Sifting Through Fear

A candle burns nearby

a reminder of some peace of mind,

tranquil is the flame

out of the corner of his eye.

Speaker beware,

someone might reveal,

their reveal,

that word causes headaches in some circles,

those afraid to look in the

mirror.

© Thom Amundsen 9/2021

Woman Is Wisdom

© Allen Parseghian Photography

For is it woman who might fly

if not his grasp

slipping

beyond her own swift

reckoning

is it man rude in permanence

would slender

such is elegance what

we might wish

could he release


© Thom Amundsen 7/2021

© Allen Parseghian Photography

I Remember Reading

If you think about someone,

they are a reflection of your life,

this person.

She compels you to imagine their well-being,

sweet her Grace of compassion

you discovered

glancing in her eyes.

~

I read a book about love,

two people so swept

by one another’s sensuality

that no one else could intercede

their own imagination.

~

I want to read a book about love,

two people swept

within one another’s passion

a world around and about oblivious

in their own mystique,

such is the life of two compassionate soul.

~

I knew a woman one year

she stole my heart

and anything near

may only remind me of

her eyes,

her elegance,

her genuine smile.

~

In a sundress one shimmery afternoon

she could steal the heart of many and all.


©️ Thom Amundsen 6/2021

Humility on a mountaintop

I sat on this peak the other day after a healthy climb of just over a few miles. What you see is quite a satisfying result of the hike. I sat looking over the horizon for about 30 minutes before returning from where I started. I had done this hike several times over the years, but never alone. I was even sharp enough to keep my license in my camel-pack in the event of an injury along the way. Aging I suppose contributes to making smarter decisions, but that’s not really that important right now.

What I do wish to focus upon is the impact this trip had upon my state of mind. To go the miles it took and the strenuous nature of the landscape I encountered was an accomplishment fills me with satisfaction. Living a healthy lifestyle is important to me these days, and the rewards are immeasurable. I could easily have remained at my campground and stewed about my life and the hardships I have to endure, ignoring someone much like me lost in their own world of poverty and sickness without near the capacity I have to take an invigorating hike on a beautiful afternoon in the north-woods. Can anyone relate? I hope so. We can easily find reasons to discount the opportunities that lay before us and rather than ignore them we must put the effort forth to experience life as we know it in the moment.

What I experienced on this hike was the beauty of nature around me. Certainly the vista at the top was the reward, but the walk to get there was as special making the whole a complete adventure. A long time ago a friend of mine suggested I pick up two rocks and carry them with equal weight in each of my hands and let them carry me up the mountain. I remember trying this years ago and it didn’t work. I was too preoccupied with holding the rocks than I was with letting them carry me. I let their weight move my wrists and my arms in such a motion that I naturally felt like I was gliding up the mountainside. I held onto them afterwards, a gift from the nature around me. I decided I will find a set of rocks upon every landscape I walk in the future and recognize the blessing they provide my journey.

The humility I felt when surveying the world before my eyes let me imagine how fortunate my life is what lays ahead of my future. These are the things important to our lives to appreciate life around us. There is beauty and elegance surrounds us all everywhere. Take a moment, breathe in and out, and rest our weary soul. Life has a certain reward.


© Thom Amundsen 6/2021

Silence is a Forest

Listen to the birds singing in spring
Hear the cello at home in between

Each memory
Each moment

A song we could create in melody
If only the world not live parody
Such is the mendacity of our time
When still is beauty yet sublime

Each moment
Each memory

If in the midst of a traveled rhyme
We shut out a neighbor is a crime,
Only preserve that moment, oh 9/11
Restoration, is love in sweet Heaven

Each memory
Each moment

Now in wood, in silence find our Zen
A patch of forest heart and soul then
Speaks fond of a once nostalgic liberty
We would may always grasp this reality

Oh to know the sound a certain bird will
Sweet a peace of mind, distant cello still


©️ Thom Amundsen 4/2020

Moments in a Blizzard

Windswept sky designs landmark,

the world is being blanketed by that force

greater than our own,

a magical parade of Nature’s wrath,

in the simplest manner of beauty.

 

Oh her strength apparent

inside the wonder of it all,

the winter storm,

a blizzard upon our discontent,

perhaps we might fly away.

