An Unconditional Love Poem – All My Affection

birch-1593725_640

All My Affection – An Unconditional Love Poem

I have learned about love
from the way you have loved me –
embracing my flaws and imperfections,
even when I crumble in self-loathing, ready to accept defeat.

Your compassion dances around me,
turns attention away from my often clumsy feet.
Its rhythmic motions sway in a relaxed manner,
abounding even when I fall and never miss a beat.

Eyes like a campfire radiating loving warmth,
they let me know you take me as I am.
No need for perfection or a false self –
faithfulness and my love are your only demands.

Your ability to love me as broken as I am
gives me the confidence to embrace my own imperfection.
Your grace outweighs this lead-filled bag of failures,
and your heart has all my affection.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

About the Poem

It’s easy to say, “I love you”. It’s quite another thing to act out, “I love you”. We live in a world where divorce and infidelity are rampant. Love has lost its meaning and has become only something you say to someone you care about, but is not unconditional. Unconditional love is much stronger than the weak adjective you use in the beginning of a relationship to describe your feelings. It is a verb that acts even when the adjective is missing.

There are circumstances that demand that your love be conditional, such as domestic abuse, because you love yourself and your children; however, far too often we quit on love because we think it is meant to be easy…that wonderful adjective that we first felt. We forget that true love, unconditional love,  is meant to stretch our character – to learn how to forgive, learn how to give grace to another, and ultimately to act out love’s true meaning.

We all want unconditional love, but in order to get it we must give it. Unconditional love doesn’t ignore a partner’s flaws or pretend that they don’t exist, but loves despite those things and helps provide support in overcoming those imperfections as a unit.

Everyone has deep flaws, no matter how good their strengths are. Weaknesses in either partner should not be held in solitary confinement – never spoken of and never visited. Elimination of those weaknesses should be the goal, but never the condition. If you love with the expectation that your partner will change someday, you’re not really loving at all.

A partnership can be dissolved anytime one of the individuals involved fails to meet the terms of the agreement. Unconditional love, on the other hand, is something entirely different. When you love someone unconditionally, you love them even when they aren’t meeting the terms of the agreement. And in turn, hopefully they love you when you aren’t.

But loving someone unconditionally doesn’t depend on them loving you back unconditionally. You can’t control another person. All you can do is do your best everyday to love without demands or requirements. We all fail at love. Sometimes you fail. Sometimes they fail. Sometimes you both fail together. But when unconditional love is the ultimate goal – when you define love as a verb and not an adjective – love provides the strength to carry one another and transcends the imperfections that we all have inside of us.

Do you want a partnership or unconditional love? You can’t have both. We all want to be unconditionally loved, but often only want to give a partnership. It’s easy to make a list of the ways they are failing us. It’s much more difficult to inventory the way we are failing them. There are circumstances where the person you love has betrayed you so deeply that the relationship may not be sustainable. But in today’s society, I think we are all too quick to point fingers and point out each other’s flaws instead of looking at ours and theirs, together as a whole.

You may also like my romantic love poems,“The Wings of a Fighter” and “I Want To Walk With You”

Opus Dei – A Poem About the Work of God In Your Life

16143933435_959b8ae216

Opus Dei – A Poem About the Work of God In Your Life

Your hot breath has blown on me
and provided the oxygen for glowing embers of love
where there was once nothing but cold, hard coals.

You’ve cultivated my soul
and provided the rich, black soil for roots of patience
where there was once rash temperament without restraint.

Your loving hands have lifted my head hung low in shame,
while your fierce winds have blown like a cyclone across a barren desert,
beginning to level this wall of pride.

You’ve provided for me a solid fortress
deep in the heart of your city
with ramparts tall and wide, impenetrable by the sufferings of this world.

You’ve blessed me with the gift of wisdom, to pause for breath.
I once dove headfirst into life’s battles like a torpedo of chaos without thought,
only to be whipped into retreat, scrambling for cover alone in the dark.

Your tongue has embraced my closed eyelids;
your passionate kiss has restored my sight.
You’ve given me a new pair of eyes able to see farther than myself.

Your loving discipline has provided the humility capable of producing laughter
when I take myself too seriously,
caught up in grandiose schemes and dreams of personal glory.

You’ve implanted in me fragments of courage.
Each day I’m getting more comfortable stripping off clothes of delusion
and encouraging the world to look at my naked frame; imperfect, bound in anxious chains.

