Text and ZoomThere should be an image of double feathers running down both sides of the centre of the page, to the left and to the right of the text. If it is completely or partially missing and you would like to see the page as it was intended you will have to adjust your browser. First lower your text to the "smallest" setting. If that doesn't fix the problem then adjust your view by zooming "in" or "out". The page was designed on a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 with zoom at 100% and text at "smallest". All this should be solved when I recode to the newest html. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Also accept my apologies for any spelling errors. They say that there should never be any spelling errors in this day and age with the powerful computers we use but I strongly disagree with them. Just because a word is spelled right does not mean that it is spelled rite; write?



I have been kind and only put a few of my ramblings here.

Words captured from a waking moment in a dream to memories of a dearly departed loved one. Although they may not be great works of literature and will probably never appear anywhere else in print, they are mine, and that is enough...but I really think that there are one or two that would sound great in song.

...dreamer. Can you put your head in your hands? Oh no!




I wrote this song in high school for a friend who was having problems dealing with heavy issues.



DON'T LET GO


                              Inside your walls, you live with your fears,
                              As coldly and cruelly they bring you to tears.
                              On the surface your so strong and so bold,
                              While from out of the depths, you try to grab hold.

                              Babe, I hope that you know.
                              That babe, we all love you so.
                              Babe, don't let go.

                              In your lonely hours you dream of the past.
                              You thought it was perfect, but it didn't last.
                              You try to make everyone think you like the new song,
                              But deep in your heart, you know it's all wrong.

                              Babe, I hope that you know.
                              That babe, we all love you so.
                              Babe, don't let go.

                              But in these darkest moments, look for the light.
                              We will be there to help you through the night.
                              You know we'll never leave you to face it alone.
                              There's no need to try and do it all on your own.

                              Babe, I hope that you know.
                              That babe, we all love you so.
                              Babe, don't let go.

Copyright © 1980 Lance Brydges





A tale of love within a disturbed mind.


                              A star shone on the hour of our meeting.
                              Soft light slanted down from the heavens above.
                              Enhancing the beauty of our first touch.
                              Kindling the fires from the sparks of love.

                              The eternal sands of time will never witness,
                              a love purer or stronger than mine for thee.
                              It will last beyond the passing of a universe.
                              It will sail forever on an endless sea.

                              But the devil himself torments my thoughts,
                              and every nerve and fibre takes toll.
                              With the coolness of a dagger, I shall sooth the fire,
                              that rages through my body and binds my soul.

                              Greive not for my fate is my own choosing.
                              Only my love for you has tipped the scale.
                              Continue your story and write it well,
                              Forgive me but forget me not.

                              I shall await you at the end of the tale.
Copyright © 1981 Lance Brydges





THE WARRIOR AND THE MAIDEN


                                  Out of the north came a warrior bold,
                                  armoured in black on a steed of gold.
                                  Over foreign lands he had ridden far,
                                  in search of his fair young maiden.

                                  His people begged him not to go.
                                  Stay and lead us against or foe.
                                  But their pleas only fell on deafened ears,
                                  for his heart belonged to a maiden.

                                  Countless nights his repose and repast,
                                  held in darkened wood on forest grass.
                                  Spirits never dampened but forever held fast,
                                  by the memory of his darling young maiden.

                                  In daydreams sweet he felt her embrace.
                                  The warmth of her skin under silk and lace.
                                  And oh how it made his poor heart ache,
                                  for the touch of his gentle young maiden. 

                                  On a lonely hill escaping a bog,
                                  stood warrior and steed in the morning fog.
                                  In this barren land he would find the man,
                                  who had stolen his lovely young maiden.

                                  To a castle dark, damp and cold,
                                  he hurried to settle a battle old.
                                  For years this man had did his best,
                                  to keep him from his beautiful maiden.

                                  His challenge was met with the clash of steel.
                                  For hours they fought on a blood drenched field.
                                  With waning strength the warrior swung,
                                  the blow to win the young maiden.

                                  Warm arms now clutched him tight.
                                  He opened his eyes in the fading light.
                                  Years of struggle to again behold,
                                  the beauty of his fair young maiden.

                                  He smiled and gently with a sigh,
                                  he softly brushed a tear from her eye.
                                  He whispered "I love you" and squeezed her hand,
                                  And died in the arms of his maiden.

                                  She kissed the lips of her valiant knight,
                                  And from his belt she drew his knife.
                                  Together now for eternity.
                                  The warrior and the maiden.
Copyright © 1982 Lance Brydges





To my niece and her little son, taken from us June 14, 2001. I still wait for the words to honour you properly but for now all I can do is remember your beauty and your grace and the wonderful mother you became. The horror that you faced with your youngest son in your arms, haunts me still and as much as I try to forgive I cannot forget those who were responsible for your deaths. The day may yet come ...

I had so little time to get to know you Aaron, but I remember the day that you were playing in my back yard with your brother and my two little ones. I watched as you broke something, (what, I can't recall) but you ran as fast as your wee legs could carry you, all the way back to your Gramma and Grampa's. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry so I did both.
I also remember the day that your brother and you were in my care while I took our kids to a soccer match. I remember your laughter as you played ball with some other boys who had gathered near. I remember drying your tears after you had been kicked by accident. I remember that it was only a few days before you left.
I knew your Mom a little bit longer. We grew up together and saw a lot of good and bad times. Her smile, her gentle way and her youthful innocence will be what I remember most. Mementoes of Cyndi brighten my home in beautiful crafts or little gifts of whimsy that she had given me. And though we probably would have never seen each other again it would have been nice to know that she was still gracing earth with her presence.

We think of you no less now that you are gone.
But it hurts to know that the road to your house has become far too long.







In loving memory of my father,
Sydney C. Brydges
March 26, 1922 - December 18,1999
Copyright © 2002 Lance Brydges





Mother


                                 On Mother's Day each and every year;
                                 a frantic search for a card that's near
                                 to capturing the essence of a Mother dear,
                                 but few even come close.

                                 They're full of laughter and delight;
                                 of years of care both day and night
                                 and lots of love, which only seems right,
                                 but it's all in general terms.

                                 Almost every Mother by right can claim
                                 to fulfill these deeds these cards proclaim.
                                 It is their nature and their fame,
                                 but what makes one special?

                                 It's the special memories they help create,
                                 either by design or simple fate
                                 that determine how mother and child relate,
                                 and what Mother really means.

                                 So here's my walk down memory lane,
                                 to visit the ones so strongly ingrained,
                                 that without a mother's love would not remain
                                 forever a part of my thoughts...

                                 On a sad day sometime in the fall,
                                 as we sat and watched the burning of old home walls
                                 Her words of scolding I can't recall,
                                 But her forgiving hug I remember.

                                 On a summer's day, stumbling through the door,
                                 white as a sheet, spilling blood on the floor
                                 from a half severed finger from a jackknife's score,
                                 Her tender nursing I remember.

                                 Endless days of playing outside,
                                 from Robin Hood to Bonnie and Clyde.
                                 Crawling under fences to a fence rail ride,
                                 But it was her picnics I dearly remember.

