I like to try new things:
when I drove home from work
with the windows down,
classic rock pounding
my eyes closed.
I like to try new things:
when I drove home from work
with the windows down,
classic rock pounding
my eyes closed.
Words & Music by Tim D.
Everybody leaves and all good things must end
But our souls are eternal.
They say that ‘All you need is love’
‘Love is all you need’
All I need is you
Let’s stay in and share some ice cream,
Fall asleep and share the same dream.
Let’s go out and and feel the wind blow,
Sing that song that only we know.
My broken heart
Will stay that way forever
cos I want it to.
I don’t want to get over you.
The sky went dark.
Am I to blame?
I call your name.
I’m not the same since you went away.
Like the poem says ‘Nothing gold can stay’
I don’t think that’s true.
We know that time isn’t really real.
I still belong to you
And you belong to me.
I pretend you’re in the next room,
Tell myself you’re coming home soon.
If I close my eyes and pray,
You’re still here like yesterday.
Every Saturday I go to church.
It’s not what you think.
My non-traditional tradition, this ritual,
Calling me each week.
I could sleep in, but no–
I am pulled to be there
in community with this particular congregation,
To receive the blessings it offers me.
There are no pews, but tables in a U-shape, chairs,
No pulpit but a microphone passed around
No altar but a box of paper prompts,
Our communion is our writing,
words scribbled in notebooks,
Then read aloud, no matter how profane
Or tender, absurd or banal.
The sharing makes it nothing less than holy.
This sacred passion we share for words, books, writing,
Intensifies as we gather, emboldens us to grow,
Makes us more than we might be praying
with our pens in our rooms alone.
Every week we write it, minutes at a time. The gospel according to me, to you.
All true, none of it true, so help me God.
The kids arrived after lunch
There were usually one or two buses,
but it was mostly mini-vans and
Mom and Dad dropped off their young Lutherans
for a week of Jesus and mischief and
I was their counselor.
I was there to help,
to teach them,
make their faith stronger.
I was a train wreck.
I was a time bomb.
Usually when I met the kids
I was still sweating out the weekend,
hard, hazy chaos and blackouts.
My friends would tell me what I did
on Saturday night.
I would nod, say,
Yes, that sounds like me.
I wore a Miller Lite t-shirt (seriously?) and
I snuck cigarettes in
whenever I could get away for 5 minutes.
I was a horrible counselor, but
I loved those kids.
They were wide open,
funny, fearless, full of life,
5 foot heroes with big, high voices.
I would be cool when I met them, but
later I would yell at someone for something,
so they would be a little bit afraid of me.
I was there to teach them, but
in reality, they taught me.
They were little stars
at camp universe.
God pumped them up
like birthday balloons and
they flew into the sky.
I am thankful for those lessons.
Yep, on Sundays the parents
dropped off their wise little children.
We became a family for one week,
holding hands, hitting baseballs,
swimming in our miniature sea.
At night we sang praises
as the fire sent sparks up to join the stars.
I can still see the world
through those 12 year old eyes,
shouting with joy
like puppies barking.
Thanks to them,
I’m still innocent somehow.
I’m still enchanted by this life.
I’m still hypnotized by the orange, gold glow of
the summer sun dissolving into that silver lake.
I stood on that hill overlooking the pond at the strawberry farm; there had been a few small rain drops and a slight threat of rain, so I flippantly stated we were going to go ahead with the ceremony in spite of the threat to those who’d gathered to witness the union between me and my love. The air was sweet, and the breeze light, flowing through the trees with a subtle hush. From behind me the sultry, honest tones of a cello and the yearning, mellow notes from a violin danced in my ear. I looked into the eyes of many of my friends, some of whom I’ve not seen in a while and some far longer. I glanced back to my left and then to my right to see the confident smile in my sons face and my lovely daughter’s who’ve chosen to share in this moment with me, they didn’t have to, but it means the world to me that they came together to celebrate as members of Shira and my wedding party, and waiting proud and graceful, the maid of honor. Then my eyes went to the sky, to the clouds over the fields around us, I thought of how beautiful this day has turned out to be, how proud my father might be of me and how I wished he were alive to be here, to share in this moment.
My palms began to sweat and my mind was awash with thoughts of fantasy and wonder at what the future might bring for my bride and me. As the ring bearers, handsome and proper took their seats and the flower girl made her way up the aisle, meandering and innocently curious what all the fuss was about as she dropped rose petals onto the cool green grass, I noticed a flock of blackbirds take sudden flight from the trees above us.
There was a moment of quiet, short and daunting, and from the guests seated there came a murmuring, then shallow gasps as they all turned around. Abruptly a quiet ringing entered my ear, a new song began to play and then everything was silent but for the guttural and fluid sounds of the beating of my own heart. And there, from behind a grand oak tree stepped out the most wondrous sight, the image of all that is good and decent and strong and magnificent, I was floored, as I watched her step to the back of the seats, I looked at her and nothing else in the world mattered to me in that moment. She stood elegant, poised in her wedding dress, and I just soaked in her image, her lips and her face.
