Ascend

ASCEND
I thought that I was strong

and focused
and wise
Then pain came along
and clouded my eyes
Feb. 3rd.
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Physical pain
with its fists
with its knife
The singular beat downs
and the double life

Bravely buried face
belying its agony
denying its control
Digging myself deeper
into a cavernous hole

Psychological pain
with its depression
with its doubt
The sinking in
and the lashing out

Dirty dark delusion
outside of my head
inside of my gut
The filthy depths
of my rotted rut

Emotional pain
with its superiority
with its second face
The nightly bring downs
putting me in my place

Soiled sullen eyes
unable to sleep
unwilling to see
The smudge of support
lying with me


I thought that I was alone

with my pain
and my compromise

Then healing arrived
to lift up my eyes
Sun for Every

Holistic healing
with healthier habits

without the medication
A stairway between me
and my situation

Patience plus purpose
in a manner of time
and a matter of space
An unobstructed view
from a loftier place

Professional healing
with nothing to lose
with everything to gain
A lucid escape
from my pit of pain

Calm cleansing clarity
sure answers
assured absolution
A clean break
from all of the pollution

My healing family
all of the conversations
none of the demanding

A tower of compassion
and understanding

Brightened blue eyes
able to dream
ascending to see
A horizon of hope
in front of me

 

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)

 

 

Precarious

Precarious
Every morning I see him
barely hanging on 
Dangling, precariously
under a lingering moon

Managing to endure
despite his battered shell
A razor piece of skin
holding him up high

Been torturous months
since that horrendous storm
Shattered his foundation
destroying his lofty view

Many extreme days since
of ice and punishing wind
Chipping away his perseverance
diminishing his resolve

I imagine his motivation
the reason for his strength
The last strand of resilience
that holds him there

The harsh and bitter elements
cracking through his will
Leaving him alone, wavering
on the brink of his demise

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I check on him again
battered by days end
Still hanging on, barely
by that same thread of hope

Any quick jab of pride
is quickly superseded
Replaced by the reality
of what lies ahead

Knowing that rest is fleeting
as night brings the unknown
One thin strand of determination
preserving his weary soul

Nights of wavering doubts
of cold and cruel struggle
Exhausting his perseverance
diminishing his resolve

I imagine his thoughts
through this arduous battle
Through the repetitive rigours
of winter’s constant extremes

Recognizing his own inevitability
his slight, precarious being
Perhaps, hoping not to fall
until the warm ground of spring

 

Unprincipled

     Unprincipled

Biting your tongueEast gate here we go again[1]
For the greater good
No one really wants to
But they know that they should
With a house and car to pay for
It is simply understood
Endure the lack of conscience
Like a robot worker would

The disconnect is intentional
Communication, at a safe length
The less you know the better
To keep their position of strength

Little more than numbers
For the ten hours on your feet
A place where morals and morale
Will never actually meet

Staying level is the struggle
As you wrestle with the machine
A slave to your own devices
With support that’s never seen

It’s commotion in constant motion
It’s the epitome of the grind
With too few doing far too much
While taking it from behind

Manufactured misery
Muscles that constantly ache
Dreading the next marathon
Keeps your worst pains awake
Surrounded by market based cynicism
A daily dose of take and take
In a world of false principles
Defined by what you make

Lunch break is anything but that
With expletives flying around
Pushed to their breaking point
Everyone is breaking down

Saving lives while wasting yours
Management playing their game
Speaking their company rhetoric
While conditions stay the same

A factory devoid of humanity
Insulated by it’s innovation
Where output suppresses input
With ultimatums for motivation

Where half the workers are angry
And the other half are pissed
Where safety is priority one
And integrity misses the list

You bite your tongue
For the greater good
No one really wants to
But they knew you would
With children to clothe and feed
It is simply understood
Endure the lack of ethics
Like every employee should

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.

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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.
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Remembered

Remembered

   I had a dentist appointment on Thursday. After I had parked my car I looked down at the ticket, and I remembered. 
   I felt a wave of anxiety come over me as I realized just where I was, and on what day. 
   I remembered, and I paused for a moment, before going up those stairs.
   I remembered, in a haze, as I sat, quiet in the dental chair.
I remembered many things in a rush of cold reality.

