Wausau 1979

Try to imagine

where it was,

the moment

inside a memory,

what did the breeze feel like,

certainly there was one,

the glen inside a cove

surrounded in maples and pine,

and short shrifts of sumac

pine needles all across the forest wood

where we as children climbed

only the same tree,

familiar branches,

I sat there last year

he said to her,

as she wondered if or when he might

try to

kiss her

under the oak,

the childhood symbol of growing up,

at least,

understanding that

decades later,

the memory of which

might be less profound

than the immediacy of a heart racing




in the eyes of two thirteen year old children,

holding hands on a public street,

smiles and backpacks and

acne and eyes that searched only for

each other


that is what we had been told

that is what we had been told,

is the meaning of love,

in a quiet midwestern town,

where concrete

could easily confuse

the very natural ground

we laid upon years later

with a lover

and smitten eyes.

© Thom Amundsen 2019

A Nostalgic Christmas Fairy Tale

We met in a college football atmosphere,

eyes locked immediate intrigue,

the sort you might not remind anyone

for it is meant to be a

quiet recall,

a soft memory

when everyone else went home.


There’s no one left to remember,

except perhaps


the snowball fight,

the falling flakes

as big as night

Hennepin avenue forever,

we would run into each other’s arms

this sort of love

thing neither understood,

nor would either try to

recall another season.


We were playing soul-mates

while cars drove by,

people glanced and imagined

two people in love

playing in the snow,

a winter’s night,

a quiet recall,

I remember being with you,

so now the memory is left me blue.


I would say Happy Xmas around now

for we’ll never recall just when and how.

On Montmartre Stairs


Photo of The Day

( I do hope this fits with the figurative notion of ‘circles’)

A rainy afternoon,

we would cry together today,

svelte hands and wrought iron rails,

steps that concrete shavings felt right,

we did smile as with our turn we might catch eyes,

if not this turn, the next twirl I could find you there,

we dashed to the doorway, the rains were heavy,

in there our embrace becomes a mix of delicious love,

peek out, see the misty rain, the street below,

we own the moment, let’s dance to our center.


On an august evening the steps were trampled by

strangers in the night who would pass our memory,

we could always recall that kiss by the oak,

the quiet night, where a luminous magic

began our journey together – we did walk

until we could under the lampost

remember our night together,

long before the business of life forgot their way.

*photo: Allen Parseghian Photography

Morning Solace

When wake of day the sunlit rays cause a stir

we might know the beauty of another may.

When soul do cross path, we might register

a new sort of peace, a kindly takeaway


We do welcome the light of day with hope

a happiness may speak volumes so near

to the heart of that which creates our slope

where descend or rise we might commandeer.


while soft the fever of the mourning leaves

the mind to gently wander near to bask

in gentle storms, without wallow she grieves

that very night where he may leave his mask


Sweet the eyes of a waking day might release

Chance pheromone albeit, a lasting peace.

Choosing Sides

My first attempt at The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Crush.”


We would walk the neighborhood together,

hand in hand at times,

more importantly when eyes were nearby,

shoulder to shoulder, and smiles,

nervous energy proud in front of

friends, those that didn’t understand.


if we could make it across the lawn

without losing … our connection,

it meant to us a steady motion,

therefore we were,

the two of us, she and I, me and her,

in front of everyone else,

going steady, shoulder to shoulder.


When the day came and mom and dad,

having martinis with friends,

the breezeway, the knotty pine,

the local neighbors talking about the judge,

her dad had found a home,

and suddenly at four years old,

Celie and I were no longer going steady,

she was going away,

our childhood memory would forever stay.


I remember that day in high school,

I was the new guy, listening to the P.A.

reciting the sports of the day.

I had just transferred, a punk lost,

trying to find his way,

when the name came across,

Celie ____ , first place in last night’s meet.

I didn’t know anyone to look to

to ask,  who was the gymnast that won,

that one,

that young woman was my former steady,

and now we were 15 years old,

ten years later.


Funny how we can find each other immediately,

when the day before, we held nostalgic sides.

The Green Light

In a well known novel,

there’s a man that waits on the shoreline,

watching in a hopeful stance.

When anyone comes nearby,

he too will disappear into the night.

If he walks outside tonight,

strolls the neighborhood,

while curtains drawn lives become private,

what thoughts will fill his mind,

as the stars create music above.

Are we all waiting for the same thing,

just different degrees,

but essentially standing in wait,

Who decides the value of the green light?

Gatsby never really went forward,

in fact, he stepped back,

waiting in the shadows,

hoping there might be a solution,

without his own effort.

Instead she made the move,


just like Hollywood.

Piano Keys

That summer

I listened, you heard

the keys of his piano

swept my life to a dream,

perhaps I was only in a wish

a hope to find peace with you

to discover how we as two

might find our one.


That summer

I listened, you heard

voices that beckoned

a state of mind, or affair,

desires beyond the words,

the keys that played

in my head

turned rather to pain.


That summer

I listened, you heard

my resilience torn away.

I stumbled alone to wait

while your world did evolve,

perhaps mirroring my dissolve.

If only then I knew the keys,

perhaps … well just



Crossing Twilight

Walking slow, a barren street ahead

around the quiet of still voices

tucked away with a sort of purpose,

he just strolls invisible

to the world around him,

using the stars to guide him

somewhere he just doesn’t know.

listen to the night sky,

the sweep in the evening breeze,

always when he reaches the pavement,

glances across the way,

sort of peering over the runway,

can imagine that she might be

walking on a similar avenue

with the same notions,

questions, thoughts, in idle pose,

perhaps there in the lights of the

crossing twilight,

they might meet somewhere in the middle,

always falling into just adequate.

He turns his head a way,

a smile in the ashen light of night,

the corner helps him disappear.

Minutes go by, and she walks

across the edge of the bridge,

glancing about, feeling

like there might have been a hymn

where they both recognize

how twilight might guide

their worlds to find one another


The 24th Hour

She says I listen to corny songs,

I laugh knowing she’s so right

yet I can’t help enjoy nostalgia

leaves me helpless to lovely times


I might be sitting in the meadow

with your head in my lap

a beautiful sun streaming in

and me clueless to your beauty


we talk of beauty being surreal

a sort of imaginative perspective

and only then can we realize

a world is beautiful in the moment


I remember that day just holding

you, while your eyes smiled at me,

we could have sat through a setting

sun and a rising moon, every hour.

When We Were Younger

I remember we had conflict,

a peer group,

a close friend we didn’t know.

Confuse that with desires we were not sure of,

the outcome can be rather shallow.

We make allowances with artificial ideals,

I did that very night, when with you,

in all of your beauty and grace,

I wished only to have you, yet didn’t really have any idea

just whom I was given the opportunity to know.

Then the winter air became its bitter cold,

my value had diminished to a confused young

hormonal teenage boy.

That night I watched you look sad in the reality

of self-image I was callous to place upon your lovely self.

Oh to be the young man that could find chivalry

replay that moment with deep glance in your eyes,

if only to suggest how lovely I felt to be with you

for that brief time.

Later, as life continued to journey forward,

and ours was now a past reflection,

I would see you move beyond that world,

always with a desire to honor

your presence, beauty and elegance

you’d offered my own erred judgment.