                                 I can't remember the year but it was a cold day,
                                 on a trip in winter to a neighbours to stay,
                                 standing in the back, shivering all the way,
                                 But warm hands under her collar I remember.

                                 Of school mornings that most kids hate,
                                 of the endless cries of "You're going to be late",
                                 And other choice words she used to berate,
                                 It's her kiss and hug good-bye I remember.

                                 Memories of school are sketchy at best.
                                 Just a blur of learning followed by a test.
                                 But thankfully each day ended like the rest,
                                 Her hot drink and a snack I remember.

                                 Pain filled days in hospital I've tried to forget,
                                 though both doctors and nurses kind were met,
                                 and over me they always seemed to fret,
                                 But it was my mother's visits I remember.

                                 Adolescence went quite the same way.
                                 I remember a house full of friends every day,
                                 and my mother catering in her giving way,
                                 more than just I will remember.

                                 She warned me not to smoke but my choice she had freed.
                                 She warned me of booze and where that could lead.
                                 She worried but said little when I even tried weed,
                                 But by her freedom she gave me strength to deny them.

                                 I remember girls calling me on the phone,
                                 and Mom telling them that I wasn't at home,
                                 And reproach for shirking a job that was mine alone,
                                 But I remember she always did it?!

                                 The dating scene's a blur except for the scars.
                                A haze of school dances that progressed into bars,
                                 on the relentless search for that one shining star,
                                 And my mother there to guide me.

                                 One particular day, all messed up in the head,
                                 when feminine wiles had confused and mislead,
                                 "Women are like buses", I remembered she'd said,
                                 "A new one comes along every ten minutes".

                                 Words of wisdom, words of wit,
                                 Even unspoken words powerfully hit,
                                 and when the answer didn't quite seem to fit,
                                 I remember it did eventually.

                                 Now I know eventually seems rather unclear,
                                 Am I implying an hour, a day, a month, a year?
                                 Well would you believe all and more I fear,
                                 as I remember words nearly 3 decades old!

                                 Unsure of what you want makes it a difficult test
                                 Years can be spent looking for a mate that's best,
                                 And when I thought I had found her who wouldn't have guessed;
                                 She was so very much like my mother.	

                                 I told her I had news she wouldn't guess without a clue
                                 and without a pause she said, "she's leaving you".
                                 I laughed and told her it had to do with pink or blue.
                                 I remember her look and that I couldn't read it.

                                 With much prodding still she remained steadfast,
                                 Only saying she thought that it wouldn't last.
                                 With no more explanation she put it in the past.
                                 I remember that it was never spoke of again.

                                 Now twenty-eight years and everything is gone.
                                 so it seems "eventually" can really mean this long,
                                 and a mother's intuition is seldom wrong,
                                 I remember finding answers in her notebook.

                                 It seems my ability to read others came from her.
                                 She wrote of things to come that did "eventually" occur,
                                 and it broke her heart she had no help to offer.
                                 but I remember she never once let it show.

                                 But what she saw I saw as well,
                                 but from my first born I was under a spell,
                                 a spell I thought covered her as well,
                                 but now my mother's words I remember.

                                 Children are magical of this I can attest,
                                 but they all grow up and leave the nest,
                                 the spell now broken, vows are put to the test,
                                 and if strong you'll retain your honour.

                                 She did what most mothers can't do with a daughter or son.
                                 She taught me what was right and then let me run.
                                 I know she prayed often that I would not be undone,
                                 Her faith in me I will always remember.

                                 When Father passed she came to live with me,
                                 and I quite enjoyed the similarity,
                                 to that of my childhood memory,
                                 and a time when our roles were reversed.

                                 In her final years an evil beset her mind.
                                 It devoured memories of the dearest kind.
                                 And my search for help I could not find.
                                 That soul numbing truth I will always remember.

                                 To a frail, frightened child she regressed.
                                 No aid came from who could have helped her best.
                                 To put her in a home I was sorely pressed.
                                 Thank God she forgot more than she remembered.

                                 She lived out her years in peaceful oblivion,
                                 forgetting all who she was unable to depend upon,
                                 and eventually even her naïve doting son,
                                 Who will remember all that she forgot.

                                 In a vision of utter darkness I was forced to stand.
                                 No sound heard, no request, no demand.
                                 Then suddenly from the gloom reached out a hand.
                                 I immediately knew its purpose.

                                 Alone into that night in the cold and rain,
                                 I struggled to reach her despite migraine and pain,
                                 such bitter frustration when it was all in vain,
                                 but then I heard soft voice comfort me.

                                 On the morrow a call to which I had insight.
                                 Mother had passed on quietly in the night,
                                 at the same time as I had lost the fight,
                                 and heard her tell me that she loved me.

                                 They insisted she was not alone at the last,
                                 and that another was there when she had passed.
                                 And when she reached out she found a hand to grasp,
                                 But I'll always remember that it was not mine.

                                 These are but a few of the memories I recall.
                                 A book would be needed to write them all,
                                 And if written, it's title I would call,
                                 The Essence of my Mother.
Your loving son.

Copyright © 2003 Lance Brydges





To the nurses I have known. Renfrew, Pembroke, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto.

As we suffer in pain from the evil that torments us,
And battle fear and loneliness too.
Angels of Compassion, Mothers of Mercy,
You hold us up and carry us through.




A little poem inspired by a story on the net, whether based on fact or fiction I am not sure, about a woman who had died and was waked with a fork in her hand. The curiosity, too much for one, asked why there was a fork in the woman's hands. She was told that the woman requested it because so many times, after a great meal, she was told to keep her fork because the best was yet to come. She knew, and wanted us to know also, that her journey was not over with her death and that the best was yet to come.
Several years later...O.K., I give up. Obviously this word doesn't sit well with many of you and since the explanation didn't help I've just rewritten it. Enjoy



KEEP YOUR FORK


                                        Through swirling mist, he doth persist,
                                        to reach his bony hand.
                                        Waiting only, for that lonely,
                                        last tiny grain of sand.

                                        With its fall, comes the call,
                                        which all men try to foil;
                                        the knell of doom, the darkened tomb,
                                        the loss of one's mortal coil.

                                        In vice-like grasp, you hear him rasp,
                                        "Your time is finally nigh."
                                        A chilling grin, on jutting chin,
                                        confirms it is no lie.

                                        Before your eyes, your whole life flies,
                                        and anxiety fills your mind.
                                        But staunch thy fear, it's not needed here,
                                        You shall be treated in kind.

                                        It's not your life that you see unwind,
                                        but the karma of all your deeds.
                                        And what is there determines where,
                                        your host's boney hand will lead.

                                        He holds the key, to set you free,
                                        from your earthly cage.
                                        Mind not the fact, he likes to act,
                                        and all the worlds his stage.

                                        Proudly stand, shake his hand,
                                        And bid him, "lead on Chum."
                                        Then grab your fork, and pop a cork,
                                        For the best is yet to come.
Copyright © 2003 Lance Brydges





One should refrain from thinking of one's life too deeply sometimes.


