Poetry Corner – Finding a Way To Love Everyone

Finding a Way
to love everyone

*Inspired by a homeless man's cardboard box sign with the quote, "Finding a way to love everyone" written on it

 Finding a Way to Love Everyone

 Finding a way to love Everyone, but alas I'm here on the street
 Finding a way to love Everyone, and I'm feeling exhausted and beat
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but I'm starving and in need of food
 Finding a way to love Everyone, acknowledge me no need to be rude 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but I have no shoes on my feet
 Finding a way to love Everyone, man I really need something to eat
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but it's cold and it's starting to rain
 Finding a way to love Everyone, my heart beats and shivers in pain 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but everyone just disappoints
 Finding a way to love Everyone, I'm trying but think what's the point?
 Finding a way to love everyone, but I'm tired and hungry as fuck
 Finding a way to love Everyone, could you spare some change, just a buck
 Finding a way to love Everyone, would you put something in my hat? 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, it'd be great if you'd stop to chat
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but not sure if I'll be here or how 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, there is no tomorrow, only now
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but I'm coughing and constantly sick 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, homeless or dead, take your pick
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but soon I'll be dead and gone 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, sadly realize life will go on

 ....

 I'm still trying to love Everyone.


Cameron is a writer living in Toronto and a volunteer with a local homeless outreach program. He is still "finding a way to love everyone."

Poetry Corner – Like a Rock

Like a Rock

stacked-boulders-sandra-selle-rodriguez

Like a Rock


I want to be strong like a rock


My life has fallen accidentally into place
Like the rocks that make up this mountain
Satisfied with the cards they were dealt
Each working together to hold up an entire mountain
No one imposing on the others
Rather keeping each other in check


I want to be sturdy like a rock


Each completing the other; no grandstanding
Sturdy yet fallible
Ancient yet new each day
Always set with their faces toward the sun
Together balancing out the whole


I want to be intelligent like a rock


We can learn a lot from these rocks
We who compete for space
For a chance to leave our mark on this earth
To find meaning for ourselves
Rather than the whole


I want to be humble like a rock


We who step over each other to succeed
Rather than link together to form an alliance
Rocks do not feel jealousy, envy, or pain
They accept their place
And fend together, as one

Poetry Corner – The Italian Girl

The Italian Girl

... Deep, hazel eyes, like staring into them too long would be dangerous, the threat of never escaping... Sumptuous curves, elegantly, delicately put together, sculpted from Eve herself... Without knowing her past, she maintains a childlike innocence, no way of knowing, but it doesn't matter... 

I want to be lying alongside her now, stroking her platinum blonde hair, brunette roots showing, adding a feeling of realness to her, proving I didn't just conjure her up in a sun-stroked daydream... Caressing her magnificent tits, boobs, breasts, these words too crass to do any written description justice, like just by saying them would offend her unequaled beauty... 

Lying there apres-sex, our sweating bodies heaving, melting together... Our fingers exploring each other's bodies, still unknown even after making love, even more foreign than when we only fantasized this... Our feet intertwining like latin dancers, latin lovers under a howling full moon...

Soft, luscious lips, softer than air, they would disintegrate on contact, upper and lower lips pursing together like two pillows, pillows you want to rest your lips on, and never part from, both her and your saliva acting as coital glue, breathing through your noses, listening to the charged sounds of your breathing, feeling each other's heartbeats, and you could stay like this forever...

-Bali, Jan 12/2017

A Poem – Memories of JR

JR: 1988-2013
Memories of JR

This is a poem I wrote the day I discovered he passed (this past August). I picture performing this onstage at the T-Bar, collaborating with Doug on the flute

 
This is for JR – Even though you’re gone, you ain’t far / Even though you’re not here, won’t stay far; never disappear like a faint scar / And you will stay a star like a quasar, faster than a race car – vroom – off the radar / Most people work hard – You would play hard, I knew people later and you’re still greater than they are
 
Damn life is way hard, so we gotta communicate; human resources HR / You were the prodigal “sun,” another day gone, life’s a game of chance, you better play cards / So here’s another eight bars, sharp like knife’s edge, livin’ life on the edge like a skatepark / Not religious, but not a day goes by don’t pray for another day I see ya again, “Hey God”
 
Life’s a melody, gotta learn how to play guitar, sometimes it’s f&^%ed up, yeah it’s Rated R / Feel a pain in my stomach, hit like a paintball, oh shit I’m losing it, gotta stay calm… / Life is a game of pool until you sink the eight ball – but that means you win, so I think it ain’t all / that bad; Life is a dream that we eventually wake from, so JR I’ll see you later when I wake up….