Then, from somewhere deep inside of me a small boy, one whose been hiding for so long, slowly climbed down from his tree, stepped out onto the shoreline along the river and cast upon the cool dark waters his sail boat without care. He stood and watched as the small craft that’d been docked for so long, waiting for him, glided freely on the current, swiftly out of site. When the boy turned and looked at me I knew him, I felt him and as he stepped away, leaving no tracks in the sand I didn’t fall apart, I was no longer afraid, I no longer felt alone. Instead I felt empowered and free.
My heart had stopped but for a minute, I wanted to run to her when the tears began to roll along her cheeks, but she came to me, in the arms of her mother and her father, under a beautiful sky, amongst friends and family, she came to me and took my hand and we looked at each other, we saw each other, we shared in that moment all of our hopes and dreams and embraced a new beginning for each other, for us together. Everything appeared to be perfect, she seemed perfect, but with all of it stripped away, the people, the hill, the sun and the exquisite clothes, the symphony of pomp and circumstance, it was just us, alone and together, with our hearts and souls in each other’s arms. It was altogether, simply and extravagantly beautiful. It was indeed perfect.
back in the day,
crossing Tower Avenue
between the Cove and
You would ask a girl to dance.
It was terrifying.
It was so loud that
you had to scream into her ear:
DO YOU WANNA DANCE?
if you were lucky,
you got her number.
She would say,
Do you have a pen?
You would ask the bartender or
the waitress to borrow theirs.
She would write her name and number
on a cocktail napkin.
You’d thank her,
tell her you’d give her a call.
She would smile and
disappear back onto the dance floor.
You would look at this number
like it was a launch code,
You would try to memorize it quickly,
in case the napkin was lost or torn.
It was a like a lottery ticket
in your pocket.
When you got home,
you would set it
on the dresser and
not to call too soon.
Heather, you would say to yourself,
dreamy and sleepy as
you faded slowly into slumber.
Her name is Heather.
In the morning,
the first thing you would do is
check the dresser,
The drive home is a long one, slow goin’ and frustrating stuck in heavy traffic barely edging along. His eyes began to wander to trees along the side of the highway, there was a squirrel running the branches from tree to tree, making better time than he was in his old truck. It began to seem as though every time he stepped on the gas the car in front of him hit their brakes and gal in the car next to him was applying lipstick as though she was tracing a Rembrandt. Since his move he made this trek every day, lately just to get to a Park n Ride so he could wait around to catch a shuttle to his work. It was a study in stress management and futility.
Today however he kept thinking of his sweet little girl and his son lying on the couch when he got home. He’d get there, fix a snack and take his girl to softball practice, and then they might go home and play cards or have a fire in the back yard. It wouldn’t exactly be like old times, before the divorce but it’d suit him just fine; in fact he looked forward to it. There’s something special about a man hugging his son, hugs are beautiful anyway but there’s certain fragility about a shared hug between father and son. Ever since the divorce he’s felt like he was lost, like he was driving in a thick fog, everything was different now and he’d have to figure out new ways to operate, to make things work between his kids and him. It wouldn’t be easy and he knew it. But he had the most wonderful gal he’d met and fell in love with since the end of his marriage; some say it might have been too soon, some outright stated as much but what can you do when your heart begins to keep time with someone else’s, between the two of them they were right. They both needed mending and they shared some of the same scars and injuries’ from previous lives, they understood each other and knew they didn’t want to be apart.
How much hurt can one heart take, how many times can it be stopped before it fails to start again?
As he pulled around the corner in the rain he saw his son’s car idling in the street, he was just pulling away. He pulled up next to his car and rolled down the window, his son rolled his down and sheepishly looked away. “Hey where are you going bud?” he asked him. His son looked up through the rain and said that his mom told him and his sister to go home since their dad had to work and no one would be home all day with them. His sister had been picked up earlier and his son said that he was supposed to call his mom; he said he was sorry and that he had to go. He rolled up the window and pulled away as the rain poured in over his door. He sat there in the street, the rain seemed heavier and the clouds appeared to grow darker. It felt as though his heart just stopped. This was supposed to be the beginning of a full week with his kids, sure he had to work during the day, the kids were out of school for the summer and he just couldn’t take the vacation. But he planned on eating dinners with them, maybe some ice cream before bed, play a little Ping Pong or Rummy Five Hundred. Then he’d see his daughter to bed and kiss her goodnight. Back in the day he used to have breakfast with her before he’d leave for work, it was a special time for him and one he used to cherish.
But today he sat in his truck, and watched the tail lights of his son’s car fade away in the falling rain. Today there would be no hugs, no kisses. No snuggles. He tried to breathe but it felt as though his heart just laid there in the bottom of his chest. And loneliness crept in closely and took his hands, they began to feel swollen and warm as he spread mortar on the bricks at his feet, the bricks seem to get heavier every time this wall gets built he thought. And he struggled to get it done quickly, his mind was awash in a heavy dose of pity and when he heard his ex-wife’s voice on the phone telling him the kids needed a parent, not an empty house, that they needed someone to care for them and love them he reached for a big swig of rage, he swallowed it and it built inside of him like a blustery fall wind and exploded from his mouth, he threw the phone down, and cleared the counter of something else before storming out the house. He’d walk I the rain, letting it soak his clothes, and his face, he’d walk it off, pushing it back down where it belongs.
How much hurt can one heart take, how many times can it be stopped before it fails to start again? Before it finally just lays there at the bottom of the cage, feeling sorry for itself, bleeding from its re-opened wounds.