If When We Cry

Policy and truth

patterns in protestations.

~

What I saw today

might be the same tomorrow,

a different lens

similar sorrow.

When tears do well my eyes

could you be my mirror …

would you let me stand nearby

though uneven would be our worlds.

~

Seems an opportunity to feel you close by

might help heal hearts wanting only a cry.


©️Thom Amundsen 1/2021

Quiet Love

Words will only restrain

such is beauty in motion.

An actual acknowledgment

within a silent serenade.

For this is love

when planning matter not.

For love is

somehow a quizzical reminder.

Our lives not bound by preface

if we live in simple harmony.

Love is

a quiet refuge stills the shadows.


©️ Thom Amundsen 1/2021

A Certainty is Rage

When at wit’s end this identity does unravel,

the spirit, the mind, that epicenter of our brain

begins to take its own journey

while the body will always forever remain.

Hard to know where the mind goes

when stuck in idle unable to let go.

~

There is a response to fear and anxiety

a shutting down of the factory,

all working parts forcibly placed on leave

in order to comprehend the nature of this pain.

Watching the year end,

yet knowing our lives are not over,

we are meant to go forward

an unprecedented commitment lay ahead.

~

I once told a kid, a student, a young man,

while crying in my classroom,

‘this is a brief moment in your life’

when he wailed about losing

a privilege to walk with his peers

with their heads held up high

and a diploma in hand.

~

I looked him in the eye

and said those dark moments will not

ever defeat him, he will move forward,

and make a life of his own.

~

I told him with a passion, a compassionate plea,

do not give up, you must please set yourself free.


© Thom Amundsen 12/2020

In My Mind

Starts in the morning sunlight

when awoken by the light of day.

Makes one wonder a clarity

though having lives found far away

provides an amorous vulnerability

would that eyes clearly dream a night.

When once there was memory found

now shall be the reality drawn as one

in arms where eyes can feel such peace

such are romantic airs find release.

Without sweet nostalgic honesty won

how might our lives ever find ground.

Tonight she does in soft memory remind,

silence a soulful nature, in love is kind.


©️ Thom Amundsen 12/2020

These Are Our Days

We know them

no filter moments

side swept rains tease snow

feel moisture on naked socks

walking the dog

a midnight rendezvous

perhaps routine to some

yet

tonight, today, last year

that calendar date

might, may, will, has, did,

does always, wants forever a return.

Remember once quiet

impassioned plea.

I will always be here, nearby

holding your hand, crossing paths,

nostalgic eyes.


©️ Thom Amundsen 12/2020

Certain Days of the Year

I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and thirty two years will have gone by in a flash. I’ll try to remember different events that occurred on this day and they will be one distant fog. Oh, there will be the dinners, maybe a movie, occasionally a live show, maybe a concert wrapped around the date of the year. Tomorrow I will celebrate alone, and though I am told we shouldn’t feel bad about feeling bad, it is rather difficult not to feel rather sad.

Someone if I gave them a chance would say to me with discern ‘it’s just another day, get over it.’ That’s all a person is really left with when nothing else is allowed to interfere with the reality of this manner of grief. Always a week before Christmas, always time to set up some kind of a holiday treat. One year it was Handel’s Messiah at Orchestra Hall, another it was the New Standards at the State Theater – lots of visits to the Guthrie, Broadway on Tour, U2 on the floor, live music – Davina and the Vagabonds. One year a surprise birthday party and we woke to a blizzard reducing our numbers from around a few dozen to less than ten. Every time was meant though, to be a celebration, as will tomorrow be as well. We are meant to celebrate our lives and not criticize a person’s happiness.

This year my friend has experienced loss, the sort of which none of us wish to go through, hard decisions, the loss of a social life and finally the departure of her mentor, the woman that taught her everything there is to know about being a woman in the society she was raised. There will be angels circling her aura throughout the day to offer her peace of mind and good will. I pray for the same as much as I wonder in my own mind how all of this time has gone by and suddenly here we are, sending out incorrect addresses to friends and walking past single family homes knowing those days are behind us. Now we simply go forward, just another day, a low temperature winter morning without any snow. Just another day.

