There In The Deep Wood

There in the deep wood I would watch,

the lights on the house in the distance burn,

the figures inside I knew like my own,

in the damp soil, I would wait in the wood.

wondering if they would ever venture out,

would they wonder where I might next shout.

There in the deep wood I would watch.

 

There in the deep wood I would watch,

the cars travel by all strangers in the hour,

their lives meant for homes beyond my eye,

I would ask about their wonders and wanders

though I would never hear, just keep an eye

on their lives in the brief moments, passers by.

There in the deep wood I would watch.

 

There in the deep wood I would watch,

the stars illuminate a night sky in fall,

I might wonder about the earth in universe

watching all the patterns of the Milky Way,

there were so many, so brilliant their lives

though some I had known, others would fade.

There in the deep wood I would watch.

 

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My First Experience With Survival

It was the summer of 72,

just beyond the previous winter,

I would stay home,

amongst my school friends,

chums, the guys I hung with

all school year.

 

Yet I didn’t know them,

because the 12 summers before,

when I began to remember,

around the age of four,

I’d spent elsewhere

in a different world,

a time zone whose style

didn’t match up

with the hometown crowd.

 

It was there I lost him,

imagine the imbalance in my mind,

a good friend

labeled my survivor guilt one time,

and I haven’t been able

to look past that ever since.

She gave a freedom

to realize life has reasons

and they’re not always mine.

 

So it is then that I reflect upon,

when today, I can barely breathe at all.

Beyond Moments

If in breath, a gasp, an eye glance,
worlds interact with indifferent realities,
only to provide expression,
if only then might we understand.

While a horizon away,
a family struggles to recognize
the wealth of their local dream,
while on the other side, a smile.

If during some compelling summer
we all recognize theirs is an august,
might we in that brief moment,
give certainty to everyone’s value.

While walking toward the sun,
a fellow or perhaps her inclination
might be to know truth is love,
could all possibility turn virtuous.

We listen to the dreams of the others
oft beyond consideration of our own.

We Are Here, Again

When I was a child, I remember well,
the gathering of family, all indeed similar.
In the early morning anticipation, a spell
of wonder, love, then all arrived from afar.

Conversations were readily heard inside
the walls of a gathering of similar soul.
The children played a sweet naive pride,
allowed adults to know love, and be whole.

Tragedies occurred, stories of love replayed,
throughout our lives a similar world in now;
we are the eyes of elder, those who stayed.
The evolution of time, we are here, somehow.

The Sitting Hours

I always looked forward to the late hours,

the night flying by with dialogue and absurdities,

everything we could say we believed, and more importantly,

we loved,

We did delight in knowing we could look in each other’s eyes,

well into the twilight,

all of us, whoever might have chosen the time,

or simply allowed ourselves to be drawn in,

that was the key,

we knew always we wanted to be there.

 

These are the holidays we would request

each other’s company,

my sister, brothers, and mom,

our sister’s, children and the occasion of relatives …

so current on everything we knew.

to be important in everyone’s lives.

With dad in the background, an occasional chuckle,

he’d pass out the a beverage with endearing blue eyes,

we all heard his screams inside,

the delight of our lives, he is a beautiful man.

 

We were, are, can be the beautiful people,

the family that smiles, tells jokes, lives lives with uncanny candor.

These are the nights when time would value,

only the shared nostalgia of wanting the laughs

in the history of our lives.

These are the holidays when love does always,

compete well with the nature of our own,

sweet recall, when the essence of everything we believed,

in the realm of the human condition,

could suddenly find the energy

to contribute the next line,

so the stories never found a way to end …

I Traveled Back in Time

forest

It felt good to say hello to all of them,

The flowers were in crisp spring bloom,

The fields swayed with more romance than I recall,

I remember the gravel road,

The swing rope, and the river pool, just for you,

There was a single cow liked to moo.

 

Last night I visited my childhood,

Through John’s steady croons,

I was walking with him in the county library,

I remember I felt emotions, love,

There was a certain peace that went with friends.