                              Alone among millions,
                              on that razor's edge between sane and insanity.
                              In frightened flight, to darkest night,
                              I run hard with no breath to scream,
                              to keep from sight, for broad daylight
                              is both nightmare and sweetest dream.

                              Alone among millions,
                              under the yokes of masters small yet strong.
                              I bow my head, cold sweat I shed,
                              but no tear or blood shall be freed.
                              One drop is bled and the soul is dead
                              and one tear moistens the seed.

                              Alone among millions,
                              tortured by pleasures corrupted by pain.
                              With panicked gasps and cold rattled rasps
                              I fight to keep the struggle within.
                              To keep a firm grasp against oblivion's clasp
                              seems less a virtue and more a sin.

                              Alone among millions,
                              smothered in humanity,
                              beaten with brutality,
                              shamed by indignity,
                              bowed beneath humility,
                              will I ever be free?
                              No love, now have another cup of tea and
                              succumb to the insanity.
Copyright © 2007 Lance Brydges





Ever notice that you sometimes start waking up the exact same way each day?
Almost seems... robotic.

RUN... Self Diagnostic

RUN "START UP SYSTEMS CHECK" PERFORMING, please wait...
Eyes opened. ANALYSIS... DEVICE STILL OPERATIONAL... still alive... Damn.
"START UP SYSTEMS CHECK" COMPLETE.

RUN "SELF DIAGNOSTIC" PERFORMING, please wait...

RUN "FIVE SENSES CHECK" PERFORMING...

CHECKING SIGHT please wait...
Sun bursting through every crack in shutters like lava through a cell door.
ANALYSIS... VISUAL SENSES... ACUTE...
RUN
"MIGRAINE PREVENTION ROUTINE" ASAP.

CHECKING HEARING please wait...
What woke me? Ahhhh... the neighbour is mowing his rocks again.
Must be Saturday. Can hear the blood pulsing in my head.

AUDITORY SENSES... SENSATIVE... RUN "PLUG AUDIO INPUT PORTS".

CHECKING SMELL please wait...
Someone is frying hot dogs. Dinner time. Left over chicken parts. No beaks.
OLFACTORY SENSES... OK.

CHECKING TASTE please wait...
Tongue dry... swollen... feels like it is covered in fur... tastes like metal...
DISABLE "BREATHING THROUGH NOSE ROUTINE"
TASTE SENSES... OK.

CHECKING TOUCH please wait...
Full five finger and palm feedback from right hand. RELEASE GENITALS. Full five finger and palm feedback from left hand. RELEASE PARTNER'S GENITALS.
TOUCH SENSES... OK.

"FIVE SENSES CHECK" COMPLETE.

RUN "BODY PARTS CHECK" PERFORMING, please wait...
CHECKING HEAD please wait...

Pain...Pounding... "MIGRAINE PREVENTION ROUTINE" FAILED. RETRY.
CHECKING NECK please wait...

Pain... MODERATE. DECREASE ACTIVITY UNTIL NEXT CHECK. MONITOR...
CHECKING RIGHT SHOULDER please wait...

Pain... MILD. WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS. MONITOR...
CHECKING LEFT SHOULDER please wait...

Numb... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING RIGHT CHEST please wait...

No Pain... ANOMOLY... RECHECKING.
CHECKING RIGHT CHEST please wait...

Pain... masked by left shoulder pain.
WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING LEFT CHEST please wait...

Numb... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING RIGHT ARM please wait...

Asleep...Needles... SHAKE ARM VIGOROUSLY. RECHECKING.
CHECKING RIGHT ARM please wait...

No Pain...WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING LEFT ARM please wait...

Asleep...Needles...Numb... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING RIGHT HAND please wait...

No Pain... OK... Knock on wood... with right hand only!
WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING LEFT HAND please wait...

Numb... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING RIGHT WAIST please wait...

Extreme Pain...Burning...
WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS. MONITOR...
CHECKING LEFT WAIST please wait...

No Pain... ANOMOLY... RECHECKING.
CHECKING LEFT WAIST please wait...

Tighten stomach muscle... Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING MIDDLE WAIST please wait...

New pain... ANOMOLY... MONITOR...
CHECKING RIGHT BUTTOCKS please wait...

No Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING LEFT BUTTOCKS please wait...

No Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
ENABLE
"SIT FUNCTION"
CHECKING RIGHT THIGH please wait...

Numb... Burning... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING LEFT THIGH please wait...

Numb...Burning... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING RIGHT KNEE please wait...

No Pain... ANOMOLY... RECHECKING...
Refrain from kicking...Wall proximity close.
CHECKING RIGHT KNEE please wait...

No Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS. MONITOR.
CHECKING LEFT KNEE please wait...

Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING RIGHT LEG CALF please wait...

Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING LEFT LEG CALF please wait...

Charlie horse... ABORT DIAGNOSTIC... RUN "STAND UP ROUTINE"...
OPERATION FAILED... RETRY... OPERATION FAILED... RECHECKING...
CHECKING LEFT LEG CALF please wait...

Severe pain... MONITOR
CHECKING RIGHT FOOT please wait...

Swollen...Numb...Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING LEFT FOOT please wait...

Swollen...Numb...Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING UPPER BACK please wait...

Numb...Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING LOWER BACK please wait...

Numb...Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING TAILBONE please wait...

Extreme Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS.
CHECKING GENITALS please wait...

No response... PERFORM "MANUAL CHECK".
CHECKING GENITALS please wait...

No response... RETRY "MANUAL CHECK".
CHECKING GENITALS please wait...

Small response... END "MANUAL CHECK".
END
"MANUAL CHECK" FAILED please wait...
Increased response... STOP "MANUAL CHECK".
STOP
"MANUAL CHECK" FAILED please wait...
Increased response... ABORT "MANUAL CHECK".
ABORT
"MANUAL CHECK" FAILED please wait...
Increased response... ABORT... ABORT... ERROR... ERROR...
"MANUAL CHECK" ABORTED... TRY AGAIN LATER...
"BODY PARTS CHECK" COMPLETE.

RUN "ORGAN PARTS CHECK" PERFORMING, please wait...
CHECKING HEART please wait...

No Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS DESPITE USE OF STRONG HEART MEDICATION FOR MIGRAINES. MONITOR...
CHECKING LUNGS please wait...

No Pain... Slightly reduced breathing. WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS DESPITE USE OF STRONG PAIN MEDICATION. MONITOR...
CHECKING LIVER please wait...

No Pain... No Jaundice... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS DESPITE USE OF STRONG PAIN MEDICATION. MONITOR...
CHECKING RIGHT KIDNEY please wait...

Occasional Pain... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS DESPITE USE OF STRONG PAIN MEDICATION. STOPPED IBUPROFEN USE. MONITOR...
CHECKING LEFT KIDNEY please wait...

No response... Occassional Pain... WELL BELOW OPTIMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS. MONITOR...
CHECKING BLADDER please wait...

Full Retention... Easy Voiding... WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS. MONITOR...
CHECKING INTESTINES please wait...

Occasional Pain... Gas... Regular despite constipation..WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS DESPITE USE OF STRONG PAIN MEDICATION. MONITOR...
CHECKING STOMACH please wait...

