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.”

Mine

MINE
I was inching away from everything
that I had tried so hard to preserve
Taking the smallest of careful steps,
as I negotiated the next curve
Having spent far too much energy
accepting less than I deserve
Gradually reaching the realization
that I have more than enough nerve
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So, I am making changes

For me
Found someone who sees the very best
in me
Nearer to the fun and confident essence
of who I used to be
Experiencing life, one day at a time
For me

I had the best of all of the intentions

but my will seldom found the way
I just needed some selfish motivation,
and to heed the words I would say
When it’s broken, you must fix it,
rather than put it off, for yet another day
And that meant doing it myself,
believing, this is the price I’ll pay

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So, I am making changes

For me
Bought a nice new, reliable vehicle
just for me
I am getting ever closer
to the way things should be
Closer to the life that I choose
For me

The constant of the truly good people

who are always always there
Family, colleagues, closest friends,
listening, simply because they care
Honesty, in the face of my best interest,
with only good intentions to share
Helping to get me to a better place
and then joining me, no matter where

apartment architecture contemporary design

I am making these changes
For me
A newish job, and a great new house
For me
I am now looking only forward,
to the place I want to be
Where life and love and happiness meet
With me

Soaking


Soaking

Her absence 
seeps into my being 
My closed eyes 
still seeing 
Staying with me 
after she has gone 
Her presence 
lingering on 
My bursting mind  
filled with her 
Pouring thoughts 
that easily concur 
Spilling into
my every word 
Soaked in moments 
In all that I heard

Shared emotions
in morning’s light
Drenched in the wake
of a satisfying night
Dark hair flowing
over a bare back
Laughs of knowing
The resistance we lack
Floating ideas
for the next first
Ways to satiate
our constant thirst
The mist of her eyes
before one last kiss
Her buoyant wish
for more of this

 

Captivated

          Captivated

Shoulder, breast, hip
Exquisite curves and linespexels-photo-57686.jpeg
In soft subtle beams

Smooth silk flesh
Caressing my eyes
As perfect as it seems


If I was a sculptor

I could create my masterpiece
inspired by this sight

If I was a photographer
I would capture this image
in classic black and white

If I was an artist
I would interpret this vision
framed with last night

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 I am a writer,
captivated by your beauty

in this perfect morning light

A poet,
preserving this moment
in the words that I write.

 

Applause

Applause

I’ve been here many times,
as their childhood has flown past

Sitting alone in the crowd
smiling, and having a blast
A proud, dedicated single parent
gathering memories that will last

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She weaves her way through a defense

that had previously refused to yield
Deft footwork and bursts of speed
guide her down the field
I spring from the edge of my seat
as a late victory is sealed

My legs, energized by her exploit
My lungs, filled with a rush of air
An abrupt acknowledgment of her endeavor
as I quickly rise up from my chair
Emphatic words in a father’s approval
ecstatic to be right there

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I see my teenage powerhouse
as she tumbles across the floor
A round-off and a back handspring
My gasp, and then a perfect two more
An exalted, frightening, wonderful feeling
that resonates to my core

My stomach, churning when she jumps
My heart, leaping when she lands
The uniquely exhilarating anguish
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put down the camera
to free up my hands

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The impetus for my applause
Feats that constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My two hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


It seems to me that it’s a graceful gazelle
that suddenly emerges from the pack
Anticipating the exact moment
from my spot along the track
As she glides around the final curve
the others get further and further back

My mind, racing with her to the finish
My senses, tingling from the start
The extent of her accomplishments
matching the size of her heart
Knowing the work ethic and the effort
that always set her apart

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Being early gets me a good seat
Dead center, given the chance
Oblivious of my surroundings
I listen to her play, I watch her dance
Happily lost, inside of myself
My own choice, my soul circumstance

My eyes, no matter what her stage
My ears, for any of the bands
The selfish, singular focus
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put the program down
to free up my hands

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The inspiration for my applause
Daughters who constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My t
wo hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


Sitting alone, in the crowd

as each new season has passed
Thankful for each new memory
as time ticks by so fast
Never wondering, or worrying,
if this one will be the last

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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

Landing

Landing
Recent memories fill my head
as we soar back to our lives
Back to before, to our every days,
to an enhanced reality of what that is


Memories, of an ideal illusion,

where it is only us for a while
Longer whiles, with no limits
Waking up to nothing but time
Holding on, for as long as we can

Memories of your eyes inside mine
In sun and in moonlight
In the dim of any morning
Looking to each other for what comes next
Knowing that it could be anything

Memories of many more conversations
Of the way your words flow with mine
Of commonalities, and waves of blue
Sharing the ebb and flow our pasts
Understanding how we got to here

Memories of seven wonderful days,
forever part of our own story
An early chapter in a evolving romance 
Written with ease, from moment to moment,
on unbound sheets of crisp revelation


Your head lifts from my shoulder

as we drift slowly down to earth
With our memories safely on board,
the wheels reach for solid ground

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Substance

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SUBSTANCE
I listen closely to her words
and I am taken aback
It’s not just in their sincerity
It’s not just their ringing truth
It’s in their shared importance
It is in their substance
It is the substance of this

I catch her eyes fixed upon me
and I am taken in
The way she smiles when she notices
The way she shines when she reacts
Her face says so much in an instance
Far more than just the moment
It is the substance of this

I wake up to find her hand in mine
and I am taken away
I close my eyes again and she is still here
I think about tomorrow and she is there
She is everywhere that I look
She is everywhere that I want to be
It is the substance of this

I look inside myself, and I smile
and I take nothing for granted
She deserves as much as I can give

She feels what I feel
She wants what I want
And we want even more
More of the substance of this

Merengue

Esta vida es mía,20180322_111749
pero este corazon es suyo.
Esta sonrisa es mia,
pero la razon eres tú.

This life is mine, but this heart is yours.
This smile is mine, but the reason is you.


Merengue


My mind drifts from you

as twenty years
find me here
  The people and faces
food and music
  reminders, so very clear
Images engrained
the inevitable memories
that all seem so near
Skies, and waters blue
in waves of recollection
vivid, as they reappear

Tones and textures
some too familiar
to a life that I knew
Dances and flavours
the spice of life
shared by just two
Una foto familiar
of smiles and sunshine
of lives that doubly grew
Of another time
In another place
a different ocean view

Years of love
that still fill my tears
on any given day
Streams of thought
that line my cheek
that reach these words I say
Life has brought me
here to you
to a place I want to stay
But please be patient
as some of me
was washed out on my way

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Barely removed
from those lost depths
from the lowest of my low
With half of my life,
just tied up,
reluctantly, without a bow
We are flying high, together
with so many places
we still want to go
Yet, there is a large part
of who I am
that you still need to know

I know that to heal
I must face up to my pain
to repair from inside
Talk about the hurt
the lump in my throat
as I swallow some of my pride
I will get ever stronger
if I can resist the urge
to stay away or hide
I will be open, and be honest
to raise myself up
to gradually subside

I know I can talk to you
without any judgement
I’ve put my love in your hand
You always listen
you always remember
and you want to understand
We took off together
on this flight of our own
on a trip that we both planned
I am here with you
you are here for me
and I see no line in the sand

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La mejor foto que tengo,

es aquella en la cuál sonrío por ti.

— The best photograph I have,
is the one in which I am smiling because of you.

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