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God of All Creation

DSC_0037THIS IS THE PHOTO (ROUGHLY) THAT APPEARED IN THE EDMONTON SUN NEWSPAPER

     Hello Dear Readers!  Well, I am in a good mood today.  I have been given a wonderful opportunity to work for the Schizophrenia Society as a presenter of my own lived experience with mental illness.  Basically I wrote a speech and now and then I get asked to give talks to different groups.  Last night I presented to a family wellness group and it went so well.  The talk kind of ran for a long time, but people seemed pretty responsive.  I should note that for a long time I have been working a job I love as a stage hand, but it has slowly gotten to be almost too much for me.  Now, I have this job with the Society and I am able to utilize all of my knowledge and skills (and a little bit of bravery-public speaking can be difficult at times!)  Not to mention that on some occasions I am given permission to bring and sell and sign books.  I get so much better response for my book sales when I do something like this, last night I sold three copies of “Inching Back To Sane” which is a lot considering at (a)there were only 10 people there to present to, and (b)at a book signing at a book store the other day I sat for five hours and sold just one book!

Another thing that I am finding is that as I meet with people and share about my illness, I am learning a lot about new coping strategies, new events and generally helping my condition a lot.  The lady who runs the Edmonton office of the Society seems to be impressed with me and has asked that I write a special speech for a fundraiser they are having in the fall, I am really excited about it.

I don’t know how much I have shared about it, but I recently completed a ‘Wellness Recovery Action Plan’ or WRAP course and I am hoping that I will be able to become a facilitator for this group in the new year.  For anyone that doesn’t have knowledge of it, I suggest you Google the name and also look for information about Mary Ellen Copeland, she has developed this method of becoming aware of the things that help get you through a bad day or a serious crisis and also making plans that you can share with others for what to do if you end up in crisis and many more things.  There is actually a ‘WRAP app’ on iPhone and Android where you can access on your smartphone all of your lists and even email them to anyone you feel might need them, say your therapist or doctor or health care worker or even family member or friend.  Just the other day I was feeling a bit out of sorts, possibly because I had been getting out in the hot sun a little too much and it wasn’t doing my mental health much good.  I opened up my ‘WRAP app’ and went through a list of things that I knew would make me feel better.  One of them of course is reading, and I picked up some light material and got myself through a time when I may have felt so ‘ill’ that I had to contact my Doctor or Nurse or put pressure on a family member to try and help me.  There are courses and books out there that I think could be very beneficial.

Another resource I wanted to mention was a thing I found on YouTube, called ‘guided meditation’.  There is this one video that comes up that shows an orange sunset over waves and in the video the announcer talks you through some deep breathing and relaxation techniques, and I swear it is better than a hot bath with epsom salts for relaxing you.  A large part of the video is just the sounds of waves gently crashing on a beach and it takes me back to times when I was in Honolulu near Waikiki Beach and I couldn’t sleep so I took a walk and then just sat on a park bench sipping a milkshake and listened to the waves, thinking to myself how incredibly cool it was that I was out on the cusp of thousands of miles of water.  It was such a powerful experience.  Anyhow, if you scroll past today’s second picture below you will find a poem, and below that in the previous blog I wrote you can find a YouTube link to a video I made of a nearby national park situated on the Alberta side of the Rocky Mountains.  I hope all of you are well, please email or comment if there is any information you want to see on this website or even just want to say hi.  viking3082000@yahoo.com

Take care!

DSC_0077        THERE HE IS AGAIN!  THE MAN WITH THE HAT!

