She is a bashful, smiling enigma

Courteous to others, harsh on herself

With only the slightest trace of melancholy

Flickering almost imperceptively

Across her face.

Only a rare few ever see beyond the pleasantness

She gladly defers to others to avoid herself

Deflecting questions like a super power

She will listen for ages about anything

But the depths of herself.

Deep down she yearns to be understood

To share her dark chapters as if to unleash

The rise of insecurities born from her mistakes

But her past feels to her like anvils

Carried too far, too long,

Instead of letting them go,

She hides.


Unraveled but still standing,

Off-kilter but determined,

We pull ourselves from the depths

Like warriors with one last breath,

Truth illuminating our shadowed minds

With both the sting and the promise of one more day.

We can no longer remain stagnant

Now that we see, now that we know

No avoiding realities in broad daylight

Now that our souls have kept the score.

Dear soul, what will we find when we climb

Out of the mire of our heartbreak?

What path will present itself to us

When we surrender to what we have ignored?

There is liberation in no longer avoiding

What our hearts have always known.

Little Jars of Joy

What if we could bottle up joy into little jars?

Placing them carefully on our cupboard shelves

Where they would glow in patient anticipation

Of our inevitable need for a burst of felicity.

In the darker hours, days, months, years,

We would, with gratitude, unseal a jar of joy

Watching as it illuminates our shadowed places

Sending sparks into the dark of our broken hearts

A balm for the wearied soul to carry us through

The heaviness of our melancholy days.


For so long, I lurked on the outside of human experience

Observing but never stepping inside, a bystander looking in

So afraid the good would never last, I could not welcome its light

Without the fear of losing joy before it even materialized.

Now, after a slow recovery from the depths of self-deprivation,

Whether an act of rebellion or a desperate race with time,

My gaze is lingering on the magnificence of late summer evenings

When the sun drenches the trees with golden, encompassing light

Autumn so close, I can sense it in the air in cooler undertones

Apples speckled through the orchards where I love to wander

Sunflowers bobbing along a background of mountains and blue sky,

And I feel it, in small waves, this awakening of heart and soul

A beckoning call to enjoy the moments so fleeting, so small,

Before they fade into melancholy over what could have been.


The summer is slowly turning into the golden days before autumn

Longer days shorten like quicksand, and I have missed them all

Absorbed in the rush of demands and the tide of expectations

Waiting for the unrest to finally rest; for the paper walls to fall.

So much time sifted through the hourglass of a worried mind

I don’t want miss the last of these shimmering, sun-drenched days,

So let’s meet at the harbor of our past disappointments

Into the smooth sailing waters of here, of now, of today.

Shed the old skin of unworthiness clinging to your soul

There is nothing but transparency, there is no story left untold

Fall into the reassurance of what it means to be embraced

For all that you are, for the earnestness of a considerate face.


When I close my eyes,

For a moment I am transported

Away from the tug-of-war of life

Breaking free from the pull to give

And give and give until I am nothing

But a vessel of snatched offerings.

Dear soul, the only peace I know,

Is when I lie awake blissfully dreaming

Of what it means to give and receive back

The way you taught me to do,

And for a moment I am myself, alive,

Until I feel the pull begin again.


Tune me in to the underlying source

Plant me beneath that burst of sunlight

Take me from the shadows of uncertainty

Into the sweet relief of unquestionable right.

Pull me away from the fear of failure

Always clinging to my timid, doubtful mind

Show me what it means for me to be enough

Replace my inner critic with words that are kind.

Open up the windows of this protective prison

Let light pour in to this diminished space,

Like a starburst across a canvas of ink

Help me find belonging in a benevolent face

On This Ship

On this ship, we cling to the ropes

Even when the sun is gleaming overhead

Even when the water is tranquilly still

Even when a breeze swells the sails

Even knowing our boat withstands the gales.

On this ship, we forget to recognize peace

After weathering through so many storms

Always clinging to the possibility of chaos

Even when our pain becomes a source outgrown

We are always seeking to illuminate the unknown.

On this ship, we have already arrived

At the destination we so desperately seek

And even when the waves rise from beneath

We have the fortitude to withstand once again,

Placing trust in what our minds cannot know

To enjoy the beauty of this voyage as we go.

Do Not Spare My Naive Heart

Do not spare my naive heart from being crushed

By the harsher realities of what is and what will be,

I have lived long enough in oblivious innocence

I have worn the lenses of idealism when I should have seen

The truth in all of its abrasive, gritted glory

I have closed my ears to the sound of imminent catastrophe

Choosing instead to hear hope ringing through empty halls.

Do not spare my naive heart from understanding

What it must to allow the natural course of life to flow,

For I can live a whole life subsisting off of dreams

Floating like a cloud through a wasteland of lost opportunities

And in blissful oblivion, I would never know.