Staying Healthy—Keep Moving on the Horizon

This day I awake to a body
Stiff with inactivity.

Two days ago I caught
Some kind of fast and furious
Stomach virus complete with
Vomiting, queasiness and
A loss of my regularly
Robust appetite.
After I started taking vitamin C,
2017 was an incredibly healthy,
Illness-free year
So being sick has become unusual.

Yesterday, I was supine all day
Unable to eat anything but
A rice gruel and drink honey water.
I’m on vacation visiting my parents
So I neither missed any planned work
Nor do I have anything specific
I have to do.
So, I got a lot of
Relaxing reading done.

Even so, my body is unaccustomed to
Being so still and
Now aches from lack of movement.
I don’t know how people thrive
Incased within inactive lives but
I know this is not for me.

Though still not feeling 100%,
Today, stretching my muscles and
Going for a walk
Under bright sunlight,
Still strong and powerful
In the desert even during winter,
Is on my horizon.



Blink: Diaphragmatic Breathing to the Rescue

Now and then someone enters
And exits your life briefly.

An explosive bang
In one blink
Causes a sour shrapnel
Angry, “forever” kind of parting.

Nothing more possible,
Nothing more desired either
Making for superficial cuts,
Though the sting still hurts.

Believe it or not,
An unsatisfactory social run-in
Can be something
For which to be grateful.

Stepping away from my own
Gale force righteousness
And rising panic
Unreasonable misery,
I know I want to stop
Picking at what is
A dead carcass anyway to
Feel more peace inside.

I am forced to turn
To things already known,
Easily forgotten,
Seldom practiced but
Highly beneficial.

Diaphragmatic breathing:
Inhale and count.
Exhale for twice as long
By doubling the first number reached
For just 10 breaths,
Amazingly difficult
For the mind to execute
Fully focused without wandering.

I disengage with breathing.
Accept what is
And am appreciative of the person
For providing an experience
That reminded me to utilize
A mentally and physically
Healthy, cost-free practice
I needed to be doing
More often anyway.


Shock, Cooled Now, A Bland Jello Mold

Winter sun toasts
The back of my neck.
Wearing black, afternoon rays
Almost scald my back,
This mid January, waiting for the bus
After attending Pro Rodeo.

Besides feeling hunger
Roar inside me, I feel wonderful
Basking in the warmth of
Robust health taken to the hilt
This morning with a double workout—
A 5 mile run and my regular swim.

I think of you and
Wonder where you are
Traveling overseas on vacation—
Supposed to be a trip of a lifetime—
Crumbling in your palm due to
Creeping ailments and
Debilitating pain
Halting your plans of
Seeing exotic Malaysian sights
And also meeting willing women
To sleep with,
Dead in their tracks.

Instead, you find yourself
Spending days inside
Shuttered hotel rooms
Laying abed, seeing nothing,
Sleeping alone.

I feel for you because
I love your sweet soul and
Want you to be healthy,
Virile and strong.
I don’t want you to experience pain.

I also consider
The rest of the emotional tapestry’s
Stitching and fabric.

Mortality is universal.
Timed wear and tear ages everyone
Though unequally, at different rates
And in altered forms.

Seems that your travel dreams
May have to be roped in a bit
As medications, physical therapy,
MRIs, doctor appointments,
Steroid injections and
Whatever else becomes necessary
To address bone spurs, torn labrum,
Pinched nerves, unexplained
General achiness in hips and low back
That now crowd into
Your life’s space, in addition to
The insomnia and depression
Battles you already face.

I want to help and support you
Back to better health and well being.
Somehow, now though,
This desire stems from
A deep care for you,
Not passion.

I changed this past fall.
I became so much older.

My emotional tones, ranging from
Butterflied shock, disbelief,
Anger so pure in its
Rutted and entrenched nature
And then obsessive anxiety
About your whereabouts,

Have settled, cooled into
A sugar free jello mold
Wobbly to touch, still new, but
Formed nevertheless.

