Besides That

The other day

I recalled sitting in a bar

drinks on the way

seeing laughter afar

.

I would wait until the moment

a fellow drinker arrived

and we’d begin our lament

how our lives were denied

.

By the pangs of society

The truths we belied

We wanted our liberty

to arrive here we sighed

.

Years have passed

since I took that last drink

I realize just how vast

my denial danced on the brink

.

of quiet disaster

living a fantasy

no room for laughter

simply a travesty

.

today I will be grateful

that I’ve found my reality

my life has become full

gradually found my sanity

.

This is my journey and I speak of solace,

That real fortune helps me seek Grace

Morning coffee

I wake quiet

feeling the sunlight

watching windows where

hours earlier – reflect my inner soul.

a coffee is near by

emanating a deep roast

as morning begins to take shape

thoughts returning

while mystique’s slumber slips away

task upon task upon

how might I respond today

and for a moment

I glance into the light

safe warm rays to guide me

step out of my mind into the Radiance

and for a moment

my worries sway

a new energy awaits my mind

while the world begins its unwind.

2013

Naked Twig

Sometimes I wish

More bark could be torn

From that twig

Carried in your 

Little hope chest

That one representing

Our first lover’s quarrel.

You remember the one

While sitting by Isles

Discussing our future

Still innocent lovers

Falling into each other’s 

Scared and lonely eyes

We were still

            way too

             far too much in love

                     to fall apart just then

Your fingers tore 

Fragments of bark

With every silent moment

Until the wood lay bare

And alone the twig

Held new life

Like an old coat 

Thrown away

Yet I noticed it later

The twig somehow

The bark pieces

Which you’d so patiently

Stripped away

Remained in Memory.

1986

 

Nostalgic Recall

Once a friend

Reminded me of time

When sitting alone

I realized

That way I’d remain

And yet glancing into the

Night sky

I imagined freedom

That knowing resistance

Doesn’t allow the blue

Feeling of abandonment

In quiet

Interference to remain

A single cloud shadows the moon.

 .

In that moment

The world continues

Rotating

The cycle

Circle of hope

All of our deepest fears

Will return with the next wave

Silence

And we cry with soft remorse

Not knowing the reality

Just understanding confusion

As a substitute for

Normalcy.

We are delightful creatures.

Our notions

Our paths

Our ideals

Recalled

As we experience a turmoil

Seeming despair

Outside of His hands

(We think too much)

We are compelled by

A knowing state of mind

“Been here before”

I shout out with a driven angst.

Cry for me

I delight in the pain

And it is mine

Cause by cause

I shall flounder

And the mind shifts

Sudden urgency

Piques our spiritual caravan

Again riding the crest.

Our new notion to survive

At its birthing.

“This really is me!”

Shout it again

And again and

-A ghastly reality-

It’s only Tuesday

And this mindset

Is sustaining mileage

Washing away hope

And settling in, in, in-

Decision.

A moment arrives to reconcile.

If I walk in fresh sand

I create a motion

That pours upon its self,

Allowing a remarkable

Change in the atmosphere.

Glancing back

I might suggest

I’ve noticed such imprints

And now memory remains.

A quiet resonant laughter

Emanates from my lips to reconcile

That eager bit of anticipation

In a moment memory of silent wrath

Walks me undeterred along a new path

Pull

When that clarity in mind calls

We always do seem to know

For whenever we trip, we fall

Might we now await a new goal?

Easy isn’t it to understand

That every waking day is a sign

Without a common place to land

Our inherent passions will resign

There, desire is to continue forward

We cannot decide just how fortune

Allows incidence of time to bend t’ward

Heartache thrives in a shadowed new moon.

Give me a sign that our day’s purpose lies

Ahead long enough to hide this quiet disguise.

