Address

Address

It feels sudden, suddenly, and overwhelming,

when I hear the brakes of the truck
as it backs in, to load up my past,
to transport my life until now.
I feel both jolts of clarity, and of reality, 
going straight to my heart,
having been consumed, for so long,
by the why, as much as the how.

Two decades of possessions, one of mixed emotions,

accumulation, and memories,
sometimes, that seemed so right,
that somehow, slowly, seemed wrong.
Strangers, gathering up all that I have,
packing up all of the years,
carrying them out the door,
and then moving them along.


I think, eventually, or soon, I will find out

that this was a momentous day.
When I finally get to breathe, 
and to slow things down, and to have a look.
I will see a vital and necessary step
on the way back to me.
I will recognize another pivotal and decisive stride
that I bravely undertook.

Soon enough, I will remember all that is so very good.
I will be sitting, and settled, in my new home.
Unconstrained. With the rest of my life before me.
 And those I love will be knocking at my door.
As always, I will graciously welcome them in.
To them, only my address will have changed.
They’ve all been here with me, my entire way.
Each arrives, carrying the same love as before.

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Mine

MINE
I was inching away from everything
that I had tried so hard to preserve
Taking the smallest of careful steps,
as I negotiated the next curve
Having spent far too much energy
accepting less than I deserve
Gradually reaching the realization
that I have more than enough nerve
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So, I am making changes

For me
Found someone who sees the very best
in me
Nearer to the fun and confident essence
of who I used to be
Experiencing life, one day at a time
For me

I had the best of all of the intentions

but my will seldom found the way
I just needed some selfish motivation,
and to heed the words I would say
When it’s broken, you must fix it,
rather than put it off, for yet another day
And that meant doing it myself,
believing, this is the price I’ll pay

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So, I am making changes

For me
Bought a nice new, reliable vehicle
just for me
I am getting ever closer
to the way things should be
Closer to the life that I choose
For me

The constant of the truly good people

who are always always there
Family, colleagues, closest friends,
listening, simply because they care
Honesty, in the face of my best interest,
with only good intentions to share
Helping to get me to a better place
and then joining me, no matter where

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I am making these changes
For me
A newish job, and a great new house
For me
I am now looking only forward,
to the place I want to be
Where life and love and happiness meet
With me

Worry


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Worry

You worry about us
while I worry about you
My wounds have mostly healed
Yours, are still unfairly new

Still vulnerable, still susceptible,
Still affected by so much
Bruised around the edges
Still tender to the touch
 Memories, there on the wall
Reminders, flashing on the screen
Taking you back to a hurt
that never should have been
Pictures and question marks
Still images, still fresh 
Years of mixed emotions,
rubbing against your flesh
The occasions, the situations
With family, with friends
The sudden jolt to your system
When some of your past attends
Incessant and intrusive probing
Concerned people, hassling you
The pangs from a harsh reality,
that may or may not be true
Occasional reminders,
that prick you like a pin
Sharp and pointed circumstance
Jabbing at your skin

Rumours, and stories that swirl
Of others, going through the same
Open secrets and indiscretions
The deflecting of the blame
Sad and similar symptoms,
that you reluctantly understand 
Taking you an unhealthy distance
from the life that you had planned

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You worry about us
 and I worry about you
 This is what I can see
This is all I can do

There is pain that I recognize
Sore spots, we have both got
Other aches, I can understand
Worse ones, that I cannot
Nights, together in your home
Putting myself in your place
Hours, rapt deep in our conversation
Moments, spent lost in your face
The nuances of your smile
The emotions, found in your eyes
A shimmering well of melancholy
behind a wavering disguise
The sharp, cruel jabs of pain,
that stab your heart like a knife
The tears, that occupy my mind,
as we sit, surrounded by your life
Yet, there is no place I’d rather be
There with you, trying to comprehend
Distracting you and laughing with you
As your partner, as your friend
Taking you to a fun and happy now,
And sitting beside you there
Giving only me, and who I am,
In every minute that we share
Knowing, I have zero urge to sit
where someone else has sat
That I am one hundred percent yours
That I can promise you that
I have my steadfast morals
I have my own unique charms
I have this love for you,
and I have two strong arms

