Are You Ok?

How do you ask

Why do you ask

Well, I’m alright

yeah, I am.

 

We cannot predict this stuff

nod your head

show affirmation

let the tears come

think about …

children nearby …

grown adults

they’re watching you,

loving you,

thanking you.

 

Everyone in the room is

grateful

within the tears,

they are laughing together

celebrating  the beauty of you,

you, today, embody love.

 

Today you shine

as much as any other day,

yet,

everyone with shielded eyes

is taking their moment

acknowledging your time

realizing how precious

life is today

while we bid adieu

some way away

we would ask, wish,

know.

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We Spoke of Clouds

Ours were lofty plans

no one ever understood

that really was the plan

~

soft sunsets in woods

we lay in one another’s arms

playing with our moods

~

looking in her eyes

seeing clouds in satin skies

long before any lies

~

nature left us bare

with little consequence – love

dance within my dare

~

as a child winter

would freeze – bone chilling icy

clouds would love deter

~

In a still moment

I can still hear her laughter

winter’s freeze lament

~

starry starry eyes

yours would I remember when

I glance toward skies

I Did

In that moment,

when truth began to tease

the reality of fantasy,

did the world continue with

lovely effort – the sort of delight

that gives breeze to sated doldrum.

~

Simple to see,

we might suggest one wintry evening,

we knew why the cold snap,

icy chills upon naked cheeks,

did indicate a living human being,

rather our own distracted self.

~

While the light of night will fade,

the oddity of the earlier day,

such energy, turns to decay,

when a resonant fire burns,

the sort needs identity,

rather instead than approval.

~

Whisper sweet the winds of autumn,

we will endure another shot of old.

Fan Duel & Draft Kings – Gambling Facade

I love the game of football. I used to play fantasy football many years ago. Back then, it was fun to put together a team with your friends and see who might outdo the next guy or girl in the league. Back then, we only threw a couple of dollars into a pot, and there was an innocent winner at the end of the season. Back then, fantasy football hadn’t exploded into an enormous industry. Back then, I used to be a gambler.

Fantasy football wasn’t an issue for me, my games were the casino and texas hold-em. Nearly destroyed my family, our finances and me. I was actively suicidal and there was no one I could talk to about the addiction. My wife knew about it, but she enabled me much like she would my alcoholism. How could she possibly confront a controlling jerk that was unwilling to admit his own denial of a compulsive addiction? I managed to kick my addiction to gambling, a couple years after I managed to get a handle on my alcoholism. I’ve been in recovery for over ten years now, and my life is so much easier than it was when I was in the business of lying through my teeth to make it to my next game or shot of scotch. I got lucky, and walked away with a lot of support from my family, friends, and recovery.

This NFL season, fantasy football began a new venture in their industry. They introduced Fan Duel & Draft Kings with an advertising campaign that would rival the likes of any casino showcasing that elderly couple who ‘unexpectedly’ won a Cadillac with a $2.00 bet. The promotion talks about that easy bet that could turn into millions of dollars for the winner. Already both companies have fallen under scrutiny for insider trading with their transactions. Already both companies are under investigations by government agencies across the country, trying to justify or decry their status as a skill based game versus an industry of luck.

If you have ever played a league in fantasy football, you certainly know one of the tenets of a successful day is putting the correct team on the field on any given Sunday. However, one can also clearly see that picking the right players is certainly ‘a gamble.’

I actually become physically sick when the ads come across my tv, not because I am necessarily afraid of buying into a game, but more importantly because of the immediacy of my reminder toward how quickly I was drawn into the insidious nature of gambling, coupled with the ease of wanting to take that first drink again.

I’m asking my sports fans out there to look carefully at what is literally being dangled before you – a game of chance, that moves beyond just having fun and camaraderie to a game that clearly puts a vulnerable person’s financial stability at risk if they are willing to take chances with their impulsivity.

Be careful out there football fans – there are no Kings in the game of Draft Kings, only losers that could ruin their’s and their family’s lives. There is no legitimate duel going on at Fan Duel, only a sham to steal our money. In the end, not only will you hate the trade itself, you’ll lose your perspective and love for the game of football. You’ll be hooked. Don’t bet on any happy endings here folks. Be smart, and just watch the game, not the industry sharks waiting to reel you into their web of deceit.

Gambling is a very real and treacherous disease. The thrill of the win is far less impactful than the misery of loss.

When Pain Is Real

No longer is a possibility an afterthought

No deeper can our hearts be further fraught

No more, no more,

We cannot circumvent our cursory passion.

~

When pain is real, oft consequence the lesser

Paralytic feature while truths shield the confessor

The breathing banter

Escapes with certainty, a frightening fashion.

~

While judgment acts svelte in universal cloak,

The mind, that human anxiety will love evoke

Takes over with a rigor

Unmatched by an innocence lost in decision.

~

What really happens when a heart is left broken,

Who might define the brevity of such misfortune.

When People Do Depart

Years ago,

with a stamp and a leap of faith,

I would begin my wait,

until one sunny afternoon, I would see the delivery,

always hoping you might be there,

to say hello,

~

So often as the gravel chimed my feet,

I would hear your voice again,

through the words on paper,

a parchment even in your selection

would offer solace,

in knowing there was a care,

for every aspect of your return.

~

i would then smile,

imagine the next round, our continued love affair,

miles away, yet immediately bound,

by the words we awaited, we lived for, we delighted

in realizing when they returned our thoughts,

the imagery in our mind,

remained strong, and evident, and real,

again.

~

Today, is it too easy to be swooned,

by the romantic nature of our words,

by our ability to recognize truth,

by our willingness to be vulnerable,

by the sheer virtue that sometimes our words …

are all we are,

remaining,

left behind,

in the immediacy.

Cautious Eloquence

Choose your words with care,

recognize a world lies before us all,

each one as wanton as the next

for that valuable record.

~

I wonder if it is so chosen

that we cross paths

reasons ignite our ideals,

suddenly words reign down,

~

eye contact becomes vague,

our world’s collide,

in the utterance of theory,

the notion of ‘my’ time.

~

who is it suggested one day,

that silence can be a strong

indicator of how powerful

a man –

~

In respect to only words

we are forsaken by impulse,

where some might be clear,

other’s need a vague reciprocity.

~

… and then there are those that simply don’t care.