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…

 

 

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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

 

Hip

 

 

If this is it,
then so it shall be.
I want you to know,
it means a lot to me.

                        

                       Hip
Lining up at the campus pub

1985, a cold stubby in my hand
Doors would eventually open
No cover, for a cool cover band
Some suggested Jim Morrison
Felt more like a Rolling Stone
A mix of B-sides and originals
The hip vibe, definitely their own

A different stage, Lakeview Manor
People from miles around
A fan base that had grown
Along with their singular sound
An E.P and a break-through
Up To Here, and it was time to go
As good as each next album was
It was more about the live show

Passing on some arena gigs
Four of us, in my father’s car 
Five and a half hours south
The Hip experience, in an unhip bar
Taking a break from winter
With our Canadian content in tow
Sharing our rock n roll landscape
With those who might not know.

A slice of our identity
A uniquely Canadian sound
Taking our reciprocal pride
and passing it around

No matter where this life takes you
it’s good to know
that you can always come home…
Back to your family and your friends
with stories of where you’ve been
To the harmony of your hometown
To where you always begin
Accompanied by the music of your life,
that defines you from within.


Outside at The Forum, August ’93

Bigger stage, overflowing crowd
The same electric atmosphere
For the appreciative and proud
Reconnected with a great friend
Gary and Hodgie, the Queen’s years
Kingston to Toronto, and back
A hug, The Hip, and a couple of beers

A common thread of identity
The words, drums, the guitars
Intimate and intertwined
under a constellation of stars


Fast forward 25 years, Ottawa

Tailgating, second to last show
We are raucous, we are ready
Inspired by what we know
A brave, triumphant journey
Our home and our native land
Man Machine Poem, and mutual respect 
The storyteller, their crowd, this band

It’s not about patriotic pathos
It’s a celebration, for 30 plus years
It’s new songs mixed with older
Rhythmic recollection, maybe a few tears
It’s whole cities of support
An entire country, and its heart
Lyrically linked, together as one
Joined at the Hip, from the start.

The strength of our identity20170731_185540
The pulse of a nation
A Tragically Hip tune
on a radio station

No matter where the music takes you

it’s good to know
You can always come home…
Back to those perennial seeds,

the ones you chose to sew
Firmly planted, in hometown soil
The seeds that helped you grow
Pride, a poet, and a band of brothers,
home for one more show.

Last night…     

A front row seat in Port Perry
It’s Scotty, Tim, Peter and me
A musical postcard from Kingston
The Tragically Hip, in a pub, for free
Honoured guest at a party for all of us
August 20, 2016, a tall pint, a toast, a sip
A thoughtfully wrapped three-hour gift
To Canada, with love, from The Hip.


If that was it,
then so it shall be.
I want you to know,
it meant the world to me.

Thank you.
            G.G.
Kingston, ON
August 21, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rain

           RAIN

I open my window,
a crack,
just to hear you
You have this way,
a knack,
when I’m near you
I close my eyes
and listen 
Imagine the leaves,
their glisten
You relax
and you sooth me
You inspire
and you move me
You put
my mind
at ease
As you breeze
through
the trees
The rhythm
of your tears
It’s music
to my ears
The breath
of a sigh
As the clouds
gently cry

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I open the curtain,
the blind
Open my heart,
my mind
I see your
scattered flight
Framed
in morning light
You relax
and you sooth me
You inspire
and you move me
You change
my mood
in an instance
You wash
my worries
to the distance
The tranquility
of the scene
Sprinkles
on my screen
The essence
The refrain
My affinity
for the rain

 

 

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

 

Guiding

                             Guiding10259702_886031944756408_4006322937612843549_n

I have never been a religious person
What I do believe in is the spirit of love
I believe that there are guiding spirits
who are shining down from above

I know that my mother is one of mine
That she has guided me along my way
That she helped me to raise my girls
That she is smiling on this day

You must be proud of your granddaughters, Mom
The one you held, and the one you never knew
They are beautiful and funny and they are genuine
They are both a lot like you

They approach life with respect and emotion
With the same honest heart that you had
With the same love and embrace for family
The same priorities that you taught their Dad

There is much of the best of you to find in them
Every year, more and more that I can see
And because of who they already are
I know that you are proud of me

Happy Mother’s Day
…and thank-you.

