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Life, Write, Life in 50s

Writing falls down the hill of priorities.

Life, Write, Life

Family, jobs, house, pets
Sleep, read … write
And hope that life somehow works out
If not for life and all its business
There’d be more time to write
No doubt
But, if not for life and all its business
There be nothing much to write about
Right, life?
Right

When I start something, I like to finish. Articles, plays, musicals, poems, love letters to myself… can take forever. So, to satiate cravings, I pop Fifties: 50 word pieces; short sweet and (sometimes) easy to complete.

Quick Fixes

It’s nice to write
But writing takes time, which is tight
So, rarely does paper meet pen
That’s the reason
That’s the rhyme
In my mind, at least
I write all the time
Sometimes, to get my kicks
A fix
A hit of Bliss
I’ll do a 50
Like this

I love to write about things I love.

Love

I’m in love again
For the very first time
We’re a perfect poem of rhythm and rhyme
Walking on sunshine and feeling nothing but fine
I’m completely enraptured; my spirit’s been captured
Who’s stolen my heart, like a thieving thug?
Not a woman this time, but my new dog, Doug

Doug is ten, now, and we love him more than ever.

I wrote an homage to dandelions, thinking they were innocuous, little miracles, subjected to gratuitous poisoning and character smears. Then, my friend, Mr. Trott, told me they’re an invasive species. I’ve been thinking about it, for a year, and I stand by my Fifty.

Weeds

Dandy lions are the pride of the pride
Dandelions, however, we cannot abide
Why? Mother Earth cried, horrified, mortified
Each beautiful, edible prize should be glorified
Not denied, vilified and plied with pesticide
Dandelions provide fresh, free fare, far and wide
Rather than genocide
Why not love what I provide?

Sometimes, I write about justice, equity… Other than make me feel better, it doesn’t do much.

Keyboard Hero

I ensure the poor overcome their plight
I find the blind and give them sight
I take wrongs and make them right
I challenge evil and win the fight
I help the one who gave us light
I save the day every night
I’m a one-man army when I write

I’ve written Fifties about my mighty girls, naturally. I wanted each piece to look like the tip of a mighty sword or a mightier pen.

Dear Erin

Be the best you can be
Look beyond what you can see
Remember, the truth will set you free
If necessary, go for an eye, nuts, or knee
Look up to the sky, splash in the sea
Smell the flowers, hug a tree
I love the girl you call me

Dear Claire

Be nice, sit up straight
Stay outside, play until late
Don’t be afraid of love or of hate
Celebrate, create, date, debate, fascinate
If required: deflate, berate, annihilate, obliterate
Shoot real straight, pull your own weight
Turn off the lights, lock up the gate
You my girl are truly great

Fearlessness is a quality I admire. I like bees, as well, so they got a Fifty.

Why Try?

Bee! Why are you trying to fly?
Your wings are too tiny for flight, I’m afraid
Came the cry
Are you talking to me?
I ain’t afraid
Said the bee
And he took to the sky
Boy, could she fly
Now, the bee feeds the world
That’s why
You try

I have a friend, who writes, but is afraid to share her work because of, “What people might say.” She’s not the one who should be afraid.

Critical Karma

What you fail to comprehend
My conspicuously critical friend
Certainly, victory is sweet
But so is defeat
At least we’re trying
Dying on our feet
You lack the courage to go deep
A shallow grave ye shall reap
And you’ll never ever rest in peace
Never know an artist’s sleep

Perseverance is another quality I admire.

Easy Steps To Success

Get back in the saddle
Reload and re-aim
Return to the battle
Get back in the game
Have another crack
Take another swing
Try a new tack
Climb back in the ring
Quick, quick, lickety split
Get back on your feet
Don’t think of retreat
And never, ever, ever quit

I got into regenerative writing for about 50 seconds. It was ridiculous, but I got a 50 out of it.

