Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Love always, Jim

It is a long-standing tradition for my Mum, Grandma, and Aunt, to write one another poems for their wedding anniversaries. Without a doubt, they have touched on every topic you could imagine, from being the ultimate animal-lover, to aging and deafness, to the sillyness and joy in raising children and of course the always popular and fun toilet or dirty humour.

They’ve written some truly great poems over the years, but this one is particularly touching. My Mum just wrote this one for my grandparents would-be 55th wedding anniversary, and I asked her if I could share it here on my blog. Here it is:

Dear Betty,

Pity we fell short of 55 years,
Sorry my death brought forth your tears.
Remember the good times and the bad,
It gives balance to the years we had.

Look out for the kids like we always did,
No matter how old; to us they’re still kids.
Watch the grandkids mature and find their way,
You’ve lots of love and wisdom to send and say.

I’ve always loved you; I know you knew,
Even when disease kept me from telling you.
One day, God willing, we’ll be together, a pair.
Til then, my love, keep strong, live well and don’t despair.

Love always,

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The Man I Used to Know

Running, laughing, screaming, falling, crying.
Picked up, dusted off, spoken to, hugged.
As a child I admired and feared you.
You stood tall, strong, and seemed to control the way the world turned.
A smile for when you were happy to see me / an even bigger smile when I was happy to see you / a mischievious grin when pulling a prank / a silly grin when telling a joke / a giant’s smile accompanied by a booming laugh, this is what I remember about the man I used to know.

Cement walls and crowded halls.
It’s been too long.
Where are your puzzles, your fish, your reading glasses, your jokes?
“You staying out of trouble?”
“Is it free?”
“It’s those damn ducks, they’re back again!”
These are the things I miss about the man I used to know.

Lying there, I see only a shadow of what you once were.
Eyes blank and glossy.
A smile, once permanently etched on your face, now creeps up so infrequently and briefly I question whether it was there at all.
The man I used to know is gone.
I see fleeting glimpses of him.
I hope he is reminded of this man when he looks at the pictures.
Because this man was brilliant, witty, caring, considerate, strong, and warm.
As a child I admired and feared you.
As an adult I admire and fear for you.
The man I used to know.
My grandfather.

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on religion

I am sitting, mindlessly feeling his words enter one ear and exit the other. I hear nothing. I have lost more time listening to him — to many men like him — than I care to count. Wasted time I won’t ever get back.

He preaches about good versus evil. Right versus wrong. God versus everyone else. All I hear is buzzing with undertones of conformity and fear. I have no intention of conforming, and what I fear does not concern this man nor his word.

I must admit I do pick up a line or two when my fantasies fail me, or when a phrase grips me. Times like these are when I need be most careful.

Times like these I get angered easily and my fantasies become revolutionary, rebellious, vengeful and slighly psychotic. I can’t help it — it burns my insides to cooperate, to sit silently. Silence assumes agreement and compliance. Yet I sit here, listening to his words, silent and angry. That’s it. I’ve had enough.

*note: this was written several years back, when I was falling out of the religion I was raised with.

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