I will never leave you




I promise not to promise

that’s one promise

I’m pretty sure I can keep

and if I don’t, well such is life



funny the the things

that have lasted the longest

haven’t needed the blood oath

but heart ties to keep them

to meld

to last


no resolutions to lose weight

no death bed utterance

to chain the mortal soul

to some unfulfillable


no unfulfilled opportunities

to creep up and hobble me


school was a time

when I showed so much promise

when so much was to be studied

pledged to the future

a time when 50 year old self

was fulfilled the dreams

of a 13 year old

who under the encouragement

of a teacher who thought

13 year olds could make a such decisions

how did I slip those clutches

how did I end up as I did

safe from anchors

of past dreams

from the dreams of others

of even my own dream

just a man

who has a dream

but who hasn’t pledged

to fulfill but to allow


pledge  curse

is there a difference

either way one suffers

a result


so when I say I will never leave you

I mean that

with the following conditions

I will never leave you

as long as you don’t leave me

as long as you don’t shut me out

as long as you

don’t get too self-destructive

as long as  you

don’t make me listen to

metal jungle hip-hop rap crap

filled to the brim with anger

as long as you

stay alive

as long as I

feel we aren’t trapped by some pledge

forced to tolerate

to keep up appearances

forced to stick it out

as the alternative of being alone

of having to start

the same search all over again

as long as there

is a breath of life

as long as no one gets too long winded

as long as

we can find movies neither of us really detests

as long as

you wash your feet

and as long as I

keep the food hot and fresh

as long

as long

as long as

you get the picture


I‘ll never leave you

as long as you are here

and I am there

that keeps it simple

above board

nothing hidden

no secret misgivings

no dirty laundry to be aired

fair even square and ready

you don’t have to lose weight

get a better job

get a raise

buy new clothes

wear the right scent

say the right thing

you just have to be present

which is all

I can promise to you

which is all we’ll need

for things to last

to stretch out

to linger

to dally to be fresh aware and complaint

to be sincere honest and

not too argumentative

just enough

so the other knows

the other isn’t a push over

but an opportunity a chance to take

a gift to give

not a promise to keep

not a threat to fulfill

not a pledge to scar

not a test to pass

just a bed to lie in

as we have chosen to make it


I promise not to burn the bed

that’s one promise

I’m pretty sure I can keep

and if I don’t, well such is life



I’m raiding archives to start the year with a look back as pieces I haven’t edited or even looked over for a decade at least. So they are sort of new to me. I resisted making drastic edits to keep them in the rough draft state. Poetry is never finished.

I stopped making new year’s resolutions years ago. I allow change to happen without trying to directly control what that change might be. One such change was eliminating carbonated beverages from my diet completely. No more ginger ale, diet coke, anything not even mineral water. No struggle just a decision to stop doing something that wasn’t adding tot he quality of my life.


This piece is a few years old, written in January and tucked away in my archive. I ramble through theme & variation around the notion of promises, keeping them & making them. Some of the changes I’ve persisted with are those that didn’t involve great sacrifice – no more soft drinks, no more potato chips: no big deal in the scope of things, right. They were habits – time killers more than anything else anyway.

Then I looked at those promises of the past, where they came from & how they changed. Or how those unfulfilled resolutions became guilts as opposed to spurs to change. Was I merely looking for news way to stay stuck in guilt as opposed to wanting to make change.

whitebearAlong comes the promise of love, written in many minds by the Hollywood dream factory – a promise that if it isn’t fulfilled in a very narrow, specific way isn’t true love. Movie love lasts a couple of hours with nice music, good lighting & closing credits.  Real love merely lasts regardless of lighting etc. The more conditions put on love the less true it becomes – it turns into control and power not affection and support.



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