Conversations With My Dad

People suggest

we ought not imagine

conversations with

the dead.

 

The afterlife we’re told

often speculation

a creation of our own need

to reconnect.

 

Yet if it weren’t true

they’re listening,

then these tears that

fall would not be real.

 

I have conversations with my dad,

the difficult questions,

the hard to know answers,

I know he’s thinking for me.

 

I suppose what he might say

standing here in the room,

is the same answer he gives me

from faraway where he remains

 

Waiting, hoping, wishing are all

positive realities toward doing.

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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.

 

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