The Clouds of Mourning – A Poem About Depression and Pain

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As we go through life, there are inevitable seasons where it seems the skies are always cloudy, always raining, and the forecast will never change. Anyone that has ever dealt with depression (or any mental illness for that matter) knows that it is like a ghost that haunts you no matter where you go or how hard you try to hide from it. Fight all you want, but you can never defeat the forces of darkness with strength alone. In these times of darkness and pain, how do we keep moving forward? How do we resist the temptation to give up and let the pain of life suck everything from our soul?

Typically, telling yourself to “cheer up”, “suck it up”, “pick yourself up”, or having someone else tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself only makes matters worse, and I believe does a disservice to our heart. Deep depression is not an easy thing to fix, and the reality is that sometimes there are circumstances in our lives where the only appropriate response is to mourn and cry. And sometimes we need that time to just embrace the issue and recognize that it is ok to feel pain. But how do we not drown in that pain?

I believe the only way we can move forward is by grasping hope and refusing to let go. It might not get better today, it might not be tomorrow, but as long as there is hope that things will get better, the ghosts of depression are unable to penetrate our locked doors and totally possess us.

The Clouds of Mourning – A Poem About Depression and Pain

The clouds of mourning
Hang and hover over me
Like ghosts – translucent,
Yet allowing only darkness to pass through.
Their pale gray sheets flap and flutter
In the breezes of life,
Dimming and drowning out
All traces of light.
Their wails send nails
Falling from the sky,
Raining down and driving like hammers;
Pounding their melancholic clamors into my heart.

My palette is stained,
Soaked in ashen gray paint.
Non-washable, permanent and persistent;
Resistant to the colors I attempt to cover with my brush.
The clouds of mourning
Flood my skies like ghastly Dementors,
Following me through the hours
And sucking at my soul one minute at a time.

Sweet angels,
Have you lost the fight to the terrors?
Have your hallowed halos burnt out like smoking embers
And lost their luster and glow?
Where are you hiding
In this dark and stormy night?
Where are your shields and swords,
Why are you overwhelmed by the demons of darkness,
Why do you refuse to fight?

What weapons do I pick up
To fend off forces invisible and invincible?
Is there an amulet I can hang over my heart to keep out
The ghouls that pass uninhibited through locked doors?
The icy rain covers my window pane
In sheets of tears running down in streams of solitude.
Winter’s wrath bars my path
And leaves me shivering in the cold wondering what to do.
The clouds of mourning
Hang and hover over me
Like ghosts – translucent,
But hope shall be my exorcism.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

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Eclipse – A Poem

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Eclipse – A Poem

Two sides of a conflicting coin
Flip like faces in a dramatic act.
Two intricate and separate forces entangle
In a bitter struggle, leaving Earth cloaked in black.

How can such a powerful light
Be smothered by such a small, sinister hand?
A visceral visual of what evil can accomplish
When given the freedom to take root in the heart of man.

In a matter of seconds the cosmos is silenced
By the veil of darkness and death.
The yang captured beneath the yin’s net;
Hope and light suffocating and gasping for breath.

What once was so beautiful,
Shining in the sky’s endless sea,
Has now turned into a lifeless puppet,
Bound and animated by dark, dominating strings.

You were once a blazing beacon –
A fire of hope that lit up my nights.
But now, my once glorious sun,
You’ve laid down, surrendered, and given up the fight.

I only hope this is but an eclipse
And shortly you’ll come forth from hiding behind the moon.
For life is but a quick, short breath
And will not wait while you wallow woefully in your room.

Two opposite forces fight
In the face of the atmosphere;
The moon is not a worthy opponent
But kills all light when the sun hides in fear.

