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

orange flower

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)

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


photo credit: into the blue via photopin (license)

The Leaves of Autumn (I’ll Remember You) – A Love Poem

fireflies / lightning bugs over a meadow at night

The Leaves of Autumn (I’ll Remember You) – A Love Poem

When the fireflies bring their dances to a close over the meadow
And the leaves of autumn change their hue,
I will look out my window, love,
And I’ll remember you.

That twinkle in your eyes
Will bring a smile to my face,
But sadly my memories won’t stop there –
I’ll long for your taste,
They’ll find their way to my heart,
And the floodgates will break.

My tears will be the only evidence you still exist,
Smothered by the weight of it all,
And the remembrance of love’s kiss,
I’ll try to find a way to see through the mist –
These cataracts that love has stained upon my eyes.

But how am I to live without your light –
That bright, blinking beacon
Leading me through the mire of my own night?
I’m capable of fighting my own fights,
But I have no desire to…
Not now.
Now when the only affirmation of victory
Is the echo of my own voice.
All dreams are for naught
If they don’t include you.
For you were the one who breathed them into being,
You were the water that took a withered seedling
And made it stand up tall and proud.
So who am I to boast to now, love
Now that you’re not around?

These blooms are fading.
I can feel them shrinking back
Into the dark nothingness from which they came.
I’ve tried to feed them myself,
But they only respond to your name.

I can look up into the heavens
And count the multitude of diamonds glistening,
Ready to be plucked from the sky.
But there is only one jewel I desire,
And it resides within the twinkle of your eye.

So I’ll continue looking out my window,
Enclosed in the tomb of my own misery
And try to choose a memory
That brings your precious light
As close as it can to the solitude of my darkness.

When the fireflies bring their dances to a close over the meadow
And the leaves of autumn change their hue,
I will look out my window, love,
And I’ll remember you.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: lucciole in una tranquilla sera di inizio giugno via photopin (license)

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/


photo credit: Woodchoppers scene via photopin (license)

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/

photo credit: 2009 01 20 – 0730 – Washington DC – Maine Ave under RR Bridge via photopin (license)

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/


photo credit: chapel door via photopin (license)

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/


 

photo credit: Pôr do sol no Rio Paraná via photopin (license)

The Light That Shines in the Darkness – A Poem About Hope

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The Light That Shines in the Darkness – A Poem About Hope

There’s a light that shines in the darkness.
There’s a destiny waiting at the end of the road.
There’s meaning in the middle of this emptiness.
There’s a reason you’ve been asked to carry this heavy load.

Lessons are taught when we reach out
Farther than we thought we’d ever dare.
Faith abounds when we confront our deepest doubts,
Enduring more than we dreamed we could ever bear.

There’s a dawn waiting at the edge of every midnight.
There’s a seed planted with every fallen leaf.
With every wrong there’s the chance to make a right.
With every hour of suffering there’s an eternity of relief.

Our darkest moments give us the opportunity
For seasons of our greatest growth.
Everyday we work towards continuity
Of acceptance and persistent hope.

And there’s a light that shines in the darkness.
There’s a star that guides the way.
There’s a gate that’s open to forgiveness.
There’s a shepherd who saves those who’ve gone astray.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am 71u8aqpia5lhappy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.

You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.

Amazon: Kindle Paperback

Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

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 or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


photo credit: Point Cabrillo Lighthouse via photopin (license)

Into the Wild Blue Yonder – A Love Poem

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Into the Wild Blue Yonder – A Love Poem

Just as the earth and trees
long for the warmth of spring in winter,
I long for you.

I await the days when this
thick, solid ice melts
And the rivers of my love flow to you,

when this tundra of pale blue
skylines, frosted with grey clouds and blackbirds
is stripped away and revels the sun once more.

For your eyes unlock misery’s door,
decanting the ever-rising waters in my mind,
allowing me to resurface and breathe again.

So when will this winter end –
these depressing days draped in darkness
where you find yourself alive, but no longer living?

Spring begins when you start wishing,
when your melancholic mumbles cease
and are replaced by fairy tale dreams where innocent hearts beat.

Beloved, you fly among the dreams of sleep,
so I cast off from the banks of my frozen yearnings
and sail out into the mysterious blue depths of your love.

-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 poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


photo credit: Coast Guard Beach, Provincetown via photopin (license)