a life avoided

sucked into the cesspool of my past I am confronted with
what might have been
what could have been
how close I came to drowning in the artificial lake of hate and stupidity
grinding out eternity in misery
spite my only companion
I drink it down with gin and tonic
and discount cigarettes
a sonic boom of rage lashes from my pores as I whore myself out for another vicodin to dim the pain and acrimony
the trials of my existence are etched into my face rumored once to be unlined with beauty and promise
now a map cruelly lined with decades of poor decisions and alcoholism
of children birthed and forgotten
sent to fend for themselves in a world hostile to their existence
while I play russian roulette with my sanity and wait for death to finally claim me and drag me to the grave
marked by a stone slab inscribed with here lies another broken by poverty
sacrificed to the patron saint of debauchery
no one mourns me or my promise snuffed out long before I understood the world had choices

Kintsukuroi

The circle of your arms is my home

It’s the comfort I seek on the days when I just can’t tolerate the world
Where I recharge and seek solace
Within that circle I can dream and rage
and be

Safe and warm; and
Brave and strong; and
Scared and vulnerable

But mostly I can just be me

Without fear or recrimination
Fights and petty arguments dissolve
There is no beginning or end
It is our eternity; our infinity

It exists only as long as we tend to it
At times I’ve heard it grinding down to dust; but
We repair it with the golden threads of laughter and love
Creating a more beautiful object because of the turmoil

Our difficulties become a trail of beauty woven through our lives strengthening the whole and remaking it in our image

Eternity

When we get to heaven do you think we’ll see
a grand and happy welcoming committee

Friends and family who’ve gone on before
all lined up behind a gilded door
anxiously waiting to see us at last
regardless of how much time has passed

Laughter rings out, joyous and light
happy reunions made merry and bright
someone steps forward and calls for the band
while another seeks to grasp our hand

Pulling us into the large noisy fray
we dance and sing for all eternity

I do hope these are things that are waiting for me

Regardless

I don’t know when I ceded myself to you so completely

Perhaps it was the first time you really looked into my eyes and smiled
Back then I wasn’t easy to love

Perhaps it was our first real fight when we both said awful hurtful things
Back then I wasn’t easy to love

Perhaps it was when I told you you were going to be a father
Back then I wasn’t easy to love

Perhaps it was when we bought our first house and started to put down roots
Back then I wasn’t easy to love

Perhaps it was when we welcomed our second child
Back then I wasn’t easy to love

Perhaps it was when we stood over the hospital beds of our children and realized our decisions really matter
Back then I wasn’t easy to love

Perhaps it was the look in your eyes when we had to the tell kids I was really sick and we didn’t know the future
Back then I wasn’t easy to love

Perhaps it was when my life and health were mine again
Back then I wasn’t easy to love

Perhaps it was when we decided to split our family so the kids could follow different paths
Back then I wasn’t easy to love

Perhaps it’s all of those things and none of them
I am still not easy to love but you do anyway

Perhaps that’s why, because no matter how hard I am or was to love you do

Regardless

Inner voices

And I can’t tell if it’s killing me or making me stronger

The longer I wonder the less able I am to participate

I become

paralyzed by indecision; Inaction my companion who whispers haughtily in my ear

You can’t
You won’t
You shan’t

And I can’t tell if it’s killing me or making me stronger

I become

Riddled with doubt that seeps in when confidence falters; it alters the trajectory of a life as it taunts you with your indecision

You can’t
You won’t
You shan’t

It whispers in the dark

No one cares about your voice

Your choice

Becomes

Yell louder or succumb to the silence that is trying

to drown you
define you
smother you

And I can’t tell if it’s killing me or making me stronger

Can you

Full disclosure: I read the statement ” And I can’t tell if it’s killing me or making me stronger” on Pinterest but it had no attribution. As soon as I read it this poem was born.