 

Lost inside this forever cycle

our lives are equally drawn

by a static probability

of scant survival in the throes

of a woeful condition.

 

Step inside the winds,

that bury this frozen memory,

covering up our sorrows

so there might be a new desire,

a passion to understand.

 

A realization,

recognizing there is an after-life

to the sparkle – once

no longer remains

inside a youthful dream.

 

There inside the wealth of our

humanity

exists a welcome change,

that ever resilient testimony,

suggests we are all ready,

 

already walking again,

this might provocative winds allow.

 


© Thom Amundsen 1/2020

Having A Cry

Just now,

in the quiet atmosphere,

where no one

might hear my sigh.

A silent recall

today a different time,

conversation and laughs,

and then a glance, a pause

when eyes purposely

met one another

again.

Quite evident is the changing focus,

something

exciting to us both.

 

I will remember you

a saying just out of the blue.

I will remember you

a vision, a different view.

 

Sometime we wonder,

what if,

when did,

no answers coming yet.

There will be those moments

when our lives

do recall the humor

held our lives together,

and then today in the sweet

reckoning of our reality,

we did glance,

we did look for

some solace

in a spectacular time.

 

I will remember you

a saying just out of the blue.

I will remember you

a vision, a different view.

 

Look at love said the obscure seer

who believed in harmony

look before a discord shook the enemy.

So it looks the way

we might imagine,

some purpose,

a reliance

on know

we will live upon our dreams,

share our fortunes

without any monetary

illusion.

 

I will remember you

a saying just out of the blue.

I will remember you

a vision, a different view.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

Once in a Savage Moon

It is in the city I live in, surrounded by neighbors I’d maybe wish to know better than I do, beyond the hellos, the waves, the talk of lawns and summer ending. Last night I imagined the moon and everything it brought to my mind. The rains were apparent, so I could not see it in its spectacular setting, instead, I visualized based upon the many moons I have witnessed in my life.

It matters little the overcast sky when we think about a moon, such full nature, such depth, when trying to wrap ourselves around why it is we seemingly exist on this planet, inside this solar system, our galaxy. I am not a scientist by any stretch, so I cannot speak much further than the simple analogy I learned in grade school when we all put together our own mobile solar system for Civics class in sixth grade. It might have been 1st grade, apparently matters as much to me today as it did way back when.

The absolute though is that fifty years later, I am still looking for the same moon, and counting on its appearance to let me once again wonder its spectacular vision. I have spent nights sitting on a bridge near my home watching the moon rise, and during such time wondered often what people might be doing with their lives at that very moment. I have a brother once caught me staring at a moon one evening out our family picture window. He said to me, ‘you stare at the moon too long, you become a lunatic, y’know, lunar and all that shit.’ He then walked out the room with a smile on his face. I closed the curtains. That comment haunted me for years afterward. i was twelve at the time, I didn’t know that day dreaming could be such a dangerous affliction in our lives.

But the moon always brought me back. There is no question the fascination, and what it truly does to our state of mind in the peak moments, weekend, couple of days it fills. I worked in mental health for many years, and knew the general impression a moon, without notice would have on our population, including the staff who often because they were designated as such, felt themselves better than the patients  own matter of being. I remember one day, seeing a patient of mine, discharged, walking down a city street near my home. I actually waved, and she waved back. There wasn’t this fear of revealing my private life to this person who struggled to such a point she needed other folks to help her find her way. i would imagine her take on the moon would often have a bearing on the confidence of her state of mind.

So last night, I listened to the weight of the moon. I wondered about life around me, and how people might be going about their own night, whether that globe in the sky would have any impact on how they thought about their own lives and those around them. I thought clearly i was comfortable, I had my dignity in the comfort of my own home, realizing not nearly everyone has that same luxury.

I went to bed around midnight, accepting the reality that my own Savage moon exists for everyone, far be it be only designed for my own benefit. Good night, moon.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

The Importance of Beauty

We live in a society of measure. Of mirrors and reflections and purposeful glances. We operate by sensing physicality alone, even when made aware of a far deeper context to what is beauty in our lives, in our society. This is an important subject to dwell upon in light of the ugliness we are experiencing in our own country, in the world itself. The idea of glamor far exceeds the recognition of beauty and how it operates in the well-being of ourselves, our friends and family, our planet.

