Yet


Gary's screen shot
Yet

We float our true feelings
around and around and around
We can easily grab onto many,
while some are not easily found
Some seem impossible to conceal,
while others are still tightly bound
Still wrapped up in the past,
they are waiting to be unwound
Yet…
It’s these unwound words, even inadvertently pointed,
that can feel as sharp as they sound

A comment sneaks in and stings you
There, like a wasp without a buzz
A statement that’s not meant to harm,
yet, quite often, it still does
Jabs of memory, cuts of comparison
The flings and arrows of a once was
It takes so very little to belittle
in the context of just because 

Inattentive and thoughtless behavior
when your partner’s life is its most unstable
Checking your phone or checking the scores
Refusing to apologize, when willing and able
The impact of images left open on a computer
The reaction to gloves left behind on a table
Inadvertent, yet thoughtless reminders
we’d like to forget, but are unable

It’s difficult to contain our emotions
from within the confines of fact
To not blurt out our instincts
at the expense of our tact
We burst selfishly out of a shell
that had previously been cracked
A sad excuse, and a symptom,
for a respect so sorely lacked
Yet…
We are ultimately accountable for our words
and the respect that they impact


A relationship is a work in progress

that always starts from behind
That’s why it is far easier said than done
to be always thoughtful and kind
There is the inevitability of the past,
mixed with the today of the daily grind
The challenges of patience and personality
that can flood an open mind
Yet…
We need to keep floating our feelings
and be open to all we may find

You are still adjusting to a calendar of flux,
dotted with those difficult days
I still retract, detract, and then overreact
with the wrong turn of phrase
Some conflict will come, and conflict will go
as we share our common come what mays
Yet, in the reality of our commonalities
the mutual respect must go both ways

 Never do I want be taken for granted,
or to be treated as an afterthought
You absolutely deserve only my best intention
and the best attention I’ve got
This give and take is a delicate balance
that often puts couples on the spot
Fortunately, we have this love on our side
It may not be everything, but it’s quite a lot
Yet…
We struggle sometimes, as we continue to make strides,
trying to give to one other as much as we’d like to get

We are trying our best, for all the best reasons,
Yet, we’re not all the way there,  just yet

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Then


20171101_173406
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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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.”

Definable

 

           noun: joy
  1.  a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

    noun: passion
    1.   strong and barely controllable emotion.
    2.   a state or outburst of strong emotion.
    3.   intense sexual love.
    4.   an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.


Definable
You have brought joy to my life.

It’s as simple as that.
I haven’t smiled with someone
I haven’t laughed with someone
I haven’t enjoyed someone
this much…all of the time.

It is this undeniable chemistry
that we have
that stirs me up inside
It bubbles, it builds,
it bursts out of me
It pulls me along for the ride

It’s an easily definable happiness
It’s an extreme of shared joy…
And it’s impossible to hide


You have brought passion to my life.

It’s as simple as that.
I haven’t wanted something
I haven’t craved something
I haven’t enjoyed something
this much…all of the time.

It is this undeniable chemistry
that we have
that stirs me up inside
It bubbles, it builds,
it bursts out of me
It pulls me along for the ride

It’s an easily definable desire
It’s an extreme of shared passion…
And it’s impossible to hide

It’s exhilarating.
It’s intoxicating.
It’s pure pleasure
to enjoy someone,
to enjoy something
this much…all of the time.

It’s as simple as that.

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

Mine

MINE
I was inching away from everything
that I had tried so hard to preserve
Taking the smallest of careful steps,
as I negotiated the next curve
Having spent far too much energy
accepting less than I deserve
Gradually reaching the realization
that I have more than enough nerve
20180604_092737.jpg
So, I am making changes

For me
Found someone who sees the very best
in me
Nearer to the fun and confident essence
of who I used to be
Experiencing life, one day at a time
For me

I had the best of all of the intentions

but my will seldom found the way
I just needed some selfish motivation,
and to heed the words I would say
When it’s broken, you must fix it,
rather than put it off, for yet another day
And that meant doing it myself,
believing, this is the price I’ll pay

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So, I am making changes

For me
Bought a nice new, reliable vehicle
just for me
I am getting ever closer
to the way things should be
Closer to the life that I choose
For me

