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

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Landing

Landing
Recent memories fill my head
as we soar back to our lives
Back to before, to our every days,
to an enhanced reality of what that is


Memories, of an ideal illusion,

where it is only us for a while
Longer whiles, with no limits
Waking up to nothing but time
Holding on, for as long as we can

Memories of your eyes inside mine
In sun and in moonlight
In the dim of any morning
Looking to each other for what comes next
Knowing that it could be anything

Memories of many more conversations
Of the way your words flow with mine
Of commonalities, and waves of blue
Sharing the ebb and flow our pasts
Understanding how we got to here

Memories of seven wonderful days,
forever part of our own story
An early chapter in a evolving romance 
Written with ease, from moment to moment,
on unbound sheets of crisp revelation


Your head lifts from my shoulder

as we drift slowly down to earth
With our memories safely on board,
the wheels reach for solid ground

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pexels-photo-414916.jpeg

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

20180322_112211

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

20180322_111407
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.

Kris

Sometimes we let life get in the way of the simple but important things…like friendships. I made a promise to myself to never feel the sting of such regret again.
It hurts too much.

                         Kris
Woke up to a beautiful morning    20180308_083200
with nothing but sky and blue
The sun graciously greeted me
and I immediately thought of you

I thought about these past two years
mortality, and time, weighing on my mind
I thought about losing touch with friends
and wishing that I could rewind


To a deck chair on a porch

and a cold pint in my hand
To a conversation we once had
while listening to my favourite band

“I appreciate their talent”, you said,
as you tried to give it a chance.
But when it came right down to it,
“it just doesn’t make me dance.”

“What’s the point of music, you asked,
unless it brings you to your feet?
It has to have danceable lyrics.
And where’s the danceable beat?!”

And to emphasize your point
you attempted to dance along
But “the guitar was too heavy,
and the rhythm was all wrong.”

This didn’t slow you down though
and you improvised some moves
Then you dropped your pint onto the deck
and it spilled between the grooves

The whole situation seemed hilarious
and we laughed until we were both flush
I blamed it on your dancing
while you blamed it on RUSH

This became an ongoing theme
whenever we got together
Lousy food was because of RUSH
and so was lousy weather


Which brings me back to this morning

to the sun and a sky so blue
Time and mortality on my mind
and to fond memories of you

You always had a unique perspective
a contagious smile and a playful grin
But you also had so much more
and it all came from within

A huge heart for everyone
and an ease to your ways
I just wish we’d kept in touch
and could share more sunny days

Miss ya big guy…you were one of a kind.

Gary
May 8, 2014

Worry


20170805_142905[1]
Worry

You worry about us
while I worry about you
My wounds have mostly healed
Yours, are still unfairly new

Still vulnerable, still susceptible,
Still affected by so much
Bruised around the edges
Still tender to the touch
 Memories, there on the wall
Reminders, flashing on the screen
Taking you back to a hurt
that never should have been
Pictures and question marks
Still images, still fresh 
Years of mixed emotions,
rubbing against your flesh
The occasions, the situations
With family, with friends
The sudden jolt to your system
When some of your past attends
Incessant and intrusive probing
Concerned people, hassling you
The pangs from a harsh reality,
that may or may not be true
Occasional reminders,
that prick you like a pin
Sharp and pointed circumstance
Jabbing at your skin

Rumours, and stories that swirl
Of others, going through the same
Open secrets and indiscretions
The deflecting of the blame
Sad and similar symptoms,
that you reluctantly understand 
Taking you an unhealthy distance
from the life that you had planned

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You worry about us
 and I worry about you
 This is what I can see
This is all I can do

There is pain that I recognize
Sore spots, we have both got
Other aches, I can understand
Worse ones, that I cannot
Nights, together in your home
Putting myself in your place
Hours, rapt deep in our conversation
Moments, spent lost in your face
The nuances of your smile
The emotions, found in your eyes
A shimmering well of melancholy
behind a wavering disguise
The sharp, cruel jabs of pain,
that stab your heart like a knife
The tears, that occupy my mind,
as we sit, surrounded by your life
Yet, there is no place I’d rather be
There with you, trying to comprehend
Distracting you and laughing with you
As your partner, as your friend
Taking you to a fun and happy now,
And sitting beside you there
Giving only me, and who I am,
In every minute that we share
Knowing, I have zero urge to sit
where someone else has sat
That I am one hundred percent yours
That I can promise you that
I have my steadfast morals
I have my own unique charms
I have this love for you,
and I have two strong arms