Good Appetite... Spasms of esophagus reduced.
WITHIN NORMAL OPERATING PARAMETERS. MONITOR...
"ORGAN PARTS CHECK" COMPLETE.

RUN "ESP Routine" PERFORMING... Please wait...
Beware, attempts to suck the life out of you are still ongoing...
"SIXTH SENSE CHECK" COMPLETE.
"SELF DIAGNOSTIC CHECK" COMPLETE.
RUN
"STAND ROUTINE" GYROS ON AND OPERATING WITHIN NORMAL PARAMETERS. PROCEDE TO NEXT STATION. MONITORING...
PERFORM
"SIT FUNCTION" COMPLETE.
RUN
"MEDICATION ROUTINE" Appropriate medications taken...
MONITORING MEDICATION PERFORMANCE... Pain decreasing... MONITORING...
RUN
"MOCK SELF DESTRUCT SEQUENCE" PERFORMING, please wait...ERROR...Self destruct sequence off line...Retry again later
"Good morning." RECEIVING INPUT... ANALYZING...
RUN
"LEVEL 0 AUDIO OUT TEST" PERFORMING...
"What's good about it?"
"LEVEL 0 AUDIO OUT TEST" COMPLETE. LEVEL AND TONE O.K.
ALTERNATE REPLY TO SALUTATION @ LEVEL 3... PERFORMING...

"Good morning." WAITING FOR RESPONSE... ANALYZING RESPONSE please wait... FORMULATING RESPONSE please wait...
"Coffee and toast, please and thank you." MONITORING...
RUN
"BREAKFAST SEQUENCE" PERFORMING, please wait...MONITORING...
"Mmmm, that smells good. So, what's up for today?"

Copyright © 2008 Lance Brydges





If, indeed, all the world's a stage, why do so many join the circus?

Ever since I was around 12 I could never decide which was more pathetic to watch. A just plain bad human being with no redeeming graces whatsoever or those church going, service club joining, pillars of our community so hypocritical that you do not dare turn your back on them for a second. This is not meant to take away from any human who practices their faith with honest humility and devotion, for I have no clue as to which, if any religion or faith, is the right one. All we can do is be happy, allow others to be happy and to treat others with the respect that they deserve. Live and let live.
One instance among thousands I recall was one of the last before becoming a recluse. On a visit that was supposed to be friendly and light, the conversation, as conversations do, switched to religion. Now my hosts had found God for the third or fourth time, the one nailed to the wall of their church not the real one, and were quite fervent in their beliefs. The point when I was asked to leave was when I refuted their claim that the bible commands Christians to rid the world of gays and lesbians. Not believing that the connotations I perceived attached to the term "rid" were what it sounded like I inquired and was assured that rid and my connotation was exactly what was meant. I know, right? But this was not even the worst. A short while later I learned that they had a dinner party for a lesbian couple who were the bosses of a relative that lived with them! I wonder what they talked about? I kept an ear to the grapevine for news but it appeared that the couple had survived the evening. Anyway that is just a miniscule sampling of what makes me who I am today and why I wrote what I wrote below.
I cannot begin to express the pain and loss I suffered when my family left me and I would give anything to have back what I had, but when minds become so completely... ahhh what's the word? No that's not it... Oh yeah, Fucked Up, I am much better off living the remainder of my life alone. They all seem happy and that was all I ever wanted for them. I imagined my presence would be what brought them joy but if it is my absence so be it. I said that I would give anything for their happiness and I meant it.


                         I don't know why I'm here, or if I have a purpose.
                         But I know it's not to join, any religious freak show circus.

                         If it's a test well then I'll do my very best to pass.
                         If not valedictorian, at least in the graduating class.
                         And you'll know who we are when we come on mass,
                         Following none but one another to kick self-righteous ass.

                         Shower me with money I won't be undone by greed.
                         And I don't seek payback. I won't make another bleed.
                         Pour on the booze, I'll always walk straight.
                         Dangle your drugs, I don't need your psychedelic bait.
                         Tempt me with women, they won't be my downfall.
                         I'm playing for eternity, with no intention of dropping the ball.

                         Spew propaganda. Evil comes in every race.
                         And so every race has its measure of Devine grace.
                         Religion will not harness me to carry a heavy yoke.
                         I am in with the enlightened few who get the inside joke.

                         I don't know why I'm here, or if I have a purpose.
                         But I know it's not to network at church
                         and then proclaim "What a wonderful service."
Copyright © 2009 Lance Brydges




Dear sister. We had our fights over the years but as I grew older I came to understand you maybe more than you did yourself. Your road was long and dark and more arduous than most would have believed but you stayed as tough as nails. Maybe more so due to the fact that you hid how gentle and caring you were inside and how very easily you were hurt. Well the hurting is over now, both physically and emotionally and you can now finally find peace. I wrote a little poem for you and I hope you like it. I got a lot of heat for it because I spoke up for you concerning those who hurt you. I don't mind though because I also got a lot of praise from those who want to see the hurtful and uncaring stripped of their positions. Sometimes you just don't know how many will follow you until you get up and start walking. Anyway, enough of that. It's been over two months since you left and I miss your phone calls. I was cleaning up my desk and came across a post-it note reminding me to call you. I know it's a local call from here but I do not know the number. But I guess you don't really need to hear from me. Thank you for visiting last week. Yes I knew it was you. I'm not out of tune with the world around me yet. I thought of you while outside working on a little project I know you would have liked. The day was mild but the wind bit with cold teeth. I almost quit and went in but then the wind died down. I never noticed though until I heard all my chimes ringing and I looked at the trees and not one was moving. So no wind in the trees and none down where the chimes were ringing softly. Who else could it be? It was comforting to know you were near. And now to your poem, or song or whatever it should be called. And can you believe that some of our family didn't know why I referred to you as the Black Rose? It's sad when you realize that sometimes "brother" or "sister" means nothing more than just another sibling.

The Black Rose of Ashdad


         We are not the shiny happy people, and though we know their ways,
         We take our comfort from the night or those long rainy days.
         We do not choose this path. We are forced to walk this way.
         And though we long for something better, we know we have little say.

         We are not the shiny happy people, even sunny days aren't very bright.
         And though we dearly want to, we will never stop the fight.
         We are long of tooth and nail. Tough as old dried leather.
         And though we pray for calm we are used to violent stormy weather.

         4:15 on the 30th of August.  We just lost one of our own this day.
         Soft of heart and loyal to death, though few knew her that way.
         Quick of wit, hard as nails and not afraid to bare her teeth.
         Few took the time to get to know the gentle soul buried beneath.

         She bore the scars from many demons faced alone and felled one by one.
         And even when she asked for aid she usually received none.
         But that in itself was a weapon, an armour against all of her fears.
         And it bolstered her often as she fought on in an endless stream of tears.

         And in her final days, as she waited for Death on her hospital bed.
         Those who could have shown compassion, showed her apathy instead.
         And though it broke her heart to be treated in this way.
         "Why should it be any different just because I'm dying?" was all she would say.

