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

 

 

Limbo

“As much as I’ve always been driven creatively to move forward toward something bigger, brighter, and unknown, I’m also a deeply-rooted nostalgic. I adore photos, mementos, all bits of ephemera that represent each and every time and space I traverse. I’m a hoarder when it comes to these things…
A flood of memories wash over me when I find these treasures, all of them new again, focused by the perspective I’ve gained in the years since. It’s a beautiful kind of limbo, seeing yourself, your past alongside your present…”
-Mick Fleetwood from Play On…Now, Then, And Fleetwood Mac The Autobiography-

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Limbo
There I am, sitting on the couch

Looking as content as I can be
But what makes me smile now
Are the faces of the other three
Friendships, made in a flash
Cultivated with laughter, and cold beers
The time of my life, so many times
Great nights, that turned into years

Sometimes I sit with a lost friend
If only for a brief while
I gaze into her playful green eyes
I remember his reluctant smile
Realize just how alive they really were
And how precious that our time is
That contagious spirit, so uniquely hers
The distinctive laugh, that could only be his

A note, a post card, a poem

Feelings that are, and/or used to be
A letter filled with distant love
Words, meant only for me
Wee hour messages that I have written
Hastefully penned, but never sent
A shoebox, filled with emotions
Papers lined with what we meant

Flipping through the pages and photos
Snapshots of my life until now
People and places, that shaped who I am
Images of who, of where, when and how
Framed pictures of significant moments
Rectangular reminders of family and friends
Travels together on this wondrous journey
An evolving road, that curves and bends

It’s a beautiful kind of limbo
Spent with people that I know
A transcendent state of mind
And I can choose where to go
The full gambit of my experiences
The love, the pain, the pleasure
Memories, that take me away and back

Moments, I will always treasure

Camping, Christmas, the dinner table
My whole family, together in one place
The truest essence of who I am today
So much influence, etched in each face
My Mom, my Dad, right there for me
Whenever when my heart yearns 

I am able to go home, again and again
With happy, and melancholy returns

Time-lapse capsules of my two daughters
Wide-eyed infants, in the back seat of the car
From half-day kindergarten to incredible teens
Ever-emerging lives, chronicled so far
First steps, dance recitals, and graduation
Lovingly preserved, in albums or on DVD
Even when they seem too far to reach
I can find them here, in front of me

Awards, team photos, newspaper clippings
Memories of play that are always fond
Reminders of an enduring love of sports
Teammates, championships, a life-long bond
Wondering what became of those I coached
Peewee signatures on a thank-you card
Events and people that helped me to grow
Character built, through practicing hard

These boxes that I’ve moved many times
To different homes, to cities and towns
Different cabinets containing my life
All of us sharing the ups and downs
I can open up whenever I want to
These memories, of importance to me
Their significance, personally priceless
Sentimental value, I can always see

It’s a beautiful kind of limbo
Sitting there, beside myself
A transcendent state of mind
Brought down from a shelf
My life, captured in moments
The past, seen through today’s eyes 
Images, taking me away and back
Suspended, for now, while time flies

 

Affecting

 

     An influential soul can affect a life. 
     If we are lucky, someone comes along when we are lost or misplaced and makes an impression that lasts a lifetime.  Sometimes all we need is a boost or a new direction to get us going on our way.  It is those people who realize that their influence has possibilities – and who realize that possibilities are endless — who affect lives. 
     Quite often, it is a teacher who is that influential soul. Your life path may be altered by their inspiration, motivation, imagination or subtle persuasion.
     The right person at the right time.

Affecting

It might be only one simple gesture
that changes the course of things

One turn of phrase, or turn in the road
One solid notion that a teacher brings.
An influential soul, who can affect a life
The extra yard, that goes an extra mile
The ability to inspire a want to aspire 
That singular soul, who finds the smile.

Positive thinking, meets untapped potential
Opening a mind, by opening a door 
Initiating the urge to take on the world
Lessening the less, to motivate the more.
 Noticing that possibilities are indeed endless
Giving more of yourself, despite the clock

The right person at the right time
You’re welcomed in, yet you always knock.

Making a difference in their world
by sharing what’s unique inside of you
That place where experiences live 
and understanding comes into view.
Where your common sense prevails
Expressed, in uncommon ways
Where your perception turns a page
and affects their future days.

Every year brings renewed opportunity
with a new group, beginning anew 
Fresh influences and malleable clay 
Shaping character with what you do.
You matter in these impressionable minds
It’s the substance that’s in your style 
Asking only for an honest effort 
You make it worth their while.

Inspiration found, with subtle persuasion
Motivation, to where you shine the light
Imagination, in the eyes of tomorrow 
  The vision to see the higher height.
Encouragement and understanding

Providing balance to their uphill climb
An unselfish stamp on an emerging life
The right person at the right time.