I remember as a young child knowing what beauty was in an innocent mind. I watched Diana Ross on Ed Sullivan, I noticed the screaming young girls at the front of a stage at a concert for the Beatles. I was madly in love with Gidget or Marcia Brady of course. In all those examples I was focusing on their physical attributes, which gave me a foundation as young boy to know what defined beauty in my life. It wasn’t until I watched a dear friend perform her gymnastic composition on parallel bars that I began to know another definition. It wasn’t until I walked home with a school mate, though a couple years older than me, and striking in her glamorous demeanor that I noticed beauty in a different level.

In watching my friend perform I was struck by her commitment to what she loved at the time, an athletic prowess as a young woman, one that allowed her to become a state champion in her abilities. To me that wonderment of effort was beautiful to observe.

Later in life, listening to a friend of the family talk about what is important, as we crossed our familiar bridge on our way home from school, and descended a hill that held our neighborhood. She was teaching lessons as a 12th grader to a 9th grader, how important it was to love yourself before you could love others. In listening to her, I realized there was more than fashionable jeans, a chic style sweater, perfect hair to define the beauty inherent with my friend. She taught me about compassion and that began for me a different focus upon beauty in our lives.

One day as a twelve year old I was getting a ride from my sister to basketball practice. She asked me what was wrong as I slumped in the passenger seat. I told her I was lonely, didn’t know what to do about it. She stopped the car, turned to me and said you have to find a passion in your life. As a twelve year old, I blushed and imagined passion to be something sexual, and I couldn’t believe she was telling me this. She then explained the word passion is not simply about sex, it is about loving what you do, finding something that gives you the ability to believe in yourself because your energy is drawn completely to accentuating your own passion.

That lesson from my sister, the walk with my friend, the athletic prowess of my schoolmate, all of those pieces of my life gave me opportunity to recognize a more holistic approach to understanding beauty in my life.

Certainly as a young man, I was still drawn to the beauty of woman, the wonder of her elegance, in the summertime, the fascination of her stylistic manner of wardrobe on a cold winter’s day, how intriguing it was to know she would be cognizant of a look she wanted to have in the midst of a bustling society. I remember knowing a woman who I watched cross the street one day, wearing a striking rain jacket and green knee high rain boots.

Her image has stayed with me all my life, as did the day she and I were lounging in her apartment, and I commented on her jeans, and she gave me a smile and said she had been wearing them for eight days. I thought that was the coolest thing, her sweet comfort level with her own self image caused me to feel beauty about her person, well beyond a physical characteristic.

I think the deeper context of who we are is often easily forgotten about, put aside, neglected. I have a brother who in his elder life, now sits in an art museum and curates the lovers of a gallery in his home town. We had a chance to visit him one afternoon, and he was so in his element – he knew the history of all the works in the gallery, and his smile radiated as we walked through the rooms. I took his picture afterwards because I wanted to have a record of the beauty that shined from him internally. He looked to be a happy man.

Beauty for me holds a lot of different values. Seeing a band perform live, watching my students reach fruition on the stage with their efforts. Observing a student find their way in a classroom studying a subject they have never understood. Seeing students take chances and risks knowing one another beyond a superficial level. Watching my family evolve as I see my two children continue to strive for happiness in their lives rather than letting hardships discourage them. Having close friends dear to your heart that are there to support you, laugh at your whims, share dialogue and understanding for your own passions.

That word passion comes back every time I struggle. The passion to seek, the passion to address needs of concern, the passion to love. We are a vulnerable lot easily drawn to the pain in our lives rather than seeing the beauty of who we are and accentuating beauty in the lives of those around us. My hope is that the people around me, those I am closest to, can see beauty for what it truly is, to give meaning to what is important, beautiful and eternal in our lives.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

Humanity Pleads Perfection

If while our lives compete

silence stands beyond our wares.

 

Pre-disposed to finding value

in a fragile state of mind.

 

We dig humanity, its pitfalls

suggested to be given advocacy.

 

Wanting to forge forward in valor

a calculated appraisal of possibility.

 

When suggestion speaks necessarily

give allowance no matter scrutiny.

 

Find your peace in the beauty of time,

for this or ever complication subside.

 

We are resilient in a time driven desire

to find peace among masses the same.


© Thom Amundsen 2019