You’ve taught me how to sow, where I once only reaped.
The seeds of contemplation have grown into hope,
setting my heart on distant destinations, where not long ago I accepted defeat.

The Spirit moves in incalculable paces like a dancer swayed by rhythmic beats.
You’ve given me a new appreciation for the wind, smirking at how it blows wherever it wishes; I was once engulfed by anxiety embracing unpredictable forces.

Faith has given me footsteps where my feet were once immobile, heavy as iron.
Fear remains, but it doesn’t incapacitate me.
I can walk on water as long as my vision is focused on you.

I’m no longer terrified of your wrath; you’ve given me the green light
to doubt, to challenge, to investigate, to verify, but you’ve also allowed
my heart to accept that sometimes our walk requires steps of blind faith.

It’s becoming easier to call you Captain and turn over the keys to my fate,
finally able to humbly accept that I am incapable of steering this ship,
understanding your hands are the only ones qualified to take the helm.

You’re consistent affirmations are beginning to ease my mind over finite time.
I once restlessly rattled the cage, unceasingly beat and banged
upon the heavy door of immorality, feeling owed admittance.

But you make peace of mind a possible reality; detached from the bondage of self, starved from the selfish desires of the flesh. You give me food filled with substance where I once only chewed and swallowed emptiness.

I am far from at peace.
I am not absent of fear.
I am still riddled by questions without answers.
I am not unmoved by my sufferings.
I come unhinged by my own madness.
I am inhibited by narcissistic obsessions.
I am wavered by trials.
I can be found in moments of doubt.
I still unsheathe my tongue as a weapon.
I am sometimes caught without showing patience.
I am occasionally guarded and scoff at love.
I still sometimes rage against offering others my hand or my time.
I am not always victorious over my passions.
I fall prey to temptations.

Yes, I admit that I am far from perfect.
But your perfection is slowly, but surely
working to change me into a better man.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

Opus Dei – Latin for the work of God


 

photo credit: 2750 Hot colors for a cold days via photopin (license)

A Post-Modern Portrait – A Poem

“But I like the inconveniences.”
“We don’t,” said the Controller. “We prefer to do things comfortably.”
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
“In fact,” said Mustapha Mond, “you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“All right then,” said the Savage defiantly, “I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen to-morrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.” There was a long silence.
“I claim them all,” said the Savage at last.
Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. “You’re welcome,” he said.

-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 

8272791771_062aa727a7_b

A Post-Modern Portrait

Steel covered sky.
Gun-stock gray rays.
Metallic molten moon.

Where do you turn when the hovering dome
That covers your head is sucked void of joy
Like an eternal vacuum, gasping for breath?

Is this really all there is left –
Empty shells consisting of robotic movements,
Resembling humans, but without hearts beating in their chest?

Why are the pure at heart so easily discarded as trash,
But the deceivers received as gold?
What kind of world do we live in when all meaning has been lost –
A heirloom remembered, but regarded as ancient and old?

I’m afraid the heart seeks a treasure that doesn’t exist,
Washed out by the waves of progress
And swallowed by the deluded ideals of feminists.

Woman, do you want to know why there’s no longer
Knights in shinning armor walking the streets?
Because you have become accustomed to the darkness,
Mated with the dragon, and your pride refuses to admit you’re in need.

Independence and self-reliance have paved the death of the soul.
Romantics lay in anguish,
Lost in a world gone cold.

When the Self becomes king,
Selfishness reigns supreme.
Love is shackled and silenced When “ME” “MY”, and “MINE”
Are the passions and desires the heart screams.

Gun-stock gray flock
Of unfulfilled passionate yearnings
Flutter across the cold, metallic sky.
Heartless, inhumane existence clatters
With each footstep of people passing by.

And I am lost in this game.
I don’t know how to join in the delusions.
I have no desire to come to your miscalculated conclusions.

I don’t know how to still the warm heart beating in my chest.
I have no desire to walk like a lamb to the slaughter
And watch my soul shrivel like all the rest.

