An Alternate Reality

A thoughtful moment…

In cosmic terms

the sun is always shining.

It’s just me that periodically faces away.

To Carry On

If “each man’s death diminishes me”
I must be a spec.

I have been “witness” to too many deaths
this past year.

Is it my aging,
or the inevitable progression of time?

There have been renewals as well,
Great grandbabies born,

Childrens’ children with the energy and ability
to struggle onward where mine have failed.

But, this circle of life seems more and more
like a spiral of death…

A peaceful river with swirling rapids
suddenly tumbling into a waterfall.

I have never been here before
and it scares me.

I have no guide, having never seen
fear in my parents or grandparents.

Maybe they hid it well, or else
I never understood,

But, here I am, frantically paddling in the river,
grasping for the grace and dignity

that will carry me on.

When Did This Happen

I look at this body,
the stiffness,
the aches and pains,
and I wonder
when did this happen?

I look at this brain,
the forgotten words,
the dark and dreary thoughts,
and I wonder
when did this happen?

I am not who I used to be.
I am not who I will eventually be.

I long to be a new person
to somehow fit me into this changed body
and appreciate the texture of this evolving mind
and I wonder
when will this happen?

Soft snow falls from the sky
It gathers on branches and cold roof tops
It dusts birds and unprotected evergreens
It brings peace.

We love to see and smell their fullness,
and we pluck them off carelessly,
tossing them aside when they die.

But how do they feel?

Do buds strain to come forth?

Do they struggle to come to life—
to bloom
to wither
to die
to make room for new blooms

Do they weep
for joy
for pain
for beauty
for loss

Be kind to the flowers,
for their life is ours.


I weep for the future

I weep for all that might have been

and will never be again.

I weep for lost hope

I weep for lost trust

I fear I will never be done

with weeping.

I get so bored sitting here,
doing nothing except waiting.

Waiting for something to do,
Waiting for time to eat,
Waiting…to die?

I feel stuck.
I feel void and numb.

I am tired of the news.
I am tired of Netflix stories.
I am tired of sameness.

Maybe I am just tired.

I know there is joy in little things,
but then I say, “what’s the use of anything”.
I know that is depression talking,
but in the end, everything ends.

There has to be a purpose in the journey,
or a reason, or a lesson, or an experience, a wonder.
I just can’t seem to find or appreciate one right now.

I need to slow down, to stop worrying.
Maybe I just need to sit here

and wait..

Gone Too Soon

(for Jackie, on the loss of her Dad)

I still needed to hear your laugh.
I still needed to feel your strong arms.
I still needed to ask your advice.

But you were gone too soon.

I still needed to hear your stories.
I still needed to feel your acceptance.
I still needed to ask for your help.

But you were gone too soon.

I still needed to call you my home.
I still needed to cry on your shoulder.
I still needed to give you my love.

But, God must have needed you more, so,

I need to remember your laugh.
I need to remember your stories.
I need to remember your love.

And then none of those things
will ever be gone too soon.

Reposted from 1991, but somehow still very timely today.

Where are they now, those carefree times
of chasing bugs and butterflies —
of making forts and angels in the snow.
Years have left us all, somehow,
wondering just where are they now,
those playful days we used to know,
so far away and long ago.

Our innocence has been replaced
by harsh realities we’ve faced.
With scientific facts, the magic wanes.
Trust, the nature of our youth,
is jaded by the light of truth.
Upon our hearts are left the stains
of doubt and fear; ill gotten gains.

While life continues on its way
it’s disillusion’s price we pay.
We lose our faith and then come to conclude
what we’ve called Hope is just a game,
until, for real, it’s seen again,
and then we stare in shamed surprise —
it lingers still, in children’s eyes.

Which way do you go?

Which way do you go when there is no clear path?
Follow the eagle?
Or the turtle?