A Lucky Man

The sound of impact,

and eyes wandering,

had their minds

been preoccupied

with alternatives,

might his need not arise,

until later on,

way beyond that moment,

when everyone gathered

in confusion.

The skies screamed home

to sit nearby,

gather together in tears

of joy, this is a happy time,

his eyes are glancing forward,

smiles and tears,

we are delighted,

again,

rather than

moving on.

Stranger’s Friends

Raymond Brossard

Raymond Brossard

We waltz throughout natural rendezvous

Untethered energy allays patterned view.

Look me in the eye, do you reconcile,

We might share humanity, peace, awhile.

~

Walk past the shelter, encounter, a chance

candid when shared, a friendly glance

might in immediacy become a threat

little regard for sordid reality’s vet.

~

Common ground when once ago passion fall,

idle hands will reach, quiet, soothe the pall

of strange reckoning, a mindset ideal

to knowing, to loving, a timestamp seal.

~

For when we do imagine calm release,

Perhaps we encounter another’s peace.

~

Painting – Raymond Brossard

I Cried Again Today

As I was drifting by,

little hands raised a blue ribbon,

to celebrate his sweet friend,

he was only wanting to remember

how much he cared for her,

how he loved her,

in that young child turning teen

sort of awkward stage.

He smiled as he rested the ribbon

in the middle of the

stop

sign and his nearby pal

understood why.

She was gone,

has been for far too long

already, in the manner of weeks,

and yet he will remember her,

cherish and love her spirit, again.

~

I thought of you,

my friend,

my pal,

the guy I thought so cool,

yet decades have passed,

in one fell swoop,

I see a child holding vigil

for another’s spirit.

I cried …

I thought of you.

County Fairs and Conversations

Everyone there,

all of the local talent

stepping toward, around, nearby

each other,

even her while he noticed,

and they wondered about him,

each one wanting to know the other,

yet all of them imagining each other,

all together,

standing on bales of hay,

with hellos, sharp tongue,

until later in the night,

began their quiet withdrawal.

Yet no one is walking away,

everyone remains,

just the state of mind,

that disposition that began the day,

earlier notions that created a shell,

slowly began to make its way,

to another region of the park,

as the rides began to slow,

the crowds would disperse,

and finally the lights

on the ring to heaven,

slowly blinked to midnight.

There was that withdrawal,

if we could have just capped

everyone’s state of mind,

just for that instance,

when everyone smiled,

if then,

what might

today be like,

again.

In The Flash of a Moment

Cap & Diploma 1

Do you recall,

big brother standing over you,

saying the words you listen to today.

‘If I could do it all over again’

~

Freshman year, starting high school.

All the fanfare of the big house,

pick your own schedule,

no more lines to Algebra class,

standing quiet in the hall,

while Jeff McCutcheon strolled by with Civics

reading ‘Crime and Punishment’

with a smirk on his face,

only to impress the her,

he would pass in single file.

~

Way back when we were on our own,

find the classroom,

begin that initial posture,

set the tone

learn no names,

find friends who will be …

letting go of old classmates

by virtue of spacial proximity.

~

Recall the struggle when no one

waltzed in to hold your hand,

how distant the world felt,

when Economics kicked your ass

a year later … new adjustments.

~

Different friends,

hanging out together,

finding commonalities

in eyes, jeans, sweaters, hair styles.

Perhaps trying to find the right look.

Junior year and she really did,

Sadie Hawkins danced and made everything alright,

at least for the rest of that year,

until she left for him,

sort of an overnight express.

~

Now we stand in a new line,

a different sort of pomp because

this is about you today.

The end of this chapter,

allows a new sojourn to move forward.

‘Earned it brother’ he said on the telephone.

When are you coming home man

your usual response in a miles away

sadly ironic tone …

Boot camp for him.

~

The sunlight streaking,

brilliant

stars aligned tonight,

any possibility for you …

Graduate!

Real Tears

We have moments

We are tested

attitude, notions, hurts,

material gains and losses

We cry for ourselves

while around us life continues

and we cry

and the world changes.

We discover one waking autumn

we haven’t the strength

the mortal fortitude

that ability to call the shots.

Then we cry some more.

We haven’t ever been able,

ever had the wise words,

ever known the balance

when life takes us down

that

road of internal disruption.

Yet, we do have life:

beauty in spirit

brilliance in delight

brevity in balance.

How many positive lives

set the tone

for how we gain knowledge

how our lives can merit

good fortune.

