Uncertain

20200415_111411
Uncertain

In no uncertain terms
these uncertain times
exact a daily toll
Consigned to our reality
Confined to our home
Cavernous, in our hole…

The disdain of the social media
The refrain of the incessant news
Trudeau’s late morning assurances
Trump’s daily need to accuse
Portals to the vital information
Privy to all the points and views
Small screens or the big screen
Two for my one. One for my twos

So much that I have to believe
With so little I have to choose

Twenty four, gone just like that
Stuck at home, paying hour dues
Any time, less than well spent
is more that I will lose

 

Numbers that continually climb
The mountain exceedingly steep
Information about our situation
Piled onto, and into, the heap
Unsure of exactly how to react
Dangerous to relax. Dire enough to weep
Life burrowed. And lives buried
Lost and lonely in the deep

Choices, and musts, and maybes,
sown by what we reap

Restless, on same sorry nights
Tempted to pour my self to sleep
Waking to the same exhaustion
With no appointments to keep

 

In no uncertain terms
these uncertain times
test our resolve
The tenuous balance
The strenuous times
The few we can involve…

Sitting with the same three people
So strangely out of whack
A picking and choosing of persons
Separating them from the pack
Getting together with friends, sort of
Grainy and intermittent as we yak
Me, Skyping on my Samsung
She, Zooming on her Mac

Small relief, virtually compensating
for the contact that we lack

Stuck inside, inside my head
A smothering, closed-in panic attack
A forty minute escape on foot
to the grocery store and back

 

More word games on my phone
with another temporary friend
Wearing out my headphones
Replacing another pen
Staying up late with a movie
Staying in bed until ten
Back to yesterday’s puzzle
Then another. Because I can

Nothing seems to matter much
when it doesn’t matter when

When anywhere I choose to go
is where I’ve recently been
It’s the same day as yesterday
All over again

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In these uncertain times
We must look to the certain things
Voices and faces. Warm and safe places
Music and memories. A lyric that one sings
We must absorb all of the sensations
Even when the situation stings
Bask in the perfection of a complete silence
The anticipation, when the phone rings

While we are captive in our own castles
we are still the queens and kings

We need to absorb every day importance
To see and hear when reality dings
Finding the words and feeling the thoughts
Any comfort that familiar brings

 

I am required to switch my focus
To forge ahead in this lonely role
Accomplish something, anything, for me
Feed and fill my hungry soul
To live life as it is, in the here and now
In the circumstance, within my control
I’m not allowed to live it to the fullest
Making more of less is my modest goal

Regaining my composure and perspective
Some of what this pandemic stole

Raising my head, my eyes, my heart
Extracting myself from the mounting toll
Wanting to live while waiting to leave
Up and over, and out of this hole

 

In these uncertain times
In no uncertain terms

Consumed

20200109_110906                                                                        CONSUMED

We all have our present,
and our afters,
and our befores
And, right now,
all of my tenses,
are consumed by yours…


I wake up this morning,
and she is here,
and so am I
Her head comes to rest
on my contented chest
as it breathes a sigh
She slides out of bed
and opens up the blinds
to nothing but blue sky
To time, taken for granted,
as each next day
cruises on by

Then, suddenly, my thoughts turn
To the sad and horrific news
the two of you have shared
Like a sharp slap in the face,
I am now thoroughly awake
I feel trapped, and ensnared
I am jolted to the core
by your worst nightmare
And I am truly scared
I am terrified and consumed
by you just never know
And, of course, am unprepared

I am overcome, knowing,
that our every days
can change just like that
Realizing, that our tomorrows
could be suddenly lost
in the drop of a hat
Overcome knowing, at any moment,
the momentum of a life
can fall suddenly flat
As I realize all of this,
I look helplessly toward her,
 shaken by all of that

So I take her in my arms…
just to have her there


My daughter says good-bye,

on a Sunday,
and I wipe away a tear
Spoiled, as I was,
for the eleven weeks
I had her so near
My mind wanders,
to what awaits
for another school year
And to all of those things
I took for granted
while she was here

Then, my thoughts leap,
in an instant,
back to the two of you
I am emotionally assaulted
by the brutal realities
of all you are going through
Struck, by the cruel circumstance
that life can afflict
with barely a clue
Consumed, by helpless fear and anger
By the vast uncertainty
And by the blatantly true

I am overcome, knowing,
that delicate balance
of our hopes and our dreams
Realizing, our tenuous reality
is seldom as certain
as it sometimes seems
Overcome, knowing,
life can take a terrible turn
despite our grandest schemes
I realize, with cold certainty,
we are helpless to the course
of what destiny deems

So I call my daughter…
just to hear her voice

We all are at the mercy
of what life takes,
and what life brings
And, right now,
I am consumed, knowing,
that it takes many things.

Absorbed

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Absorbed

Sometimes I get lost
And I stare
I am lost
in the mystery of your dark eyes
I am caught up
in the flow of your dark hair
Sometimes, you catch me looking
Never do I care

Whenever you notice,
and you look my way,
my love finds you there.

Then, you smile.
That smile.
And I smile,
And we are both there.

Often, I soak all of you in
And my heart is full

I bask in the moment
and never want to let it go
I absorb all I see
until my emotions show
Often, I burst from the inside
I let my words flow

Whenever I feel this way,
I promised,
to always let you know.

So, I say them.
Those words.
And you say them.
And we both know.

abstract bubble clean clear

 

Broken

                                                                           Broken
A trucker walks into a synagogue…

I
t sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s not.