Deflate this

Anyone that knows me knows I’m not a sports fan and I don’t have a horse in the big game but I hate – with a capital HATE – to see anyone scapegoated and maligned. Now I’m pissed because what I hate more than sports is TALKING about sports. So here is my one and (hopefully) only post on the NFL “investigation”:

On honesty and integrity in sports:

There has never been any honesty and integrity in sports – it’s a business and a big business at that. If you long for the early days of sport when men played for the “love” of the game you need to wake up. Men played for money, to support themselves and their families, that it was a game was a bonus. No one works for free.

Rules are rules:

Yup. So how about we remember what Jesus had to say about casting the first stone. Do you speed? I do. All the time. Guess the Mass State Police should launch an investigation and confiscate my cell phone and computers.

Do you lie on your timesheet? Admit it you took a few extra minutes on your lunch and didn’t dock yourself. Perhaps HR should hire an independent consultant to review video evidence of you dawdling at the microwave.

This is a murder investigation for a speeding ticket.

Pattern of behavior:

Shut up. Please, it was ONE incident. Again, Pats being scapegoated for something every other team was doing as well.

The “Investigation”:

I’m using the quotes intentionally as this “investigation” is designed to redeem the NFL and their bungling of the Rice and Petersen cases.

Balls not being properly inflated are like speeding – technically against the law but the “investigation” into this is a farce of the highest order.

The fact that Tom Brady will pay for this with his reputation is, to me, the bigger crime.

Anyone that gets as outraged about this as about teams that targeted and paid money for injuries to opposing players, needs to learn some perspective and not a single person – living or dead – should acknowledge your existence because, please; you’re ridiculous.

Speak

Lightly he runs his hands through my hair his thumb caresses my check

I lean into his touch before turning my attention back to making our dinner as he takes out the dog or any other trivial thing that consumes our time together

The intimacy of lives enmeshed in living thrive on stealing tender moments and small silent kisses

Our lifetime contained in his hand on the small of my back

An eternity revealed as I trail my fingers along his shoulder as I pass him seated on a dining room chair

Interlaced hands as we drive to the store – me pushing him as he starts to snore

Conversations contained in a glance; we speak the language we created

That only we can understand

Quietude

I settle in for the long ride
Thoughts battling for my attention
Ignoring them I watch the scenery unfold
Enjoying the respite from the landscape of my mind

It’s freeing
This doing of nothing
Having nothing expected of me
I think I shall visit here more often and sit among the sycamores watching birds flit about as they chatter about important bird things like seeds and berries and flying south for the winter

Or wander freely down a beach my feet sinking softly into the sand only to have the ocean erase any mention of my visit with its fastidiousness but knowing that I watched a snail meander in that special place where water and land connect while wondering about nothing and everything all at once

Enjoying the peace that settles on me

Uncharted me

Sitting on the dock of my bay I swirl a foot in the dark murky water wondering what still lurks beneath

in

The places I can’t see
The places I don’t go
The faces I don’t show

The me I don’t want to know

Where the ugly parts reside

Where I store the things I don’t want to be: the bitterness and misery and jealousy

I am all of these things and none of them depending on the time of day

and

It took me a long time to like the me that I am

Don’t be eager to simplify your worth; your nuances are important; they tell the tale of your journey; they are the testaments of your struggles; they are the rivers that carved you

Cleaved you and then made you whole again

We are complex and beautiful beings capable of great and terrible things

Sometimes simultaneously

Home, alone

Solitude is a state of mind
a place no one can enter
without altering the fabric
of your aloneness

Aloof to the world and its troubles
I can wrap myself in my detachment
my joy at being alone complete
replete with recriminations
that I rejoin humanity

I silence my ghosts with a glance
and turn my back on their insistence
as I trade my solitude for fortitude
I confine my demons to the dungeons
dank and dangerous
lurking at the pit of my being

Unaccompanied I slide into
the pit where I sit and visit
with the insinuations of misuse
and neglect as I rarely venture to
these depths they crave the
fear and uncertainty that I
no longer provide on a daily
basis

I walk in the light of myself
and it feels like home