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-

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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

 

Guiding

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I have never been a religious person
What I do believe in is the spirit of love
I believe that there are guiding spirits
who are shining down from above

I know that my mother is one of mine
That she has guided me along my way
That she helped me to raise my girls
That she is smiling on this day

You must be proud of your granddaughters, Mom
The one you held, and the one you never knew
They are beautiful and funny and they are genuine
They are both a lot like you

They approach life with respect and emotion
With the same honest heart that you had
With the same love and embrace for family
The same priorities that you taught their Dad

There is much of the best of you to find in them
Every year, more and more that I can see
And because of who they already are
I know that you are proud of me

Happy Mother’s Day
…and thank-you.

 

5,000

 

During World War II, starting in the winter of 1940-41, in and around the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in Nazi-occupied France, 5,000 Jews were sheltered…by 5,000 Christians.

The Protestant Huguenot villagers, mostly poverty-stricken themselves, protected the Jews at the risk of their own lives. Every home took in Jews, fed and protected them, right under the noses of the Gestapo. They were often hidden in the countryside when the authorities came to investigate. For four years they defied the Nazi régime and a French government that was collaborating with the Nazis. The citizens of Le Chambon sheltered these strangers, educated their children, and arranged for hundreds to flee to Switzerland or Spain via an intricate, wooded, underground escape route.

True to their beliefs, some citizens of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon penned a letter to the Nazi-influenced Vichy government, feeling spiritually obligated to admit that they were indeed sheltering Jewish refugees. They were clearly defiant in their determination to protect them – “We feel obliged to tell you that there are among us a certain number of Jews…whose only fault is to be born in another religion…We have Jews. You’re not getting them.”

No resident of Le Chambon, it is believed, ever turned away or betrayed a single Jewish refugee.

            “I do not know what a Jew is.  I know only human beings.”
André Trocmé, the Huguenot pastor of Le Chambon


5,000
They were welcomed.

Given shelter and refuge,
without hesitation,
on the edge of violence.
Protected, without question.
Given food and a future,
at the risk of everything,
in open defiance.

One life saved
For every hero
From a man
From a horrific plan
From a power
Aiming for zero

Five thousand.
Spared a hateful demise
Five thousand.
Strong and assured
Five thousand.
Sharing one single purpose
Five thousand…
And no one said a word


Hiding strangers.
Sharing what little they had,
without hesitation,
for a number of years.
A beacon of hope.
Sharing an indomitable spirit,
without reservation,
and despite their fears.

Committed, as one
For simple humanity
To do what’s right
To the preservation of life 
To an immaculate deception
In the face of the enemy

Five thousand.
Hidden amongst them
Five thousand.
Conviction, silently heard
Five thousand.
Sharing one selfless will
Five thousand…
And no one said a word

                                               Gary Greentree


Happy are those hungry and thirsty of justice…for they will be satisfied.”
-André Trocmé

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wakefield

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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

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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

 

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

Bittersweet

We shall…
“walk the caves of ice…

  taste anew the fruits of life… 
and drink the milk of Paradise”… (N. Peart)

for, perhaps, one last time.



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We are…

Working men
of modest money.

We shall taste the dew
of the sweetest honey…


Our anticipation

is bittersweet.
With the realistic chance
it’s the last we’ll eat.

Just one more taste
the final course, complete.
Wondering if this
is our last,
delectable
satisfying treat.

We realize…

Entre nous, sadly
time won’t stand still.

Our circumstance
succumbs to free will.

The cerebral revelry.
That rhythmic mystic joy.
The analog kid

that lurks in every boy…


The enlightened faithful
feeling bittersweet.
T
he surreal possibility
it’s the last we’ll greet.

All of us together
hovering, above our seat.
Exulting in unison
for one, ultimate,
astounding feat.


We feel…

The spirit of radio
in this nation wide.
The holy triumvirate
is this nation’s pride.

A farewell to kings
they are our humble royalty.
For the last forty
they have our eternal loyalty…


Saying good-byeIMG_20150528_175906[1]
especially bittersweet.
The reluctant reality 

that it’s the last we’ll meet.

Live, our hearts alive
with wings on our feet.
Pulsating as one
to the closing, resounding
consummate beat.


We know…

For this one last victory
our signals will reconnect…
For this measure of three lives
our infinite respect.

