Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2017 05 08 Essay, Poem: Timepiece May 8, 2017

Hey everyone.

Something that I should have done right after finishing high school is to go to college. I didn’t go to college. Fact is, I dropped out of high school during my senior year. Yup. Fraid so.

I had a few distractions going on in my life back then. Man, was that back then. Damn near forty years ago. Anyway, I did manage to go to night school in my mid twenties, and after a little studying, coupled with a little testing, I was presented with my diploma. Holding that certificate in my hands was a weird feeling. It was as if I had finally caught up to where I was supposed to be.

Thirty something or so years later, I stepped onto the campus at KVCC. A much older man was I, and the visions I had were made up of unfamiliar and unexpected exhilaration.

I was met head on with so many variables that once again, it felt like I was trying to catch up. The powerful surges of electricity soon did catch up to me , and as the tides of excitement and inspiration rose in through the narrows, I realized that it was being harnessed and distributed from a group of four people who spent much of their day generating the source of motivation and inspiration, but they also had a very unique talent that enabled them to gather, enrich and redistribute that energy out into the student body that they represented, that they represent, that they will always strive to be a part of.

This post is dedicated to the cornerstone of my experience at KVCC. They are four of the most devoted individuals I have ever had the chance to work with, to look up to, to gain higher ground with. They are TRiO, and words will never be able to express my gratitude for how they have helped me, and how they have helped those who have walked towards them.

Lisa Black, Portland Wright, Michelle Gaines and Nick Runco. You are the four markers that represent a true path to achievement. I thank you all with as much humility and grace as I can.

Nicholas? You are my commander of text, my mentor of adventure, my guardian angel of digital motivation. Thank you sir, and thank you ladies for a source of inspiration that has reached out to so many.

The following poem is dedicated to you all, and in particular, Lisa Black. I haven’t had the chance to work with you, but from what I have heard from some of the other students, you, my dear, are a gift to those who cross your path.

The following poem is my attempt to describe what I have seen, heard, felt and experienced these past 2 years as a member of the TRiO program at KVCC.

Hats off to you four, and congratulations to those who will wear the caps and gowns this spring. It’s been an honor to walk the halls with you, and as I wish you all the very best, somehow, it’s fairly evident to me that this next chapter in your lives will bring you the experiences that dreams are made of.

Can you hear that? It’s a very reliable timepiece ticking away. It represents all of you, continuing to make your mark, continuing to create your future, one tick at a time.

Hats off to you all, and I gratefully accept your inspiration.

Deon

Timepiece

The semester is over
The classrooms are bare
Familiar sound drifts down the hall
A phone is heard ringing
At the North end of King
Someone quickly answers the call

Preparations have started
Plans have begun
New students are shown where to turn
Timid eyes gaze
At a welcoming smile
Inquisitive minds start to learn

With wide open eyes, a student begins
Affirmations of body and mind
KVCC TRiO quietly make their mark
A union like no other kind

A team stands waiting
A vision is cast
The students’ dreams are revealed
One by one
The yearning takes shape
A plan of success becomes sealed

New bonds are built
Friendships are born
Foundations are laid brick by brick
Weeks turn to months
Caps and gowns march by
As the timepiece continues to tick

Inspiration is born from where it began.
The tutor, the mentor, the friend
TRiO is formed from a vision of heart
A passion that time cannot bend

Dedicated to the incredible KVCC TRiO staff
Without your guidance, help and support, where would we be?

dp
Spring 2017

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2016 04 27 Poetry: Board Upon the Black April 27, 2016

Hello and good evening. This is April 27 and this is poem number 27. Holy crap, right?

Time sure does have a way of flying by when you’re having fun, and if you’re not having fun, don’t blame me.

Speaking of not having fun, have I told you how much I haven’t enjoyed using the college online classroom known as Black Board? I didn’t? Hmm.

This program is one of the hardest digital things I have ever done. It’s never the same two days in a row, and I’m beginning to think that’s got something to do with me. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Oh my Deon, how can that be?” Well, let me tell you, I don’t have a clue, so let’s continue.

I am in college, and I am on the verge of getting smarter. Notice I said, getting smarter, which means that for the most part, it ain’t happened yet. There’s plenty of time though, and time I got.

I just said basically the same thing in two different ways, didn’t I? Hmm.

Anyway, Black Board is a son of a program that doesn’t play favorites in any shape or form. It has everything you need, but it’s hid it all throughout the universe of digital dilemma. In other words, if it ain’t broke, log in and it soon will be.

Below you’ll find a poem I wrote that takes us on a journey through a day in the life of a goat trying to make heads or tails out of a program called; you guessed it, Black Board.

