Month: January 2015

Distant Shores, Poem of Brotherly Love

DSCF5243This is a shot of one of the best beaches I ever went to.  

You actually have to pay to go to this beach, but it was soooooooo awesome!!

     Hello My Dear Readers!  I think I would like to talk about writing today.  I don’t know how many aspiring writers there are out there, but I think there are a few.  I always say to people the first thing you have to do if you want to write is learn to keep a journal.  It’s more than a diary, it’s a book where you keep anything you want to write down, usually your thoughts, but it is good for ideas too.  I used to force myself to sit each day and write a full page about things I have done.  Now I kind of use this blog for that, but writing is writing.  I have been reading a few things about creativity and they all seem to stress trying to write every day no matter what.  For myself, sometimes I end up either getting stuck or putting out crap and so I will occasionally take a day off or two, and I find if I rested myself mentally, physically and emotionally I will go back in better shape (so I hope).  I had a book signing in my home town of St.Albert, which is a medium sized city north of Edmonton.  It went really well, sold about 10 books.  I don’t know if I’ve beaten that yet, I know with my very first book signing ever I was only selling one book (Through The Withering Storm, still available through this website under ‘books’ on the menu), and I ended up selling eight copies, which added up to just $5 less revenue than I earned the other day.  One of the neat things was having some press coverage, thanks to my good friend Scott Hayes with the St.Albert Gazette. It also helped to post the event to Facebook and let a few people know they were welcome to stop by.

     At the signing I think I learned a new trick.  I will admit you get a few grumpy people who don’t even say anything, but I originally thought if I say hello or hi to each person that went by I would get sales, but what a person really needs to sell a book is to engage the person in conversation and just be a nice person and let them know you have a valid story to tell in your work and I think about 60% of the time if I could engage people in conversation they would buy a book.

     One of the things I like about going to St.Albert is that the Chapters Bookstore they have there is a really good store.  I could easily spend a thousand dollars in one, but this time I spent $45.00 which was kind of a risk because I spent it before I started my book sales and didn’t know if I would make it back.  I ended up making double the cost of the two books back.  I think I would like to start doing book reviews when I get more followers.  To all my loyal readers that is two things I promise as this blog grows in support, I will have book reviews and contest giveaways.  I have been getting into graphic novels lately, and if anyone out there wants an incredible read, I picked up a graphic novel adaptation of a movie (I haven’t seen the movie) which was called “Kingsmen” and it was hilarious, gripping, had some great plot twists, and extremely entertaining.  I won’t talk too much about it, but I would like to say the book doesn’t cost much (I think I paid $13.00) and it is really high quality stuff, especially to anyone who likes James Bond.  Other than that, I think I will try and find another Hawaii photo to put below here because the poem for today is on a sailing theme.  All the best folks!

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This is actually a shot of a lake in Jasper National Park where my family goes a few times a year in memory of my mom.

You, My Dear Brother

 

Somewhere deep down there is a little more

Push hard to get yourself outside your door

A world awaits that needs someone like you

There is a chance our dreams will all come true

 

Love and riches await for all who dare

You can not tell me you no longer care

You and I brother we once had it all

This world is ours if we answer the call

 

Brothers together can change the whole world

We’ll live to see our bold flag fly unfurled

Glory awaits lets take it while we can

Stand with me brother I have the perfect plan

 

We’ll work like dogs and hide away each cent

We’ll work each day until we are all spent

One day we will buy a ship to sail the sea

For once we will be men and will be free

 

We shall set sail for distant lands and ports

We’ll drink and sing old songs until we’re hoarse

Throw a dart in the air to plot our course

We’ll live happy and free in far off shores

 

Come now with me before we grow too old

This world belongs to men hardy and bold

We don’t need this snow and bitter cold wind

Come now my brother new life will begin

 

You’ve been there for me since I was a tot

I have to say I owe you all I’ve got

Now come with me leave this place far behind

Wasting your life away is just unkind

 

We have this chance but it won’t last too long

Open your mind and sing a different song

Let’s aim for places new and women fair

With smiling faces, flowers in their hair

 

Leif Gregersen

January 25, 2015

A Photo, A Blog, A Way To Help, A Way To Give

 

