Once

There was this young man,

he didn’t understand,

lived his life

by some societal demand.

Each day,

from morning he began

to try to find answers

inside his own head.

 

The throbbing

always until night’s end,

wanting resolve,

wishing solution,

medicating blues

begging forgiveness

for strange ideals

he would never

readily realize.

 

Watching people

walk the same streets

always vigilant,

a constant

recognition,

perhaps a look in our eyes

that would tell

anyone nearby

we all feel

the same

anxiety

who, wanting

to know.

 

We live life

always

wishing redemption

once.

Once, In Sunlight

We did

in quiet observation,

attend of course

the eyes

windows that speak

well beyond the notice

of a fashion,

of a trend,

of an expectation.

 

Instead, just a glance

where both pain and joy

can reside,

can wait for the next opportunity

to speak aloud

in the framework

of sweet silence.

 

We are that coincidence

when two people

encounter one another

on a summer’s day,

in the heat,

the passionate embrace

of a spectacular

sunrise.

 

We look for the eyes

accentuate the why


© Thom Amundsen 2019

Our Spectacular Being

I can feel you,

crossing a path,

planting my feet in

the morning mud,

last night’s rainfall,

making apparent

the day ahead would

not carry the same weight

in a sunny afternoon.

 

I think about aging sometimes,

more than some would like,

I imagine those days,

suggesting,

if I could …

all over again.

 

I wonder what might happen,

would there be other

faults

to replace the ones

having beckoned

my mind for

a half century.

 

Would awareness allow me

to feel right in my dreams,

or how long might it be

that I come to terms,

with this new life,

no longer carrying

the reminder of the old.

 

I read a book today

about ‘letting go’

a scary reality

when there are those matters

we wish to hang onto

all of our lonely lives.

 

Yet, the takeaway

today,

was not that we could never

look back,

instead we might

find a way,

always

love the reality

of our time.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

Days Beyond Surgery

Ok, so I will begin and acknowledge a heavy dose of narcotics did prevent me from writing for days. Tonight, I am sitting a week away from surgery and there has been a story I wanted to tell, just haven’t found the right words. This procedure I experienced has had a major impact on my life, more so than major heart surgery seven years ago.

When I first imagined this surgery I looked at it as rather simple, an in and out of the operating room and back to my world. I even planned to return to work two days later. Much to my chagrin my doctors and family both disagreed, and suggested I take the week off. As it turns out, they were all quite right, and tonight I’m sitting a week later preparing to return to my job after the weekend. What interests me the most though is how much I took rest seriously, rather than taking it for granted and soldiering forward, a preference of mine on previous occasions.

In my head, I figured this hospitalization would be routine. So what is it about this experience that has changed my thinking? I cannot think otherwise, beyond the notion I am aging, and now more than ever I need to actively take care of my body, and my state of mind.

This summer I experienced a great deal of lows, times where I felt exhausted, and seriously wondered how I might endure the next 30 years of my life. I certainly contemplated justifying my desire to not live out those years, imagining that people would be better off, after exhausting those I am closest to with all of my trivialities, my personal demons, my neediness. Those were dark moments in my life, I wouldn’t wish upon anyone, though I know we all have had our times. I chalked it to having too much time on my hands, and figured the school year would quickly bury all that vague ambivalence I walked around with every day. There are people I am close to that helped me work through some of those personal fears, and to them I will be forever grateful.

So, now I look at aging and my second major surgery in less than ten years. I am walking away from this one realizing there is a purpose to continuing to find care with my physical needs. This event in my life was not life-threatening, beyond perhaps complications down the road if I hadn’t gone through with it. So why am I so impacted? Only one reason.  I continue to have a purpose in my life.

I received excellent care when I was in the hospital. I’m always rather embarrassed to be in the hospital. I don’t want to be defined as somatic, or having needless medical care. When I really feel that I convince myself I’m taking someone’s bed that needs it more than I do. My diagnosing Doctor told me he disagreed on Friday morning. He said there wasn’t anything somatic about an enflamed gallbladder, and I did the right thing coming in. Suffice it to say walking around with pain for the last six weeks convinced me to be seen, and rather than finding a mass in my abdomen they found something tangible. They removed it, and now I go forward. But my perception is different.

The self-persecution seems much less relevant, and the need to live my life in as positive a manner as possible is now my goal as I move forward. Like I said earlier, my experience with the medical staff was incredible. They all were filled with compassion. In fact, I encountered three of my graduated students and I looked at them and their positive energy, and I truly believe they were brought into my life for a reason.

That reason at this writing is only to suggest we have a lot more ahead of us. All of us.

I Cry, Sometimes

Sharing a story,

recalling a significant

rite of passage

in my childhood,

Not one I chose

I might be so

reminded.

 

One day,

her glance

a twelve year old mind,

frightened by tragedy,

submission to God’s plan,

a confusion,

yet her eyes,

would tell me a story.

 

I then

and forever

touched

would struggle my means

would understand

only a criticism

I would believe

in my own heart,

only to find,

years upon years,

I would recognize

her heart to be pure

holding firm

a supportive glance

in a time of sadness.

 

Oh, today,

I did cry,

I felt a passion

to share, to allow

a soul

might know

my own choices

in a life

where all of my instincts

tested

at a very young age,

one OI would choose

to live again,

a parallel life perhaps

touched by

happiness.



© Thom Amundsen 2019

There Are These Days

When the right reach

seems just beyond

Instead of knowing

we’d rather

capture

ourselves

in a previous

state of mind.

 

We know the truth

is somewhere

we might call it fond

a memory,

climactic,

some experience

a tangible travail

when once we knew.

 

Seeking sunset splendor

the waiting game

a day of hours

where in the quiet

mindset might

falter upon old witness

the travesty of

human frailty.

 

So now we breathe

the dry air

of  some distant

distraction

creeped in upon our  own

reality,

to suggest

listen to your instincts.

 

Remember when

we could sit for hours

talk about this sixth sense

of knowing,

how long ago,

did that skill,

step into the twilight.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

In Fields of Memory

Cast eyes upon mellow, a sun streaked sky.

Choose to know a spectacular sunrise

knocking upon lives in a quiet wise

manner speaks to answering only why.

 

Once, while regarding, ponder truth in life

for a people know safety in number

a song, memory, sound to remember

follow the sky, in meaning beyond strife.

 

Walk inside the grains of sand a hot mess

would recognize, altered states of truth.

Lonely participants weakness forsooth

such might be a lifetime enduring stress.

 

A stroll in summer wheat fields may release

Silent nostalgic melody in peace.



© Thom Amundsen 2019