Incendiary

                    Incendiary 
Resplendent under the night sky
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Her allure, all but inescapable
She summons, then she seduces
You’d resist, but you’re incapable

Helpless, you gravitate to her
Your attention compulsively drawn
Stoked, with sensory anticipation

Eyes cast, over the glistening lawn

The faint moon peers cautiously down
A vague thought in the distance
Her will, demanding your presence

Her passion, breathing insistence

As enticing as she is unpredictable
Her intensity, pushes you away
Her warmth, always pulls you back 
Her intrigue, compels you to stay

Both incendiary and intoxicating  
She has curious hypnotic powers
Getting lost in the possibilities
You could gaze at her for hours

You find nuances to her every hue
The lick of her playful flames
Dancing in different directions
Engaged in spirited games

Provide what she needs, she exhales
Nourished, she swells from inside
Ignore her, or leave her unattended
And her fervor will slowly subside

Reminded of her precarious nature
Her sudden sparks keep you leery
Yet, beside her, you find soothing comfort 
And a warmth that makes you weary

An empty glass resting beside you
You bask, in the waning glow
As difficult as it is to get up
You both just seem to know

You rise, as the last of her falls
It is not the will that you lack
Recovering your balance, your focus
You take one hopeful look back

Spent, you find a flicker of life
Your pleasure, impossible to hide
The smell of the night on your body
You let the stars guide you inside

 

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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?

 

Dinner

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Dinner

I will raise a glass tonight
and drink to you.
Red wine with dinner
or, perhaps, a cold beer.
I will imagine,
as I sometimes do,
what it would be like
if you could still be here.

The wonderful comfort
of a family gathering.
A backyard barbecue
or, perhaps, a dinner out.
I will remember,
as I often do,
all the little things
that this life is about.

The simple satisfaction
of a table set for many.
Candles on a birthday cake
or, perhaps, an apple pie.
I will look around,
as I usually do,
feel extremely fortunate
and know exactly why.

Tonight, I will say a few words
in honour of you Norm.
Break bread with your granddaughters
and, perhaps, toss a salad in a bowl.
Sit at the head of the table,
as I proudly do,
as a kind and giving father 
content in his role.
—————
You would be eighty-five today,

if you were with us.
There is one less table setting
so, perhaps, you are not.
But we celebrate you today,
as we always will,
because this birthday meal
gives us food for thought.

 

Hip

 

If this is it,
then so it shall be.
I want you to know,
it means a lot to me.

                        

                       Hip
Lining up at the campus pub

1985, a cold stubby in my hand
Doors would eventually open
No cover, for a cool cover band
Some suggested Jim Morrison
Felt more like a Rolling Stone
A mix of B-sides and originals
The hip vibe, definitely their own

A different stage, Lakeview Manor
People from miles around
A fan base that had grown
Along with their singular sound
An E.P and a break-through
Up To Here, and it was time to go
As good as each next album was
It was more about the live show

Passing on some arena gigs
Four of us, in my father’s car 
Five and a half hours south
The Hip experience, in an unhip bar
Taking a break from winter
With our Canadian content in tow
Sharing our rock n roll landscape
With those who might not know.

A slice of our identity
A uniquely Canadian sound
Taking our reciprocal pride
and passing it around

No matter where this life takes you
it’s good to know
that you can always come home…
Back to your family and your friends
with stories of where you’ve been
To the harmony of your hometown
To where you always begin
Accompanied by the music of your life,
that defines you from within.


Outside at The Forum, August ’91

Bigger stage, overflowing crowd
The same electric atmosphere
For the appreciative and proud
Reconnected with a great friend
Gary and Hodgie, the Queen’s years
Kingston to Toronto, and back
A hug, The Hip, and a couple of beers

A common thread of identity
The words, drums, the guitars
Intimate and intertwined
under a constellation of stars


Fast forward 25 years, Ottawa

Tailgating, second to last show
We are raucous, we are ready
Inspired by what we know
A brave, triumphant journey
Our home and our native land
Man Machine Poem, and mutual respect 
The storyteller, their crowd, this band

It’s not about patriotic pathos
It’s a celebration, for 30 plus years
It’s new songs mixed with older
Rhythmic recollection, maybe a few tears
It’s whole cities of support
An entire country, and its heart
Lyrically linked, together as one
Joined at the Hip, from the start.

The strength of our identity20170731_185540
The pulse of a nation
A Tragically Hip tune
on a radio station

No matter where the music takes you

it’s good to know
You can always come home…
Back to those perennial seeds,

the ones you chose to sew
Firmly planted, in hometown soil
The seeds that helped you grow
Pride, a poet, and a band of brothers,
home for one more show.

Last night…     

A front row seat in Port Perry
It’s Scotty, Tim, Peter and me
A musical postcard from Kingston
The Tragically Hip, in a pub, for free
Honoured guest at a party for all of us
August 20, 2016, a tall pint, a toast, a sip
A thoughtfully wrapped three-hour gift
To Canada, with love, from The Hip.


