Poem: Which Light?


What started as hard

could be easy in the end

Life is a gamble

where not knowing is a friend

 

Looking back is simple

and seeing all the pain

but to only guess the future

and its crazy moving train

 

Hoping that it goes forward

towards fields of golden light

and the tracks that lay behind

are now distant out of sight

 

Yet still we step upon this ride

without a future sure

and surf the bumps and valleys

through tunnels insecure

 

Then to take this trip

and the curves that may befall

because the only other choice my friend

is to not be here at all…?

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Poem: Long Ago


Long ago

two strangers met

and their fate was sealed

 

A child’s life

had been hurt

but a woman helped it heal

 

She took her hand

and brought her home

to help her learn to feel

 

Some days were hard

and both felt pain

life could feel surreal

 

But the woman

always was there for her

through every life ordeal

 

So even though

not by birth

as my Mother you are real

 

Dedicated to my dear Mom on her 91st birthday. You are my heart and soul. Thank you for the day you found me, brought me home and have helped me on my journey ever since!

Poem: The New Story


There comes a time

when the violent voices

that knock

into your hungry head

and talk and talk

at the dark matter

which is not a matter of fact

Time stops in a sudden

car crashing

coup contrecoup

brain slamming

amnesia

Then

wake up

with light gulping pupils

seeing newborn truth

Little rapid breaths

tasting warm honest words

that swam inside

the cranial cradle

Sleep walking once

now

jammed into mind shattered morning

Good day

Stay in front

new blood rush noise

to fill the sound

of those wicked

tales told

Just walk forward

and up up up

 

It Takes Kids


If we are lucky, we end up getting more than we expect from something we undertake. So has been the case with the job I started back in December. Just a very part-time and simple one as a lunch room monitor in a very small Charter school, something I honestly felt might not fulfill me as much as my career as a paramedic, but took because of logistical reasons. As it turns out, this non-career position may end up being one of the most satisfying jobs I’ve ever had in some important ways.

I was asked a month or so ago by a co-worker if I would be interested in participating in a 5K race that a bunch of kids and staff members were doing. This race was a two-part thing: one a regular 5K to benefit the Girl Scouts, but the other was called Girls On The Run to get local girls to get psyched and get out there and see what they could do. My co-worker knew I worked out, so approached me and I said: of course! Not really knowing what I was supposed to do though, I registered for the Girl Scout part, which was timed.

Meanwhile, the girls at my school trained, and in the lunch room, we all talked about the upcoming day which happened to be today.

It was held in a lovely park right as the sun was coming up. I haven’t raced in years and planned to just speed walk. The girls were excited and it was great to see some of the teachers out of work.

When the race started, I held to my plan for a bit, but since I had been having a pretty good work out regimen lately (and I’m way too competitive), I thought I’d try jogging just a bit. The paved trail in the park was surrounded by grass, so I was able to jog on it for much of the time. Since the Girls On The Run race started 5 minutes later, a few of the kids passed me and we cheered each other on. One teacher (who had planned to walk too, but was running), passed me also as did a friend’s son. I ended up jogging slowly almost the whole way. It was a miracle.

At the finish line, we all had fun cheering the school in (and collecting thin mints). And it was really crazy when we found out some of us actually placed in our age groups; including me! I was second in mine! Pays to be old. Of course I was 10 minutes behind the first woman, but hey: as a famous woman runner once said, “A win is a win!”

But the really best part was having the girls calling out my name along the way and saying hi, having one teacher telling me how much she loved me (I actually thought she never noticed me), having the kindergarten teacher introduce me to her Mom telling her about how I’m in her class and just hearing from folks how the kids love me (I was asked to be one of the coaches next year).

I worked for 20 years as a medic and rarely got warm fuzzies. Maybe it just takes children and their natural ability for giving joy and love to finally make someone like me feel good in my place of employment!

