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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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

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

Implicit

20171101_173406
Implicit

I sense it in your demeanor

I hear it in your voice
You’d appreciate my input
to steer you to your choice
You are hesitant. I understand.
The long-term is your concern
You digest the output
from my live and learn

The strength of our friendship
is our mutual respect
My honest thoughts
are all you can expect
Frank and forward,
telling it like it is
My honest observations
go something like this

Age is just a number,
as the saying goes
It’s really just a matter
of who knows
Fifty-three, the new forty-three
Forty-two, so thirty-two?
All that matters, really,
is her,  plus you

Perspective is everything,
when it comes to the heart
You are far better together
than when you’re apart
Fulfillment is truly reciprocal
It’s all about how you feel
If it feels best together,
what you have is real

So much common outlook,
that it’s effortless to share
Life is far more full
when you’re both there
The physical, the cerebral
The intimacy, the fun
Life seems more complete
when you two are one

We are in absolute agreement,
that the enemy is regret
It becomes more assured and clear
with the further we get
My words are implicit,

coming from the right place
As honest, and reassuring,
as the smile on your face


I sensed it in your ease
I can hear it in your voice
Both relaxed, and relieved
with your obvious choice
You are happy. Bottom line.
Nothing selfish in that smile
You’ve known what you want
for quite a while

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)

 

 

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.

 

Libre

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Libre

It seems so simple
Crystal clear
Sunlit visible
as I look around
The little things
Whatever life brings
Rays of sunshine
in perspective found

Time continues
to fly on by
Weeks disappearing
into the haze
Slow it down
to take a look
Make the most
of everydays

Palm trees
Gracious people
A week away
for my mind
Smiles and greetings
Time not fleeting
Easing away
from days behind

Cuba libre
Putting my self first
Spiritually taking
time for me
The unobtrusive
is all-inclusive
Cerebrally absorbed
in all I see

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It seems so simple
Crystal clear
Sunlit evident
that less is more
The little things
Whatever life brings
Waves of perception
from ocean to shore

See this world
whenever possible
Sample the pleasures
life recommends
Follow the rhythms
of your heart
Embrace the message
that it sends

Drinking time
Thinking time

A vacation

for my soul
Pina colada
Worry about nada

Pieces of perception
making me whole

Cuba libre
Putting my self first
Blissfully making
time for me

The unobtrusive
is all-inclusive
Cerebrally absorbed
in all I see
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Wakefield

Banner
Wakefield
A small village
A huge heart
A desperate family
A new start

Perogies, and perspective
New friends, community, drinks
The comfort in knowing
What the best in us thinks
—–

Live music for what ails me,
My spirit needing a lift
The Black Sheep beckoned
My own pre-Christmas gift

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A Weber Brother’s Christmas’…
That had to be good for my soul
I was alone, and a few hours early
 So, it would be fresh air and a stroll
—–

Intending to bide some time,
I curiously opened your door
Just looking for a unique pint
What I found,  was far more

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At first, it was exactly what I wanted
A small crowd, and ‘Perogy Night’!
Easing into the Kaffé 1870 atmosphere
Something about it, feeling just right

It didn’t take very long, however
The numbers began to grow
For live music and a fundraiser
More and more locals, I came to know

Photos Andre Forget

Kaffé 1870, Wakefield for Refugees
An awaiting host, a timely cause

A community coming together
Just like that, and just because

Words from the dedicated organizers,
A gregarious councillor, made everyone smile
The people, the closeness, the obvious warmth
My trip, already, well worth its while

Photos Andre Forget

It would become hard for me to leave
‘Godknowswhat’ was sublime
Extremely accomplished musicians
Donating their talent, and their time

I couldn’t count all of the terrific chats
I had found, in just a few hours
But, what I will never underestimate
Is community, and its obvious powers

Wakefield for Refugees sign showing $30,000 raised.

Seeing the good in so many people
And knowing, when I hear it
Experiencing your generosity

And sharing in your spirit

A raffle ticket, some Bean Fair coffee,
For my table, another round 
I had donated, but felt like the recipient
As I departed, Black Sheep bound
—–
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Two Weber hours later
After another fantastic show
It was time for me to leave
But, I didn’t really want to go

Reflecting, smiling again,
And thinking, alone in my car
About an extremely fortunate family
About just how lucky they are

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Heading home, yet feeling closer
Invigorated, inspired, alive
Accompanied by this community
For my two-hour drive

Kaffé 1870, and The Black Sheep,
The warmest of patrons, and cold beer
And Wakefield, I am grateful
That circumstance brought me here
—–

Perogies, and perspective
New friends, community, drinks

The comfort in knowing
What the best of us thinks

A close community
An open heart
A fortunate family
A new start

Banner

 

BOUND

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Photo courtesy of Lana Nolan

BOUND

Unbreakable love…
An emotional commitment
that knows no bounds
Far more than just the words
An unbreakable love
f
eels even better than it sounds

Photo courtesy of Lana Nolan

Photo courtesy of Lana Nolan

 

This love…
Brings impressions to the surface
Puts perspective in its place
An exchange of due respect
 It’s a level of understanding
 That works best face to face

This love…
Embraces all that is right
Can endure what may go wrong
Joined as one in our resolve
We are bonded by integrity
And together we are strong

Unbreakable love…
An emotional commitment
that knows no bounds
Unbreakable love
It feels even better

than it sounds

IMG_0234[1]

Photo courtesy of Lana Nolan

This love…
Needs to be nourished
Requires both give and take
Fueled by new beginnings
By the hopes that we have
With the memories that we make

This love…
Leads us on our journey
Adds excitement to every day
To the realities of here and now
The possibilities of tomorrow
And to our hopes along the way


This love that we share…

Is reinforced by our children
Strengthened by family and friends
It enhances our life experience
  It is the heart of who we are
And is the means to our ends

IMG_0221[1]

Photo courtesy of Lana Nolan

An unbreakable love…
An emotional commitment
that knows no bounds
More than just the words
Our unbreakable love
i
s even better than it sounds

Reserved

Reserved30872_128445870515023_3968313_n

There is a place reserved
at the front of my thoughts
for the good people…


For the those who make

an indelible impression
A lasting, singular imprint
in the matter of my mindIMG_20150707_180422[1]
Who personify perspective
An insight into how to live
with a clear, distinct understanding
that it’s cool to be kind.


For those who possess

a truly honest dignity
Seeing the realities of this worldIMG_20150707_174013[1]
in the best possible light
Who look ever forward
Learning from life experience
guided on their unique way
by a sense of what is right


For those who put others

before themselves
Knowing that compassion and integrityIMG_20150707_174431[1]
are indeed reciprocal
Who expect nothing in return
but your friendship and respect
as you join them on their path
to a life that’s exceptional


There is a place reserved
for such people…

at the front of my thoughts,IMG_20150707_174122[1]
in the matter of my mind
And it would be my honour

to continue this journey
on the same path as them

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