Oh the decisions, both good and bad, that have been made around a five foot table. This poem is dedicated to my wife’s Aunt Donalee Strand, who makes it the fiber of her being to ensure everyone has a place at her table. We love you.
Thanks for taking a listen to my version of Calmness of a Warrior.
Each time you listen puts a smile on my face. I cannot believe how emotional a person can get when you actually have to read a poem out loud.
So here is something new for me. I decided to try reading a couple of my poems on here. I wanted to give you a little audio presentation and maybe some background on what inspired each piece.
I am by no mean a professional voice over specialist, but I found this to be somewhat of a fun project. Thank you for taking a listen to Broken Windows. Your support is so amazing!
Moving Forward in Reverse
The past never leaves, but is blind,
Blurring visions of the future,
Events that once were left behind.
Memories reincarnate from a time gone by,
Moving forward seems impossible,
Reparation vacant, reinforcing the question why.
Is it the enemy or a gift given by events beyond any control?
Appearing without out discrimination,
Memories climbing up a tunnel from a dark hole.
A dwelling opponent with appearing from dark resurrection,
What if this, I could have done that,
Opposing it’s will with no ability for correction.
A gift when remembered and lessons have been learned,
A cluttered path becomes clear,
An advantage in life’s choices, and the freedom you have earned.
Take the past’s lessons, plan and rehearse,
Better late than never,
Moving forward in reverse.
Garden of Trust
In this vast world filled with humans, seek those that one can trust,
The inside is true and what matters,
The outside insignificant, beautiful or covered with rust.
To see a person for who they are takes not your eyes,
Listening with one’s ears,
Sorting out the truth and the lies.
Eyes locked in place, speech genuine and profound,
These are the words to believe,
Straying from truth, when the conversation turns to the ground.
Seeking similar souls and building a safe place,
These seeds of a beautiful garden grow,
The weeds pulled and are displaced.
As the flowers grow, harmful intentions sound off like a symphony of 1000 horns,
No matter how much work or beautiful this garden of roses,
there will always twice as many thorns.
A family, church, perhaps battalion with a battle plan,
History has proven success through a constant,
the strong leading Front Man.
A squad patrolling in the jungle or the sand,
The sergeant on the street,
Or the lead singer of a band.
This person has no gender, their color does not matter,
A soft tongue yet careful ear,
Measuring what is heard through the jeers and the chatter.
Standing in the front, yet among those they appear to lead,
Hard, compassionate, yet fair,
Accounting for all, ensuring every need.
Defining those around them, speaking for the mass,
The best of what is around,
Polished like fine silver, transparent as glass.
The Front Man must know that they simply represent,
all that surround them,
No matter the scratches on the surface, a tear or dent.
Walking softly yet hidden beneath, a reluctant hammer,
Good, bad, or indifferent,
A buffer from hell given, recipients of inadvertent glamour.
How did they get there, are they volunteers?
Chosen by fate, life, or other means,
Suffering the boos and the relishing the cheers.
Be it a soldier, cop, or nurse, sometimes even a music fan,
Willingly or not are defined,
by the words and actions of the person they call their Front Man.
Today I met you for the very first time,
Many questions need answers,
Seeing you are the victim of your own crime.
We are about the same age, your home similar to mine,
Pictures and favorite things,
you are not a hard person to define.
On the table is camera with an impressive lens,
A camera similar to mine,
Who knows, maybe we could have been friends.
The puzzle piece of your life summed up in a letter left on the floor,
Together our time will be short,
Absorbing your written thoughts, as I slowly close the door.
I am not here to judge you and can only assume,
Your thoughts consumed your soul,
your world, now this dark room.
Your life on paper, like a script from a show,
Every pain, hardship and sorrow,
Left to be found by me, someone you didn’t even know.
To this earth, this life, you are no longer bound,
Placing a small part of your burden on me,
This scene of sadness, in a letter left to be found.
You answer the question why and the how has been done,
The haunting torment ends,
for those who cared, it has only just begun.
Understand when I read this, there is no way for me to feel what you did,
A spirit gone and wasted ,
For me like before, these images hidden, secured with a tight lid.
I was summoned here today certainly not by my choice,
Putting your story in a stranger’s hands,
Trusting that I will now be your voice.
I don’t know your whole life or why you chose this day,
but who cared for you are now my concern,
And I will not let them see you this way.
If you can hear me, know I think you made a mistake,
Your tragedy now mine too,
The details with be softened, simply for your family’s sake.
What is going to happen now isn’t what you think,
The pictures and your story will be re-written,
Like others before and after, the effect will not grow, but shrink.
It is better me do this rather than someone who you knew,
A permanent solution to a temporary problem,
Their hearts broken, my next call waits with something new.
You may think I don’t care, but you committed your own crime,
There have been many before you,
Understand that this certainly is not my first time.
Quietly I speak hoping my words you can hear,
Many have traveled the same path,
Some who do my job, their memories met with my tear.
Make no mistake, with me this day will remain,
But your face and story will be placed with the others,
another link in an unfortunate chain.
In one quick action this life came to a tragic stop,
You took your own life today,
This life, this story, now retold by this stranger, this cop.
Suicide and suicide prevention have such profound effects on those around each tragedy. I have unfortunately had to deal with an unusual number of suicides as a police officer. As my career progressed, these suicides really hit home when my co-workers, my friends, decided that this was also their escape. The true answers and circumstances rarely, if ever, are brought to light.
I recently red an article regarding police officers that have considered either harming themselves or taking their own lives. This is a tough world. This article is eye opening. No longer should we be turning a blind eye to the epidemic of first responders and soldiers regarding the trauma that they face throughout their career. Bravado and toughness come with acceptance and help. Please get help. Please speak with your family and friends.
Also take a look at the article link below. Thank you for reading this difficult poem.
Pray for Our Country
Pray for our beautiful country,
It is what we all have together,
One nation united under God.
Whether you believe or not, what does it hurt? Our country, our name is supposed to unite all. Do we always get along? No. Do we always agree? No. Will we ever get along and agree? No. What we can do is disagree, respectfully, and still be one nation. It makes us stronger and better every day.
If you pray, pray for this country as a whole. If you don’t pray, see the previous sentence. If you choose not to, understand your choice is accepted because of the very country of which you live.
The freedom to respectfully express oneself and opinions is something of which we have, and continue to, pay a dear price. Be responsible with these freedoms. Be respectful to your fellow countrymen and countrywomen.
Thank you to my beautiful wife for taking a picture of these less than perfect hands.