Regenerative Writing And A Great Blind Date

If you’re writing to regenerate
Recall the evening you tempted fate
And with eyes wide open and back real straight
You bravely embarked upon yet another blind date
Although it was something you expected to hate
To your delight it was wonderfully great
Now write to create a similar state

I’ve always been hyper. To me, it’s normal, but…

If I Were A Boy Today

Experts would say, He’s ADD, OCD, ADHD
He’s a monkey in a tree
He’s destined for a killing spree
Look, he can’t sit still
Prescribe another pill
There’s something in there we must kill
There’d be white collar thugs
Preaching kisses, prescribing hugs
And pushing piles of white collar drugs

Who doesn’t love sports? Kyle Lowry, Bobby Ryan and Josh Donaldson were on highlight clips, recently. All had poor father figures, but have turned out well, breaking a cycle.

Kyle Lowry, Bobby Ryan, Josh Donaldson, Woody Harrelson…

The apple falls close to the tree, it’s true
But, sometimes, as falling apples do
They hit a bump or rock
Then roll
As if on a stroll
To the edge of a knoll
Then spill down the hill
And come to rest
At a place where trees grow best

Life has one rule; it’s two words, but I used 50 to explain it.

Be Good

Be good at night
Be good all day
Be good at work
Be good at play
Be good when they’re watching
Be good when they’re not
Be good while doing
Be good when you plot
Simply too simple to be misunderstood
Two little words:
Be good, be good, be good

In a recent conversation with a colleague, we agreed, Toronto is losing its allure, for one reason.

Dear Neighbour

I’m afraid you’re stuck
Lanes and lanes of cars and trucks
Parked on highways and byways
Holy moly
Hog Town is snarled, snarling, crawling, stopped, blocked
Thoroughfares are parking lots
From sunup to slumber
Toronto is bumper and bumper
Subways, buses, LRTs
Tolls, taxes, HOVs…
Toronto, fix your transit
Please!

Or don’t. I prefer walking The Bruce Trail, through Hamilton, anyway.

Sunlight’s shining between trees
Or casting shadows on fallen leaves
I see and hear beautiful birds
While in my head, I play with words
Sometimes, it feels a little queer
As if my God is very near
Little else is quite as good
As being alone out in the wood

Henry David Thoreau made a good point about the pursuit of happiness, so I wrote a pointed Fifty about it.

Thoreau’s Point

If you desire a natural high
A springy step and twinkling eye
Stop chasing a pie that is up in the sky
Stop dreaming of things you’d like to buy
Take your device and wish it goodbye
It may not be easy, but give it a try
Simplify, simplify, simplify

Indeed, less is more.

Pruning

Prune your plants and they’ll grow well
Prune your urges to kiss or tell
Prune your friends if you’ve got too many
Prune your rude if you haven’t any
Prune your appetites for things and food
Prune your desires whatever the mood
Prune to be stronger
Prune to live longer

I misplace my wallet, keys, glasses, phone, mind…regularly.

Technically, Not A Handicap

Already late, but still scuttling around
Looking for something, which can’t be found
Help!
Where did it go?
It was just here ten seconds ago
Mother has it and gave it to me
It runs, alas, in the family
Things, of course, could be worse
But absentmindedness is a curse

Pessimistically, I’m hopeful.

I Hope

I hope I live for another day
I hope my girls are always OK
I hope I’ve something worthy to say
I hope the world sees things my way
Someday
I hope I’ll hope until my dying day
I hope, I really hope, I hope I don’t hope life away

I know what I like.

I Like

I like coffee and herbal teas
I like toast with stinky old cheese
I like parks with beautiful trees
I like birds, I like bees
I like mountains, I like plains
I like sunshine, when it rains
Cars are fine, but I like trains
I like people with kindly brains

I like to rhyme, too. It started early. As a wee one, my mother read me Dr. Seuss and I can’t enough.

An Addiction?

