Desensitized

Desensitized

My inner voice is muffled by my apathy,
now but a dull monotone of exasperation…

I saw the news scroll by, just before 9:00
Made a vague mental note of where and when
My immediate reaction was indifference
Didn’t bother to look, until a little after 10
What once was a cry of shock and disbelief,
was little more than a feint echo of ‘not again’


Appalled, by my complacency
Stunned, that I was not more sad
Concerned, yes, but not that surprised
More annoyed really, than mad
Uncaring and ashamed
My heartbeat but a dull ache
Desensitized and demoralized
How much death did it take?


My outlook is deplorable, yet realistic,
never once thinking that this can’t happen again…

What I read was just more of the same, only more so
Fifty-plus dead, thousands of lives changed forever
Was not surprised by how many were killed
More surprised that is was the most gunned down ever
It’s America, remember, the land of opportunity,
so you can never ever say ‘never’


Embarrassed, by my attitude
Disgusted, that I see it that way
Dismayed, yes, but not surprised
Another senseless act, another senseless day
Inconsiderate and detached
My heart too hardened to break
Desensitized and demoralized
How many dead does it take?


My curiosity is peaked by the degree of absurdity,
with the same simple questions every time… 

Another homicidal and suicidal loose cannon
Elevated to fame, by an amendment carved in stone
The only unpredictable part of the story was him
Famous now, without ever being known
How can these dudes still get automatic weapons?
How many guns can one crazy man own?

Irritated, by my frustration
Worried, that I chose the lower road
Jaded, yes, but not surprised
Loaded questions, I will inevitably reload
Disjointed and exhausted
My mind cynical, for my heart’s sake
Desensitized and demoralized
How many guns does it take?

There

 

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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-

   20160922_1253021
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

 

Guns

          GUNS 

Justify them however you like,
  guns are made to kill.
 
   Made even more deadly
     in the hands of the vengeful,
       of the criminal, of the mentally ill.
         Guns will always find their way 
            into the hands of those who will.
              Inevitably, into the wrong hands, 
                  despite the latest greatest bill.
                     And always at the wrong time…
                        because guns are made to kill.

                           Those stubbornly blind say,
                             “Guns don’t kill. People do.”
  
                                 This weapon finds death.
                                    In the sights of the spiteful,
                                      of the careless, of the self-chosen few.
                                         It doesn’t matter what you say.
                                           It is mainly a matter of who.
                                             So open up your obstinate eyes.
                                               It could happen to yours, or you.
                                                  Guns alone may not shoot people…
                                                     but only people with guns do.

                                                         Defensive or offensive,
                                                            it is a scary slippery slope.

                                                              Guns are firmly entrenched
                                                                 in the arms of your nation,
                                                                   of law enforcement, of those who guard hope.
                                                                      Yet, for every group with the best intentions, 
                                                                         there is one more who can’t cope.
                                                                            Manufactured for a single purpose.
                                                                               Short-sighted, in every scope.
                                                                                  The hunter, or the hunted…
                                                                                     it’s a scary, slippery slope.

                                                                                         Guns are made to kill.
                                                                                            They will always find a way.
                                                                                              No matter what we do.
                                                                                                 No matter what you say.

A scary, slippery slope.

Remembered

Remembered

   I had a dentist appointment on Thursday. After I had parked my car I looked down at the ticket, and I remembered. 
   I felt a wave of anxiety come over me as I realized just where I was, and on what day. 
   I remembered, and I paused for a moment, before going up those stairs.
   I remembered, in a haze, as I sat, quiet in the dental chair.
I remembered many things in a rush of cold reality.

992212_725285137497757_539786606_n
I remembered that it was September the 10th.

I remembered that it was the date he died.
I remembered, thinking how fast that two years had gone by.

I remembered that this was where he had his fall.
I remembered getting the phone call at work.
I remember seeing him later that day at my sister’s.
I remembered how battered and bruised he was.
I remembered how shocked we were that he was released from emergency.
I remembered how proud and how stubborn he was.
I remembered just how much that I missed him.

I remembered two heart wrenching weeks in the hospital. 
I remembered the dedication of Dorry.1174411_721955574497380_563150802_n
I remembered the strength and humour of Gerry.
I remembered the seesaw of conversations with Tim.
I remembered the innocent sincerity of Anna and Erin.
I remembered the love and support, and soft hands of Lana.

I remembered his amazing comeback.
I remembered his helpless confusion.
I remembered when we decided to let him go.
I remembered saying goodbye.
I remembered picking out a casket.


I remembered dinner the night before the funeral
I remembered the breathtaking sky above Lake Huron.
unnamed
I remembered all of us staying at the same hotel.
I remembered the stories and drinks, smiles and tears.