Memories of JR: 1988-2013

14068568_10209043961952848_4894144585588331428_o
Memories of
 
JR: 1988-2013
 
     
     I knew JR for a short time in Panorama Mountain Village when I worked there, let’s see, 15 years ago now in Lusti’s Cappuccino Bar… I knew JR as the annoying kid who kept harassing me at work (I was 19, he was only 12). I would be making coffees for customers and he would visit, uninvited, and just constantly talk and ask me questions. But I realized I enjoyed his company – JR was like a younger version of myself – and we shared the same sense of humour. We would joke around when there were no customers around, and listen to music after work – mainly Eminem and the South Park Movie soundtrack. He would wait for me till I finished work and then he’d walk with me to my staff accommodations but no further, a “no-mans land” for kids his age. He was too young to hang out with, but he tried, and I admired that. I remember he was already a strong athlete, and competed in everything from skiing to motocross. He was also a very handsome dude, and I remember he asked lots of questions about girls; he was already fending off his wonderstruck female fans.
 
 
     I only just found out about his death, and its been three years… I was shocked, and saddened. He lived a fast life at a young age. I wish I knew him in his twenties as I’m sure we would have gotten along very well. I got to know his dad, Doug, quite well as he’s a musician and I was a rapper and we collaborated a couple times at T-Bar’s open mic nights. We both shared a love for music and people, and I remember him being a very charming and friendly man. I hope to visit Panorama soon, as it’s been over a decade since I’ve been back, and visit the MacRae family. I wish I could have hung out with JR one last time. Without knowing him as a young adult, I know he lived a fuller life than most of us do in a hundred year lifespan. I’d like to believe I was a role model for the young JR. Even though we had a respectable age difference, we treated each other as friends.
 
 
     For knowing JR for only one ski season, I will miss him, and keep him in my heart.
 
-Peace and love to family and friends,
Cameron
 
 
Below is a poem I wrote the day I discovered he passed (this past August). I picture performing this onstage at the T-Bar, collaborating with Doug on the flute:
 
“This is for JR – Even though you’re gone, you ain’t far / Even though you’re not here, won’t stay far; never disappear like a faint scar / And you will stay a star like a quasar, faster than a race car – vroom – off the radar / Most people work hard – You would play hard, I knew people later and you’re still greater than they are
 
Damn life is way hard, so we gotta communicate; human resources HR / You were the prodigal “sun,” another day gone, life’s a game of chance, you better play cards / So here’s another eight bars, sharp like knife’s edge, livin’ life on the edge like a skatepark / Not religious, but not a day goes by don’t pray for another day I see ya again, “Hey God”
 
Life’s a melody, gotta learn how to play guitar, sometimes it’s f&^%ed up, yeah it’s Rated R / Feel a pain in my stomach, hit like a paintball, oh shit I’m losing it, gotta stay calm… / Life is a game of pool until you sink the eight ball – but that means you win, so I think it ain’t all / that bad; Life is a dream that we eventually wake from, so JR I’ll see you later when I wake up….”

N-A-N-A Birthday Song

N-A-N-A Birthday Song

Story: For my Nana’s 75th birthday, I composed, wrote the lyrics, and recorded this song with my brother and sister as a surprise gift… Of course she cried when she heard it! Now hit play, turn up your speakers and SING ALONG!!!
Now click the link, turn up your speakers and SING ALONG!!! NANA Birthday Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXoVFnSJ_Eo
 
Release date: July 12, 2008
Written by Cameron Brtnik
Lyrics and melody by Problem-Addict
Produced by Noam Lavi
 
NANA Birthday Song
CHORUS:
N-A-N-A  N-A-N-A
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate!
What things do I think about when I hear your name?
There’s plenty but for this song there’s too many to say
 