The moon hangs with no power,
But becomes master when the sun submits.
Defy the rebellion, do not yield to your captor.
Emerge as the victor in your heart’s eclipse.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

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One Is Never Enough, Ten Will Never Do – A Poem About Addiction

a man who  is ashamed, lonely, and depressedHaving suffered through the bonds of addiction, I sought in this poem to somehow put into perspective what the transformation of an addict is like. It never starts off as tragedy, but as a solution to all life’s problems – the missing puzzle piece that we’ve been searching for all of our life to make us fit. And nothing is better than discovering the magic of our elixir or drug of choice because it’s never about the experience. It is about healing the mangled, broken human being we’ve been carrying around inside our chest our whole life.

We rejoice. We celebrate. We can’t get enough. Finally, we are free. Finally, we have something that makes our darkness and fears disappear. But somewhere along the way, we cross a line. I don’t think any addict can truly know what day or time that line was crossed. But when we cross it, our enchanted dream becomes a bone-chilling nightmare. A sickness so swift comes over us that we fail to diagnose ourselves (unfortunately some never do). There is no romanticism in the depths of addiction. It is the coldest hell that man can ever go through.

There is often much confusion and anger towards loved ones who have addiction issues. That anger and frustration is not invalid. But for the addict, it is not some trip to Disneyland, but a ride down avenues that few can bear. It is the process of the soul shattering, and when the soul shatters, chaos is bound to follow. We are responsible for our actions, but the active addict is enduring a world that you can never begin to comprehend. We are not bad humans. We are sick, broken, mad, and in need of restoration. Love requires truth and confrontation. It cannot sit back and watch, while it’s lover is dying. It demands to be heard and to fight against the chaos. But love is the most powerful weapon against addiction. It takes someone else to believe you can fight back because often times an addict doesn’t have anything left to believe in. You don’t have to understand; you never will. But stretching out a hand to someone sinking is sometimes all it takes if they are willing to grab on. Blame, shame, and anger never do an addict any good. Trust me, we’ve got enough of that in our own heart to fill the world. We hate ourselves and what we’ve doing more than you can ever know. But we are frightened. We are scared. We do not know how to live in our own skin – fragile, broken, and utterly mangled. It is not deviance that drives one to addiction; it is deliverance. Deliverance from a world of hurt and pain. These hearts are already broken enough. Please do not break them even more. Restore them. Cherish them. Breathe your life back into them. Give them hope for a better tomorrow because their today is a living hell.

One Is Never Enough, Ten Will Never Do – A Poem About Addiction

One taste was all it took to love you.
You coddle me in your sweet embrace
And rock my fears and insecurities to sleep,
Nestled within your powerful arms.
But your enchanted dreams do not rub away from my eyes,
And I find it impossible to say good-bye to our nightly rendezvous.

I am drowning in your love,
But still thirsty.
Still yearning for just one more,
But somehow I know that will never do –
My every thought is of you
And the magic that your cast upon my broken mind.
You fix me and as long as you’re by my side,
The world is fine.
My strides are long and steady.
I’m cool, calm, confident, and ready
To take on the world with my head held high and my eyes
Ready to look life in the face.

But without the transformation I undergo after your taste,
I am lost, weak, scared, and incompetent.
My eyes drag across the floor
And fear commands my every move.
No.
One more will never do.
I need every ounce of you
Rattling through my veins, breaking these chains
That bind me in isolation.

But love, things were going so well.
What is this desolation
That now flows from your well?
Your spell has enchanted me blind
And numb to life.
What started off as waves of calm
Have turned to tides of chaos,
Screaming, shrieking out in piercing alarms.

I am not well.
No. My being is fluttering away in the breeze,
And a new form – some deformed demon
Forces me to my knees.
I only wanted one.
But one was not enough.
Neither was two.
Or the ten that followed two.

I no longer desire to be kissed.
My mind insists that I must be swallowed
Up in your madness, in the sadness
Of this depraved love affair that has turned sour.
I do not know the hour
That I turned from lover to slave.
But I look through blurred, sunken eyes at my reflection
And never have been so afraid.