Maybe the Wellbutrin regime
I’ve begun is responsible for
Leveling my romantic feelings
But I don’t think so.
While still strongly tied to you,
A certain degree of blandness
Surrounds your aura now.

Your unseasoned flavor
More likely stems from me
Getting to a place of
Having to let you go in my heart
Rather than being medicated

Of me coming to more peace
That this relationship is
Not going to pan out
The way I had once hoped

And that in certain ways,
I’m not interested in
Sorting through spoiled
Rotting leftovers because
The wish to romantically
Move on anyway at some point
Has begun to grow
Moss fuzz on moist rock.


National Western Stock Show–A Study of People

This past weekend
Working the National Western Stock Show
Hordes of people pass by
Our huge Chevy footprint
Complete with shiny trucks
Costing more than a small house
Equipped with engines powerful enough
To drive to the moon.

A whirlwind of Western finery
To the hilt—
Lots of fringe, leather stitched
Vests and dresses, brimmed hats,
Blindingly bright crystal studded belts
To “die for”, woven through tight
Skinny jeans stamped with
Elaborately patterned back pockets
Tucked into intricately designed
Cowboy boots of all kinds.
A wardrobe visual feast
Covering all shapes and sizes
Of human beings who I notice
Are more slender in build, overall,
Relative to other large festivals and events
I’ve worked.

A study in guessing height follows.
I’m familiar with how people look 6”1 and under
But there appear to be plenty of folks out there
Even taller than that
Traveling across this earth,
Attending rodeos, dog agility competitions
And cattle auctions.

I watch a super tall, skinny man
In a backwards baseball hat stride by
And wonder, is that 6”6, 6”8, What?
I am unable to hazard a guess.
I know so few people over 6”1.

Someone with stature that towers over me
Stops to examine a vehicle.
I give him a bag while chatting briefly
And want so badly to ask him his height
So I can gain more reference, but I refrain.
I figure, like the very short,
Tall people get asked about their height
Too often as it is.

Such is the outside inner life
Of a Brand Ambassador shifting
Standing positions while on concrete floors
For 12 hours at a stretch, a day.


Foo Fighters—Evoking And Untanging

Sitting alone
Evening slump
The end of the day
Shadows of doubt stretch out long
A vast unlimited, well worn eternity.
The red wine whirlpool in my glass,
Empty, I’ve had enough
And don’t need to be
Going back there.

I know my own projects
Could be worthwhile avenues
To pursue right about now
But instead, I’m stuck
To screens wondering about

Certain music listening and singing
Helps dull the ache.
Lyrics and strange melody
Touch upon inner strings,
Broken and rough to pluck
Evoking emotion’s twangy
In full spectrum beyond daily
Recognition and comprehension.

I discover a documentary about
The Foo Fighters, “Back and Forth”,
And watch, absorbed,
To relieve my dark focus—
An inflated raft lifting and
Untangling me from
The flora tentacles at the bottom
Of my own Sargasso Sea.

I follow the band’s development
And progress in the documentary
And am thrilled to lose myself
For a little while,
To close the door of despair
And look outward,
As I find I am able to
Sing along with many clips—
The one type of losing
I actually like and
Am grateful to experience,
Every now and then.

I have difficulty
Falling asleep afterwards
But the glowing screen time
Was worth the trouble, in the end.


When a Relationship is not Viable but the Idea is Exciting

…So I wonder how things
Would be between us
If I were in a relationship
With you
So unpredictable, unreliable and
Perhaps not even “good for it”.

Your eccentric magnetism
Excites me, which is annoying
Because really, I wish that
My desire and ability
To be alone for a bit
Were stronger forces within me.
That might be healthier—

For me to spend some time
Forging a new identity and
To be able to examine my interests
On a self determined schedule,
In my own way,
Not according to what
A man wants or needs.

Problem is, I’m drawn to men
Like a moth circling
A lamppost’s hope
Glittering in the night.

