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As  a very young child. I loved music. My father played the drums in a local trio and we always had a record player (that was before MP3’s). Records were 78 rpm, 33 1/3 rpm or 45 rpm. Actually, my grandfather had a very old player which used tin discs to produce music but no words. I competed musically as a child, sang in choirs, etc. Today, music and musical theatre are what I enjoy listening to… and thus…

The Power of Music

More powerful than the “power of love’,

In my life always

Has been the power of music;

At an early age it could make my heart soar,

And, at times sore.

Some music has the ability

To lift our spirits when we feel alone,

Even when there are no words,

Or the words are in a foreign language –

Melodious tunes which touch my soul,

My core, creating permanent recordings in my mind.

Music can carry me away and lift me up,

But there are times when it can just as easily

Drag me down into bouts of depression.

Even still, I cannot imagine life without music.

I cannot imagine how different my world would be

Without it, even as background to my daily life,

Anymore than I could imagine life without sight.

This poem resulted from the murder, late last year, of our dear friend. Like us he had once been married and had both children and grandchildren. It is also dedicated to all of the other Jeffrey Allan’s out there who finally found the courage, but did so too late in life to fully live the life so long hidden behind closed doors.

Jeffrey Allan

Jeffrey Allan grew up on a small farm,

Outside a small town,

With a father, a mother and two older sisters.

His early years were spent

Surrounded by his paternal cousins –

Some younger, some older.

This was the basis of his young life.

As he grew up and went to school,

The circle of friends widened

To include other boys and girls his age

From the nearby town.

Early on he knew he was different.

His father was heard to say,

“Jeffrey Allan needs to play sports and not piano.”

“Jeffrey Allan needs to learn to toughen up and fight back.”

“Jeffrey Allan is turning into a sissy.”

“Why is Jeffrey Allan always playing house with girls and dressing dolls?”

Jeffrey Allan had a secret;

Jeffrey Allan knew he was more different

Than the other boys as he grew older.

He didn’t like sports or outdoor activities with his father and cousins.

Jeffrey Allan came to understand that his “difference”

Was that he was gay –

He really didn’t care for girls, although he liked them.

He was attracted to other boys –

Later in life, men.

Jeffrey Allan knew that he was

Homosexual. Queer. A faggot.

But still he kept the secret –

College degree and marriage to his childhood sweetheart –

Followed by a career and children,

Living in a closet,

Fearful of a society that was homophobic

In various, sometimes menacing ways.

Jeffery Allan found the strength

Before it was too late, to come out of the closet,

Self-exiled from family and friends all those years,

Only to be found dead in a dark alley,

One dark night –

The letters F-A-G spray painted

On his naked chest; his face battered beyond recognition.

His cemetery marker reads –

R.I.P

Jeffrey Allan

Loving son, brother, husband and father

September 2012

No this has not a thing to do with being without food in the house, even after Larry had returned and we had to go and buy groceries. Rather, it has to do with those empty spaces we sometimes feel when we first awake in the morning, or think about just before we go to bed at night. More like brain food…

Empty Cupboards

Where once there were cupboards

Teeming with an abundance,

There now appear to be empty shelves,

Devoid of sustenance –

Necessities for body, mind and soul.

Our very existence depends on sustenance,

As we journey from cradle to grave –

Physical needs – food, water, exercise.

Emotional needs – loving, caring, affection, security.

Spiritual needs – faith and understanding.

Empty shelves need to be re-stocked from time to time,

Putting into play a variety of factors

Over which we may or may not have control.

While self-reliance may accomplish this,

Our emotional and spiritual need

May require assistance from others.

And just possibly, Divine Intervention.

Only then can the human cupboard be replenished.

In reality, I have no friends anymore who do not know that I am gay and married to another man. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who do not accept that to be gay is NOT a lifestyle nor a choice. Many men and women live in fear of being “outted”. This piece was inspired by recent news regarding the treatment of those of us who ARE gay…..

No Man’s Land

Those who have survived real wars,

Know only to well the significance of “No Man’s Land”.

That space between the barbed wire that separates friend from foe.

Those who have never seen battle,

Know only of what we have seen or heard

In movies, books and through television.

More recently “YouTube”.

There is another type of no man’s land –

Known to those men who remain closeted,

As a result of being born gay.

They often live their early lives

With one foot on each side of the fence,

Battling feelings and emotions,

Shielding themselves and their families,

From those in society who believe that to be gay

Is a sin! An abomination!

No one chooses to be gay (or lesbian),

Anymore than one chooses to have red hair,

Or blue eyes or a swarthy complexion.

Depending on where you live in our world,

Having red hair or blue eyes or being gay

Can make you a vulnerable target of certain elements,

Vulnerable to unwanted physical or verbal attacks,

Vulnerable to shunning by your own culture,

Your family, your friends, your colleagues at work or school.

Real men have careers, family and friends,

And make substantial contributions to society,

As do gay men!

Now is the time to tear down the barbed wire

Which continues to divide men

Of all sexual persuasions, religions and cultures,

Eliminating “No Man’s Land” once and for all!