Making a difference in this world
by sharing the life inside of you
That place where experience lies 
and humility comes into view.
Where your common sense prevails
Expressed, in uncommon ways
Where perception turns an important page
and affects their future days.

For all the right reasons,
you affect the rhyme.
The right person
at the right time.

 

Morn

 

 

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Morn

On the still waters
of  Mulville Bay
I stand alone
and greet the day

Nature welcomes me
with open arms
Surrounding my boat
with her obvious charms

The fresh smile of sunrise
The grace of a lingering moon
 The dance of two water bugs
Greetings from a loon

The soft whisper of the trees
The cheerful burst of a frog
 Announcing his presence
from a shoreline log

A passing muskrat
gives a pre-dive nod
One last greeting

 before I cast my rod

The exultation I feel
is crisp and pure
I break the surface
with the splash of my lure

We are in this together

and the message is clear
The morning is awake
and it knows I am here

The murmur of my cares
seems a world away
 as I fish, accompanied
by Mulville Bay

 

 

 

Vivification

     From the ‘blue folder’ archives written during my Queen’s University days – the birth of my nephew Jason in 1985.
     Raised by one loving family, in two loving households, he has become a man to be admired and respected for all of the right reasons…making these words ring true.

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News

                               News

I used to read the paper every single day.
Some days now, I see it and I back away.


It’s tempting to hide during times like this
With the blind hope that ignorance is bliss
In Canada it seems easier to smell the flowers
But that stench in the world is also ours
It’s both nauseating and difficult to understand
And it tempts you to bury your head in the sand
News, however is virtually impossible to ignore
With so many reasons and sources to explore
It’s often both sickening and sensational
Equal parts excruciating, and conversational
Scorching headlines that intensify our thirst
Multimedia reminders of all of the worst
‘The War on Terror, and ‘The War on Drugs’
Suicide bombers and twice-escaping thugs
Al Qaeda, the Taliban, hate and terror schemes

Religion and the self-righteous, taken to extremes
ISIS, FARC, GMO, and the NRA
Acronyms putting people into harm’s way
Accidental shootings, mass crimes
Ignorance, intolerance, a sign of the times
Homophobic opinion, transgender debates
Unconscionable policy in certain states
Disturbing views so easily found
Cavernous cracks in moral ground
Earthquake, tsunami, a tornado’s clout
Wild fires, record heat, and devastating drought
Nature’s anomalies, a tropical storm then a flood
Knowing, and cringing, while the ozone oozes blood
A world where oil is the most powerful king
And conservation and preservation don’t mean a thing
A world of archaic ideas, and misplaced priorities
Limited choices, and laughable authorities
With the threat of ever-hovering inflation

And an idiot, vying to lead a nation

Reasons enough eh, to want to hide
To shut your door, and stay inside
Build your wall and let ignorance protect you
The election’s coming though, so you may not have to.

IT

                         It

Me:
“If you question its existence
does it therefore exist?
If you never really had it
can it actually be missed?
If you’re not sure you ever found it
can it still be lost?
If you spent no time on it,
is there really any cost?”
(cause that’s the way I talk)

Him:
“Well, it is what is, I guess.”

 Me:
“It’s what?!? Okay then. See ya.”


A philosophical discussion,

that grinds suddenly to a halt.
It’s just a sign of the times
and it is no one’s fault.
He’s run out of words, I guess.
Has nothing else to add.
“It is what it is.” 
What it is buddy, is sad.”

It’s a harsh reality
once it comes out.
“It is what it is.”
As if there was any doubt.
It has to be final,
wouldn’t you say?
“It is what it is”,
so we’ll leave it that way.

I choose to make light of it
and I do mean to mock.
That expression surfaces

and it finishes the talk.
Rather than try to continue
it’s basically cut and run.
You say “it is what it is”
and the conversation’s done.

I know it’s a response, sort of,
but what does ‘it’ mean?
It leaves so many lines
to read in between.
So much to interpret
that it doesn’t mean shit.
“It is what it is”.
But really, what is it?

It is hard to stomach
when it comes around.
Many people say it now,
so you choke it down.
It leaves a bad taste
but you swallow your pride
“It is what it is” apparently,
so open wide.

I am glad someone told me
or I may never have known.
And now that we all know
its cover is blown.
“It is what it is”
and that’s where we’re at.
“It is what it is”,
now the bag has no cat.

It might be what it is, but,
seriously, what does it mean?
Can it be what it is, or was
if it has never been?
It may be what it is.
It may be just because.
It may never be again,
whatever it maybe was.

If it is what it is
is it all that bad?
Could it perhaps be something 
that you never had?
Can you forget about it
if you never really knew?
Well, “it is what it is”,
so I guess you just do.

So let’s just say “it is what it is”,
though I’m not sure it ever was.
If I can believe “it is what it is”,
then I suppose everyone does.
So, it must be what it is,
and that must be where it’s at.
“It is what it is”.
 I guess that’s that.

