Hearing Voices

They are not loud,

in fact,

whispers that catch me,

wondering where.

They are in my head,

reminders

of why it is that way I am

will be my forever.

I sometimes in the silence

can imagine window sills tremble,

the sky is falling

inside my mind.

I wonder if you might know,

this feeling

is more powerful than

anything I will ever know.

Know it is true,

Know it can never go away.

No, no, know.

I Cried Tonight

seniors

photo collage – Lezlie Vermillion

 

While rains fell, I swam in the beauty of a summer shower,

the cloudy afternoon turning toward nature’s setting hour,

I think we all have our own conception of a romanticized storm

with its electrifying resonance, makes us each somehow conform.

 

This year has been a challenge to breathe, only in quiet we grieve.

Stale of a pandemic – a somber reminder of how isolate we believe

our lives would become in a manner of short-lived sordid silence.

We all stayed home together using a prescribed social distance

 

meant to keep alive, those whom we loved, could now only imagine.

We missed the dear lives we grew to know and watched a time taken

away in throes of mortality, the fear, the protective nature we live

only to suggest we are experiencing a historic timeline. We give

 

hope to the many children who walked inside the solace of a stage,

so many years did they play the roles whose time will never age.

I watched upon my seniors today, in pictures, experience in a way,

some tasking for ‘break a legs’ in a world asking survival each day.

 

Tears in my eyes as I live this constant reminder of a virtual  end,

careers, scripted lives, now faithful their realities eventually mend.


© Thom Amundsen 6/2020 – the year of the pandemic

Truth

I wonder if it is true

people have epiphany

while sitting by the lake

I wonder if it is true

a life can only become

consumed with happiness.

I wonder if it is true

civil disobedience

may change our lives.

I wonder if it is true

no matter what we do,

there will always be need.

I wonder if its true,

every step we make

will leave an imprint.

I believe it to be true

no matter acerbic nature

we all belong together.


© Thom Amundsen 6/2020

A Week Later

I wonder about perception,

how well it matches up inside,

the image we carry of ourselves,

the identity screaming always for balance

against the odds,

despite our own misgivings.

 

Last week I was high,

a natural phenomena

that took me places,

I didn’t have to anticipate,

just lived inside

this possibility.

 

This morning I stared out the window

barely able to move,

I wanted to question whether I should

with the many voices

clamoring in the back of mind,

yes, well, in any rate, you could.

 

I did,

here now begins a day,

a bit overcast,

accentuating a sort of morose

atmosphere

to balance the mood.

 

Sometimes I wonder

to myself

where this all began.

I know I shared it with you

one time,

so many peaks and valleys ago.


© Thom Amundsen 5/2020

This Letter

I would compose a letter that might or could

ought to contain everything,

yet there is that piece of the human condition

prevents everyone from being perhaps

Stephen King, or Charles Bukowski, even Sylvia Plath.

 

Emily Dickinson is said to have lived a reclusive life

in her bedroom overlooking a lawn where children played,

and yet, she only wondered, imagined,

wrote about all of the confusion she felt

while remaining locked inside her own mania.

 

And in a rather beautiful sense of nature,

living a life in New England where poets just seem

a natural part of the soil, was Robert Frost

penning his own recollections of a speaker

living lives with miles to go …

 

Then along came Langston Hughes,

he wrote about the Black experience,

but without hostility,

at least I didn’t feel it,

when his words did bleed compassion.

 

I think about writers and the lives they led,

what did finally inspire them to discover

the avenue of their words,

the memory in their lives,

created this need to express some pain.

 

Yet beauty too would be Maya Angelou in her Grace

with every ballad focused upon loving

one another, each other, the human race,

the pure humanity

exists in love.

 

So while I try to write a letter

wrap my head around my state of mind,

I weep a humility toward those that come before

the courage to speak their ‘wisdom’

rather than suppress the raw nature of identity.

 

We all have letters we would like to write one day,

heal the soul, allow eyes to open, hearts explode with love.


© Thom Amundsen 5/2020

Finding One Door

IMG_0177

This matter of doors,

talked about in quiet rooms,

where two people, maybe four, three

could openly speak

closing doors, reasons why,

open doors, easily cry

for there is some certain avenue

allows us all to find our way,

if we choose to be

the person we might

want to

speak someday.

