Fortitude

Fortitude
From father to father,
and friend to friend,
I send you thoughts
I can barely comprehend.

I have been reticent
and respectfully hesitant
to send my thoughts,
any thoughts, your way.
Because, for the first time,
perhaps first time ever,
I simply could not find
any words to say.

After laboured rumination,
days spent distracted,
with all of your family
weighing on my mind,
feeling extremely selfish
and somewhat irresponsible,
I will attempt to express
thoughts I’ve managed to find.

As a distant friend
it would be remiss,
and inadequate,
to send you my love.
If I was a believer
I could send a prayer,
deferring my sentiments
to someone up above.

I have no wisdom
to pass on to you,
no innate answers
that I can honestly give.
It’s an experience
that I have never had,
and one, that no one
should ever have to live.

You already know 
we send our condolences,
and we know you have family
for a comforting hug or a soothing kiss.
So, as my tear touched sentences
gain their momentum,
the least that I can do
is to let you know this.

We have read the resilient words
that you have shared,
have great respect for your fortitude
in the face of such pain.
We’ve seen the positive approach
that you have displayed,
the cascade of beautiful memories
and there affirming refrain.

Pictures of a young life
well-lived, always to the fullest,
by a vibrant young man
who seems exceedingly wise.
Smiles and great experiences,
friends and family, and life,
images of dedication, and pride,
seen through his father’s eyes.

We admire, from our distance,
your immense courage, and resolve,
as you lead by example,
for those also exceedingly sad.

The best representation of a parent
and a dedicated husband,
the brave face of a grieving family,
the embodiment of a caring Dad.

Seeing this fortitude in you
provides us all with inspiration,
with the stark realization
that we must cherish every day.
And, what I realize now is,
that the most important thing,
is not what we have to offer you,
but rather, what we can take away.

Thinking of your love, and loss
makes me want to give my all,
recognizing a perspective
that I should have embraced before.
When I see your stance,
representing such strength,
I am inspired to be stronger
and to love life just that much more.

Whenever I get down
I will climb right back up,
look at my little problems
with the appropriate perspective.
Will take the time to notice
the warmth that surrounds me,
to understand how lucky I am,
whenever I feel reflective.

Every time I feel the impulse
I will give my daughters a hug,
holding on to it, and them,
just a little longer.
I will tell them, far more often,
just how much I love them,
with a renewed certainty,
which is just that much stronger.

And, I will never use distance
as a lazy, convenient excuse,
because when time is so tenuous,
it should never be a bother.
This is a promise I intend to keep,
in honour, of both you and your son,
as I draw upon your fortitude
to be a better friend, and father.

Father to father,
and friend to friend,
my words barely touch
the respect that I send.


Fortitude
– 
courage in pain or adversity:

synonyms: courage · bravery · endurance · resilience · mettle
In memory of Ricky Davies
(1993-2016)

 

 

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

 

Affecting

 

     An influential soul can affect a life. 
     If we are lucky, someone comes along when we are lost or misplaced and makes an impression that lasts a lifetime.  Sometimes all we need is a boost or a new direction to get us going on our way.  It is those people who realize that their influence has possibilities – and who realize that possibilities are endless — who affect lives. 
     Quite often, it is a teacher who is that influential soul. Your life path may be altered by their inspiration, motivation, imagination or subtle persuasion.
     The right person at the right time.

Affecting

It might be only one simple gesture
that changes the course of things

One turn of phrase, or turn in the road
One solid notion that a teacher brings.
An influential soul, who can affect a life
The extra yard, that goes an extra mile
The ability to inspire a want to aspire 
That singular soul, who finds the smile.

Positive thinking, meets untapped potential
Opening a mind, by opening a door 
Initiating the urge to take on the world
Lessening the less, to motivate the more.
 Noticing that possibilities are indeed endless
Giving more of yourself, despite the clock

The right person at the right time
You’re welcomed in, yet you always knock.

Making a difference in their world
by sharing what’s unique inside of you
That place where experiences live 
and understanding comes into view.
Where your common sense prevails
Expressed, in uncommon ways
Where your perception turns a page
and affects their future days.

Every year brings renewed opportunity
with a new group, beginning anew 
Fresh influences and malleable clay 
Shaping character with what you do.
You matter in these impressionable minds
It’s the substance that’s in your style 
Asking only for an honest effort 
You make it worth their while.

Inspiration found, with subtle persuasion
Motivation, to where you shine the light
Imagination, in the eyes of tomorrow 
  The vision to see the higher height.
Encouragement and understanding

Providing balance to their uphill climb
An unselfish stamp on an emerging life
The right person at the right time.