I think about…
Thanksgiving dinner sitting around the table
thinking how you were able to do
all this cooking, sprouts and baby peas, green beans,
meat all drowned in gravy
I think of her beautiful hair, everything done with the usual care
Her keen eyes and open smile, I think about the wooden pile
And the fairy tree, you can see’em if you look hard, it ain’t just make-belief – nope!
I think about raking leaves and making a jumping pile and how we used to pump the well
Pumpkin-carving contests, your favourite saying? “God Bless”
Planting in the garden, she’s not just a gardener; she’s a flower Goddess!
Yes the earth needs her, where else would birds eat without a bird feeder?
A nurse healer, church believer, ever since birth she’s been a leader
I think about the barn exploring the depths, tractor rides and the Northern Express
I think about camping trips, remember that storm in the tent?
I think about decorating the Christmas tree – re-using the tinsel
Eggshell ornaments, elves and angels and you would tell us tales
of how we were being watched by them, and I believed it…
In fact I still do, and later on our kids will too
This is our homage to you, to you!
 
CHORUS:
N-A-N-A N-A-N-A
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate!
What things do I think about when I hear your name?
There’s plenty but for this song there’s too many to say!
N-A-N-A N-A-N-A
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate!
At night before I go to sleep I pray that your guardian
Angel’s watching over you every day
 
I just want to say thanks for…
tucking me in at night and saying a prayer for me “Dear God”
You made sure that the blanket was pulled tight, warm and cozy
I’d look forward to porridge in the morning
Bedtime stories curled up on the couch, the smell of popa’s tobacco pouch
Such a sweet smell even though it
makes my allergies swell!
Thanks for teaching us to love ourselves and others,
and just for being a grandmother
Thanks for always showing compassion, and for
being so fantastic!
Thanks for loving your grandkids and raising a daughter –
since the moment you brought her
to the world and taught her to talk, wisdom
timeless like the grandfather clock
Now let’s sit at the table for some roasted
ham, and hold hands so we can be close to fam
Now stand for a toast to Nana –
Cheers! To many more years
that we can cherish and be together like Meet the Parents
What’s left to say about N-A-N-A?
It’s tough cause this song’s just not long enough –
Now everybody say…
 
CHORUS:
N-A-N-A N-A-N-A
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate
What things do I think about when I hear your name?
There’s plenty but for this song there’s too many to say
N-A-N-A N-A-N-A
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate
At night before I go to sleep I pray that your guardian
angel’s watching over you every day
OUTRO:
N-A-N-A N-A-N-A
It’s your birthday so let’s celebrate
What things do I think about when I hear your name?
There’s plenty but for this song
there’s too many to say

Hi my name’s Cameron aka Emcee Problem-Addict and I am a writer, lyricist and composer. Please message me here for usage, and contact me if you would like personal musical pieces composed and tailored for you: cbrtnik@gmail.com

Memories of Germany: Remembering Edith & Wolfgang

Memories of Germany

WhatsApp Image 2019-05-08 at 9.47.49 AM

Remembering Edith & Wolfgang

by Cameron Brtnik

June, 2014 – We’ve lost someone dearly beloved to us. Edith Herzog, 1932-2014. She lived a long, full life, then lost a battle with cancer. Otto, her brother, and my dad, spoke with her on the phone in the weeks prior to her death and said she sounded well, in good spirits. He was able to talk to his only sister before her passing, and I am grateful for that.

    I always wished we – my younger brother, sister, and I – were closer with our family in Germany: Aunt Edith and Uncle Wolfgang, cousins Roby and Bepsi, her husband Helmut and their kids, our dear cousins Eva and Kati, and of course, our Omi. Not close in the sense of family, but in terms of distance – we saw them very infrequently as kids, but made trips whenever we could visit. Sometimes Otto would take all three of us. I went alone once, and Adam and Meghan went on other occasions. They were all memorable trips, in no small part due to the generosity and hospitality we felt as soon as we arrived.

    Some of my fondest childhood memories are of visiting my wonderful family in Stuttgart, Germany. Our Aunt Edith – sweating and slaving in the kitchen, our uncle Wolfgang – yelling Edith’s name from another floor high above, perhaps about the laundry or maybe looking for his glasses. Taking a short car ride into town to pick up some sparkling water (which I hated. They never drank spring water so I just had to get used to the unpleasant fizzy taste) in Wolfgang’s Mercedes Benz – never the “top of the line model with leather interior,” but a beautiful automobile nonetheless (as a retired engineer at Mercedes he would receive a new Benz every two years, not a bad retirement package!) or to pick up fresh pretzels in the morning (I still have an unhealthy love of those warm, squishy pretzels). And watching Walker: Texas Ranger (which was unusually popular in Germany) starring, yep, Chuck Noris, on TV with my auntie Edith.