The constant of the truly good people

who are always always there
Family, colleagues, closest friends,
listening, simply because they care
Honesty, in the face of my best interest,
with only good intentions to share
Helping to get me to a better place
and then joining me, no matter where

apartment architecture contemporary design

I am making these changes
For me
A newish job, and a great new house
For me
I am now looking only forward,
to the place I want to be
Where life and love and happiness meet
With me

File

File

Two steps forward, and one and a half back
This weary ascent, up my mental list
The more skewed the priorities, the more I lack
Still a half step behind what I can’t resist

I am preoccupied, with so many loose ends
What little time, spent reeling them in
With eyes wide, to avoid common friends
Leery, that your patience is wearing thin

It’s my quiet burden, this selective secret
Lines of inconvenience, thickening a folder
Life evolves, while I struggle to keep it
As the new, and good, look over my shoulder

All the transitional turmoil, single spaced
A ledger of my worries, my personal file
A test of your resolve, stacked with my haste
Noted, then placed, at the bottom of the pile

We will rise, when I am free, from all of this
When I can share myself,  fully, with you
This promise, an asterisk, and a kiss
For now, these, are the best I can do

Picture2

Meeting

                                  Meeting 


I arrive with wine, and little apprehension

Entering your home, my worries are very few
Confident that you are kind, that you are genuine
because your wonderful daughter is a part of you


As I look around, a comfort settles over me
Instantly, I am at ease, and even more sure
We say our hellos and she squeezes my hand

Moments later she takes me on a tour

I see warm colours, and family photos
lovingly displayed, up and down the hall
Your own creations, and your creativity,
gracing each room, and on every wall

Crafty signs, stitch work, and oil paintings
Your personal touches, so easily found
Children and teens, newlyweds and grandkids,
all of your loved ones, leaning or hanging around

Tangibly vibrant, with a flick of each switch
The now and the then, brought to light
The young couple, handsome and pretty
Their beginning, framed, in black and white

We stroll through your memories, new and old,
The long journey of a husband and a wife
A visual journal, of his story and yours,
Room to room, so full of a life

As we join everyone in your living room
I look to you, straight across, sitting in a chair
Our glances meet, knowingly, for a moment
neither overly concerned, but both of us aware


Just as I had hoped, with this important step,
I was adding perspective to my happy reality
But it was also tweaking my ongoing interest
with peoples’ grasps on their own mortality


I find myself staring, as we are having dinner

catching myself, just before you do
I am lost, inside my natural curiosity,
wondering about your point of view

I imagine what you might be thinking
Another Easter dinner, like any other year?
Are you blissfully oblivious to who is new,
and simply thankful that everyone is here?

Are you thinking about who is missing,
a little sad, and reminiscent as you look around?
Or are you soaking in the whole atmosphere
Every familiar sight, every happy sound?

Your grandchildren, all talking excitedly
That perfect mix of exuberance and loud
The smiles of three uniquely beautiful daughters
Your constant smile, telling me you are proud

Your living legacy, right here before you
Those most important, just being themselves
A vital portrait of your loving family
brought down from off the shelves

Your smile subsides only when you speak
Voice cracking, behind the few words you say
You seem quietly content, at the head of the table
as I gradually get to know you, on this April day


Everyone slowly heads towards the door,
saying thank-you and exchanging good-byes
I see your expression change, ever so slightly,
a
s a twinge of melancholy forms in your eyes

Yet

“Is it contact or just reaction?
…Is it living, or just existence?
It takes a little more persistence
To get up and go the distance

— Neil Peart – Something For Nothing


Yet

I contended
while you pretended
Yet, it was I
who had to choose…

Hearts choose
Egos bruise
Stubborn minds
light the fuse
A battle of wills

that I would win,
and lose


I retreated

while you depleted
Yet, it was I
who still brought flowers…

Broken flowers
Passionate showers
The uncertainty
filled my hours
Ups and downs
losing their steam,
their odd powers


I rejected
while you reflected
Yet, it was I
who felt the pain…

Too much pain
Nothing to gain
Constant inconsistency
driving me insane
The truck pulled up
to load my life,
once again.

March 26/17


“I’ve been burdened with blame,
trapped in the past for too long,

I’m moving on”

— Rascal Flatts —

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