Hip

 

If this is it,
then so it shall be.
I want you to know,
it means a lot to me.

                        

                       Hip
Lining up at the campus pub

1985, a stubby in my hand
Doors would eventually open
No cover, a cool cover band
Some suggested Jim Morrison
Felt more like a Rolling Stone
A mix of B-sides and originals
The cool vibe, definitely their own

A different stage, Lakeview Manor
People from miles around
A fan base that had grown
Along with their singular sound
An E.P and a break-through
Up To Here, and it was time to go
As good as each next album was
It was more about the live show

Passing on some arena gigs
Four of us, in my father’s car 
Five and a half hours south
The Hip experience, in an unhip bar
Taking a break from winter
With our Canadian content in tow
Sharing our rock n roll landscape
With those who might not know.

A slice of our identity
A uniquely Canadian sound
Taking our reciprocal pride
and passing it around

No matter where this life takes you
it’s good to know
that you can always come home…
Back to your family and your friends
with stories of where you’ve been
To the harmony of your hometown
To where you always begin
Accompanied by the music of your life,
that defines you from within.


Outside at The Forum, August ’91

Bigger stage, overflowing crowd
The same electric atmosphere
For the appreciative and proud
Reconnected with a great friend
Gary and Hodgie, the Queen’s years
Kingston to Toronto, and back
A hug, The Hip, and a couple of beers

A common thread of identity
The words, drums, the guitars
Intimate and intertwined
under a constellation of stars


Fast forward 25 years, Ottawa

Tailgating, second to last show
We are raucous, we are ready
Inspired by what we know
A brave, triumphant journey
Our home and our native land
Man Machine Poem, and mutual respect 
The storyteller, their crowd, this band

It’s not about patriotic pathos
It’s a celebration, for 30 plus years
It’s new songs mixed with older
Rhythmic recollection, maybe a few tears
It’s whole cities of support
An entire country, and its heart
Lyrically linked, together as one
Joined at the Hip, from the start.

The strength of our identity20170731_185540
The pulse of a nation
A Tragically Hip tune
on a radio station

No matter where the music takes you

it’s good to know
You can always come home…
Back to those perennial seeds,

the ones you chose to sew
Firmly planted, in hometown soil
The seeds that helped you grow
Pride, a poet, and a band of brothers,
home for one more show.

Last night…     

A front row seat in Port Perry
It’s Scotty, Tim, Peter and me
A musical postcard from Kingston
The Tragically Hip, in a pub, for free
Honoured guest at a party for all of us
August 20, 2016, a tall can, a toast, a sip
A thoughtfully wrapped three-hour gift
To Canada, with love, from The Hip.


If that was it,
then so it shall be.
I want you to know,
it meant a lot to me.

Thank you.
            G.G.
Kingston, ON
August 21, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)

 

 

Affecting

 

     An influential soul can affect a life. 
     If we are lucky, someone comes along when we are lost or misplaced and makes an impression that lasts a lifetime.  Sometimes all we need is a boost or a new direction to get us going on our way.  It is those people who realize that their influence has possibilities – and who realize that possibilities are endless — who affect lives. 
     Quite often, it is a teacher who is that influential soul. Your life path may be altered by their inspiration, motivation, imagination or subtle persuasion.
     The right person at the right time.

Affecting

It might be only one simple gesture
that changes the course of things

One turn of phrase, or turn in the road
One solid notion that a teacher brings.
An influential soul, who can affect a life
The extra yard, that goes an extra mile
The ability to inspire a want to aspire 
That singular soul, who finds the smile.

Positive thinking, meets untapped potential
Opening a mind, by opening a door 
Initiating the urge to take on the world
Lessening the less, to motivate the more.
 Noticing that possibilities are indeed endless
Giving more of yourself, despite the clock

The right person at the right time
You’re welcomed in, yet you always knock.

Making a difference in their world
by sharing what’s unique inside of you
That place where experiences live 
and understanding comes into view.
Where your common sense prevails
Expressed, in uncommon ways
Where your perception turns a page
and affects their future days.

Every year brings renewed opportunity
with a new group, beginning anew 
Fresh influences and malleable clay 
Shaping character with what you do.
You matter in these impressionable minds
It’s the substance that’s in your style 
Asking only for an honest effort 
You make it worth their while.

Inspiration found, with subtle persuasion
Motivation, to where you shine the light
Imagination, in the eyes of tomorrow 
  The vision to see the higher height.
Encouragement and understanding

Providing balance to their uphill climb
An unselfish stamp on an emerging life
The right person at the right time.

Making a difference in this world
by sharing the life inside of you
That place where experience lies 
and humility comes into view.
Where your common sense prevails
Expressed, in uncommon ways
Where perception turns an important page
and affects their future days.

For all the right reasons,
you affect the rhyme.
The right person
at the right time.