I have no desire to play by the rules
Of this revised edition of the Game of Life.
I’ll boldly wait in my alienated prism reflecting the light
Rather than sell my soul and vulnerability for the sake of safety
And step out into that dark night.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

Grace – A Poem

2999073978_a6d611ca02

Grace – A Poem

I am awed by the way you move me
like freshly fallen snowflakes dusting across the frozen ground.
Some days I forget the barren tundra from which I came
and how you whispered by name, echoing across that vacant landscape
so that a lost soul could be found.

Some days time passes by me without a single thought
that each waking moment is a treasure –
a gift granted, light years away from being deserved.
But despite all my wrongs and all the foolish footpaths
I chose to walk, in my time of desperation I called
and without hesitation you answered.

Each single second is abounding opportunity,
a renewed possibility for new life.
My destination was one I was unable to arrive at
by the work of my own hands, but while I lingered,
withering away in the darkness, you nestled me
within your loving embrace and brought me back into the light.

The fact that I breathe and my heart beats
is a living testament to your endless love and grace.
May I never forget from where I came and that each day is a gift
that I should unceasingly praise and never waste.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Morning mist via photopin (license)

Woman – A Love Poem For Her

7825354898_86e4b3b411_b

Woman – A Love Poem For Her

You are like the waves lapping against the shore –
Repetitive, seductive, intoxicating, cleansing
Like holy water that wrings out the darkness.

I sit unceasingly upon the sands of time
Waiting for the rise of your tide,
To feel your waters once more by my side.
Staring off into the drab, gray horizon,
I admire flocks of sea gulls.
Only for a moment, but never long enough
To loose sight of your ebb and flow.

Woman is an ocean –
An endless vessel of mystery.
Who knows the measure of your depths?
Who can see the floor of your soul?
We all float in safety as sailors in the bosom of your rest.

Your ripples are enough to rouse suspicion,
To know that beneath your surface currents rage.
But we all long to dive within your waters
And be nestled within the confines of your embrace.

Your seas are salty,
Yet our tongues still thirst for more.
A water that never satisfies,
But opens the flood gates of passion’s door.

You are like the waves lapping against the shore –
A sweeping hand seducing, gesturing
Us to step away from the safety of land.
Woman, you are the demise and prize
Of the heart of each and every man.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Receding Sunrise | Assateague Island, Virginia via photopin (license)

The Black Veil – A Poem

5150943940_b94fffd722_bThe Black Veil – A Poem

I wear this black veil of despair
Like the wrappings of a mummy,
Covering my self-inflicted wounds.

My face frozen in cold, blank stare
Trapped within my tomb,
Alone in my room.

Why do you continue to test me?
Why do you hold out savory meat
Only to snatch it from my hands?

It is wrong for me to question your authority,
To question the good of your plans,
To hold you in contempt, unable to understand?

I wear this lonely shroud of betrayal.
Spend my days wondering
Why is it I who should be denied?

Haven’t I sought to be faithful?
Why are the wicked given an easy ride,
Never facing near the trials you’ve thrown in my life?

Is it too much to ask
For an outlet to this love,
Just to have a companion by my side?

Each time the die is cast
Comes another lashing to my pride,
Another time where I’d discarded and thrown aside.

Why is it that romantic lovers
Are often the ones alone,
While cheaters, liars, thieves, and betrayers come home to open arms?

But though anger stirs, I’ll patiently wait to discover
Why you seem set on placing me in the midst of harm,
Why alone is always where you think I belong.

I wear this black veil of despair,
But I trust that you know more
Than what sits before my somber scene.

I guess that life is not always fair,
So be my rock upon which I lean
As I wait in solitude until you send to me my queen.

-Poem by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Dream is Just A Dream via photopin (license)

The Woman in the Mirror

6162067219_44a87e7493

The Woman in the Mirror

You are a seductive temptress
that tempts with the ticks of time.
In control of the clocks hands,
only needing to rewind to the moments we left behind.

You still lurk in the shadows –
a creature stalking in the dead of night.
But potential follows wherever your heart goes,
needing only to let go of the darkness and step into the light.

My heart goes out to you in your struggle,
to the battle that rages in your mind.
Pick up your feet each time you stumble
and never settle for the chains of fear that bind.

Though our paths have diverged,
I still desire to see yours lead to a happy ending.
I still long to see the woman emerge
from your battle – the beautiful soul I’ve seen since the beginning.