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You worry about us
I worry about you
I promise you my honesty
That is the most I can do

Nexus

Nexus
Midnight says good bye

to 2017
Celebrating with friends
while you are away

This new year brings me 
to a new day
I have found you
and I couldn’t be happier
At the end of the year
that brought you my way 

Alone at 3:00 AM 
but far from lonely
Accompanied by fresh memories 
that fill my head
Wishing you were here
as I go to bed
I have you on my mind
and in my heart
At the nexus to the year
that lies ahead

A year removed
from my misery
Twelve months further 
from all I could take
So much to look forward to
when I awake
I have you in my life
and I can’t get enough

What a difference
a new year can make

 

Filled

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Filled 

Tired and happy

My heart is full

I close my eyes
to end a great day
Another great day

I am a lucky guy
With all that I have
With all of those
who fill my heart

A wonderful family
who don’t judge
Who want nothing
but the best
for me

So many good friends
Unbelievable friends
who are always there
No matter what
this crazy life
brings my way

A modest home
where my heart resides
That reflects who I am
Where my mind
rests peacefully
after another
great day

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Deliberation


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Deliberation

It’s been a full and active day already,
with even more still on my plate.
Feeling pretty sluggish at half past ten.
Been going since this morning at eight.

Some friends I saw earlier, are visiting from Toronto.
Was planning to meet them later for drinks.
I am going to have a hot shower first,
and then I will see what my body thinks.

I toss my shirt and gitch in the laundry
and grab my bath towel from off the rack.
As I leave my room, I hear a faint whisper,
so I stop, I listen, and then I go back.

Scanning the room from the doorway
I can see, of course, that there’s nobody there.
Must be my phone, in the pocket of my jeans
which earlier I’d slung over the back of the chair.

I slide my cell phone out, and I take a look.
Nothing to see there but my cover screen.
No open apps, or videos playing,
so I slide it back in, to where it had been.

Turning once more to leave, I hear it again.
This time a little louder, and a little more clear.
It seems to be coming from near my bed,
and the voice I hear says, “Gary come here.”

A little less tired now, and a lot more freaked out,
I inch a little closer, and the voice speaks again.
This time adament, with much more authourity.
“Do you really need to go out? It’s well after ten.”

“Who’s there?”, I ask, speaking to no one,
looking in the direction of the pyjamas on my bed.
“Who are you, and what do you want with me?”
“I want you stay home tonight, just like I said.”

Now certain that I must be hallucinating,
I flee my room and head down the hall,
past the closet and toward the bathroom,
rocking the print that hangs on the wall.

I come face to face with myself in the mirror.
Needing a reality check, I smack my cheek.
Feeling it’s sting, I speak my thoughts aloud.
“It has been a busy day. And a very busy week.”

Still hoping that a shower might wake me up,
I hang up my towel and pull back the curtain.
Spend equal time washing, and convincing myself,
“pyjamas can’t talk, of that I am certain.”

I finish up with a cold blast of water, 
with similar results as the slap to my face.
If I am going downtown I had better hurry.
With renewed focus I pick up the pace.

Wrapped in my towel and rapt in thought,
I strategize my night while I brush my hair.
Thinking now of my best way to travel,
glasses or contacts, and what shirt to wear.

Distracted by the tasks on my mental list
and the momentum of my slight energy burst,
I find myself standing back in my room,
with a tall glass of water to quench my thirst.

After a lengthy guzzle, I reach for my jeans,
pull one pant leg up and then make it two.
As I tighten my belt I hear a different voice,
“So glad we’re going out, Gary. Good for you.”

I take a quick step back, with an audable shriek,
knock over the glass in my astounded haste.
“It’s me Gene, Hey, I’m right down here.”
The words seem to have come from below my waist.

“Good thing you didn’t listen to that guy.
He’s flat and lazy, and a complete bore.
Grab your cash and your keys.  I’ve got your cell. 
Let’s call a cab and we can wait by the door.”

“Who you calling flat? You denim deadbeat!”
My head jerks quickly in the direction of my bed.
“Ya you, Levi, with your zipper and your attitude.”
And yes, I clearly just heard what my pyjamas said.

