Was

depth of field photography of mallard duck on body of water

Was
He stood on the snow-covered rocks,

watching the three little ducks swim.
Taking turns, diving under the cold lake.
Like children, indulging a dare on a whim.
He was content. Was smiling inside.
Simple emotions were welling to the brim.
More certain that he was almost all the way back.
He was wishing that it was him.

He was standing there, contently entranced.
Soaking in every detail that he could find.
He was feeling the tension of his heartstrings
as they slowly stretched to unwind.
It was not all that long ago, really.
He was adrift, floating away from his mind.
Just then, he was suddenly overwhelmed.
Was remembering, all that he’d left behind…

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He remembered when he was entirely sunken
In the darkest depths of his own despair
Was held under by his own helplessness
Was fighting, for any small gasp of air
Was beside himself, flailing with his lonely soul
Unable to breathe, or even to care
Was looking, around himself, at nothing
Was alone, and wanting no one else there

He was lost, slowly drowning in constant doubt
Submerged, below the murky surface of his worry
Hearing only that incessant, dissenting voice
It was the sound and the resound of the fury
As he finally, desperately, managed to look only up
It was through eyes so tired and blurry
He was doubtful he could get all the way there
He was certain that he had to hurry

He began the ascent, from his abyss of self-pity
Was no more time he could waste on reflecting
He was towing his lessons, out of this depression
Through all of the shame and the blame deflecting

Was willing his load, upward, determined to make it
 He was far more buoyant than he was expecting
With his sole motivation, his self-preservation
He surfaced, with the self he was neglecting

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He had willed himself up and out, onto solid ground.
Had saved his heart and his soul from dying.
If he said that he was completely free of the pain,
they both would know he is lying.
Yet he is getting ever closer to leaving it all behind.
Is going to be himself again. There is no denying.
He is inspired, and required, to get all the way there.
 And he is sure going to live trying…

He was going to stand here for a while more.
And only then would he continue his run.
Transfixed as he was by the three ducks.
Still having their own carefree, unique fun.
He wants nothing more than to bask in this feeling.
It is his head. It is his heart. Together as one.
He finally manages to pull his eyes away.
He is met by the warmth of the sun.

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More

More

You opened my eyes
when you opened your door.
I saw so much in an instant…
And then, I saw so much more.

I had this innate, satisfying sense
that you were excited that I was there.
That you had anxiously anticipated my arrival
with thoughtful touches, and extra care.

Shiny, soft, silky, sexy straight hair.
Bare shoulders, tempting my gaze.
Subtle accents to your natural beauty.
Eyes that danced, and constantly amaze.

I could see your love, in their clear honesty.
In the moment that they looked into mine.
I could taste it, on your moistened lips,
as we drank to us and sipped our wine.

Our playful innuendo, hand fitting hand.
Walking and talking, doing what we do.
Sharing an appetizer and the same wavelength.
The simple pleasures, when it’s me with you.

Yet, there was more, inside your beautiful smile.
In each expressive nuance of your lovely face.
More of something, that was strongly tangible.
I could feel it, with certainty, in every embrace.

We seemed to hold on just a little longer, and stronger.
And there was this extra warmth in your soft touch.
It seemed as though you were exuding happiness.
A pleasure in knowing that we have found so much.

The realization, that you are allowed to be happy.
That you can be yourself, and be entitled to more.
I recognized the difference, like the flip of a switch.
Aglow, in a radiant light, when you opened your door.

I already realized how much that I loved you,
and I knew of so many reasons why.
It was obvious that we were terrific together.
And I knew for sure that I was a lucky guy.

But what struck me most, on this night,
was seeing just how content that you were.
I sincerely had hoped you were as happy as I.
It felt wonderful to know it for sure.

You have opened my eyes
to how much that you appreciate me.
I see so much, through you…
And I love all that I can see.

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Boomerang

Boomerang

We threw all of it away,
but it kept coming back
Every couple of months,
for the first year after year
Whenever you would call,
we’d meet at your wherever
Whenever you came to town,
we’d be together at my here

It seemed like we both knew
that we were meant to be
For two nights a week, at least
And on the long weekends, three

It was all about the physical,

or so we liked to believe
Yet, we would take each other’s heart
and wear it on our sleeve
Time, and then time again
a history of emotions would flow
Time after time, and time again
we would let each other go

It seemed like we both understood

far more was right than was wrong
Yet, we would choose to get going,
despite how well we got along

The occasional encounter, on a whim

The odd phone call, a reach out to touch
It was difficult, for us, to leave it all behind
because we held on to too much
Only ever so barely could I put you in my past
Returning far too often, for far too long
Time went by, and still I wondered
If we were really right, or really all that wrong

Our paths crossed less, our lives evolving

We’d exchange smiles, and that felt fine
I brought a date to your wedding,
but you came alone to mine

board chalk chalkboard color

You would still cross my married conscience
Compromised, for giving up without a fight
Oddly, I felt like I should apologize to her
but I knew, that would never make it right
Lost in my distraction, never in my temptation
Just a lingering null and a void in my mind
It would have been easy, then, if I had to choose
to where, and when, that I would rewind

