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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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.”

Sensational

Sensational
There is no secret formula
to what works for me with you
We simply go wherever
the sensations take us to…

Every time we get together, it seems,
we add something new to the mix
It’s our possibilities addiction,
and we can’t wait for another fix 
A constant stream of unique sensations
Spontaneous abandon, going with the flow
A near to the edge of anticipation
The craving for you just never know

It’s the understatement of the embrace
when one of us walks in the door
The understood, unspoken expectation
that we are in for so much more
The adrenalin of our any given moment
The rush of the next uncovered feeling
A song, a word, a look, a touch
Real sensations, that often leave us reeling

We found one another
when the time for us was right
A man and woman, with love,
and the sensations of each night…

Every time we are apart, it seems,
we look forward with an impatient haste
Driven by our insatiable appetites,
and the selfish need for another taste
More than just passion wets our appetite
We find satisfaction in our conversations
It’s the opportunity that fuels our desires
Time together, that feeds the sensations

We have been spoiled by availability,
but we share the same perspective
Better to indulge in creating memories
than to feel empty or sadly reflective
We can fill up on todays and tomorrows
On shared experiences, and the little things
Be stimulated by all that we have now
And by every sensation the future brings

It’s the end of another work day
and we have no idea what’s in store
We do know that it will be sensational
Who could ask for more.

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Substance

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SUBSTANCE
I listen closely to her words
and I am taken aback
It’s not just in their sincerity
It’s not just their ringing truth
It’s in their shared importance
It is in their substance
It is the substance of this

I catch her eyes fixed upon me
and I am taken in
The way she smiles when she notices
The way she shines when she reacts
Her face says so much in an instance
Far more than just the moment
It is the substance of this

I wake up to find her hand in mine
and I am taken away
I close my eyes again and she is still here
I think about tomorrow and she is there
She is everywhere that I look
She is everywhere that I want to be
It is the substance of this

I look inside myself, and I smile
and I take nothing for granted
She deserves as much as I can give

She feels what I feel
She wants what I want
And we want even more
More of the substance of this

Reason

Reason
I see the lows of your residual pain,
and I feel helpless 
But I know what I need to do
I need to be the strength that pulls you up, 
and keeps you there
I want to be the man to take care of you

I want to be your resilience
I want you to move on, with me, 
to a far better place
I want to be beside you when get there
I want to be the reason for the next smile on your face

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I find myself, wrapped up in your worry,

holding you, firmly in my arms
And I never want to say when
I want you to always feel secure,
safe within my love
To be the certainty, to your never again

I want to be your clarity
Want you to look straight ahead,
and to never turn away
I want to be in focus, the bright future
I want to be the reason  
you look forward to every day


I am realistic, and I am a dreamer 

I know that life isn’t easy,
especially with lingering doubt
I want to help you cope, to give you hope
I want to play a part in your dreams,
and be part of what they are about

I want to be your confidence
I want you to feel good about yourself,
because so much of you is good
I want to be your daily reminder
I want to be the reason,
every reason, that you should

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Most of all, I want to be your optimism

Want you to find the best of me,
and to discover even more in time
I want to be your inspiration
I want to be the rhyme, and the reason,
just as you are the reason to my rhyme

 

 

Smile

               Smile

I only get to see you            Sun for Every                  
once in a while
But, every time I do,
I get to see your smile

My favourite thing, so far,
has been that smile
The way it pulls me in,
and how it makes me feel
From the time we met,
to right now, and now,
it is seeing you smile
that makes us feel real

Your smile resonates personality,
and a true love for life
A glow that surrounds you
and reflects in your eyes
Its spontaneous nature
belies an instinct to hide
And the more that it reveals,
the less that it tries

Your smile radiates positivity,
in the purest sense
In its genuine warmth,
in the honesty that it shows
When a tear drop appears,
behind a memory,
your smile takes over
like a friend who knows          

Most of all, I’ve noticed,
your smile is simply beautiful           
It expresses a depth
to the life inside your heart
A confidence of character,
that I find to be contagious
Something to keep with me,
on the days we are apart

I only get to see you
once in a while
But the next time I do,
I know I’ll see you smile

 

 

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’ll 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 think, I scroll through my movie choices.
“Don’t sit there. Come lie down with me. No need to slouch.”
Hearing this, I am actually more exasperated 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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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…

 

 

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.

 

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