I know a man

who is goodness in my world

his spirit has touched me

everyday of my life

and that internal chaos

that designed animal

of helpless abandon

cannot limit his strength

I have felt real tears

for a reason beyond me,

a moment of humanity

that asks, appeals, awaits

good forgiveness,

good passion,

yes, a delicious passion

to move forward

to smile toward a sunlit morning

to hold our children close

to recognize our fallibility

has little to do

with our genuine elegance.

I do feel real tears

and they fall in abundance

let them be carrying

droplets of joy.

 

A Conversation (prose)

peace

dialogue

I went to lunch with a friend today and we got onto the subject of coping skills. We’re both teachers and we encounter a lot of teenagers on a regular basis, most of which carry a lot of baggage into the classroom each day. There are times when we truly do not get the full extent of what is happening in their lives being so caught up in our own need to deliver an assignment, a lesson plan, an expectation. We seldom take the time to ponder a world outside of our own.

My friend began the dialogue by referencing a particularly charming young individual whom we both have had extensive interactions with. I mentioned this student’s personal struggles, and he agreed and we both immediately remarked about how this young person’s integrity is such a measure of their character surrounded by the constraints of having to survive in a society that can be ruthless and demanding. I looked at my friend and remarked about how times like this make my more prominent issues become rather trivial and this reality leaves me feeling shallow in the light of another’s personal struggles. He followed with a theory that we all provide ‘gifts’ in our own unique manner. I knew what he was saying but it certainly didn’t give me an opportunity to feel like I was off the hook.

We both chose teaching for the chance to change people’s lives in a positive way. We certainly didn’t choose this profession with a goal in mind to make our charges feel miserable. In education today, we are in an ever-changing atmosphere of new initiatives and proposals to address and hopefully change the way we teach our students. A lot of that focus is to better education, and reduce the constant scrutiny that schools, and more importantly in this case, teachers receive in regards to their ability to prepare children for a successful future. Conversations like this one often leave me feeling curious, not confused mind you, but simply wanton of a solution to my purpose both in the classroom and in my life.

Having the ability to know why we are who we are and what we will become is a huge asset when determining our path in life. I can easily use nostalgic memory and pointedly look at different periods of my life and know the mess I was as perceived by the society around me, and with more certainty my own evaluation of my accomplishments as I plodded through a couple of directionless decades of my young adult life. Today, I look back and recognize the frailties of my actions, and I also am left to consider how my life choices might have brought different results had I been more conscious of my future. I may sit in a room of group recovery and not have to wait long before someone makes the common remark, “I don’t regret any of the mistakes I made in my life. They have helped me become the person I am today.” Though there certainly is truth to that analogy, one must I believe, also acknowledge that those ‘life-changing’ mistakes could have been easily avoided, and life might have been a tad easier than the challenges that consumed the reparation of those errors. Ok, so back to my point of conversation amongst friends.

What today’s conversation left me with is contemplating how relative our lives may be in the bigger scheme of things. That seems like a shallow outcome at this writing, but it is what I am left with at the moment. When I think about a student who has lost someone at a young age, and is asked to return to their daily identity without missing a beat, I find myself rather impressed with that resilience. That reality makes my life feel trivial as I said earlier, so what do I do about it? Here is my partial solution.

I will appreciate the beauty of their being, their ability to endure the travesty or choices that have been placed before them, certainly not their own choosing. I will offer my own support and admiration for their ability to capture the true essence of natural humility that has allowed their lives to become easier within the face of pure terror and sadness, and express my gratitude for their showing me how to recognize the sweeter realities of our existence as human beings on this earth.

Feels like a God moment to me now … I do cherish these conversations!

Did You Ever Wonder?

I was wondering

Just the other day

About that one interaction

Today it seems miles away

But I do wanna know

With a simple reflection

Did you ever really understand

How you did

How you did

How you really did break my heart

I didn’t know the answer at the time

I just reacted as we always do

But I lied

I lied because I cared

Didn’t know quite how you might be inclined

To react to the truth

That would be

Screams, shouts, worries, that no one can ever understand

We just simply try to withstand

The desire to remove ourselves

From that we just

We just

We only want to realize

When the pain is on the other end

Occasional Walls

coffee

Have you experienced this story?

When whimsical words might convey

A notion of dialogue

Yarns of personal response

She said to her friend

While sipping coffee at the local café

She was quietly adamant

Yet that earshot was apparent

Talking of a secret reality

We all seem to carry

In different unmarked bags

Gathering mostly around our eyes

Showing signs

Fatigue and worn smiles

Expressive and telling

She smiled again and again

As her listening ears would not

Depart yet affirm her own response

To the daily ordeal

Of living in a life

That contains a great deal

Bartering for oxygen

An energy that travels

The universe, at least, that circumstance

Seems probably for everyone

To experience in a sidewalk cafe