Monday, February 4, 2008



Choose to Live

Living daily with the stresses, of life and death situations
You quickly develop a sense of strength, and inner determination
To face your fears, your inner demons, and your limitations
Otherwise you’ll end up breaking, a victim of frustration

A firefighter who lives his life, willing to take a chance
Likes to play by his own rules, not play victim to circumstance
Enter that building, crawl through that smoke, take that hose, advance
When you risk your life for a living, you’re not afraid to take a stance

When faced with the choice of pushing forward, or giving in to fear
You have to consider your decisions, that have already put you here
Being a firefighter and saving others, is a very noble idea
But sentiment alone will save no one, unless the performance is there

A fireman’s not judged by what’s in his head, but rather in his heart
Anyone can dream heroic thoughts, it takes one to take part
In actions that may cause his death, in order to save a tot
His performance never differs, whether he knows this child or not

For every man must die someday, there’s no getting around it
Accept this fact and live your life, with gusto and with spirit
You can’t choose how you will die, or do anything to avoid it
But you can choose how you will live, and not cage yourself with limits

Tom Kenney - 2005

Flicker Of A Matches’ Flame

Like a flicker of a matches’ flame
The years seem to fast-forward
Retirement, once long in the future
I’m now steadily moving toward

Eyes once wide with excitement
Now weigh heavy with the strain
Of many years of seeing too much
And enduring too much pain

The bounce and purpose in my step
Has been replaced with a nagging limp
Once strong and able-bodied
I’m now looking more like a gimp

Too many nights of interrupted sleep
Have left me haggard and tired
Sirens have stolen my ability to hear
And in this endless drone, I’m mired

This business, though rewarding as hell
Has surely beaten me down
Proclaiming “it’s the best job in the world”
While in the despair I drown

I know my actions have been sincere
Every time I’ve answered the call
But day after day, night after night
I bang my head against the wall

Nothing gets better, stays just the same
On these tough city streets
I can’t seem to remember the victories
Only the bitter defeats

The time has come to blow out the flame
And let the room go dim
And open a new chapter in my life
One that’s not as grim

Tom Kenney - 2007

Chasing After a Hero

I ’ve been chasing after a hero
For what seems my whole life
I can remember back to my childhood
When the fear cut me like a knife

I witnessed my father risk his life
By running into a fire
And through the eyes of a scared little boy
I watched as the flames grew higher

I have never been able to forget that day
And no matter what I’ve done
I felt I could never live up to that act
In fact, nor could anyone

As a firefighter, as well as a man
He left me big boots to fill
Though physically I’ve grown into the par
In some ways, I fear I never will

His steady hand has served him well
As a firefighter - and family man
His loving ways, throughout his days
Has helped him raise his clan

For no man is truly a hero
Based solely on his profession
My dad has dedicated his entire life
To his family - his obsession

Though we have our differences, him & I
I admire and love this man
For he’s the man I always wanted to be
Because of him, I’m where I am

I would like to think that I’m a good son
Despite what some might say
But I attempt to live my life in a manner
That will make him proud each day

I have stumbled and faltered along the way
As I’m certain my father has, too
I ask myself if it’s the mistakes we make
That inspire us to start anew

His bravery, integrity, and his moral fiber
Are attributes to which I aspire
His leadership, shown through his example
Continues to encourage me higher

Thank you, Dad

Tom Kenney - 2005

The Man Inside

I’m on a quest of some significance, at least it is to me
Searching for that elusive creature, the man inside of me
The hunt began, as I recall, to prove my inner worth
To recover the man I’d lost within, much like a rebirth

It dawned on me one insightful day, that men often have two sides
The outer shell which they display, but there’s also the man inside
I’m not too proud of the outer me, with all my flaws and warts
So I’m hoping the search for the inner me, is not all for naught

I’ve heard it said many times, it’s what’s inside that counts
I hope there’s truth in that old adage, no matter in what amount
Because a good man is a good man, no matter to what degree
And there are no saints among us, at least not that we can see

To recognize the difference, between what’s outside and in
Is a quality I admire in a person, not judging from his skin
Though I beat myself up for past mistakes, I hope that I can prove
That the man inside of me is one, of whom I can approve

It’s said that we all see ourselves, different than we are
But when we’re put to the test of stress, we find if we’re up to par
For it’s always the man inside of you, who’s hidden away from view
That responds during these arduous times, and he’s the real you

If this is true, then I’m okay, for this has always been my strength
My ‘inside man’ always goes the distance, no matter what the length
‘He’ has integrity, ‘he’ has courage, ‘he’ has compassion too
Whatever be the challenge, ‘he’ can see it through

So judge me not on who I am, but rather on who I can be
For though I often fall flat on my face, there’s a man inside of me
Who knows just how to face a crisis, without letting others down
‘He’, you see, is a fire-fighter, ‘his’ feet planted firmly on the ground

Tom Kenney - 2006