Soft Afternoons

It’s that glimmer of hope
that gets caught in my throat
when I see your words
or hear your name.
Something that could have spilt
from your very lips
was caught on a breeze
that drifted past my ear
one soft afternoon.

Shadows playing on a baby’s face –
you probably could have painted
something more unique than
that shit, but I just thought
of you and didn’t care,
not even of the crying or noises
at the park,
one soft afternoon.

The grass blades on my hand,
made me think of every time
we experienced our senses
at a greater height
to have them
fall
.     fall
.             fall from a greater
height, than sheep have known,
even on a soft afternoon.

Clouds in the sky, in my room, in your eyes
in our throats, in your hair, in my nose;
coughing, seeing, laughing, loving,
holding, blowing, thinking, knowing,
and questioning all that we
thought was wrong,
on a soft afternoon.

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Sunrise

This is it, I thought.

This is what I drove like a madman to see.

Driving here, losing my mind about seeing this, the sunrise, because I actually managed to stay up all night in anticipation and with insomnia.

To arrive here and find I have no words.

No words to describe how the pink met the pure blue of the water.  No phrases to describe how it fades to a peach as the sun slowly creeps up the trellis of the sky.

Nothing to capture how the greenery is hung at the bend, obscuring the physical sun, so all I glimpse is the dusky hue in which it paints the morning.

What can I say which would allow you to hear the slaps and the glugs of the waves knocking against the rocks?

It’s not windy, nor are they angry.

Yet there is a fierceness to them which says,

I am alive, and I will be heard.

How many geese are there and how do they float along?

And how does the white goose feel amongst the Canadian?

There is no crashing in the waves thought they smack the rocky shore.

There is no urgency to the geese’s morning swim though they bob up and down upon the water.

Oh, to float there and feel at peace.

How can I express the hope one feels in driving into a sunrise.

There is no day I would trade that for driving into a sunset.

To feel that the dawn is here, and you have witnessed the very birth of a new day.

You have its entirety to fulfill your own.

What wondrous view could amuse the senses without blinding you as does the sunset with its close and its heavy shadows hovering over your latest regrets.

No.  This sun is new and fresh, though it’s shone a thousand times before.

How is it the trees manage to glow their own lights when the sun’s rays touch their leaves?

Shall I tell you that everything sparkles?

This clear crisp air is the breath that I’ve been searching for all the night.

My understanding

One of the greatest acceptances I made in my life was accepting change.

What a stupid thing, right?  You’d think you’d accept something natural, something that happens every day, without question?  But no.

Especially when you, yourself as a person, change.  What if you don’t really like that change and you want to change back.  I learnt ‘change back’ is impossible.

You can only change forward.

Not striving to move backwards is sometimes more challenging than you’d think. I mean…people usually want to move forward right?

Wrong. Not when it’s uncomfortable.  Not when it’s unknown. You want to stay in your comfort zone; there’s something terribly unsettling about moving away from that. Even if it means moving towards a positive change.

However, once you make that acceptance of change, once you realize it’s impossible to travel backwards in time, you start accepting the future and the goodness it brings.

Or the difficulties.

But if you remember you can only move forward, and there will always be movement then nothing will ever last forever: good or bad.

Accept it, embrace it, react to it, help form it, move with it.

Never give up.

Do you question?

Will it ever be different? Or will it stay the same?

Will the past come back to haunt us, or is it we became,

Something no one understood, let alone ourselves,

Something terrible and beautiful: dusty crystal on the shelves.

And what do you say to cloudy days, and lying on your back

Out underneath the dark grey sky until it’s only love light that you lack?

What do you say to cold hard truth, and never telling lies?

Even if it means regret, sometimes sorrow, and the hardest of goodbyes…

What do you say to living, and never giving up?

What do you say to drinking from the everlasting cup?

What do you see when you see me?

Am I happy, am I free?

Or do you see a sad, sad person,

Whose condition only worsens.

I want you to feel everything, everything good and bad.