I hope this finds you all well, and if it doesn’t, it’s gotta be the shoes.

Take care, and I’ll see ya tomorrow.

dp

***

Board Upon the Black
A poem by DP Lyons

Oh great college Black Board in the sky,
I have brought you a single piece of chalk.
There are rumors that you haven’t any need of it though,
So I’ll inconspicuously save it for someone who’ll at least appreciate it.

Each day when I shuffle into your digital room,
I never know what my searching soul is going to find.
The accolades of higher education encircle your classroom walls,
But I can’t seem to find my way into the stupid building.

I have come, I have studied and I have tried to learn.
I have cursed my tab and arrow keys,
And I have pressed and held down my computer’s power button,
But you just don’t seem to give a flying freckle.

Your electronic phrases built upon zeroes and ones
Are some days like a riddled Gotham script.
I’ve asked your hall monitor for directions through your digital dream,
But by the glazed look in their eye, they must have been using an analog map.

I glance affectionately towards a far off distant plateau,
Where desires are quenched with a fountain of your knowledge.
I ask for strength to endure your mindful maze,
And hold high my praise to those who figured out this crap.

Oh Board upon the Black, ease my teachable soul.
Lend me your educating flame as a guiding torch.
Hear my questions, my curiosity, my plea,
To cool it a bit and cut me some frigging slack.

Thanks for nothing.

 

2016 04 08 Poetry: Little Boy April 8, 2016

It’s Friday, April 8, and look at you! If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that you look like you made it through another week. Is that right? Did you get done what you needed to this week? Did you wind up behind where you finished last week? Are you scratching your head wondering where this post is going? Me too.

I had a pretty good week. Got some school work done, didn’t trip and fall once, didn’t lose my slippers, didn’t run out of chocolate, and won first place in a writing contest with a writer’s group I belong to, that is, I shared first place with an amazing writer from Wisconsin. She has taught me more than she’ll probably ever know, and through it all, I got the chance to work with an incredibly talented writer. Actually, I get the chance to work with some amazing writers all the time, and with the added inspiration I receive, well, how can a billy goat go wrong?

This is April the 8th, and below is my 8th poem for the National Poetry Month. It’s a poem about a special man I know who seems to grow closer to me ever year. This is one of my favorite poems, and I hope you like it. I also hope you keep coming back, and I wish to thank you for stopping by my blog.

Have a great evening, and an even better weekend.

Now, it’s on with the poetic show!

dp

***

Little Boy
A poem by DP Lyons

For the first time, I held you in my arms
A weightless handful of endless joy
My little boy was born
I gazed into your eyes, and saw your future
You gazed into mine and stole my heart
Unbelievable
I never thought it would happen to me
I never imagined it would happen to me
I couldn’t believe it had happened to me
A little boy was born
A father was born
A lifetime of learning was born
You have taught me more than I have taught you
Your lessons were unrehearsed
My learning was unexpected
Our relationship was unimaginable
Kindred spirits born from love
The minutes and hours went by too fast
The days, months and years went by too fast
You took your first step
I took my first breath
From one foot six, to six foot one
My little boy had grown
Your eyes are still the same
Your smile is still the same
The man that stands before me
Is still my little boy
On the day you first held your son
My grandson
The experience started anew
I watched you gaze into his eyes
And my heart melted
Once again

 

2016 04 01 Poetry: Unrehearsed April 1, 2016

And so, once again, it’s April 1, and once again, it’s National Poetry Month.

Last year, I posted a poem a day for the whole month of April, and here I go again. I love to write poetry, and although I have found it harder to write this past year, I will make my effort to once again post a poem a day to this, my blog. As I said, I love to write poetry, and as the words form their music across the page, a different side of me rises up from a hidden place, a secret place, a warming, cozy place, and as I write, a familiar song continues to play across my heart and soul.

I wish you all the best that April has to offer, and aside from being a day born unto the fools of the world, I hope that each day of this spring month brings you a sense of being, a sense of love, a sense of life that you will never forget.

And here we go with poem number 1.

***

Unrehearsed
A Poem by DP Lyons

I find it harder to write what I feel
The words can’t form their text
Emotions rush in and take hold of an innocent gaze
Memories curiously scatter across the floor

A year older, a day wiser, a moment so unsure
Character of doubt drifts across the morning mist
I reach to the left as I lean to the right
I clutch frantically for something I can’t see

One small, cautious step upon the moon
The earth spins far above
I hear the calls from a distant home
Unrehearsed words continue to lose their way

Gather in those emotions which have wandered off
Collect those dreams of a restless night
Cradle those wishes of a mindful past
And yet again, those words fall short of their mark

Continue to live the simple phrase
Faith will take me to the end of the page
Bend back those frightened words
I breathe, I feel, I live, and so, I write

 

2015 12 29 Gearing Up and Winding Down December 29, 2015

And here we are, gearing up for New Years, or are we winding down from Christmas? Six of one, and here’s your half dozen.