I’m listening to my favorite Dire Straits album right now and my favorite song is about to play. ‘Why Worry Now’ is a song that makes me want to cry. It gives me the opportunity to do so, therefore I will take advantage of the moment and have a good cry. There was a time when the artistry of the eccentric was an attractive attribute to carry around in my life and somehow I just forgot to allow that part of me might manifest itself in a positive manner. Instead there are more days than not that I allow myself to be a shell of my true inner being, and I just cannot seem to find a way to change the course of the river that flows right through me.

I was married to the same woman for a very long time. Thirty years is half of my life, half of our lives, and suddenly tonight all it is is a reflection of who we once were culminating in who we are now today. I was just walking outside with my dog and I had an epiphany that if one day I was penniless I would still care about a woman I knew for three decades of my life, a woman whose day I would celebrate tomorrow every year for the last thirty years, for the remainder of my own years. That is a tradition, not an expectation.

That’s what makes birthdays special – really – another day in our lives. Happy birthday ‘twelve seventeeners.’


© Thom Amundsen 12/2020

The Color Blue

Everyone has a favorite color

tonight I’ll pick blue

for any number of reasons

this seems to resonate

not just the hue,

state of mind or mood or choice

as someone said to me

tonight.

We make a decision within ourselves

to decide upon what it is

we want to focus upon,

sadness?

depression?

do we even know what that means anymore?

I spoke with a friend recently,

she was telling me about something personal,

and the subject of therapy came into

our conversation,

and I discovered after revealing all of my years

of therapy,

she hadn’t ever gone to see anyone.

Ever.

I thought about it myself

and know

times in my life would not allow me to be here

right now,

writing these words if I had not

myself

bought into my life the value

of letting someone hear my problems

and then try to give me

direction afterward.

We live in that world,

one that refuses to allow vulnerability

to encompass our heart and soul,

when truthfully if we don’t reach out,

we stay alone with our thoughts,

and how in the end

has that lent anything to do with the color of

blue.


© Thom Amundsen 12/2020

Finding A Ledge

Oh, I remember

standing in a safe distance

watching them play the risk to the edge,

wondering of the five there,

two over near,

a dozen way beyond the fence,

were any one

vulnerable,

wondering just really curious about the edge,

the immediacy of leaving behind

memory and travels.

~

I’ve stood on many a ledge

decades of indecision,

yet somehow the gravel maintained

my grip,

or I got a call for a dinner reservation,

turned around, walked away,

and the thought drifted off the edge.

~

Have you ever had a sort of quiet peace,

knowing there are those ledges

each of us

can share together,

rather than having to imagine

too much fear,

far too much confusion,

might bring us back upon

some lonely ledge.

~

The truth is,

not every ledge has room for

alone.


© Thom Amundsen 12/2020

A Stirring Conversation

So, I have been feeling poorly recently – what an exciting start right? A real grabber. My point is though I was feeling bad for myself because any type of illness I immediately imagine Covid, and I go through the motions of the test and it comes back negative – well that is my assumption this time around. Chest cold, flu, earache, swollen glands, sore throat – every ugly combination. So I complained about that to my friend.

She asked me to take a minute and think about it. Imagine being homeless with no shelter knowing the cold winds are ahead with winter looming, little to eat, no fresh water. Go a step further and live the life of a displaced refugee stranded without food and medical care and essential living needs. Think about anyone that feels their lives are in jeopardy due to a chronic illness, terminal diagnosis, and then reflect back upon my common cold. Please do not imagine I diminish the tragedy of Covid in people’s lives in any manner. The words were just rather humbling, and did make me step back and feel a pang of embarrassment, guilt, remorse. I’m turning those toward more reflective ways to ponder upon our lives. Someone out there will say quickly, life is relative, don’t try to measure it.

I do live a fortunate life. I think I will step out briefly today and pick up some Tylenol and tissues.

I’m sorry.