Day One – an unexpected chapter

I was prepped for surgery around 8:30AM, having arrived at the hospital at 8 AM. Gradually throughout the morning, I was given different lines – IV’s for fluid, pain medications, and finally around 10:30 AM I was fitted with a central line in my jugular. By mid-morning, I was pretty well a showcase for a patient fully encompassed in surgical preparation. I remember the nurse checking in with us at around noon, and she said to us – Libby, Alex & Sue – that they were cleaning up the OR and I would be moving in soon. I remember looking at the clock in the room and it was around 12:20 PM.

I awoke to a voice that kept saying repeatedly, “Just try to breathe, try to breathe,” repeatedly as I suddenly felt an immeasurable pain in my chest that I could only imagine someone had ripped apart my sternum.  Though it had been done methodically at the hands of one of the finest cardio surgeons in the game, Dr. Timothy Kroshus. Apparently he had been successful because I was waking up. Around six hours had flown by since that last moment of glancing at the clock in the prep room. I could see Sue standing nearby, the kids in the background, as I was surrounded by medical staff, reading monitors while talking with one another, while holding me down so I wouldn’t seizure right out of the hospital bed with the excruciating pain. I kept hearing “breathe” as I tried to suck air, and heard myself finally utter the words, “I just want to breathe!”

The next two or three hours were dedicated to stabilizing this 53 year old heart patient. The process meant hands on my shoulders holding me down, with repeated assurances that everything was ok and that I was in the post-operative phase after having open heart surgery, and did I know my name. I’m pretty sure I got it right because they continued to work on me rather than run away in fear of misidentifying their patient. Sometime in those early moments Sue came up to the bed and held my hand, and I whispered to her that I didn’t feel like I was up to having any additional visitors tonight. I was feeling absurdly wracked with horrendous pain, and mildly embarrassed that I was letting any visitors down by sending them home. I soon got over it as the next wave of pain shut me down, and the nurse gave me morphine to settle my nerves, head, limbs for the next fifteen or twenty minutes. The course of the night followed that pattern throughout the next six hours. At one time two nurses came into my room and told me they were going to shift my position in the bed. Please understand, that the pain was so severe, I thought if I moved I would literally split apart. However, the moment occurred and when they lifted me off the bed, I suddenly felt instant bliss, suspended in air. I realized later that the actual action of lifting me was naturally pulling my chest together, recalling that my chest had been surgically split apart 10 hours earlier.

I was now in the hands of a night nurse, who monitored my initial recovery with precision and care, giving me pain meds on a regular basis. Finally, around 3 AM I seemed to take a turn for the better, and the medication began to feel regulated. I could actually request a medication after being asked what the severity of pain was. “What is your pain, between 1 and 10?” I said “10” without consequence. By around 5 or 6 AM I was able to say, ” Well maybe, 8 or 9.” That level remained consistent over the next 24 hours.

The Letter

I have this

      idea

  when words are committed

we end up obliged

           so I might

send one to you

     expressions in prose

like a stream

feeling a driving urge

to channel its path

               by pulling and slapping

water to settle soils

                         the words are my gravity

grappling with notions

tossing me towards you

lists, and pools

           conscious interpretation

and sodden soils

       attitudes prevail

You settle in

and watch my words unfold

             a warm spring evening

             moonlit serene

             taste my words

fresh and reckoning

1995Image

Writing Coffee

It’s early morning I can glance.

     The tables dry and clean

And just two newspapers

     Lie at the counter

Barely unfurled by any intellect’s

     Grasp

In my thoughts

     This cafe is old memory.

I’ve seen the sunlight

     Break through polished glass

So many times before.

     See, I sit down here

Pull out my book

      And shifting in my chair

Jolt a hot coffee

      Soiling my pages again.

Wiping the spill silently

       I feign ignorance of those around,

And breathing I try again to see

       Wishing that she might be near.

 

1993

Old Ideas

I’ll forget my past 

One day

When sitting in a rocker

Having been placed there by 

Gentle

Hands that carry the strain

Of years of tolerant love

She’ll smile and sigh

And readjust my collar and tuck my wrap

-apple cherry stained tweed-

And with pained expression

She’ll heave another log into the fire

While vacant eyes behind her

Glisten and sparkle to the embers she stokes.