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

 

screenshot_20200322-104916_facebook
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

20200415_131641

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

20200415_111411
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

Realize

REALIZE


If only
I could slow time down
If only I could
If only
I could control time
If only…
I would

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I take some time

to rummage through my past.
I laugh, I tear up. I realize.
Even the best of things,
don’t always last.
This life keeps moving on.
And precious time
keeps rolling by too fast.

I realize that
much of this life is fleeting.
A day, a night, an instant.
Much of what we had, or did,
is never repeating.
Each moment flashes before me.
And yet, my wondrous heart
keeps beating

I realize all I’ve still got,
with all that’s come and gone.
My health, my home, my hopes.
All the moves of a life,
in a life that moves on.
My present, and my past.
And every fresh new day
that brings a new dawn.

I don’t have to be religious
to count my blessings
I don’t have to be a genius
to be wise
To make some time
To take my time
For me to realize
My life constantly evolves,
and so do I
And this fleeting time,
can still be,
a blessing in disguise

 

 

I look up to my wall
and I am motivated by all I see.
My daughters. My smile. My love. 
The verification of a life
still so important to me.
Flesh and blood purpose.
My inspiration to strive
and my reasons to be.

I realize that
life gives me more than I take.
Memories and moments. And time.
Precious and valuable time.
For living, and for living’s sake.
I just have to look around to know.
Every single picture that I see
is a gift it took time to make.

I realize how much love I have,
and how much love I share.
Family and friends. And more.
My romantic relationship,
and the burgeoning love I find there.
My present is my future.
And, between time and my motivation,
it could take me anywhere.


I don’t have to be alone
to search inside myself
I don’t have to be an optimist
to see all that is good
I keep looking up, and back
I keep looking ahead
And I know that I should
I find so many reasons,
all around me
And I take my time
to take in the time…
like I hoped I could


I am at peace with my time,

because now I realize…I know.
Tomorrows, yesterdays, and todays,
the times I will best remember,
seldom arrive in a row.
These are the treasures of my life.
And my collection of times
continues to grow.

Ado

Ado
A dynamic so dynamic.
A torrent to perceive.
A gambit of emotions.
The years conceive.
A tear. An eye.
A heart. A sleeve.

Always prepared to give.
And reluctant to receive.


I watch the group of you.

From the outside in.
I see all of you, and all of your compassion.
I barely know where to begin.
The love. And the respect.
The quiet. And the din.
The worry. The fury. The sound advice.
The raising of the chin.

It’s the overwhelming urge to share your lives.
And the way it’s always been. 

 


It’s much ado about everything.

And that’s okay.
I see all of you, giving all that you’ve got.
On any given day.
The laughter. And the hugs.
The work. And the play.
The adamant of your honesty.
Your investment in all the way.

It’s about saying exactly what you mean.
And the meaning of what you say.


I find it exhaustively inspirational.
And extremely refreshing.
I
see all of you, lay it all out there.
With zero window dressing.
No self-preservation. And no hesitation.
No wasted words. And no second guessing.
One on one. And all for one.
When one of you is stressing.

It’s the selflessness of true friendship.
And an undisguised blessing.

 


Together when you celebrate.

 For each other if you grieve.
A gambit of emotions.
These years conceive.
Some beer. Some wine.
You share. You believe.

Always anxious to arrive.
And reluctant to leave.

Image-1

 

Drained


20190118_133629
Drained


Life asked too much of me today…

When I finally did sit down,
in silent exhaustion
the whole of me was aching,
inside and out
My determination had been battered
And my will was strewn about
The voice of all of my frustrations
left
too tired to shout

I had been drained by the day,
feeling tattered and torn
This day, took everything I had
And then greedily wanted more
My heart, left clinging to my sleeve
My soul, scattered on the floor

Endless hours, of one after another,
constantly knocking on my door

Yet, there was a calming sense of relief
A satisfaction of accomplishment
For having passed each test,
on the worst ‘just one of those days’
I rose up to every harsh challenge
I chose
all of the appropriate plays
I was exhausted, yet extremely alive,
proud of my self-sustaining ways

Life asked too much of me today…

Summoning everything that I had,
I found more than I knew I had to give
On days like these, we don’t get to choose
the life that we have to live

Yet


Gary's screen shot
Yet

We float our true feelings
around and around and around
We can easily grab onto many,
while some are not easily found
Some seem impossible to conceal,
while others are still tightly bound
Still wrapped up in the past,
they are waiting to be unwound
Yet…
It’s these unwound words, even inadvertently pointed,
that feel as sharp as they sound

A comment sneaks in and stings you
There, like a wasp without a buzz
A statement that’s not meant to harm,
yet, quite often, it still does
Jabs of memory, cuts of comparison
The flings and arrows of a once was
It takes so very little to belittle
in the context of just because 

Inattentive and thoughtless behavior
when your partner’s life is its most unstable
Checking your phone or checking the scores
Refusing to apologize, when willing and able
The impact of images left open on a computer
The reaction to gloves left behind on a table
Inadvertent, yet thoughtless reminders
we’d like to forget, but are unable

It’s difficult to contain our emotions
from within the confines of fact
To not blurt out our instincts
at the expense of our tact
We burst selfishly out of a shell
that had previously been cracked
A sad excuse, and a symptom,
for a respect so sorely lacked
Yet…
We are ultimately accountable for our words
and the respect that they impact


