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

photo credit: Lunar Eclipse via photopin (license)

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Beauty’s Battle – A Poem About Endurance and Fighting Fear

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Beauty’s Battle – A Poem About Endurance and Fighting Fear

She sits engaged in a battle
Beneath the shadow of her own face,
Slowly conceding to her own demons
Brought back by their blows, crushed beneath their weight.

She wonders what’s the use in trying
When defeat has already been secured?
For what’s left of the light is dying
And her heels dangle on the verge

Of Darkness’s valley where fear stands ready
With open jaws, salivating for an easy feast.
But quick, girl, stand firm, armed, and steady.
Don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you kneel at their feet.

Remember where your heart lies.
Remember your true desires not corrupted by fear.
Remember the beauty that resides beneath your blue eyes.
Remember why it is I’m still here.

There’s a flame that still flickers.
Feed it with love, faith, courage, and hope.
Know that of all the muses that have flowed from my fingers,
You’re the finest that’s ever wrote.

She pauses for reflection
And slows her breath to a stable inhale.
Suddenly, it comes to her attention
That this shadow of darkness is nothing but a paper-thin veil.

She rises boldly like an Amazon warrioress to her feet
And quickly takes aim with her bow.
Defiantly refusing to retreat,
Deciding she’s had enough of fear’s pain and woe.

The battle is not over.
She remains engaged beneath her beautiful skin.
But she’s set on never allowing herself to roll over,
And allowing the shadow of fear to win.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

Reflections – A Poem About Character Flaws

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Reflections – A Poem About Character Flaws

The extent of my weaknesses are revealed
Beneath the weight of uncertainty.
I am often a self-absorbed child,
Believing that time and even the world itself should stop for me.
My futile fury of feeble insecurity
Is shocking and pries open my eyes
To inner flaws I was blind to.
Every ounce of energy, every vision conceived,
Is spent looking at me.
My expectations of others come as extensions of myself –
Unrealistic and dotted with traces of perfectionism.
Resentful if they do not meet the mark I have set
And if their opinions do not match my own
Because obviously if they are not mine,
They are clearly wrong.
Selfishness seeps from the wounds
That loving another opens and inflicts.
Selfishness insists that I must control
Instead of allowing things to let live.
These defects of mine are amplified
Under the pressures of patience,
Consciously trying to tame the darkness inside,
But at the same time fed up with waiting.
Perhaps we are given circumstances
In which at first sight appear cruel and unnecessary
To stretch the muscles of our soul,
To open up the doors of the closets
We’ve been allowing our demons to hide within,
And to act as a catalyst for change.
Each day I’m learning more about this man
And the wrongs of his ways.
But patience and love has become a mirror
In which I’m able to see an accurate reflection of myself.
I can say with certainty that much of what I see
I do not like.
But every day is an opportunity.
Each moment is a new medium
In which I determine the image I am reflecting to the world.

– Poem Written by Justin Farley

photo credit: yo yo yo via photopin (license)

Patience – A Poem About Waiting and Trusting in God’s Timing

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Patience – A Poem About Waiting and Trusting in God’s Timing

The agony of waiting, watching the hours
Drains my power and leaves me bitter
Filled with battered pride and endless angst.
But just as it takes a season to cultivate a flower,
I must keep a steadfast heart and wait.

My deepest failure is relying on my own two hands
To control, conquer, defend, and prevent defeat.
For when I am solely responsible for the success of all life’s plans,
My heart lies anxious constantly, consciously looking
To deter life’s inevitable outcomes with each and every beat.

It is in waiting, humbly praying, admitting
That you and you alone know the matter of my fate,
That my anxious and impatient heart can rest
Trusting you know what’s best and patiently, pridelessly wait.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience via photopin (license)

Second Star To The Right – A Poem About Losing Childhood Innocence

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Second Star To The Right – A Poem About Losing Childhood Innocence

My sanctuary of sanity
Dresses in new robes everyday.
Joyfully furnishing new rooms of solitude
Only to find the door locked the very next day.

