You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2010.

When we are not having hurricanes or tropical storms, we are continuously bombarded over the winter months we what the locals call – El Norte. As I write this post, we have just experienced El Norte # 17. It certainly beats hurricanes anytime!

On the particular day this poem was written back in 2004, Larry and I had gone to the beach to get some sun and the weather changed quickly. El Norte had arrived…

El Norte

El Norte incessantly lashes the waves

Against the sandy shoreline.

Once ashore it lashes

Our exposed bodies

With pelting sand.

Lying there,

We watch the pictures drawn

In the clouds,

And dream

What has yet to be written

In the hidden stars

Of the daytime sky.

Our hearts are exposed

As is our flesh –

Uncovered, laid bare,

Wide open

To all who care to see

Our time in the sun

Has just begun.

While the winds and waves

May lash our future,

We are rooted, below the sand

In the rock

Of our consciousness.

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This poem was written early on while I was sitting down at the beach at the end of the day. Larry was off teaching that night and I was feeling very alone and contemplative. I was still living in a strange country where I could not understand the language, and, except for Larry, I felt totally without friends. Unlike now, we were not surrounded by so many wonderful friends; our support network did not exist!

Enjoy the poem…

Waiting at the Station

Quietly the ocean breezes

Waft over the night.

Alone,

I contemplate the future,

Reticent

To predict what may not be.

Confident

That my Spirit knows the way

Of my life.

And will allow me to journey

To places where I may not have gone.

Protecting my heart,

As best He can,

Allowing the ocean breezes

To waft once again over my soul

While I await

Your return, my love.

Hemi and Kinger are the nicknames of two younger men whom I met at the beginning of my journey, well before I met Larry. Hemi and I had many quiet talks over coffee at Tim Horton’s. I actually house sat his apartment for a few days the first Christmas when I returned to Windsor; I never actually ever met Kinger. All of my ‘conversations’ with him were online. Over the months that I chatted with each of these two, I came to feel a connection. Kinger eventually moved west, and, for awhile, we stayed in contact, even from Mexico. Unfortunately, I lost all contact with Hemi during the first year we were here in Yucatan. I  will always appreciate their kindness and understanding…and their support during difficult times. I can only hope that their doors are now fully opened. Thanks guys!

For Hemi and Kinger

Childhood friends come and go,

As we go through life

We may gather many more.

Some are here but for a few short years

Sharing weddings, births and deaths

And then they are no longer…moving on.

Stronger are the friendships

We forge later in our lives

When we truly know

What friends are for!

We are bound by trust, compassion and loyalty.

There can be no secrets.

Our frailties are exposed

To each other without judgment,

And we are still loved.

These are the true friends – despite our ages.

When unmasked,

They accept us as we are,

Not who we were,

Or how much we are worth,

Or who we know.

And we are truly blessed

By them.

This is a new poem which I completed just last week for a friend who expressed concerns about a relationship which did not seem to be going the way she felt it should. In other of my poems and also in my book, I spoke about the phenomenon of going into the darkness in order to find the light in our lives. This is not an original concept, but one I picked up from my days studying at the Unity Church in Kansas City, Missouri. It seemed a perfect time to relate the concept to a Springtime ritual – gardening. Hope you enjoy it…

Yesterday –

(In a common Springtime occurrence)

I planted seeds in my garden –

Some flowers, some vegetables.

I spaced them carefully apart

In the fertile ground,

Moistened them with rainwater

From my rain barrel,

And gently blanketed them

With more warm, fertile soil.

And now

I wait for them to emerge

From their darkness,

Into the warmth and beauty

Of summer days and cool autumn nights.

In life, we plant seeds in all seasons,

Friendships, relationships.

In the beginning,

We space them apart –

Much like those seeds in our gardens.

We tend them carefully,

Nurturingly.

Some seeds grow faster than others

And stronger,

Not unlike our friendships and relationships,

Their beauty quickly becoming evident.

They flourish and give us joy.

Some seeds will not survive long,

They never emerge from the darkness,

Not for lack of nourishment,

Nor from being unattended.

No matter how hard we try,

Or how much we want them to,

They never emerge into the light

And become the beautiful things

We anticipated or wanted them to be.

We have to accept what is,

In our gardens or our lives.

We need to continue to plant seeds

And not give up hope!

We cannot will them to survive,

For, if they were meant to emerge,

They will.

