Late In The Morning

It’s really late, it took me this long to decide to try to write my state of mind. We have a holiday fast approaching this week, and society is marooned by this awful Covid 19 virus. We have all made adjustments, trying to understand and convince ourselves that this is temporary. I wonder how my mom and dad might have felt when they both reached 82 and someone turned to them and said, this is only temporary, you have to keep telling yourself that. They both passed within their 82nd year, and temporary to them might have seemed a little ludicrous.

I’m 61 and sort of starting a new life, looking at something that affects us all that is thought to be temporary. Events and lives and needs are getting pushed ahead for months every few evaluative weeks, when once again we all realize we are not safe to go back to a world and lifestyle that we did take for granted. Gone is the typical in many lives as we adjust, as we make good on a promise that we will ride the crest of this wave for as long as it takes.

This is a time when we really do take a moment to recognize what it is we are grateful for. Across the nation throughout the world people have lost their loved ones and in America, there will be an empty chair in many homes, with everyone that remains trying to celebrate that life along with their own, appreciating each other and giving thanks for who we are, what we have become.

This one is different. We are guided by medical staff to stay isolated, to allow yourself to make decisions to keep you and your family safe. I’m a public school teacher, and I chose to stay home this year for a variety of reasons, number one being my health. I am quite healthy but in contrast I have had several surgeries within the last decade that might leave someone wondering about my safety around large numbers of students in my high school. I now sit behind my desk at home, dog laying by my side, and teach those children I would much rather see in the classroom.

Though that’s what I feel there is also the benefit some students are expressing over their ability to focus more at home than in the classroom. There is remarkable truth to that when we think about the amount of distraction young adults could potentially and do experience in a classroom filled to the brim with young adults, teenagers readying themselves to soon step into the world of adulthood.

Tonight these are just my thoughts as I listen to Jackson Browne and his hopeful lyrics and crooning voice in the background. So, maybe I do try to wax poetry in the twilight of my night, but it is what I feel and believe right now. I believe we are all in this together, and that philosophy will never get old even after we get this virus under control.

Our lives all depend upon being able to celebrate life together as one.


© Thom Amundsen 11/2020

A Reactive Moment

Ever might be the promise of a dream

when in the eyes of a child,

shows prowess is in an archival presence

the nature of what was once, is now

in a jester an unstable posture.

~

Speak with such is our utmost

need to qualify to have a creative

desire to answer an immediate query

pander a certain backlash

we might never defend, yet feel.

~

Would that he might scream until

chords of chaotic frenzy do

truly unravel, split apart,

a bleeding waterfall

asphyxiate dying creativity.

~

There is a solemn melody always plays

when caught in the trappings, our ways.


© Thom Amundsen   11/2020

While Anxiety Will Surge

Someone might remind kindness,

our soul may arise from the depths

of a shadowed past, preventing present

its opportunity to thrive

inside the worrisome reality of this pandemic,

our Covid moments, turn months into years,

stopping our normalcy,

creating a new reality,

one so often overlooked until suddenly today,

we do stand alone,

looking through our own shuttered windows,

a silent in the winds of a night with crisp winter

looming upon decency,

the ability to see through the forest

the quiet meadow where all of our lives,

were once spent holding one another,

and then there is today,

I watched the sunset tonight,

dog at my side

dog at my side

dog at my beck and call,

please stay by my side.


˙© Thom Amundsen 11/2020

Stepping Inside

I found this enormous chasm,

walls beyond my reach,

a dank stream of sarcasm

flowing in between broken lives.

I have had a fear of this place,

a very long time,

ever since once in a moment,

I felt a silence in my mind.

Sorting through shuttered windows,

imagining teeming lives outside

while perception stand alone

enabling now the shrinking walls.

A certain tightness in this acrid air

give a visionary a repulsive response

to wondering just why, tell me how

we lost contact our wandering sky.

Discovering there really are limits,

vaporous form sans freedom emits.


© Thom Amundsen 10/2020

A Fallen Storm

The winds outside

speak with a low tone.

Might circle my mind

bring me inside their own

gale force.

This act of nature

seems necessary to help

all of us to understand

life, lives, our own …

As fragile as the leaves

dead in the fall

tossed randomly through the air

still holding – hoping – to a gentle end.


©️ Thom Amundsen 10/2020

In Autumn

Recent winds begin a turn

symbolic is sudden change

we can feel in our bones

sweet remedy in tones

of rapidly drawing a map,

surely memory we grasp.

~

Would that our lives have

remind of winter’s rasp

so near, the air is a whisper

of another in sudden nature

willingly drawn upon skin

that readies itself a scant

wardrobe would we wonder.

~

So now tonight joints ache

sometimes all we can take

while the world around

seems certain to have found

a new lease on life

that we forgot such advice

might we venture forward

resilient in our own toward.

A strength is what we speak

and yet today winds do peak

upon the settling sun

follow ominous moon.

~

Moving away from a charm

that youthful spirit never harm.


©Thom Amundsen 10/2020

Finding Streams

Go home and write

a page tonight

Let that page come out of you –

then it will be true                      -Langston Hughes


I ask them all to do it,

my students

wide eyed or sleepy

take these words and let them become yours,

tell us (me) about you,

what are you like?

what makes you tick?

pour out your life into a few lines on a piece of paper,

and then it will be true,

well, it is supposed to be because

that’s what I

the teacher

expect of you.

But is it me,

the teacher,

do I really know what I am asking,

do I get it,

asking her, him, them

to open up their lives

to my eyes on a piece of paper,

to share their soul and what they could believe,

much like the student

did living in Harlem,

going to an all white college

in the fifties,

and yet, that’s what he did,

his life over yours

over my own.

We all do have these lives we live,

no one really understands why,

just go forward,

have the better smile,

means more than the better ride,

well if it is sincere,

oh to be so genuine,

in a society like,

like this one,

we all still struggle to understand.


© Thom Amundsen 9/2020