Grey


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Grey

Certainly not what I expected
when I looked anxiously to today
Distractions and detours
Delay after delay
Nothing like I had envisioned
No how.  No way.
A reluctant change of course
Navigating the grey

A wall of grey uncertainty
between you and your goal
A hard place, and a rock
w
hen you’re ready to roll
An unexpected wait
A mirage of elusive control
Asking such a small price
Just patience for your toll

Inside the grey uncertainty
t
ime stands painfully still
Between situation and explanation
Just be calm.  Just remain chill.
Between exasperation and exhaustion
Exhale, slowly, and swallow the pill
In the grey of the uncertainty
c
ome what may, inevitably will


Definitely not what I wanted
when I looked forward to tonight
Dissention and distance
Wrong versus right
Nothing like I had envisioned
On my mind. Out of sight.
The tone of grey reaction
Neither black nor white

Toiling in the grey unknown
of a lost night out
In the variable and the vague
is the unseen and the doubt
A question is the answer
When silence is a shout
Look to the big picture
Just relax, and wait it out

Inside the grey unknown
b
eing oblivious can be a roll of the dice
Between interpretation and explanation

Just be understanding. Just be nice.
Between selfish and self-preservation
Do not make the same mistake twice

In the grey of the unknown
u
npaid attention has no actual price


Trapped, within the nowhere near

of where I want my thoughts to be
Distracted and dismayed
My time feels far from free
Nothing like I had envisioned
Awaiting words. A wait and see.
The quiet of the gray
Speaks volumes to me

Staring into the grey silence
of a blank refreshed screen
Checking in after every chapter
like a procrastinating teen
Those certain expectations
The how it’s always been
Confined inside your cellular
Just swipe the slate clean

Inside that grey silence
unrealistic standards are the cage
So make the necessary adjustments
Just turn it off.  Just act your age.
Leave the drama for the characters
Leave the scenes for some stage
In the grey of the silence
you can always
turn the page


Convinced that I am ever-evolving,
I look optimistically ahead
Detraction and reaction
Saying the unsaid
As far, and as much, as I can envision
Also, and more so.  Instead of instead
Negotiating the grey
Whenever I am seeing red

Coping within the grey areas
of our everyday race
With road blocks personified
An invasion of personal space
A barrage of harsh mentality
The reality of commonplace
The simplest of solutions
Just choose dignity, and grace

In the grey of the grey areas
doom and gloom are never much fun
Between frustration and explanation
Just be positive. Be the stronger one.
Between excuses and excusing
You know what needs to be done
Even in the greyest of the grey
rose-coloured glasses will let in the sun

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Lost

Lost

There are cracks
And there are holes
Those who have lost their way
Those, who have lost their souls

Cracks, lined with uncertainty
Shallow and long and narrow
Split, painfully, like broken bone
With blood and doubt and marrow

Holes, filled with deprivation
Deep and dark and wide
Dug, in haste, like a mass grave
The addicted and the dead inside 

Lost, lonely, alone
Missing in the cracks 
Someone’s family
Someone’s friend

Lost, forgotten, gone

Buried in a hole 

Someone else’s story
Someone else’s end

Grave

Invariably

                     Invariably

“You need to pave your own path,”
she would always say.
“Do not let fear, or doubt,
ever stand in your way”.you are enough text
“Just take the bull by the horns.”
“Jump right into the fray.”

“Carpe diem, Gary James.
Seize every day.”…

I would see the familiar postmark,
and I would always smile
A thoughtful note, a card, a poem,
certainty, every once in a while
That perfect hand writing
Her unique, unmistakeable style
My consistent, truest inspiration
Spanning many a mile

“Carpe diem, Gary James
Seize every day.”

Invariably, my phone would ring
after a few sunken days in a row
When I needed her buoyant words,
she would lift me from my low
Her soothing and assuring voice
A motivational “get up and go”
Not sure just how she knew
She just always seemed to know

“Carpe diem, Gary James
Seize every day.”

Even as the cruelty of life
slowly seized the best of her20180803_204117.jpg
Even as her struggling breaths
slowly faded away…

Even in the face of the inevitable,
in the last squeeze of her hand,
her message seeped into my heart
And it’s forever here to stay…

“Carpe diem, son.
I am with you always.
Now go and seize the day.”

Reason

Reason
I see the lows of your residual pain,
and I feel helpless 
But I know what I need to do
I need to be the strength that pulls you up, 
and keeps you there
I want to be the man to take care of you

I want to be your resilience
I want you to move on, with me, 
to a far better place
I want to be beside you when get there
I want to be the reason for the next smile on your face

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I find myself, wrapped up in your worry,

holding you, firmly in my arms
And I never want to say when
I want you to always feel secure,
safe within my love
To be the certainty, to your never again

I want to be your clarity
Want you to look straight ahead,
and to never turn away
I want to be in focus, the bright future
I want to be the reason  
you look forward to every day


I am realistic, and I am a dreamer 

I know that life isn’t easy,
especially with lingering doubt
I want to help you cope, to give you hope
I want to play a part in your dreams,
and be part of what they are about

I want to be your confidence
I want you to feel good about yourself,
because so much of you is good
I want to be your daily reminder
I want to be the reason,
every reason, that you should

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Most of all, I want to be your optimism

Want you to find the best of me,
and to discover even more in time
I want to be your inspiration
I want to be the rhyme, and the reason,
just as you are the reason to my rhyme

 

 

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…

 

 

IT

                         It

Me:
“If you question its existence
does it therefore exist?
If you never really had it
can it actually be missed?
If you’re not sure you ever found it
can it still be lost?
If you spent no time on it,
is there really any cost?”
(assume that’s the way I talk)

Him:
“Well, it is what is, I guess.”

