Lu

Lu
I have tried to put myself where you are
To imagine how all of this must make you feel.
To imagine all you must be thinking
as you sit down, with us, to share in a meal.
When something as vital as all of this,
questions you’ve carried and could no longer conceal,
becomes something now that actually is.
Something uncertain, that is suddenly real.
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Unanswered questions, so near to your life
The persistent glimmer, as you have grown
Many thought-filled nights, lying in bed,
with a glimpse of the truth, beside an unknown
All of the trappings of everyday normalcy,
family and friends and the seeds you have sewn
Childhood innocence, and then adolescence
An adult, then a mom, with a family of your own

Ongoing years, learning a little at a time
Altered details of who you had hoped to meet
Your husband’s hand, and love and support,
and a wondering heart’s determined beat
Through family trees, into family histories
From informative emails to a signature on a sheet
Back and forth, and around and around,
until your elusive circle is near to complete

In the comfort of somewhere that feels familiar
Together, at long last, on the Huron shore
On a Wednesday in May, at a Goderich gathering,
of open minds, through an open door
With all of your rights, and your revelations,
and all the years that were too much to ignore
After all of the clues, and then the confirmation,
you finally catch up to all that came before

Along with all of the realities of a good life to here,
there is the calm in knowing you have even more.

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We sincerely hope this all feels completely real.
And that we have helped to make it easier for you.
We also look forward to our next time together,
whenever that may be, whatever we may do.
And I think that I can speak for all of us,
for your extra, additional family…and for our mother too,
when I say that whatever your life’s wishes are,
we hope that at least one of them has now come true.

Drained


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Drained


Life asked too much of me today…

When I finally did sit down,
in silent exhaustion
the whole of me was aching,
inside and out
My determination had been battered
And my will was strewn about
The voice of all of my frustrations
left
too tired to shout

I had been drained by the day,
feeling tattered and torn
This day, took everything I had
And then greedily wanted more
My heart, left clinging to my sleeve
My soul, scattered on the floor

Endless hours, of one after another,
constantly knocking on my door

Yet, there was a calming sense of relief
A satisfaction of accomplishment
For having passed each test,
on the worst ‘just one of those days’
I rose up to every harsh challenge
I chose
all of the appropriate plays
I was exhausted, yet extremely alive,
proud of my self-sustaining ways

Life asked too much of me today…

Summoning everything that I had,
I found more than I knew I had to give
On days like these, we don’t get to choose
the life that we have to live

Resolute

“But now each day I’m given
Is one more day I know
A love that’s so unselfish
It’s a pleasure just to show”…
        Carole King – You’re Something New
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Resolute

Most people would get stuck inside themselves,
or struggle to find just the right words to say.
Yet, you recognize that there must be a better way.
And then you ask yourself, “what can I do today?”

Sharing a personal message of positive determination.
Delivering a warm meal, along with a warm embrace.
I see the selfless love, behind the smile on your face,
as you put your own perspective in exactly the right place.

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You are the embodiment of strength in numbers.
Running, together as one, directly into the fray.
All of you recognized that there was yet another way.
And then you said to each other, “we will all do this today”.

It warms my heart just to know all of you.
It stimulates my thoughts to witness so much caring.
I see the selfless love, that all of you are sharing,
emblazoned, very clearly, on the shirts that you are wearing.

I could not be more impressed
with just how strong and just how thoughtful that you are.
I could not be more humbled
to know you, all of you, even just this much, so far.

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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

Past

“So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light…
Just promise me we’ll be alright
But the ghosts that we knew made us black and all blue
But we’ll live a long life
And the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view
And we’ll live a long life”
‘Ghosts That We Knew’
– Mumford & Sons


Past

I took a chance
and let you into my heart.
I let all of my feelings show.
Uprooted my life,
for me and you,
but little did I know.


I discovered your wounds,

written in your own words,
there, for anyone to see.
Cuts and bruises,
vital accumulation,
scars, that you never showed me.

The breadth of your struggles,
so much I didn’t know,
spread across my screen.
Instead of in my mind.
Instead of in my heart,
where they should have been.

I took your determination,
for never again,
as a personal affront.
Your learned defensive posture
as harsh belligerence,
 you just being you, being blunt.

Your fierce independence
was stubborn vulnerability.
Your frustration, was our fate.
The voice of your experience,
sad and specific,
finally heard, but far too late.

I would have tried harder
to let you speak to me,
to let your words get through.
I could have helped you 
confront your demons,
instead of confronting you.

 It became impossible
to live with you
when you wouldn’t let me in.
Hard for us
to start over,
with nowhere to begin.

Had I only known
 the slippery slope
  of dealing with your past.
Known that I would struggle
to wade through
the depths
and dangers of your doubt.

I still would have wanted you.
I still could have loved you.
I would have understood.
I could have pulled you out.


I chose the challenge,

and gave you my heart.
Let all of my feelings show.
Uprooted my life,
to be with you,
but little did I know.


If only I had known,
I could have earned your trust.
I would have opened up my mind.
Instead, I read of our demise,

   determined before we met,
 by those you left behind.

Takers, martyrs, bullies,
sad and hurtful people,
there on my screen.
Instead of in our talks.
Instead of in my thoughts,
where they should have been.

 Until I read it,
I never once heard you 

refer to your mother as
Mom.
In fact, I barely knew
where all of the hurt
and resentment
were from.

Never could I picture, you,
together with your ex.

Made no sense to me at all.
And, until I read the name,
  typed in bold hostility,
I had never heard of Paul.

Bitterness and bravado.
 Broken pieces of the past,
clenched inside your fist.
   Our time, our spirit,
spent fighting with your ghosts.
One more added to the list.

