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)

 

 

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Squashed

20150914_122855
Squashed

She had
no time

for us.
I had
no patience

to wait.
While she
found
the time

to keep 
the promises
she made.

Plans made
for us
months ahead.

One night
away

in a different bed.
To feed
a love
we left unfed.
To bandage wounds
that
slowly bled.

Convenient excuses

from her
instead.
Obvious signs
that hope
was dead.

One dinner
for us
and maybe one dance.

One night
for us
months in advance.
To try
to find
our lost romance.
To save
our family
from circumstance.

Squashed
by her
without a glance.
An obvious sign
that we had
no chance.

No time.
No patience.

No hope. 
 Unwilling
to even try.

No time.
No patience.
No chance.

We both know
the reasons
why.

Discretion

DiscretionIMG_20141102_142927[1]

Stopped instantly in your tracks.
Waves of shock and then disbelief.

Her picture right there for all to see
The headline, as plain as can be
Words that strike at your very core
Shaken by the thought of reading more
You dare to look, despite the knowing
Helpless to keep it all from showing
Putting your back against the wall
Needing support as your barriers fall

Because now,
you are weakened by what you’ve read,
and you can’t move ahead.


Staggered by this second-hand news.

An instantaneous jolt of clarity. 

Taken directly to a time and a place

Flashing back, to that perfect face
A playful smile you will never forget
The honest heart of your last regret
An ideal situation, some would say
Judged yourself and you walked away
A circumstance you left behind
Rarely ever crossing your mind

Until now.
You are taken aback by what you’ve heard,
but you can’t say a word.


Inhibited by the same weight of discretion.

Just as private as it was back then.

Age, and then distance, were both too far
You sullenly
remove your suit from the car
Knowing what no one else needs to know
That it’s far more respectful not to go
Keeping your distance is probably best
Questions to avoid in the eyes of the rest
Despite yourself, you know what to do
Closure is for the family, not for you

For now.
 You are constrained by the reasons why,
 so you cannot say good-bye.

 

IMG_20141103_124147[1]

A peculiar sensation of personal loss.
Over someone and something that you let go.

Finding yourself alone with your despair

Few who could really understand or care
Absolutely no shame in what you feel

Convenient secrets, you chose to conceal
Fleeting memories, you fought to dismiss
Coming around, when it comes to this
A conscious grip on things back then
You have to confront those choices again

But now,
you need time and space with what you know.
 Because you have to let her go…
again.

 

Today

                    Today

Do we celebrate birthdays
of those we’ve lost?

Of course we do.
For the same reason
that we celebrate life.

Today, we celebrate you.

A birthday marks
the pass of time.

Time is how we heal.
It gets a little easier
but our hearts still ache.

Today, that’s how we feel.

There will be no gifts
or candles on a cake.

No singing out your name.
Just memories, reminders,
and stories told.

Pictures, that have found a frame.

A bond of enduring love
in the lives you’ve touched.

Many yes, but far too few.
Yet, strength is found
in love, and numbers.

And today, we celebrate you.
 
So, Happy Birthday
my friend.

We all miss
your smiling face.

On this day,
in so many ways

No one else
can take your place.

Here’s to ya.

Puzzle

              Puzzle

A big piece of you is missing
and it’s hard to understand why
Because the only time he hurt anyone
is when he said good-bye…

This life is a picture puzzle
difficult at times like these
So hard to put together
without that final piece
Like a photo and a memory
with one and not the other
It’s the picture of a family
without the son and brother.

But step back for a moment
and take one more look
You will find him right there
in the pictures that you took
You will remember his smile
and you can’t misplace his charms
You can see why you loved him
and feel the warmth of his arms.

A fixture in your mind’s eye
you will always find him there
In the family that he treasured
and in the stories you all share
You have memories to hold on to
lasting impressions of how they were made
So very evident as you look around
resilient smiles that can only fade

Put aside the stubborn sadness
take some time with those he knew
You have to start to live again…
because he is right here with you.


Today is about the friendships
so get a drink and grab a seat

Celebrate living life to the fullest  
so that this puzzle is complete
Let’s reminisce about the good times
raise a glass and drink a beer
And it isn’t wrong to share a laugh
You know he would if he were here.