Thus, certain highly intelligent
Males warm me and
Make me weak in the knees
Leaving me intensely interested
In their lives and thoughts.
And, maybe unfortunately,
I’ve never excelled at remaining
“Just” friends with men.

So I smile when
I think of what you said
The other day and
Look forward to the
Surprising comments you’ll make
Whenever “next time” is.

No, a relationship
Is is not viable right now,
If you were even interested.
I have way too many metal prongs
Bending and melting into
Altered abstract shapes
Shifting every which way
Within the flames already.

But anyway, you’ve made me laugh
And stimulate my mind.
The bit of time and the
Small piece of yourself
You do give
Pulses bright electricity,
That’s plenty…


Brilliant New Year: A Bit Stooped and Timid

The new year,
Fresh starts
Cleaning up life
Evicting stains
From brain baggage into oblivion
Leaving pages starched crisp
Blank brilliant white
Upon which to write and
Shape the future,

Has not opened with
A positive, directed “Bang!”
The way we may hope and expect.
Instead, this beginning
Appears rather stooped and timid
With emotional butterflies
Fluttering every which way
Inside me leaving me short
Of sanity and a sense of
Eagerness and well being.

Unlike many, I don’t
Have a resolution to
Get into better shape
Or to loose weight.
I’m already “there”—
The one area in my life
In which I have forged ahead
To experience success.

Rather, my difficulty
Remains murky about the ways
In which I may change my life
To accompany the fact that
In about a year and a half,
Children will have grown up
And will leave me
To test the length of
Their wing spans and
Shape the quality of their
Flight patterns across new horizons.

Adult children will always
Be embraced and welcomed home
But high school graduation
Looms and marks the end
Of a key life phase

But oh, what a busy cluttered
Magnificence filled with
Wholeness, fulfillment,
Financial worries alongside
So many many hugs and kisses
That period of life was.

Now, a darkened house
So much heavy silence
Blankets the air.
Dust collects in bedrooms
Vacated for collegiate endeavors.
Loneliness gathers like
Storm clouds over the hill
Made more ominous by the
Rumbling thunder in the distance.

What will I do
When this time arrives
And looks me full in the face?

Is it fair for me
To be stuck “forever”
Especially after I’ve fulfilled
Extended family expectations
Of doing what’s best
For the kids,
Providing one household,
An unbroken family.

When can I live life for me–
Consume experiences
I’d like to have
In big lusty bites and gulps
With people who can
Help me grow versus stay still
In the same place?

How do I become free
A bird in flight
Soaring up high?
What are the costs?
Who comes with me and
Who, like the shedding
Of a fuzzy bathrobe after a shower,
Falls away?

A curtain shifts slightly
In the breeze
Obstructing my view of
What lies beyond.
Light shows through the bottom
So I know something bright awaits me.

I just have to get there.


Your Lust for Travel Leaves Me Forlorn

Calendar blank spaces loom ahead
Absences, again
A whole month this time
Doesn’t really work for us.

New rules of conduct:
We can be with someone else
While traveling and while apart
Weigh on me—
Baffling navigation cause deep,
Forlorn misery inside.
How can this work?

I’m certain that
I can uncover willing “victims”
To fold into my arms for a bit
But I know I don’t know how
To “do” casual very gracefully.
That for me,
Intimate physical sharing
Begs for meaning, genuine interest
And at least the
Possibility of commitment
None of which “causal” encompasses.
So likely, I’ll avoid
Tasting any new intimacy altogether
Though I can make new friends.

What about you?
What choices will you make while
Romping along Southeast Asian beaches
Without me and nothing but
Ocean lapping at your ankles forever?

Will you find someone
To fill your loneliness hole
As best as possible?

Will you tell her
There’s no future in this
While you also hold hands,
Look into each other’s eyes
And kiss under the brilliance
Of a magnificent sunset?

Will you utterly
Confuse this person with
Explicit words of “temporary”
While you wine and dine her
As well as well as pay for
All her accommodations and flights
To various destinations
Within Malaysia
You had planned to see?

