I want to know how you are, and not the gift wrapped version.
I’d like the truth not the ‘suck it up buttercup’ trend.
I wish one day you might listen to me rather than just what you want to hear.
I hope I might see you again someday and not just simply who you want to show me.
I think love is real and we prove that by being so unrealistic today.
©️ Thom Amundsen 8/2021
When a tear lands
Our head breathes
©️ Thom Amundsen 8/2021
When so many songs on the airwaves speak of love lost
found in the quietest regions of our mind,
let only our silence remind us all what love might be.
Tonight I would think about her in the softest light
to see the gleam in her eyes
evening stars would be our twilight
that passionate tale we told one another.
I sometimes will openly crucify myself for letting my heart
steal only the strength of my soul
when pulled together
I haven’t any way to ever relive the magic
once the candle has swallowed its wick.
I did love you that part is true and everyone I know
will always see when in a glance, eyes remind us of you.
© Thom Amundsen 6/2021
Matching wits with the intellect
Oh so shallow the exhilaration
In all it’s wonder
That might be a solution
If all in our wander
Meaningful in its explanation
Such would encompass time
Let’s our intellect behind
©️ Thom Amundsen 5/2021
When once I chose to ruminate
today I will stroll,
a will to know
to see to wonder.
In winter and in summer
we might spring forward with a passion
fall upon our sword.
There is a certain beauty in that,
to know suddenly the benefit of
a spatial fascination.
Might be the wood?
Perhaps a city street
teeming with populace
while you and I share observation
hands held, our world alive.
©️Thom Amundsen 3/2021
I waited outside criss crossed windows
our lives together
like always, we were meant to be here.
She rounded the banister, bedtime linens flowing in the darkness
a light behind would shine her soul
such is the beauty of a woman in love in a twilight.
Her smile lit up the night,
this anticipation I watched her hands open locks
she would hold a key that meant,
yes, you do sweet reckoning my heart will stir.
I thought to myself in this quiet night
have I ever been, could I, is it possible,
this delightful moment is the first time I have experienced love.
I felt unsorted, like in a dream
all the significant moments of mystery might blend
until waking would I see her with me, next to me,
our hearts will intermingle now,
and as I do watch you rest so peacefully by my side,
I know in the immediacy,
I am your caregiver for life.
For while the world around us may continue to confuse,
we can in each other’s eyes know our truths leave others blind.
© Thom Amundsen 3/2021
I remember a long time ago, I wrote a little piece about John Lennon, the day he was killed and the newspaper printed it. I was 20 at the time, and it was simple, ‘Guns don’t kill people, people do’ and I couldn’t really take credit for something the world was repeating to itself over and over in the mass confusion of such a loss. I remember his second album was coming out – he was talking about 40 being his next life, just published ‘Double Fantasy’ and it spoke of saving relationships with one common denominator – that was love.
My mother saw my letter to the editor and cut it out and put it on the refrigerator. To me that was an honor and I felt loved by her actions. To me that has always been what love is, not something expected but just what happens in our lives. I think in my family my children and I would say to each other and their mother, ‘I love you’ to finish conversations on the telephone. I remember one time recalling we did it so often it would glaring if one day we did not, and so I maintained the tradition, we all did, until later on in life it became a question in our minds. Suddenly name value didn’t have as much impact.
One day when I was 20 years old, I worked in an intake office and took phone calls and directed them to the psych units I worked with, and the phone rang, I answered and the voice on the other end said ‘I love you’ and hung up. I remember being so touched it gave me a tear. I had really never felt that kind of love before and here was a young woman whom I was falling in love with just chose the moment, hung up and probably smiled as much as I did the rest of that day.
So how do we define love today? I suppose it doesn’t have to be ritual as much as it needs a genuine appeal. I recently came across something about a friend that caused me some judgment, a place I don’t often like to go because it makes me feel shallow. The truth is though, I wanted to know and the only way I could is if I asked her directly, and then my greatest fear would be her rejection. So how do we define love? We don’t.
We simply allow love to happen in our lives, and then smiles and light in our eyes become real.
© Thom Amundsen 12/5/2020
I have had a few tough days. It is funny how quickly I can sometimes fall into what my mother would often call a low when her diabetes was out of balance. My lows aren’t the result of diabetes, not by any stretch. But I do have them, and I sometimes wish they didn’t exist at all. Of late, I’ve written about these moments directly rather than dancing around with a solemn poem, or a telling sonnet, or some way of making life seem more tenable with selective word choice.
Tonight I got a call from a friend. She said she’d read my stuff lately and she felt like she might want to check in on me. She’s pretty sharp, she knows patterns, she knows me very well. I was grateful on a number of accounts. One I was in a state of mind to take her call. We talked for some time, shared our stories of isolation with Covid, and the need to recognize that everyone is dealing with a similar energy, though as well, everyone handles it differently.
There are people I miss in my life. Dear friends I am no longer in touch with for a variety of reasons, none of which I can even explain to myself. That said, I have to understand that I need to look at these moments as an opportunity rather than a reason for tragedy. I worry about things far more than I would wish to admit.
Recently, my cousin’s husband was in a near death accident. He didn’t want to place himself in that position when he woke that morning. It just happened, and God let him live. I think about that sometimes, how we have a choice, and yet we don’t have a choice. I think the latter is far more healthy to live by rather than believing we are in control of our own destiny. I think as long as we continue to understand how certain truths work in our lives, life can become easier.
People we care about are getting sick and testing positive with Covid. We have questions about whether the increased testing is causing the alarming numbers to rise, but then at the same time, the illness that occurs with those afflicted is real and not overstated. So many circumstances in life today are filled with confusion, and there is only one thing we can do about it, act upon every measure we can to maintain our safety and that of all of those around us.
A friend showed me an act of kindness tonight that really did mean the world to me. My life is good, I cannot argue that – the last ten months have been filled with so much change and so much need for growth, I can’t help be grateful for the people I do know that without seeing directly still carry the same compassionate energy we all do when we are next to each other rather than spaced by social distancing. We can still be kind. We can still love no matter the distance in our hearts, in our world.
I think the essence of love is truly knowing there is a spiritual basis to how we live our lives. The more we hide behind the demons and the fear of own woe, the less chance we have to appreciate a soft snow that exists outside my window as I finish my words here.
I have Pachelbel playing in the background, and it is soothing to imagine where and when that song came into my life. I was just 20 years old and in a scene from ‘Ordinary People’ Timothy Hutton is humming it as he walks through a cemetery on his way home from school. He is exploring a new life, and has fallen in love. It was a poignant moment that is always with me, a sort of I can overcome this vulnerability if I just listen and think about that which I love.
I personally love when I feel there is a kind word for everyone in our lives.
© Thom Amundsen 11/2020
Go home and write
a page tonight
Let that page come out of you –
then it will be true -Langston Hughes
I ask them all to do it,
wide eyed or sleepy
take these words and let them become yours,
tell us (me) about you,
what are you like?
what makes you tick?
pour out your life into a few lines on a piece of paper,
and then it will be true,
well, it is supposed to be because
that’s what I
expect of you.
But is it me,
do I really know what I am asking,
do I get it,
asking her, him, them
to open up their lives
to my eyes on a piece of paper,
to share their soul and what they could believe,
much like the student
did living in Harlem,
going to an all white college
in the fifties,
and yet, that’s what he did,
his life over yours
over my own.
We all do have these lives we live,
no one really understands why,
just go forward,
have the better smile,
means more than the better ride,
well if it is sincere,
oh to be so genuine,
in a society like,
like this one,
we all still struggle to understand.
© Thom Amundsen 9/2020