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

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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

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.

Applause

Applause

I’ve been here many times,
as their childhood has flown past

Sitting alone in the crowd
smiling, and having a blast
A proud, dedicated single parent
gathering memories that will last

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She weaves her way through a defense

that had previously refused to yield
Deft footwork and bursts of speed
guide her down the field
I spring from the edge of my seat
as a late victory is sealed

My legs, energized by her exploit
My lungs, filled with a rush of air
An abrupt acknowledgment of her endeavor
as I quickly rise up from my chair
Emphatic words in a father’s approval
ecstatic to be right there

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I see my teenage powerhouse
as she tumbles across the floor
A round-off and a back handspring
My gasp, and then a perfect two more
An exalted, frightening, wonderful feeling
that resonates to my core

My stomach, churning when she jumps
My heart, leaping when she lands
The uniquely exhilarating anguish
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put down the camera
to free up my hands

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The impetus for my applause
Feats that constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My two hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


It seems to me that it’s a graceful gazelle
that suddenly emerges from the pack
Anticipating the exact moment
from my spot along the track
As she glides around the final curve
the others get further and further back

My mind, racing with her to the finish
My senses, tingling from the start
The extent of her accomplishments
matching the size of her heart
Knowing the work ethic and the effort
that always set her apart

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Being early gets me a good seat
Dead center, given the chance
Oblivious of my surroundings
I listen to her play, I watch her dance
Happily lost, inside of myself
My own choice, my soul circumstance

My eyes, no matter what her stage
My ears, for any of the bands
The selfish, singular focus
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put the program down
to free up my hands

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The inspiration for my applause
Daughters who constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My t
wo hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


Sitting alone, in the crowd

as each new season has passed
Thankful for each new memory
as time ticks by so fast
Never wondering, or worrying,
if this one will be the last

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Squashed

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Squashed

She had
no time

for us.
I had
no patience

to wait.
While she
found
the time

to keep 
the promises
she made.

Plans made
for us
months ahead.

One night
away

in a different bed.
To feed
a love
we left unfed.
To bandage wounds
that
slowly bled.

Convenient excuses

from her
instead.
Obvious signs
that hope
was dead.

One dinner
for us
and maybe one dance.

One night
for us
months in advance.
To try
to find
our lost romance.
To save
our family
from circumstance.

Squashed
by her
without a glance.
An obvious sign
that we had
no chance.

No time.
No patience.

No hope. 
 Unwilling
to even try.

No time.
No patience.
No chance.

We both know
the reasons
why.

Wakefield

Banner
Wakefield
A small village
A huge heart
A desperate family
A new start

Perogies, and perspective
New friends, community, drinks
The comfort in knowing
What the best in us thinks
—–

Live music for what ails me,
My spirit needing a lift
The Black Sheep beckoned
My own pre-Christmas gift

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A Weber Brother’s Christmas’…
That had to be good for my soul
I was alone, and a few hours early
 So, it would be fresh air and a stroll
—–

Intending to bide some time,
I curiously opened your door
Just looking for a unique pint
What I found,  was far more

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At first, it was exactly what I wanted
A small crowd, and ‘Perogy Night’!
Easing into the Kaffé 1870 atmosphere
Something about it, feeling just right

It didn’t take very long, however
The numbers began to grow
For live music and a fundraiser
More and more locals, I came to know

Photos Andre Forget

Kaffé 1870, Wakefield for Refugees
An awaiting host, a timely cause

A community coming together
Just like that, and just because

Words from the dedicated organizers,
A gregarious councillor, made everyone smile
The people, the closeness, the obvious warmth
My trip, already, well worth its while

Photos Andre Forget

It would become hard for me to leave
‘Godknowswhat’ was sublime
Extremely accomplished musicians
Donating their talent, and their time

I couldn’t count all of the terrific chats
I had found, in just a few hours
But, what I will never underestimate
Is community, and its obvious powers

Wakefield for Refugees sign showing $30,000 raised.