The storm clouds gather, grow like weeds –
Stubborn and unable to be wrought out.
Their rains fueling, feeding the pain
And ensuring the sun’s rays are forever shut out.

Time is like a wagon wheel, spinning on an axle
Moving faster with every step I take.
Youth becoming a long, lost memory
But a destination my heart can’t seem to shake.

I remember the smell of fresh magic that hung heavy on the air
And its breath scattering seeds of imagination with the breeze.
Playful, not paralyzed by the clenching grip of reality,
Lost in imaginary battles and climbing high to the tops of trees.

But the roots of innocence were poisoned –
Decayed into fragments of nothingness years ago.
Left only a restless, aching heart
And a mind hinged on worldly woes.

Where do we go to find the fairy tales,
The myths, the fables that sowed towering dreams
Now that the reality of fate is unveiled
And the threads of time are splitting at the seams?

Is there a place for a Lost Boy
Living among grown up dreams?
Has my trip to Neverland been permanently delayed?
For the second star to the right can no longer be seen.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

When Trouble Comes – A Poem About Faith and Enduring Life’s Pain

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When Trouble Comes
A Poem About Faith and Enduring Life’s Pain

Evening’s crippling darkness passes away.
It’s distant vigor muted by the beauty of the morn.
Hope shines forth from the sun’s mighty rays,
A new spirit within us is born.

I am not overburdened by life’s troubles.
Though painful, they will not shackle nor strangle me.
For it is within each of my daily struggles
That provides growth’s greatest opportunity.

When the seas of my demise arise
And the wake of fear crests beyond the levee’s peak,
Faith persists and finds a way to uphold and drive
Me just beyond the tide of trouble’s reach.

We are neither all dark nor light –
In this lifetime we’re destined to reside somewhere in-between,
Constantly conscious of the ongoing fight,
Casting our character in each and every one of life’s scenes.

We can’t prevent the sun from sleeping,
Nor hide from life’s inevitable dark and lonesome night,
But we can cling to a hope never fleeting,
When joy seems unattainable and out of sight.

We are all flawed petals –
Rough and unperfected beings blowing, swayed by life’s breeze.
Yet, it is in consistently choosing not to settle
That we become beautiful flowers and not merely dormant seeds.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: But I’ll push myself up through the dirt via photopin (license)

The Fight – A Poem About Conquering Fear

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The Fight – A Poem About Conquering Fear

You can cast your shadow across my future,
Across every step that approaches every opportunity, every opened door.
Try to tear down the walls of my confidence,
And attempt to convince me that I was never meant for more.

You can startle me with your swiftness,
Visit me whenever and however you please.
But I, and I alone must give you the power
To break me and to send me to my knees.

You have dwelt within every human heart,
And every human mind since the dawn of time,
Making the mundane feel like destiny,
Slowly dying, slowly binding us as prisoners of the grind.

Your power is as limitless
Or as limited, as I will it to be.
For the only person who can choose to make you master
Is the man who resides inside of me.

I will not give approval to your veil of darkness,
Nor give you bricks to construct your castle walls.
What you build up I will tear back down with action.
You may knock me down, but I will get back up when I fall.

Fear, I am marking you as my enemy –
Right here, right now, this instant, not tomorrow, but today.
For I have dreams that I must tend to,
So pack up your “what ifs” and get out of my way.

Keep coming at me with your terrors if you like,
But my place in the corner is now a vacant cell.
This heart will no longer hide from failure,
Nor choose safety over walking through the fiery hell.

I choose my destiny,
I choose to hold my dreams as a beacon in the night.
For the impossible becomes possible
The day we choose to defy you, the day we choose to fight.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: DSC_0104 via photopin (license)

What is Success? What Does A Successful Person Do?

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost

stairs walking up a mountain,  symbolizing success or hard workWhat is success? We all want to know, so we can define ourselves as successful when we get there. But I would argue that success is not a destination, not a certain level on a plane that we reach and can claim that we’ve “made it”; but a mindset and select core of principles that we put into place right from the start. In my opinion, success has nothing to do with monetary value or wealth. It is the opposition to the natural tendencies and forces that exist in life that attempt to push us to do what culture says is right, will bring you happiness, money, or fame. You can be “wealthy”, but quite unsuccessful; you can be “poor”, but quite successful. Did I lose you? Let me explain.