But then I want to shield you, if anything makes you sad.

What do you say to pain, if it makes you grow?

What do you say to weather, the sun, the sleet, the snow?

What do you say to freezing, or drowning in the depths?

What do you say to walking, or counting all your steps?

Do you dwell in past or present? Is living your only chore?

Or do you relish every day, always asking for one more?

Don’t you ever stop asking questions, never stop talking to me.

Don’t ever look in the mirror, and think you weren’t meant to be.

Don’t overanalyse Shakespeare, because it’s been done before.

Always question teachers, always question war.

Always look for peace – inside you and out,

And in each authority figure find some kind of doubt.

See that propaganda?  Always see both sides.

Always look for fairness, always close divides.

Watch the sun rise once a month, to remind yourself things change.

Question what is normal, and be a little strange.

Do you wonder what people think of you?  Try and break routine.

Think of who you want to be, and everything in between.

Will we ever talk together, or sit and just be friends?

Or do love and hate still part us so there will never be an end?

If history repeats itself, are we doomed to the same fate?

If we realize we’re wrong, will we realize too late?

I sit and ask these questions, and hope you’re slightly the same,

But understand it’s difference, that keeps the world from being lame.

And though these differences divide us, we still have the same heart,

We’re pumping blood through body, and appreciate that art.

We rant and exclaim at unlike things, but somehow find that line

Right down the middle of our acquaintance and it is what defines

Us as two individuals, who’ve had a troubled past

And look towards the future to live and live it fast.

We’ve made mistakes in all our lives, ones which we do and don’t regret

Don’t let these haunt your dreams, or to joy become a threat.

The point is don’t hang on, to actions done and done.

Move past these idle thoughts; get rid of every one.

If you’re reading this today, and are alive and free

Appreciate each breath, enjoy the things you see.

It’s an ironic world in which the easiest way to learn is through experience,

Though experience is hard, and sometimes makes you wince

And leaves scars both visible and not

Leaving people silent when sometimes they ought

To speak their mind and question why we did those things

That we knew were stupid, like trying to fly sans wings.

I’ve learned, and I know you have too.

It’s made us cry; it’s made us blue,

But it’s bought colour to our lives, and some happy moments too.

And I have to say my life is like this all because of you.

I question things, and learn a lot and I’m listening always.

To the people’s words, to trees and birds, to things unheard,

To the inner voice, and the old Rolls Royce, and every choice

To people’s thoughts, and words on page, and every phrase –

Because everybody matters, and everything’s alive.

Appreciate the moments, sounds, and never drink and drive.

I want you to be happy, I want to share with you

That every moment you can learn while always being true.

Do you ever wonder, why the world is never quiet?

Do you ever wish, that my writing took a diet?

I can’t be silent, won’t stop talking, writing’s not a sin.

And with every question, does a story not begin?

I churn the butter, spin the wheel, and so concoct a tale,

In hopes to keep you pondering, in hopes to never fail.

In hopes of wrapping up this rant, I have just one last plea,

Never ignore your neighbour, and seek the opportunity

To do some good in every day, don’t push aside those in your way,

To ask, and hope, and love and pray, and see that path? It’s alright to stray,

In the end just try and smile,

It’s okay to be blue, but once in a while

You want to be happy and be okay,

And shine your light, like the sun’s rays.

Hope for a Friend

Do not let your sorrow define your being
understand that it is an intricate part
of life, and understanding, and even happiness

Do not let your worries get in the way of your goals
because your goals are concrete and achievable
and your worry cannot stand up to the winds of change

Do not become burdened by things you cannot change
but ask for serenity, and change the things you can
We have more power than we know.

Let the little things make you happy, and take five minutes
to listen to the song you love, to let something make you laugh
play with life and dwell on love you have, not love you’ve lost

In no way am I suggesting to be optimistic,
your expectations will never be met as they are in fantasy,
that world and this one do not coexist.