 

Goldilocks Princess

 

Often when times seem unfair and way too rough

I steel myself and try to be strong and tough

But hidden deep down inside my mind

I long for days when the world was more kind

 

As a boy happiness was everywhere

I received so much dear love and care

My Mom and Dad would do all the worrying for me

And I was free to just live and play and be

 

But when that young boy reached the age to become a man

No one seemed to want to help or give a hand

I soon realized I had to make my own way

Work all day with no time left over to play

 

I still remember when I first cooked my own meals

Trying to understand the bus because I had no wheels

Waking up each day to work and try and build a life

Hoping somehow to meet someone to be my wife

 

And then so many awful things got in the way

It was all I could do just to make it through each day

Some people learned I was giving and kind and cleaned me out

But I know there are still good people, of this I have no doubt

 

And then after a time came the miracle that changed it all

My sister had a baby, so precious, adorable and small

I love her now just as though she were my own

And pray she never has to be alone or leave her home

 

I so much wish that she never wants or needs

I’ll work for her wellbeing until my fingers bleed

And then something that makes me feel a little shy

Is that she loves me back so dearly and I don’t know why

 

I’m just a simple writer, a lonely ageing man

Trying to do the most for those I love that I can

Nothing sweeter than to hear a little child say

I miss you when you are so far away

 

But in just a couple of weeks I will see her once more

Closer to her adulthood than ever before

I will take a flight to her family’s big city home

And I know she will inspire many more poems

 

The emotion a young one inspires is so wild

I sometimes wish she were forever a child

But she will grow and take her place all in due time

For now though she is sweet loving child so kind

 

And so with these words I hope I touch your heart

Remind you to love your family and never depart

Because my little miracle saved me from pain and despair

My own goldilocks Princess with so much love to share

 

Leif Gregersen

July 8, 2015

A Little About My Favourite Place to Spend a Tuesday

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Not too long ago, actually right around a year back, a good friend, who happens to be the niece of my best friend, suggested that I check out an open stage poetry night at a local lounge.  The place is an icon in Edmonton, it is a pizza place (Rosebowl Pizza) that serves excellent pizza among other things, and they have events like this quite often.  When I got there, I was astounded by the talent I encountered and soon tried to become involved in the poetry scene in Edmonton.  Even though I had published two poetry books, I had never publicly performed a reading and this was really what I needed to take my love of poems that stretches back to the second grade when I wrote the Father’s Day poem below:

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

Cofffee is Strong

And so are you

(scroll down to read today’s poem, called “Rouge”)

I added a drawing of my Dad along with it, actually, when I was a kid I did a lot of drawing, and liked the idea of one day being a writer of other things, but I digress.  I was pretty nervous the first time I got up, but it felt so good to express myself and to speak in public that I went back time and time again until I was pretty much a regular.  I can’t even tell you what happened, but I think they broke for Summer and I stopped going.  It was a shame, but finally last night I decided I wanted to get active in my poetry again and went to another group, usually populated by older poets called “The Stroll of Poets” and it felt really good, I didn’t even have to get over my nervousness all over.  Going to Rouge Poetry also led me to apply to have my own radio show on Campus radio and I had such a wonderful time.  This too ended, but not before I interviewed Ahmed Knowmadic, one of Edmonton, and even Canada’s top poets, Alice Major, who put out an incredible book about poetry called “Intersecting Sets”, one of Edmonton’s Poet Laureates, and a few others.  I love to read, but I often need a motivator, and having my own show really motivated me to do my research, which I greatly enjoyed.  I experienced all kinds of new things.  Anyhow, the point of all this is that I decided that tonight I would go back to the Rouge Lounge where hopefully my old friend Ahmed will be reading and hosting and read a few poems.  I wrote a poem about the lounge below, which I hope you all enjoy!

The Edmonton City Hall, right in the centre of the Arts District

The Edmonton City Hall, right in the centre of the Arts District

Rouge

 

 

 

Each night that I go into that lighted glow

I feel my self worth and confidence grow

I stand up and soon I know

That I have become the show

 

 

I often meet young beautiful girls

With bright eyes and sexy curls

And for that moment when I stand in the light

My heart glows and my soul is pure delight

 

 

Some of the poets rap their rhymes

All of them devote their precious time

To entertain all who attend

And I try to pretend at the end

I don’t have a wish to live always like this

 

 

The burgers there are juicy rare

The spices tickle one’s tongue

Just as you think you can eat no more

Your neighbor’s communal pizza comes

 

I drink it all in and somehow begin

To feel so much younger than when I came

The poems are pure delight and such a sight

On the stage as the young people play their poet’s game

 