If that was it,
then so it shall be.
I want you to know,
it meant a lot to me.

Thank you.
            G.G.
Kingston, ON
August 21, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headline

Headline
You instantly stop everything
Eating, drinking, breathing

Hesitate before continuing
Pausing, considering, reading

You float for a moment
Hovering, above the news
Suspended, out-of-body
With the worst of views

It just doesn’t seem possible
Conceivable, thinkable, plausible
Yet, there it is, clearly legible
Believable, credible, probable

Seeing it, in black and white
Jagged, brutal, true
Unconscionable meets real
As it penetrates you
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Dead. Killed. Murdered.
Gone.  Lost.  Taken
Certain. Senseless. Final.
Deflated. Shattered. Shaken

Blood and air draining
Legs, faltering below
You sink into the chair
You have read, and you know

Bold, pointed letters
Piercing hearts, puncturing lives
Cutting, stabbing, slicing
Words, as sharp as knives

 

 

Ascend

ASCEND
I thought that I was strong

and focused
and wise
Then pain came along
and clouded my eyes
Feb. 3rd.
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Physical pain
with its fists
with its knife
The singular beat downs
and the double life

Bravely buried face
belying its agony
denying its control
Digging myself deeper
into a cavernous hole

Psychological pain
with its depression
with its doubt
The sinking in
and the lashing out

Dirty dark delusion
outside of my head
inside of my gut
The filthy depths
of my rotted rut

Emotional pain
with its superiority
with its second face
The nightly bring downs
putting me in my place

Soiled sullen eyes
unable to sleep
unwilling to see
The smudge of support
lying with me


I thought that I was alone

with my pain
and my compromise

Then healing arrived
to lift up my eyes
Sun for Every

Holistic healing
with healthier habits

without the medication
A stairway between me
and my situation

Patience plus purpose
in a manner of time
and a matter of space
An unobstructed view
from a loftier place

Professional healing
with nothing to lose
with everything to gain
A lucid escape
from my pit of pain

Calm cleansing clarity
sure answers
assured absolution
A clean break
from all of the pollution

My healing family
all of the conversations
none of the demanding

A tower of compassion
and understanding

Brightened blue eyes
able to dream
ascending to see
A horizon of hope
in front of me

 

BOUNDLESS

                    
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BOUNDLESS  (for Anna)

A limitless future 
  as vast as the sky
A reachable distance
when you dare to try


Attainable goals

  as close as they are high
Boundless potential

  and the reasons why…


You are intelligent

and you are strong.
You easily distinguish
the right from the wrong.

You are ambitious.
You are dedicated.
Your work ethic prevails
when you are underrated.

You are athletic
  and you are kind.
Your distinct determination
  is both body and mind.

You are confident.
You are sincere.
You will be more than ready
when your time draws near.

You are talented
and you are brave.
You’ve earned this opportunity
through the effort you gave.

You are motivated.
   You are mature. You are wise.
You will surpass your goals 
  to no one’s surprise.


It is all yours for the taking

  Who you are, Anna, is the reason why
Boundless and limitless
So reach for the sky

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Answer

              Answer

When am I the happiest?                     Family25-5x7
When I am with you.
What is the most fun?
The things that we do.
Sports and travel.
Laughter. Games.
Family and friends.
Daughters. Names.
Anna Kate
      and
Erin Elaine.
The answer is always the same.

The source of my contentment?
As clear as can be.
Love and time and us.
Happy Every Day to me.

 

Rain

           RAIN

I open my window,
a crack,
just to hear you
You have this way,
a knack,
when I’m near you
I close my eyes
and listen 
Imagine the leaves,
their glisten
You relax
and you sooth me
You inspire
and you move me
You put
my mind
at ease
As you breeze
through
the trees
The rhythm
of your tears
It’s music
to my ears
The breath
of a sigh
As the clouds
gently cry

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I open the curtain,
the blind
Open my heart,
my mind
I see your
scattered flight
Framed
in morning light
You relax
and you sooth me
You inspire
and you move me
You change
my mood
in an instance
You wash
my worries
to the distance
The tranquility
of the scene
Sprinkles
on my screen
The essence
The refrain
My affinity
for the rain

 

 

Free

Free

April 8th.

At long last,
I can breathe.
Fill my lungs
with hope
with exuberance
with fresh optimism
Enough of
the incessant reminders
No more
of her suffocating grief
I exhale
only contentment
Breathe only
a sigh of relief

At long last,
I can think.
Open my mind
for creativity
for revelation
for honest expression
Free from
the condescending paralysis
Away from
her sickening superiority
I speak volumes
only for myself
Think clearly
as sole authority

A long last,
I can look.
Cast my glance
to tomorrow
to possibilities

to cloudless horizons
See beyond
the judgemental glare
See past
her irrational ways
I focus
only to the future
Look forward
to my everydays


At long last,

I can breathe.

At long last,
I can think.

At long last,
I see.

At long last…
just be


 

 

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