Triathlon

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 Triathlon
I am not completely sure
if I am entitled to be,
or, really, if I’m even allowed
But, I am thoroughly impressed by you
And, dare I say,
I am extremely proud…

I watched you, in your controlled haste,
steadying, readying, and taking your place at the start
And then I noticed the cool and calm ease
with which you settled into the race
Then, somehow, you found the presence of mind
to look up, to find me, and even to wave
Before swimming, strong and steadily away,
from the huge smile you left on my face

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It seems that I’d completely underestimated
the strength and power of your stroke

as I arrived, too late to support you,
through your swim to bike transition
My own personal pride thoroughly jolted
by the sick emptiness in my stomach

My eagerness to video, thwarted,
by your speed, and your top five position

Yet, my whole heart went out there with you
as you spun your way through the winding course
I went up the hills with you, and then down,
my mind, racing along, despite what I couldn’t see
It was impossible for me to relax, or even to sit,
with all of the unknown, and all the anticipation
So I paced, anxiously, awaiting your arrival
as you pedaled your way back to me

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A contented relief flushed over me
as you braked, and then you touched ground
As you pushed your bicycle to your chosen spot,
I felt as much like your fan, as I was your friend
Despite my pent up angst, and energetic love,
I knew I had a very small window to speak
Time enough to cheer you, and to reassure you,
and to tell you, that I’d find you near the end

As you switched your shoes, and turned to go
I noticed the game-face return to your glance
I’ve seen that will and determination before
It’s who you are, and in much that you do
As you ran out of sight, on your last leg,
I yelled more encouragement, in due haste
Wishing that my words could push you along
Hoping my spirit would run with you

As you emerged from the tunnel, weary legged,
nearing the last of your well of endurance,
your eyes seemed focused, intently on the task
Looking for anything that you had left inside
While you bravely ascended the final climb,
you amazingly found one final burst,
crossing the finish, alone with your fatigue
Soon to be joined by my burgeoning pride

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I stayed back, for a minute or two, purposely,
to simply observe, and to give you some space
And as I watched you, catching up to your breath,
I saw right then, what separates you from the crowd
It’s your personal investment, in all that you attempt
In my eyes, you’re resplendent, with all that you are
And in that moment, as you looked especially beautiful,
I could not have been more impressed or proud

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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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Hip

 

 

If this is it,
then so it shall be.
I want you to know,
it means a lot to me.

                        

                       Hip
Lining up at the campus pub

1985, a cold stubby in my hand
Doors would eventually open
No cover, for a cool cover band
Some suggested Jim Morrison
Felt more like a Rolling Stone
A mix of B-sides and originals
The hip vibe, definitely their own

A different stage, Lakeview Manor
People from miles around
A fan base that had grown
Along with their singular sound
An E.P and a break-through
Up To Here, and it was time to go
As good as each next album was
It was more about the live show

Passing on some arena gigs
Four of us, in my father’s car 
Five and a half hours south
The Hip experience, in an unhip bar
Taking a break from winter
With our Canadian content in tow
Sharing our rock n roll landscape
With those who might not know.

A slice of our identity
A uniquely Canadian sound
Taking our reciprocal pride
and passing it around

No matter where this life takes you
it’s good to know
that you can always come home…
Back to your family and your friends
with stories of where you’ve been
To the harmony of your hometown
To where you always begin
Accompanied by the music of your life,
that defines you from within.


Outside at The Forum, August ’93

Bigger stage, overflowing crowd
The same electric atmosphere
For the appreciative and proud
Reconnected with a great friend
Gary and Hodgie, the Queen’s years
Kingston to Toronto, and back
A hug, The Hip, and a couple of beers

A common thread of identity
The words, drums, the guitars
Intimate and intertwined
under a constellation of stars


Fast forward 25 years, Ottawa

Tailgating, second to last show
We are raucous, we are ready
Inspired by what we know
A brave, triumphant journey
Our home and our native land
Man Machine Poem, and mutual respect 
The storyteller, their crowd, this band

It’s not about patriotic pathos
It’s a celebration, for 30 plus years
It’s new songs mixed with older
Rhythmic recollection, maybe a few tears
It’s whole cities of support
An entire country, and its heart
Lyrically linked, together as one
Joined at the Hip, from the start.

The strength of our identity20170731_185540
The pulse of a nation
A Tragically Hip tune
on a radio station

No matter where the music takes you

it’s good to know
You can always come home…
Back to those perennial seeds,

the ones you chose to sew
Firmly planted, in hometown soil
The seeds that helped you grow
Pride, a poet, and a band of brothers,
home for one more show.

Last night…     

A front row seat in Port Perry
It’s Scotty, Tim, Peter and me
A musical postcard from Kingston
The Tragically Hip, in a pub, for free
Honoured guest at a party for all of us
August 20, 2016, a tall pint, a toast, a sip
A thoughtfully wrapped three-hour gift
To Canada, with love, from The Hip.


If that was it,
then so it shall be.
I want you to know,
it meant the world to me.

Thank you.
            G.G.
Kingston, ON
August 21, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weiland

 Weiland
Certain impressions

Cemented imprints
  Moments, that always
  Will remain with me.
Stamps of clarity
Distinct interpretations
Times, to never forget
That only I may see.

A concert among many
A smallish venue
Dedicated patrons
Pressed against the gates.
At that precise instant
I saw it in his eyes
The sure realization
The nod to his mates.

He knew he had us
The right people
Pleased to meet us
At one with his crowd.
With each familiar track
We rose to the occasion
To a body of work
That made him proud.

Belying his frailty
Gaunt and ashen
Worn down by the life
And wearing the age.
The consummate showman
Doing his thing
The slightest of figures
Commanding the stage.

I remember it vividly
The crispness of the performance
Struck by the energy
The electricity, the pace.
Tight and professional
The purity of the music
The megaphonic intensity
The smile on his face.

The wail of the guitar
Meandering behind his words
The roar of the crowd
As the last note sustained.
All had been sung and done
Two plus hours invested
The whole band as one
Fully and entirely drained.

Standing, arm in arm
Having given their all
Drenched in their art
Soaking in our applause.
 Recognizing the enormity
Of our live experience
 Spent on the stage
Entirely, and just because.

RIP

 

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