Triathlon

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 Triathlon
I am not completely sure
if I am entitled to be,
or, really, if I’m even allowed
But, I am thoroughly impressed by you
And, dare I say,
I am extremely proud…

I watched you, in your controlled haste,
steadying, readying, and taking your place at the start
And then I noticed the cool and calm ease
with which you settled into the race
Then, somehow, you found the presence of mind
to look up, to find me, and even to wave
Before swimming, strong and steadily away,
from the huge smile you left on my face

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It seems that I’d completely underestimated
the strength and power of your stroke

as I arrived, too late to support you,
through your swim to bike transition
My own personal pride thoroughly jolted
by the sick emptiness in my stomach

My eagerness to video, thwarted,
by your speed, and your top five position

Yet, my whole heart went out there with you
as you spun your way through the winding course
I went up the hills with you, and then down,
my mind, racing along, despite what I couldn’t see
It was impossible for me to relax, or even to sit,
with all of the unknown, and all the anticipation
So I paced, anxiously, awaiting your arrival
as you pedaled your way back to me

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A contented relief flushed over me
as you braked, and then you touched ground
As you pushed your bicycle to your chosen spot,
I felt as much like your fan, as I was your friend
Despite my pent up angst, and energetic love,
I knew I had a very small window to speak
Time enough to cheer you, and to reassure you,
and to tell you, that I’d find you near the end

As you switched your shoes, and turned to go
I noticed the game-face return to your glance
I’ve seen that will and determination before
It’s who you are, and in much that you do
As you ran out of sight, on your last leg,
I yelled more encouragement, in due haste
Wishing that my words could push you along
Hoping my spirit would run with you

As you emerged from the tunnel, weary legged,
nearing the last of your well of endurance,
your eyes seemed focused, intently on the task
Looking for anything that you had left inside
While you bravely ascended the final climb,
you amazingly found one final burst,
crossing the finish, alone with your fatigue
Soon to be joined by my burgeoning pride

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I stayed back, for a minute or two, purposely,
to simply observe, and to give you some space
And as I watched you, catching up to your breath,
I saw right then, what separates you from the crowd
It’s your personal investment, in all that you attempt
In my eyes, you’re resplendent, with all that you are
And in that moment, as you looked especially beautiful,
I could not have been more impressed or proud

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Invariably

                     Invariably

“You need to pave your own path,”
she would always say.
“Do not let fear, or doubt,
ever stand in your way”.you are enough text
“Just take the bull by the horns.”
“Jump right into the fray.”

“Carpe diem, Gary James.
Seize every day.”…

I would see the familiar postmark,
and I would always smile
A thoughtful note, a card, a poem,
certainty, every once in a while
That perfect hand writing
Her unique, unmistakeable style
My consistent, truest inspiration
Spanning many a mile

“Carpe diem, Gary James
Seize every day.”

Invariably, my phone would ring
after a few sunken days in a row
When I needed her buoyant words,
she would lift me from my low
Her soothing and assuring voice
A motivational “get up and go”
Not sure just how she knew
She just always seemed to know

“Carpe diem, Gary James
Seize every day.”

Even as the cruelty of life
slowly seized the best of her20180803_204117.jpg
Even as her struggling breaths
slowly faded away…

Even in the face of the inevitable,
in the last squeeze of her hand,
her message seeped into my heart
And it’s forever here to stay…

“Carpe diem, son.
I am with you always.
Now go and seize the day.”

Definable

 

           noun: joy
  1.  a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

    noun: passion
    1.   strong and barely controllable emotion.
    2.   a state or outburst of strong emotion.
    3.   intense sexual love.
    4.   an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.


Definable
You have brought joy to my life.

It’s as simple as that.
I haven’t smiled with someone
I haven’t laughed with someone
I haven’t enjoyed someone
this much…all of the time.

It is this undeniable chemistry
that we have
that stirs me up inside
It bubbles, it builds,
it bursts out of me
It pulls me along for the ride

It’s an easily definable happiness
It’s an extreme of shared joy…
And it’s impossible to hide


You have brought passion to my life.

It’s as simple as that.
I haven’t wanted something
I haven’t craved something
I haven’t enjoyed something
this much…all of the time.