 

Oh, there is a waitress there

With red-brown silky hair

Who really seems to care

I wait to see her each time

It is not my crime

It’s those sexy things she wears

 

 

We are this happy group that gathers in a band

To show off their linguistic command

And perhaps an audience of a hundred

But we all would get up and recite our verse

If not a person ever attended

 

 

It is such a thing

To hear one’s own poem ring

Through a microphone to a crowded room

In a way we sing when we do our thing

It makes you feel like you’re on the moon

 

 

I often fill my stomach up with that tasty pop

That keeps coming all night long

I also savor each bite of French fry delight

Though I know it’s not wise to eat this way

It’s just that I crave these things all week until Tuesday

 

 

The sights and sounds of this poetry loving lounge

From the people to the decorations

Cause me each day to think and scrounge

For new poetic celebrations

 

 

The room is filled with lovely people

Spiced with laughs and shouts

It makes me believe one day my voice will be known

Despite my nagging doubts

 

 

The artists there all seem to share

Care and love more than anywhere

And on this cold night in my city home

I’m going to head to where I never feel alone

 

 

Leif Gregersen

November 18, 2014

http://www.edmontonwriter.com

New Blog Format and Today’s Poem

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Well, after discussing the matter with my editor and friend Paula (who set up this site for me), apparently it turns out I have been making a mess of this website.  From now on, my blogs will be found here, in the News section rather than being the landing page.  All that aside though, things are going fairly well.  I am feeling in a bit of a slump after have all these adventures going to Hawaii and up to Hazleton, BC so I thought I would cheer myself up by buying a new camera.  I am pretty excited about it, it is being shipped to me and comes with a long-range telescopic lens that I am hoping will aid me in taking wildlife photos.  It may be some time before I get any more use out of my waterproof camera, but there is a chance I will take another tropical vacation in the new year.  Sometimes I want to travel to more ‘artsy’ places like New York or London and experience things like live theatre or the rich culture of their art galleries and museums.  I actually did go to a couple of museums in Hawaii and I loved it.  Anyone interested in seeing the pictures can find a lot of them at my Facebook page under my name.  Feel free to friend request me as well if you like my writing, it is always nice to have more followers, and Facebook will keep you updated about my books and poems as well as this site.  If you scroll down below, you will be able to read today’s poem.

 

How Could I Have Said That?

 

 

 

How can I have really forgotten

All that I thought I had learned?

How can it have faded away how I felt

Each time I loved another and was spurned?

 

I once swore I never would do that

Rejection is just simply too cruel

But as I get older and close off from love

I act like an angry old fool

 

I treat those who show that they care

As though they were gum on my shoe

It seems that just loving my family

Seems to be all I can manage to do

 

Once long ago when I was much younger

And friends were few and were far in between

I held up this one woman in my thoughts

As though I were a slave and she were my Queen

 

And it hurt me so terribly much

When she cut me right out of her life

Sometimes I think it may have hurt less

If I had cut my wrists open with a sharp knife

 

But that is never the answer

Suicide only hurts those that care

I just never stopped thinking of her brown eyes

Never stopped thinking of her beautiful hair

 

I knew this young woman from her girlhood

And when I got older I told her of my dreams

But so much was wrong in my life then

I might as well have been talking in screams

 

Maybe recently the loss of my sweet mom

Helped to make me end up so cold

Though the real truth is that it scares me

That I keep getting more lonely and old

 

I suppose there will be more chances

To not be so selfish a jerk

And hopefully in future romances

I can let go of my ego and make them work

 

Many years ago a smart dude once told me

That no matter how much things may seem bad

There still is another soul out there

Every bit as lonely and sad

 

I wish that I could somehow find her

And show her these hard won lines of verse

Tell her I will make her feel wanted

Because I have the same loneliness curse

 

So to the heart that beats out there somewhere

To the very same rhythm as mine

If I haven’t already hurt you too much

Think of me and the days when love will shine

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Leif Gregersen

November 15, 2014

 

http://www.edmontonwriter.com