         More wounds for her to bear from those trained to help and to heal.
         They will not go unpunished. They will feel what they made her feel. 
         I thank God for those who remembered who they were and why they were there.
         Angels of mercy, Mothers of compassion. Tender loving care.

         We are not the shiny happy people, who know no pain or endure plight.
         We know we will only know peace when we walk into the light.
         You asked "When will this all end, all this pain and suffering?"
         I told you it will finally cease when the last nail is driven in.

         Not one of the shiny happy people, I lost my sister, a friend, this day.
         She lost a battle with a demon whose name I fear to say.
         But her last battle lost was her war finally won.
         And from the battle field she walks proudly into a light brighter than the sun.

         The Black Rose of Ashdad. Dearest sister. Treasured friend.
         Your long road of pain and suffering is finally at an end.
         And when the rains fall and I hear the soft tinkling of chimes.
         I'll know you are near dear sister, reminding me of happier times.

Copyright © 2009 Lance Brydges

For those who were confused about the reference to the last nail being hammered in, no it was not about the crucifixion but about older engineering. You see today, correct me if I'm wrong, a coffin is sealed shut with a key or similar device. A hundred years ago coffins were of a much simpler design of a couple of pine boards nailed together and when it was filled the top was nailed on securely. And so the line is just a colourful way of saying, "when you're dead".







Yes there was a wedding poem here once, but leaving it here would only serve as a constant reminder to so many family members who encouraged its demise or cheered after assuming it safe to do so. What's that old saying about assuming? Ah, it'll come to me when I least expect it. It would also have been an embarrassment to the Roman Catholic priests who either refused to offer their enormous amount of knowledge on the subject of marriage and problem solving that they so graciously force upon any who wish to marry or they enabled it with spiritual misdirection, comforting misinformation and generous financial aid. Aid that I was expected to repay! If I wanted to pay that kind of coin to have my heart cut out of me I would have went to a specialist in Ottawa. At least there we could have have went out and got a couple of "female" hookers afterwards. But most importantly to those, mostly women, who undertake the daunting and dangerous task of helping women get out of abusive relationships. I do not envy you your job of trying to determine who is telling the truth and who isn't. I knew a couple who worked out of Ottawa that I had a great deal of respect for and the things that were said about them from those who were supposed to be their friends, well my heart goes out to them. And finally, though it is something not common nowadays and even less so my commenting on it favourably, I would like to thank the more experienced police officer whose job it was also to separate fact from fiction. He was polite, his tone friendly even jovial at times. His comments were never disparaging or insinuating, but what impressed me the most was his quick and easy ability to see through all the bullshit and straight to the heart of the matter. I hope the force keeps him around here for awhile because I think he would do a good job in removing all those broomsticks buried so deep in so many arseholes. Well there that's done. It wasn't a bad poem either. Some guys might have even found it useful. Ooops scratch that, I just remembered how well it worked. Anyways thank you, it's OK, up yours, my apologies, it'll come around, thank God and Toyota... you know which response is yours.




The middle of this year brought me much happiness with the birth of my first grandchild. I wrote this to welcome her to the family and let her know what she means to me, that the brief, unpleasant, feeling of the "Empty Nest Syndrome" was just that, brief. Most syndromes are usually bad and that one is no different. I dislike it immensely. I thought it only happened to mothers. I've been called a "mother" a few times but that shouldn't count. Anyway, my deepest thanks to TPTB, or Friday afternoon at Quality Control or who or whatever sent this angel my way.

Names have been removed or changed to respect their privacy.

Alhachsandiria Baby You


                  I heard that you were coming, before you even had a name.
                  But my heart filled with joy and anticipation just the same.

                  You are the prestigious first, at least as Grandparents go.
                  My life forever changing with each year that you grow.

                  You are the centre of the centre, the main purpose for me living.
                  You are love's greatest gift, precious and forever giving.

                  You are an emptiness filled, when I barely knew it was there.
                  You are a memory remembered, of a love that was once shared.

                  You are the first Grandchild, Alhachsandiria Baby You.
                  My first child's first child. May your joy and love continue.
With deepest love Pawpaw

Copyright © 2010 Lance Brydges




And you got me to thinking...

What Will You Be?


               What will you be, this gift so small in my arms.
               The choices will be many with all your many charms.

               Will many lessons help you to make your final choice?
               Will your quiet listening give rise to a stronger voice? 

               Will you become a financial planner, money lender or stock broker?
               Oh the horror! My baby turning into a nightmare from Brams Stoker!

               Or what if a Senator? Neither kind would fill me with mirth.
               For both excel at receiving ten times what they're really worth.

               And what if a lawyer, whom the innocent they swear to defend.
               But most, sooner or later, to corruption will eventually bend.

               Or a cop whose shiny badge once earned so much respect.
               Now tarnished and untrusted from years of arrogant neglect.

               Maybe a specialized surgeon will get the final nod.
               You get to play with knives and pretend that you are God.

               And then there's the politician, just a lawyer who got board,
               and wanted to ruin more lives than his little firm could afford.

               You could be a priest, or reverend if you're female or gay,
               But be warned, hypocrites should fear, come that judgement day.

               Or what about a monk, or for you girls it would be a nun.
               But you'll go insane if you like to do it, but deny yourself the fun.

               You could be an astronaut, exploring the huge vacuum of space.
               Or maybe a sales clerk. Similar vacuum just in a different place.

               You could be a social worker enforcing rules across the land,
               For the rich can't remain the rich if the poor get out of hand.

               Oh goodness there are just so very many ways that you could go.
               But no hurry, there's lots of time, I'll think of more as you grow.
Copyright © 2010 Lance Brydges




Too Many Tears

A "Father-in-law" doesn't mean much in many families but mine was an exception. Possibly because, as people go, he too, was an exception. We shared many long arguments, discussions, conversations and the like that many were witness to but it was the one on one personal conversations that told me who he really was. Someone not many really knew. As a father of eight he was practiced in the art of navigating through conversations without seeming to take sides. He did not have to be on his guard with me as he knew that I would take his confidences to the grave with me, and that allowed him to speak freely. And it is easy to get to know a man who speaks freely.
Days after my father-in-law held his first great grandchild, my first granddaughter, he passed away. His home was a central gathering place for his eight children, their spouses and their continually growing families. When we follow a routine, with one place and one certain person, for so many years, there is such a severe sense of loss when that person is gone. You lose the joy of that person's company. You lose a future of more gatherings on that familiar ground. And you lose the familiar ground that reminds you of so many memories. With so many sorrows and such great joys surrounding me I was left feeling... numb. It is a feeling that lasts until one is able to face the sorrow and grieve long enough until all that is left is the memories. Then you can face your joys without sorrow. The grieving started not long after I stood in an empty shell of a house with a million fond memories tumbling through my brain.
The numbness was gone. Upon waking one restless night I wrote down this poem,
Too Many Tears.
Grief gave way to fond memories.




A poem that came to me out of the blue one evening while going
through some of my mother's papers after she had passed on.

THE ROAD... PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

The Forgetful Bard


                         Words come quickly to the forgetful Bard,
                         when once again caught without a store bought card.
                         This one can't be just good, but the best one yet,
                         for both card and gift did his addled brain forget.

