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5d · 842
Brave in Life
Brave in life,
but not in love.
Is such a thing possible?

Is bravery in the mountains
and foreign lands really bravery
or cowardice?
Am I hiding from myself
or growing into a new version?

I wanted to live a life of adventure,
but love always seemed to drag me down.
I wasn't afraid of death,
but I was afraid of love.
Isn't the opposite of death love
after all?
Oct 10 · 264
More Than Love
Jo Barber Oct 10
You are more than your love.
You are more than him.
You can love him and not have him
and still be at peace.
Let your love flow
and unfold before you,
and let it go where it will.
But you are more than that love.

The universe longs to see
your myriad of gifts and talents.
Your voice like silk,
your mind like thunder,
and your body like the ocean,
strong yet flexible,
beautiful and evasive -
no one can possess you,
but they can delight in you.

Delight in yourself first.
Sep 23 · 315
Jo Barber Sep 23
Of all the beautiful words
and people in the world,
I most wished to learn them all.
Each foreign language
became so intimate once
on my tongue,
like a lover
I was just starting to get to know.
Sep 23 · 321
Fireweed when it blooms
Jo Barber Sep 23
The mountains powdered
with termination dust
hark the end of summer.
Soon the clusters of evergreens
will be coated in snow,
just as they were last winter.
The snow falls flake by flake.
It's in no rush to hit the ground;
it will melt once it does.
The fireweed has bloomed -
only towering stalks and wilted
magenta flowers remain.

The same type of peace
befalls my quiet life.
Slowly, I return to old ways.
Like footprints in the snow,
the tread of future days
looks much like those of the past.
Jo Barber Sep 7
I try to retrace my steps,
but the snow's already
covered the footprints.

I think of you in silence,
so I try to keep life loud.
I lack the will to listen
for that which was
only ever a whisper.

How do you miss a thing
that is long gone?
How do you miss a thing
that never was?
Dec 2020 · 554
Peace in Silence
Jo Barber Dec 2020
A quiet field of snow
unburdened -
I leap through it,
leaving large footprints
and nullifying the stillness
which had graced the field before me.
there is always more grace
to be found in nature;
and so I plod onwards,
my stride slow and heavy,
but joyful as it finds
and matches the tracks
of the moose and ptarmigan
who frolic through this valley.

There is, after all,
an answer to the meaning of life
and love and joy.
And it lies in the valley of snow before me
for all the world to bear witness to.
Dec 2020 · 265
Jo Barber Dec 2020
Those sunrises which came so slowly in the winter
made me want to believe in God again.
The pink tinge of the sky and
the once green grass now covered
in silky snow, which would soon melt away,
made me want to believe in God again.

The whole beauty and synchrony
of the world coming together in nature
finally made me believe in God again.

I found prayer, not in a church,
but among the trees
and teeming rivers
and hidden lakes.
They gave me faith in the
natural way of things,
in something greater,
stronger, more pure
than anything I'd ever known.
Aug 2020 · 624
The Mountains
Jo Barber Aug 2020
Wind throws itself through my clothes,
tossing my hair and cooling the sweat of the climb
from my burning, beating body.
I am here. I am where I need to be -
high above the crowds and the clouds,
alone and utterly free.
There is much to see
but little to do,
and earthly troubles melt away
amidst these towering peaks.

It is mine, I declare.
But no, only in the mountains
do you finally realize
that nothing belongs to you.
Apr 2020 · 308
Watch As...
Jo Barber Apr 2020
a single stream of light
filters through the muddy sky,
illuminating the dead and dying trees,
stripped of their leaves and color
by a harsh winter.

In every lonely winter, there's a brightness
that seems to stretch on into eternity,
and it is in this spot that beauty
infiltrates my mind and turns ageless.
Feb 2020 · 834
Jo Barber Feb 2020
Everything turns to dust -
even you,
even me,
even the bond that binds us now.

I've had many waking dreams
and a few waking nightmares,
but I don't remember most of them now.
They were lost while I was sleeping,
just like us.

Whether I lost you in my dreams
or in my nightmares,
I lost you
all the same.
Feb 2020 · 128
Sweet Days
Jo Barber Feb 2020
Each morning begins
with the same sweet embrace,
your eyes distant but warm.
I peek my head
out the window
and breathe deeply
the succulent scents of spring.
The cold air fills my lungs
and I gasp, ****, swallow in more.
Feb 2020 · 147
The Sea and the Stars
Jo Barber Feb 2020
I was in love with the stars
and sometimes the sea.
I was in love with the small
and the big people
who rode past me
on their dinky motorbikes
and roaring cars,
just as I also loved
the quiet nights in the mountains
where I slept alone beneath the stars.
I was in love with joy,
and I was in love with pain.

