Those moments…awareness prevails. By Chuck Duboff

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© Chuck Duboff

Those Moments…Awareness Prevails

What does it all mean?
What’s the point?
When will we understand?

It’s in the moments
That fill your soul
With a joy
Unexplained.

The warmth of a hug,
A genuine smile,
Kindness expressed,
Love shared.

It’s a child…
Holding you tight;
The grass…
A lush, brilliant green;
A song…
Perfect in every way.

There’s no book,
Course,
Tutorial,
Lecture…
To explain those moments.

When your soul
Is overcome
With a happiness,
Real and profound…

That’s what it’s all about,
No grand announcement,
No cataclysmic event.

It’s being aware,
Genuinely alive…
To the here…
To the now…

That my friend
Is what it’s all about.

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Uninvited…the Monster returns; by Chuck Duboff

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©Chuck Duboff

Stealth like,
The Monster…
Dark,
Painful,
Smothering,
Life controlling,
Ugly Monster,
Returns.

Seemingly carefree,
Joyous,
Happy,
Peaceful
Alive…

A sudden…
Reappearance,
Sinister laugh,
Mocking,
Spewing venom,
Debilitating,
Monster…

Sudden self-loathing,
Darkness,
Abandonment,
Isolation,
Self-hatred,
Desperation,
Hopelessness…

Yet again,
The Monster…
Prevails.

An other world…by Chuck Duboff

©Chuck Duboff

Bones eaten away,

Worms in their glory…

Yet my soul

Drifts off into

An other world.

Deathly quiet,

Thoughts persist,

The new journey begins.

A void,

Darkness,

Shackles unhinged.

A peacefulness ,

Long desired…

The soul

Lightens,

Radiates joy…

Above,

A black rose,

Like a caterpillar,

Sheds its skin

To a bright new light.

Death,

Sweet tranquility

Found.

shining-rose

They watched…by Chuck Duboff

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©Chuck Duboff

Assembled,
Hands held,
Tears…
There were few.

Casket lowered,
Eyes saying goodbye,
Sadness,
Relief…
For the tortured soul.

An other world
Joy,
Within the coffin…
No more charades,
Hypocrisy,
Crocodile tears.

They went their own way,
Deep in thought,
Pondering a life…
Ravaged,
Broken,
Alone.

Aura & Ancient Steps…new poetry by Geoff Brookes

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© Geoff Brookes

Aura

Ambling bobs with short right steps,

Courtney’s weight rests on her left,

Lagging, like a spirit’s quest,

Her sister, brother, more adept.

Her father traces close beside. 

Eyes follow source of restful sound,

Where waters over boulders slide.

Upstream, boats rest over ground.

The kayaks’ colours fade in glare,

Casting light, absorbing heat,

Their aura beckons like a dare,

Challenging to hero’s feat.

Omega dog to water leaps,

Splashing in the shallow shade.

Alpha fiddles with the keys.

In border sand, the vessels laid.

Courtney smiles at sister’s chants – 

Cheerful rhymes of never-land.

Forgetful of her fearful chance,

Strides gunwhale, with her father’s hand.

He slips the kayak, floating now, 

And angles hips along the stern.

Mother smiles and shoves the prow.

Drifting back, he pauses, turns,

And waits, while swimmers navigate

This place where lake and creek repose.

Mom launches next while “Hils” creates

A commentary Courtney knows.

To peals of laughter, Sean partakes

With paddling pet pulled into boat.

He hugs, retreats, as canine shakes.

He pulls the oar – already soaked.

The trio work to gather pace

Against the flow. Courtney yells 

“We’re beating you!”, her gleeful face

A conqueror’s, with joy unveiled.

They set a course for central isle,

With landing rock for boats and crew.

The loons appear, all still awhile –

Silently, their souls renew.

Chastened, scouting isle from lee,

Searching for the landing stone,

Guiding from their memories – 

Patterned legends they have known.

Securing kayak as he can, 

Dad rests it close beside the rock.

Courtney struggles there to stand .

The other boats approach to dock.

Soon all begin again on foot,

Their journey now a shorter trek.

They pick their way through fallen wood.

Sean finds himself a walking stick.

Their destination manifests

In desolated cabin frame.

Opening the broken chests,

They search for clues, or just a name.

And in the bedroom, mirror found,

Old and speckled like a tree.

Courtney gazes, turns around,

Glimpses her eternity.

As they travel back to shore,

Yawns and speeches floating free,

Courtney’s mirror is no more.

Her aura now is plain to see.

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© Geoff Brookes

Ancient steps  

Welcome walk down ancient steps

Crossing craggy cliffs, 

Visit paths so lightly tread,

Descendants of the hills.