 

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This is a shot from one of the nicest parks we have in Edmonton, and we really have some nice parks.  If anyone has purchased my poetry book, “Poems From Inside Me” They will see on the front cover a gull spreading it’s wings as it flies over this small body of water.  Today is a little windy, a little cold and very wet and slushy, almost like a Spring day, but normally we are around minus 20 celsius at this time of year.  I could have posted a picture of Hawaii, but I figured it would warm my heart a bit more to see a place here when it is nice.  I think in many ways Edmonton’s summer is nicer than Hawaii, mostly because it doesn’t get as hot, it isn’t as muggy when it is hot and there are much more daylight hours than tropical locations because Edmonton is so far North.

I wanted to shake things up a bit today with the blog because I have been hard at work on a few things and just haven’t got the energy to compose a fresh poem.  I think I will post a ‘used’ poem on the page, as always I welcome feedback.  What I have been up to is setting up a crowdfunding web page with the hopes of raising $750.00 (already $50 has been generously donated) which I will use to hire an illustrator for a comic book script I have written, and hopefully this will help cover printing costs as well. I have a couple of rare opportunities, one is that I have gotten a part-time job where I will be going to schools and other classroom settings and talking about my life experiences with mental illness, and though I have two books on the subject, I don’t know if they will help teens much, partly because not all teens are into regular books, and not all teens can afford regular books.  So my idea is to print up and distribute this comic in these settings, and by some million to one shot, I was sent an email asking for proposals for presentations at a conference in California on mental health and comic books.  Can you believe it?  There really has to be some kind of major intelligent guiding force in this Universe.  Anyhow, anyone interested can check out my crowdfunding page at: http://www.gofundme.com/oneinfive1in5

I think what I am going to do is to post a video from Youtube I made below here, it is a narration of me walking through the mental hospital I was sent to as an 18 year-old and last left some 13 years ago at the age of 29.  Pardon if the first little while is boring, I decided to keep it because as I went towards the hospital on the bus a young woman started a conversation with me that seemed relevant.  Look for todays (used) poem below the video.  Actually, what the heck, I will put in three short poems, I had entered them in a contest to appear on the bus but they weren’t accepted.

 

The Truth of The Matter

 

The gentle blackbird asking nothing of anyone

A shiny object with which to line his nest, a little food

He reminds me of the young man I saw some years back

A thin shock of dark hair, a lust for life

A sincere smile, a shirt indicating his military unit

The blackbird is known all around the neighborhood

The young man seems the type to have many friends

I weep for my blackbird friend and this nameless young soldier

Both of them have been alone and in pain

Both of them must face life with just one leg

 

 

More Than a Scavenger

 

Someone once told me birds aren’t very smart

And yet I will never tire of marveling at their beauty

Even the simple gulls can soar and glide

Press their perfectly arrayed wings against the air

With just the right energy to carry themselves skyward

Once, in a place where many are old and forgotten

I felt generous and threw a pizza crust to a gull

It was too stiff for him to eat and he carried it

Over to a puddle and soaked it until it was softer

Bird-brain. Bah!

 

 

Hawrelak Park

 

I once saw a deer in my city

Those big eyes seemingly glowing

This gentle creature more beautiful

Than any made-up model

It’s slim legs ready to flee

At the sound of an unkind foe

It looked at me, looked at me

And somehow for a moment

I could see her soul; her sad tired soul

Longing for rest and peacefulness

In a city full of meat eaters

 

 

Late Night/Early Morning Thoughts of a Princess of Old

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This is a beautiful statue behind my favourite building, the Library!

Hello all my dear readers!  Well, it is only 7:00am but it looks like my day is off to a great start!  I just had a chance to read a great article about myself published in my home town newspaper.  It mentions my website, my new ‘gofundme’ campaign (I am trying to raise $750 to fund a community health graphic novel/comic book about mental health issues at http://www.gofundme.com/oneinfive1in5).  It even has a picture of my new poetry book, “Stargazer: My Life in Constellations”.  I have to apologize because I haven’t yet put a link for that book on this website or set it up so those who aren’t rich can get it in a cheaper ebook format.  Look for both in the coming week.

