A Dating Memory

I wanted to seduce her with my wit;
She started laughing at my clumsiness.
I thought, “I’ll let my style do the bit” –
Then knocked over the wine, and made a mess

She came towards me with a yellow towel,
And I no more my laughter could abate:
Then her eyes shone when I laughed at myself
And I had done enough
For a first
Date


 

(“A Dating Memory” – 7-5-2015)

Shoals

A very vivid memory.

I remember one November
(I was in my early twenties, and
My father was still alive)
I met my parents out on the beach
At a Holiday Inn
For Thanksgiving Dinner

It was very cold:
Twelve degrees Fahrenheit
In Florida, standing next to
The Gulf of Mexico

12 degrees, sans “windchill”, mind you
Although the wind was blowing occasionally

I arrived about an hour early;
Enjoying having miles of coastline
Completely to myself,
As no one in their right mind
Would be out on the beach on
A day that cold

I had left my “right mind” at home

And I remember
Looking out at the shoals,
Or “The Sandbar” as we called it

Wondering how, on a day so freezing,
Anything could look so tropical

But also struggling to understand
Why I had no girlfriend

Why “everyone” seemed to be spending
Thanksgiving Day with families they had forged
As well as ones they had been born into –
Except me

But I loved that day
I loved how cold I felt
(It was painfully cold)

And I guess we begin
To truly understand
What it is to be thankful

When we’re even grateful

For the pain

Institutional Dreams

I used to dream I’d gone back to
The mental institution
I lived in for six months when I
Was in my darkest days

The halls, I still remember, but
The rooms fade into memory;
As I would shuffle up and down
Its limited pathways

Me being me, I spent my time
Falling in love with nurses,
And counselors and social workers
Who all tried their best

To help me get someplace where I
Would want to go on living;
Instead of where I’d been, which was
The middle of depressed

I’m grateful to those people, though
I doubt they much remember
Some patient who would play piano
Hours of the day

And yet, I’ve never thought
That there’s no way I could go back there:
I am the same guy underneath
Constructed the same way

And so I don’t look back within
Some privileged position:
The many things that make us fragile –
These are always here

But I view with compassion
All the many who are struggling
To push away the emptiness
They can’t make disappear

And ask, if you are one of those,
Remember, just remember,
That every loving thing is born
Within
A world
Of fear

barefoot moss

at twelve years old,
the yearning’s strong
for freedom’s close
equivalent

like carefree mornings,
barefoot moss,
and rushes
unambivalent

on bicycles
with arms held wide,
and lakeside morns
exploring

the slipping feel
of barefoot moss,
a young heart’s full

outpouring

Chance

A lot can happen in a moment

By chance, he saw her on the street
And flashes of a different time
When she was all, and everything,
Were seared upon his mind

In pink and pearls upon their bed,
Her blonde hair strewn around her head –
Then saw the street that he was on:
For she, just like their chance,
Was gone