Past

“So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light…
Just promise me we’ll be alright
But the ghosts that we knew made us black and all blue
But we’ll live a long life
And the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view
And we’ll live a long life”
‘Ghosts That We Knew’
– Mumford & Sons


Past

I took a chance
and let you into my heart.
I let all of my feelings show.
Uprooted my life,
for me and you,
but little did I know.


I discovered your wounds,

written in your own words,
there, for anyone to see.
Cuts and bruises,
vital accumulation,
scars, that you never showed me.

The breadth of your struggles,
so much I didn’t know,
spread across my screen.
Instead of in my mind.
Instead of in my heart,
where they should have been.

I took your determination,
for never again,
as a personal affront.
Your learned defensive posture
as harsh belligerence,
 you just being you, being blunt.

Your fierce independence
was stubborn vulnerability.
Your frustration, was our fate.
The voice of your experience,
sad and specific,
finally heard, but far too late.

I would have tried harder
to let you speak to me,
to let your words get through.
I could have helped you 
confront your demons,
instead of confronting you.

 It became impossible
to live with you
when you wouldn’t let me in.
Hard for us
to start over,
with nowhere to begin.

Had I only known
 the slippery slope
  of dealing with your past.
Known that I would struggle
to wade through
the depths
and dangers of your doubt.

I still would have wanted you.
I still could have loved you.
I would have understood.
I could have pulled you out.


I chose the challenge,

and gave you my heart.
Let all of my feelings show.
Uprooted my life,
to be with you,
but little did I know.


If only I had known,
I could have earned your trust.
I would have opened up my mind.
Instead, I read of our demise,

   determined before we met,
 by those you left behind.

Takers, martyrs, bullies,
sad and hurtful people,
there on my screen.
Instead of in our talks.
Instead of in my thoughts,
where they should have been.

 Until I read it,
I never once heard you 

refer to your mother as
Mom.
In fact, I barely knew
where all of the hurt
and resentment
were from.

Never could I picture, you,
together with your ex.

Made no sense to me at all.
And, until I read the name,
  typed in bold hostility,
I had never heard of Paul.

Bitterness and bravado.
 Broken pieces of the past,
clenched inside your fist.
   Our time, our spirit,
spent fighting with your ghosts.
One more added to the list.

It’s tough to share
with someone
who barely gives.
Hard to live
with someone
who reluctantly lives.

Had I only known
the bleak history
of your emotional pain.
The depths to which
those before me
had sunk inside your mind.
I still would have wanted you.
I still could have loved you.
I would have understood.
I could have been more kind.

I gave you my heart.
Had I only known…

 

 

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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)

 

 

News

                               News

I used to read the paper every single day.
Some days now, I see it and I back away.


It’s tempting to hide during times like this
With the blind hope that ignorance is bliss
In Canada it seems easier to smell the flowers
But that stench in the world is also ours
It’s both nauseating and difficult to understand
And it tempts you to bury your head in the sand
News, however is virtually impossible to ignore
With so many reasons and sources to explore
It’s often both sickening and sensational
Equal parts excruciating, and conversational
Scorching headlines that intensify our thirst
Multimedia reminders of all of the worst
‘The War on Terror, and ‘The War on Drugs’
Suicide bombers and twice-escaping thugs
Al Qaeda, the Taliban, hate and terror schemes

Religion and the self-righteous, taken to extremes
ISIS, FARC, GMO, and the NRA
Acronyms putting people into harm’s way
Accidental shootings, mass crimes
Ignorance, intolerance, a sign of the times
Homophobic opinion, transgender debates
Unconscionable policy in certain states
Disturbing views so easily found
Cavernous cracks in moral ground
Earthquake, tsunami, a tornado’s clout
Wild fires, record heat, and devastating drought
Nature’s anomalies, a tropical storm then a flood
Knowing, and cringing, while the ozone oozes blood
A world where oil is the most powerful king
And conservation and preservation don’t mean a thing
A world of archaic ideas, and misplaced priorities
Limited choices, and laughable authorities
With the threat of ever-hovering inflation

And an idiot, vying to lead a nation

Reasons enough eh, to want to hide
To shut your door, and stay inside
Build your wall and let ignorance protect you
The election’s coming though, so you may not have to.

Talker

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Talker

Standing trial in plain sight
and dominating my news
Rubbing it in the face
of my moral views
A defense of discredit
with the dirt that it spews
Spitting out the seeds
that a narcissist chews

Smooth talker
talking your way
As much who you are
as what you say

Squeaky clean persona,
not what he seems
Taking his advantage
to filthy extremes

Guilty in the court of perception,
clear in the public eye
Allegation after allegation
and the numbers can’t lie
Powerless victims
to your privileged high
Objectifying and brutalizing,
then justifying why

Smooth talker
getting your way
As much who you are
as what you say

Taking your hold
from that lofty perch
The relentless entitlement
of your selfish search

I can’t begin to understand,
even know where to start
Unable to comprehend
as it tears at my heart
What allows a man to exploit
the capacity of his art
To take malleable lives
and rip them apart

Smooth talker
having your way
As much who you are
as what you say

Crumbling a fresh flower
just because you can
Holding her dignity
in the palm of your hand

 

 

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.

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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.
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