Today I am heading over to the University Hospital to set up a book signing at the gift shop.  I always like going there because I sell a few books and then they buy a few more to sell on their shelves.  I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel where I won’t have to worry so much about working as a stage hand.  I love the work, but it can be extremely strenuous and dangerous.  Just the other day I had to walk on some two inch metal slats eight floors above a stage that were spaced about two inches apart.  No real danger, but freaky!!

I have been considering taking my next vacation to Mexico.  The only thing that worries me about going is that cigarettes and booze are going to be so cheap I don’t know if I can keep my clean living promise to myself.  I would really like to tour some ruins and swim in the Atlantic, I have already checked some prices and places to stay.  Might end up later in the year than I thought I would go though, which would be fine.  I have high hopes right now that I am going to get published in Esprit De Corps magazine with a story I did on a battle during the Korean war at a place called Kap’yong where a small group of Canadians distinguished themselves by holding off some 3,000 Chinese troops.  I have also put out a few more proposals to magazines, they can be really great paying or really lousy.  One article I wrote they weren’t going to pay me anything and so I whined and complained and they decided to shoot me a few bucks for the effort.  I should warn any aspiring writers out there that when it comes to getting paid, you really have to be patient sometimes, even for magazine work.  I have had to wait up to a year for some markets to pay, but the majority of editors are really good.  The vast majority.

Once again, I want to let everyone know that I welcome any comments they wish to make.  If we can get this blog a little more active I will start having contests and give-aways.  First to answer a simple question gets a signed book delivered and so on.  Any writers out there?  I would love to follow your blog, just leave a comment and let me know who you are.

Look for today’s poem below today’s photo!!

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Here’s a nice shot of a cruise ship from the Big Island in Hawaii

Princess

 

In the darkness in morning I awake

And a brisk walk I always like to take

Down the frozen streets of my northern home

If the stars are out I don’t feel alone

 

The sky is my companion as I go

Walking here does me more good than I know

The air is clean and crisp the streets all mine

Renews my spirit more than sacred wine

 

I like my neighbors; I love all my friends

But on these moonlit walks my soul depends

Walking for me is meditating too

It’s so much more than just something to do

 

I need to walk and focus all my thought

I need to unlearn all my day has taught

In this city one tends to worry much

And more when you have no lover’s sweet touch

 

As I walk far I walk through my head too

And banish all my memories of you

God take me now if I can’t do the task

Some peace and strength to live is all I ask

 

I love someone who does not care for me

My meditation walks sets me free

But like all good things it too has to end

And then all those longings come back again

 

In every life some pain will come for sure

And sadly time can be the only cure

The best advice I got is to have fun

And know first love is not the only one

 

In my heart I want to be loyal still

But you can’t change a mind by force of will

The sad thing is I did not know her well

Though her smile could send you to burn in hell

 

A perfect face and lovely golden hair

Men would always see her and stop and stare

How I ever thought she could have liked me

Folks must still consider a mystery

 

So now I walk and count my breaths and think

About how life can sometimes really stink

One thing I can say that I know for sure

I now have a new girl and I love her

 

Maybe the Princess would have been a trial

I just can’t stop thinking about her smile

My new love was meant only to be mine

And in reality she’s just as fine

 

We always want what we can never get

I feel though that I owe a holy debt

I have four limbs, two eyes, a heart and mind

I have a real girl so sweet and so kind

 

One day I will get over what’s-her-name

And not feel I have to focus the blame

On things I felt but never talked about

Things kept inside because all of my doubt

 

 

Leif Gregersen

 

