Keel

Keel

In spending time with you,
for all of these years
I’ve seen, that a little less,
can often mean more.

You say only so much.

But because of its substance…
Your two cents, to me,
are often worth four.

20200728_062633
We spent a lot of time

this past weekend
Conversing, across from one another
From at least six feet away
Sharing our simple pleasures
Craft beer, food, and music
And catching up on our lives
For a good chunk of each day

Again, as always,

I am impressed by you
Your calming demeanor
Your quiet, certain style
Never too high
The correct amount of low
With all of our erst
And all of the while

I envy your approach to life
It seems far less rocky
Far less wrenching
Just a calmer way to live
Questions and listening
Observation and contemplation
As you take far more in
than you choose to give

Paying strict attention
in choosing what you say
Accentuating only the good
can never do you harm
You are keenly interested,
and intermittently curious
Your inquisitive nature,
is the key to your charm

There is something to be said
about consistency.
About the level.
An even keel.

The predictability

of never being unpredictable.
A flatter line
to everything you feel.

There are certain times

when there is little choice
One must wear their feelings
unabashedly, on their sleeve
I do have that soft spot
For all those people,
who openly express emotions
And that might even be me

Contently, and as always,

you just soak it all in
There’s a self-understanding
And a confidence you’ve got
Comfortable within your skin
Life surprises you less
You exhibit very little
Which tells me a lot

You’re safe and steady
You are willing, and able
Yet, purposely hesitant
to reveal your sincerity
Staying your course,
I see you as genuine
As if being uncomplicated
leaves you your clarity

I looked fondly forward
to having you here
Taking a necessary space
in my necessity bubble
A safe, familiar presence
Your easy contagious calm
Your sure settling influence
To spite the recent trouble

There is something to be said

about this certainty.
About the level.
Your even keel.

The reliability

of your someone reliable.
The friendship we keep.
And keeping it real.

20200728_062913
After four long months,
of being socially distanced,
I was socially insistent
that you come to my door.

I am refreshed, and I thank you.

In these uncertain times…
Two days of our certainty
has meant so much more.

Irreality


Irreality
Back to our every day realities

Sort of
After a couple of weeks
Of existing for us, for living in the now
From a small measure
Of peace, of temporary normalcy
Back to the daily who and what
And to the far different how

To this new way of life
That has gotten in our way
Every single person
Accountable, for every single day

20200715_094822
To these times

That have changed, too abruptly
Wake up
We cannot, from this bad dream
It is still here
Still around, still threatening
This consistent adversity
This inconvenience, the somber theme

A world-wide audience
A suspense show, set on constant replay
With every single one of us
Playing a role, in every single day

 

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I find myself

Having to catch my breath, far more often
Living life ever more slowly
 Listening, intently, while we all wait
Tired, all the while
Of holding my head up, above the din
And seeking the significance
Of the next update

Quiet, in the moment
Worrying how to feel, what to say
Each of us, left to our own
To react appropriately, to every single day

 

coronavirus statistics

To this altered reality
The subtle to extreme differences
The changing perspectives
In the eye of every beholder
An exasperating existence
Bracing, for what to do next
Feeling lonesome, in this together
While looking over our shoulder

The freedoms of a life…
Protectively held at bay
The responsibilities of a life…
Magnified, all day, every day

The burdens of any life…
Then, all of this, piled onto the fray
For anyone, and everyone
It’s every single day

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Idyllic

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Idyllic
(11D II)

The water soothes me here
Shallow waves across my chest
Finding exactly what my body needs
Peace.   Quiet.   And blissful rest.
Weary bones, and years
A toll. Hard work. The grind.
The soft caress of the lake
Ease, washing through my mind
 
Serenity surrounds me here 
Skyward trees in sun’s first light
Glimmers and shimmers of reflection
Peace.   On my mind.   And in my sight.
Out of touch, getting back in touch
No traffic.  No bother.  Never a text.
Time, drifting into perfect time

Every hour, gently touching the next

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Alone here, together with you
Twice enough to go around
Contently sharing this idyllic place
Peace.   Moments.   Every subtle sound.
Soaking all of it in, breathing slowly out
Stress. Tension.   An exhale away.
Peace.   In warm air.   On sunshine
Our night, just a breeze from today

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Held

full house card suit


I have long been operating from a position of strength…

and acting weak.