 

Libre

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Libre

It seems so simple
Crystal clear
Sunlit visible
as I look around
The little things
Whatever life brings
Rays of sunshine
in perspective found

Time continues
to fly on by
Weeks disappearing
into the haze
Slow it down
to take a look
Make the most
of everydays

Palm trees
Gracious people
A week away
for my mind
Smiles and greetings
Time not fleeting
Easing away
from days behind

Cuba libre
Putting my self first
Spiritually taking
time for me
The unobtrusive
is all-inclusive
Cerebrally absorbed
in all I see

20160329_180218[1]
It seems so simple
Crystal clear
Sunlit evident
that less is more
The little things
Whatever life brings
Waves of perception
from ocean to shore

See this world
whenever possible
Sample the pleasures
life recommends
Follow the rhythms
of your heart
Embrace the message
that it sends

Drinking time
Thinking time

A vacation

for my soul
Pina colada
Worry about nada

Pieces of perception
making me whole

Cuba libre
Putting my self first
Blissfully making
time for me

The unobtrusive
is all-inclusive
Cerebrally absorbed
in all I see
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Talker

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Talker

Standing trial in plain sight
and dominating my news
Rubbing it in the face
of my moral views
A defense of discredit
with the dirt that it spews
Spitting out the seeds
that a narcissist chews

Smooth talker
talking your way
As much who you are
as what you say

Squeaky clean persona,
not what he seems
Taking his advantage
to filthy extremes

Guilty in the court of perception,
clear in the public eye
Allegation after allegation
and the numbers can’t lie
Powerless victims
to your privileged high
Objectifying and brutalizing,
then justifying why

Smooth talker
getting your way
As much who you are
as what you say

Taking your hold
from that lofty perch
The relentless entitlement
of your selfish search

I can’t begin to understand,
even know where to start
Unable to comprehend
as it tears at my heart
What allows a man to exploit
the capacity of his art
To take malleable lives
and rip them apart

Smooth talker
having your way
As much who you are
as what you say

Crumbling a fresh flower
just because you can
Holding her dignity
in the palm of your hand

 

 

Wakefield

Banner
Wakefield
A small village
A huge heart
A desperate family
A new start

Perogies, and perspective
New friends, community, drinks
The comfort in knowing
What the best in us thinks
—–

Live music for what ails me,
My spirit needing a lift
The Black Sheep beckoned
My own pre-Christmas gift

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A Weber Brother’s Christmas’…
That had to be good for my soul
I was alone, and a few hours early
 So, it would be fresh air and a stroll
—–

Intending to bide some time,
I curiously opened your door
Just looking for a unique pint
What I found,  was far more

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At first, it was exactly what I wanted
A small crowd, and ‘Perogy Night’!
Easing into the Kaffé 1870 atmosphere
Something about it, feeling just right

It didn’t take very long, however
The numbers began to grow
For live music and a fundraiser
More and more locals, I came to know

Photos Andre Forget

Kaffé 1870, Wakefield for Refugees
An awaiting host, a timely cause

A community coming together
Just like that, and just because

Words from the dedicated organizers,
A gregarious councillor, made everyone smile
The people, the closeness, the obvious warmth
My trip, already, well worth its while

Photos Andre Forget

It would become hard for me to leave
‘Godknowswhat’ was sublime
Extremely accomplished musicians
Donating their talent, and their time

I couldn’t count all of the terrific chats
I had found, in just a few hours
But, what I will never underestimate
Is community, and its obvious powers

Wakefield for Refugees sign showing $30,000 raised.

Seeing the good in so many people
And knowing, when I hear it
Experiencing your generosity

And sharing in your spirit

A raffle ticket, some Bean Fair coffee,
For my table, another round 
I had donated, but felt like the recipient
As I departed, Black Sheep bound
—–
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Two Weber hours later
After another fantastic show
It was time for me to leave
But, I didn’t really want to go

Reflecting, smiling again,
And thinking, alone in my car
About an extremely fortunate family
About just how lucky they are

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Heading home, yet feeling closer
Invigorated, inspired, alive
Accompanied by this community
For my two-hour drive

Kaffé 1870, and The Black Sheep,
The warmest of patrons, and cold beer
And Wakefield, I am grateful
That circumstance brought me here
—–

Perogies, and perspective
New friends, community, drinks

The comfort in knowing
What the best of us thinks

A close community
An open heart
A fortunate family
A new start

Banner

 

Stimulus

Calendar
Stimulus
Spinning your wheels

Stuck in a daily rut
Same old same old day
Time for something new

Needing time for you
 Needing to get away

blocked path
Take a trip to the other side

The one you seldom see
The road less travelled
The path least accessible
Beyond the place to be

Where we need to go
to feel more alive
More often than we do
A place like no other
Where few have seen the view

An adrenalin adventure
to the other side
Past the comfort zone
To the weedy

To the seedy
To the vastly overgrown
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An arduous journey
to where revelation may lie
To where something
could jump out at you
as you wander by

Where the mind is awakened
By the elements of surprise
By discovering there’s more
there is so much more
than what meets the eyes

A gut check trek
Over blind hills
to the other side
To the inspirational

To the motivational
To where revelations hide
hazy woods
Sensations abruptly awakened
Bringing the dark into light
Energy to your being
Focus to all you’re seeing

Colour to your black and white

Where nature may compel you
to perceive a different way
To exist in the moment
Persist for the present
To live for every day

A vital injection
of life adrenalin

straight to the heart
A shot to the senses
An end to past tenses
 The stimulus to start
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