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And When It Comes Undone

And when it comes undone,
it is not the end.
It is the beginning, an opportunity
to remake, recreate, rebecome
something not as good,
but better.
New.

This is not to suggest, however
that allowing rot to win
in a recommended practice,
but should it sneak up on you
and fall apart, you may be surprised
at the miracle that emerges.

About this poem

Life comes undone. We get a redo. We can do the same thing or make something new.

When my life came undone a decade and a half ago, I tried doing the same for a short while, and then changed course and letting life remake itself. What I have now is far different, and far better.

Who knew?

Tom

PS – the picture was taken at an abandoned factory in Turner’s Falls, MA.

Poem: Two Minutes in the South Street Cafe

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Two Minutes in the South Street Cafe

Midday and the coffee is strong.
It snows outside,
and here in the South Street Cafe
Sait James Infirmary plays it’s slow bluesy riff.

There is no one here but me and the two young men,
pieced and clean cut, who make the coffee.

There is work to be done,
and this is as good a place to do it as any.
You long ago realized place
has less to do with your work than you once imagined.
You travel, comfortable in bars and coffee shops,
able somehow to turn the noise and music
into something white and stimulating.

A strange kind of anonymity fills the air
as people come and go,
united in the bad weather, in the joy of pushing past it
for a cup of coffee and a bit of warmth
before heading out again.

There is work to be done,
and you lose yourself in it,
the traffic outside a blur.
The comings and goings are not even an interruption,
simply a discordant backbeat to the blues
playing in the background.

There are paintings on the wall.
Bright disturbing images,
morality in color and line,
all the brighter
for the black and white of the snow outside.

You write.
You think.
You become part of the scenery.
Another old man hunched over his keyboard,
fingers dancing,
an odd intense little smile on your face.
Progress being made.
Strange place and all.

At times, it is the strangeness that propels you.
The new. The different. A blue stirring stick in yellow paint,
Oriental letters in a Western world.
This is why you travel,
why you sit in foreign places
both here and over seas.

There is too much to see.
The possibilities spin like a Kaleidoscope.
Even in your soul, there are new roads to explore,
new wrinkles and paths to take.
The landscape never stays the same
unless you choose it.
Even in stillness, there are new worlds
for a wandering spirit,
and death comes only to the still,
even while they breath.

About this poem

I am working at a coffee shop in Bennington today. A nice change of scenery.

Tom

Poem: Three Cups of Coffee

Three Cups of Coffee

Three cups of coffee and you start, 
just start to wake up, 
your brain, frozen pipes and all, 
starts to flow, 
dangerously so, leaving you
unsure what my flow out
as the ice jam breaks loose. 

About this poem

Slow start this morning. But with three cups of coffee in me, I think I’ll make it through the morning. 

Poem: Christmas List

Christmas List

Just give me a quiet place in the sun, 
a place to ponder, or
release the thoughts that plague and pester you. 

Give me the time to daydream like a child, 
to let the dust settle in my mind
and clarity emerge like a winter ridgeline. 

Give me evening with the woman I love
and nothing else to do but dine and talk and love
each other from dusk till dawn. 

Give me days without phones, disconnected
from phones and promises, 
time to be, and nothing else required. 

Give me a good meal, dining that lasts
for hours. A good bottle of wine, red and rich, 
fragrant with memories. 

Give me the things money cannot buy, 
things that are not things. Seashores and mountains, 
and vistas of geography and the heart, 

warm light at night to read by, 
time to reconnect to love and God and more than that, 
myself. 

About this poem

The older I get, the less I want. But the greedier I get for time and love and the quiet places. 

Tom

Poem: The First Snow of Spring

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The First Snow of Spring

It is the first snow of the season,
an inch, no more, just enough
to remind us we are on the cusp of winter.

The corn stalks poke their dry stubs in crisp rows
like so many soldiers waiting for battle.
The wind blows.

It is not a good day for walking.
The wind is cold and the sun is lost behind the clouds.
The snow has turned to a wintry mix

That portends rain, and if not warmth,
at least, less cold, a slow thawing.
Still, it is bitter.

It is not a good day for walking,
but walk you do,
for life has taught you the beauty of hard seasons,

that even in the cold and bitter, life persists,
and underneath the harsh weather, already
life is preparing itself for spring.

About this poem

One of the good things about aging are the lessons of survival and the understanding that we can survive much more than we believe we can. Spring is often closer than we think.

The picture was taken last winter, not far from here, in West Rupert, Vermont.

Tom

Poem: The Lies We Tell Ourselves

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The Lies We Tell Ourselves.

The lies you tell yourself surround you like a shroud.
They haunt you in the night.
They poison you each false truth a corruption,
a chain, leg irons destined to lock you forever in the dark
that keep you from seeing your own beauty.

They are thieves in the night,
emboldened by your self-induced blindness,
they leave you alone, unable to see the way out
or those that love you,
those who see what you do not and love you
not despite, but because of who you are.

About this poem

One of the things I have learned in the past few years as I have worked as a “life coach” (I hate that phrase, but I don’t have a better one.) is almost always a series of false beliefs, mostly about ourselves. Unveil those beliefs and replace them with reality, and most of us can have what we want, and finally come to understand just how lovable and wonderful we are. Sounds simple, but it’s work.

Work well worth it.

Tom