Not a joke when this trucker is a crazed anti-Semitic
looking for somewhere to aim his misguided blame
Not when he perpetrates another of the countless massacres
that have become the wretched lore of America’s shame
Not a joke, when any old trucker from Pennsylvania
can, inexplicably, have twenty-one guns registered in his name

It’s not the least bit funny when this same old story happens every other day.
It’s called the same old story, because the same old story is always the same.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same old story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the devastation
Sickening me again, as a broken system cracks
Resonating again, as a broken person snaps
The devastation of every other day
The anger, the heartache, the vast impacts
The scourge of so many weapons, the same cold facts
So many lives,
changed in the worst way
Lost, in the devastation,
of every other day

181028134306-01-tree-of-life-synagogue-super-tease


A young couple decides to start a family…

It sounds like a very nice story, until it’s not.

A young mother pulls on her favourite boots,
excited about
a long-awaited night out with her friends
Drinks and dancing, and all the best intentions,
missing her daughter more with every text she sends
Her husband sends her a photo of their peaceful sleeping baby,
never imagining, that tonight, his wife’s life abhorrently ends

Yet another lost name on the long, sad, deplorable list of every other day.
Three more victims of a system that breaks far more often than it bends.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same sad story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the desolation
Weakening me again, as a broken system fails
Resonating again, as a broken child wails
The desolation of every other day
The anguish, the heartbreak, the immense scale
The weight of so many coffins, so many final nails
So many lives stolen
So many broken
So many changed
Changed, in the worst way
The same sad news
The same sad reality
The same desolation,
every other day
untitled

 

Grey


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Grey

Certainly not what I expected
when I looked anxiously to today
Distractions and detours
Delay after delay
Nothing like I had envisioned
No how.  No way.
A reluctant change of course
Navigating the grey

A wall of grey uncertainty
between you and your goal
A hard place, and a rock
w
hen you’re ready to roll
An unexpected wait
A mirage of elusive control
Asking such a small price
Just patience for your toll

Inside the grey uncertainty
t
ime stands painfully still
Between situation and explanation
Just be calm.  Just remain chill.
Between exasperation and exhaustion
Exhale, slowly, and swallow the pill
In the grey of the uncertainty
c
ome what may, inevitably will


Definitely not what I wanted
when I looked forward to tonight
Dissention and distance
Wrong versus right
Nothing like I had envisioned
On my mind. Out of sight.
The tone of grey reaction
Neither black nor white

Toiling in the grey unknown
of a lost night out
In the variable and the vague
is the unseen and the doubt
A question is the answer
When silence is a shout
Look to the big picture
Just relax, and wait it out

Inside the grey unknown
b
eing oblivious can be a roll of the dice
Between interpretation and explanation

Just be understanding. Just be nice.
Between selfish and self-preservation
Do not make the same mistake twice

In the grey of the unknown
u
npaid attention has no actual price


Trapped, within the nowhere near

of where I want my thoughts to be
Distracted and dismayed
My time feels far from free
Nothing like I had envisioned
Awaiting words. A wait and see.
The quiet of the gray
Speaks volumes to me

Staring into the grey silence
of a blank refreshed screen
Checking in after every chapter
like a procrastinating teen
Those certain expectations
The how it’s always been
Confined inside your cellular
Just swipe the slate clean

Inside that grey silence
unrealistic standards are the cage
So make the necessary adjustments
Just turn it off.  Just act your age.
Leave the drama for the characters
Leave the scenes for some stage
In the grey of the silence
you can always
turn the page


Convinced that I am ever-evolving,
I look optimistically ahead
Detraction and reaction
Saying the unsaid
As far, and as much, as I can envision
Also, and more so.  Instead of instead
Negotiating the grey
Whenever I am seeing red

Coping within the grey areas
of our everyday race
With road blocks personified
An invasion of personal space
A barrage of harsh mentality
The reality of commonplace
The simplest of solutions
Just choose dignity, and grace

In the grey of the grey areas
doom and gloom are never much fun
Between frustration and explanation
Just be positive. Be the stronger one.
Between excuses and excusing
You know what needs to be done
Even in the greyest of the grey
rose-coloured glasses will let in the sun

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Lost

Lost

There are cracks
And there are holes
Those who have lost their way
Those, who have lost their souls

Cracks, lined with uncertainty
Shallow and long and narrow
Split, painfully, like broken bone
With blood and doubt and marrow

Holes, filled with deprivation
Deep and dark and wide
Dug, in haste, like a mass grave
The addicted and the dead inside 

Lost, lonely, alone
Missing in the cracks 
Someone’s family
Someone’s friend

Lost, forgotten, gone

Buried in a hole 

Someone else’s story
Someone else’s end

Grave

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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Dreamt?

Dreamt?
I dreamt about you last night
I dreamt about the breeze of our freedom
The two of us, gliding through the air…

It felt so real that I woke up exhilarated
I stretched out to squeeze your hand,
but I couldn’t find you there
Not because you didn’t want to be
Only because you couldn’t be
In that moment, it seemed a bit unfair

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Yet, as I got out of bed, I was smiling

Returning, easily, to that lofty height
To where you and I often seem to be…

Lost, in the us of every new experience
Sharing a rush of unpredictable pleasure
The next unknown, the now of you and me
Soaring, together, high above it all
With a fresh wind, pushing us along
Close enough to touch, and high enough to see

backlit bird clouds dark

backlit bird clouds dark

 

 

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

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.

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