I am no longer me.
I am not my own.
And who can comprehend the clamor of this confinement?
None. I walk alone
Through the dark corridors –
I reside within the empty walls.
I am an inmate on death row,
Silently drinking my way towards my execution date,
And my executioner will not wait, nor hear my plea.
I shiver in the silence of my cold seduction.
Oh, how I long to break free!
From this madness, this chaos, this never-ending itch
That I can’t stop scratching,
My claws ripping away the flesh of a once decent man.
But he is far gone from me, a monster is what I am.

I don’t want you.
But I need you.
No longer for safety, but to survive.
My love, I am a stumbling corpse,
Barely breathing, barely alive.
Realization reeks like a rotten carcass,
Festering, decaying in swarming summer heat,
Waves of repugnance sweeping me off my feet.

For truth stings sharper than a thousand bees.
Truth, heavier than the weight of the world,
When reality knocks an addict to his knees.
Oh, my sweet friend…
I thought your love was true!
But now I know one is never enough,
And ten will never do.

– Poem Written by Justin Farley


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The Tinman – A Poem

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The Tinman – A Poem

Your beacon blazes with the firestorm
Of a thousand pyres.
In your eyes I find the fires –
Smoke signals that rise to the heavens
And lead me on a journey
Out of the confinement of earthly shackles
That have clanged like lonely church bells
Ringing in the early morning,
Beckoning for deliverance around my feet for countless eons.
But when our hearts meet,
The cold of chaotic confusion is warmed by the heat
You infuse in me, soothing me to the core,
Stilling this ailment that never quits, never relents
Like a nagging child consistently tugging on my sleeve.
But the chilling winter breeze
That howls throughout my chest’s empty corridor
Is driven back from whence it came
Under the concealment of your shelter.
A whisper of your tongue sends new forecasts
Of warmer weather upon my heart’s radar.

Angelic avenues appear before me.
I can see Avalon in the distance –
My vision cleared from the fog
That has hung over my head like a drab curtain
For far too long.
Your song pierces the mist of madness,
And I see the kingdom once again
That I believed to have crumbled
Under the weight of tyrannical vacancy.
But now there is a peace in me –
A gentle but consistent flame that is growing,
Consuming all my darkness and blazes brighter
With each new tree of dead wood I chop down
And throw on top of it.
I do the work, but you provide the oxygen
That allows this bonfire to reach ever higher,
Burning off the shadows of these hanging leaves of treetop trees,
Opening my outlook like a door,
Revealing the heavens in this dark forest once more.

I am yet free –
Still stuck in these dark woods
My mind has resided in for years.
But these towering trees of torment
Are falling one by one,
Chopped and loaded into the hearth of your love.
My ax may be rusted, and my tin skin clanks,
Weighing me down, leaving me falling behind
Trying to make up for lost time,
But I am moving, even if it is sometimes slowly.
When I find myself weak and lowly
Will you oil me up and wait for me?
Will you see me through to the emerald gates of Oz?
Your beacon bellows –
A woodcutter’s dream to have your resistant flames
Scorch and singe back the bark’s leather skin.
I will continue my hacking until this forest
Is but a memory of protruding stumps
That serve as a reminder of what was
And what will never again be,
As long as there’s a fire in your heart,
And you are here fighting next to me.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


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The Origin of Emotion – A Poem

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The Origin of Emotion – A Poem

To feel is to know.
To know is to feel.
It’s when the green hills of summer become covered with snow
That winter bares its teeth and becomes real.
Do I feel love before I recognize its voice
Or does my mind cognitively realize before my heart?
Does the mind first tell the eyes to become moist
Or do the raging rivers of tear drops flow
When the levees of my heart have been torn apart?
Does emotion start out as a thought or a feeling?
Nestled within the chambers of rational or dream?
Do the bells of chaos exist in my head and ring
Or is it my breast that shrieks and screams?
To know is to feel.
To feel is to know.
I’m fairly certain reality becomes real
Whenever we plant the scattered seeds of life
And where we decide to let them grow.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


