Staycation

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Staycation
There is something to be said
about just staying in
About seventy-two hours, of just us,
a
way from the traffic, the lights, the din
Us, together, happily losing track of time,
while everything we do is win/win
So many great choices when it’s you and me
that we seldom know
exactly where to begin
And it never returns to where we didn’t go
when we realize where we’ve just been

Together, inside of each other’s heart
Sharing time, within each other’s mind
Where the very best of both of us
is remarkably easy to find
Where every word we consider
is purposeful, caring and kind
Where our substantial substance
can relax, and breathe, and slowly unwind
A safe and serene distance
f
rom the lives we’ve left behind

Right at home with all that makes us laugh
Where nothing is too wacky, nothing too bizarre
For our own choice of music, and great conversation,
for our own ideal company, we needn’t go far
A healthy, necessary break for the wallet
A welcome, fuel-efficient rest for the car
Beer and wine, or whatever else we choose,
at less than a quarter the price of a bar
And when we buy it locally, ourselves,
it’s always Canadian money at par

A stay-cation, much like we wanted
A stay-in solution, much like we said
Staying in, and saving for our next adventure
Staying in together, and staying out of the red
Holding hands, while sitting on the couch
Holding each other, while staying in bed
Making love, and making our own meals
With both of our appetites, extremely well fed
Instead of 
spending a pile of money, frivolously,
we spend some quality time staying home instead

There is so much to enjoy about these weekends
It makes little difference what we choose to do
All that matters is that it’s our time, together
And every memory matters, when it’s me with you

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Resolute

“But now each day I’m given
Is one more day I know
A love that’s so unselfish
It’s a pleasure just to show”…
        Carole King – You’re Something New
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Resolute

Most people would get stuck inside themselves,
or struggle to find just the right words to say.
Yet, you recognize that there must be a better way.
And then you ask yourself, “what can I do today?”

Sharing a personal message of positive determination.
Delivering a warm meal, along with a warm embrace.
I see the selfless love, behind the smile on your face,
as you put your own perspective in exactly the right place.

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You are the embodiment of strength in numbers.
Running, together as one, directly into the fray.
All of you recognized that there was yet another way.
And then you said to each other, “we will all do this today”.

It warms my heart just to know all of you.
It stimulates my thoughts to witness so much caring.
I see the selfless love, that all of you are sharing,
emblazoned, very clearly, on the shirts that you are wearing.

I could not be more impressed
with just how strong and just how thoughtful that you are.
I could not be more humbled
to know you, all of you, even just this much, so far.

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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

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.”

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.

Boomerang

Boomerang

We threw all of it away,
but it kept coming back
Every couple of months,
for the first year after year
Whenever you would call,
we’d meet at your wherever
Whenever you came to town,
we’d be together at my here

It seemed like we both knew
that we were meant to be
For two nights a week, at least
And on the long weekends, three

It was all about the physical,

or so we liked to believe
Yet, we would take each other’s heart
and wear it on our sleeve
Time, and then time again
a history of emotions would flow
Time after time, and time again
we would let each other go

It seemed like we both understood

far more was right than was wrong
Yet, we would choose to get going,
despite how well we got along

The occasional encounter, on a whim

The odd phone call, a reach out to touch
It was difficult, for us, to leave it all behind
because we held on to too much
Only ever so barely could I put you in my past
Returning far too often, for far too long
Time went by, and still I wondered
If we were really right, or really all that wrong

Our paths crossed less, our lives evolving

We’d exchange smiles, and that felt fine
I brought a date to your wedding,
but you came alone to mine

board chalk chalkboard color

You would still cross my married conscience
Compromised, for giving up without a fight
Oddly, I felt like I should apologize to her
but I knew, that would never make it right
Lost in my distraction, never in my temptation
Just a lingering null and a void in my mind
It would have been easy, then, if I had to choose
to where, and when, that I would rewind

Each of us have two teenage daughters
Other c
ommonalities, that we have both got
We still keep in touch through social media

You, happily married, and me, happily not

Stronger because of every life experience
Content, with who and where I am today
Time takes its liberties with my feelings

As it drifts further and further away
Jutting in and out with relative ease
A recent memory brings me back to you
A prom, a photograph, a time of our lives
I remember, and I smile, as I always do