                         But there's no crime committed for most will attest,
                         that parents love those homemade cards the best.
                         It's not the forgetting or the rushed lyrics I disdain,
                         but the false or over-blown truths that they tend to proclaim.

                         That fancy prose is touching but just not enough.
                         It must be backed up when the going gets rough.
                         "I'll love you forever" is in so many a rhyme,
                         but most don't realize that's a very long time.

                         "I'll always be there for you," is another so grand,
                         "Even if just to talk or to hold your hand."
                         But where's the fine print, "But that doesn't apply.
                         If you're sad, sick, lonely, or about to die."

                         When a loved one has died and you've had time to mourn,
                         Try this out and feel how deeply a heart can be torn.
                         Rummage through all their old boxes and books,
                         or knick knacks hidden in crannies and nooks.

                         Their dearest sweet treasures of love you will find,
                         old cards and poems and notes of all kind.
                         You thought they were cast out after each special day,
                         But here they all are safely tucked away.

                         As you read heart-felt writings of love stop and think,
                         Did the authors back up their rushed ramblings in ink?
                         When things were bad were they there on the side,
                         Or searching for excuses to run away and hide?

                         There is nothing wrong in admitting that you can't,
                         Unless you've always said there's no such word and recant.
                         So many duties today are left unattended,
                         leaving so many hearts broken and never mended.

                         So before you quickly jot words down for a special day,
                         weigh them carefully to be sure you mean what you say.
                         Those you hurt will never hold it against you,
                         But you will; I've seen it; I know it to be true.
Copyright © 2011 Lance Brydges




"Marriage. 25 years" has been erased, with about
as much the same measure of ease and grace.




TIME'S SLOW HURRY

The poetry that you read here is not the result of my sitting down and purposely trying to find the words to fit a topic. My mind is overflowing with random thoughts and ideas all of the time, I assumed just like everyone else. Although I do recall an incident from my adolescence that made me wonder. This person had the habit of constantly asking me what I was thinking about in what seemed like every ten seconds. Being a typical male my answer was always "nothing". A break in the routine of "you can't always be thinking about nothing", prompted me to analyse exactly what I had been thinking about. After many "are you not going to answer me?" I finally had summed it all up and in what seemed like forever I itemized the total sum of all my thoughts. Well the abreviated version anyway. In the long uncomfortable silence and intense stare that followed I waited for a reply that never came but I was never asked again, what I was thinking. Now what had I been writing about... ah yes, thoughts and ideas. Some sit there and percolate for years before anything concrete is done with them and others come to me in a flash of inspiration and burn to get out. Most of the poetry written here was the result of awakening in the middle of the night with the words running over and over in my head. I try to write them down quickly, in case I forget them, and then work on them the next day. However it happens, one thing always remains the same; I must bring them to their conclusion quickly or they will be all that I can think about until then.
The following poem is one of those that came to me in full upon wakening in the middle of the night. It may not make sense to most in some places as it is very personal. On that note I would take this opportunity to warn any and all who know me to think before you read it. Sometimes words are taken the wrong way causing one to misjudge the author's intent. All too often it is the reverse. No matter how obvious I try to make something there are those who just refuse to take the hint. I wrote these words down with no intent to harm or to judge. The words were there. I wrote them down. Though they are a very big part of me, I view them not in neither a good nor a bad way. They are what they are. Cast no admonishments my way. The poem is of a meeting that I imagined between my mother just recently passed and her son who died tragically forty-eight years earlier when he was but nine years old. Also, a note on reading this poem. It takes time and patience and probably several attempts before you will get the flow of it. The cadence is unusual and difficult to find but once you do you will appreciate it all the more. Please give it the time that so tragic a moment deserves. Thank you.

After that cryptic intro should you still wish to view these words, click
Time's Slow Hurry.




2011 brought more sadness my way with the passing of my mother. She suffered long with Alzheimer's. Or should I say, I did. It is not such a bad disease for the afflicted for they know not what is happening. With the memories of their lives and their loved ones stripped away they do not have to suffer with cherished memories while they are dying. They do not notice the passage of time between family visits. They do not miss anyone. If one is having a long difficult battle near the end I can think of no better affliction. Unfortunately the hell that it saves the afflicted is passed to their loved ones tenfold. It's a burden I would gladly shoulder again and again despite it's devastating effects. Her passing was made that much more difficult for me with the way that it happened. Suffice it to say I was relieved to know that the "3's" had run their course. Everything happens in threes. My sister in 2009, my father-in-law in 2010 and my mother in 2011. I had thought that the passing of other kin and acquaintances had broke that cycle but they occurred in threes by themselves as well. Odd. I don't believe in such things. It is just an observance. But the more I delve into the paranormal and such topics as transcendance, I wonder? Anyway it was a relief when the grieving lessened. As I watched my mother fade from the effects of her desease these words filled my thoughts. They are very personal and therefore may not be fully understood by the casual reader. As well, they may be misunderstood by others as well. I caution any who consider reading this poem that these words come to me unpressured and are recorded almost entirely unrevised. I beg no forgiveness, as harsh as that might seem, but it is what comes from having to watch
An Angel Waiting To Die.




And then more joy. What a roller coaster ride. The end of the year brought the birth of my second granddaughter. Another angel. And the last thing I want to do is make her feel that we were less excited about her arrival than that of her sister's. I was shocked when I realized that over 3 months had gone by and I had still not thought to write and publish her announcement in the local newspaper. All that hugging, and cuddling, and kissing, and bubble baths, and outfit try-ons, made the time just fly by. That should gross her out enough in the future for her to forgive me. So I hereby formally announce the arrival of another granddaughter. Now I can get back to the hugging and cuddling.


Elyanna Baby You


                                   The waiting was long and arduous.
                                   Months dragged on like years.
                                   But the wait and work was all worth it,
                                   when I saw you through welled up tears.

                                   I am still enthralled with your sister.
                                   Every day brings delights anew.
                                   Never believing it could get any better.
                                   And then along came beautiful you.

                                   I sit now in double amazement,
                                   as I watch each of you grow.
                                   Proud of all your accomplishments.
                                   Loving you more than you'll ever know.

                                   But in my joy of hugging and kissing you,
                                   There was something I almost forgot.
                                   I announced the arrival of your sister,
                                   but as for announcing you, I had not.

                                   And so without any further delay,
                                   I'm proud to say the counts at two.
                                   Get ready, here comes Sis's backup,
                                   Sweet Elyanna Baby You.
With deepest love Pawpaw


Copyright © 2011 Lance Brydges




And here's the "Hat Trick". Though I strongly suspect that there was no hat, coat or gloves involved in this at all!!! Now three kids in four years might not be breaking any records but it has to be breaking or at least messing up body parts something awful. I wonder what a girl has to do to get a break for awhile? But not to worry, I don't mind. It gives me a renewed and profound appreciation for peace and quiet. So congratulations on baby number three!