Aviation, Flying. It Was Once a Big Part of Me

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Beautiful Honolulu

Well, this weekend has been a productive one.  I started out my day by writing a speech which I am hoping I will be able to use at my new job as a speaker regarding lived experiences with mental illness.  After that I still felt kind of creative but had a hard time deciding what I wanted to write.  I decided that I would take the advice of a young woman and try and ‘steal’ some inspiration from another writer.  I had a literary journal called “Tinhouse” by my bed, (I strongly recommend anyone who enjoys quality literature, prose or poetry, to get their hands on literary journals, especially this one).  I opened it up and looked for some interesting short stories.  I found a story set all in snail-mail letters from a person in Russia writing to a sister who had gone to America during the second world war.  All the while, writing many letters, the author of the pages doesn’t hear from her sister.  I am wondering if in the end she will have been caught trying to leave communist Russia, but that isn’t what my blog for today is about.  I took a bit of inspiration from reading this epistolary story and wrote one of my own.  I often take a lot from real life to put into my stories, but I make sure they are 98.5% fictional.  Sometimes this has caused me difficulties especially when I write dark or sad stuff.  I wonder what will happen if one day millions of people actually read my stuff.  When you look at the recent events with journalists, and even events from long ago, it gets a bit scary.  I often wonder if my memoir/autobiography “Through The Withering Storm” (available to link to on this website under ‘books’) and my second memoir, “Inching Back To Sane” (also available in kindle and paperback through this website) may one day spark off a person to contact me who I don’t really want to contact.  So far I have had no negative experiences, I have even become bold enough to put my email on the inside page of my books, and I regularly pass out cards with my name, email and phone number on them.  Sorry for all the rambling, I suppose I am a bit tired as I write this.  It is 5:00am and I have been writing for some time.  As usual, look for today’s poem below today’s photo.  And please feel free to send me your comments, opinions, rants, anything.  I would love to hear more from those who may read this blog and poetry forum.

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Here’s a photo of a glider similar to one I used to fly as a teenager in cadets

 

Private Pilot

 

Soaring above the ground there was no sound

But laughing as my heart began to pound

I could not help but feel such happiness

My first flight gave me such total bliss

 

I set my goal to reach the very stars

I found no joy in sneaking into bars

I needed just a headset and glasses

To attend my mile-high flight school classes

 

I felt so great about who I had become

Mind and body and the blue sky were one

I could do it all with my little plane

I hoped I would never come back again

 

You see I had been in an awful place

Where my mind was broken and lost in space

I was given up on and locked away

And was told this was where I had to stay

 

I thought if I could run far enough

Life would not be so awfully tough

But my poor sick mind came along with me

And from my illness I was never free

 

Then so like all who came before and since

It was time to stop acting like some prince

And own who I was truly in my heart

No matter if it tore me all apart

 

I had to give up on a lot of things

Worst of all the joy friendship sometimes brings

And on love that I once thought was all mine

Even some simple things like beer and wine

 

It was so hard to give up on flying

Even now I think of some day trying

But I have found a precious joy on Earth

Writing gives my grounded soul a rebirth

 

And so when life takes things from you so dear

And it seems that the world is full of fear

Look to the simple things that give you joy

And let it be for you your soul’s new toy

 

 

Leif Gregersen

January 18, 2015

The Middle of Winter: The Middle of Summer

Mental Health coping skills blog by leif gregersen

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Downtown Edmonton in the Summer

Well, here it is the middle of January and I have been happily writing poems.  I picked up a great little poetry review called “Tin House” and had fun reading it.  It inspired me to write a poem that I submitted to a poetry review.  This isn’t the poem I am posting below, these reviews have strict standards that you can’t have published or posted a poem you submit to them anywhere.  For some reason though, I had enough creativity in me to write two poems, so I will not deny my 193 fans the benefit of my literary musings.  I like to try and put some small measure of philosophy into my works, though I am not a philosopher in the more traditional sense.  I say that because I have a cousin who at one time was literally one of the foremost Canadian philosophers…

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The Middle of Winter: The Middle of Summer

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Downtown Edmonton in the Summer

Well, here it is the middle of January and I have been happily writing poems.  I picked up a great little poetry review called “Tin House” and had fun reading it.  It inspired me to write a poem that I submitted to a poetry review.  This isn’t the poem I am posting below, these reviews have strict standards that you can’t have published or posted a poem you submit to them anywhere.  For some reason though, I had enough creativity in me to write two poems, so I will not deny my 193 fans the benefit of my literary musings.  I like to try and put some small measure of philosophy into my works, though I am not a philosopher in the more traditional sense.  I say that because I have a cousin who at one time was literally one of the foremost Canadian philosophers.  He had published a book on legal theory, was a fellow of Churchill College in Cambridge and was also a University professor.  One of the most interesting things about my cousin (Brian) was that he was also a boxer.  His wife is an incredible person as well, I have high hopes of visiting them in Ontario one day soon.