I remembered what I wrote for the graveside.
I remembered that Lana had to read it for me.
I remembered my girls holding each of my hands.

I remembered, smiling, that Alec was there too.
I remembered people leaving for the airport.
I remembered saying goodbye.

I remembered looking back as we drove out of town.

As I stepped down from the chair, our dentist Dave, I am sure unaware of the date or circumstances, asked me to “say hi to the girls” for him…and he said, “I miss having your father Norm come to see me”.
Again I paused, and he knew just how much that meant as his eyes caught mine.
“Me too Dave.”  I closed the door behind me.

Fleeting

           Fleeting

It comes more with age20150827_184053[1]
Becomes more of a reality
You examine your life
Struck by your mortality

With every death
With every wake
There is another punch
You have to take

It beats me down
One reminder at a time
One more reason
For every rhyme
Again and again
It tortures my heart
If I’m going to live
I’d better start

Responsibility and life
Work and play
Flying through the motions
Of another day

It’s Monday to Sunday
In the blink of an eye
Barely getting on
As time whips by


It’s all an illusionimagesM5E0G21W
It’s a ruse, a sham
All just an act
It’s not who I am

It wears me down
One day at a time
One more reason
For every rhyme
Again and again
It tortures my heart…

Fulfillment is fleeting
You must
maintain your drive
Keep your foot on the gas
Accelerate, to feel alive

Too much pain
Too many pills
So much coffee
So many hills

The climb up 20150827_184220[1]
The slide back
The self-regulation
Is what I lack

It brings me down
One vice at a time
One more reason
For every rhyme
Again and again
It tortures my heart…

They say that a mind
Is a terrible thing to waste
And that life is bland
Unless you dare to taste

That the key to success
Is hard to locate
When opportunity knocks
Rush to the gate

But what I want
What I actually need20150827_184348[1]
Is a little more time
Is a lot less speed

Control of the pace
A slowly opened door
Because more or less
Less is more

One good reason
For every rhyme
To ease me down

One moment at a time
Again and again
To soothe my heart
If I’m going to live
I’d better start

Inevitable


Inevitability

is a crutch.
Bracing us
for a life event 
that will hurt
so much.

Parents will pass.
This is known.

Inevitably,
at that moment,
we will feel alone.


An unavoidable test.

Right nor wrong.
Facing
a harsh reality
that will
come along.

Parents will pass.
This is known.

Inevitably,
and eventually
we lose our own.

tears bench


Inevitability
is a balm.
Easing

our sorrow.
Palliative
and calm.

Parents will pass.
This is known.

Inevitability,
comfort in knowing
that we are not alone.


Certainty arrives.

 It always does.
Focus
on
the memories.
The reassurance
of what was.

Parents will pass.
This is known.

Inevitability,
a life, a legacy…
inevitably
etched in stone.

20170609_114735[1]

SAME

SAME

Eyes wide openIMG_20150330_112911[1]
Looking over at me
Awake in the wake.
        More beautiful
        More expressive
        More than I can take.

That same dream
The same image
         just as clear.

The same realities
The same memories
         find me here.


Still you are gone
Never coming back

Sadly taken away.
        Hard to accept
        Hard to understand
        Hard to even say

The same nightmare
That same visionbed - Copy
        of the very end.
The same horror
The same memories
         to comprehend.


Shock and disbelief
Second-hand news
First-hand pain.
        Taking my time
        Taking my sleep
        Taking me back again.

The same heartache
The same dream
         of once was.
The same nightmare
The same memories
        The same just because.

(more…)

Legacy

       Legacy

Can you leave
a legacy behindIMG_20150113_154720[1]
When your
blood line
ceases?
When no one
still living
shares
your blood?


No children

and wife gone
Ninety-three years
in this world 
Simple facts
for a simple man

Extraordinary 
perhaps not
But look closer
to find

Certain details
of this life


Married for

fifty-seven years
Partners in life-149309_ORIGINAL
for sixty
Alone for his
last fifteen

Literally worked in
the old salt mine
Yet still found
the resolve
Yet still found
the time

Served his nation
in World War II
Decorated for
his bravery
Liberating France
from Nazi ruleIMG_20150113_154846[1]

Volunteer fireman
Chief for years
Legion executive
Charity work
Loving husband
Friend to many


Proud and kind

small town man
Always a smile
in his eyes
Always a kind word
to say

You could see
his happiness
Always could sense
his ease 
You can recognize
his place


The long lineimages
at the wake
proof

Tears of honour
beside the grave
evidence
Of a life
well spent

All that he had
to those of us
who mattered

His wife and
his memories
by his side…

The people
of his legacy

 

Good-bye

trail3

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.

IMG_20150112_125722[1]

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.

 

IMG_20141103_124147[1]

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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