 

 

Friends

 

                     FriendsIMG_202197205059992[1]


Friendships shape a life

Make it worth living
Memories from the gift
Memories in the giving

Connecting you to two lives
A defining link to your past
A certain part of your future
Friends first, and friends last

Remaining close in spirit
With no matter how far
It’s not just what you do
A friend is who you are

Inside jokes with just a glance
Self-effacing, imitation to the letter
Funnier from the shared experience
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The more absurd, the more the better
Acting your age always optional

Speak your mind, or from your gut
Colourful language, to be expected
Opinions matter, no matter what

Trusting that it stays here
The bond as strong as the word
The vault is always left open
But once it’s said, it is once heard
Criticizing when only required
Subtle reminders of any pretense
Calmly putting you in your place
And you knowing that it makes sense
Feet BW


Friendships shape a life

Make it worth living
Memories from the gift
Memories in the giving…

Hearing the hidden meaning
Of the thoughts left unsaid
The silence between the words
The struggles inside your head
Protecting necessary solitude

When reality takes its toll
Sharing pleasure, dividing pain
Two friends, a common soul

Staying right beside you
Throughout the unplanned
Still managing to realize
When they don’t understand
Strength in that number

The enduring power of twoIMG_20140701_131049[1]
Doing whatever it takes
And knowing
what to do


Friendships shape a life
Make it worth living
Memories from the gift
Memories in the giving

Connecting you to two lives
A defining link to your past
A certain part of your future
Friends first, and friends last
Remaining close in spirit
With no matter how far
It’s not just what you do
A friend is who you areMarley and Pete

 

 

 

 

Setback


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Setback

The long and straight road
 just around this curve
The hard-earned happiness
that we all deserve…


Just when we felt ready

for our lives to improve
The rug is pulled out
weeks from our move
Naïve to true character
 the greed of this clown
Did not see it coming
and he took us down

Worse because of our wait
until the timing was right
Patience and compromise
and our goal was in sight
We lost what we found
in the blink of an eye
Contractual loop-hole
the worst reason why

Unethical and unchristian
in every last way
A faith that escapes me
 with no place to stay
Hard to understand
decency so easily lost
Unconcerned about effects
or the considerable cost

Anger and resentment
attached to this news
Struggling with my will
and the retribution blues
Sleepless once again
from selfish lack of reason
Leaving a family homeless
during the coldest season


Seasons change…


Battling these elements
we are not alone
The reason of others
has calmed my tone
Strength in our number
at the end of this rope
The warmth of words
is a blanket of hope

The comfort of friends
reassuring calm voices
Easing our urgency
by revealing our choices
Strength in our situation
a position of power
Snapped back to reality
like the coldest shower

It is just a matter of time
not too far away
The stars will align
and peace will come our way
Spiritual, solely because
we’ve reached from within
Recovered our dignity
despite their sin

The weight of the world
but it’s just one more rep
Spring is in our future

and it’s in our step
Put all of this behind us
 and write a different poem
Just another small setback
on our long journey home


The long and straight road

is just around this curve
The hard-fought happiness
that we all deserve…

pic for Alive blog

Good-bye

trail3

Good-bye

Time and again
I have felt it
That pang of emptiness
the weight of a sigh.
Sometimes I suppress it
sometimes I don’t
But every time…
I hate good-bye.


I could see it as

I held your hand
that knowing look
in your eyes
Even as you struggled 
you recognized
my struggle
with good-byes

Some impressions
sink in and stay
Unselfish imprints
the enduring part
Personal reminders
a life-long spirit
Eternally residing
inside your heart

I knew our bond
 would never die
 I saw it, as we said
good-bye


What we shared

was short but sweet
wrought with
what ifs and whys
I hated breaking
your honest heart
Even more than
I hate good-byes

Sometimes it is not
meant to be
Excruciating decisions
painful choices
Personal priorities
conscious realities
Mindful guidance
from internal voices

I apologized for
the reasons why
Even as we said
good-bye


You gave us twelve

memory filled years
 But moving on
and out was wise
One final time 
I closed your door
 Reminding me of why
I hate good-byes

Someone put a wedge
between us
Breaking down walls
is always tough
Family and love are
reasons for change
Love and change
were reason enough

I felt the memories
and began to cry
Pausing, as I said
good-bye


It is just a part

of who I am
It does not matter
how hard I try
The simple soul
inside of me
Simply hates to say
good-bye

We can’t hold on
to forever
Inevitable and circumstance
will come along.
That doesn’t mean
that it won’t hurt
So say good-bye…
 but stay strong.

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