Difficult

 


There


Difficult

Seeing a family struggle to understand
 How sudden and final life can be
When a moment ago all seemed right
Makes how you react so very key

It’s always difficult at a time like this
To find just the right words to say
You know it’s not I, and it’s never me
  It needs to be you, or he, or they

 Offer of yourself, and be available with
A knowing glance, a shoulder, an ear
And it isn’t wrong to share a laugh
You know he would if he were here

Be who you are and think about him
And the reasons why you feel so bad
 You’ll remember it’s because of who he was
And all of the great times you had

Absorb the emotions with all of these friends
And true perspective will take its hold
Listen, and share, and you will realize
 The lost can be found in the stories told

You have many memories to hold on to
 Lasting impressions of how they were made
So very evident as you look around
In the resilient smiles that can only fade

…Always difficult at a time like this
To find the words you struggle to say

 

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…)

Gordy

 

           

                      Gordy

Sometimes
 when I put my feet up
   I feel it.
     Sometimes
       when I open the back door
          I know.
            Sometimes
              when I get home from work.
                 Sometimes
                    when I leave to go.

Sometimes
  when I sit
    where you always sat.
      Sometimes
        when I walk
           past your favorite mat.

              I don’t always think of you.
                Sometimes
                   I still do.

Gordy

 

Grasp

Grasp

 

The shadow of sadness seems ominous
Over a life that is ebbing away
Helpless, no matter what I do
Insufficient, no matter what I say

When it’s quiet and the door closes
And my words have been left behind
All that I take with me is my loneliness
It’s as if life has robbed me blind

With only self-reflection and memories
I fill this void, so that I may see
With tears for now and never forgetting
I feel this grief washing over me.

Time takes its exacting toll
As I struggle to understand
I reach out to touch the inevitable
While you hold my other hand.


Allow vulnerability to concede control

It’s this inner turmoil that is very real
Recognize and accept it for what it is
I must suffer, so that I can heal

This harsh reality is a necessary agony
Let it do its work and don’t resist
Must not repress, deny or bury my despair
I must yield to it, while we co-exist

My hopes are confronted by my despair
And sorrow that could go to any length
The future is my next opponent
Your support is my source of strength.

Time devises its own agenda

Life seldom goes as planned
I reach out to grasp for yesterday
While you hold my other hand.

 

There’s a process to repair these lacerations
It takes time for wounds to mend
You held my hand at the bitter beginning
 I felt your presence to the better end

A soothing touch on my aching flesh
You hold the pulse of all I am feeling
With the sensation of your hand on mine
One hurting… and the other healing

Scars will show when I have healed
Jagged confirmation of how and when
Reminders of the cruel cuts of life
Yet signs that I am whole again.

 I feel the grip of your reassurance
Rising from my grief, I am able to stand
I can let go, and motivate my mourning
While you hold my other hand.

Michael

                  Michael
                                               

Oh red-skied morning
calm before the storm.
A sailor man so gentle
with smiling eyes so warm.Ocean2
The tides of life drift away,
as that lonesome breeze blows,
the loving soul of Michael
to the sea where it flows.

 

Young enough to wonder why
In dreams alone, never deep
Old enough for the grips of what

That echo inside a silent sleep

Submerged inside a growing mind
Unable to fathom loss, or to let him go
Unwilling to accept a new reality
Unable to embrace an empty shadow

 

The sailor man and his river
flow from shore to unfamiliar shore.
While understanding lays dormant
alone, on a bottomless ocean floor.
And the tides of life drift away
as that lonesome breeze blows
the loving soul of Michael
to the sea where it goes.NY Ship

 

Sunshine on mindful waters
reflect an ever-longing light
in the ever fateful flickering
of painful wrong and right

Though easier now to understand,
you were gone far too soon for me
The love of life, however, is forever there
in the image that I will always see

 

Oh red-skied morning,
calm before the storm.
Always there if we need you,
memories of safe and warm.
The tides of life drift away
to a port that no one knows.
The soul of our good man Michael
rides out to the sea where it flows.

 

Carrying me high above it all,Ocean
strong arms to hold me there…
 
until the water reaches land
and I can touch his gentle hand.
 
His kindness and spirit are not gone
because waves move on and on.

G.G. November/87
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