 

Transfixed

Alive 5
Transfixed

I catch myself staring
Strangely focused in my trance
Seeing so much in an instant
With just a casual glance

It’s likely mere seconds
I am mesmerized, then clear
The silence of my reverie
gives way to what I hear

Words jumping out at me
and then easing into place
I become rapt in your way
In the character of your face

The way your eyes dance
along with each word
Your spirit adding substance
to what we’ve all heard

You smile, and then scowl
as the conversation turns
Imbedded in your opinion

and the respect that it earns

Formulating as you listen
Anxious, with more to share
That little scar rises
like it’s keenly aware

Impatiently you wait
until it comes back to you
You burst out a little early
It’s just something that you do

Spilling out your conviction
with all that you have got
Pouring your passion
into every sharp thought

Meaning exactly what you say
You say exactly what you mean
Words that come from your heart
Faithful to where they’ve been

While I don’t always agree
with everything that you say
 I duly respect your tenacity
And I especially love your way…

The way you light up a room
with your passion and sincerity
The way you express yourself

with no need for clarity

The way you put it out there
with nothing to hide
The way you can agitate me
and stir me up inside

The way that you are steadfast
with nothing up your sleeve
The way your honesty reels me in
when my opinions want to leave

The way you never hesitate
to show who you are
The way my love approaches
when I see you from afar

The way you invest in life
Always ready, willing and able
The way that you transfix me
as I look across the table

 

Rebuild

Rebuild

Invested
for the long run.
Underwhelmed
by what your love earns.
Taxed daily
by the emotional costs
 and the reality
of diminishing returns.

20150925_125814[1]
There has to be

more than this?
Can what is lost
again be found?
Can you go around
more than once?
Is there only so much
to go around?

You worry,
do I need too much?
as you hover
above your ego.
You look hard
at who you are,
and you wonder
where did ‘we’ go?

Another failure
is unacceptable.
What the heart lacks,
 the heart yearns.
Your input
influences your output.
The law of
diminishing returns.


You decide to search

within yourself.
Seeking out
your inner strength.
You find that
your heart is capable.
It can be stretched
another length.

Your original design
was excellent.
The plans you made
were sound.
The raw materials
of love and respect,
implore you
to stick around.

You decide that
you should start again
The flame is relit
 and your heart churns.
Lessons learned,
you invest together,
working to sustain
the initial returns.
20150925_154255[1]

Diminished

Diminished

Choices you make
are directly proportional
to the lessons
that you learn.
Experience will tell you
that change is necessary
when the investment
exceeds the return.

20150925_125814[1]
The newness

of what you have.
A solid foundation.
Love and mutual respect.
Living under one roof.
Rich with time together.
Better than you hoped for.
More than you expect.

Weeks, inevitably
become years.
Variable inputs
become a distraction.
You notice the flame
is slowly fading.
You light the match,
 see little reaction.

The daily grind
becomes unacceptable.
What your heart lacks,
your heart yearns.
The input
exceeds the output.
The law of
diminishing returns.


You feel the emptiness

of the disconnect.
A well of time
not spent.
Lost hours
consumed, alone.
Wondering
where the time went.

Wanting more,
but getting far less.
Supply
versus demand.
The slippery slope
of complacency.
You mention it,
they don’t understand.

You only have
to see it once.
A beleaguered fire,
flickering as it burns.
Flamed, mostly,
by all that one gives.
Eventually burnt out,
by diminished returns.
20150925_154045[1]

 

Selfless

       Selfless

These thoughts
were written
with both
respect and regret
about The Most
Selfless Person
that I
have ever met

I can’t imagine
a kinder man
Quiet of words
and soft of heart
A loving Father
Wonderful Grandfather
Doing far more
than just his part

His time
became your time
Always going
out of his way
Whenever anyone
needed anything
At any hour
On any day

Tireless Volunteerhockey ice
Generous and warm
Patient and calm
Unselfish and true
What seemed like
nothing to him
meant everything
to you

Always thinking
of others first
That’s just how
he chose to live
Giving everything
of himself, and more
Until he had
no more to give

Robert Joseph Leo
Friend to many
Known to most
as Bobby Breen
He was Bob, to me
And he was also 
The Most Selfless Man
that I
have ever seen

Sixteen

                       SIXTEEN

As I began to write this for youIMG_20150301_191535[1]
I knew only one place to start
In the bottomless well of pride
That lies deep within my heart

On this occasion, especially
As you turn sixteen today
I find my thoughts are flowing
I find it’s easy for me to say

Just how proud I am of you
Of who you have come to be
The exceptional person you are
And just how much that I see…

I see a free and happy spirit
I can see that in any light
I see your limitless future
And I see that it is bright

I see your kindness and compassion
I see your sense of right and wrong
I see a breadth of inner beautySun for Every
That spans at least a mile long

I see your charm and contagious energy
I see your love for life, and I see joy
I see my rocking chair on the front step
I see an interview for every boy

I see your talents and ambition
I see your determination and your pride
I see that competitive beast inside you

That you find impossible to hide

I see your mom cheer when you compete
I also hear it, because she squeals
We both see just how fast you can run
But have no idea where you got the wheels

I see your creative way of thinking
I see your terrific sense of humour
I hear you like it when I purposely embarrass you
Though that may only be a rumour

I see and I cherish our mutual respect 
I see that as how it will always be
I see how often that we see eye to eyeblack-and-white-hd-wallpapers-4-comfort.jpg
Now that you’re the same height as me

I see how gracefully you adapt to change
I see it, because it has happened a lot
I see you smile, and just go with the flow
This may be the strongest strength you’ve got

I see you as a baby and I see you today
I see the sixteen years in between
I see myself richer for the experience
And I treasure all that I have seen

I see the day and year on the calendar
I see a terrific person, sitting right here
I see the same wonderful daughter
That I have seen every year

BOUND

IMG_0241[1]

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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