Broken

                                                                           Broken
A trucker walks into a synagogue…

I
t sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s not.

Not a joke when this trucker is a crazed anti-Semitic
looking for somewhere to aim his misguided blame
Not when he perpetrates another of the countless massacres
that have become the wretched lore of America’s shame
Not a joke when any old trucker from Pennsylvania
can inexplicably have twenty-one guns registered in his name

It’s not the least bit funny when this same old story happens every other day.
It’s called the same old story, because the same old story is always the same.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same old story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the devastation
Sickening me again, as a broken system cracks
Resonating again, as a broken person snaps
The devastation of every other day
The anger, the heartache, the vast impacts
The scourge of so many weapons, the same cold facts
So many lives,
changed in the worst way
Lost, in the devastation,
of every other day

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A young couple decides to start a family…

It sounds like a very nice story, until it’s not.

A young mother pulls on her favourite boots,
excited about
a long-awaited night out with her friends
Drinks and dancing, and all the best intentions,
missing her daughter more with every text she sends
Her husband sends her a photo of their peaceful sleeping baby,
never imagining, that tonight, his wife’s life abhorrently ends

Yet another lost name on the long, sad, deplorable list of every other day.
Three more victims of a system that breaks far more often than it bends.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same sad story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the desolation
Weakening me again, as a broken system fails
Resonating again, as a broken child wails
The desolation of every other day
The anguish, the heartbreak, the immense scale
The weight of so many coffins, so many final nails
So many lives stolen
So many broken
So many changed
Changed, in the worst way
The same sad news
The same sad reality
The same desolation,
every other day
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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

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

Consolation

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye.
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth.
I look at you, and I sigh.
William Butler Yeats – A Drinking Song (1915)

 


Consolation

Just me, alone,
raising my glass to you…

 It was eight years ago today.
I remember the exact conversation,
just as I clearly remember the date.
“We both have the same sensibility, I said.
We’re like a fun young old couple, you and I.
It’s really just a shame
that I was born fifteen years too early
and you was born fifteen years too late.” 

It was our last night together.
You were moving away soon after,
so I said good-bye then, rather than wait.
You responded, with barely a hesitation.
“You know that I never cared about that.
We were great together.
The real shame, for us, is
we were both born a hundred years too late.”


So here’s a toast,
to being an old soul.
A toast,
to being young at heart.
A glass raised,
to being both.
To
the end.
And to the start.

 

When day begins to break
I count my good and bad,
Being wakeful for her sake,
Remembering what she had,
What eagle look still shows,
While up from my heart’s root
So great a sweetness flows
I shake from head to foot.
W.B.Y. – Friends (1915)

 

 

Solitary

Solitary
An enigma,
An illness,
A decision,
A hole.

Another question mark.
Another lost soul…

It’s hard to recognize someone
that no one knows
Difficult, to see,
what someone never shows
A lost face,
beneath a mask
A happier place,
inside a flask
A positive outlook,
an impossible task
So many questions,
you can’t find to ask

When a mind struggles, alone,
A brain storm, of their own
Swept up in in an instant
Where it’s dark and it’s distant
A solitary place,
they might go
Where every sky
must bring snow
Left with answers
that no one will know

It’s hard to comprehend something

that no one understands
Difficult, to grasp something,
when it’s out of your hands
A mystery,
wrapped up in a mind
A history
they drag behind
An act,
selfishly unkind
Too many reasons,
that are impossible to find

When a life ends, alone,

A sad choice, on their own
A final decision that’s made
When they are despondent or afraid
Solitary tears,
sliding down the drain
Cold and confounding,
like a January rain
Leaving little more,
than questions and pain

It’s hard to be sad

for someone who is gone
Difficult, now, for those
obliged to move on
An opened investigation
A closed case
A stark image,
they can’t replace
A terrible memory,
they can’t erase
A huge void,
with just a face

As I sit here, today, alone,

contemplating life, not just my own
I worry, about all that is to be,
What I may not understand, or see
The solitary angst,
my someones can’t bare
Changes in the seasons
When
there’s something in the air
The questions and answers,
we just have to share

I give my resolute vow…
I will be far more aware.
I will be here.
I will be there.

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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?

Suspended

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Suspended
A wind worn branch,

reduced to a splinter.
I am a rabbit hole,
hidden beneath winter.

The morning starts out the same…
With smiles and good intentions
With energy and lofty goals
  But, the minutes are ticking
Toward the end of both
Toward the mid-day lull
Imagination grinding to a halt
Hitting the proverbial wall.

Wheels locked in place,
 gears wanting in power.
I am time standing still,
hand stuck on the hour.


The reluctant optimist,

 hopeful that there is more.
I am a tree lined road,
winding to the shore.

There is a fine line in place…
That separates good from great
That distinguishes less from more
 Potential, on the threshold of change
Sometimes it meets a path
Sometimes it’s on a ledge
The brink of a breakthrough
 Precariously near the edge.

An expanse from a destination,
 a misstep from being lost.

I am a suspension bridge,
 longing to be crossed.


The battered pitcher,
that’s been to the well.
I am the grizzled veteran,
  with stories left to tell.

Personal insights ready to be shared…
Seeing the importance of each day
Seeing the enormity of the little things
So much potential, yet to be met
Bringing along a passion for life
Bringing an open book to the table

The mind is more than willing
The body, fighting to be able.

A semi-automatic rifle,
unsure of where it’s aimed.
I am the winning lottery ticket,
waiting to be claimed.

 

 

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