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You worry about us
I worry about you
I promise you my honesty
That is the most I can do

Nexus

Nexus
Midnight says good bye

to 2017
Celebrating with friends
while you are away

This new year brings me 
to a new day
I have found you
and I couldn’t be happier
At the end of the year
that brought you my way 

Alone at 3:00 AM 
but far from lonely
Accompanied by fresh memories 
that fill my head
Wishing you were here
as I go to bed
I have you on my mind
and in my heart
At the nexus to the year
that lies ahead

A year removed
from my misery
Twelve months further 
from all I could take
So much to look forward to
when I awake
I have you in my life
and I can’t get enough

What a difference
a new year can make

 

Nest

I am still not used to it.
Both of them only half the time
was hard enough to accept.
Then the teenage years came
and they became independent.
Half the time became
half the time, half the time.
Then came graduation,
and jobs, and university for one.
And now it’s half of them,
half of half the time.
In less than a year and a half
it will be none of them
almost all the time.
That’s life, I suppose…20171130_094348


NEST
 

Our new family home,
that I bought to share
A shell of a house
without you there
Echoes in the halls
Walls, inside of walls
Some framed with memories,
some still bare 

Never seems as bright
when you are gone
A dim comparison,
with half the lights on
Darkness under a shade
Beds perpetually made
A window with a view,
with the curtains drawn


Down, in the basement

Alone, in the yard
I knew it would hit me,
just not this hard

A simple fact of life,

but it feels like a test
They spread their wings,
and they leave the nest


I wander and I wonder,
cleaning up for one
Swept up in thoughts of you
until the work is done
A vacuum, and a broom
The dust in your room
Faint specks of yesterday,
settled, and then none 

The quiet of the night,
t
he silence of compromise
C
alendar on the fridge,
c
old comfort, as time flies
Circles, that tell me when
Two weeks until then
A small glimmer of hope,
faint in
a father’s eyes

 

Empty, in your bedroom
Alone, at the table
I glance to your pictures,
when my heart feels able

Sad solace in knowing
that it’s for the best
When life calls them,
and they leave the nest

 


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-

   20160922_1253021
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

 

Pages

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Pages
Plenty of reflections
Plenty of idiosyncrasies
come naturally with age.

The
inclination to hesitate
 The instinct to look back…
before I turn a page.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Dates of significance
Names and news and faces.
They pull be back in time
To a life full of friends
To many happy places.

I find myself occupied

For more than a moment
When I stop to reminisce.
So deeply entrenched
As I get lost in a past
That I invariably miss.

I have done my due time

Been an adult for a while
Am a proud father of two.
Have settled into middle age
Set aside my daydreams
For the responsible view.

Far too many pages

Far too many friendships
That I’ve let slide by.

As my mortality jolts me

As I read into it further…
I have to ask why?

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Social media postcards

Everyone is travelling
Going there and there.
With unlimited budgets
Twelve weeks of vacation
Gone without a care.

Everyone else seems to get it

That time is of the essence
As the years tread by.
Different walks of life
With uncommon passages
But similar reasons why.

Emphatic experiences

To exciting locations
At the drop of a hat.
Unbelievably available
Unrealistic, of course
But I want some of that.

So many more pages

So many more memories
for me to still get.

With age comes wisdom

With wisdom comes perspective…
but not just yet.

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Chance encounter reminders

Of emotions long forgotten
Of passages in my book.
Resolute feelings of once was
The remnants of my passion
And the chances that I took.

“You look great for fifty”

That is kind of you to say
But it’s clearly not the same.
Just takes me back to twenty
With the world at my feet
At the top of my game.

I have no urge to act my age

I crave the reckless abandon
That I felt back then.
I need more of that feeling
More of that self-assurance
Inside of me again.

Plenty of next pages

Plenty of new stories
before this chapter ends.

Much is still in place

Much of what motivates me…
and most of those friends.

 

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