    Eating is a considerable part of German culture and I can remember Edith working in the kitchen all morning to prepare lunch (in American culture dinner is the biggest meal whereas in Germany lunch is – In Taiwan EVERY meal is the big meal), which was always hearty and delicious. We would then make our way into town to shop, or travel outside of Holzeim (the quaint, hillside town where they lived) to go sightseeing, visit picturesque towns, gothic churches and modern museums (my favourite was always the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart).

    They generally made sure we were always busy during our visit. There were also neighbours who had kids our age, so we were never bored, even if there was a language barrier – isn’t it funny that these things don’t matter as a kid? My favourite way to pass the time would be to wander beyond their backyard, cross over the train tracks, pass through the poison ivy, and into the rolling green hills just beyond their home. It was a beautiful, picturesque landscape, and I can remember feeling quite at peace, riding a bike or just hiking through the hills.

    One of my fondest memories of my aunt Edith was when I was about 15, and had met a German girl at the local gym. This girl had particularly long fangs that masqueraded as teeth. We went on a date and I ended up with a painfully visible hickey on my neck. Edith nicknamed her “Vampire Girl” from then on. We never had a second date. (If you’re reading this, add me to Facebook! Or should I say Fangbook?)

    I’ll really miss Edith and Wolfgang – I never got to say bye to them, and I haven’t visited in almost ten years. But every visit I had was so momentous it never felt that long between visits. I wish I could sit down and have a chat with them now…. Edith’s laugh filling the room (she always did have a great sense of humour), Wolfgang, serious, stern, but generous and always joining in on the joke. They were more than just great but amazing people that I’ll always hold close to my heart.

    I remember always looking up to my cousin Roby as a mentor – a fashion expert, music buff, and ladies man (though he’s now engaged with children), he had a big impact on me as a kid. We still have lots of great family in Germany, and we should all make efforts to see each other whenever possible. In fact, Meghan and JP will travel to Germany next week. I wish I could join you guys! I know you’ll have an incredible trip, and make even more lasting memories. And if you happen to see Vampire Girl, tell her…that she left a “lasting impression” on me.

Dedicated to Omi, Edith & Wolfgang

Written by Cameron, September 10, 2014

Poetry Corner – Two Poems

Two Poems

written for my sister Meghan's Wedding

7/6/13
"What Is Love"

    What is love? Recently, I got to thinking… It’s not about how attracted you are to someone; How well your personalities mix; How much you adore, cherish, and desire to take care of that person; How many of their jokes make you laugh, or cringe; How you enjoy cooking for them or surprising them with breakfast once in a while; How you think it’s funny when she "loses her keys" even though you know they're in her purse; Or how you think it's strange how he chooses to dress at a fancy event; Love is a combination of all these things, the good and the bad, the big and the small, and being able to take a step back to realize that it's all those things that are meaningful to you - and that you would be truly happy to “deal with those things" as long as you dealt with them together. Meghan and JP, cheers to the both of you on your wedding day! (Cheers)
“Reduction”

    Lianne Brtnik, mother of the bride, has recently had to deal with a common theme: reduction. The first one should be quite obvious (breast reduction). The second: reducing all of her lifelong and treasured possessions, physical things, in order to scale down. The third, her "most prized possession," her children: One son to a beautiful woman; One to a beautiful island. And then her only daughter who will not solely belong to her anymore, but also to a deserving man. But what we have learned from reduction is that it, ironically, produces amazing results. In the first case, an increase in health and wellness. In the second, gaining freedom and independence. And in the third... we couldn’t be happier that it’s JP who will help be scooping her away, to you a daughter, to us a sister, to the rest of us, family or friend: Meghan. So you see, it’s not really a "reduction" but rather an "addition." She will always be yours, mom, but with the "addition" of JP! Cheers to Meghan and JP, the new bride and groom! (Cheers)