Looking back, I find that the year that was 2015 was a blinding blur. So much went on as we spun around the sun that it’s hard to believe we could stuff it all inside 365 glorious days on this big blue spinning marble we call home.

And here we are, T-Minus three days and counting. Or is it just two?

I haven’t written as much this past year or so, and I’m blaming it on too much school work. Actually though, I’m pretty sure that isn’t the whole reason. I lack a lot of ambition that I had a couple years ago. I know it’s probably due to my health, but that just seems like I’m making up an excuse for my laziness. I have been writing quite a bit for school assignments, but compared to a few years ago, I’m not writing anywhere near what I was. I have though been picking up my guitars more as of late, and even played a little personal rendition of a Christmas song at our last Sunday night’s writers meeting back on the 20th of December. I was a little nervous, but strummed my way through it. I even sang like only a goat can. I did up a version of Silent Night for the other members of my writer’s group, and actually had a good time doing it. I’d put it on YouTube, but I’m afraid with so many views, it might completely crash the internet

Hahahaha! grin.

I’m still listening to mp3 Christmas movies on my iTouch, and will until New Years day. It’s become a yearly ritual for me, and when you add in a few holiday music albums into the mix, how can a goat go wrong? I actually listened to quite a few movies this season without description. No narrator telling you what’s going on. Just your good old imagination filling in the empty slots of movie stuff. I find that if I’m able to get into the movie after five minutes, I’ll stay with it, even though it isn’t described. The first movie I ever listened to with description on my iTouch was War Horse back in spring 2014. I became instantly addicted to the format and fell back in love with movies. It’s fair to say that I painstakingly fell away from watching movies after 2010, except for a few that I watched with my wife.

By the way, she is a fabulous movie narrator, but with the excessive pausing and playing with the remote control, she could burn through a fresh pair of AA batteries in a couple weeks.

I think she misses not describing movies and other shows to me, but although I hate to say it, having a scripted movie narrator tell you what’s going on is a huge difference.

One thing I really seem to enjoy is being able to listen to a described movie that I previously watched back when my eyes worked. It’s actually almost like watching the movie for the first time, especially when it’s narrated by someone from Great Britain. They use so many different terms for describing things that it’s rather enjoyable to the point of being almost like a learning experience from across the pond.

And here we are again, this 29th day of December, 2015. Where on earth did the time go? How do the days move around us so fast? Didn’t the geese just come back north a few weeks ago, or was that those same gooses I just heard heading their tail feathers back south? I’m sure they got it right, no matter what we think, right?

As we head towards 2016, I’m reminded that I’m just about ¼ the way towards my associate’s degree, which means that I’m closing in on a 2032 graduation date. Give or take a decade or two. Grin
It’s a good thing I’m in no hurry. I’ll try to beat my grandson, as he makes his way towards his high school diploma.

He’s turning 10 this April.

I better get my goat hooves moving, ay?

I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas and that the spirit of the season flickered its flame deep within your hearts. I’d also like to wish you all the best as we slide on into 2016. May this New Year give you every opportunity to grab hold of something good, whether it’s something you work towards, or an amazing surprise that just happens to fall into your lap. With a little effort, it usually works out, and with a lot of effort, there’s just no telling what can happen.

Thanks for stopping by my blog this past year. I appreciate all your comments and look forward to piling on even more goaticious tales of Surviving.

Take care and God bless you all.

dp

 

2015 11 21 No Matter Where You Go November 21, 2015

No matter where you go, there you are, so pay attention, ok?

I always have loved that saying. It’s true, you know? Wherever you go, there’s a pretty good chance that you just arrived there too. Grin

With all the things swirling around us, piling up at our feet or tugging on our shirt sleeve, chances are that they’re surrounded by life, in its simplest form, in all its amazing glory, in every obscure shape and size imaginable. There it is, in your face, and don’t look now, but it’s happening 24 / 7, without you ever having to ask for it, expect it or understand it.

It’s alright if you are one of those folks who don’t understand it, because I’m one of them too. I’m kind of used to it, which doesn’t mean I like not understanding, but more importantly it announces my ability to recognize my own areas of insufficient knowledge.

Boy, that takes up a lot of room. Area I mean.