Menfeas Baby You


               Your journey was more difficult, refusing to take your sisters' lead.
               All of the dangers worriedly whispered, you paid to them no heed.
               You arrived in your own time, and in your own special way.
               A truly grand moment on a very special day.

               And this late announcement? News like this should be quickly told.
               There is no excuse for taking so long to welcome you into the fold.
               Unless you count your oldest sister, lack of attention she'll not allow.
               And little regard for baby brothers, but hopefully just for the now.

               Your older sister is quite different. A loner for the most part.
               But quiet and mischieveous and a true adventurer at heart.
               One minute right in front of me playing or lost in one of her shows,
               the next off without notice, and where to, no one knows.

               So you see we're all quite busy dealing with those siblings of yours,
               But your arrival is no less joyous than it was with that of the girls.
               I am happy you were a boy, not that my little girls are so bad,
               but it will be a welcome change of pace to have a quiet little lad.

               I know life is going to be quite difficult, not for me but for you I mean.
               Two older sisters can mean odd man out and even off the team.
               But figure out how to read them and their attacks you may assuage.
               Knowledge very valuable for their temperment alters little with age.

               I'll try to be there to guide you, prepare and protect you as I can.
               I'll push you when you need it and when not, I'll hold your hand.
               I'll love you even if you hate me. Hug you as often as you'll allow.
               I'll try to not let life distract me from the precious here and now.

               You are another prestigious first, taking a spot only you could fill.
               A brother, a son, a grandson, and everyone's latest big thrill.
               The third child of a trio. Two little girl's baby brother too.
               For that I'll say many prayers of hope for Menfeas Baby You.
All my love Poppa.


Copyright © 2012 Lance Brydges




This constant shifting from happy to sad makes me wonder if I shouldn't announce it when it changes.
It's like watching Jim Carey in "23". You're always waiting for the punchline that never comes.




WHEN I'M GONE revised

Who will remember me when I'm gone? The fool question I asked myself and thought I had answered. Life is our best teacher, but just like school, only if we pay attention.
Once, there were thirty neatly written lines here, and together they hypothesized an answer. The point now is not whether the answer was right or wrong. Any dolt could see that it amounted to six verses of bullshit. The point is why do we constantly fool ourselves into believing, that anyone truly gives a damn.
A snowflake in an avalanche. Let that sink in for just a moment. Each snowflake in that chaos represents a person. The out of control careening of us all coming down a mountain side is our lives. If there was even the slightest chance our passing would stir an emotion, it would last as long as that snowflake on the hot wet tongue of your first and "one true love".
A grain of sand upon a beach. Oh how nauseating are our attempts to make our lives poetic. We're mashed together and tossled back and forth with the ceaseless waves of life. The constant friction of rubbing against each other irritates the hell out of us and wears us down. If we are remembered it will be that of that grain of sand caught in the warm wet crotch of the baithing suit of your second and "one true love".
A teardrop in an ocean of sorrow. Now how romantic is that? And surprising we can even move on. Not tears for those we loved and lost but from every person who realized how little they'll be missed. For those who doubt me, next time someone you know dies, keep track on how long it takes before all is back to normal. You'll be as shocked as I was. What few tears there were at least half were so badly faked as to be comedic. They'll put on a brave face and keep reminding each other how good they all look in black and how they should all get together like this more often... but not just for funerals, like for other things. No need to worry about it because it will be your turn before that tear on the soft cheek of your third and "one true love" as she walks away, dries leaving no trace of salt.
A leaf upon the Autumn wind. Now that's closer to the point, probably because it is biological. Like us it sprouted, then blossomed, spent years playing with the birds and the bees sending little notes of pollen to one another, turning green, and then doing what work was needed to be done. For a short while it enjoyed its golden years watching fluids leak out, limb after limb weaken, droop, dry up, wrinkle, and then crutch rot and cavaties appearing everywhere until eventually its golden crown falls to the ground.
Ninety-nine percent of all leaf fatalities are fall related.
And still the similarities don't stop there. After their deaths we clean up the mess they left behind and burn or bury them. Gone as quickly as that leaf over heaven's gate of your fourth and "one true love" after you stole her bikini at the swimming hole.
Who will miss me when I'm gone? The exact same people who miss me in my absence now. No one. Like that old Irish saying, "I'll be a month or more in Heaven before my family knows I'm dead." No? That's not right? Well maybe it was Scottish. And if you think you are different you're only kidding yourself. Look in the paper. How many people are opting out of wakes and why? Because they know few will come. Wakes were for a time when people lived in isolation and so far away from each other that having a free meal around some dead person in a box was as good as reason as any to see someone, anyone, who wasn't of their family unit. And the poor soul who lingered to see before moving into the light thought, "Wow, so many people loved me. Even those I barely knew." And you're thinking that a spouse would be different. I've watched to see how long it takes after a spouse passes for the marital bed to be filled. As the old gossipers would say, "I don't think that the bed had time to cool off". That doesn't carry much shock value anymore because we live in a time when the spouse doesn't have to be dead before his/her side is used. Such a friendly gesture really, keeping it warm for the spouse's return and all that. The only time someone really misses another's passing is a parent and their child. Why? Because of the unconditional love the child has. Once they grow and if they lose that connection? Well there's too many variables. It's why pet funerals are so big. Mugwart or Mrs. Wigglytinkles never stops loving their owner regardless of how they are treated and when the owner loses that love their is a lot of trauma. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and no shortage of fools to cling to that rare exception trying to convince themselves as much as others that it applies to them.

Copyright © 2015 Lance Brydges




Life is like a Blue Jay


          He sits in wonder at how so many happy memories
          could lead to such a rotten ending as this.
          He's so confounded at how so many pretty pictures
          were just deceptions to the true reality that exists.
          He slams the albums down with a defeated angry frown, 
          a single photo glides silently across the floor.
          A beautiful Blue Jay on a bright and sunny day, 
          but with nothing familiar to give its location away.
          He turns it over to find a note,
          in a familiar hand was wrote, 
          "Life is like a Blue Jay".
          And one of the letters was slightly blurred 
          and within a fine circle white.

          He struggles on gathering possessions, 
          trash and treasures collected along the way.
          He wishes he were here to ask, 
          but doubts he'd be sure himself anyway.
          He wavers as old emotions hit, 
          one more bobble before he quits,
          and the next thing in his hands,
          stops him where he stands,
          A hand painted Blue Jay of real wood, 
          as vibrant as if it actually stood,
          right in front of him in real life, 
          not a facsimile cut out by a knife.
          And underneath on its delicate stand, 
          again in that familiar hand,
          the same line as before, 
          "Life is like a Blue Jay", nothing more,
          save one round stain of darkened wood 
          within a fine circle white.

          He recalls years of tiring resistance, 
          to anothers stoic firm insistance
          that marriage by God unblessed, 
          holds no weight, stands no test.
          He himself held no such belief, 
          but knew it would save one old man grief,
          The old man never lived to see his belief shatter, 
          but a time will come for judgement in that matter,
          for now he takes a small comfort 
          in knowing he did his best.