I was in love with every city,
especially those I didn't belong to
because they seemed to belong to me.

I was in love with the unknown,
but mostly,
I was in love with the great potential of it all.
Everything is sweeter from a distance.
Jan 2020 · 201
Jo Barber Jan 2020
With a heightened perception,
I observe the sensation
of my thumb on my fingers
as I rub them together,
the clock ticking away at 4:45 before me...
There are blue ink marks on each finger
and the air tastes of stale coffee.

Everything feels very slow,
and I find myself,
once again,
waiting to go home,
waiting for the clock to tick to 5:00.
Everything so slow,
with nothing to do except wait.
Dec 2019 · 291
Jo Barber Dec 2019
I tried to be quiet,
but the less I spoke,
the less I heard,
the less I watched
in the external world,
the louder it all became.
My head pounding
with thoughts
I’d long ago forgotten.
They thudded and clunked
around my head
until I thought
I might go deaf.

Silence is the loudest
noise I’ve ever heard.
Nov 2019 · 491
Jo Barber Nov 2019
The dewy-eyed moon smiles upon me.
It knows I've returned home.
The mountains lined with termination dust
hark the ending of summer.
Soon the clusters of evergreens
will be coated in snow,
just as they were last winter.
The snow falls flake by flake.
It's in no rush to hit the ground;
it will melt once it does.

The same type of peace
befalls my quiet life.
Slowly, I return to old ways.
Like footprints in the snow,
the tread of future days
looks much like those of the past.
Nov 2019 · 169
Jo Barber Nov 2019
We will ask the world,
Am I good?
Am I a good person?

And the world will shrug its shoulders
and shake its head.
Who's to say what good is?
Is not the pursuit enough? it will reply.

We will ask the universe,
Am I loved?
Do the ones I love, love me, too?

And the universe will shrug its shoulders
and shake its head.
Why does it matter?
Is not the act of giving love enough? it will sigh.

We will ask the infinite,
Why am I here?
What is the point of it all?

And the infinite shall remain quiet,
waiting for us to find our own
lackluster answer to a half-hearted question.
Nov 2019 · 351
Quiet Moments
Jo Barber Nov 2019
There are quiet moments
in the cracks of my life -
driving to work, waiting in line,
floating on skates around a frozen lake,
daydreaming about nothing in particular.

To live in these moments forever,
with my body and mind
so at ease that nothing
much bothers them.
So quiet I’d remain forever,
listlessly dawdling my time away.
Oct 2019 · 383
Jo Barber Oct 2019
There is a greatness in the world
so fantastic, I can feel it
in the tiniest of moments -
in a strong cup of black coffee;
in the snow-covered mountains
so large and ominous,
it's as though they float;
in one of your gentle smiles or caresses;
in the small breeze of the clean air
that graces me each morning
as the harsh cold outside my door meets me.

There is a beauty in the world
so overwhelming,
I am sure I will never be able
to describe all its wondrous facets,
but at least the world is kind enough
to allow me to try.
Oct 2019 · 835
Jo Barber Oct 2019
Exceedingly underwhelmed,
I found myself in awe
of my own vacant stupidity.
Oh, how we often
fail to grow wiser,
and instead lose
our clear vision
with time,
the way the rain blurs
the window
yet cleans the air.
Sep 2019 · 382
Lonely People
Jo Barber Sep 2019
Watch the lonely people
as they shuffle about
these solitary, rain-coated streets.

Watch them as they go,
as though you are not one of them.
Sep 2019 · 1.5k
Jo Barber Sep 2019
I awoke to the soft sun
of a crisp autumn day.
Feeling your arm around me,
I breathed in your scent,
the most ****** aroma I know.

Leaves are exploring space
as they fall to the ground,
now yellowing with time.
They look so free
as they dance and twirl.

I feel your breath grow heavy
against my neck and you awaken.
Your lips are on mine now,
as I wonder if you think
about the dancing leaves like I do.
Aug 2019 · 125
Jo Barber Aug 2019
There's something about a kiss -
the way that you carry the taste
of them the whole day.
Even hours after,
it seems as though their scent
still lingers,
intermingling again and again with yours.
Jul 2019 · 940
Good Days
Jo Barber Jul 2019
I feel light and fluffy,
like a pearl-colored cloud,
or like scrambled eggs
whipped to perfection
with butter and cream.

I feel joy everywhere,
even in the tiny crevices
ugly feelings try
so hard to hide in.

There's a sun inside of me,
but some days it's overcast
and rains for too long.
Today is different, though.

Light and life are one, and
the sky and the earth
divine and bewitching once more.
Feedback is always appreciated. :)
Jul 2019 · 295
Jo Barber Jul 2019
Bodies seeking bodies.
Flesh longing always,
for more flesh.
Kisses and touches,
once so sweet,
feel empty now.
Keep looking.
Maybe you'll find
something you didn't expect.