I just read a couple chapters from one of my college text books, and within those sixty or so pages, I was amazed just how much I didn’t know about the subject, which was music. I was amazed that after living my whole life, listening to music throughout, so much information could just escape my wandering mind. I mean, its music for God’s sake! Music! One of my most cherished things on the planet!

Out of the classes I’m taking this semester, I’m having a harder time with this music class. I know, I know, right? You’d think that with all the music I’ve listened to over the course of my lifetime, I’d have a better understanding of it all. I suppose that even though those tingles I get up my spine when a song plays that I really like, I’d be able to remember and know more about it.

And, I don’t, so there.

No matter where I go, there I am, but that doesn’t mean I’m always paying attention. It doesn’t mean any of us are really paying attention. Not that we shouldn’t or anything, but with so much time and so much information about so many things to take in and retain, how on earth could we?

55 year old uninformed goat coming atcha, like it or not. That’s what I feel like sometimes. Uninformed. Not misinformed, although I can be easily persuaded some days.

What the hell am I writing about now? Do I even know? Did I veer away from some atmospheric script or something? Should I know what’s around the next corner? Am I supposed to try and teach someone something right about now? Did I just learn a lesson? Did you? Have you already stopped reading this post? Can you even read?

I didn’t know where this writing would take me when I started it, and I still don’t. Hopefully when I reach the end, I’ll be aware of it and stop writing.

I was talking to my college technology accessibility tutor at school a couple days ago, and when I told him that I had posted three hundred or so entries on my blog, he told me that I should have them grouped into a book and published. I thought about it for a few moments, but realized that it would be like Captain Kangaroo having a dump truck full of ping pong balls dumped onto his head. Little white balls of hither and thither, bouncing to and fro, with no direction in mind, just a reactionary moment among friends who don’t have a clue where they’re going either.

Hey, wait a minute.

So, it’s like, umm, no matter where they go, there they are, right?

 

2015 09 13 Accessibility, And Then Some September 13, 2015

Accessibility, and Then Some

I love digital technology. Always have, always will. Probably the first taste of it I can remember is sitting in the bowling alley with my little brother Scott, playing a duck shooting game that completely hypnotized me. You see, you could sit all the way across the bowling alley with a gun controller in your hand, point at a screen on the other side of the alley, and point and shoot the little plastic gun to nail those little duckies flying across the screen. Digital technology at its finest.

This was around 1972 or so, and from there, the innovations came charging at us with a fervor that has never looked back.

From television, to cruise control, cell phones, video games, refrigerators, washers, dryers, baby monitors, pool pumps, LED lighting, hospital monitoring equipment, wheelchairs, Bluetooth headphones, answering machines, and so on and on and on, the new gadgets just keep coming and coming, right? It seems as soon as you purchase that new computer, or smart television, then get it home and out of the box, there’s a newer version waiting to take its place. Cheaper, better, faster, stronger, smarter and so on it goes. Gotta have it, have always needed it, been waiting for it, just bought it, waiting for them to deliver it, wondering why I bought it. I’ve been there. Read the book, saw the movie and bought the t-shirt.

Did I say I love digital technology? Did I ever tell you that I couldn’t have picked a better time to lose my vision? Do you know that the advancements in assistive technology these past five years has totally amazed me? It’s true, you know?

I am blessed beyond belief at the incredible stuff that’s available to lend help to those who can’t see, and it’s only getting started. Now, don’t get me wrong. Assistive technology isn’t always a bowl full of chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cups and hot fudge. Oh no sir it surely isn’t. Assistive technology can give you a helping hand, but it can sometimes smack you upside the head, rending you completely flustered and totally annoyed. I’ve tasted both sides of the story, and I much prefer the tasty chocolate side myself, but there’s no avoiding the unpopular other side, as I have found out this past week.

I am finished with week one of my fall semester at community college. I am taking two online courses, which means that I am totally relying on digital technology to be able to get at and do my course work. I have been up against it from the get go, and have learned probably more in one week than any other week since I saw the color purple for the last time. I love the challenge, but this kind of challenge can quickly let the air out of your balloon. Good thing I have my handy dandy personal life support pump only a few feet away in the form of Mrs. Dunster’s chocolate sugared donuts in the fridge.

Thank you and may I have another please?

I came, I saw, figuratively speaking, I dove in, I jumped out, I ran to the help desk, I asked for help, I received an amazing array of assistance, I ran back to the pool, I jumped back in head first, I jumped back out and shook off, I stepped back and thought for a moment, I again asked for help, I figured and pondered and worried and growled and scratched my head and then I dove back in.

Week one is finished and as the dust settles down I can dig my heels in and ready myself for week 2.

Do goats really growl?