Stones underfoot, and formed to walls,

Artfully adjoined,

Spaces small, but still permit

The greenery to flow.

Unbroken for the ages past,

But suddenly a fall –

The path truncated, walls collapsed, 

Narrow steps withal.

Proceeding by the rubble round,

Resuming settled ways,

Chaos charging wonderment – 

The order that remains.

Our cultural icons get older, we get older…it is social media which makes their deaths seem so shocking; by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

2016

2016…a reminder of how precious and very fragile life is.

Sports royalty who passed away in 2016:

Muhammed Ali               Arnold Palmer              Gordie Howe
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Music Icons who left us in 2016:

David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Natalie Cole,

David Bowie

From the world of movies, books and entertainment, the following passed away in 2016:

Harper Lee, W.P. Kinsella, Florence Henderson, Alan Thicke, Robert Vaughn, Garry Marshall, Alan Rickman, Patty Duke, Elie Wiesel, Gene Wilder, Zsa Zsa Gabor

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Fidel Castro and John Glenn also passed on in 2016…and these are just some of the many who left us this past year.

We are shocked by the sudden leaving of those who were icons in our lives and it seems as if 2016 was an aberration, however, in reality, this would be considered rather normal.

What is different, yet again, is social media.  When notables like Sinatra and Crosby and Hemingway passed away, there wasn’t a sudden bombardment of the news of their deaths on Facebook and Twitter.  There would be an article in the paper for a day or two, Walter Cronkite would do the obligatory two minute story and within days it would be forgotten.

The world has changed, dramatically, I might add.  However, what hasn’t changed is that we will all die one day.  Though it seems like those people who were significant in our lives are dying at a faster rate….the fact is, they get old, we get old…and time marches on.

Rather than being shocked about all these deaths, embrace life and “suck the marrow out of it.”

Leonard Cohen talks about the struggles he had with Depression…by Chuck Duboff

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“My cover story is so good, people say: what’s he got to complain about.”  Leonard Cohen

I have heard those very words so many times in my life: “Chuck, you’ve got such a great life, what are you depressed about?”

I’ve always had a  very deep connection to Leonard; his books, his poetry, his songs…the words always spoke to me.  At times I felt hypnotized by the lyrics of his songs, the depth of his poetry and the path along which his novels traveled.  I attended three of the concerts he did over the years in Winnipeg and each time it felt like a spiritual experience…a piece of me opened up; I understood things more clearly and was moved at a level which I did not know existed…

Interesting that Leonard that it wasn’t his dark days which inspired his writing, but rather his words were a Victory statement, that once again he had defeated the demons.

Take a moment and listen to Leonard talk about is life and his battle with depression:

RIP Leonard Cohen; “So Long Marianne”…Leonard’s letter to his muse, his love, Marianne…in which he acknowledges the end is near for both.

© Chuck Duboff:    Just months before passing, Leonard’s life long muse and love, Marianne, was on her deathbed.  He wrote a letter to her in which he expressed his timeless love for her and that he would soon be joining her on the next journey.

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Leonard and Marianne in the 1960’s

Leonard’s Letter to Marianne:

‘Well Marianne, it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.

“And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and for your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey.

“Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.”‘

So Long Marianne
Come over to the window, my little darling,
I’d like to try to read your palm.
I used to think I was some kind of Gypsy boy
before I let you take me home.
Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began
to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.
Well you know that I love to live with you,
but you make me forget so very much.
I forget to pray for the angels
and then the angels forget to pray for us.
Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …
We met when we were almost young
deep in the green lilac park.
You held on to me like I was a crucifix,
as we went kneeling through the dark.
Oh so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …
Your letters they all say that you’re beside me now.
Then why do I feel alone?
I’m standing on a ledge and your fine spider web
is fastening my ankle to a stone.
Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …
For now I need your hidden love.
I’m cold as a new razor blade.
You left when I told you I was curious,
I never said that I was brave.
Oh so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …
Oh, you are really such a pretty one.
I see you’ve gone and changed your name again.
And just when I climbed this whole mountainside,
to wash my eyelids in the rain!
Oh so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began …

RIP Leonard Cohen; “I’m Your Man”…Jewish Blues at its finest; an explanation of “Shivah” follows…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff: in our Jewish faith, there is a seven day mourning period called Shivah, when someone passes away.  During this time, family and friends gather to celebrate the life of the person who has moved on…Leonard Cohen was a devout Jew; he passed away last Monday, but family and friends kept it quiet.  His body was flown from Los Angeles to his home of Montreal and last Thursday the funeral was held at the synagogue which Leonard regularly attended.  As much as his music was spiritual in nature, his devotion to his culture and religion brought him great solace in life.