It’s tough to share
with someone
who barely gives.
Hard to live
with someone
who reluctantly lives.

Had I only known
the bleak history
of your emotional pain.
The depths to which
those before me
had sunk inside your mind.
I still would have wanted you.
I still could have loved you.
I would have understood.
I could have been more kind.

I gave you my heart.
Had I only known…

 

 

BOUNDLESS

                    
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BOUNDLESS  (for Anna)

A limitless future 
  as vast as the sky
A reachable distance
when you dare to try


Attainable goals

  as close as they are high
Boundless potential

  and the reasons why…


You are intelligent

and you are strong.
You easily distinguish
the right from the wrong.

You are ambitious.
You are dedicated.
Your work ethic prevails
when you are underrated.

You are athletic
  and you are kind.
Your distinct determination
  is both body and mind.

You are confident.
You are sincere.
You will be more than ready
when your time draws near.

You are talented
and you are brave.
You’ve earned this opportunity
through the effort you gave.

You are motivated.
   You are mature. You are wise.
You will surpass your goals 
  to no one’s surprise.


It is all yours for the taking

  Who you are, Anna, is the reason why
Boundless and limitless
So reach for the sky

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Precarious

Precarious
Every morning I see him
barely hanging on 
Dangling, precariously
under a lingering moon

Managing to endure
despite his battered shell
A razor piece of skin
holding him up high

Been torturous months
since that horrendous storm
Shattered his foundation
destroying his lofty view

Many extreme days since
of ice and punishing wind
Chipping away his perseverance
diminishing his resolve

I imagine his motivation
the reason for his strength
The last strand of resilience
that holds him there

The harsh and bitter elements
cracking through his will
Leaving him alone, wavering
on the brink of his demise

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I check on him again
battered by days end
Still hanging on, barely,
by that same thread of hope

Any quick jab of pride
is quickly superseded
Replaced by the reality
of what lies ahead

Knowing that rest is fleeting
as night brings the unknown
One thin strand of determination
preserving his weary soul

Nights of wavering doubts
of cold and cruel struggle
Exhausting his perseverance
diminishing his resolve

I imagine his thoughts
through this arduous battle
Through the repetitive rigours
of winter’s constant extremes

Recognizing his own inevitability
his slight, precarious being
Perhaps, hoping not to fall
until the warm ground of spring

 

Sixteen

                       SIXTEEN

As I began to write this for youIMG_20150301_191535[1]
I knew only one place to start
In the bottomless well of pride
That lies deep within my heart

On this occasion, especially
As you turn sixteen today
I find my thoughts are flowing
I find it’s easy for me to say

Just how proud I am of you
Of who you have come to be
The exceptional person you are
And just how much that I see…

I see a free and happy spirit
I can see that in any light
I see your limitless future
And I see that it is bright

I see your kindness and compassion
I see your sense of right and wrong
I see a breadth of inner beautySun for Every
That spans at least a mile long

I see your charm and contagious energy
I see your love for life, and I see joy
I see my rocking chair on the front step
I see an interview for every boy

I see your talents and ambition
I see your determination and your pride
I see that competitive beast inside you

That you find impossible to hide

I see your mom cheer when you compete
I also hear it, because she squeals
We both see just how fast you can run
But have no idea where you got the wheels

I see your creative way of thinking
I see your terrific sense of humour
I hear you like it when I purposely embarrass you
Though that may only be a rumour

I see and I cherish our mutual respect 
I see that as how it will always be
I see how often that we see eye to eyeblack-and-white-hd-wallpapers-4-comfort.jpg
Now that you’re the same height as me

I see how gracefully you adapt to change
I see it, because it has happened a lot
I see you smile, and just go with the flow
This may be the strongest strength you’ve got

I see you as a baby and I see you today
I see the sixteen years in between
I see myself richer for the experience
And I treasure all that I have seen

I see the day and year on the calendar
I see a terrific person, sitting right here
I see the same wonderful daughter
That I have seen every year

Gull

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Gull

I watched the determined seagull
holding its own against the wind
seeming to hover in place

A stalemate battle of wills
with the teeth of the harsh wind
opposed by the gull’s flying grace


No urgency of flapping wings

neither the blustery force of nature
nor the game gull to be outdone

A level exchange of to and fro
each showing a mutual respect
for the obvious strength of the other one


I was transfixed by this encounter

until the stiff breeze graciously subsided
as the sun filled the September sky

The seagull quickly turned to soar away
satisfied with its lofty endeavor
wind assisted in its effort to fly

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Dedicate

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Dedicate

If only I could dedicate my days
Do the thing that fills me with pride
This creative craft that makes me whole
If only my time was on my side.


I take my need for words personally

It’s the inspiration that I thirst
A hunger that I should feed daily
A craving to please myself first

Words give me second chances
To fill the page with what I have seen
The chance to relive this life experience
To revisit places where I have been

Words that illustrate what I am thinking
The vivid thoughts and lucid scenes
Creating something entirely tangible
What I am feeling and what it means

A place to go inside of my head
Where ideas co-exist and are free to roam
Where opinions and emotions can come and go
A place that we can all call home

No editing of heart or of soul
No compromise and no limitation
Getting out of the way of my intuition
To empty my reserve of imagination

Writing always gives me strength
When life seems like a dizzying climb
I ascend alone and seek the summit
Up and over, one word at a time

I summon my resolve and determination
The impetus is change and personal growth
To inspire and aspire, impress and express
My selfish vow and impassioned oath

I crave the freedom to expose my mind
To fill the page with all I am seeing
With every breath of my inspiration
With all of the blood of my being


If only I could dedicate my days
Could make my living where I reside
My mind could breathe and words would flow…
If only my time was on my side.
 

 

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