“Always making this guy empty your pockets.
Give him a break. Your material is wearing thin.
He is a bad influence on you Gary. Take a night off.
Listen to PJ, get comfortable with me and stay in.”

“Come on lounge boy! Don’t zap his momentum.
You, with your save some money, save your liver crap.
He knows when to say when, and it ain’t now.
Not with good friends, and so many good beers on tap.”

At this point, stuck in the middle, I decide to just go with it.
I muster up some courage and I join in the debate.
“Gene, I get it, you have some some very valid points.
And PJ, I am tired, and been going non-stop since eight.”

Immersed in this, and actually needing to make a decision,
I get an idea, that gives both sides a chance.
I take off the jeans, or Gene, and I lay them/him on the bed.
I will take some time to think, and decide between pjs or pants?

“When I get back from finishing in the bathroom, I’ll choose.
You two try to get along. I’m giving myself ten minutes to decide.”
My underwear and I depart, back down the hall to brush my teeth,
both with a vested interest in selecting one side.

As I floss and weigh both of the night’s options,
I can feel the cumulative effects of all that I did today.
Yet, it would be nice to see Greg and Chrissy again.
I only saw them for a bit, and they did come all this way.

Spitting out the last swish of my mouthwash,
a realization comes over me, and suddenly I know.
I figure, if any of my clothes are speaking to me,
I obviously need some rest, so it’s wiser not to go.

I make it official, by going from contacts to glasses,
confident and pleased with the logic I choose.
Proud of myself for deciding to be responsible,
I return to my room, to deliver the news.

I can hear some murmuring and muffled obscenities.
The bickering gets louder as I walk through the door.
Once inside, however, I am met with complete silence,
fully expecting to find one of them lying on the floor.

Still side by side on the bed, are anxious jeans and pyjamas.
And you could cut the tension with a knife.
I preface my delivery with some token respect,
“I appreciate your concern fellas, but it is my life.”

“While I am seldom one to let responsibility slow me down,
I do have to learn, sometime, when I’ve had enough.
After careful deliberation, I’ve decided to stay home.
Sorry about that Gene, but if you don’t like it, tough.”

“A little harsh Gary, but I suppose it’s okay, just this once.
But I hope you don’t make it a habit to be so boring.
Because there is nothing more sad or pathetic
than a lazy ass, on a Saturday, at eleven, snoring.”

“Point taken Gene. Speaking of a little harsh.”
I toss him in the basket with the other dirty guys.
“I guess it’s you and me PJ, let’s watch some tv.”
“Good idea Gary. And you’re not boring, you are wise.”

I immediately feel comfortable as I put on the pyjamas,
adding a sweat shirt to my lack of cares.
After texting my friends to politely apologize,
I refill my water and we head down the stairs.

After flipping on a lamp, I turn on the television,
pick up a remote that had fallen on the floor.
I plop myself down into my favourite lazy boy,
which seems oddly appropriate, because of before.

“There is nothing wrong with a nice night in.
It doesn’t always have to be go, go, go.”
That was just me, justifying to myself,
wanting to make sure, that both of us know.

Finally settled, I scroll through my movies choices.
“Don’t sit there. Come lie down with me. No need to slouch.”
I am more exasperated, really, than surprised.
It’s a sexy female voice, coming from the couch.

Swimmer

Swimmer
I had been treading water

for far too long,
when all I wanted to do
was swim
Head and shoulders
above the surface,
scanning the horizon,
 for a life beyond him
Sometimes, just floating,
motionless, on my back
Alone with my thoughts,
staring into the sky
Worrying, wondering,
can I move on? 
Still not quite sure,
but I know I must try

Standing near the edge,
I look for my place
I am in no hurry,
unsure of my needs
It’s natural to hesitate
with the unfamiliar
I search the shallows,
leery of the weeds
I want to get going
away from the past, 
somewhat certain
I am over that hump.
When the time is right
I will find the spot
I will get in for my swim,
but I will not jump