As a tribute to Leonard, I will post his wonderful music for seven days; this is my way of sitting Shivah for a man who deeply inspired me, whose insight into life, whose understanding and expression brought some clarity to this complex journey we are all on.  I was humbled by a former student the other day who sent me a message saying that she remembered how I used Cohen’s music and lyrics in class and that every time she hears or reads something about Leonard, she thinks of me”,

I’m Your Man
If you want a lover
I’ll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I’ll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner, take my hand, or
If you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I’m your man
If you want a boxer
I will step into the ring for you
And if you want a doctor
I’ll examine every inch of you
If you want a driver, climb inside
Or if you want to take me for a ride
You know you can
I’m your man
Ah, the moon’s too bright
The chain’s too tight
The beast won’t go to sleep
I’ve been running through these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep
Ah, but a man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees
Or I’d crawl to you baby and I’d fall at your feet
And I’d howl at your beauty like a dog in heat
And I’d claw at your heart, and I’d tear at your sheet
I’d say please (please)
I’m your man
And if you’ve got to sleep a moment on the road
I will steer for you
And if you want to work the street alone
I’ll disappear for you
If you want a father for your child
Or only want to walk with me a while across the sand
I’m your man

RIP Leonard Cohen: “Closing Time” came far too soon.

“Closing Time”

Ah we’re drinking and we’re dancing
and the band is really happening
and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high
And my very sweet companion
she’s the Angel of Compassion
she’s rubbing half the world against her thigh
And every drinker every dancer
lifts a happy face to thank her
the fiddler fiddles something so sublime
all the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it’s partner found, it’s partner lost
and it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops:
it’s CLOSING TIME
Yeah the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it’s partner found, it’s partner lost
and it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops:
it’s CLOSING TIMEAh we’re lonely, we’re romantic
and the cider’s laced with acid
and the Holy Spirit’s crying, “Where’s the beef?”
And the moon is swimming naked
and the summer night is fragrant
with a mighty expectation of relief
So we struggle and we stagger
down the snakes and up the ladder
to the tower where the blessed hours chime
and I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can’t say much has happened since
but CLOSING TIME

I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can’t say much has happened since
CLOSING TIME

I loved you for your beauty
but that doesn’t make a fool of me:
you were in it for your beauty too
and I loved you for your body
there’s a voice that sounds like God to me
declaring, declaring, declaring that your body’s really you
And I loved you when our love was blessed
and I love you now there’s nothing left
but sorrow and a sense of overtime
and I missed you since the place got wrecked
And I just don’t care what happens next
looks like freedom but it feels like death
it’s something in between, I guess
it’s CLOSING TIME

Yeah I missed you since the place got wrecked
By the winds of change and the weeds of sex
looks like freedom but it feels like death
it’s something in between, I guess
it’s CLOSING TIME

Yeah we’re drinking and we’re dancing
but there’s nothing really happening
and the place is dead as Heaven on a Saturday night
And my very close companion
gets me fumbling gets me laughing
she’s a hundred but she’s wearing
something tight
and I lift my glass to the Awful Truth
which you can’t reveal to the Ears of Youth
except to say it isn’t worth a dime
And the whole damn place goes crazy twice
and it’s once for the devil and once for Christ
but the Boss don’t like these dizzy heights
we’re busted in the blinding lights,
busted in the blinding lights
of CLOSING TIME

The whole damn place goes crazy twice
and it’s once for the devil and once for Christ
but the Boss don’t like these dizzy heights
we’re busted in the blinding lights,
busted in the blinding lights
of CLOSING TIME

Oh the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
It’s CLOSING TIME
And it’s partner found, it’s partner lost
and it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops
It’s CLOSING TIME
I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
It’s CLOSING TIME
The Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can’t say much has happened since
But CLOSING TIME
I loved you when our love was blessed
I love you now there’s nothing left
But CLOSING TIME
I miss you since the place got wrecked
By the winds of change and the weeds of sex.

RIP Leonard Cohen; a brilliant, genuine, soulful man…by Chuck Duboff

Dance Me to the End of Love
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Oh, let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We’re both of us beneath our love, we’re both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I’m gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

The world today, as I see it…by Chuck Duboff

When the rich don’t pay their taxes it’s called good business sense, when poor/working can’t pay, they get locked up! 

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When Donald Trump takes advantage of government loopholes, he’s called a “smart businessman.” When people living in poverty get food stamps to survive, they’re called “lazy and just living off government handouts”