A successful individual is someone who is overall satisfied with his or her life. They pursue the passions of their heart and do not let fear or other’s opinions of them determine their actions. Successful people are constantly challenging themselves, constantly examining their life to see what areas need improvement. Generally, these types of people are wealthy, but it is not wealth that motivates them. Many people that society may label as “successful” are nothing more than greedy whores to a system that tells them to do whatever is necessary to get ahead, even if that means going against their values or hurting others in the process.

Happiness and success always go hand-in-hand. Human beings are naturally only truly happy when they are filled with purpose and are pursuing what they were born to do. When we stray from the path we know we’re meant to go down, there is a natural energy that arises within us that is disgusted with our decision and voices its opinion through our heart. Call that your soul, call that God, call it whatever you want, but know it exists to keep us away from the traps that the world sets out for us. We are most at peace when our outside actions perfectly match our inner feelings and motivations. Granted, it will likely be impossible to ever be perfectly aligned, but you can get pretty close.

When you wake up each morning and look in the mirror, you should be proud of that woman or man that is starring back at you. You may have the comfort of wealth, but if you are disgusted by what you see, can you really consider yourself successful? If you know that you have cheated the system, pushed down others to get ahead, took the easy path and cut corners, if you look at yourself and know you’re a phony, a fraud, and a liar, constantly in fear that the world is going to see the see through your outer shell, can you ever be truly happy? Absolutely not. That is not success; that is tragedy.

But success is a cultivator of wealth. Not because you’re seeking it, but because it follows success. Someone who is aligned with their inner self is going to love what they do, have drive, have passion and wake up everyday excited to make the world a better place. Their heart is in their work and with hard work, wealth typically follows. Wealth, however, can NEVER be your goal or motivator. If it is, you’re unsuccessful before you ever begin. Why? Because when wealth is your driving force, you will be willing to do whatever is necessary to obtain it, which immediately puts you against your inner self and makes you an opponent of happiness.

A successful person is a visionary, a light for the world, a lover, a fighter, a rebel, a leader, a builder, a guider, one who unites, one who divides, one who sympathizes, one who restores. They can be all these things at once because their main focus is using their gifts to make the world a better place. Sometimes that requires division, sometimes that requires discipline, and sometimes that requires praise or building another person up. A truly successful person is always at odds against people and culture, yet always works with people and culture in mind. The world hates successful people even if we try to pretend that we don’t because they are a light, and a light reveals our own darkness. A light challenges us to follow, when we’d prefer to stay in the comfort and ease of the dark.

I want to challenge the way we think of success. Success immediately equals wealth by culture’s standards; however, is goes far deeper than that. Success is using our gifts to the utmost of our ability and using those gifts to ensure that the world is a better place because we lived, because we loved, and because we had the courage to walk down the hard road rather than drift along the lazy river. Many successful people are wealthy, and there is nothing wrong with that. But wealth is not a qualifier of success, it is simply a typical byproduct of it. Take people like Jesus Christ, the Buddha, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. Are these people “successful” by the world’s definition? No. They are absolute failures – losers even. Yet somehow they have changed the world in ways that few people ever can or will. Hate him or love him, Jesus is the most influential person to ever walk the earth, and I believe always will be. But he was a homeless, penniless man with practically no possessions to his name. Can you really call him or any of the people on the list a failure or unsuccessful? I hope not. They lived their life with beauty, with purpose, and with love at the forefront of their mind.