Maybe you'll even find yourself.
Jun 2019 · 207
Scribbling Away
Jo Barber Jun 2019
How many hours
spent scribbling these poems?
How many days wasted
rereading them,
nudging and prodding
each word into its proper place
until it all flowed and sounded...

still not quite right.
Jun 2019 · 673
Jo Barber Jun 2019
I grew tired of the sun and the snow;
of the night and the day;
of the right and the wrong.
Lines once so clear
began to blur together.
I grew tired of searching
for something more than what I had.
I grew tired of being happy,
just as I grew tired of being sad.
The days were long,
but nothing felt so long
as the days I spent with you.

Our vacant selves plastered
together in some vain attempt at intimacy.
And yet,
I've never felt further away from someone.
Jun 2019 · 349
Oh, Mr. Sandman
Jo Barber Jun 2019
If you must sing me a song,
make it soft and gentle enough
for a baby's skin.
If you must shut the lights off,
give me a colorful nightlight
to reflect bouncing shades
about the perimeters of my walls.
If I must sleep,
allow me a sweet, sinking feeling
in the center of my everything
as I drop from reality into dreams.
Jun 2019 · 233
Hands of the Clock
Jo Barber Jun 2019
The calendar days crossed themselves off,
one by one,
and the hands of the clock
ticked, ticked faster.
I did not know what I wanted,
but  I knew I wouldn't have enough time
to figure it out.
Jun 2019 · 840
End of Day
Jo Barber Jun 2019
My body twists in reverse,
Each foot perched above me
In an arch on the couch.
A bottle of gin lies to the side,
And a book flutters open
To a dog-eared page of a poem
That’s often been reread.
My eyes droop
Under the weight
Of another day done.
The work is over,
The money is made,
But it must be made again

For now,
We sleep.
Jun 2019 · 1.9k
Alaskan Summer Sun
Jo Barber Jun 2019
The days went fast,
but the nights moved slowly,
like a sad country song
or the Alaskan summer sun -
forever trying to set,
yet never able to do so,
leaving the sky with
the color of perpetual dusk.
Jun 2019 · 1.2k
Jo Barber Jun 2019
The world was small,
but the days felt big.
They stretched out before me
like big, beautiful balloons,
just waiting to be popped.

Like a child,
sometimes I let one go -
a waste of something good,
but it certainly was eerily pretty
to watch float off into the ether.
Thoughts? Feedback?
Jun 2019 · 2.1k
Jo Barber Jun 2019
What a laugh!
I looked in her eyes
and saw that she was broken.
No one in this world
ever gets enough love.
We bleed our feelings
and silently beg others for help,
but no one ever comes.
Or if they do,
we smile and nod
and bandage our wounds ourselves,
afraid to be vulnerable,
afraid to be human,
afraid to give others the love we so crave.
Jun 2019 · 259
Four Hours
Jo Barber Jun 2019
Four hours is a funny thing.
In four hours,
I can earn 48 dollars,
or I can shower and make breakfast
while flipping through the pages
of old books
and sipping my bitter coffee.
Four hours...
I suppose some could
save a life or maybe the world
in four hours.
But I cannot.

I can make 48 dollars,
or I can stare at the ceiling
and maybe think big thoughts
and not do much of anything
in four hours.
Jun 2019 · 193
Grief Evolved
Jo Barber Jun 2019
The air is filled with lilacs and pine.
The summer scents stuffed into the air
overflow with old memories.

I miss my father.
I miss his smile, crooked and hard to win though it was.
I miss his love, warm and abiding.
I miss his broken nose and his gruff wisdom.

These, however, are not gone
but merely transformed.
I feel and see them everywhere.

The rain beats down harder now,
blurring my vision of the cloudy summer day around me.
I love the sound, quickening every second
until I feel like it might break the window pane
and come rushing in.
It reminds me of the day he died,
although he died in November,
and surely it couldn't have been raining...

Grief and time do strange things to the mind;
they bury some things and clarify others.
Prose poetry about my father's death and how my grief continues to evolve. Thoughts and feedback are always appreciated.
Jun 2019 · 214
Music Box
Jo Barber Jun 2019
As a I girl, I had
a small music box,
which I played over and over.
I wound it up,
and the ballerina inside
would spin and spin,
her dance and the song
a simple embrace of youth.

There are versions of myself
that I have long since forgotten,
long since forsaken.
The rhythm will find you,
make you into someone new.
But this tune brings me back,
to the little girl
who spent hours watching ballerinas dance.
Jun 2019 · 386
Beauty of the Chase
Jo Barber Jun 2019
The puffs of air around me
were impossible to catch,
but I jumped along
and snatched at them anyways.
The beauty lay in the chase,
not the capture.
Wild things were meant to be free.