Aside from that, I suppose I could talk about my week a bit.  I did post already about my experience going to a college and job-shadowing a couple of public speakers who make an effort to educate college, university, high school and other groups about mental illness.  It really felt great, and people were so responsive.  One of the things I found most interesting was this woman (Michelle) who suffers from Schizophrenia was able to be quite candid about her voices and medications and some of the things her thoughts told her to do.  I think the greatest little tidbit of wisdom I heard though was from Jillian, who did an informational presentation in which she stated that you have a 400 times greater chance of being killed by a venomous plant or animal than you have of being harmed by a person with a mental illness.  Just yesterday I turned on the TV and there was a supposedly realistic television show that depicted a group of police profiling and chasing down a murdering schizophrenic.  It reminds me of a quote I once heard that stated, “against stupidity even the Gods battle in vain.”

Anyhow, back to the present day, I woke up after a nice restful sleep and a photographer from the St.Albert Gazette (the newspaper of my home town) came by and took a few pictures of me for an article they are running.  That event kind of inspired the poem I wrote and submitted to a literary magazine, but sadly I can’t share it here.  Hope everyone who reads these words is happy and blessed in the days to come, look for today’s poem after the below photo.

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Downtown North Vancouver, Across the Harbour From Vancouver

 

Downtown Edmonton

 

I need to be among all the action

See the women seeking satisfaction

Stroll through the night past all the sidewalk bars

The teenage kids driving their mother’s cars

 

To hear the rock and roll and see the moon

And everyone happy because it’s June

Some sit and drink their drinks, some just walk

I love to meet with friends and smile and talk

 

The bookstores stay open until it’s late

All the lonely people seek their soul mate

But me I’m happy just to breathe the air

I wouldn’t miss a weekend on a dare

 

Even in winter this place really rocks

I met a girl there once she was a fox

Every weekend turns to Monday I fear

Even when you have had your fill of beer

 

All things must end and something new begin

Just like a snake this world will shed her skin

And you and I will be the old ones then

I wish I could hold that off using my pen

 

At least I’m one who hopes and also tries

Perhaps these words will make me seem more wise

Wisdom or not my life will one day end

I hope when that day comes you are my friend

 

To all of you I want to say one thing

Walk down the road of life just like a king

Love yourself and love another too

Before the years slip past also for you

 

Leif Gregersen

January 16, 2015

Some Say I’m Brilliant, I Just Want To Be Happy

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LOOKS NOTHING LIKE THIS NOW, JUST WANTED TO SEE AN IDYLLIC SHOT OF THE OPEN ROAD.

Well, I had a great day today.  I didn’t start the day off with a swim, which perhaps could have made it better, but I did get up on time and had a chance to speak on the phone with my very cool reporter friend who works for the St.Albert Gazette, my home town newspaper.  We went over some of the projects I’m working on and he was very kind to take note of my campaign to raise money to print and distribute a ‘mental health’ comic book.  I wrote this script you see for a comic and had it looked at by a person who does this sort of thing for a living, and he was impressed.  It is the story of a young man who ends up having mental health difficulties and nearly kills himself and goes in and out of treatment for his illness.  I wanted to do this project because I have a new job starting up soon where I will be going to schools and talking to young people about Bipolar and Schizophrenia and other mental health disorders and I want to be able to give them something they can relate to.  I have put a notice at http://www.gofundme.com/oneinfive1in5 asking those who want to help to donate until I reach my goal of $750.00.  It will take more than that, but that will help a great deal if I can get assistance.  Anyhow, my friend Scott Hayes from the Gazette is going to run the URL in the newspaper, which is kind of exciting.  I have had a lot of exciting news lately, I met with a woman who is going to connect me with a person who is writing a screenplay about Bipolar.  If it makes it to a movie, and I can be of help, I think I might be able to get work on the film as a creative consultant.  That’s all a long shot though, but I have to admit that I am greatly enjoying my life.  So, as my day progresses, I did the interview and then after supper I went to something called a “Story Slam” where you go and read a 5-minute story to an audience and random people judge your story and if you get enough points, you win a hatful of money ($180).  I didn’t win, but a number of people (not the number 0) told me I did well, and two people bought books off me for $20 each plus I won a new CD.  It was great really.  I won’t be performing another story there for two months, but I definitely want to make this a regular occurrence, I really liked the people I met and it was kind of cool to get up and read my story.  Tomorrow is going to be interesting, in the morning, a photographer from the Gazette is coming to take my picture and then at noon I am attending my first talk with regards to my new public speaking job and then the day finishes up with me attending an orientation session for work at 6:00pm.  The weather here in Edmonton is nice too, above freezing anyhow and all is well.  Check out today’s poem below the second photo of the day, below.