Each of us have two teenage daughters
Other c
ommonalities, that we have both got
We still keep in touch through social media

You, happily married, and me, happily not

Stronger because of every life experience
Content, with who and where I am today
Time takes its liberties with my feelings

As it drifts further and further away
Jutting in and out with relative ease
A recent memory brings me back to you
A prom, a photograph, a time of our lives
I remember, and I smile, as I always do

The classic example of a lost love story,

where too late replaces not yet
The boomerang that never returns
Requited love, and reluctant regret

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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Instead

Instead
Just two, on a care free Saturday night
Alone together, while we have the chance
Shared moments such nights enhance
An exchange of music, a kitchen dance
An exchange of smiles, a knowing glance

Sitting sideways on the couch
Looking at you looking at me
Your warm hand, resting on my knee
Seeing exactly who I want you to see
Who I really am, not who I might be

Comfortable with why and where we are
The conversation eases to and fro
A flicker of candles, the music low
Content to have nowhere else to go
Content in knowing what we already know

My lips back slowly away from yours
Your head still tilting, slightly to the side
A pause, as thoughts and words collide
My heart swells, with nothing to hide
My stomach churning, stirred up inside

A real and honest instinct, I choose to resist
A heartfelt compliment, uttered instead
We blow out the candles, and we go to bed
With the tug of more inside of my head
With those huge little words, left unsaid

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


Strides

Strides

20171126_164947
We looked mostly straight ahead,

the first time we met
Walking, and small talking,
already at ease, as I got to my car
Yet, within the messages,
that lead us to that point,
I knew the enormity
of getting that far

No sense of haste
as we leisurely walk
Steadily paced
in time and talk
Self discovery, together,
with no real clock

Feeling more familiar 
with every block
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We have picked up the pace,  
as we’ve moved along
Both ready and content
to be moving on
Putting miles, and smiles,
between us and the past
The more we’ve walked
The further we’ve gone

Side by side
our fingers entwined
Stride for stride,
both body and mind
Moving forward, together,
toward what we’ll find

Distancing ourselves
from what’s behind
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Continual but careful steps,
on a path to each other,
Patience, and anticipation,
for what we have in store
So far, so very good, for us,
From nerves and hesitation,
to comfortable conversations,
to moments meant for more

Nights planned
for more time alone
As we delve, we understand
our shared unknown
Time well spent, together,
we can call our own

Hand around hand,
in our comfort zone

Inevitable
Everything, and time,

plenty for us to discover
Our subtle intricacies,
strides for you with me
Walking and talking,
as we ease into us,
Heading toward whatever, 
whenever that may be
 

Swimmer

Swimmer
I had been treading water

for far too long,
when all I wanted to do
was swim
Head and shoulders
above the surface,
scanning the horizon,
 for a life beyond him
Sometimes, just floating,
motionless, on my back
Alone with my thoughts,
staring into the sky
Worrying, wondering,
can I move on? 
Still not quite sure,
but I know I must try

Standing near the edge,
I look for my place
I am in no hurry,
unsure of my needs
It’s natural to hesitate
with the unfamiliar
I search the shallows,
leery of the weeds
I want to get going
away from the past, 
somewhat certain
I am over that hump.
When the time is right
I will find the spot
I will get in for my swim,
but I will not jump

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Sticking one foot in
to test the water,
I am tempted to dive,
but mindful of my haste
Wading into the unknown,
both cautious and curious
Safer to get in slowly,
just up to my waist
The farther I venture,
the deeper I will get
The calmer the current,
the more risks I’ll take
In the waves of my worries
it seems like the ocean
When I rise above it,
I will see it’s a lake

There is so much of life
that I still want to feel
So much about living,
that I still want to know
Strong and steady,
I swim into the distance
The less I look back,
the further I’ll go
Buoyed by my family
and a lifeline of friends,
I am content where I am,
but searching for more
Rough waters behind me,
I look toward my future
If I see love on the horizon,
I will head for that shore

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Dinner

20170801_104703
Dinner

I will raise a glass tonight
and drink to you.
Red wine with dinner
or, perhaps, a cold beer.
I will imagine,
as I sometimes do,
what it would be like
if you could still be here.

The wonderful comfort
of a family gathering.
A backyard barbecue
or, perhaps, a dinner out.
I will remember,
as I often do,
all the little things
that this life is about.

The simple satisfaction
of a table set for many.
Candles on a birthday cake
or, perhaps, an apple pie.
I will look around,
as I usually do,
feel extremely fortunate
and know exactly why.

Tonight, I will say a few words
in honour of you Norm.
Break bread with your granddaughters
and, perhaps, toss a salad in a bowl.
Sit at the head of the table,
as I proudly do,
as a kind and giving father 
content in his role.
—————
You would be eighty-five today,

if you were with us.
There is one less table setting
so, perhaps, you are not.
But we celebrate you today,
as we always will,
because this birthday meal
gives us food for thought.

 

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