Just, Actors

© Tom Shales

© Tom Shales

***

When we were like this,

nobody really stepped inside our world.

We could laugh and cry together,

hold one another, count on each other,

and smile for the camera as ourselves.

~

We lived real lives

beyond the facade of entertainment;

so compelling, so intriguing, so decimating

that our passions were swept up in

fear

Well, perhaps not each of us

yet

we did find our need to cast a persona

on a world around us

counting upon each story, gag, inventive moment,

to help

you, (them)

cycle through your typical day.

~

Watching us,

how many people realized

we were watching ourselves,

you, him, they, her, we

each ideal

laughter

at your (our) expense,

yet all in fun of course,

because we laughed as much as anyone else,

when the camera …

~

Here we are today

in memory,

simply wishing to evoke another nostalgic

dream come true

of life in America, of love, of fortune,

of delightful entertainment.

Remember us?

We were a household name,

to some,

we gathered in the storms of insecurity

and splayed a comedic shower of tranquility

upon the eyes, the visual masses,

waiting for our next

line.

~

At the end of the scene, we too had needs,

we simply wanted to be recognized as human beings,

beyond the responsibility,

we wanted credibility,

we were after all,

just, actors.

Measured Grief

tears

Can we really expect ourselves to understand

Pain is measured in a time of confusion

We each want to hurt without any reprimand

Our soul in immediate responsive reaction

~

I remember when I was just a little kid

A cousin love of mine had just passed away

I walked around the block to see the skid

Pavement and blood dried in sunlight today

~

Fascinated by fear and the unknown truths

I wondered then about death and felt tears

Real moments that defined grief as a ruth-

Less reality that only God could revere

~

Today I draw real water soft and pure, a cleansing cry

A sacred release; my human emotions real cannot die

Fragile, Human, Love

We are a natural trip are we not

Stubborn, tough, confident

We walk into a room and we are noticed

Attention, smiles, familiar

We will need each other only when we want to

Cry, sigh, tell me why

Heart is aching tonight

Thinking about you, and you, and Grace

Wondering about choices

Deciding that while my life is lacking

Really how miserable that might sound to you

At this moment

Tubes, needles and ventilators

Providing fucking artificial life

Fucking artificial life

That final moment of acknowledgement

All that shit about living bold

Doesn’t matter

Doesn’t hold up

All that bravado was a lot of fun …

~

Yet, there breathes that inner demon

Struggling and gnawing inside

Often quieted in moments

When the outside needed to feel safe

Crawling through the mire of mortality

Seeking some serenity

It never came at least while you were

Breathing naturally

We can only pray

For in the night He holds the key

To deciding your elegant fate

~

We love you and know you and thank you

Quiet reminders of fragile human love