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HERE IS A SUNRISE PHOTO OF THE LAW COURTS IN SUMMER IN EDMONTON

 

All To Dust

 

A friend can often be the one to say

You change the world in such a special way

A true love can say you are the best

Don’t listen to the crap from all the rest

 

My friend I want to tell you that you are

Someone more than you think you are by far

I say these words to you because I care

This world was meant for you and I to share

 

In days gone by we talked of those we loved

And those among us who pushed us and shoved

There are people who only want to hate

Forget them now, leave them to their fate

 

We must love those who care and hold them close

Forget those jerks who only strut and pose

My friend my life, my world is in your hands

One day we shall realize all our plans

 

But first we must get past those childhood days

Perhaps this friendship is simply a phase

Because though we cling together right here

We can’t be friends forever I do fear

 

One day a lover will come to us both

Who we will join to with a special oath

Perhaps also children will come to us

With love that turns our friendships all to dust

 

It’s sad but true that this is how things work

Just don’t forget this new love has its perks

Because as childhood friendships fade away

New love will give new ways to laugh and play

 

We will walk in true happiness and peace

Love will give our hearts and minds a new lease

Think of me Christmas each year my friend

Always warm wishes I will still extend

 

Leif Gregersen

January 15, 2015

It All Once Seemed So Far Away

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Take a long look at this photo and then check out the one below

Leif Gregersen’s Blog

Well, I got on the phone with an old friend.  Actually, kind of more an old friend’s sister who I used to hang out with a lot in high school.  It was a nice chat because I find I share a lot in common with people I grew up with even though I haven’t lived in my home town in 25 years.  It’s been a long journey, but one more than worth it.  I would like to pause at this moment and tell people a little bit about what it means for me to be a writer.  Ever since I got serious about writing, when I published my first book, “Through The Withering Storm” my life has changed so much.  A whole new world of opportunity has opened to me.  There is a small reward here and there of a little money from writing, anywhere from over a thousand bucks for a magazine article I once wrote right down to the boon of being able to go out and sell even just one book when I’m having a hard time and having coffee money and such.  But the whole idea that I can sit down and carefully craft out a few sentences, make them into a few paragraphs, and over time turn them into printed pages that anyone in the world can access, is no small miracle.  I encourage anyone who reads this who doesn’t like to write to start with the simplest thing, which is what I did, keeping a journal.  A journal is more than a diary, it is a collection of pages where you put your thoughts, your hopes, lists of things you wish you could one day have, anything really.  Scrapbooks are good too, for putting things like concert tickets and movie receipts and such.  When I started writing, I kept a journal and I forced myself to write a full page each day, and then when I saw a movie I would write a full page of it and the same when I read a book.  I still have all of that stuff down in my basement, and one day if I have the courage I may look at it.  The very thought though, if I die tomorrow in some tragic accident, that there will be books in print and online that tell my story, that reach out and cry in a loud voice that I really was here, I really was a person.  The one person I would want most to read them would be my niece of course, then some of my friends and then anyone really.  It’s a magic thing.  I don’t want to say that everyone in the whole world should write a book, though that is definitely possible these days with small, print on demand publishers that can make you one copy (my local library has a printer that will print and bind one book for under $10) but just that everyone should make writing a part of their life.  There is so much joy in it, so many rewards.  But I will leave off at that.  As I get a larger following, I am going to have more contests for people to win my books signed and delivered to just about anywhere, so please keep reading and keep posting comments.  Even negative comments are more than welcome, they help a person keep grounded, focused and real.  As per usual, today’s poem is below the photo.