 Me:
“It’s what?!? Okay then. See ya.”


A philosophical discussion,

that grinds suddenly to a halt.
It’s just a sign of the times
and it is no one’s fault.
He’s run out of words, I guess.
Has nothing else to add.
“It is what it is.” 
What it is buddy, is sad.”

It’s a harsh reality
once it comes out.
“It is what it is.”
As if there was any doubt.
It has to be final,
wouldn’t you say?
“It is what it is”,
so we’ll leave it that way.

I choose to make light of it
and I do mean to mock.
That expression surfaces

and it finishes the talk.
Rather than try to continue
it’s basically cut and run.
You say “it is what it is”
and the conversation’s done.

I know it’s a response, sort of,
but what does ‘it’ mean?
It leaves so many lines
to read in between.
So much to interpret
that it doesn’t mean shit.
“It is what it is”.
But really, what is it?

It is hard to stomach
when it comes around.
Many people say it now,
so you choke it down.
It leaves a bad taste
but you swallow your pride
“It is what it is” apparently,
so open wide.

I am glad someone told me
or I may never have known.
And now that we all know
its cover is blown.
“It is what it is”
and that’s where we’re at.
“It is what it is”,
now the bag has no cat.

It might be what it is, but,
seriously, what does it mean?
Can it be what it is, or was
if it has never been?
It may be what it is.
It may be just because.
It may never be again,
whatever it maybe was.

If it is what it is
is it all that bad?
Could it perhaps be something 
that you never had?
Can you forget about it
if you never really knew?
Well, “it is what it is”,
so I guess you just do.

So let’s just say “it is what it is”,
though I’m not sure it ever was.
If I can believe “it is what it is”,
then I suppose everyone does.
So, it must be what it is,
and that must be where it’s at.
“It is what it is”.
 I guess that’s that.

“That’s that”?
That’s what?!?
Oh no, here we go again.
Straight into another rut.
I’ve got no time for this, or ‘that’,
and now I need to take a wiz.
So let’s just say that that is that…
If that’s what it is?

NEEDY

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NEEDY

Self promotion
in constant motion
Pleading and begging
For everyone to see
It must be exhausting

This incessant need
Intense and insistent 
“Pay attention to me!”

Repetitive requests
Constant changes of heart
Indecisive and impulsive
“I’m in, no I’m out!”
Question after question
Never completely sure
Waffling and wavering
Riddled with need and doubt


Looking for attention

like a dog with a ball
Alone, when no one’s looking
like a painting on the wall
Like the cold to the ice-cube
Needy to the extreme
Like the sadly desperate dreamer
who has no dream


Always in your face
Constantly trying to sell
Conflicted and convincing
“Buy that, or buy this!”
Post after post after post
A social media junky
Frenzied and forward
Yet another near miss

Feeling entitled
Exerting constant pressure
Confused and confounded
“Don’t you see my name?”
Reminder after reminder
Living vicariously
Posing and positioning
 Playing a needy game


Screaming for attention

like a child with no toy
Paralyzed by inability
like a plotter with no ploy
Like the item to the auctioneer
Needy to the extreme
Like the badly conniving schemer
who has no scheme


Questioning your audience

Unable to deal with it
Again and again
 Most people refuse
Sometimes a talent

Can stand on its own
Patience and time
And paying your dues

 The time may come
When people pay attention
When people take notice
To the talents you’ve got
When your own self worth
Becomes evident to all
People may see you
  But then again, people may not


Starving for attention

like an actor with no stage
Ready, willing, unable
like a writer with no page
Like the canvass to the artist
Needy to the extreme
Like the madly competitive player
who has no team

Way

            Way

Never enough time
when it’s too late
Too much to takeimagesCABUIB4Q
when it’s far too soon

The only answer
is day to day

The direct glare of the sun
gives way
to the faint light of the moon.

Never enough rest
when it’s this raw
Too much to bear
when it cuts this deep

The only answer
is day by day

The constant snare of pain
gives way
to the fleeting escape of sleep.

Too much conviction
to just give up
Just enough energy
to keep going

The only answer
is day after day

The persistent wrench of doubt
gives wayTry3
to the calm assurance of knowing.

So much support
when you need it most
Family and friends
to strengthen you

The only answer
is you’ll find your way

The true treasure of living
every day
is enough to get you through.

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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Support


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SUPPORT

I look to my left
and I see
Look to my right
and I see
The people I love
here beside me…

Your support is always there
More than mere words can really say
With whatever comes, whatever may
With every challenge on any day
Your support comes my way
And you are there

Your honesty opens my eyes
You tell me exactly how it is
Through distraction, I am remiss
Through times as complex as this
Support slides in with a reminder or a kiss
And you open my eyes

Your laughter brings me back
Daughters who make life fun
Despite the race, I’ll never run
Despite the clouds I see your sun
Support slides in two for one
And you bring me back

Your love holds me up
Keeps me on level ground
Whenever I’m lost, I am found
Whenever doubt comes around
Support slides in without a sound
And you hold me up

Your support is everything to me
This family is my wall
With all together, will never fall
With all for one and one for all
Your support is for the long haul
And it’s everything to me

It is unwavering
and it lights my way

With whatever comes
and whatever may

What my mere words
can barely say…


But I will always try.

Paper and pen for SURE

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