 

I remember a year ago,

saying I wished I might not live another day,

exhausted,

it was a similar hour of night,

this seemingly special occasion,

where I

the leader or the exhibit on display,

wanted nothing more

than to go away.

 

Yet here I am today,

celebrating some reason to explain

how it might I came to be,

this life,

this scrutiny

that only I control.

 

Oh I may allow others

have a hand

in my own dismay,

but it is in those darker

moments,

I can begin to

explain away,

the tragedy of my own

today.

 

I met someone once,

she touched my heart,

we spent hours into the twilight

talking about who or what our psychic meanings were.

I remember wanting only to

kiss her,

and yet so compelling was her ability

to sway the judgment of my play,

I listened,

and the hours flew by,

suddenly sunlight peeking through

her apartment drawn shades,

the two of us laying comfortably apart

together,

opened our eyes,

smiled,

suggested

what a day this will be

today.

 

So tonight,

just after midnight,

I look again into that open door, a space

just kind of waits,

and yet there are so many stories about

that man in the chair,

who looks like yesterday,

or maybe a little like his mom

whom as he weeps in

a sweet silence,

he imagines or hopes,

dreams on occasion,

if he did stand up,

and walk through,

there would be she,

and all of the questions

that have rocked his mind for over

half a century

might suddenly

come to life,

what some could easily pin upon

the afterlife

 

Yet why is that even as we try to blend

the pallet of our fantasy,

why do the same entrances tease our mind,

the darkness will always prevail

until that moment,

when trying to be,

might only become

the aftermath of

we in the some triggered response

to ending all of the confusion

that inherent blend of

mystery

the human condition.

 

Safe in my distance, I do imagine the other side,

and just wonder if a  picture will ever help me decide.

 

Distance Learning

So, I imagined this happening,

the wave of the virus,

would shut us down,

remove our access to the classroom.

 

A part of me appreciated the break,

I could still with students,

have a dialogue in the distance,

never contemplated the reality.

 

Then the news,

the overbearing sentence

of every teacher, every student,

we were suddenly thrown a ball

 

and we missed, no one could grasp

the nature of our loss,

of their loss

of a world of we miss you.

 

Here we are now,

a beautiful day,

one would say,

grasp the sunlight’s rays

 

We are a positive group,

this humanity,

we will endure

like wars and 9/11.

 

Oh you will not rule us,

please COVID 19,

know we’d rather not assumptions,

we wish everyone to know you.

 

Wear a mask,

stay at home

wear a mask stay at home

we cannot deny your influence.

 

We will overcome the nature of this fear,

We must stay together, live our sphere.

3AM

A quiet shadow

a new normal

remember the names

seemed abandoned souls

when in the cloud of our lives

their names forever

etched in our mind,

and now tonight

I gave pause to a moment

looked outside to see empty streets

an occasional walker,

sometime a couple hoping they together

might escape the nightmare

looms about us all indiscriminate

infectious –

we need this isolation

the loneliest of hearts

forced tonight, tomorrow,

in the shadows of sunlight

the misty tears of a rain,

always to live for ourselves,

to find peace in the mind

of our own stability,

for this is now tomorrow.


©Thom Amundsen 4/2020

11 AM

It is when I read the news,

the WHO

releases numbers

some refuse to hear,

yet I am curious,

if not a little scared.

 

I looked outside tonight,

used to live on a quiet street,

maybe three cars an hour,

tonight,

on a busy highway,

a couple of cars, blocks apart,

8 PM,

not even bar time,

not close to rush hour

just a traffic glut

on a regular night.

 

I stopped in the grocery,

crossed paths with masks,

curious eyes,

downcast glances,

not a lot of conversation

when avoiding

human interaction.

 

I’ll go to bed again tonight,

I’ll be alone tonight,

the new me,

getting used to an isolation

without a cabin nearby.

I’ll think about those I love,

I miss,

I yearn,

my double life,

has become

a singular challenge

waiting on

tomorrow,

the news.


© Scott F Savage 3/2020