Seeing the good in so many people
And knowing, when I hear it
Experiencing your generosity

And sharing in your spirit

A raffle ticket, some Bean Fair coffee,
For my table, another round 
I had donated, but felt like the recipient
As I departed, Black Sheep bound
—–
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Two Weber hours later
After another fantastic show
It was time for me to leave
But, I didn’t really want to go

Reflecting, smiling again,
And thinking, alone in my car
About an extremely fortunate family
About just how lucky they are

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Heading home, yet feeling closer
Invigorated, inspired, alive
Accompanied by this community
For my two-hour drive

Kaffé 1870, and The Black Sheep,
The warmest of patrons, and cold beer
And Wakefield, I am grateful
That circumstance brought me here
—–

Perogies, and perspective
New friends, community, drinks

The comfort in knowing
What the best of us thinks

A close community
An open heart
A fortunate family
A new start

Banner

 

Confined

“People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it.”
– Jim Morrison20150930_213223[1]

 Confined

He goes to bed each night
alone with the ache
 His internal conflict
keeping them both awake
Wakes up weary every morning
lying beside his vanity
With a smile for his children
and a check mark for his sanity

Physical versus mental
in a battle of his pain
Sensory and substantial
is the signal from his brain
From necessity and habit
you conceal what you feel
It’s mind against matter
with wounds that won’t heal

Scar tissue and time
The confines of the mind
Self-motivation
Self-preservation
Selfishly suppressing the pain
Scar tissue and time
A safe place to hide
He
fights the pain

His wounds remain
Sustaining himself from inside

An actor playing himself
in the true story of he
Absorbed in the role of everyman
and that’s who he has to be

Scripted by circumstance
he has lines on every page
Penned for his own purposes
he is resplendent on his stage

 
A song written in his head
but needed by his heart

Lyrics intended for healing
they’re upbeat from the start
Motivation for mind and body
 Affected, but indeed sincere
He gives a selfless performance
for everyone to hear

Scar tissue and time
The complexities of the mind
Self-medication
Self-preservation
Selfishly deflecting the pain
Scar tissue and time
Enduring another day
Different roots of pain

No Ledger or Cobain
Determined to go another way

Scar tissue and time
You conceal what you feel
It’s mind against matter
When wounds never heal

Scar tissue and time
In the confines of your mind
You ascend another day
Starting from behind

 

Bittersweet

We shall…
“walk the caves of ice…

  taste anew the fruits of life… 
and drink the milk of Paradise”… (N. Peart)

for, perhaps, one last time.



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We are…

Working men
of modest money.

We shall taste the dew
of the sweetest honey…


Our anticipation

is bittersweet.
With the realistic chance
it’s the last we’ll eat.

Just one more taste
the final course, complete.
Wondering if this
is our last,
delectable
satisfying treat.

We realize…

Entre nous, sadly
time won’t stand still.

Our circumstance
succumbs to free will.

The cerebral revelry.
That rhythmic mystic joy.
The analog kid

that lurks in every boy…


The enlightened faithful
feeling bittersweet.
T
he surreal possibility
it’s the last we’ll greet.

All of us together
hovering, above our seat.
Exulting in unison
for one, ultimate,
astounding feat.


We feel…

The spirit of radio
in this nation wide.
The holy triumvirate
is this nation’s pride.

A farewell to kings
they are our humble royalty.
For the last forty
they have our eternal loyalty…


Saying good-byeIMG_20150528_175906[1]
especially bittersweet.
The reluctant reality 

that it’s the last we’ll meet.

Live, our hearts alive
with wings on our feet.
Pulsating as one
to the closing, resounding
consummate beat.


We know…

For this one last victory
our signals will reconnect…
For this measure of three lives
our infinite respect.

 

 

Bus

                     Bus                         

I see the bus coming up the street
I am energized as I leave my seat
Feeling that extra bounce in my feet
My heart embracing the added beat.

