Tuesday, January 29, 2008



Firetrucks go racing past
At what seems the speed of light
If these vehicles had wings attached
You’d swear that they’d take flight

Where they’re headed you don’t know
But they’re sure in a hurry
You see they’re headed toward your house
And you begin to worry

Could it be you left the iron on
Or left dinner in the oven
You’ve done that once or twice before
But it doesn’t happen often

You follow the trucks, as your fears grow
You wish that they’d go faster
Don’t they know that if they delay
Your home could be a disaster

Finally they reach your house
You sigh as they go past
You can now let go of all your fears
Boy, they’re going fast!

Tom Kenney - 2005


Sounds are all around us
Every day and everywhere
But there are some I’ve heard
I hope never again to hear

The alarm bell sounding
And axes pounding
They echo with each chop
People crying
As a loved one’s dying
It seems to never stop

To never hear again, I pray
The call of a “MayDay”
From a brother who is lost
I fear this most
Like a lingering ghost
We all know this could be the cost

The cost of pushing
The cost of tempting
The limits of our fate
But when we’re working
Though danger’s lurking
Time won’t allow us to wait


Firemen lose their hearing
From the harshness of the noise
But do we really lose it
Or do we make a conscious choice

To shut out all the memories
To shut out all the pain
To shut down all our emotions
And live a peaceful life again


Tom Kenney - 2005

Sick & Tired

I’m sick and tired of people giving us shit
Because they think that we don’t care
They think that because we walk up to their door
That we are unaware

But really now, what would you have us do
Sit down and cry with you
Or would you rather have us remain unattached
Doing everything we can do

Although keeping emotional walls intact
Serves us well in our tasks
None of us have a perfect record with this
Our indifference merely our masks

My nerves and patience are frayed to the limit
By putting up with this day after day
If you don’t know what you’re doing – or we’re doing
Shut up and stay out of our way

The general public can never understand
How each call takes its toll
Not many of us escape unscathed
Survival a more attainable goal

So when some junkie decides to do too much smack
Needle still in his vein
His loved ones expect us to feel compassion
To understand his pain

The truth is, sadly, I couldn’t care less
If he lives or if he dies
If we stop him tonight from killing himself
Tomorrow this scene, he’ll reprise

So when people call us uncaring and cold
Because we don’t bleed in the open
We sometimes lose our cool and attack them
This can be our way of coping

We carry enough negative emotional baggage
And we don’t need any more
So we may tell them just where they can go
Before we walk out their door

Tom Kenney - 2007


Two-thirds of my time is spent waiting
Waiting for the bell
Because exactly when we’ll be called upon
Not one of us can tell
Yes, two-thirds of my time is spent waiting
And waiting can be hell

We train with all of our equipment
So that we’ll be ready
And no matter what we’ll have to do
We will hold steady

We continually inspect our district
So we’ll be familiar
With any new dangers or hazards
That may have moved here

We’re always studying the streets
So that we’ll know
The quickest route to any destination
Just get in and go

We check and clean the apparatus
So that we can rely
On everything working properly
On the very first try

When called upon to answer the call
We know what to do
No matter what the emergency may be
We’ll see it through

We check out all the buildings in our area
And what they contain
Where hazardous materials may be stored
Then we check them out again

We drill with other fire companies
And with just our truck
We try to be completely prepared
We never count on luck

We’re called for every type of emergency
Whether day or night
We’re always ready to lend assistance
No matter what their plight

Though the two-thirds of my time spent waiting
Is spent in preparation…
While drilling and training are not the most exciting part
Of working in the station…
It all pays off ‘cause when responding to an alarm
There’s no time for trepidation…

But still…
…waiting is the hardest part

Tom Kenney - 2006

Two Minutes

The toughest two minutes
Of any run
Are the ones spent responding,
Under the gun

When the dispatcher tells you,
“A child is hurt”
You can’t keep yourself from
Picturing the worst

You try to imagine and
Run through your mind,
Upon your arrival, the scene
You might find

You can’t get there fast enough
Your heart starts to race
You block out terrible visions
Of that child’s face

Not doing anything is
The toughest task
That of any firefighter
You could ask

Your mission is assisting
Those who need aid
You’re bent on performing the
Tasks of your trade

You’re trained to be ready for
Any situation
Your training takes flight once you
Leave the station

You’re anxious and you’re worried
While on the way
You never know what you’ll find
So you don’t delay

Your adrenaline’s pumping
Stomach in knots
Try to stay focused ‘til you
See what you’ve got

You realize the victims
Depend on you
To keep them from harm
And see them through

Through this tragic circumstance
However dire
Whether a medical emergency
Or for a fire

You know that when you get there
You’ll be okay
‘Cause then you’ll be working, holding
Tragedy at bay

You count on your experience
And your training
To do the task at hand
And begin saving

You can handle any situation
Once you’re in it
But getting there can be
The toughest two minutes

Copyright 2005 - Tom Kenney


My skin is stretching and ready to burst
It’s so sensitive to the touch
Your touch…or anyone’s touch
My head is ready to explode
All my thoughts…my dreams…my nightmares
Everything builds up like an over-filled balloon
I need…
I need…
I need…
Everything I feel, I say, I write
All seems to scream…help
I think what I think are big thoughts
Larger questions than those in individual lives
Mankind and womankind type of ideals and thoughts
I think it’s easier to think in those terms
Thinking in individual, personal type thoughts are too…
I push the people that I love away
It’s always been that way I guess
I think it’s much more prevalent now
Wrong, wrong, wrong
Fail, fail, fail
What’s wrong with my mind?
Why can’t I take things unseriously?
Why must everything be a lecture or a tirade?
Mine is not the only opinion
Mine is not the only pain
If it hurts so much, why not walk away and retire?
Why am I so devoted to the FD?
Which is worse pain…the physical or the emotional??
I don’t know…
Book, poetry, articles…
Are they the real me?
Are they a false front?
Are they good?...or bad?
Questions … nothing but questions
No answers……………..

2007 – Tom Kenney