Making a difference in this world
by sharing the life inside of you
That place where experience lies 
and humility comes into view.
Where your common sense prevails
Expressed, in uncommon ways
Where perception turns an important page
and affects their future days.

For all the right reasons,
you affect the rhyme.
The right person
at the right time.

 

Silence

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Silence

 I hear the furnace kick in, on this cool morning.
An awakening nudge, from within the silence…
my creative silence.

It is then that I notice,
gradually notice more
The nuances of early morning
Just outside my door
The stillness of the lake
The shadows near the shore
A family of four ducks
And behind them two more
A peaceful place to begin my day
Alone, with some time to explore

A window to an opened mind.
A unique view, from within the silence…
my creative silence.

The façade of my introspection
Protective, but paper thin
Accessible, in the early morning
Without the voices or the din
An undisturbed opportunity
To summon, from within
The chance to visit places
Where I have seldom been
Insights, subtly perceptible
Like the drop of a pin

The sound of my ideas resonates,
clearly audible to me, from within the silence…
my creative silence.

Discernable refrains of thought
Echoing inside my peaceful shell
The intricacies of perception
From the depths of my well
The complexities of emotion
The conflicts that I must quell
Lost, and found, in the early morning
Immersed in what to tell
A place to elevate my opinions
Up from where they fell

I find my positive inspiration,
emerging, from within the silence…
my creative silence.

The early morning moves me
As the words start to flow
Drifting through the shadows
Like the ducks, in a row
Lines of innate substance
Gaining momentum as they go
Buoyant, lucid, more certain
Shedding inhibitions as they grow
Brought into the morning light
From this tranquil place I know

The quiet of the morning finds me here.
Where I can hear myself think…
within my creative silence.

 

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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Turn

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TURN

I stop where the highway ends
Pausing at the bottom of the hill
At the intersection of here and now
where time seems to stand still
Just enough time for me to smile
Time enough to look both ways
The right time at the right place
A right turn to the best of days

A right and then a quick left
To where my awakened mind sees
Down one last secluded road
under a canopy of trees
A canopy of yellow, white and green
Scattered sunlight streaking through
A canopy that guides me along
To the home that I made with you

A home full of ease and inspiration
Where my contented heart will stay
That rejuvenates my weary soul
at the end of another long day
At the end of the gravel lane
On the west end of the lake
One last left up the driveway
Is the best turn that I make

A definite turn for the better
At the end of our long year
The best turn for our life together
is the turn that led us here
To the edge of nature’s bounty
With a love for life as our connection
The right time, and the right place
A turn in the right direction

Solitude

          tears bench
Solitude

 I choose time alone
when I simply want to be
nearer to myself
 my solitude and me

A discreet place to revitalize my mind
Leaving the mess of the world behind
Discovery within my solitary den
Deciding where and how and when
Choosing to get lost, in order to find
A matter of self-reflection, that’s undefined
A substance of silence that finds my pen
Feelings are sought and selected again

Paper and pen for SURE
I need to escape
to where I should be
closer to myself
 my solitude and me

Sometimes separation is a necessary place
Withdrawing my emotions at my own pace
Safer within my sole situation
Restrained inside my contemplation
Choosing to retreat, to my own space
Saving my words, while saving face
Distancing myself from temptation
Separating sense from sensation

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I seek out true serenity
  comfort in where I will be
right there beside myself
 my solitude and me

A secluded place where my soul can stay
Understanding the world, by turning away
Immersed within my distinct seclusion
Savoring quality time without intrusion
Choosing the hours, from day to day
 To do my own thing, in my own way
Lured by a tranquility that’s paper thin
My particular private selfish place within

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I choose this time alone

so I can just be
content with myself
 my solitude, and me

This peaceful place where I have grown
Recognizing the richness of self-unknown
Perception within my mind’s eye
Seeing the strength and knowing why
Choosing to internalize, on my own
Joined by my thoughts, I am never alone
 Together we laugh, we learn, we try
Finding perspective with myself and I

 

black and white piano

ALLEGIANCE

 

RUSH

Allegiance

Gathered here on a single mission
In the spirit of audio and visual bliss
An awesome display of sight and sound
A rhythmic reunion, none could miss

Allegiance in a sea of mass devotion
Shoulder to shoulder to shoulder as one
United in song through words of worth
Swaying in unison, from father to son


Senses tingle with warm anticipation
Dedication embodied in a progressive line
A growing buzz of impending fortune
The stage is set, a harmonious shrine

Final sound check a technicality
Test, test, testing my circumstance
A luminous flicker now seals our fate
A fraternal nudge, a knowing glance

