The right to bear arms


So many teardrops

So many years of senseless killings

The earth is soaked in blood

“Prayers and thoughts are with you”

Is said again and again

At school, at work, at concerts too

Bullets are buzzing like a swarm of flies

Insanity seems to rule the day

For the right to bear arms

Carries more weight than dead bodies piling up

Your child, sister, brother, parent or friend

Has paid a price most often charged to soldiers

But the war is now on city streets

In classrooms, churches, and everywhere

Who will be the next to die?

Where will the next shooter stand?

The grief, though real, is not enough to reach a cold, hard heart

And sorrows reach across this land in cities, towns, and counties

Where will it lead? When will it stop?

In the arms of first responders

In the land of the “free”

And the home of the brave

The Empty Bed


In the empty bed

Sound asleep I stretch out my hand

Seeking you, but you are not there

Panicked, I awaken to check on you

Aw, false alarm, you are merely answering nature’s call

I think of the day to come when you are no longer there

So many close calls, too many times, leave me anxious

Worry over that, which I cannot control, is a wasted effort, I know

But it is a hard road to travel, this path we are on

I try not to give it too much thought or too much energy

But in the dead of night, in an empty bed, it is hard not to dwell

On a life without you and what it may mean

Life has not been what we envisioned, nor what we dreamed

Yet, still and all, I would not change a thing

We’ve had many adventures, you and I

And in the end, we cannot know

Who will be the first to go

So once again I banish maudlin thoughts

And fight off macabre things

We are here now, you and I

And that means everything

Ruminating on Autumn


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Autumn is just about upon us. The days are growing shorter. As summer draws to a close I feel sad. Sad that I did not make the most of the warm season. Sad, I did not languish longer under the blue skies and hot sun. Isn’t that just life – to take the days for granted as though they are infinite. But like summer itself, life is short. We tend to take it for granted until something terrible happens. Perhaps that is the silver lining and the lesson in tragedies – they make us aware of the fragility of life.

I have been thinking a lot about my brother. He was killed when an impaired driver crashed into his vehicle in November of 2016. Sudden death is always horrible. It rocks your world and turns everything upside down. I know I am far from alone in experiences such as this. What is it about seasonal change that brings out such maudlin thoughts? And have you ever noticed that there are far more deaths in fall and winter than the rest of the year? Strange.

But I don’t want to be a downer. Chris was a very funny guy. I miss him. However, I will cease to ruminate on the sadness his death brought and focus instead on his many gifts. He was also very thoughtful and generous with a sunny nature. I wish there were more people like him.

Yet, we are all unique with precious gifts of self to offer. Whether we are artistic, creative, or just plain kind – we each have a gift to bring. My sister says she has no talent. But she’s wrong. She has a wonderful gift for helping people. She works in the psychiatric wing of a hospital in a fairly large city. She is well suited to her work as she is endlessly patient and forgiving, as well as wise and compassionate.

Whatever work you may do. Wherever you may live. I hope you recognize your talents, and that others do as well. I hope you know you matter and your life does make a difference.  I hope you rock this world with loving kindness and that you know kindness! Until next time – Cheers!

Oh, Green earth and oceans blue


Smoke filled skies resized

Sun peeking through the haze

Smoke filled air burns my eyes

Earth is aflame in many quarters

Forest, farmland, waters too are under attack

Lightening strikes and births a new inferno

My throat is dry; My spirit weak

What will become of life as we know it

When all is ash, what good our technology then?

While powers that be deny global warming

Tsunamis unleash terrible punishment

Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes too

Pummel the lands of the earth

When all is said and done, what good the profits then?

Money is but an instrument to provide for needs

Needs, not wants should be the measure

But love of money births greed and folly

Oh green earth and oceans blue

I stand and cry these tears for you

On the road to redemption


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On the road to redemption

You may experience pain like –

Like falling on an upturned glass bottle that is broken and jagged,

That gashes deep into your skin and bone

Tearing tendons and ripping away sinew

 

On the road to redemption

You may be rejected, vilified, and tormented

And that will hurt you, rob you of much-needed rest

As your thoughts tumble one after another

Like a cascade of frothing water

And you may feel unable to stop the leak

That drips incessantly and poisons your days

Like a dam full of holes

You may feel like you’re drowning – but you won’t

 

On the road to redemption

You may experience loss and grief

A death perhaps, or the tearing away of a life you thought was assured

A change that forces you to re-examine all you once held dear

And leaves you questioning your sanity

And your equilibrium

As your life spins out of control on some kind of crazy tilted axle

Until you barely know which way is up or which is down

 

On the road to redemption

You will be tested, time and time again

Your character will be formed as lessons are learned

As you are baptized in fire –

A fire that you think will consume you – but it won’t

 

On the road to redemption

You may be tortured by life, but –

Look for the helpers and they will appear

They will pour sweet balm upon your soul

And plant peace deep within your heart and mind

A peace that leaves you rested and healed

A peace ‘beyond understanding’

On the road to redemption

LOOKING FOR PEACE


Since that horrible day on the 19th November in 2016 my family have all been looking for peace. Today was the final day of a trial that began a year after my brother was stolen from us by an impaired driver. There have been many hard days, and others where we found comfort in one another and in each of our individual little families. It’s been a brutal journey. I hope we can each finally find a measure of peace now that the trial has finally come to its conclusion. After 18 months of hell we can finally lay our brother to rest and do the best we can to go on with our lives. We will continue to mourn his loss. It was just so senseless and so unnecessary – and that is what has made it all the more difficult to let go. And especially with a criminal trial dragging us back to that day over and over again. It’s been torture to say the least. But, perhaps now we can begin to let go of all the dregs of bitterness, anger, and remorse that has plagued us all. We are looking for peace and I pray we each find it.

Fragility of Life


I woke up this morning and after my usual morning routine I opened Facebook. One of the first posts I saw was a news story about a wildfire burning approximately 120 km from here. I live in Fort McMurray and I was here when the wildfires swept through the city and caused an evacuation of about 88,000 people – many of whom never returned. Not a good start to the day (the news story I mean). It made me anxious. The next post I saw was about snow in Newfoundland, my native home. All I could think was I would trade the hot, arid weather we’ve been having for snow any time. At least I wouldn’t be concerned about a wildfire with that lovely white moisture falling from the skies. The weather network is forecasting rain on Saturday – just a couple of days from now. I hope we get a good downfall – one that really soaks the earth.

Last month I was reading news stories about flooding in various regions of the country and I guess those people would have been happy for the sun to come out and dry up all that excess water. Life is a funny thing. We always seem to want what other people have, but after the wildfires of 2016 I will forgive myself for that. There is still too much evidence of the devastation all over the city, so, yes, snow is preferable in my mind. It’s only May after all. Yet the temperatures have been in the 25 to 30+ Celsius range all week. I will be glad for the cooler temps promised for next week. Step outside our door and you will smell the smoke in the air – again, I dislike it intensely.

Still, I am a lot less anxious than I was a year ago, so that’s something. Last evening, I went to the funeral home to pay respects to a man we know who recently died. And to offer what comfort I could to his wife and my dear friend. Life is so fragile and so precious. Death certainly puts things in perspective. Fire, floods, earthquakes, etc. are part of life. So too is death – it comes to each of us and is our one and only guarantee. Today I hope to live my life in such a way that it is a help and maybe even a blessing for others. That is my prayer and my fervent wish.