Beauty loses its touch if caged.
Jun 2019 · 433
Imperfect Synchronicity
Jo Barber Jun 2019
The leaves all fluttered in imperfect synchronicity.
Like a dance,
yet so beautifully so.
The day was filled with flaws,
but the pure, effervescent blue sky
against the too-large green of sprouting trees
made all the rest melt away.
A hill that was covered by snow last month
now screams with yellow dandelions.

When humanity fails,
man may always return
to where we were never meant to leave:
to the blue, green, and yellows of nature.
May 2019 · 3.6k
Summer II
Jo Barber May 2019
It's hard to feel sad
when the sun shines in rays,
persistent as a mother,
and just as sweet and caring.

Green, microscopic leaves
flutter like the wings of fairies.
If cleanliness is next to godliness,
I feel like I'm in the clouds.
May 2019 · 302
Jo Barber May 2019
Azure skies stretch above me,
the sun a fiery devil.
It warms my hands as I drive,
the steering wheel
a permit for freedom.
Apr 2019 · 745
Spring Rains
Jo Barber Apr 2019
Rain pours down on the windshield,
and leaves rustle in my wake.
It is still cold, the air clinging to the crispness of winter,
but I roll my window down
and feel the pitter-patter of droplets.
Breathe deep the clean essence of life.

Spring is here. And joy begun anew.
All is possible. All is simple once more.
Feb 2019 · 1.1k
Jo Barber Feb 2019
As her final breaths escaped her,
she felt calmed by the epiphany
that peace would follow her.
Not right away, but it would come.
Sleepy Sunday afternoons,
and days spent without thought.
Her pain now was fleeting,
so corporeal in nature
as to be meaningless;
her mind was as white
as the snow in which she lay.

All was still. All was done.
And all was begun anew.
Feb 2019 · 291
Jo Barber Feb 2019
The injustice of death brought all other
injustices to the forefront of consciousness.
For a short time, right and wrong were very
clear and the world was very simple, albeit
false and irreconcilably wrong.
Feb 2019 · 368
Writer's Block
Jo Barber Feb 2019
The blinking cursor
forever fading in and out,
mocking me
for my inability to create.
The words don't come
as they once did.
Blink. Blink.
It's daring me not
to stop typing,
so I don't.
Words flow.
Ideas flow.

Who can tell if any of it
is any good anymore?
Feb 2019 · 287
Jo Barber Feb 2019
A light sprinkling of snow
over mountains high above.
The way it's always been,
but not for me alone.
Why can't I return home,
even while standing in it?
Feb 2019 · 614
Jo Barber Feb 2019
The leaves change,
and with them the smell
of August floats my way.

The sweet-sour memories
of summer morph into
something new.

Plants die, but they will return.
Fiery red hues infiltrate
old life anew.

Summer love fades;
it wasn't meant to last anyways,
but it bloomed for a time.

The flowers wilt more each day;
in the wind the petals shall blow away.
Earth will later create a new bouquet.

For now, change is all that stays.
I switch between descriptions of nature and life. Both are changing and the speaker is unsure of how they feel about both.
Jan 2019 · 927
Jo Barber Jan 2019
Write of lost people,
Of times gone by,
So that you might know,
So that you may remember
The hellos in my goodbyes.
And the goodbyes
In every hello.
Fleetingly and forever,
We stand apart together.
Jan 2019 · 643
Selfish Nights
Jo Barber Jan 2019
I will miss the quiet, selfish nights,
spent among books and TV and music.
I will miss missing home
while feeling at home
in a foreign country.
I will miss my time being my own
to split between friendships, travel, or nothing.
I will miss the feeling of my own body,
free from the dirt of past indiscretions.
Free to be myself,
foreign though I may be.
Dec 2018 · 356
Jo Barber Dec 2018
The way the rain splatters
against the windows of the car
as it drifts through the city.
Each droplet looks like a tear
as it streaks its way across the pane.
Dec 2018 · 3.4k
Silent Encounters
Jo Barber Dec 2018
Beads of sweat
curve down the lines
of your neck.
I place my lips to you
and breathe in your scent.
You smelled sweet,
like summer strawberries.
I would've gone everywhere with you,
if you had only asked me to.
Sweet, silent nights
spent learning something
words could never teach.
Dec 2018 · 415
Chilly Days
Jo Barber Dec 2018
Gust of wind
sweeps up leaves,
carries them to
the end of the street.

The biting air,
each breath turns to smoke.
On simple days,
beauty unfolds.

Lights sparkle
around every corner.
Looking for love,
finding it always near.

Life once again
becomes so clear.
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