Ticking Clocks

It’s 2 am

a little Brubeck

echoing in the silence

some distant harmony

making allowance

for a mind

unable to shut down,

just quiet,

listening to various clocks

set their own time,

ticking reminders of the seconds,

tearing about the fabric

of our own sanity.


There are pictures on the wall,

each holding court

with years,


time stamps

our own personal library,

not for public showing,

just, reasonable

reasons to wonder why,

when we do

struggle to answer

a few remaining questions,

we pause,

then realize

then forget again,

these wonders,

the questions in our mind,

stay with us



Simple jazz brought me

here tonight,

letting the hours slip by,

knowing I will have some

absence in my mind

tomorrow when reasoning

how to

catch up with the loss,

where some might argue,

time is not simply defined

by the hours in the day,

or others might suggest

time is really beyond the scope

of what’s inside our mind.


Another might just say you are

full of shit,

just go to bed.

© Thom Amundsen 2019

Sitting in my Armchair

I was remembering a time,

when I was younger,

a quiet, reflective, young,


I think the same feelings existed

way back then,


I would wonder about

whatever might be ahead.

There were different

sets of friends.

Or at least we felt different,

wait …


Time delivers chapters

to our daily lives,

when once this chair

felt sturdier,

the painted varnish glistened,

in the sunporch,

with books laid about,

some would call them


alongside periodicals and

the evening Telegraph

I suppose.


It hasn’t really changed too much,

the same stains will remain forever,

its justifiable reason,

told so many times over to whomever

might listen,

though we do occasionally recall,

back then,


they did,


Romantic Interludes

When did you last reach for the sky

Or did you turn on the box instead?

When last did you hope for a prayer

Or decide that you are tired and stay away?

How often do we ask for a reprieve

From the daily grind of our wares?


I haven’t found the time to rhyme

When I rather need to find my layer

Of hope that guides me through the day


When did you think I’d understand

Or did you simply never really care?

I went away to a different land

And found that everything was ok.

Then you left and I found my fears

Were everything I had imagined.


I haven’t found the time to rhyme

When I rather need to find my layer

Of hope that guides me through the day


I knew that you were right again while

I was playing the game that never ends

You packed your bags and left the room

With books we shared and gathered one

And when I said let’s empty them together

I came home to know that I was now alone


I haven’t found the time to rhyme

When I rather need to find my layer

Of hope that guides me through the day


It took awhile for me to see the truth

Even when her hands caressed my shoulders

I thought of all the rest of time we’d spent

Holding court with our lives together

I wondered if I’d ever really meant to know

To feel the truth had left your love forever


I haven’t found the time to rhyme

When I rather need to find my layer

Of hope that gives my heart some time

I Am A Teacher

When I was a child and the autumn leaves began to turn
I would listen to my mother while we walked to school in pace
Her gait a proud posture evincing energy’s evolved sojourn
Me walking by her side, carrying my lumber (a trumpet in case)

I love this time of year
When summer’s time earns
A crisp bite in the air
Emanating familiar yearns
The cafeteria, reminds me
I am a teacher; hear me

We lived close by the grade school. I carved my identity here
She taught fourth graders how to be exceptional in life’s moment
Always hoping they might remember her ideals next year
When in fifth grade passed on, a new mentor might mete their talent

I recall loving my mother
A young student now alone
My world moves upon another
Journey towards an unknown
Sea of children with each other
Learning knowledge and tone

Later in life I would routinely ride a city bus across town
A book bag by my side continuing to hone my skills
Along the avenue my mother walked the same route alone
As I unaware stared quietly out the window on my own

Saw you riding the bus today
She smiled sowing sweet word
I didn’t see you said I in a shy way
Her eyes let me realize afterward
Expressed a contemplative sway
That moved my soft heart forward

I was many years past that early autumn morning walking
In hand with mother experiencing the start of a school year
When I came to terms with her assessment of my riding
On a city bus alone and contemplative with her eyes near

As a young boy walking
I am a teacher; hear me
Every day I am experiencing
A tease, a mystique, a discovery
When aroused by wondering
Her words and eyes direct me

Today, I have my classroom of children that greet me in a fuss
And every fall I recognize similar sounds and sights familiar
I know that she is watching over me as quiet, I ride on my bus
Considering how I might pass on words so that children hear

Today I walk as a teacher
And you are my passion
I operate by a need here
To recognize your elation
Trust we might learn together
I am a teacher and this is my resolution

Literature Lineups

There are times when I can’t think

I sit and wonder

Staring at a wall

Hoping for a breakthrough

And waiting, simply pondering

When the next idea

Will settle upon the shelves


Filled with books and titles

Years of reading words that

Embody the notions we struggle

To restate, reiterate, renegotiate

Their meaning, purpose, responsibility

Inside the pages there is a story

That winds together formulaic worlds


Sometimes we even exist in a chapter

With disconnected characters

Experiencing similar emotions

Outcomes, storylines, thrillers

Meanings that carry a reader

Beyond the initial prologue

Seeking an event with definition


Yet now they are part of a display

Meant to indicate our own purpose

Who we are and where we traveled

Virtually within the creases binding

Our lives into quiet identities

Our blank stare allows us to steal

A memory drawing an ideal vision


I want to join the lives of the writers

That poured their heart and soul

Into designing the layout and structure

Of the cabinetry that holds my eyes

When I struggle to find new meaning

In my somber release, my solace

Cleverly writing the next chapter