“That’s that”?
That’s what?!?
Oh no, here we go again.
Straight into another rut.
I’ve got no time for this, or ‘that’,
and now I need to take a wiz.
So let’s just say that that is that…
If that’s what it is?

External

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EXTERNAL

 I have become an introvert
But I’m trying to change my ways
Started to externalize more
Over the last several days…

 Been spending far less time
Lingering, inside of my head
Taking more time to appreciate
The outside world instead

 Instead of just walking past
In the usual workplace huff
I look up and acknowledge people
It’s really brilliant stuff

It’s amazing to see the effect
Of  a ‘thank you’ or a simple ‘hello’
These basic acts of kindness
Should not be need to know.

I will strive to be a kinder man
Take the positive wherever I go
Tell people that I appreciate them
Whenever they should know…

 When I witness a kind act
I will make a point of telling
When someone exacts a hefty price
I won’t buy what they’re selling

Easier to shrug off the predictable
Laugh, at what seems strange
I will accept it for what it is
Smile, in the name of change

 Catch the humour of situations
When life throws me curves
Think that maybe it’s just me
When people get on my nerves.

 If I am too busy to bother
I will get out of my own way
Leaving room for more positive
To join me every day…

 Stop driving myself crazy
Stop using excuses as a shield
Taking myself to a better place
Less stop signs, more yield

I will hold the door for people
Compliment them whenever I can
Put others before myself
Be a strong and proud man

Invite meaningful discussion
Let other opinions go ahead
Be firm in my belief
That conversation is not dead.

I had been missing too much
In the dark with mostly me
Lost sight of who I am
Was blind, but now I see…

I will live more fully in the now
With less rewind, and more play
Less of my time internalizing
Less worrying, and more say

If I like it, I’ll let you know
If I don’t, too bad for me
The best of me is easy going
That’s how all of me needs to be

Will spend less time in my head
Less dwelling on what was
Stop taking myself so seriously
When no one else does.

Sky for SURE

Pages

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Pages
Plenty of reflections
Plenty of idiosyncrasies
come naturally with age.

The
inclination to hesitate
 The instinct to look back…
before I turn a page.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Dates of significance
Names and news and faces.
They pull be back in time
To a life full of friends
To many happy places.

I find myself occupied

For more than a moment
When I stop to reminisce.
So deeply entrenched
As I get lost in a past
That I invariably miss.

I have done my due time

Been an adult for a while
Am a proud father of two.
Have settled into middle age
Set aside my daydreams
For the responsible view.

Far too many pages

Far too many friendships
That I’ve let slide by.

As my mortality jolts me

As I read into it further…
I have to ask why?

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Social media postcards

Everyone is travelling
Going there and there.
With unlimited budgets
Twelve weeks of vacation
Gone without a care.

Everyone else seems to get it

That time is of the essence
As the years tread by.
Different walks of life
With uncommon passages
But similar reasons why.

Emphatic experiences

To exciting locations
At the drop of a hat.
Unbelievably available
Unrealistic, of course
But I want some of that.

So many more pages

So many more memories
for me to still get.

With age comes wisdom

With wisdom comes perspective…
but not just yet.

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Chance encounter reminders

Of emotions long forgotten
Of passages in my book.
Resolute feelings of once was
The remnants of my passion
And the chances that I took.

“You look great for fifty”

That is kind of you to say
But it’s clearly not the same.
Just takes me back to twenty
With the world at my feet
At the top of my game.

I have no urge to act my age

I crave the reckless abandon
That I felt back then.
I need more of that feeling
More of that self-assurance
Inside of me again.

Plenty of next pages

Plenty of new stories
before this chapter ends.

Much is still in place

Much of what motivates me…
and most of those friends.

 

Libre

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Libre

It seems so simple
Crystal clear
Sunlit visible
as I look around
The little things
Whatever life brings
Rays of sunshine
in perspective found

Time continues
to fly on by
Weeks disappearing
into the haze
Slow it down
to take a look
Make the most
of everydays

Palm trees
Gracious people
A week away
for my mind
Smiles and greetings
Time not fleeting
Easing away
from days behind

Cuba libre
Putting my self first
Spiritually taking
time for me
The unobtrusive
is all-inclusive
Cerebrally absorbed
in all I see

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It seems so simple
Crystal clear
Sunlit evident
that less is more
The little things
Whatever life brings
Waves of perception
from ocean to shore

See this world
whenever possible
Sample the pleasures
life recommends
Follow the rhythms
of your heart
Embrace the message
that it sends

Drinking time
Thinking time

A vacation

for my soul
Pina colada
Worry about nada

Pieces of perception
making me whole

Cuba libre
Putting my self first
Blissfully making
time for me

The unobtrusive
is all-inclusive
Cerebrally absorbed
in all I see
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