First Moments

When doubt begins to wonder

and all the souls that gather around

suddenly want to splinter off,

an edgy sort of raw scrape upon our

own fragile sanity.

~

We might think we know,

protest the moment,

rather respond with a reaction

that only suggests we are

as fucked up as we believe ourselves.

~

What happens when we really cannot

our bodies, our selves

an old adage we once called a title

seems now so profound only wants

to speak to the here and now.

~

I remember one time,

I could clearly see the grain of a wall,

having looked so long

a blank slate of never ending worry

just across the room, just there.

~

Have we ever wondered why

each of us operates by our own set of rules,

despite knowing otherwise

fall on my sword

before I ever imagine something wise.

~

Seems a song playing on the radio

helped me know who I was,

know what pain felt like,

when a strung out heroine addict

was found dead in a seedy restroom.

~

Somebody cared about that moment,

they came and rescued his soul,

there was some reason to know why

yet the questions would always

far outweigh that sad reality.

~

Those moments when we suddenly

find our way,

when through the quiet of a morose

state of mind,

we ride the crest of that initial pain.

~

Those first moments we’d rather never explain.


© Thom Amundsen 2/2021

When A Feeling

If sometimes I cannot complete a sentence

it doesn’t mean I won’t understand

if you are hurting

if your state of mind isn’t feeling wise,

instead driven down by whatever the wave

of a moment,

a passing fancy,

a time when all of our lives

become wrapped into that one moment,

all others depart and we are left in a sort of dream

trying desperately to define whatever it means.


© Thom Amundsen 2/2021

Quiet Roads

The crunch of gravel

kicking up dust

from a distance looks like

Urgency

some need to get away

keeps driving me further.

Wanting to know

yet feeling the distance,

her just out of reach

Philosophy.

Just one more chance

the embodiment

of truth

may lay only ahead

never to be realized

yet likely it is

already known.


©️ Thom Amundsen 1/2021

Years Ago

We stood upon each other’s doorstep

Didn’t know why

Felt we should

The why, a how come, any reason

We searched each other’s to find

That answer why.

~

Now is today

Our august hours

Yet still doorsteps exist

We choose to wonder

Just shy of asking why

I want to step over

And you your eyes

Speak to my heart, my soul

I would rather cry out

So you might

Know

Exactly why

Is love.

We May a Soft Dance

Oh as the melody would

our lives in the balance

so envious

could I be, she, him, her as well,

all of us together

internally a maze of

authenticity

for the stars align,

while magic is a mystery

imagine

this is our legacy

to be two people, three,

maybe more who all believe

the other,

someone outside ourselves

could hold truth

in such is a natural

rhythm

might discover

love.


© Thom Amundsen 1/2021

Certain Days of the Year

I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and thirty two years will have gone by in a flash. I’ll try to remember different events that occurred on this day and they will be one distant fog. Oh, there will be the dinners, maybe a movie, occasionally a live show, maybe a concert wrapped around the date of the year. Tomorrow I will celebrate alone, and though I am told we shouldn’t feel bad about feeling bad, it is rather difficult not to feel rather sad.

Someone if I gave them a chance would say to me with discern ‘it’s just another day, get over it.’ That’s all a person is really left with when nothing else is allowed to interfere with the reality of this manner of grief. Always a week before Christmas, always time to set up some kind of a holiday treat. One year it was Handel’s Messiah at Orchestra Hall, another it was the New Standards at the State Theater – lots of visits to the Guthrie, Broadway on Tour, U2 on the floor, live music – Davina and the Vagabonds. One year a surprise birthday party and we woke to a blizzard reducing our numbers from around a few dozen to less than ten. Every time was meant though, to be a celebration, as will tomorrow be as well. We are meant to celebrate our lives and not criticize a person’s happiness.

This year my friend has experienced loss, the sort of which none of us wish to go through, hard decisions, the loss of a social life and finally the departure of her mentor, the woman that taught her everything there is to know about being a woman in the society she was raised. There will be angels circling her aura throughout the day to offer her peace of mind and good will. I pray for the same as much as I wonder in my own mind how all of this time has gone by and suddenly here we are, sending out incorrect addresses to friends and walking past single family homes knowing those days are behind us. Now we simply go forward, just another day, a low temperature winter morning without any snow. Just another day.

I’m listening to my favorite Dire Straits album right now and my favorite song is about to play. ‘Why Worry Now’ is a song that makes me want to cry. It gives me the opportunity to do so, therefore I will take advantage of the moment and have a good cry. There was a time when the artistry of the eccentric was an attractive attribute to carry around in my life and somehow I just forgot to allow that part of me might manifest itself in a positive manner. Instead there are more days than not that I allow myself to be a shell of my true inner being, and I just cannot seem to find a way to change the course of the river that flows right through me.

I was married to the same woman for a very long time. Thirty years is half of my life, half of our lives, and suddenly tonight all it is is a reflection of who we once were culminating in who we are now today. I was just walking outside with my dog and I had an epiphany that if one day I was penniless I would still care about a woman I knew for three decades of my life, a woman whose day I would celebrate tomorrow every year for the last thirty years, for the remainder of my own years. That is a tradition, not an expectation.

That’s what makes birthdays special – really – another day in our lives. Happy birthday ‘twelve seventeeners.’


© Thom Amundsen 12/2020

This Peace in Our Lives

We do share an anxiety

Achy legs

Grab a thermometer

Now a strange earache out of

Nowhere really normal anywhere.

We live in high risk

Hyperventilating our every move.

And then we try to calm

Try to recall the common cold …

Well not as much tonight as I have let

This certain earache

Rule my state of mind.

Though a sunny day

Awaits tired eyes.


©️ Thom Amundsen 12/2020

Friends Will Reach

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