Here in Progreso, in our early days, we met a young man from Montreal. He was backpacking through Mexico with only a few clothes and a Bible. He had come here from Merida with a young Progresano, who was a student of Larry’s in ESL. Since Larry spoke French, Carlos thought he needed to meet us. He was looking for a hostel in which to stay. We offered our spare bedroom, free! In the two nights that he stayed with us, he had our house keys and came and went at his leisure. One day we took him out to the Mayan ruins near Uyamitun, since it is inaccessible by bus. We had long talks about spirituality.  His name was Dominique. I wrote this poem after he left, never to be heard from again…for one brief moment, we connected…

Le jeune etranger, Quixote

He came into our lives from Montreal

Stepping off the bus in a strange city

Amongst strangers.

Quickly

We welcomed him into our home

Offering him friendship

And a clean bed for the night.

Like Don Quixote, he had a dream

To find himself, amongst strangers, in a strange land.

Our Spirits coalesced.

The blood of a common homeland?

Complementary souls? Fate?

We were all on a spiritual quest.

We opened our hearts and his mind.

Realizing

He might have been us

Many years before

If we had dared to dream.

And then he was gone.

Along with a piece of us,

Along with the peace of us

Never to share our path

Again.

Ok, this is installment three…written shortly after we arrived here in Progreso. As I recall we were sitting out front of the house, neither saying much.  I guess this is kind of a first-impression poem, and a little wistful….that was almost seven years ago! How time flies…

Pas de Deux

The tranquility of the night is broken

Only by the waves pounding the shore

Of this sleepy, peaceful Mexican town.

As the stars shine down, casting shadows

On the well trodden dirt streets,

Memories of the journey we have undertaken

Shine boldly in my heart and mind.

We sit here together in thought

Neither knowing the truth of our destination

Hopeful, yet not certain

That the journey will continue

Another day, another week, another month,

Another season…

But in this moment, this time.

This place,

We are one…you and I.

And we can BE!

Togetherness in joy

And in that joy, there is love.

And peace…

This is the second and final poem for this week, but I felt it was necessary to get it out to all of you. I wrote this on the Santa Fe Chief train going from Chicago to Kansas City, Missouri when I was going to meet Larry and head for Mexico in November 2004. It was only my second poem, but it reflects the emotion of the moment in my life. The messages in my poems are not strictly meant for a gay audience. In poetry, we take away what we need based on our previous experiences in life. I hope you will find a personal message in it for yourself. It is simply entitled, “Joy

In the darkness of my life

Uncertainty held firmly onto my heart

And mind.

There was no light, no beacon

My soul perceived the sunset

Alone.

Unexpectedly

The sunset became dawn

And in the mist of morning

You appeared.

First a glimmer

And then a touch.

My body, my mind, my heart

Strained to understand.

Some would have me believe

Too soon…not right…wrong person

For me.

I reached for your hand

You took hold of my heart.

We tasted and tested love

Not for the first time…

We both carried

The baggage of our past

Divine guidance?

Sinful love?

Naked

We looked into each other’s souls

And reached out our hands, our minds,

Our hearts…and looked into the mirrors of our eyes

To accept God’s love

And I found the elusive

Joy.

With Europe behind us, this is my newest project. Many of you have already bought copies of my most recent book, “Trust the Winds – Poems of a Spiritual Journey”.

Over the next days, weeks and months, I will share with those who may or may not have seen the book, the complete collection of my poems, with a few new ones thrown in along the way. Please note that these poems are copyrighted. (Permission to reprint them elsewhere is required from the author).

Most are best read with a nice glass of wine…

Without further adieu, I give you my very first poem – Camelot. Its inspiration were two older women I met on a train from Detroit to Chicago who were traveling there to work with Inner City families through the Volunteer Peace Corps. In the 60’s when John Kennedy set up the Peace Corps, they were not in any position to join, to their dismay. On this trip they would realize a dream forgotten…

Once in a shining moment
We had a dream,
But then there was reality
And the dream was put on hold.
Life moved on.

Through the passing windows of time
The dream was borne again.
To catch it required
A great leap…traversing a void.

Within my grasp,
The dream to be fulfilled,
The heart swells –
Opening to envelop
Those
Who but for the grace of God
Might have been me,
Their dreams, as yet
Unfulfilled
I bring them hope and love,
I offer them my hand, a dream
Of their own
Camelot.