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It’s your contagious, expressive energy
An always positive vibe that enlivens me
Your ever-present smile, your joie de vivre
The impressive person you have come to be

Always offering and anxious to help out
Willing to try, even when there is doubt
Confident and capable is what you shout
You already understand what living is about

When your school day is finally done
The best part of mine has just begun
Shining bright in the late-afternoon sun
My first-born daughter, you are second to none.

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– 

Changes have come, as we knew they would
Less time together than we know we should
In different places from where we stood
Life gets in the way, like we thought it could
It may be different,  but we are good

Another twist in a road that often bends
Between work and circumstance and friends
We are seldom together when the day ends
Yet with just one call, my heart mends
Buoyed by your voice and the assurance it sends

Patience and understanding, as we have discussed
We will always find time, in that we trust
Making the most of it is our infinite plus
The same father-daughter bond connecting us…
I just miss being there, when you get off of the bus.

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Good-bye

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Good-bye

Time and again
I have felt it
That pang of emptiness
the weight of a sigh.
Sometimes I suppress it
sometimes I don’t
But every time…
I hate good-bye.


I could see it as

I held your hand
that knowing look
in your eyes
Even as you struggled 
you recognized
my struggle
with good-byes

Some impressions
sink in and stay
Unselfish imprints
the enduring part
Personal reminders
a life-long spirit
Eternally residing
inside your heart

I knew our bond
 would never die
 I saw it, as we said
good-bye


What we shared

was short but sweet
wrought with
what ifs and whys
I hated breaking
your honest heart
Even more than
I hate good-byes

Sometimes it is not
meant to be
Excruciating decisions
painful choices
Personal priorities
conscious realities
Mindful guidance
from internal voices

I apologized for
the reasons why
Even as we said
good-bye


You gave us twelve

memory filled years
 But moving on
and out was wise
One final time 
I closed your door
 Reminding me of why
I hate good-byes

Someone put a wedge
between us
Breaking down walls
is always tough
Family and love are
reasons for change
Love and change
were reason enough

I felt the memories
and began to cry
Pausing, as I said
good-bye


It is just a part

of who I am
It does not matter
how hard I try
The simple soul
inside of me
Simply hates to say
good-bye

We can’t hold on
to forever
Inevitable and circumstance
will come along.
That doesn’t mean
that it won’t hurt
So say good-bye…
 but stay strong.

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Discretion

DiscretionIMG_20141102_142927[1]

Stopped instantly in your tracks.
Waves of shock and then disbelief.

Her picture right there for all to see
The headline, as plain as can be
Words that strike at your very core
Shaken by the thought of reading more
You dare to look, despite the knowing
Helpless to keep it all from showing
Putting your back against the wall
Needing support as your barriers fall

Because now,
you are weakened by what you’ve read,
and you can’t move ahead.


Staggered by this second-hand news.

An instantaneous jolt of clarity. 

Taken directly to a time and a place

Flashing back, to that perfect face
A playful smile you will never forget
The honest heart of your last regret
An ideal situation, some would say
Judged yourself and you walked away
A circumstance you left behind
Rarely ever crossing your mind

Until now.
You are taken aback by what you’ve heard,
but you can’t say a word.


Inhibited by the same weight of discretion.

Just as private as it was back then.

Age, and then distance, were both too far
You sullenly
remove your suit from the car
Knowing what no one else needs to know
That it’s far more respectful not to go
Keeping your distance is probably best
Questions to avoid in the eyes of the rest
Despite yourself, you know what to do
Closure is for the family, not for you

For now.
 You are constrained by the reasons why,
 so you cannot say good-bye.

 

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A peculiar sensation of personal loss.
Over someone and something that you let go.

Finding yourself alone with your despair

Few who could really understand or care
Absolutely no shame in what you feel

Convenient secrets, you chose to conceal
Fleeting memories, you fought to dismiss
Coming around, when it comes to this
A conscious grip on things back then
You have to confront those choices again

But now,
you need time and space with what you know.
 Because you have to let her go…
again.

 

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