A True Story

He had a crush,
He did his best,
He painted paintings,
Wrote her verse,
But he was much
Too weird for her,
Who might have liked him
Otherwise.

The years went by
Until he saw
Her once again
Just yesterday,
He didn’t recognize
Her now,
That part of life
Had gone away

But in a place
She always is,
A painting he gave her
She’ll see,
And so she still
Remembers him.
Now isn’t that
An irony?


(My wife told me this story yesterday. – Owen)

Pretty Much Impossible

It’s pretty much impossible not to love her.


Ok, sure, she comes behind me and opens blinds I’ve been closing. “There’s still light,” she says.

“That’s starlight.”

“Well. Even so.”

“Dear, that’s — kinda crazy.”

“I am a creature of the light.”

“Ok, then, just… close ‘em before you come to bed.”

“How ‘bout I close YOU before I come to bed.”

“I’m not… I don’t even know what that means…”


“Hey, I’m wearing your glasses. Do I look like you?”

“I don’t know. I can’t see.”

“You know, I read on Thought Catalog that men stop really seeing their wives after six years.”

“Only when their wives steal their glasses. And I didn’t know you read Thought Catalog.”

“Well, I am female. Here, get a picture of me, I look exactly like you…”


“Where in Greece exactly is Pelloponesia?”

“Southwestern, I believe.”

“So, from what I gather, Sparta murdered their infants, and Athens molested their male children. But at least those boys could be philosophical about it.”


What are you watching?”

“It’s a Japanese remake of ‘Gone With The Wind’, I believe.”

“A Japanese remake … wait, what?”

“I mean, I think. I don’t actually have the subtitles on, so I’m not sure.”

“How long have you been watching?”

“Oh, about two hours. There’s a girl who bought a dress. And she keeps dreaming about her grandfather, who used to bring her flowers when she was little. And something about a chess board, and some koi.”

“How is that in any way like ‘Gone With The Wind’?”

“Because I slept through half of that, too.”


It’s pretty much impossible not to love her.

So I do.

For Love of Dancing

For those of you keeping track at home (and if you are not at home, why aren’t you) this is day 20 of my 30 day non-poetry writing challenge. – Owen


For as long as she could, she danced: wherever, whenever. Every day.

She didn’t dance because she was the best at it. She didn’t dance for the attention. She danced for love of dancing, for the pure joy of it.

Long before I met, and fell in love with, and married her, she had this other love. Through the ups and downs of childhood, and adolescence, and a turbulent young adulthood, and a failed first marriage, she had this.

Music made her want to dance. Dance made her free. For real joy always comes both from the outside in, and from the inside out.

She was very good at it, and it did garner her a lot of attention. In addition, she got to the point where she could be paid to do it, and to teach it, so she did both.

While she was still a teen, she had been told she had structural deficiencies in her knees – parts weren’t there that should be – and that she probably ought to give up her more athletic pursuits, as one or the other of her knees could give out at any point.

But given the cause, she reasoned, that was ultimately going to happen anyway. So she danced: wherever, whenever.

When I showed up in her life, she had three daughters, and all of them danced as well. The eldest was slim, graceful, and her body expressed itself naturally in dance: but she loved dancing for the attention more than the feeling, and so ultimately fell away. The middle girl loved the creative aspect of dancing, and dreamed of maybe being a choreographer; but other disciplines offered her the same chance for creativity, and so she too fell away.  The youngest danced only because she wanted her mother to be proud of her, so she fell away the soonest.

We have a niece, though, who has continued to dance and to teach dance for love of dancing. Even with a young family, and a busy career: because not to do so is unthinkable for her.

My wife’s knees eventually got to the point where the kind of dancing she loved was not possible anymore. But we can, and do, dance some at wedding receptions; I also often catch her dancing with one or more of our grandchildren in the living room, as the familiar signs joy on her face have me falling in love with her all over again.

“Dancing”, for you, may be some other thing. It may be riding a bicycle, or running, or playing basketball; it may be writing, or going to the movies, or participating in poetry readings; it may be music, or painting, or drawing, or cooking, or surfing, or blogging — but, whatever it is, cherish your joy. Nourish it. Love it while you have it.

For the lessons of love and joy are the same: they’re born, they grow, they will change, and they will ultimately pass away. Part of life is about wringing every bit out of these experiences while we can, then letting them go when we must.

So dance for as long as you can: whenever, wherever.

Every day.

Elizabeth

At just eighteen, her shoulders start to droop:
The drudgery of sub shop artistry’s
Been rubbing off some of her natural shine,
But hasn’t punctured all her buoyancy.

I look, and wonder, at her haunted eyes,
The father in me, I guess, coming out
In wanting to be kind to her, some way:
Some type of gentle affirmation. Sure
As night turns into day, time into time,
We gain connections we might make, or not,
And feelings, deep as any we might find,
O’er people barely known, and who don’t know
We’ve ever given them ten seconds thought.
Or even who may not connect with us,
And to whom we may be as furniture:
Mere objects they pass by, no more, no less.

Elizabeth’s her name (she wears a tag)
I cannot dawdle, for the line is long,
And sometimes all that we can really do
For anyone is not to make it worse.

I take my sandwich, pay my bill and go,
I may see her again, or maybe not.

But if good feelings could build paradise,
She would be on the beach, and not back here.
And I would not be with her, but I’d be
The owner of more kindness agency.


Photo credit : ID 35550926 © Brett Critchley | Dreamstime.com  under an editorial license

… to be home.

I’m ready to be home.
The tree-lined streets I know
So very well
Will lead me to my door,
Where I can enter without
Knock or bell

I’m ready to be home:
It’s where my love will be
Some hours hence —
And I can hear her voice
And see her face, and end this long
Suspense

For I’ve been where I needed to,
I’ve seen and done my part,
But surely I’ve been missing her,
The best part of my heart —

Sometimes we have to wander,
Have to roam —
But Lord, it will be good
To just be

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