Held
I have had a bad habit, admittedly,
of thinking it
But not relating it
A habit of mulling before deciding
Waiting, preserving, delaying,
And then not saying it
Habitually, letting it slide on by.
Spending so long considering when
that I get past the reasons why
Missing every apt opportunity
Til I decide that I ought not to try

It’s like holding on to the highest card
and never playing it
A game changer, and not laying it
It’s having a long held belief
Waffling, and slowly swaying
And then silently betraying it
Holding on, to the point of denying.
It feels regretful and weak,
like I am not even trying
I can easily afford to pay the price
But seldom am I ever buying


I am not going to tell you here

that I’m instantly going to change
That I don’t know it’s strange
I realize there is a priority of things
that I need to rearrange
And that it’s healthier to exchange
But, I am going to open myself up, for me.
Kick this habit of holding it all in
and stop letting the bygones be
I will try to store far less of what ails
The words I say will be the truths I see


I have to believe I have an unobstructed view

Of everyday
On any given day
Believe that I am in control
Of what I can and have to say
I just need to get my self out of the way
I can, I believe, see beyond my worry.
Make the decisions of a clear thinker
and wait, only, when there is no hurry
I will try to never be one to judge
But always be part of the jury

Put one foot, confidently, in front of the other
And it will feel good
Especially good
Put one thought behind another
Like I’d hoped I could
As I know I should
I will take, and put, everything in stride.
Will talk the talk, and walk the talk,
as I have no reason to hide
Express the self from within myself
Climb on up, and stand with my pride


The next time someone tries to talk down to me…

their words won’t find me.
Because I’ll be way up here.

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Uncertain

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Uncertain

In no uncertain terms
these uncertain times
exact a daily toll
Consigned to our reality
Confined to our home
Cavernous, in our hole…

The disdain of the social media
The refrain of the incessant news
Trudeau’s late morning assurances
Trump’s daily need to accuse
Portals to the vital information
Privy to all the points and views
Small screens or the big screen
Two for my one. One for my twos

So much that I have to believe
With so little I have to choose

Twenty four, gone just like that
Stuck at home, paying hour dues
Any time, less than well spent
is more that I will lose

 

Numbers that continually climb
The mountain exceedingly steep
Information about our situation
Piled onto, and into, the heap
Unsure of exactly how to react
Dangerous to relax. Dire enough to weep
Life burrowed. And lives buried
Lost and lonely in the deep

Choices, and musts, and maybes,
sown by what we reap

Restless, on same sorry nights
Tempted to pour my self to sleep
Waking to the same exhaustion
With no appointments to keep

 

In no uncertain terms
these uncertain times
test our resolve
The tenuous balance
The strenuous times
The few we can involve…

Sitting with the same three people
So strangely out of whack
A picking and choosing of persons
Separating them from the pack
Getting together with friends, sort of
Grainy and intermittent as we yak
Me, Skyping on my Samsung
She, Zooming on her Mac

Small relief, virtually compensating
for the contact that we lack

Stuck inside, inside my head
A smothering, closed-in panic attack
A forty minute escape on foot
to the grocery store and back

 

More word games on my phone
with another temporary friend
Wearing out my headphones
Replacing another pen
Staying up late with a movie
Staying in bed until ten
Back to yesterday’s puzzle
Then another. Because I can

Nothing seems to matter much
when it doesn’t matter when

When anywhere I choose to go
is where I’ve recently been
It’s the same day as yesterday
All over again

20200517_130104
In these uncertain times
We must look to the certain things
Voices and faces. Warm and safe places
Music and memories. A lyric that one sings
We must absorb all of the sensations
Even when the situation stings
Bask in the perfection of a complete silence
The anticipation, when the phone rings

While we are captive in our own castles
we are still the queens and kings

We need to absorb every day importance
To see and hear when reality dings
Finding the words and feeling the thoughts
Any comfort that familiar brings

 

I am required to switch my focus
To forge ahead in this lonely role
Accomplish something, anything, for me
Feed and fill my hungry soul
To live life as it is, in the here and now
In the circumstance, within my control
I’m not allowed to live it to the fullest
Making more of less is my modest goal

