The Fires We Burn

I remember when I was a kid in the city

thought I had somehow stemmed the fire

that sense of an evident outlier mentality

haunted my mind forever life on a wire.


I began to age with a sense of forgiveness

for all those around me I might have hurt.

The person I always managed a swift miss,

my personality, like an old stain on my shirt.


I wanted only to live a life of some perchance

sense of wander that held creative lines

the sort we plead may always carry reliance,

even when times are tough, quiet whines.


I was a walking testament of self-proclaimed grief

I held my own in any audience though always brief

I was a walking testament of self-proclaimed grief


So I took to new travels only never leaving my mind

I could always find a way to survive the night

leaving behind all of the baggage I’d lest remind

if wanting to go forward with a living life I might.


I was a walking testament of self-proclaimed grief

I held my own in any audience though always brief

I was a walking testament of self-proclaimed grief


I wanted to find some new sort of glass of water

the one that didn’t ever contain a needy filter


I held my own in any audience though always brief.

© Thom Amundsen 7/2021

If I Pretend, Will They Too

We want that,

we wish and pray,

like to believe in that

we all would like it this way,

mild confusion, yet,

what steps in the

middle of our sudden circumstance,

suggests we’ve lost our

ability to freely take chance

with what we believed up until today.


When I grew up I realized

I had slowly lost my way,

when all of my years of trying to find

the solution toward that which I pray,

I cannot get over how deep the ravine

of indecision, has continued to fall.

I want to believe,

truly like you, we all do, somewhere inside,

want to recognize our human frailty

might be …

To be vulnerable in our world is to indicate weakness.

when playing on the school grounds,

I didn’t want to play,

and rather than be left alone,

I wanted you to ask me,


to play.

I didn’t want to figure it out years later,

with some bookend that appeared to imagine

what I felt inside.

Such bullshit to believe we cannot allow ourselves

to need,

instead we are asked to always amend,

our weakness so they can recommend

that answer that everyone else seems

already well ahead of the game of …

slipping slowly

unravel the dreams

to expose the fear,

that piece I believe

I seldom show

yet you might argue

is always there,

unmasked in artificial

burial grounds of

gin, liquor and bloody mary,

further less protected by

acts of random ignorance.

There is a sea of disparity that awaits my soul,

and when I arrive,

will the laughter remain,

or perhaps,

will all my anxieties, my intuitions of doom,

will every ideal that I ever believe

suddenly vanish in the misty shorelines

of deceit and depravity,

that arena of justice,

that seems so apparently there,

just waiting,


playing for the right moment,

when silent in the afternoon sunshine,

I suddenly feel like everything,

my world, theirs, and all of ours

instantaneous gratification,

bears its unruly head,

to suggest …

we all pretend.

Reality Blues


Seems I haven’t listened recently,

taken the time,

found my rhythm,

played the riffs of my

existential pathway to the world I choose to live in by the way …

have you noticed

how easily drawn in

our lives may become

when one simple rule

is put aside,

sort of like a long and distant ramble that gets us nowhere.

Seems I haven’t listened recently

and all my baggage,

packed and thrown about in disarray

accentuates the blues I live today,



not feeling, or feeling far too much to even understand

why I feel anything at all.

Heard it before,

of course you have,

that’s the way it is when we are one step

one breath,

one mindless thought away from understanding

what it is,

how our state of mind,

how we decide to go about thinking


that day happens when


we can reflect and ascertain

just how we got there

For now,

just a blues

step away