Will this person
Begin to fall in love with you,
In your arms every night for a month,
And then expect
Continued contact afterwards?

Will you,
Submerged within humid moments
Of mutual ecstasy,
Still love me while you
Feel the slight pull on yourself
Falling in love with her?

Will you establish firm boundaries
Of “Only while here and nothing else”
Or not, so that she, in fact,
Ends up bleeding into
Your US life after all
By filling your phone
With text messages and phone calls
While you are with me?

Afterwards, when I’m off
Doing something else,
Will you continue
The flame you created
By Skyping with her and by
Making additional plans
To travel together again?

Can I trust that
You will still love me
After spending a month
With someone else?

More importantly,
Am I able to trust and
Love you in a “forever” way
After I know you’ve had
That intimacy, even if
Doing so falls within
The new rules?

“Leave a light on
In your heart for me
For when I return,” you say.

Streetlight bulb shimmering
In the dark night,
Chilly now, leaves me
Shrugging my shoulders
Amid guant shadows
Shifting out of the blackness
As I turn and walk away.


Conversations—New and Old

I’m still here, somehow,
With my head resting
On your chest listening
To your heart beat
Unsure I feel the closeness.

Just being and navigating
Through this past fall and winter
Have left me exhausted.
I should move on but I’m
Because I’m still tied to you
After 3 strong salad years of
Unusual quality connection,
Like it or not.

Despite the in-flux state
Of wobbling teetering emotion
What I do know is that
I’m wanting
To become well
Once again whether or not
That includes you.

I have had to let you go
In my heart to be able to
Tread water
And, so I have—

I look at you now and
Do not try to grip onto you
Forever like I once did.
Instead, I’ve
Different gardens filled with
Whimsical flora to be able to
Blow spores off a
Fuzzy dandelion head
To be able sit back, watch
And let the seeds dissipate and
Land where they may.

I will not try to control you,
Any outcomes,
Conversations or
Intimacy you may begin
With anyone else,
Even as these relations
May continue on and on
While you think
You can still have
And be with me.

I no longer have
The right or even
The hold on you
In my own heart
To dig into you that tightly
Like trying to capture that
Elusive flower fuzz
In the palm of my hand.

I owe it to myself now
To be healthy,
To smile inside more often
Because I love my life
Filled with my own
Projects and goals.
I need to carry my life out
As I see fit
Which again, may include you
But may not.

That is the way of things
Here and now.


Finally—Trying to Get Over You to Move On

New Year’s Day…

My mind seeks you, of course.
I wonder how you are doing.
Part of me feels you
Lying in bed
Bogged down heavy with
Sadness that we didn’t work out.
And, maybe some anger
Towards me too for being
What you consider unfair.

Part of me ponders the depths of
Your resourcefulness too
Because I am keenly aware
Of the charm and generosity
You know how to wield
To melt women’s hearts
So completely and so
Also see you being able to
Bounce back more quickly
Than anyone might have thought
To get yourself
Back “out there” to have 2018
Unfold with fresh beauty—
The spring heart
Of a new relationship
Whether that begins overseas
And/or here.

I know you won’t
Spend much time single.
You just aren’t made that way.
You crave female “completion”
And will do
Whatever you need to do
To feel that again,
As soon as possible,
Whether or not the person
Is a healthy, suitable match.

Weirdly, the idea
Of you starting over
So easily and so gracefully
Hurts me, irrationally.

The wrangling heartache
I experienced this fall
Required a letting go
Of you by me
So I need to let go, even more,
And get to the point
Where that idea and knowledge
Hit me neutral between the eyes,
At least, not hurtful.

This healing work
Requires a mental acrobatic process
That I absolutely must undergo
So I can

Finally and genuinely
Feel happiness for you
Having moved on without me,
Free of any residual
Emotional drag on my part.

This is how my new year begins.
And, surprisingly, at this moment,
I am comfortable with this
Knotted ambiguity.