 

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Here is the difference on my very own street between summer and winter

 

Forty Three

 

As we grow older days slip by so fast

Our precious moments just don’t seem to last

The sweet blue eyes of our first newborn son

Give way to family battles fought not won

 

We love our kids but years soon fade on by

Sometimes we grow apart and don’t know why

As we get older part of us gets hard

We meet new people but stay on our guard

 

Love was so easy when we were just kids

But now those things our heart simply forbids

When I think of my first kiss so long ago

There was so many things I did not know

 

In school each hour took so long to go by

Now the days and months and years just fly

I never thought I would grow old so soon

But now I hear an old familiar tune

 

Words set to music that speak to my heart

I hear them and my soul is torn apart

A hymn I heard once at a funeral

I hear it and feel heaven’s final pull

 

Time must end for all of us on this Earth

The one thing guaranteed to us at birth

Hold each smile, each kiss deep inside of you

Keep the promise of heaven safe and true

 

Leif Gregersen

January 12, 2015

The Incredible Beauty of Edmonton, My Home

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there is so much new construction going on in this town

Today’s Blog

Hello Dear readers!  Well, I had a great sleep for the first time in a few days and I woke up feeling creative.  Normally I would wait a few more days to write a blog entry, but I figured since it is Saturday and a lot of people who like to read my stuff don’t have much to do, it would be a good idea to write one anyhow.  Life is interesting here, as many of you know, I recently took a trip to Hawaii and a few people close to me asked me why I came back.  The truth is, I love this city.  Sure, it is minus 20 something out right now, but there is something so renewing, so refreshing about getting out in weather like that, and I also find I sleep a lot better.  It doesn’t hurt that I can bundle up and hide my bulging 43 year-old gut behind a parka either.

There is so much in this city to be proud of though.  We do have a lot of homeless people, which is of course a very serious issue, but in my travels I haven’t known a place that takes better care of their down and out.  There are rehab facilities, housing facilities, all kinds of churches and organizations that give food and clothing and sometimes shelter.  Sadly though, I should note that a woman was found dead yesterday outside an apartment building in my neighbourhood, and that is a sore tragedy.  My prayers go out to her loved ones and family, I wish I could do more, but sometimes that is better than nothing.

To go on with how much I love Edmonton, I should mention that we have some great restaurants here.  There is this one place, Double Greeting (a lot of people call it double greasy but the food is really awesome) and I have to admit I have gone there for the same wonton soup over 100 times, twice in this past week alone.  I live in Little Italy, and I have access to some great pizza places, and it is very near Chinatown which has all kinds of great little places.  We have such a large Asian population here that we have a number of Asian grocery stores, which I just love.  You can buy anything there from powdered Miso soup to fresh buns or hot ready-made Chinese food.  As a book person, there is something that I really like a lot which is that we have, literally, the best library in Canada.  They really go all out to reach out to the community and to provide things that people can’t afford themselves.  I will have to admit that often I can’t find exactly the books I want and so I go on amazon.ca and order them (normally books about poetry or writing) but they have things like video games, tons and tons of audiobooks available online or in the physical location.  They even have this room called the Makerspace where you can access an espresso printer and print up and bind as little as one book, and in this room they also have free access to Macintosh computers and Playstation or Xbox consoles, and the most amazing thing I think, they have two 3-D printers.  I could go on an on, but there are many more things about Edmonton that are amazing.  One of them is that we have some awesome fitness facilities in our city.  There are facilities that accommodate everything from swimming (including water slides, kids pools, climbing walls, lane swimming, hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms) to indoor soccer and football fields and everything in between.  What is so great about all this?  If you are low-income you apply and you can get a free year’s pass to these places, which I did.  I absolutely love swimming and try and go about 3-4 times a week, there is nothing like it.  Well, I don’t want to bore everyone too much.  I do want to say I really appreciate the feedback and ‘likes’ I have been getting from my poems.  As per usual, scroll down past the below photo for today’s poem.  Take care all!!