Regaining my composure and perspective
Some of what this pandemic stole

Raising my head, my eyes, my heart
Extracting myself from the mounting toll
Wanting to live while waiting to leave
Up and over, and out of this hole

 

In these uncertain times
In no uncertain terms

Force

20200201_195134Force

She is interested

And interesting
A person who cares
A personality that shares
She puts herself out there
Where no one else dares

I wrap my mind around her
with all of my might
Wrap my thoughts around her
and hold on tight
She sometimes comes unwrapped
and that’s all right
She makes every day
more interesting
And gets more interesting
with every night

 

She exudes her perspective 
Yearning as a mom. Learning to be an ex-wife.
She is resilient, but far from reticent
As she takes on this life
The expressive face. The reflective eyes.
Mirrors, to her struggles and strife
Her reactions are intense and instant
And, often, sharp as a knife

Forceful, but far from philosophical

She attacks her every day
Saying exactly she means
Should her edge begin to fray
Her mind just seems to know
What she needs and has to say
She is adamant in her intentions
And she invests them all the way

I’ve seen and heard it many times

With myself. With any friend.
The truest sense of what she means
The means in which she’ll send
Her voice may waver. Her choices are unwavering.
A point of view that doesn’t depend
Sometimes she breaks down easily
But seldom does she bend

 I was taken aback by her way
But only for the shortest while
I appreciated who and how she was
So much from her gut. So much guile.
Refreshingly real in her honesty
Stoic in neither substance nor style
I sit back, and I soak her all in
Look, and listen, and discreetly smile

She is interested

And interesting
A parent who intensely cares
A partner who intently shares
Puts herself out there
When no one else dares

I wrap my heart around her
with all of my might
Wrap my arms around her
and I hold her tight
A force, she keeps me rapt
and that’s all right
She makes our every day
more interesting
And I am more interested
in every night

 

Was

depth of field photography of mallard duck on body of water

Was
He stood on the snow-covered rocks,

watching the three little ducks swim.
Taking turns, diving under the cold lake.
Like children, indulging a dare on a whim.
He was content. Was smiling inside.
Simple emotions were welling to the brim.
More certain that he was almost all the way back.
He was wishing that it was him.

He was standing there, contently entranced.
Soaking in every detail that he could find.
He was feeling the tension of his heartstrings
as they slowly stretched to unwind.
It was not all that long ago, really.
He was adrift, floating away from his mind.
Just then, he was suddenly overwhelmed.
Was remembering, all that he’d left behind…

20200305_101510
He remembered when he was entirely sunken
In the darkest depths of his own despair
Was held under by his own helplessness
Was fighting, for any small gasp of air
Was beside himself, flailing with his lonely soul
Unable to breathe, or even to care
Was looking, around himself, at nothing
Was alone, and wanting no one else there

He was lost, slowly drowning in constant doubt
Submerged, below the murky surface of his worry
Hearing only that incessant, dissenting voice
It was the sound and the resound of the fury
As he finally, desperately, managed to look only up
It was through eyes so tired and blurry
He was doubtful he could get all the way there
He was certain that he had to hurry

He began the ascent, from his abyss of self-pity
Was no more time he could waste on reflecting
He was towing his lessons, out of this depression
Through all of the shame and the blame deflecting

Was willing his load, upward, determined to make it
 He was far more buoyant than he was expecting
With his sole motivation, his self-preservation
He surfaced, with the self he was neglecting

20200305_100625
He had willed himself up and out, onto solid ground.
Had saved his heart and his soul from dying.
If he said that he was completely free of the pain,
they both would know he is lying.
Yet he is getting ever closer to leaving it all behind.
Is going to be himself again. There is no denying.
He is inspired, and required, to get all the way there.
 And he is sure going to live trying…

He was going to stand here for a while more.
And only then would he continue his run.
Transfixed as he was by the three ducks.
Still having their own carefree, unique fun.
He wants nothing more than to bask in this feeling.
It is his head. It is his heart. Together as one.
He finally manages to pull his eyes away.
He is met by the warmth of the sun.