I’m in too deep, I suppose
I very rarely think in prose
I’m addicted to rhyme and rhyme all the time
Every word heard
Claims my brain
Here we go again
Perhaps not an addiction
More an affliction
Or peculiar condition
Regardless, it’s free, it’s fun
And hurts no one

That’s all, for now. I’ve got a million things to do. Right, life?

Right.

Love will conquer all

Today is our 15th wedding anniversary and my husband, Greg Thomson, started our day by playing a video on his Iphone of the Flintstones singing “Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary.”  Like our wedding day, today started with reckless giggling.

My husband is an amazing man. In that quiet time just before we get up in the morning, I sometimes feel as if there is an angel beside me.  He is man who has made it his goal to balance compassion, tenderness, strength, wisdom and grace — and he has succeeded.  Greg has never chased after power or fame, and he doesn’t need social status or wealth to define him – but he makes allowances for those who do.

Greg is rarely critical of people or ideas, he doesn’t possess the arrogance that too often develops in men who achieve success. Greg believes in human potential – in that ability people have to achieve things that others think impossible.

Greg would never hurt anyone and he would never try to limit or undermine someones confidence. He is wise and knows that those who think they know best are fools (although he’d never say that to them). He is a man who feels a duty to give back the world, to tackle mediocrity, and conventional thinking. In his work, he studies the social impact of charities hoping that he can help the small charities who have a large social impact. He gets frustrated over the amount of funds that get wasted by charities that have little social impact, but are filled with influential board members.

When I think about our marriage, I believe our happiness rests on our willingness to give up our individual selves to become part of something bigger. I remember when we were just married, I used to write about my love for him; about the things he did that inspired me, about the awe that I had over this man who chose to share his life with me. Today, I realize that my love is now weaved together with the love Greg has for me. It is constantly expanding. It encompasses our children, and, like a warm breeze, it spreads out over our family and friends. I think our love grows with the choices we make, with the friendships we have, and the experiences we gain. By living up to the people we want to be we are able to feel more deeply, and experience things more richly.

When we were first married we talked about what we wanted in our future. Greg wanted to feel more, to do more and to make a difference in the world. Back then I couldn’t understand what Greg meant by ‘feel more” because I had been raised to put both my heart and mind into everything I do. At the beginning of our marriage I realized that Greg put his head and thoughts into what he did, but not his heart.  He learned to be cerebral, to hide his feelings, but part of him knew he was missing out on something. Over time as our love weaved together Greg let himself feel more, he put his heart and not just his head into everything he did. He allowed himself to go beyond just thinking about the world to sensing it. I learned to see the world through Greg’s eyes just as he learned to see it through mine. Our world became much bigger, more vibrant, sensual, and beautiful. We are soaring above the ground we walked as individuals.

A few months ago a man told me that I should be much more afraid of failing than I am. I’ve thought about his words a lot since then; about what he thinks is failure, and about the limitations his kind of thinking has placed on him. In the world of keeping up the Joneses he’s succeeded, but in the world that Greg and I live in, he seems shackled by fear, limiting his involvement in things that might expand his world because he fears failure.

The love that Greg and I have has allowed us to embrace the world. Together we can take on any challenge. And the only true failure that either of us could have is to fail to live up to the moral code that guides our lives. Our love has made us free, and has given us confidence. Together we experience life, we set out to achieve our dreams and we live every moment to the fullest.

When our eldest son was born, I remember sharing that moment when we both realized that our duty extended beyond just what we could give to the world, but to provide our children with love, compassion and a value system that will allow them to find the love we have managed to build.

Everyday I wake up and I know how lucky I am to have such an amazing man in my life. Greg is the strongest man I have ever met. He would never compromise himself for gain, or use “business” as an excuse for hurting someone. I think he would actually be physically sick if he thought his words had hurt someone. He is kind, compassionate and every day he defines what it means to be a gentleman.

The vision of who Greg wants to be captures all the qualities that go into making a true hero.  He is a part of how I define myself, the pulse inside me that drives me forward and makes me want to put everything I have into everything that I do —  so that one day I just might be good enough for him.