A relationship is a work in progress

that always starts from behind
That’s why it’s far easier said than done
to be always thoughtful and kind
There is the inevitability of the past,
mixed with the today of the daily grind
The challenges of patience and personality
that can flood an open mind
Yet…
We need to keep floating our feelings
and be open to all we may find

You are still adjusting to a calendar of flux,
dotted with those difficult days
I still retract, detract, and then overreact
with the wrong turn of phrase
Some conflict will come, and conflict will go
as we share our common come what mays
Yet, in the reality of our commonalities
the mutual respect must go both ways

 Never do I want be taken for granted,
or to be treated as an afterthought
You absolutely deserve only my best intention
and the best attention I’ve got
This give and take is a delicate balance
that often puts couples on the spot
Fortunately, we have this love on our side
It may not be everything, but it’s quite a lot
Yet…
We struggle sometimes, as we continue to make strides,
trying to give to one other as much as we’d like to get

We are trying our best, for all the best reasons,
Yet, we’re not all the way there,  just yet

20181026_161018

Broken

                                                                           Broken
A trucker walks into a synagogue…

I
t sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s not.

Not a joke when this trucker is a crazed anti-Semitic
looking for somewhere to aim his misguided blame
Not when he perpetrates another of the countless massacres
that have become the wretched lore of America’s shame
Not a joke, when any old trucker from Pennsylvania
can, inexplicably, have twenty-one guns registered in his name

It’s not the least bit funny when this same old story happens every other day.
It’s called the same old story, because the same old story is always the same.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same old story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the devastation
Sickening me again, as a broken system cracks
Resonating again, as a broken person snaps
The devastation of every other day
The anger, the heartache, the vast impacts
The scourge of so many weapons, the same cold facts
So many lives,
changed in the worst way
Lost, in the devastation,
of every other day

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A young couple decides to start a family…

It sounds like a very nice story, until it’s not.

A young mother pulls on her favourite boots,
excited about
a long-awaited night out with her friends
Drinks and dancing, and all the best intentions,
missing her daughter more with every text she sends
Her husband sends her a photo of their peaceful sleeping baby,
never imagining, that tonight, his wife’s life abhorrently ends

Yet another lost name on the long, sad, deplorable list of every other day.
Three more victims of a system that breaks far more often than it bends.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same sad story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the desolation
Weakening me again, as a broken system fails
Resonating again, as a broken child wails
The desolation of every other day
The anguish, the heartbreak, the immense scale
The weight of so many coffins, so many final nails
So many lives stolen
So many broken
So many changed
Changed, in the worst way
The same sad news
The same sad reality
The same desolation,
every other day
untitled

 

Grey


20181011_085934
Grey

Certainly not what I expected
when I looked anxiously to today
Distractions and detours
Delay after delay
Nothing like I had envisioned
No how.  No way.
A reluctant change of course
Navigating the grey

A wall of grey uncertainty
between you and your goal
A hard place, and a rock
w
hen you’re ready to roll
An unexpected wait
A mirage of elusive control
Asking such a small price
Just patience for your toll

Inside the grey uncertainty
t
ime stands painfully still
Between situation and explanation
Just be calm.  Just remain chill.
Between exasperation and exhaustion
Exhale, slowly, and swallow the pill
In the grey of the uncertainty
c
ome what may, inevitably will


Definitely not what I wanted
when I looked forward to tonight
Dissention and distance
Wrong versus right
Nothing like I had envisioned
On my mind. Out of sight.
The tone of grey reaction
Neither black nor white

Toiling in the grey unknown
of a lost night out
In the variable and the vague
is the unseen and the doubt
A question is the answer
When silence is a shout
Look to the big picture
Just relax, and wait it out

Inside the grey unknown
b
eing oblivious can be a roll of the dice
Between interpretation and explanation

Just be understanding. Just be nice.
Between selfish and self-preservation
Do not make the same mistake twice

In the grey of the unknown
u
npaid attention has no actual price


Trapped, within the nowhere near

of where I want my thoughts to be
Distracted and dismayed
My time feels far from free
Nothing like I had envisioned
Awaiting words. A wait and see.
The quiet of the gray
Speaks volumes to me

Staring into the grey silence
of a blank refreshed screen
Checking in after every chapter
like a procrastinating teen
Those certain expectations
The how it’s always been
Confined inside your cellular
Just swipe the slate clean

Inside that grey silence
unrealistic standards are the cage
So make the necessary adjustments
Just turn it off.  Just act your age.
Leave the drama for the characters
Leave the scenes for some stage
In the grey of the silence
you can always
turn the page


Convinced that I am ever-evolving,
I look optimistically ahead
Detraction and reaction
Saying the unsaid
As far, and as much, as I can envision
Also, and more so.  Instead of instead
Negotiating the grey
Whenever I am seeing red

Coping within the grey areas
of our everyday race
With road blocks personified
An invasion of personal space
A barrage of harsh mentality
The reality of commonplace
The simplest of solutions
Just choose dignity, and grace

In the grey of the grey areas
doom and gloom are never much fun
Between frustration and explanation
Just be positive. Be the stronger one.
Between excuses and excusing
You know what needs to be done
Even in the greyest of the grey
rose-coloured glasses will let in the sun

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