Poem: Convergence


We meet upon the rubbled path

as comrades often do

weary travelers in a lonely place

not by chance the journey crossed

By the crackling fire

shared stories told resting long and slow

of future climbs and mountains high

and moonlit rivers flowing near

Our hearts have been separate

but souls have been in sync

recognizing kindred spirits

and distant hopeful dreams

With these bonding moments

promises are cast

someday in a future life

the trail may yet converge

A single road then

we shall walk

together side by side

To create a burning reality

from a bridge of given thoughts

that passed between

us two

 

 

 

 

Poem: The Waiting Room


What if we all were caught

together in a place

You with the purple legs

falling fast asleep between

the snorts and sniffy drool

and the woman who talks endlessly

on a phone she cannot use

While the rest of us

quietly swim in our own small worlds

Or watch the woman just over there

who cooks the arroz con pollo

and fills the air with popcorn smells

that settle in the memory

with salty buttery moments

While piped in eighties music

seeps in our private bubbles

(one guy’s foot is tapping as he tries to read

his book)

While a little white dog

trots by masquerading as a therapist

for the human

we all know is as crazy as us all

Yet no-one looks up

or at each other

or pretends to be nice

Still the employees walk by in their

black and white garb

wishing it was 5

while we hope we’re called next

But…what if

this was an Island

in the middle of the sea

where we all were lost

and survivors of a wreck

Then how would we be

Would you catch my eye

or walk with me to the edge of the sand

and look toward the horizon

searching for distant hope

Because now we are comrades

awake

to each others light

in this hidden land

 

Poem: For R


The call for magic

will bring you to me

unlock it sweet friend

with the old-fashioned key

From faraway

pulling us close

like two silver magnets

the force only grows

Through time we have danced

together as one

sometimes far sometimes near

our love never done

Someday again

our pathways will cross

and near by we will stand

whatever the cost

So till that moment

comes none too soon

look up in the sky

to see my love in the moon

 

 

 

Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You???


Some of you may be surprised to know that I am taking a 9 week course in my town that is a Citizen Police Academy. No, this doesn’t mean I will walk around with a gun or even a taser when I’m done. But it is giving me a close up perspective on what the women and men do on my city police force.

The idea behind this Academy is to build community between the citizens and the police department. Of course, the folks who show up for the course aren’t necessarily the ones they need to preach to–we are their choir already. But we’re also tax payers and some of us are future police officers, and it’s a good show they put on.

They give us all the bells and whistles; or at least dogs and flash bombs. Every section of their department gives a presentation from the marine unit to the SWAT team to dog officers. We’re up close and personal with equipment, loud noises…and maybe not too close to the German Shepards.  Not only do they present the history of this department, but of how certain units came to be initially; like SWAT units started during the race riots in the 60’s.

Having been a paramedic I’m used to working near the police, so some of the stuff is familiar. But I admit, this is a medium city and this department has some pretty big advantages. This also means different types (and more) crime. In some ways being in the class gives me the willies knowing what goes on around me, like the gang violence for instance. Who knew they are high school kids? But in other ways in is comforting to know these people are quite dedicated to serve and protect in some extremely dangerous situations.

An interesting thing I have noted is how many women work in this department; the Chief is currently a woman and one Assistance Chief too. Even one of the SWAT members is and the program is incredibly rigorous. It’s also a very culturally ethnic department.

This department does other community events like Coffee with A Cop where they meet the public at none other than Dunkin’ Donuts just to have open dialogue. Not a bad idea in these troubling times.

We get to sign up for two ride-alongs with an officer on duty. I’m looking forward to that one. Hopefully I’ll get some action that night. Maybe we’ll catch some bad guys? It might bring me back to my ambulance days…sigh. One (silly) man asked if he could bring his gun that night if he had a concealed weapon license; the answer was a resounding NO. Really?!

Anyway, a lot of effort goes into this course, and I know it’s really a bunch of PR for them, but they do have a hard job. My cop friends would tell me over and over that all they saw was bad stuff and bad people. It got old for them and some were pretty bitter. Maybe this is a way for these guys to do something good for a change? And to get a good rap for once? It’s not an easy job by any means; trying uphold the law when there’s so much negative stuff in our world these days. I don’t envy them.

And some of these Officers do this stuff on a voluntary basis simply because they love what they do and are committed to it. There are certain teams (like SWAT) that are voluntary to be on call until you’re called.  That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. And yet they train constantly! These Officers were not folks I would want to meet up with at any time! Yikes.

So, I’m learning some interesting and new things. And trying to look with an open perspective. Even though there are some police that don’t exercise good judgement , I wonder what it would like without any of them?