Mine

MINE
I was inching away from everything
that I had tried so hard to preserve
Taking the smallest of careful steps,
as I negotiated the next curve
Having spent far too much energy
accepting less than I deserve
Gradually reaching the realization
that I have more than enough nerve
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So, I am making changes

For me
Found someone who sees the very best
in me
Nearer to the fun and confident essence
of who I used to be
Experiencing life, one day at a time
For me

I had the best of all of the intentions

but my will seldom found the way
I just needed some selfish motivation,
and to heed the words I would say
When it’s broken, you must fix it,
rather than put it off, for yet another day
And that meant doing it myself,
believing, this is the price I’ll pay

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So, I am making changes

For me
Bought a nice new, reliable vehicle
just for me
I am getting ever closer
to the way things should be
Closer to the life that I choose
For me

The constant of the truly good people

who are always always there
Family, colleagues, closest friends,
listening, simply because they care
Honesty, in the face of my best interest,
with only good intentions to share
Helping to get me to a better place
and then joining me, no matter where

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I am making these changes
For me
A newish job, and a great new house
For me
I am now looking only forward,
to the place I want to be
Where life and love and happiness meet
With me

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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 memories, new and old,
The long journey of a husband and a wife
A visual journal, of his story and yours,
Room to room, 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 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

Kick

 

Kick
Striding toward your goals
Always the first to arrive
Always the last to leave
Always giving your best…  
Going the extra yard
to separate from the rest

Staying with the group,
you are comfortable where you are.
With no urgency to take the lead,

you settle into fourth instead.
Prepared, mentally and physically,
for your chance to move ahead.
Sensing it in the pace,

you anticipate the moment.
  Your instincts tell you when,
  and they always seem to know.
I can just barely get the words out,
“Here she comes. Watch her go.”

Kick
Seizing the moment,
and having what it will take
Kick
Seeing the opportunity,
and leaving the rest in your wake
Kick
The training
The discipline
One last rep
One more lap
Kick
Knowing you have enough
to close the gap

Prepared for your success
Hours in the weight room
Hours in the gym
Hours on the track…
Building up the resolve,
to separate from the pack


Striving for your most

Your work ethic
Your ambition
Your fight…
An inward strength that emerges,
with all of its might

With a glance to your right,
you make your move to the outside.
  There is one remaining curve,
and you have one remaining burst.
   Six or seven powerful strides
take you from fourth to first.
You accelerate through the finish
and you glide to a stop.
Hands on your hips,
you are tired and content.
Satisfied with your preparation,
and the rush of how it went.

Kick
Brash and self-certain
Confident, bordering on bold
Kick
I’ve seen it many times
and it never gets old
Kick
The speed
The stamina
One last push
One more gear
Kick
All of the grit and guts
that got you here

You leave it all out there
Your determination
Your heart
Your will…
Just when it all seems spent,
you get stronger still

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Now

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Now
In some ways, now

I am more nervous 
than when we first met
Wondering, if this something,
that seems so sure,
is not certain yet

Worried, that the same ghosts
that haunt my past
will scare me once again
That the many reasons
that this should last
will vanish, into back then

I should not be thinking
about what could go wrong,
  or what I would miss
As long as we have now,

and we have the moment,
and we have all of this


Live in the moment…
Don’t waste your time
dwelling on failures
That’s no way to live

Live for the moment…
Don’t think about
what you can’t take
Only, what you can give


In so many ways, now,

I am much more aware
of what’s most important to me
  And I am far less concerned
with who I am not,
or who I ought to be
 
 Excited, about the sensations
  The exhilaration that I feel
in the anticipation of today
That I can get so caught up,
in something that’s real,
determined, to keep it that way

I have nothing to hide,
and so much more to find
  Motivated, by who and how
It’s only about the moment,
the fact that we are here,
  and that our time is now.


Speak from the heart,
without hesitation,
within the moment you choose

The present is now
Live for the moment,
without a moment to lose


In many ways, now,

I am far more assured
  with what we have found
Caring and carefree,
confident and content,
whenever you’re around

So fulfilled, by what we have,
that it makes perfect sense
to feel strong and secure
Knowing that, at this moment,
in the present tense,
we are substantial and sure

I am clearly focused
on this love for you,
and the love that we share
  With all we have now,
everything, in this moment,
and what got us there


Living in the moment…
Taking what life gives me
Embracing all that I have,
and holding on to it tight

Living for the moment…
Finding the joy in each day
Finding the now in each moment,
and keeping it in sight


Deliberation


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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’ll 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 think, I scroll through my movie choices.
“Don’t sit there. Come lie down with me. No need to slouch.”
Hearing this, I am actually more exasperated than surprised.
It’s a sexy female voice, coming from the couch.

Brusque

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Brusque

Opinions, for the ears of everybody
Words, of a mind for only one
You talk and you talk a good game
When, actually, you have none
A misplaced sense of self-importance
Confident, to the point of delusion
Constantly rubbing people the wrong way
A reality, wrapped inside an illusion

What colour is the sky in your world?
Does the sun only shine when you’re in it?
Is the planet lonely with just the one person?
Does it only turn when you spin it?

An endless list of those you’ve alienated
Astounded, by your condescending tone
An ego, that pierces the thickest of skin
Daggers, from a mind all your own
Common denominator to many problems
Divisor, for those who cross your path
You are 100% certain, and 90% wrong
Little remains, when you do the math

What colour is the sky in your world?
Is it grey and spattered with dots?
Do you ever get to see the sunlight?
Is it overcast, clouded by your thoughts?

You ride in on your high horse
Give the royal wave to all you pass
Those who don’t acknowledge you
Can just kiss your royal ass
You share a seat with your superiority
Oblivious to the ooze that you spill
Sitting smugly beside your judgement
In a sticky puddle of your ill will

What colour is the sky in your world?
Is it showering blood, instead of rain?
Are you sheltered beneath your thin cover?
Or drenched, in the red of your disdain?

It is by no means an overstatement
Your demeanour is your disguise, your demise
Whenever you reveal your true self
It’s like a storm, sweeping the skies
From the nasty depths of self-absorption
Blunt statements, soaked in the odd
Revealed, one assumption at a time
From beneath your shallow façade

What colour is the sky in your world?
Does anyone ever reach you there?
Perhaps someone should tell you?
Would you really even care?

 

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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