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Consumed

20200109_110906                                                                        CONSUMED

We all have our present,
and our afters,
and our befores
And, right now,
all of my tenses,
are consumed by yours…


I wake up this morning,
and she is here,
and so am I
Her head comes to rest
on my contented chest
as it breathes a sigh
She slides out of bed
and opens up the blinds
to nothing but blue sky
To time, taken for granted,
as each next day
cruises on by

Then, suddenly, my thoughts turn
To the sad and horrific news
the two of you have shared
Like a sharp slap in the face,
I am now thoroughly awake
I feel trapped, and ensnared
I am jolted to the core
by your worst nightmare
And I am truly scared
I am terrified and consumed
by you just never know
And, of course, am unprepared

I am overcome, knowing,
that our every days
can change just like that
Realizing, that our tomorrows
could be suddenly lost
in the drop of a hat
Overcome knowing, at any moment,
the momentum of a life
can fall suddenly flat
As I realize all of this,
I look helplessly toward her,
 shaken by all of that

So I take her in my arms…
just to have her there


My daughter says good-bye,

on a Sunday,
and I wipe away a tear
Spoiled, as I was,
for the eleven weeks
I had her so near
My mind wanders,
to what awaits
for another school year
And to all of those things
I took for granted
while she was here

Then, my thoughts leap,
in an instant,
back to the two of you
I am emotionally assaulted
by the brutal realities
of all you are going through
Struck, by the cruel circumstance
that life can afflict
with barely a clue
Consumed, by helpless fear and anger
By the vast uncertainty
And by the blatantly true

I am overcome, knowing,
that delicate balance
of our hopes and our dreams
Realizing, our tenuous reality
is seldom as certain
as it sometimes seems
Overcome, knowing,
life can take a terrible turn
despite our grandest schemes
I realize, with cold certainty,
we are helpless to the course
of what destiny deems

So I call my daughter…
just to hear her voice

We all are at the mercy
of what life takes,
and what life brings
And, right now,
I am consumed, knowing,
that it takes many things.

Alpengruss

Alpengruss

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A breath of cool winter
appears without a sound
A dusting of early December snow
lying gently on the ground
A warm sense of adventure
as Friday noon rolls around
Work and tire tracks behind us
We are weekend bound

Timing is everything
That’s what they say
And the timing is perfect
for us to get away


I look your way with a sigh
as it all settles inside of me
Another city in two hours
Another state of mind in three
Realization and relaxation
and the place I want to be
My left hand on the wheel
The right one on your knee

Savoring the little things
And all that they say
These times of our life
set apart from everyday


A sensory scenic drive together
through the Québec countryside
Each skyward snow-dressed pine
our majestic glistening guide
Sun and blue skies lie ahead of us
The season’s true nature belied
Comfort and warmth between us
Anticipation along for the ride

Time touches our hearts
With words we need not say
All ours when we get there
Until then it leads the way


Autoroute 5 winds us to two rivers
To w
here the Gatineau meets La Pêche
I open the vents to feel the essence
and the crispness meets my flesh
Slowly through the welcoming village
 Where, once again, the path seems fresh
To our little slice of perfect harmony
W
here the music and memories mesh

Spending this quality time
We are doing what we say
Gathering and saving moments
that are always here to stay

No one is in the office
Like the last time, and the time before
Just a friendly note, and reminder,
to say our key is in the door
The refreshing air of familiarity
as we ascend to the second floor
Number 14 had been awaiting us
We were bound to return for more  

Dancer

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Dancer
I remember my laughter
I remember your enthusiasm
So energetic. So petite.
My great big smile
Your great big heart
Your little arms. Your little feet.

Your little legs
Your little steps
Your little mistakes.
The precious years
The countless lessons
The time it takes.

And I wouldn’t change any of it
for the world…

Watching you jump
Watching you twirl
My little dancer
My little girl


I think about my pride

I think about your progress
So precise. So sure.
My complete awe
Your perfect performance
So professional. So mature.

So much practice
So much commitment
So much that it takes.
The exams and recitals
The many life lessons
The memories that it makes.

And I couldn’t be more impressed
by all I’ve seen…

Watching you leap
Watching you whirl
My talented daughter
My little girl

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