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Sticking one foot in
to test the water,
I am tempted to dive,
but mindful of my haste
Wading into the unknown,
both cautious and curious
Safer to get in slowly,
just up to my waist
The farther I venture,
the deeper I will get
The calmer the current,
the more risks I’ll take
In the waves of my worries
it seems like the ocean
When I rise above it,
I will see it’s a lake

There is so much of life
that I still want to feel
So much about living,
that I still want to know
Strong and steady,
I swim into the distance
The less I look back,
the further I’ll go
Buoyed by my family
and a lifeline of friends,
I am content where I am,
but searching for more
Rough waters behind me,
I look toward my future
If I see love on the horizon,
I will head for that shore

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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-

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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

 

External

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EXTERNAL

 I have become an introvert
But I’m trying to change my ways
Started to externalize more
Over the last several days…

 Been spending far less time
Lingering, inside of my head
Taking more time to appreciate
The outside world instead

 Instead of just walking past
In the usual workplace huff
I look up and acknowledge people
It’s really brilliant stuff

It’s amazing to see the effect
Of  a ‘thank you’ or a simple ‘hello’
These basic acts of kindness
Should not be need to know.

I will strive to be a kinder man
Take the positive wherever I go
Tell people that I appreciate them
Whenever they should know…

 When I witness a kind act
I will make a point of telling
When someone exacts a hefty price
I won’t buy what they’re selling

Easier to shrug off the predictable
Laugh, at what seems strange
I will accept it for what it is
Smile, in the name of change

 Catch the humour of situations
When life throws me curves
Think that maybe it’s just me
When people get on my nerves.

 If I am too busy to bother
I will get out of my own way
Leaving room for more positive
To join me every day…

 Stop driving myself crazy
Stop using excuses as a shield
Taking myself to a better place
Less stop signs, more yield

I will hold the door for people
Compliment them whenever I can
Put others before myself
Be a strong and proud man

Invite meaningful discussion
Let other opinions go ahead
Be firm in my belief
That conversation is not dead.

I had been missing too much
In the dark with mostly me
Lost sight of who I am
Was blind, but now I see…

I will live more fully in the now
With less rewind, and more play
Less of my time internalizing
Less worrying, and more say

If I like it, I’ll let you know
If I don’t, too bad for me
The best of me is easy going
That’s how all of me needs to be

Will spend less time in my head
Less dwelling on what was
Stop taking myself so seriously
When no one else does.

Sky for SURE

Pages

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Pages
Plenty of reflections
Plenty of idiosyncrasies
come naturally with age.

The
inclination to hesitate
 The instinct to look back…
before I turn a page.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Dates of significance
Names and news and faces.
They pull be back in time
To a life full of friends
To many happy places.

I find myself occupied

For more than a moment
When I stop to reminisce.
So deeply entrenched
As I get lost in a past
That I invariably miss.

I have done my due time

Been an adult for a while
Am a proud father of two.
Have settled into middle age
Set aside my daydreams
For the responsible view.

Far too many pages

Far too many friendships
That I’ve let slide by.

As my mortality jolts me

As I read into it further…
I have to ask why?

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Social media postcards

Everyone is travelling
Going there and there.
With unlimited budgets
Twelve weeks of vacation
Gone without a care.

Everyone else seems to get it

That time is of the essence
As the years tread by.
Different walks of life
With uncommon passages
But similar reasons why.

Emphatic experiences

To exciting locations
At the drop of a hat.
Unbelievably available
Unrealistic, of course
But I want some of that.

So many more pages

So many more memories
for me to still get.

With age comes wisdom

With wisdom comes perspective…
but not just yet.

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Chance encounter reminders

Of emotions long forgotten
Of passages in my book.
Resolute feelings of once was
The remnants of my passion
And the chances that I took.

“You look great for fifty”

That is kind of you to say
But it’s clearly not the same.
Just takes me back to twenty
With the world at my feet
At the top of my game.

I have no urge to act my age

I crave the reckless abandon
That I felt back then.
I need more of that feeling
More of that self-assurance
Inside of me again.

Plenty of next pages

Plenty of new stories
before this chapter ends.

Much is still in place

Much of what motivates me…
and most of those friends.

 

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