Stirring up this all familiar fire
A splendid spark ignites the room
The truest kindred kinetics at work
Signals smoulder and meet their doom

Soaring strings rip through the night
Sending shock waves to the collective soul
Shattering atmosphere with jet fueled force
Ascending to new heights, their lofty goal


The holy triumvirate, a cohesive team
Unified as one, in purpose and name
Each an extension, one to the other
Perpetually placed at the top of their game

Fingers flying with a frantic ease
A blur of clarity at breakneck pace
Cleanly amplified in cool precision
Leading the way in this frenetic chase

There is no rest when you’re this wicked
Working triple duty in double time
Carrying the beat with hands and feet
Haunting each note, the bass sublime

So much discussion about the percussion
The genius, resplendent, in his comfort zone
Signature sound from the theatre round
Pure perfection, every limb to each his own


Their powers collide with brutal intensity
Crackling notes that scatter and fall
Always landing in their perennial place
Destined to reanimate when they get the call

From solo diversions to acoustic excursions
Mindful anthems, tried and tested and true
Seemly transitions by consummate musicians
Something so bold and something real new

Repeatedly cleansing our collective palate
A virtual feast of fancy for hungry ears
Delicious memories and food for thought
Life blood nutrition that spans our years

A three hour journey inside of ourselves 
Time gracefully flies until the end draws near
A brotherhood of man, we rise as one
The crescendo complete with the final cheer         
                           

Gathered here on a single mission
In the spirit of audio and visual bliss
An awesome display of sight and sound
A rhythmic reunion, none could miss

Allegiance in a sea of mass devotion
An enduring body of work, matched by few
United in song through words of worth
A Hall-of-Fame band that has earned its due.

                                 G.G.  Oct. 16/12

Level

IMG_20140701_090843   

Level

An intuitive need to get it out.
To spill my words with self abandon.
To exercise the essence of my inner worth.

Waking up to something very real…
bringing life to all that I feel.


An outpouring of the purest kind.
The essence of the thoughts I’ve slept with.
The vibrant reflection of my heart and soul.

Morning coffee accompanied inspiration…
chasing images of sense and sensation.


A natural progression within hind sight.

Taking the path to pencil and paper.
Taking my being to that next level.

Starting a new day with full mind…

seizing the spirit of a life rewind.


A person or a place that feeds my urges.

From conversation to the news that shapes.
From the recesses of opinions and influence.

Gathering clear images from far and near…

capturing the moments that brought me here.


An intuitive avenue to getting it all down.

The clearest way to reflect on my purest soul.
The natural progression to life’s level ground.

Reaching out for tomorrow as I go to bed…

hoping that todays like these lie straight ahead.

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Faith

Faith Books
FAITH

I watch intently as the representative speaks
Certain, as he, that he lives by every word
I look around to find the faces of that same belief
It’s the story that binds them in what they’ve heard

We are here to celebrate in the eyes of their maker
We are here to join two good people as man and wife
To put a righteous stamp on their first page together
To share guidance and guidelines for the rest of their life

We are here to say good-bye to the dearly departed
The volunteer, the neighbour, the follower, the friend
So easy to find solace and comfort in their collective loss
After they hear of the peace she had found near the end

I smile for those who have found their own way
And I feel for the ones who think they must follow
I worry for the those neither here nor there
And I fear for the ones with a faith so hollow

Faith comes from the truth and the need to know
We don’t require a symbol for who we should be
Draw upon the best you see in yourself and others
Have faith in your choice, and choose to believe


The words one subscribes to can define who we are
The righteous indignation that is found in a book
We should choose to learn more about good than evil
Search for more of the positive, wherever we look

Why can’t believers follow the peace they entrust
Why can’t those people use their passive voice
No where does it say that faith and war should collide
It isn’t so written in their document of choice

I smile for those who have found their way
And I feel for the ones who think they are lost
I worry for the those neither here nor there
And I fear for the ones whose faith has a cost

I find my inner peace on level ground
A foundation of family that helps me to cope
Inherent building blocks of a lifetime so far
A life that I balance with  faith and hope


Never have I ever considered drastic measures
Even through the depths of my lowest of lows
Seasons change and people pass by like a breeze
Our lives are cyclical and that’s just how it goes

Whenever I ask myself Why me? or Why them?
When life brings me down and when times are tough
I can find my own faith in those whom I love
In family and friends, I find faith enough

I smile with those who have found the way
And I feel for those who still don’t know
I worry for the those neither here nor there
And I fear for the ones too stubborn to grow

My faith comes from the truth and my need to know
I don’t require a symbol for who I should be
I draw upon the best I see in myself and others
I have faith in my choice, and I believe in me

(more…)

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