The Chair Poem About Grief Death Dying

The Chair
Poem about Losing a Spouse

The sun woke, stretched, streamed
upon an early, April mourning.
Birds arrived at the feeder chirping.
I watched, sipping my steaming coffee.
For a minuscule moment distracted
until I noticed the chair
out of the corner of my eye
still indented with your body's footprint.
And I thought of you.

Justin Farley

Poem About Modern Society Issues Today and the Wisdom of an Old Woman Dying

Even as a 30 year old man, I am already seeing the changes of modern society. While some of the changes in society are advances, many leave me questioning whether they are positive and reminiscing for “the way things used to be”. 

Friendships are based online and often more face time is in front of a screen instead of in a person’s actual presence. There’s more mental illness and unhappiness than ever before. More busyiness when technology is meant to reduce our workload. Are we really advancing or just stripping away all that makes us human and replacing it with machines? 

“The Deathbed Confession of An Old Woman”

My soul aches,

quakes with the rumble of ancient pain.

Grief abides by my side as an unwelcomed companion

and remains though the seasons change.

These bones are dry –

baked brittle beneath the sweltering heat of time

and are crumbling to dust like a ghost town,

forgotten on a once frequently followed road.

See these hands…

rough, grainy like sand, withered and old?

Written upon them, my life’s story is told.

And the story is slowly fading away –

my town buried by-and-by beneath the dirt of decay.

The way home some days seems so far away.

The paths I walked as a child

have been paved over by city blocks.

Silent stops, which I paused to ponder at beauty –

plucked like a wildflower in the country on a warm summer’s day –

now have wilted and lost their roots.

Down on the farm, the chickens no longer cluck.

Technological advances now roost in their coops.

Am I to quietly drift out

with the changing of the tide?

Paint on a clown’s smile

when inside I’m horrified?

These aren’t just the moans of an old woman

nagging against generational change.

It’s the magnitude of what’s been lost…

It’s the little we’ve gained…

The modern era has numbed you –

rocked you in the cradle to the ambience of machines

instead of your mother’s soothing voice.

They’ve sold you the lie that life has become easier,

yet you’ve neglected to weigh the cost of your choice,

and muted your ears when Chaos triumphantly rejoiced.

But Chaos, I hear you loud and clear

shouting deafeningly across the nation.

Turning children’s eyes to marvel at metal and pixelated color

instead of the beauty of God’s incomparable creation.

So, no. I won’t go quietly.

I refuse to “go gentle into that good night”.

For “old age should burn and rave at close of day”.

I will “rage, rage against the dying of the light”

until this old heart can beat no more.

You can pass my wisdom off as foolish,

once believed lore.

But long will my voice live on

in your weary heart when I’m gone,

when your screens of comfort need recharged,

and Truth rocks you restless, laying wide-awake

with tired eyes in the midnight hours of morn.

My soul aches,

quakes, but not due to my own soon-coming demise.

But because humanity has not matured in my lifetime,

rather relapsed into bratty girls and boys

who throw aside morals and values 

to play with the newest toys.

– Poem Written by Justin Farley

* Quotation taken from “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas

photo credit: talourcera the ring of her Lord – me perteneces via photopin (license)

The Clouds of Mourning – A Poem About Depression and Pain


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


photo credit: Titanic via photopin (license)

Interstate Pondering – A Poem About How Fast Life Goes By


Interstate Pondering – A Poem About How Fast Life Goes By

Every time I turn around
I have just enough time to catch a glimpse
Of years like Indy cars zipping around the track
At the 500 fly by.
Hours vanish with hands racing
Around the clock at hyper-speed.
Days depart with only skid marks
And the lingering odor of burnt rubber.
Months like taxi cabs you flag down,
But never seem to notice your cries
For them to slow down when you’re already late
And catch a ride to travel towards your goals.
Life is a vacation that is always over much too fast
And before you know it you’re grey and old.
Youth leisurely lingers like a traffic jam,
Slow enough to notice all the details and lines of the road.
And yet ignorance shields your mind
From realizing it’s just rush hour traffic –
Soon your will be speeding away at 70 mph,
Barely able to take in the sights and memories
Before they exist far in the past.
But life gives you no leeway to miss your exits.
If you fail to read the signs
It’s tough shit and time to carry on.
Our only advice is Carpe Diem, seize the day,
Because tomorrow yesterday slips through our fingers and is gone.
The madness of time is its inconsiderate ability
To let you be aware of its passing
Only after your car breaks down, your engine shot,
And smoke pours from underneath your hood
Just before your long awaited destination
Can be seen on the horizon.
But there’ll be no more driving.
That exit you’ve searched all these years
Will remain in the distance.
You’ll only stay still for a second
Before the tow truck arrives and drops you off at the junk yard
To deteriorate with all the other vehicles
That once frequented the roads of life.
So look around.
Be aware of your surroundings.
If you’re flying down the interstate
Appreciate and take in your trip
Because its the only trek you’ll ever take
And before you know it
It’ll be over.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

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photo credit: Wind farm and greenhouse gas farm, together via photopin (license)

The River


Driven by the forces of the river.
Drifting through the bends.
Destined to be deposited into
the vast, open sea where uncertainty begins.

A longing makes its lodging deep inside,
afraid of where I’m going,
longing for what I’m leaving behind.

I call out,
“River, stop this instant.
Throw me upon your banks.
March me back upstream
where I hadn’t the slightest clue
I was drifting away.”

But the river refuses to yield.
Gone are the comforts of forest and field,
with treetop blankets and grassy meadows
to hide me beneath their shield.

The river continues to lead me
down the winding bends,
where it’s led countless before me
and where it’ll lead countless others
time and time again.

But that is not my concern.
I want off this flume boat ride,
Everyday my heart yearns
to be free from the forces of the tide
And able to call my own shots,
free from the ever-approaching
ticking of the clock.

Instead of enjoying my time,
grateful for the opportunity
to lounge upon the river
and gaze upon the beauty it winds me through,
I fight, cuss, and use up all my might,
hoping to be delivered,
straining with every ounce of energy
to make it back upstream.

But my tries are futile.
I notice how much farther I’ve floated
down the river, but experienced nothing.
Beauty has passed me by –
my eyes so fixated on the past,
that I’ve been oblivious to the present.

I resent you, despise why you
have to move so fast,
why you leave me bound like a ship-wrecked sailor,
clutching to a weak, weathered raft.

As much as I try,
you never seem to dry up,
but keep pushing me on by
the people, places, and memories
I want to sit with and visit awhile.

And sing with together to the beauty of a song.
But before we even get to the first chorus,
I look up and notice they’re all gone.

River, if only I could become oblivious
to where you’re leading me.
If only I didn’t feel the vastness
of the mysterious sea
surging in your every move.

Maybe then I could appreciate the ride.
Maybe then I could notice the beauty around me,
instead of clinging to the realization
that I’m going to die.

But I do know your destination
and that changes everything.
I can’t divert my eyes
or distract my mind from the truth –
my heart beats every moment,
silently searching for the fountain of youth.


Photo Credit: joncandy via Compfight cc