          He's finally finished gathering up the culmination of one man's life, 
          the total sum of all those years.
          A dozen boxes, some storage some trash, 
          but all something that was once something held dear.
          And a small pouch made of leather, 
          within it one tiny bright blue feather,
          it's importance lost in the constant rolling of years.

          His fingers spin one bright blue feather, 
          found tucked away in a small pouch of leather,
          its importance forgotten in the tumultuous weather, 
          of breaking dreams no longer held together
          by a contract made and witnessed by our Saviour, 
          A life sentence cut short by selfish behaviour.

          Despite a life that could have been kinder, 
          he places photo and feather in a memorial binder,
          and pressing the film down firmly for good measure, 
          he is stunned as the vibrant blue of his treasure...
          fades to black.

          "Life is like a Blue Jay" covered in beautiful feathers.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" each for one of many pleasures.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" all laid out in equal measure.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" each a dearly cherished treasure.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" so pleasing to the eye.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" a cleverly concealed lie.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" echoes in his ears.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" despite his many fears.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" for all those cherished years.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" his eyes sting with tears.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" he hears the fading calls.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" one teardrop falls.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" vibrant colour palls.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" a stained shape he recalls.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" repeating the same meaningless flight.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" running in senseless circles of white.
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" he shudders once and lays his head back,
          "Life is like a Blue Jay" and watches it as it all fades to black.
Copyright © 2015 Lance Brydges






I found this poem just recently, November 2017, while looking through old stacks of papers I had put aside. I have no recollection of writing it or even what might have prompted it, though my words rarely come from any specific deliberation on anything. I'll put it here until I can remember more.

Untitled


        "You're all alone," she softly sighed, "come, I'll give you all of your dreams."
        "I'm all alone?" I softly cried, "I'm one among a billion."
        "You're all alone, so all alone. I'm your only companion."

        "You are weary," she beckoned gently, "Come and lay down beside me."
        "I am weary?" I stared intently, "But I've only just awoken."
        "You are weary, so very clearly. Your body is bent and broken."

        "You're so cold," she whispered near, "let me wrap my warmth around you."
        "I'm so cold," I breathed in fear, "yet blood still fills my veins."
        "You're so cold, yet still you hold. You've been too long in chains."

        "Relax now," she kissed his cheek, "lay your head upon my breast."
        "Relax now," I murmured weak, "your scent fogs my senses."
        "Relax now, unfurrow your brow, and drop all your defences."

        "You are finished," she sang so proud, "this is your journey's end."
        "I am finished? I asked aloud, "But I've only just begun."
        "You are finished, yes take your bow, your work is finally done."

        "Sleep now," she softly cooed, "count the beatings of my heart."
        "Sleep now," my mind imbued, "your song and heart beat in time."
        "Sleep now, dream now, forever, together, sublime."
Copyright © 2015 Lance Brydges





He paused for quite some time over the highlighted text of the poem "Marriage. 25 years", tears blurring the words as he sat quietly allowing the full pain of his heart breaking to course through him, hoping that by allowing himself to feel the full effect of the tragedy would maybe shorten the length of its duration. He doubted it worked that way, but one can hope.
He was berated many times for not setting goals in his life which, in other's terms, were the reasons for accomplishing nothing in his life. But while their goals focused on wealth, power, social standing, the size of their home, the type of car they drove and where they vacation, his were of simpler things. A modest home filled with love instead of antiques or all the latest dressings. A strong social bond with his wife and children were paramount. The rest just didn't matter. They listened in disbelief as couples spoke of separate bank accounts, separate beds and even separate bedrooms and swore that would never be them. But what was once appaling and alien to them soon became the norm.
His furthest set goal was to provide a refuge for his children and their children. A place to seek comfort from a fast and cruel world. And ultimately the magical world where a grandchild visits and receives a love so unconditional that their parents may see it as detrimental to their work in teaching their children the laws of give and take. A grandfather knows of no such law. He would gladly give the last breath in his body for but a single smile from any of their darling faces.

But what should he do when a large portion of the equation is removed? Removed not by death or health or any of the usual legitimate reasons, just... gone. It was often the subject of many discussions but only in the sense of how sad it was that any parent would do such a horrible thing to their children and worse, their grandchildren, for nothing more than selfishness. A vow they repeated almost daily. "To never let their own personal selfishness come before the goals that they had set for the betterment of their children's and grandchildren's lives."
So still he sits poised over the delete button. Just like he sits and tries to decide how to deal with the innocent little angels that will be forced to deal with a selfishness so huge it has the potential to change their lives utterly and completely, and not for the good. Does he pretend it didn't happen and ignore the topic entirely? Not likely with the advanced intelligence these darlings possess. So what affect will telling them that their grandmother just chose to break her sacred covenant with her God and leave and in so doing destroy their dreams for their future? Does he keep it simple or does he let them know that the religious figures they are taught are earthly extensions of the hands of God, chose to look the other way when they knew that one of their flock needed help? Does he let them know that another of these pious hands of God didn't just turn a blind eye but openly helped break a marriage apart with urging and financial aid as well? Does he go on to describe how the Aunts and Uncles that should have been looking out for their future, openly urged, coerced and aided in the breaking of a holy sanctified union and in so doing, shattered the idealic dream so close to being realized? Or does he take another approach entirely? Does he display the evidence that he repeatedly asked two priests to urge his wife to seek the medical attention that they both knew she should have? Does he detail the excuse given by one who said it was not his position to become involved in marital matters? The same religion that still insists that its priests must counsel, for months, all couples who wish to marry before a marriage is even allowed? Should he reveal how a newly appointed priest chose not just to look away but to become actively involved in the breaking of a holy sanctified union with coercion, financial aid, living quarters and quite possibly more? He was unfortunately fortunate enough to be privy to his excellent skill in pitting parish members against themselves and ultimately reducing them all to nothing more than mere cattle to be lead around by their nose ring while still making each cow believe that they were the head of the herd. One of the top 10 most required skills still taught in Organized Religion 101. And what of family? Does he bring to light the precise envolment of every family member who aided in the ultimate destruction of a dream thirty years in the making? Or should he go beyond that? Should he use information that he has to destroy the dreams that they have worked a lifetime to create? Does he destroy the false image they have created of themselves for the public to see? Does he shine a light on who they truly are? Does he divulge deeds that they have done that could utterly destroy not just their dreams, but their families, their relations, their public personae, even their careers?

He still doesn't know. For now he will wait and see how his heart reacts to the hellfire it has been cast into. But like the steel he spent so many years tempering, there will be only two possible outcomes. It will be either strong enough to withstand great force yet pliable enough to bend against greater forces, allowing him to find an alternate path to the dream stolen from his grandchildren. Alternatively it may become so brittle that it will crack into hundreds of pieces, radiating out to slice through any and all who had a hand in its breaking. He recalls a statement that he once read;

"Never test a man who has nothing to lose".




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I was not supposed to live. Yet my body found a way to cheat death. For that I suffered... for that I suffer more than most would know. And now that I seek death I cannot find it. It stole behind my brother without him even sensing it was there. It passed by me and took him instead. If that was to torment me by making those I loved suffer for what I stole then enough. Enough. I give it back freely. You have but to come and take it.