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

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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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Then


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Then

It’s about time, for her.
She has worked unselfishly,
and has more than paid her dues.
Time, then, to remember herself.
The longer that she forgets,
then the more she has to lose.

A ten-hour day,
then kids, then dinner, 
and then it’s a half past six.

The others clean up,
then they head for their screens.
Then another hour ticks.

Then TV, for another two or three.
Then she is lost in her thoughts.
Her self, getting lost in the mix.

She gives, and she gives.
She gives some more,
and then, she gives.
Seldom, does she complain.
Never, does she consider
how she barely lives.

She stares, alone then,
vaguely through the mirror,
and then she washes her face.

She remembers morning practice.
Then sets her alarm ahead,
so they won’t have to race.

She turns back the covers.
T
hen reaches for her book.
And then she takes her place.

She gives, and she gives.
She gets very little,
and then, she gives.
Seldom, does he notice.
Never, does he appreciate
how the other half lives.

Then, in the silence, he fades.
There’s a mumbled ‘good night’,
and then it’s lights out.

Then she lies there awake.
Then along comes the pain.
And then, the self-doubt.

Then, the frustration builds.
Then the inevitable tears.
And then the urge to shout.

It’s then that she realizes
that this can no longer be 
what her life is about.

She gives, and she gives.
Then she wants more.
And then she knows.
Eventually, she recognizes.
Finally, she decides.
And it’s then that she goes.

It was time then, for her.
She knew she deserved better,
and she had every right to choose.
Time then, to rediscover herself.
The longer that she waited,
then the more she had to lose.

She is taking time, now, for her self.
Leaving her longing behind,
and making a solemn, personal vow.
She will take, as much as she gives,
because this is her time to live.
That was her then, and this is her now.

 

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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…

 

 

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

 

Weary

      Weary

 My left arm straight out
I wake up locked in place
Right arm pinned under me
exasperation on my face.
Eyes-only glance to my left
3:17 on the clock
 Despite the untimely hour
I need to get up and walk.
A struggle to just get started
so familiar and frustrating
 Slowly turn onto my back
where another knot is waiting.
The motion too abrupt
I hear her wearily say
“is it still bothering you?
  I hope you’ll be okay?”

The pain is now both of ours
awake in the dead of night
 Nothing seems to change
 will I ever feel alright?


Do I sit up or do I roll?

either way is a chore
 Which move tonight?
 The best way to the floor?
Eventually I am standing
legs weary under the weight
I finally feel my body
it doesn’t feel great.
Sluggish, sore and irritated
I consume a gasp of air
regain some composure
as much as I can bear.
Knowing she’d like some water
I’m too spent to think
“I am getting some pills
can I get you a drink?”

The cat greets me with a look
as I flick on the kitchen light
As if to say “not again…
 will you ever be alright?”


Taking stock of my aches

I try to shake them out
 Wrist a pulsing whimper
shoulders a throbbing shout.
Stillness seems wiser
let my thoughts unwind
“Concentrate elsewhere
relax and avert your mind.”
Leaning against the counter
I stare blankly at the floor
choke down two tablets
then swallow one more.
I need to get back to bed
the morning will be rough
 The microwave says 3:39
  my body says “enough.”

Same tired routine
night after night after night
 Nothing seems to change
 will I ever feel alright?


Back to my drowsing partner
dozing none too deep
her eyes loosely closed

hovering near sleep.
  “Are you feeling okay?”
raises her head, as I lie
“Just the usual” I say
and we both know why.
Her hand touches my arm
“try to get some rest”
 Her calm voice soothing
puts her head on my chest.
For a moment I forget
as the pain politely subsides
 Peace eventually arrives
and she’s the reason why.

Despite the same worries
and another rocky night
 Despite the constant pain
she makes me feel alright.

Toll

East gate here we go again[1]                                 Toll

Underemployed and underwhelmed
making a buck the hard way
at the expense of my integrity
another dollar, another day

Paying a steep price to just get by
aching body and weary soul
mortgaging my self-respect
while it takes its daily toll

East Gate
here we go again
thinking about getting out
as I walk in

Uneasy and unfulfilled
valuable time is wasting away
small return on substantial investment
just another dollar, just another day

No real long-term interest
keeping pace with the cost of living
repeatedly taxing my every nerve
all taking and no giving

East Gate
here we go again
already exhausted
as I walk in

Unrewarding and unrelenting
a payroll number with no say
no incentive to add value
same old dollar, same old day

Waging my own personal battle
time is money, tick toc
physically and mentally spent
literally wanting to punch the clock

East Gate
here we go again
thinking about leaving
as I walk in

Uncertain but undeterred
there has to be a better way
without this risk there is no reward
one more dollar, one more day

It’s time to save for my future
to find myself, before I get lost
this life has so much more to offer
getting out… is worth the cost

East Gate…
never again.

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