Consolation

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye.
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth.
I look at you, and I sigh.
William Butler Yeats – A Drinking Song (1915)

 


Consolation

Just me, alone,
raising my glass to you…

 It was eight years ago today.
I remember the exact conversation,
just as I clearly remember the date.
“We both have the same sensibility, I said.
We’re like a fun young old couple, you and I.
It’s really just a shame
that I was born fifteen years too early
and you was born fifteen years too late.” 

It was our last night together.
You were moving away soon after,
so I said good-bye then, rather than wait.
You responded, with barely a hesitation.
“You know that I never cared about that.
We were great together.
The real shame, for us, is
we were both born a hundred years too late.”


So here’s a toast,
to being an old soul.
A toast,
to being young at heart.
A glass raised,
to being both.
To
the end.
And to the start.

 

When day begins to break
I count my good and bad,
Being wakeful for her sake,
Remembering what she had,
What eagle look still shows,
While up from my heart’s root
So great a sweetness flows
I shake from head to foot.
W.B.Y. – Friends (1915)

 

 

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Meeting

                                  Meeting 


I arrive with wine, and little apprehension

Entering your home, my worries are very few
Confident that you are kind, that you are genuine
because your wonderful daughter is a part of you


As I look around, a comfort settles over me
Instantly, I am at ease, and even more sure
We say our hellos and she squeezes my hand

Moments later she takes me on a tour

I see warm colours, and family photos
lovingly displayed, up and down the hall
Your own creations, and your creativity,
gracing each room, and on every wall

Crafty signs, stitch work, and oil paintings
Your personal touches, so easily found
Children and teens, newlyweds and grandkids,
all of your loved ones, leaning or hanging around

Tangibly vibrant, with a flick of each switch
The now and the then, brought to light
The young couple, handsome and pretty
Their beginning, framed, in black and white

We stroll through your new and old memories
The long journey of a husband and a wife
A visual journal, of his story and yours,
Room to room, each so full of a life

As we join everyone in your living room
I look to you, straight across, sitting in a chair
Our glances meet, knowingly, for a moment
neither overly concerned, but both of us aware


Just as I had hoped, with this important step,
I was adding perspective to my happy reality
But it was also tweaking my ongoing interest
with peoples’ grasps on their own mortality


I find myself staring, as we are having dinner

catching myself, just before you do
I am lost, inside my natural curiosity,
wondering about your point of view

I imagine what you might be thinking
Another Easter dinner, like any other year?
Are you blissfully oblivious to who is new,
and simply thankful that everyone is here?

Are you thinking about who is missing,
a little sad, and reminiscent as you look around?
Or are you soaking in the whole atmosphere
Every familiar sight, every happy sound?

Your grandchildren, all talking excitedly
That perfect mix of exuberance and loud
The smiles of three uniquely beautiful daughters
Your constant smile, telling me you are proud

Your living legacy, right here before you
Those most important, just being themselves
A vital portrait of your loving family
brought down to you from off the shelves

Your smile subsides only when you speak
Voice cracking, behind the few words you say
You seem quietly content, at the head of the table
as I gradually get to know you, on this April day


Everyone slowly heads towards the door,
saying thank-you and exchanging good-byes
I see your expression change, ever so slightly,
a
s a twinge of melancholy forms in your eyes

Kris

Sometimes we let life get in the way of the simple but important things…like friendships. I made a promise to myself to never feel the sting of such regret again.
It hurts too much.

                         Kris
Woke up to a beautiful morning    20180308_083200
with nothing but sky and blue
The sun graciously greeted me
and I immediately thought of you

I thought about these past two years
mortality, and time, weighing on my mind
I thought about losing touch with friends
and wishing that I could rewind


To a deck chair on a porch

and a cold pint in my hand
To a conversation we once had
while listening to my favourite band

“I appreciate their talent”, you said,
as you tried to give it a chance.
But when it came right down to it,
“it just doesn’t make me dance.”

“What’s the point of music, you asked,
unless it brings you to your feet?
It has to have danceable lyrics.
And where’s the danceable beat?!”

And to emphasize your point
you attempted to dance along
But “the guitar was too heavy,
and the rhythm was all wrong.”

This didn’t slow you down though
and you improvised some moves
Then you dropped your pint onto the deck
and it spilled between the grooves

The whole situation seemed hilarious
and we laughed until we were both flush
I blamed it on your dancing
while you blamed it on RUSH

This became an ongoing theme
whenever we got together
Lousy food was because of RUSH
and so was lousy weather


Which brings me back to this morning

to the sun and a sky so blue
Time and mortality on my mind
and to fond memories of you

You always had a unique perspective
a contagious smile and a playful grin
But you also had so much more
and it all came from within

A huge heart for everyone
and an ease to your ways
I just wish we’d kept in touch
and could share more sunny days

Miss ya big guy…you were one of a kind.

Gary
May 8, 2014

Limitation

The unique thing
about regret
is that
the less you experience
the more you get        – G.G.