Rich or poor, success is when we live the life we know we were born to live and can wake up each day and love the face that smiles back at us in the mirror. Success is staying true to ourselves and the core set of principles that we hold dear, always fighting, yet always persisting in the face of opposition. Some days we are more successful than others, but success is not an overnight venture; it is a lifetime pursuit of love, truth, passion, and hard work.


photo credit: Todo area @ Mount Hiei in the fog @ Kyoto via photopin (license)

Pursuing Your Dreams and Reaching For the Stars

stars at night“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.” -Henry David Thoreau

As children, we all have dreams swirling in our heads, all have pursuits that we want to obtain and career paths we want to walk down, but suddenly, we reach a certain age and start hearing the chatter of the world that shouts that those things are foolish, unrealistic, and unobtainable. The great tragedy is that we listen and believe them. There is no one in the entire world that can tell you that you CAN”T do something except yourself. The only person that decides who gives you the power to create dreams or to destroy them is YOU. What did you want to be as a child that you slowly killed over time, but still holds a place in your heart, silently whispering to you to go after it…that you were born to do it?

I believe Thoreau hits the nail on the head. The majority of people do “lead lives of quiet desperation”. We live in fear. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear of uncertainty. Instead we live lives feeling way too damn comfortable. If you’re comfortable, most likely it’s because you’re not pushing yourself to become the person you were made to become. Let’s face it. Putting yourself out there and going for something that everyone else thinks you’re crazy for trying is going to be uncomfortable. But it is also freeing. It also gives you the opportunity to stop hesitating, to stop waiting, to stop training, and finally get out there and do something.

We live in desperation because inside I think we know our true potential, and for some reason that scares us. Yet, we can’t get rid of this nagging feeling that looms over us demanding more, telling us that we were meant for more. And you are meant for more. More than squandering away your life working a job you hate because you’re too scared to pursue your dreams. Failure is not the bitch everyone thinks she is. The real tragedy is letting the fear of failure hold you back.

Failure is a scary word, but it is only scary by the way you perceive it. Successful people see failure as just another dart that didn’t hit the board, but they’ve got unlimited darts sitting next to them – they simply pick up the next one and throw again. The majority of the population sees failure as the end all that ruins their life. Failure is never an ending, unless you decide to make it one; failure is the beginning – a chance for a fresh start and to apply the lessons you learned in your last attempt.

If you had absolutely no fear, if you woke up tomorrow and could choose any profession and know you’d succeed and make the same money that you do now, what would you choose? Well, go out there and do that! It’s time to stop thinking, stop wishing, stop hoping, stop doubting, and start doing. Start doing your dreaming with action a little at a time. A dream is not realized over night, but is worked out over weeks, months, and years. We all have that something that we want to do “someday”. But as Creedence Clearwater Rival profoundly states, “Someday Never Comes”. And it never does. Whatever you put off for the future will most likely never come to pass. The time to start is now. Maybe not all at once, but little steps in the right direction. As long as we are moving towards the goal, that goal becomes a realistic possibility. If we do nothing but sit still and dream about it, it remains an unrealistic possibility.

I’ll ask you again. If you had absolutely no fear, if you woke up tomorrow and could choose any profession and know you’d succeed and make the same money that you do now, what would you choose? What childhood dream remains tucked away in your heart and in the back of your mind? Today’s the day to stop wishing and start doing. You control your own destiny and no one can tell you no, except you.


photo credit: Falling star via photopin (license)

Today is the Day – A Poem About Conquering Fear and Living Your Dreams

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Today is the Day – A Poem About Conquering Fear and Living Your Dreams

I will not stop to settle
Down into the silt of my own shit.
Never be content to ride out the currents of the lazy river,
Reaching the end, wondering where all my dreams went.

I will trudge up against the currents.
If I have to, hell, for a season I’ll even portage.
I’m fine facing the fear of getting lost in the forest
As long as I’m not being dragged along by life’s currents.

My heart has dreams,
But my mind refuses to believe they’ll ever grow.
But surely if you never plant a single seed,
There will never be a single seed sown.

Fear is the varmint who sneaks
Into the field at night to ravish the crop.
Are you fine with seeing your soul stolen?
Or will you keep watch and fight back with everything you got?

But it is impossible to swim upstream
Without getting wet.
Do not show up with dry clothes lacking holes
When you reach your meeting with death.

For the river is the water of life.
To sit on the shore – you might as well be dead.
Today is the day to place on toe in at a time,
Starve your fears, and make sure your dreams are always fed.

Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: wellsn40 via photopin (license)