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Coming of Age – A Poem About Growing Up

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Coming of Age – A Poem About Growing Up

I walk alone down the streets of time,
Constantly searching, yearning for a home I can call mine.
But the migrant bustle, hustle through the downtown streets
Makes it nearly impossible, a distant and unattainable feat.
Who are these faces that stare back at me?
Why do they appear so alive, and I so empty?
Is it that I am merely conscious of the severity of life’s sting,
Or have they somehow found their way out of winter and into the arms of spring?
I find it quite confusing, amusing really that they walk without care,
And I like Sisyphus walking up a hill with a stone I’m unable to bear.
Are the bonds of madness merely my sole curse?
Am I the only one constantly searching for an eternal hearth?
Conformity seems unobtainable, office mingling out of my grasp.
But they seem to show up day after day with only a sigh and a laugh.
Yet, I seem trapped, walking free yet still wandering down death row
Like a rose planted upon pavement, unable to grow.
What is this depth of despair that crushes my hope for tomorrow,
Not fully submerged in depression, but surely wallowing in sorrow?
A fading memory still remains tucked away in the back of my mind
Of childhood dreaming where the gears stood motionless upon the hands of time.
And now where do I run to without the magic of youth?
I simply spend my days wrestling with relativity, searching for eternal truth.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/

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The Inner Man – A Poem About Being Afraid To Show Emotion

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The Inner Man – A Poem About Being Afraid To Show Emotion

Can eyes hide the rivers
Of pain that flow inside?
Can ears mute the quaking, shaking
Of a heart that booms
With thunders of broken dreams?
There’s a storm raging inside the man
He doesn’t wish the world to see,
So he puts on his business attire each morning
And paints a bright, thin smile upon his face
With delicate precision and attempts to erase
The evidence bulging out of his interior corridors –
Pain piled up like dirty laundry
Waiting to be washed clean.
He desperately tries to tuck away his past
And puff out his chest in efforts of pride,
But he’s bursting at the seams.
His melancholic madness can only hide
For so long from his daily routine
Until the tear drops and whiskey shots
Reach the top and spill over
Into his public persona.
There’s no shame in admitting defeat.
Hope begins when pride takes a seat,
The paint brush gets put away,
And the heart is allowed to show
Through to the face.
Solitude must be replaced by solidarity.
It is easy to convince ourselves
That no one will understand,
But fellowship in struggles and pain
is shared by each and every man.
It is far time we stop pretending
To be stoic clowns
And have the courage to wear the face in public
We wear when no one else is around.
True masculinity is not being emotionless,
But being tough enough to reveal
The emotions of our soul,
To embrace the inner man
And stop allowing culture to control
Our voice.

-Poem Written By Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


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An Ode To Joy – A Poem About Hope

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An Ode To Joy – A Poem About Hope

It is joy that spreads its wings
and meets me in the midst of my melancholic musings
and carries me through despair.
Pain does not disappear,
but is transcended by a power mightier
than the trappings of the mind
and the preaching Pity pouts from depression’s pulpit.

Joy is not the elixir of pain,
but the medication for madness,
the harvester of meaning in the grips of sadness,
that hoists the spirit high in the heavens
handing over a hope undaunted by trials,
compiled over seasons of faith
where each surrender was followed by deliverance.

Joy is the bright, morning star
that shines in the darkness –
the light that leads you through the land of the lost
and pierces the longest midnight.
Happiness is but a foolish endeavor,
inclined to be swept away,
stolen like a thief in the night,
gone without a trace from which it came.
But joy is a resistant flame
that burns both night and day.
It does not recede, but leads come what may.

Joy is the force infused through the victor
knocked down by the world face down on failure’s doorstep,
who refuses to lose, gets up again
and wins despite the odds.
We blindly search for happiness
down every drunkard’s alley,
down every dead-end street,
and in the end only meet further pain.

