Late In The Morning

It’s really late, it took me this long to decide to try to write my state of mind. We have a holiday fast approaching this week, and society is marooned by this awful Covid 19 virus. We have all made adjustments, trying to understand and convince ourselves that this is temporary. I wonder how my mom and dad might have felt when they both reached 82 and someone turned to them and said, this is only temporary, you have to keep telling yourself that. They both passed within their 82nd year, and temporary to them might have seemed a little ludicrous.

I’m 61 and sort of starting a new life, looking at something that affects us all that is thought to be temporary. Events and lives and needs are getting pushed ahead for months every few evaluative weeks, when once again we all realize we are not safe to go back to a world and lifestyle that we did take for granted. Gone is the typical in many lives as we adjust, as we make good on a promise that we will ride the crest of this wave for as long as it takes.

This is a time when we really do take a moment to recognize what it is we are grateful for. Across the nation throughout the world people have lost their loved ones and in America, there will be an empty chair in many homes, with everyone that remains trying to celebrate that life along with their own, appreciating each other and giving thanks for who we are, what we have become.

This one is different. We are guided by medical staff to stay isolated, to allow yourself to make decisions to keep you and your family safe. I’m a public school teacher, and I chose to stay home this year for a variety of reasons, number one being my health. I am quite healthy but in contrast I have had several surgeries within the last decade that might leave someone wondering about my safety around large numbers of students in my high school. I now sit behind my desk at home, dog laying by my side, and teach those children I would much rather see in the classroom.

Though that’s what I feel there is also the benefit some students are expressing over their ability to focus more at home than in the classroom. There is remarkable truth to that when we think about the amount of distraction young adults could potentially and do experience in a classroom filled to the brim with young adults, teenagers readying themselves to soon step into the world of adulthood.

Tonight these are just my thoughts as I listen to Jackson Browne and his hopeful lyrics and crooning voice in the background. So, maybe I do try to wax poetry in the twilight of my night, but it is what I feel and believe right now. I believe we are all in this together, and that philosophy will never get old even after we get this virus under control.

Our lives all depend upon being able to celebrate life together as one.


© Thom Amundsen 11/2020

Look Closely If You Can

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At a quick glance we might call sweet shelter

the homes hold hope and prayer and a safety

for everyone inside, security

the temps suggest a different manner.

 

Across the city another enclave

of soul seeker human condition airs

indifference as a blizzard ensnares

their grip on surviving a city cave.

 

Two worlds drawn as one to both be witness

a record breaking month of snow fallen

on a city left homeless and sullen

while neighborhoods are defined by address.

 

Look closely at the eyes quiet release

of pain of sorrow of some hope for peace.

As Time Passes

There is the recall,

an eccentric reality,

the laughter in smiles,

that lovely sort of memory.

There is the time,

when a quick glance

meant a new friendship,

unknown minutes earlier,

the human condition

acceptance.

There is the possibility,

when all of our quiet contemplation

in a sudden turn of events,

came true,

further beyond the mind,

actuality.

There is the now,

when everything matters,

only in the immediate,

while all around our lives

we watch simple features

quiet inroads,

satisfaction.

There is the …

blistering cold,

the atmosphere shadows peace,

when all desire beyond passion,

becomes a working legend,

that place we spoke of,

only yesterday,

when in such final scrutiny,

we gave up.

There is tomorrow,

when everything begins again,

including incredible sunrise,

love.

This Morning

I woke up to find the door to my home is open,

outside the temperature was below zero,

I walked through my family room and stepped off the carpet

to stand on my freshly polished wood floor,

to shut the door.

I suggested to a family member,

‘Would you please, shut the ‘front’ door?’

~

I didn’t think about the man miles away

that slept under the bridge using cardboard

to shelter his tattered body

from the world’s ill effects.

~

I felt the cool breeze move through my exposed walls,

and with frustration stood up to ignite

my gas fireplace, wondering where the remote

had disappeared to, probably under the couch,

sat down again and watched the flame

lick the glass wall.

~

I didn’t look for the remote,

instead I ignored the notion

that there is someone nearby

without hat and gloves …

~

Our new puppy just hopped up on the couch and gouged me

with an innocent paw,

bouncing across my laptop

causing me to have to backspace a few

mistyped letters on the keyboard.

I gently pushed her aside and drew my fingertips

along her soft fur, and she licked my monitor.

‘Damn dog,’ I thought to myself as I brushed her

off the couch and watched her toddle away.

~

I remembered last night

I could hear a couple of coyotes

baying at the new moon,

in the arctic blast of an hour.

~

I imagined how selfish I had become on today this special day,

when we celebrate our lives and family

with good food and football on

our LCD and Plasma TVs.

I watched our puppy move through the room

never thinking about being fed,

just checking her bowl

with a patient wag of her tale.

~

I wondered about just how far my jaded healthy mind had gone to even begin to believe

my world was as difficult only because I wasn’t getting what I entitled myself to believe.

The News

The rains came today
Amidst news of government shutdowns.
In a mid-town café
All the faces held practiced frowns,
Voices lingered,
High pitched with banters pledged
“Well I figured,”
Shouted a nearby man on the edge.

When the skies lit up
There wasn’t any discussion of reprieve.
I could reach for my cup
Of java while around the room a sieve,
A genuine distaste
Reactive politics by those thought elite.
Withheld ideals erased
While outside quiet rains began to isolate

See, there is beauty
When in and around me economics falter
Somehow I feel pity
A kind soul is caught in rains without shelter
In the morning
A burst of sunlight will endure the horizon
And while waking
Our society is left to once again find reason

Yet in the midst of cloudy judgment and scattered reigns
Might our heart and soul appreciate just the simple rains