened to break
Desensitized and demoralized
How many dead does it take?


My curiosity is peaked by the degree of absurdity,
with the same simple questions every time… 

Another homicidal and suicidal loose cannon
Elevated to fame, by an amendment carved in stone
The only unpredictable part of the story was him
Famous now, without ever being known
How can these dudes still get automatic weapons?
How many guns can one crazy man own?

Irritated, by my frustration
Worried, that I chose the lower road
Jaded, yes, but not surprised
Loaded questions, I will inevitably reload
Disjointed and exhausted
My mind cynical, for my heart’s sake
Desensitized and demoralized
How many guns does it take?

There

 

Shallow

Shallow
So many faces,
just this week.
Most of them
are but a blur.
Flashing by me,
as I refuse.
Pausing, briefly, 
as I concur.

At my computer,
sitting in judgment.
Picking and choosing
on a casual glance.
Swiping my phone
past faceless heads.
If there’s no photo,
you miss your chance.

I thumb my way 
through someone’s hopes,
the honest submission
  of a lonely soul.
Personal insights,
for my perusal.
Wishful thinking,
under my control.

One, of every thirty,
manage to satisfy
my shallow criteria,
my superficial need.
The rest, apparently,
are unimportant.
Carefully chosen words, 
I can’t be bothered to read.

How many times,
just today,
did some decent person
do the same to me?
Drift on by,
with their own standards. 
This dude is too old.
I don’t like what I see.

Fair is fair,
as they say.
It’s a two-way stream.
To each, his or her own.
We both may have missed
a hell of a catch.
Two more thrown back,
into the great unknown.

Okay, so…

Attractive picture,
check mark.
Lives fairly close,
there’s two.
The requisite interests
and required numbers.
Yes. You’ve been chosen,
hurray for you.

Now we begin
the message game.
Spurting out sentences
to lure a reaction.
With honest intentions
I revisit her disclosure.
I extract her own words,
for her satisfaction.

We both have kids 
to brag about.
Claim to like music,
so there’s that.
Slowly, painfully slow,
we find out more.  
The more we find out,
the more we chat.

Back and forth,
we give, we take.
It’s serious business,
  when it should be fun.
Often left dangling
by my own line.
Hooking my ego
to the last one.

Finally, exhausted,
I cast out an invitation,
thankful we are done
discussing the weather.
Patiently, I await
her obvious response.
After all of this typing,
we’ll be getting together.

It’s Thursday for drinks,
we both took the bait.
Some candid conversation,
our next place to start.
We’ve gone this far,
through uncharted waters.
A first date might be
the easiest part.

 

 

 

 

 

Hatred

                HATRED 
Hate came to town today
dressed in white supremacy.
Neo-Nazi indignation,
Anti-Semitic ugliness,

masked and marching,
in a cavalcade of the obtuse.
A mounted symbol of slavery
deployed as a lightning rod.
A rusted relic, a reminder,

as a spark for uncivil unrest.
A statue of limitation,
disguised as a pointed excuse.

Steaming cauldrons
of racist contempt.
Trumped-up tension,
rocking violently,
teetering, on the thin lever
of our deepest fears.
Boiling vessels
of blood and bigotry.
Hatred and ignorance,
spilling over,
scalding our common decency,
after simmering for eight years

Hate came to town
waving a confederate flag.
White bred nationalism,
with automatic weapons,
carrying the Klan torch,
still lost in the dark.
Unwilling and unable
to see the light of today.
From candles and smart phones
to the pall of burning crosses.
Taking America back,
in Emancipation park.

Right-wing extremity
for all the world to see.
A car, used as a weapon,
driven by intolerance.
Four wheeled empowerment,
the basest depths of cowardice.
A century and a half
of deep-seated contempt.
Hatred and ignorance,
a stark picture of America,
still in black and white.

Tell me, please, what year is this?

Hate came to Charlottesville
and the president was indifferent.
Splitting thinning hairs,
divided by his loyalties,
shrugging off responsibility
like a coward in the fray.
Puny, meagre condemnation
on a historical, immoral stage.
Commander of the white alt-right,
placing blame “on many sides”,
simply walked out of the room
on this dark and dire day.

 

Brusque

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Brusque

Opinions, for the ears of everybody
Words, of a mind for only one
You talk and you talk a good game
When, actually, you have none
A misplaced sense of self-importance
Confident, to the point of delusion
Constantly rubbing people the wrong way
A reality, wrapped inside an illusion

What colour is the sky in your world?
Does the sun only shine when you’re in it?
Is the planet lonely with just the one person?
Does it only turn when you spin it?

An endless list of those you’ve alienated
Astounded, by your condescending tone
An ego, that pierces the thickest of skin
Daggers, from a mind all your own
Common denominator to many problems
Divisor, for those who cross your path
You are 100% certain, and 90% wrong
Little remains, when you do the math

What colour is the sky in your world?
Is it grey and spattered with dots?
Do you ever get to see the sunlight?
Is it overcast, clouded by your thoughts?

You ride in on your high horse
Give the royal wave to all you pass
Those who don’t acknowledge you
Can just kiss your royal ass
You share a seat with your superiority
Oblivious to the ooze that you spill
Sitting smugly beside your judgement
In a sticky puddle of your ill will

What colour is the sky in your world?
Is it showering blood, instead of rain?
Are you sheltered beneath your thin cover?
Or drenched, in the red of your disdain?

It is by no means an overstatement
Your demeanour is your disguise, your demise
Whenever you reveal your true self
It’s like a storm, sweeping the skies
From the nasty depths of self-absorption
Blunt statements, soaked in the odd
Revealed, one assumption at a time
From beneath your shallow façade

What colour is the sky in your world?
Does anyone ever reach you there?
Perhaps someone should tell you?
Would you really even care?

 

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