                                   Pic3 for Alive
Limitation

I’m taking a bit of a risk,
but what if I didn’t…

I’d rather live in the moment
than live with regret
Take a chance on what I want
and grab all I can get
No stop signs
No hesitation 
No blurred lines
No limitation
I intend to make the most
of this one-time life
Bring the best of it all
into plain sight
Exhausting each day
Exhausted each night

My motivation can be seen
in unique places
In hopeful eyes
On mourning faces
Times of celebration
Times of dread
Times to remember
Time, to look ahead

IMG_20141215_173356[1]

I’d rather look to the future
than look back with regret
Embrace all of those who inspire
and give back as I get
No retreat
No reservation
No boundaries
No limitation
I intend to stretch my mind
to greater lengths
Flights of fancy
and fanciful flights
Lifting the best of me
to loftier heights

My motivation can be found
in unique places
In beautiful smiles
On candle lit faces
People we meet
People we admire
People we love
People who inspire

pexels-photo-321444.jpeg

I’d rather embrace the possibilities
than accept the regret
Put myself completely out there
Give more than I get
No misunderstanding
No misinterpretation
No incompletes
No limitation
I intend to hold nothing back
in my quest to grow

Express my self
to all who should know
Take the best of me along
to wherever I go

Live this life for every moment
Experience more, every chance I get
Taking risks, and taking strides
Staying ahead of my regret

Solitary

Solitary
An enigma,
An illness,
A decision,
A hole.

Another question mark.
Another lost soul…

It’s hard to recognize someone
that no one knows
Difficult, to see,
what someone never shows
A lost face,
beneath a mask
A happier place,
inside a flask
A positive outlook,
an impossible task
So many questions,
you can’t find to ask

When a mind struggles, alone,
A brain storm, of their own
Swept up in in an instant
Where it’s dark and it’s distant
A solitary place,
they might go
Where every sky
must bring snow
Left with answers
that no one will know

It’s hard to comprehend something

that no one understands
Difficult, to grasp something,
when it’s out of your hands
A mystery,
wrapped up in a mind
A history
they drag behind
An act,
selfishly unkind
Too many reasons,
that are impossible to find

When a life ends, alone,

A sad choice, on their own
A final decision that’s made
When they are despondent or afraid
Solitary tears,
sliding down the drain
Cold and confounding,
like a January rain
Leaving little more,
than questions and pain

It’s hard to be sad

for someone who is gone
Difficult, now, for those
obliged to move on
An opened investigation
A closed case
A stark image,
they can’t replace
A terrible memory,
they can’t erase
A huge void,
with just a face

As I sit here, today, alone,

contemplating life, not just my own
I worry, about all that is to be,
What I may not understand, or see
The solitary angst,
my someones can’t bare
Changes in the seasons
When
there’s something in the air
The questions and answers,
we just have to share

I give my resolute vow…
I will be far more aware.
I will be here.
I will be there.

pexels-photo-288393.jpeg

Ahead


Ahead

Looking only forward
To today
To every day
Without the ache
Without the affliction
With nothing in my way

I wake up now,
pain-free
No more agony
accompanying me
No more hesitation,
as I stand
I feel the fortitude
take my hand

With my chin up
and eyes straight ahead
I look past the pain,
that I used to dread 


Looking only forward

at work
at play
With no distress
With no distraction 
With nothing in my way

I face my tasks
head on
Finish the game,
soreness gone
More prepared,
increasingly strong
I feel a resilience
that pulls me along

With my hands steady
and my feet firm
I am fully prepared
for the long-term 


Looking only forward

in all I do
in all I say
With no adversity
With no apprehension
With nothing in my way

I can make plans 
worry free
None of the severity
hindering me
Completely focused
on come what may
I feel my optimism
leading the way

With my mind clear
and ambition alive
I am ahead of myself
when I arrive

Nest

I am still not used to it.
Both of them only half the time
was hard enough to accept.
Then the teenage years came
and they became independent.
Half the time became
half the time, half the time.
Then came graduation,
and jobs, and university for one.
And now it’s half of them,
half of half the time.
In less than a year and a half
it will be none of them
almost all the time.
That’s life, I suppose…20171130_094348


NEST
 

Our new family home,
that I bought to share
A shell of a house
without you there
Echoes in the halls
Walls, inside of walls
Some framed with memories,
some still bare 

Never seems as bright
when you are gone
A dim comparison,
with half the lights on
Darkness under a shade
Beds perpetually made
A window with a view,
with the curtains drawn


Down, in the basement

Alone, in the yard
I knew it would hit me,
just not this hard

A simple fact of life,

but it feels like a test
They spread their wings,
and they leave the nest


I wander and I wonder,
cleaning up for one
Swept up in thoughts of you
until the work is done
A vacuum, and a broom
The dust in your room
Faint specks of yesterday,
settled, and then none 

The quiet of the night,
t
he silence of compromise
C
alendar on the fridge,
c
old comfort, as time flies
Circles, that tell me when
Two weeks until then
A small glimmer of hope,
faint in
a father’s eyes

 

Empty, in your bedroom
Alone, at the table
I glance to your pictures,
when my heart feels able

Sad solace in knowing
that it’s for the best
When life calls them,
and they leave the nest

 


Filled

20171118_095141[1]
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

20171118_095324[1]

 

 

 

 

 

Implicit

20171101_173406
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 you 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


20171019_133800
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.

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