But let yourself enjoy the things that make you smile
in a world that makes you cry, in a world where bad things
happen every day to both good and horrible people

Understand the wrong in the world, and do not take part
let your knowledge be resistance, let your smile be the cure
and don’t let anyone tell you how to feel

How you feel is part of who you are, your unique being
and some are pessimistic, and some are sorrowful,
only the ignorant are always happy.  Don’t be like that.

Let hope rise with the morning sun, and open it into
your room when you pin back the curtains.  Let it soar
on wings of tears and wishes for change.  We need change.

Do not be discouraged by the depression you feel when
you’re blue for ‘no reason’ – there is always reason.
Embrace your grief, welcome it and the knowledge it represents.

You won’t be part of the baffled crowd.  Own your heart
control you desire, laugh in the rain, let life inspire.

A Poem of Melancholy

What has it been since I realized I loved you?  A year? Two? Does it matter?
My heart beats to a rhythm which matches only yours.

And every time I feel like I could love another, your face appears on theirs.  And I am yours.

Only, you are not mine.
You are so far from my grasp, the realization of our love is impossible.
It is simply my love.
My love reflecting off of an endless sea of dashed hopes, and dreams, and seagull shit.

And the lake?  The lake that day, in the sun, our feet in the cold water.
Our faces in the cold water.  My bathing suit falling off, and your hands around my neck.
But I was safe.
The elements against us, and we were safe.

But it was not enough.  Or I was too much.  But either way, the quantities could never add up.  Nothing was 100%

It was wrong.  Did it not feel wrong to you?  I wanted it, though it felt wrong to me too.

And with every Nickelback and Spill Canvas and Taking Back Sunday song, indeed with every song, I hear our life, our love, our words, our arguments play back to me.  I hear us conquering and failing battles.  I hear fights, and frowns, and good memories all jumbled together. Like the tornado that stole away Dorothy.

Only it stole away passion, love, acceptance.  It stole away happiness: mine.  And though it felt as right as wrong – to me – you could not be swayed.

Which is fine.  Because then…you would not be the one I fell in love with.

But it hurts.  Even now.  Can we speak?  Can I hear your voice?  Can you torment me still? I would live for that, die for that.  I miss your face, your laugh, your smile – even your judgment.
I miss being perverse and having secret desires.

Now there is only a desire overburdened with a profound and infinite sorrow.

Psychologists think they invented things like depression and split personality disorder.
But before that there was melancholy and broken hearts, and love.  And things that  created a craziness no pill could fix.  And writers, and artists, and composers discovered these first.
And pulled out the infinite sorrow and turned it into words, and pictures, and sound.

And this art had the ability to break hearts and transcend time.  As can love.

No science can build or break down that.  We were here first. Creating, thinking, journaling, painting.  We were breaking hearts, spilling words, bending minds, melting time, and most importantly having our own hearts broken, our own hopes dashed against the jagged rocks of rejections, death, despair.

I miss you.  Come back to me.  Don’t let me die alone.  I want to stop trusting, believing hoping.  But then how would I be able to experience this pain that I crave.  I crave in place of you?

the youth ARE alive

It’s not the excitement leading up the first song, the first note.
It’s not the pulsing, shoving, fighting aliveness of the crowd.
It’s not shouting until you’re hoarse or listening until you’re deaf.
It’s not standing right underneath the speakers nor is it being right near the stage.
It’s not witnessing the passion or feeling it or seeing the look on the artists’ faces.
It’s not watching people do what they love, watching them be heroes.
It’s not seeing them jump up and down with such energy.
It’s not the dancing until your feet bleed.

But it is all of this.

It is why people love to live, breathe concerts.
It is the hope they give that you can do what you love every day.
It is the courage they make you feel.
It’s in their lyrics.
It’s the joy, the escape you crave.
It’s the feeling that you also may make a difference in the world.
There is hope.
There is music.
There is you, them, and sound.
There is love.
And this, this is why we crave them.
This is why the
youth are alive.