It is this undeniable chemistry
that we have
that stirs me up inside
It bubbles, it builds,
it bursts out of me
It pulls me along for the ride

It’s an easily definable desire
It’s an extreme of shared passion…
And it’s impossible to hide

It’s exhilarating.
It’s intoxicating.
It’s pure pleasure
to enjoy someone,
to enjoy something
this much…all of the time.

It’s as simple as that.

Boomerang

Boomerang

We threw all of it away,
but it kept coming back
Every couple of months,
for the first year after year
Whenever you would call,
we’d meet at your wherever
Whenever you came to town,
we’d be together at my here

It seemed like we both knew
that we were meant to be
For two nights a week, at least
And on the long weekends, three

It was all about the physical,

or so we liked to believe
Yet, we would take each other’s heart
and wear it on our sleeve
Time, and then time again
a history of emotions would flow
Time after time, and time again
we would let each other go

It seemed like we both understood

far more was right than was wrong
Yet, we would choose to get going,
despite how well we got along

The occasional encounter, on a whim

The odd phone call, a reach out to touch
It was difficult, for us, to leave it all behind
because we held on to too much
Only ever so barely could I put you in my past
Returning far too often, for far too long
Time went by, and still I wondered
If we were really right, or really all that wrong

Our paths crossed less, our lives evolving

We’d exchange smiles, and that felt fine
I brought a date to your wedding,
but you came alone to mine

board chalk chalkboard color

You would still cross my married conscience
Compromised, for giving up without a fight
Oddly, I felt like I should apologize to her
but I knew, that would never make it right
Lost in my distraction, never in my temptation
Just a lingering null and a void in my mind
It would have been easy, then, if I had to choose
to where, and when, that I would rewind

Each of us have two teenage daughters
Other c
ommonalities, that we have both got
We still keep in touch through social media

You, happily married, and me, happily not

Stronger because of every life experience
Content, with who and where I am today
Time takes its liberties with my feelings

As it drifts further and further away
Jutting in and out with relative ease
A recent memory brings me back to you
A prom, a photograph, a time of our lives
I remember, and I smile, as I always do

The classic example of a lost love story,

where too late replaces not yet
The boomerang that never returns
Requited love, and reluctant regret

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

Reason

Reason
I see the lows of your residual pain,
and I feel helpless 
But I know what I need to do
I need to be the strength that pulls you up, 
and keeps you there
I want to be the man to take care of you

I want to be your resilience
I want you to move on, with me, 
to a far better place
I want to be beside you when get there
I want to be the reason for the next smile on your face

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I find myself, wrapped up in your worry,

holding you, firmly in my arms
And I never want to say when
I want you to always feel secure,
safe within my love
To be the certainty, to your never again

I want to be your clarity
Want you to look straight ahead,
and to never turn away
I want to be in focus, the bright future
I want to be the reason  
you look forward to every day


I am realistic, and I am a dreamer 

I know that life isn’t easy,
especially with lingering doubt
I want to help you cope, to give you hope
I want to play a part in your dreams,
and be part of what they are about

I want to be your confidence
I want you to feel good about yourself,
because so much of you is good
I want to be your daily reminder
I want to be the reason,
every reason, that you should

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Most of all, I want to be your optimism

Want you to find the best of me,
and to discover even more in time
I want to be your inspiration
I want to be the rhyme, and the reason,
just as you are the reason to my rhyme

 

 

Greed

Greed
My racing mind tells me,
this is good
This is very good
These vital sensations
This wanting
This need
The smile on my face
My pounding heart
This awakened perspective
This healthy greed

I slip out of bed
wanting more
Head for the shower
wanting more
I get ready for work
I head out the door
I back up my car
wanting more

More of the physical
My blood is churning
More of the cerebral
My mind is freed
The more I get,
the more I want
The more I have,
the more I need

The happy reality

of my healthy greed


 

Worry


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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

Glimpse

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Glimpse
 

I turn my tired head,

and my tired eyes,
to find the perfect skin
of your bare back,
the sweet curve
of your shoulder,
a glimpse of your neck,
the resistance I lack

I close my eyes,
just for a moment,
just long enough
to remember last night
The warmth of your smile,
the flame of your lips,
a glimpse of your heart,
holding on tight

I open once again,
to see you there,
see your soft dark hair
enticing my view
Your awaiting ear,
just a brush away,
a glimpse of your cheek,
as I slide to you

I truly had hoped,
in my mind’s eye,
to find someone like you,
who inspires me,
to share my life,
for days like these,
to turn my head
,
and light the fire in me

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