It was the 60’s and we all listened,

 

To each other, much less than we did the Man,

That societal icon that disturbed our land.

Whenever I want to dream,

It is the gravel road, forest deep,

My walk is forever, yet it’s serene,

I know there is certain beauty, Grace in tree-lines.

 

When I was only a child, I grew up in sadness,

There were losses and turbulent times,

I really didn’t understand,

But the people around me did,

So I listened, I watched, I imagined,

And later in life I hoped I could remember when.

 

It felt good to say hello to all of them,

I traveled back in time, I remember when.

© Thom Amundsen 2017

Is This Really Liberal Thinking?

Last night I had a conversation with two people I have tremendous respect for, the subject quickly turned to politics, and I openly expressed my dislike of our current state of affairs. I spoke of my dismay with our current POTUS’s views and motives, and the dialogue took an icy turn to defense and validation. The three of us bandied back and forth for many minutes about the pros and cons of what we believed in earnest. The positive takeaway from the conversation is the three of us finished forty five minutes later, and together walked out of the room, smiling, and said good bye for the night. I think it is important to recognize that people can have honest, often animated conversations that include their views, without the fear of character assassination afterward. That was my takeaway from yesterday’s debate with two people whose opinion I value.

A concern that evolved from our dialogue is their personal anxiety with the inability to be open about their views around their own community, specifically the school they attend. I’ve heard this conversation before, and the tone has been similar in that there is a general fear with expressing one’s political views no matter the side that someone carries or believes, because someone on the other side is always going to be waiting to pounce with wrath and indignation. The subject of a divisive culture is prevalent in our American society today, and both sides of the argument are easily persuaded to lay the blame for this current mindset upon the other, rather than step back for a minute and process their own contribution.

In a democratic society, the true definition of democracy is to suggest an open debate always exists that merits argument and opinion from all sides. Democracy itself is dependent upon actions that inherently support social equality. I wonder if anyone can look about their own personal world beyond their backyard and see this belief in action. I’m afraid not. Instead we are talking about walls, and bans, and now steadfast agreements of a scorned party to vote down another party’s proposals in a unified attempt to recreate what we as a people have witnessed for decades upon decades of political ignorance. I’m afraid putting a narcissistic, megalomaniac into a position of power will not change things anytime soon. In fact, even if I could be in complete agreement with any of the current administration’s  proposals, which I am not, I just cannot believe that ‘the people’ will rise to support those ideals in a complete and unified manner any time too soon. There is far too much anger in people’s minds right now, and it is evident first, in the children.

We live in a pretend away society. The sort that would suggest if we don’t talk about it, then the repercussions will not impact us directly. Until it does, when the ramifications of our society begin to knock on our front door. In the meantime, let’s sit in sidewalk cafes and debate the subject until we are lacking oxygen due to vitriolic fuels slapped back and forth between good souls trying to justify and rationalize their own way of thinking. I sat in that very coffeeshop this morning, in between two paired conversations, where one side lauded the efforts of our current administration, while the other decried the present swing of governmental bureaucracy. If the two pair had literally gotten up and walked through each other they would have magically disappeared as their parallel universe would have quietly combusted with little fanfare.

Growing up as a child I had a certain advantage. I was raised in a divisive household, a political separatist movement. My mother and father had differing views, and for most of my childhood and well into my teens, and later adult life they proudly canceled each other out at the ballot box. Here’s the important thing to remember though. No matter how differing their views were, and there certainly were heated debates over the years, they at the end of the day, had respect for one another’s viewpoint. So me, I learned how to weigh both sides without forgetting that people could actually get along together, quite well actually with differing opinions.

How do we possibly get started with our current state of affairs? I think our first objective is to recognize that liberal or conservative thinking do and will cancel each other out forever. That’s not the issue. I think the solution exists elsewhere and somehow we as a society need to recognize that path, together.