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one of the many examples of urban wildlife we have in Edmonton

 

Back Row, Biology 101, Long Blonde Hair

 

I did not think life could be great as this

My world was opened up with just a kiss

Someone I loved had showed her love to me

Now life was vast and open as the sea

 

With love in you anything can be done

You search your whole life for that precious one

And when you find them you are born anew

You pray your love can make them love you too

 

Years back I loved to go for long, long walks

My heart and nature would have long, long talks

The moonlight on the snow so white and new

At night the world was made for her and you

 

I saw her face in bright star studded sights

I saw her soul in dancing northern lights

We had not met but I knew we would soon

It was inside me like a lovely tune

 

I saw her from afar and knew I would

Go after her because she looked so good

But now she is so much more than that

Loving and independent as a cat

 

Twenty years down the road I love her more

Than any of those girls I knew before

 

Kiss me, hug me, show you love me as much

As I love you and long for your sweet touch

 

 

Leif Gregersen

January 10, 2015

Love of My Life Poem and Blog For Today

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Here is a photo I took just to remind myself of simpler times.

Well, this is the life of a writer.  Get a little ahead, learn a few things, put some real effort into something, and really feel good about yourself, and then a week later wonder why you don’t phone up the local mental hospital to see if they have a bed for you.  Well, to be honest it isn’t that bad.  I find it hard sometimes, especially at this time of the year where there is little work in the Stage Hand business (my day job) and not much to do.  I have been writing quite a bit and I sort of feel like I am growing as a writer, but still there are difficult times now and then.  Today I worked on a poem in Iambic Pentameter, and I don’t know if I completely screwed it up or not.  I also did a bit of investing on some marketing for my book, “Inching Back to Sane” which I hope is going to pay off, though there is no way really to tell.  I think the only thing I can count on is that I have to look at the long term, how things go after years.  I always had the idea of getting rich quick, with little effort.  Now though, I am starting to see that perhaps yes, one day I will have more money than I need, but I may be 78 at the time and on my last lung.  I’m hoping it won’t be that bad, but I don’t think I will be able to live the life of leisure I once thought would be available to me.  I have had times when I have had sums of money, even made a lot and still had a lot coming in, but it ran through my fingers like sand.  Cars, motorcycles, satellite dishes, CB radios, Satellite radio for my car, video games.  The list didn’t seem to end.  Lately I have been reading “Don Quixote” on the recommendation of my cousin’s wife, and I have never gotten so much enjoyment out of something that cost me nothing.  I still have to blow all kinds of cash on all kinds of crap, but for one or two hours a day I am lost in this imaginary world of the Knight of the Rueful figure.  The novel is absolutely brilliant, and I plan to read more extremely long books when I am done it.  I have my eye on an Ayn Rand novel that I want to get through next, I really enjoy her work, though some of my activist friends might take exception to that.  Anyhow, once again, today’s poem is below.  If you enjoy it at all, please let me know, I really enjoy getting feedback from my readers.

 

IMG_4367                                      Here is the skyline of Edmonton, my beautiful home city

 

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS

 

 

I want to learn of all the things you knew

Because I still don’t think that it was true

That you could love a simple guy like me

I want to see what inside me you see

 

You can’t just go and say that I was yours

And never let me pass through all those doors

The ones your father built for you with cash

Before he knew we kept our own small stash

 

Control for him was what it was all about

It never was our love that was in doubt

I may not have been rich like other guys

But I worked hard, loved you and had blue eyes

 

I worked as hard as any guy you knew

There was no question if my love was true

Together we could have made it alone

We could have had a happy little home

 

Then things went bad and I ran away

I did come back but had no words to say

Why I left someone beautiful as you

Whose smile was such an awesome thing to view

 

The truth was that I scared even myself

And life was like the inner ring of hell

I was insane, no other way to say

Why I left you on that last awful day

 

And now I spend each day and night alone

Money can buy a house but not a home

How I dreamed of us having our own son

Loving you and our child us three as one

 

But we make our choices take our chances

That is the way that human romance is

I wish you all the best life has to give

With you or not I will learn to live on

 

 

Leif Gregersen