Poem: Forever

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Forever

Late at night, you hear the trains,
faraway whistles and rumbles,
the fact that you can hear them,
a sign that the weather is changing.

The tree peepers have grown silent in anticipation
and the woman you love nestles close.
Now and again. heat lightning silently flashes
and you see the silk of her shoulder.

It is a new journey you are making.
and you think of the trains so distant,
traveling in the night
their destiny decided by steel tracks.

Your destiny is bound to something stronger,
a thing of choice, unexpected love grasped in the moment
and molded into a forever you never imagined, and now,
cannot imagine being without.

 

Poetry: Old Iron

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Old Iron

Collected from the rejects
of those that wanted something newer,
something better,
old iron.

Discarded and left. Thrown away.
Deemed useless.
Trash to be hidden or hauled.
Piled high and left to rust,
much of it does just that,
oxidizing into oblivion or
swallowed by God’s green vines and left
for archeologists to wonder over.

At times, at the artist’s hands,
this abandoned becomes new,
recast in fires white hot
and poured into new molds,
the old iron becomes new again,
useful and perhaps, even
beautiful.

About this poem. 

Many of my poems have to do with restoration.

I’ve been tossed on the slag heap before, deemed useless, worse than useless. I know what it is like, I know how it feels, and I know what is possible.

I found my way back. Many don’t and I am tenderly aware of that. Grateful and determined to live the noble life of restoration while I still can.

Tom

A lack of Attibution

I love the internet. I hate the internet. ‘

One of the things I love is all the images that flow past my face every day. Art. Nature. News, and images like this one that just make me feel good. What I hate is attribution. I believe in it.

People deserve attribution and where appropriate, payment for their work. I believe that in my own work and I believe it in other’s work. My photo roll in my ipad is full of pictures like this one. I have no idea where they came from, but they sing to me. This shot brings me joy. I imagine the story in it. I’d like to go to this place and dance to some of that soul music. I want to be able to tell the person who took it how much I love it. And what continuing joy they brought me with their photograph.

This one is on my camera roll too. I love it because I have worked in technology since I was a young man and I have seen more of these kinds of tangles of cables and cords than you can imagine.

There is an art to detangling and making sense of that kind of mess, and I’ve done it hundreds of times, as have some of the people I have been blessed to work with the past 30 years. Ihave no idea what she is working on, or when in history she is sitting there in the mess except for a guess at the fashion.

But the work she is doing is so universal to my life (which I have mostly loved.). It makes me smile.

I have had this one on my phone almost as long as I have had a cell phone. At 62, almost 63, I have begun to get it. More than that is the work I do. I am a part time pastor now, and a life coach, and I work part time as a spiritual counselor for hospice.

Every week I talk to older people and middle aged people, and when I get them talking about their younger years, I can see the age peel away from them. It’s a magical thing to see. Every wrinkle is still there, but somehow the spirit of that young person rises up and overcomes the wrinkles. People become younger in front of my eyes. I love this picture.

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I have no idea who took it, or where, or when. Don’t you feel the story in this one? I used this picture to formulate a character in my novel. She’s a minor character, but I am using her again in the novel I have just begun, this time as a more major character.

In my novel(s), she is a transgender woman from a farm community in south side Virginia who has made her way to New Orleans. She’s smart, wise and very Diana Ross-ish. I wish I knew who took this shot.

I’d love to thank them and to give them credit in my novels.

One last one:

I downloaded this one soon after I met the woman I love, who is now my wife. Neither of us look like the people in this picture and heaven knows neither of us dresses like that on a day to day basis. But I love the intimacy of this shot.

You know they love each other. You know they are comfortable with each other. You know they are the type of couple that talks for hours on end and share not just words, but themselves. And that is the kind of relationship the woman I love and I have had since the beginning. We still do.

It’s like a miracle to me. I never cease to wonder at it. I have pictures aplenty of the woman I love. But I keep this too because of how it captures an emotional part of our relationship that I love.

But dangif I know who took it, where, or why. My camera roll is full of such images. No attribution. No idea where they came from, but all of them touch me. There are stories and emotions in each of them. They have made a difference to me. And I often want to share them.

Who ever took these pictures, thank you. If you find me posting your shots without attribution, I will gladly take them down if you wish, or give you credit if you wish. You deserve it, just for the difference your work made.

Be well. Travel wisely,

Tom

Poem: Care and Feeding

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Care and Feeding

Each year I plant new flowers. knowing
each year some will die, victims
of the cold Vermont winter.

Life, mine at least, whithers without care
and feeding.

About this poem

Take care of yourself.  Feed your spirit. Daily if possible. Never feel guilty for it. Without care, we all die.

Even as we breathe

Tom

Poem: Sense of it All

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Sense of it All

The mess looks random,
but somewhere an artist
knows exactly what each element
means.

About this poem

About contemporary art. About life and God.

I am a contemporary artist. I am the guy with a long list of questions for God.

The photograph was taken at Salem Art Works

Have a blessed day,

Tom

 

Poem: Even Madness Has Its Story

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Even Madness Has its Story.

There is fiberglass in the corner.
Battens balanced on an old beam.
A wooden woman pirouettes.
dust settles over it all,

a strange sort of museum,
no pattern, no themes, items on display
in odd corners and contrasts,
too like your own life,

and yet, in time you begin to see
that even madness has its story to tell
and a logic that becomes comfortable:
not quite true,

but beautiful none the less.

About this poem

Somehow this poem went from a poem about settling into a schedule, to whatever this is. Mondays do weird things to us sometimes.

The picture was taken at Salem Art Works.

Tom

Poem: The Gnawer of Knots

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The Gnawer of Knots

Oh yes, the ropes are thick.
The knots are well tied
by masters of the art,
and I have been held here for a generation,
safely imprisoned
in another’s world.

But I am continually underestimated.
So sure are they that I have been rendered helpless
that they never see
my patience,
as I wield it like a weapon,
gently slicing away, one thin thread at a time,
a detemined mouse with sharp teeth,
never ceasing
until I am free.