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I remembered that it was September the 10th.

I remembered that it was the date he died.
I remembered, thinking how fast that two years had gone by.

I remembered that this was where he had his fall.
I remembered getting the phone call at work.
I remember seeing him later that day at my sister’s.
I remembered how battered and bruised he was.
I remembered how shocked we were that he was released from emergency.
I remembered how proud and how stubborn he was.
I remembered just how much that I missed him.

I remembered two heart wrenching weeks in the hospital. 
I remembered the dedication of Dorry.1174411_721955574497380_563150802_n
I remembered the strength and humour of Gerry.
I remembered the seesaw of conversations with Tim.
I remembered the innocent sincerity of Anna and Erin.
I remembered the love and support, and soft hands of Lana.

I remembered his amazing comeback.
I remembered his helpless confusion.
I remembered when we decided to let him go.
I remembered saying goodbye.
I remembered picking out a casket.


I remembered dinner the night before the funeral
I remembered the breathtaking sky above Lake Huron.
unnamed
I remembered all of us staying at the same hotel.
I remembered the stories and drinks, smiles and tears.

I remembered what I wrote for the graveside.
I remembered that Lana had to read it for me.
I remembered my girls holding each of my hands.

I remembered, smiling, that Alec was there too.
I remembered people leaving for the airport.
I remembered saying goodbye.

I remembered looking back as we drove out of town.

As I stepped down from the chair, our dentist Dave, I am sure unaware of the date or circumstances, asked me to “say hi to the girls” for him…and he said, “I miss having your father Norm come to see me”.
Again I paused, and he knew just how much that meant as his eyes caught mine.
“Me too Dave.”  I closed the door behind me.

Resolve

wordle
Resolve

When you feel like you’re fading
it keeps you strong
When pushed to your limits
it pulls you along
When the daily grind tests you
it answers the call
When you need to have structure
it provides a wall

When life seems like a puzzle
too difficult to solve
Search within yourself
and you will find your resolve

It’s the ability to deal
when you need to cope
When your ambition wavers
it gives you hope
It’s that extra drive
when you’re tempted to coast
The competitive edge
when you need it the most

When doubts creep in
it is never too far
Your resolve enables you
It’s there where you are

Your resolve lifts you up
whenever you dip
It brings you back
when you start to slip
When you are feeling lost
you will find your way
When someone needs you
you’ll be there to stay

It gives you courage
when you dig down deep
Summon your resolve

and take that leap

When aches and pains
stand in your way
You build up your resolve
and get through the day
When life brings you stress
and you’d rather hide
Your resolve teams up
with your innate pride

You may surprise yourself
with all that you find
An inner well of resilience
  lifting matter over mind
An array of capabilities
A reserve of your strength
A measure of flexibility
you stretch to your length

Your resolve will guide you
toward your loftiest goal
It is right there inside you…
It’s your heart, it’s your soul

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

Coping

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Coping

Don’t try to understand it

because you can’t
Don’t try to forget about it
because you won’t
Don’t try to drown your sorrow
because you shouldn’t…
And don’t even think that you are alone
because you are not.

You have friends and family to lean on,
because you can
because you will
because you should…
And because we are.


You will come to accept it

because you have to
You will hold on to your memories
because you need them
You will gain strength
because you must…
And you will never be alone
because you are not.

You have friends and family to lean on,
you have acceptance
you have memories
you have strength…
And you have us.

Way

            Way

Never enough time
when it’s too late
Too much to takeimagesCABUIB4Q
when it’s far too soon

The only answer
is day to day

The direct glare of the sun
gives way
to the faint light of the moon.

Never enough rest
when it’s this raw
Too much to bear
when it cuts this deep

The only answer
is day by day

The constant snare of pain
gives way
to the fleeting escape of sleep.

Too much conviction
to just give up
Just enough energy
to keep going

The only answer
is day after day

The persistent wrench of doubt
gives wayTry3
to the calm assurance of knowing.

So much support
when you need it most
Family and friends
to strengthen you

The only answer
is you’ll find your way

The true treasure of living
every day
is enough to get you through.

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