The classic example of a lost love story,

where too late replaces not yet
The boomerang that never returns
Requited love, and reluctant regret

Applause

Applause

I’ve been here many times,
as their childhood has flown past

Sitting alone in the crowd
smiling, and having a blast
A proud, dedicated single parent
gathering memories that will last

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She weaves her way through a defense

that had previously refused to yield
Deft footwork and bursts of speed
guide her down the field
I spring from the edge of my seat
as a late victory is sealed

My legs, energized by her exploit
My lungs, filled with a rush of air
An abrupt acknowledgment of her endeavor
as I quickly rise up from my chair
Emphatic words in a father’s approval
ecstatic to be right there

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I see my teenage powerhouse
as she tumbles across the floor
A round-off and a back handspring
My gasp, and then a perfect two more
An exalted, frightening, wonderful feeling
that resonates to my core

My stomach, churning when she jumps
My heart, leaping when she lands
The uniquely exhilarating anguish
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put down the camera
to free up my hands

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The impetus for my applause
Feats that constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My two hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


It seems to me that it’s a graceful gazelle
that suddenly emerges from the pack
Anticipating the exact moment
from my spot along the track
As she glides around the final curve
the others get further and further back

My mind, racing with her to the finish
My senses, tingling from the start
The extent of her accomplishments
matching the size of her heart
Knowing the work ethic and the effort
that always set her apart

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Being early gets me a good seat
Dead center, given the chance
Oblivious of my surroundings
I listen to her play, I watch her dance
Happily lost, inside of myself
My own choice, my soul circumstance

My eyes, no matter what her stage
My ears, for any of the bands
The selfish, singular focus
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put the program down
to free up my hands

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The inspiration for my applause
Daughters who constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My t
wo hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


Sitting alone, in the crowd

as each new season has passed
Thankful for each new memory
as time ticks by so fast
Never wondering, or worrying,
if this one will be the last

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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)

 

 

Merengue

Esta vida es mía,20180322_111749
pero este corazon es suyo.
Esta sonrisa es mia,
pero la razon eres tú.

This life is mine, but this heart is yours.
This smile is mine, but the reason is you.


Merengue


My mind drifts from you

as twenty years
find me here
  The people and faces
food and music
  reminders, so very clear
Images engrained
the inevitable memories
that all seem so near
Skies, and waters blue
in waves of recollection
vivid, as they reappear

Tones and textures
some too familiar
to a life that I knew
Dances and flavours
the spice of life
shared by just two
Una foto familiar
of smiles and sunshine
of lives that doubly grew
Of another time
In another place
a different ocean view

Years of love
that still fill my tears
on any given day
Streams of thought
that line my cheek
that reach these words I say
Life has brought me
here to you
to a place I want to stay
But please be patient
as some of me
was washed out on my way

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Barely removed
from those lost depths
from the lowest of my low
With half of my life,
just tied up,
reluctantly, without a bow
We are flying high, together
with so many places
we still want to go
Yet, there is a large part
of who I am
that you still need to know

I know that to heal
I must face up to my pain
to repair from inside
Talk about the hurt
the lump in my throat
as I swallow some of my pride
I will get ever stronger
if I can resist the urge
to stay away or hide
I will be open, and be honest
to raise myself up
to gradually subside

I know I can talk to you
without any judgement
I’ve put my love in your hand
You always listen
you always remember
and you want to understand
We took off together
on this flight of our own
on a trip that we both planned
I am here with you
you are here for me
and I see no line in the sand

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La mejor foto que tengo,

es aquella en la cuál sonrío por ti.

— The best photograph I have,
is the one in which I am smiling because of you.

Flight

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Flight


It’s highly invigorating

Thoughts of this adventure
Our newest possibilities
taking flight
Taking off,
to our next unknown
To all that we will do
And all that we might

A healthy distance
from a year ago
Above the clouds,
with both on board
Heart to heart
Hand in hand
A March break,
we deserve to afford

Continuing together
toward our destination
A window to the world
from an elevated view
Another journey,
on this trip of a lifetime
A week away
with me and you

Sighs and sunshine
as we touch down
A
smooth landing
for our recurring themes
No hurries
No worries
An ocean together
As close it seems

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