This world can never trap happiness,
but only manage to grab him by his tail
for a brief moment before he scurries away.
Hang onto the rare opportunities
to catch a glimpse of him,
but don’t try to make a fleeting feeling
A constant companion.

Joy smiles when the world frowns,
laughs when the world knocks you down,
dances in the depths of depression,
and sings in the silence of solitude.
It is not built on transient times,
but an external hope that transcends the present reality.

– Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


 

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Becoming Happier By Changing Our Perspective

8923976629_9f487a40efMost of the time, it isn’t our circumstances that define us, but our perspective on those circumstances. Every day we each go through numerous experiences that are opportunities to embrace the positive or dwell on the negative. The way we react to these experiences determines how happy or sad we will be through life. Now there are mental conditions and extreme circumstances that are beyond our control, but that still doesn’t mean we’re helpless. We often attribute our unhappiness to a lack of something. If only I had this or that…if only I wasn’t this way…if only…then I would be happy. But life doesn’t work that way. New circumstances will never change our feelings until we first change our perspective. Become aware of how you perceive your daily experience. Most of us go through the day without ever noticing how we are reacting, but those reactions are directly shaping the way you view the world and how you feel. Your mind can be your best asset or your worst enemy. How will you use it today?

Perspective – A Poem

If time finds you
Wandering through the depressions
Of dark valleys
Where the sun casts shadows
Across your vision
And smothers you like a plastic bag,
Gasping for air and relief,
Take a moment to gaze around you.

Let your vision shift
From the small, deserted island
Your mind is stranded on
In a vast, open sea,
shift your focus outside the prison
You’ve locked yourself in,
And soak up the rest of the world.

Take a look.
It’s moving just fine without you in it,
Has been since the dawn of time,
and the beautiful laws of nature
Will continue to operate just fine
Long after you’re gone.

Is it the world that’s lost and confused
Or is it me?
Are my eyes shattered like cracked
Marbles of glass,
Envisioning and judging a world that doesn’t exist
Except through my perspective?

The problems and sorrows of this life
Escalate and reach their climax
When I place myself at the center
Of the universe.
Maybe it’s time to get
These broken eyes fixed.

– Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


 

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The Neglected Lover – A Love Poem About Self Love and Loving Yourself

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Sometimes it is easy to love your neighbor, but much more difficult to have self love. Self loathing and self-hatred are real problems for some people. You would never treat others or hold them to the same standards as you do yourself, so why do you keep doing it? You’re just as deserving of love as they are! Here’s a love poem that you can read to yourself. I hope you enjoy it.

 

The Neglected Lover – A Poem About Self Love and Loving Yourself

When will you ever let yourself be enough?
When will you stop second guessing yourself,
Examining your entire life under a microscope
And highlighting every flaw?

When will you accept that you’re worthy
This very moment – not after the future accomplishment,
Not after this mess is cleaned up,
But right now?

When will you stop scrubbing your skin until it bleeds,
Trying to remove a stain that’s been there
Since you were born?
When will you stop loathing your weaknesses
And start accepting them as opportunities
For God to work directly through you?

When will you stop dragging your head along the floor
And be confident enough to look the world in the face?
When will you stop wishing you were someone else,
Living someone else’s story, and write your own?

When will you let your past failures rest
And no longer haunt you?
When will you finally take off the chains
Your mind has bound you in
And walk as a free child of God?

Don’t do it for wives and husbands,
Sons and daughters.
Don’t do it for bosses and co-workers,
Fathers and mothers.
Don’t do it for friends or foes,
Even for success or for the sake of happiness.
Do it for the person that walks around
With you everyday, goes to bed with you every night,
And stares back at you in the mirror every morning.
Do it for you.
The time for feeling useless and unlovable is over.
It’s time for you to love yourself.


 

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