May your head be held high.
May your feet walk into the flames of fear.
May your spirit learn to fly.
And may you love the woman in the mirror.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

(license)

Raven

8898618388_e1e953ce0e

Raven

Jet black feathers fall from your head
And brush the beauty of your cheek.
Dark as night like strands of onyx
Woven with omens and tales of mystery.

The spell you caw claws at my heart and captivates me.
Emerald eyes like a pair of dazzling jewels,
Sparkling and rousing lust like a treasure
Uncovered beneath Arabian sands.

Stay perched upon this tree, find safety within
These limbs and the arms of my branches
That conceal your past, and take rest knowing
That your secrets fall upon a humble heart and hushed lips.

Grip your talons into my skin if you must,
But do not fear the embrace of my hands,
Petting and soothing your feathers in disarray.
Have faith, do not fly away, fall knowing you’ll never be betrayed.

Your body like sleek, black oil;
A fuel that has remained untapped,
But only needs a quick strike of my match
To blaze into a beautiful inferno of passion.

Your beak remains closed, but I know
There are words that fill
The bowels of your soul,
Longing to be set free.

There is great mystery
Within your complex simplicity.
Share with me the secrets
Of your long and trying flight.

Tell me stories of your nights –
The forests you’ve flown through;
The pains and joys you’ve encountered
On your arduous journey.

Some may find your feathers too ruffled.
Some may find your feathers stained like soot.
But I find ultimate beauty in your ebony armor –
A black canvas I yearn to drag my brush across.

Raven, make room for me beneath
Your veil of apprehension,
Raise your wings and let my touch
Move your heart to sing.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

(license)

The Mirror of Truth – A Poem

1656546046_f1856afea5_b

The Mirror of Truth – A Poem

Into the mirror I gaze
and am wrapped within the frame
of a smoky haze of secrets swirling within glass.

I can’t deny the face,
can’t pretend I don’t know,
have no trace of realization that the figure before my eyes is me.

It’s unsettling to see the darkness,
to discover the demons in the flesh,
to witness my flaws, flogging me in the face.

Beneath this mask of pride,
there is a face scorched and seared
by lies, deceit, and by the heat of betrayal.

I know the image I wish to see,
I know the reflection my heart believes;
but within me is a darkness I prefer not to acknowledge.

The mirror of truth does not lie,
does not flinch when it brings onlookers to their knees,
does not hide delusions, but pierces the veil of our ego.

The mirror of truth is a loving master,
a humbling stone meant to trip our feet,
a pastor to turn us towards joy and away from the bonds of slavery.

I may not like the face that stares back at me,
I may not like the icy eyes, the lips of pride,
but I have the opportunity to reconstruct my image.

Morning sun, be my witness –
when you lay down to rest tonight, the flames may remain
fueled by my darkness, but will crackle beside the waters of love and grace.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: De lujo y miseria via photopin (license)

Build Within Me A Foundation of Thanksgiving – A Poem of Praise to God

0d4c3a6d8e3880db49db107e06322131

Build Within Me A Foundation of Thanksgiving – A Poem of Praise to God

May your rays of righteousness
pierce through the clouds and shadows of my heart.

May my mind give way to your fruit –
take up your shears and prune these vines that ensnare me.

Give thanks, give praise to the tree of life,
whose branches stretch out into infinity’s depths.

Give thanks, give praise to the tree of life,
whose leaves cover and provide shelter from worldly strife.

May wisdom flow like a river, filling my well –
knowledge of you soothing my parched lips and restoring my soul.

May I not walk by the power of my own two feet,
but make the journey through life on my knees, yielding to your majesty.

If I find nothing to be grateful for, nothing to praise you for,
surely my eyes are closed like curtains to the light of morning.

If my ears do not hear your name praised throughout the forest,
surely I am deaf to the songs and melodies of mother nature.

Build within me a foundation of thanksgiving –
a cornerstone on which my heart and soul rests.

Build within me an unquenchable thirst to praise your name,
never ceasing to be marveled by the brilliance of your glory.

Still the river of desire that flows through the heart of man,
unceasingly paddling down torrential waters, never satisfied, never able to rest.

Still the winds of lust, of jealous breezes,
our noses consistently sniffing for scents trying to sense what we don’t have.

Let our hearts not beat for what we’re missing,
but become firmly grounded in the grace which we already have.

Let our hearts not beat for foolish wishes,
but boil over with thanksgiving for your endless bounty and be glad.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley