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17.3k · Apr 2018
Love Letter
Jo Barber Apr 2018
Like I loved coffee,
that's how I loved you.
Like the first cigarette of the day.
Or like a Beatles song
blasted on the radio
during a road trip
to nowhere in particular.
Like each slice of coffee cake,
cinnamon and pecans
delicately, deliciously curled
into every little streusel.
Like spring,
when the snow melts into water
and runs, rushes
past yellow-colored, polka-dotted rain boots
on a sun-soaked afternoon.
I loved you like I love you;
simply, completely,
without frills and without doubt.
5.5k · Apr 2018
Dreams of Clouds
Jo Barber Apr 2018
I dream of clouds
that never rain.
I dream of orange-colored umbrellas
that shade us from both the sun
and the downpours.
I dream of sweet, sandy shores.

I saw something in your countenance
that almost haunts me.
We all let ourselves dream
as much as we want.
I want to stop dreaming
and have the real thing.
4.0k · Apr 2018
Quit Smoking Today
Jo Barber Apr 2018
I'm jittery as ****,
just plain out of luck.
Wishing I could duck
out and take just one drag.

Surely, that wouldn't be so bad.
I'm going a tad mad.
My will has never been ironclad.
3.6k · May 2019
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.
3.4k · Dec 2018
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.
3.4k · Jun 2018
Jo Barber Jun 2018
Sun bounces off leaves,
hopping from branch to branch,
reflecting across the whole world.
Flowers bloom - red, blue, and green,
sending succulent scents to you and to me.

This soft breeze
floating from the bay
blows all my troubles away.

Book in lap,
Coffee in hand,
Please understand -

if I always felt this way,
life would walk with a much sweeter sway.
3.3k · Apr 2018
Jo Barber Apr 2018
As a child,
you watched me,
ever careful.
You held a mirror before my face
ten times a night,
to see if fog appeared there.
You stroked my hair
and sang soft songs.
With your lullabies,
my sleep was always long.

Now it is I
checking your breath
ten times a night.
Your pulse so shallow,
it'll vanish any second.
3.0k · Jul 2018
Jo Barber Jul 2018
I fell in love
down by the shore,
where the water was sweet,
and the air even more.

A field of sunflowers
stretched out before us.
You plucked one
and placed it in my hair.
You said I was beautiful,
and I believed you.

Lazy days of chain-smoking
and drinking too much
made me melt like butter.
I was lost and now I'm found.
I was alone and now I'm not.

I found myself at the end of myself
and forever continue to do so.
I stole the ending from a previous poem of mine, but I think that it works better here. Thoughts? It still needs some work, but I think the bones of it may have potential..?
2.1k · Jun 2019
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.
1.9k · Jun 2019
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.
1.9k · Jul 2018
The Senses
Jo Barber Jul 2018
If the work breaks your back,
then laying down shall be all the sweeter.
And if the noise deafens your ears,
then listen for what cannot be said.
If your skin grows raw from the sun,
make all your touches light and gentle.
If the food tastes of filth,
find joy instead in the fullness of your belly.
If the air is polluted with cigarettes and gas,
plant a flower to fill your nose with sweetness.

If you find yourself alone,
just focus on finding yourself first.
If you are unable to live for yourself,
live for others.
1.8k · Nov 2018
Jo Barber Nov 2018
I remember how the floor felt on my feet.
Cold and bare,
I walked the halls at night
for a warm glass of milk
before bed.
You were always up,
and surprised I was, too.
I liked your crooked nose
and your too-big teeth.
You taught me beauty -
how little it matters,
and how much of it there is.

I liked the way the floor felt those days,
cold against my bare feet.
1.5k · Sep 2019
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.
1.5k · Jul 2018
Jo Barber Jul 2018
My stomach drops
when the car goes down a hill.
I feel like I'm falling,
but not in a bad way.
Like a sort of drug,
or midnight shot of tequila.
Warmth floods
my body.
Everything's okay.
If you hurt yourself first,
others don't get the chance.

All I can give you
is my empty heart,
my hollow love.
Like a glove,
it wears thin with time.

Beautifully broken,
barely belonging.
1.4k · May 2018
Tulips of Amsterdam
Jo Barber May 2018
Her thoughts
grow like weeds
through swaying reeds.

In her head
exists a garden
as bright and as varied
as the tulips of Amsterdam.
Each canal lined with bikes,
the water flowing from one to the next.

If not careful, though,
that mind will overflow,
overgrow with the seeds
of past ill deeds.

She sits still now,
thumbing through her prayer beads,
pleading for the protection
of some modern-day Diomedes.
Thoughts? It's still a work in process.
1.2k · Mar 2018
Want Me?
Jo Barber Mar 2018
I kissed a boy in France.
He asked me to save him a dance,
but I didn't like the speed of his advance.
He never had a chance.
Love -
is it all just happenstance?
1.2k · Jun 2019
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?
1.1k · Jul 2018
City Life
Jo Barber Jul 2018
Roaring skyscrapers.
Businessmen shuffling papers.

Beautiful women with stilts for legs.
Maids making rich men's beds.

Runners swoosh by with grace.
Everybody a brand new face.

It's all too easy to leave no trace.
Dear God, what a place!
1.1k · Feb 2019
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.
1.1k · Jun 2018
Jo Barber Jun 2018
Tastes good, doesn't it?
The fire burns your throat
as you chug a shot down.
The taste ain't sweet,
but the feeling sure is.
The drunker you get,
the higher you float.

"Can life always feel this good?"
The answer's no,
but you refuse to accept it.
1.1k · May 2018
My Type
Jo Barber May 2018
My type is tall
with dark hair
and dark eyes.

The whisper of ****** hair
on a jaw so square.
Leave the clean-shaven men
for other girls.

Smart and witty,
with music so gritty.
And a smile so sweet and wide.
Not sure what I implied,
but I suppose I'll now confide
that I'd be the Bonnie to your Clyde.
932 · Jul 2019
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. :)
922 · Jan 2019
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.
919 · Nov 2018
Jo Barber Nov 2018
Home is not a place.
Home is not a person,
nor a season, nor a taste.
Home is elusive.
I can’t tell if I’m running
towards it or away.
I grow older each day,
aware only of
the confusion
that resides within me.

Home may not be a place,
But it is not where I am.
886 · Apr 2018
A Hot Summer Night
Jo Barber Apr 2018
The stars,
the moon,
the never-ending,

Two lovers joined
in ecstasy -
arms wrapped,
legs wrapped,
hearts wrapped.

If one burns up,
the other burns with them.
829 · Jun 2019
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.
828 · Oct 2019
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.
826 · Feb 2020
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.
743 · Apr 2019
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.
715 · Apr 2018
Another One
Jo Barber Apr 2018
Another, another.

These words bite and nip
at my heels.
You can't possibly know how this feels,
but you look at me
still with those disgraced eyes,
the likes of which
you don't even try to disguise.

You say it's all self-control,
as though that'll assuage my soul.
I worked my whole life to be good,
and it left me empty.

I'm an empty shell,
like Humpty Dumpty.
Someone cracked me open
and fried the yolk within.

So, when you ask me,
"Want another one?"

I'll say yes.
670 · Jun 2019
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.
632 · Jan 2019
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.
613 · Feb 2019
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.
613 · May 2018
Dear Mom
Jo Barber May 2018
More wisdom than the psalms,
voice soothing like swaying palms
or the sweet melodies of Brahms.

Reminds me to wear long johns,
and that what is gold
once was bronze.
Taught me to be strong,
and to accept being wrong.

Has so much class,
but she's still such a bad-***
(even when I give her sass).
She's surely first class.
All the others she does surpass.

Through riot and loss,
she wore the cavalry's cross.
She'll show you who's boss,
all while reminding you to floss.
610 · Aug 2020
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.
598 · Jul 2018
Jo Barber Jul 2018
Don't let it define you.
Wield it as a weapon -
as both sword and shield.
Be happy for no reason,
so that there will always
be cause for joy.

Don't let the noise of others
drown out the music that is you.
568 · May 2018
Jo Barber May 2018
Burn brightly.
Burn until your will is ash.
Let your essence cover the world
in wide, sweeping strokes,
scorching houses and forests as you go.
Let the fire in the pit of your stomach
devour your fears, your insecurities.
Let them be remnants of the past
and nothing more.

The red, orange, and yellow of tonight
will last forever.
556 · Jul 2018
Jo Barber Jul 2018
I have as many flaws
as there are stars in the sky.
Mine are not nearly as beautiful,
yet I love them just the same.
538 · Dec 2020
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.
522 · Jun 2018
Youth & Vanity
Jo Barber Jun 2018
I walked through a burning house
and found I was alone -
all the others had fled,
yet forgotten to warn me.

The mirror is the only one who speaks to me now.
It tells me of my beauty,
and bemoans my fleeting youth.
It curses the briefness of my body,
and of my supple bones and bare *******.

I envy the trees and the butterflies,
who found their beauty too acute to share with me.
I envy the lakes and rivers,
whose beauty will only grow with time.

As I wilt and fade in color,
the world shall grow ever fairer, ever nobler.

Such is life,
and such is time.
Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated! This is my first draft. Thanks!
521 · Jun 2018
To Kiss
Jo Barber Jun 2018
You kiss like it's going out of style.
You kiss like you're already inside me.
Heavy breaths, panting,
arms and legs tingling.
No need for words
with kisses like those.

Those kisses are poetry itself.
504 · Apr 2018
The Open Road
Jo Barber Apr 2018
I'll never be happier
than when I'm on the road.

A bit like Kerouac,
not trying to run away.
Just want to be free
like the river.
The mere thought makes me shiver.
Not knowing.
That's the rush.
Where will I sleep tonight?
Where will I go tomorrow?
It's anyone's guess,
and I like it that way.

I'm not running from you,
I'm running from me,
to a better version of myself.
You don't need to get it,
just accept it.

Wind in my hair,
smoke in my hand,
but no longer over my eyes.
These highs
don't go any higher.

Don't agonize over me,
just let me roam free.
It's where I'm meant to be,
can't you see?
501 · Apr 2018
A Family's Day at Sea
Jo Barber Apr 2018
Glaciers, white and blue,
fill the spaces between me and you.
In a torn, faded photograph,
a happy family displayed
as they joke and laugh.

A mother's smile,
a father's firm grip
on that of his only daughter.
The gentle waves of water
and rocks the shade of emery,
lay the scene for this sweet, fleeting memory.
A brother pulls down ******* his hat,
the wind blowing it flat.

Each face a sweet montage of a life lived,
the wrinkled eyes showing all they've survived.

Father's dead now;
the mother holds her son,
their love an unspoken vow,
the likes of which
is broken now.

In this frozen photo, all of this remains unspoken -
a family of which I now have only this small token.
This poem was inspired by an old family photograph that I stumbled upon. Feedback is always appreciated. :)
497 · Jun 2018
Jo Barber Jun 2018
That first inhale
is like every small joy
wrapped into one neat package,
assembled in a nice, red box
meant just for you.

Flick, flick,
go the ashes,
the end burning brightly
like a firefly on a dim Southern night.

When my lighter blazes
beneath the light drizzle of tonight,
I'm reminded that life
can be so delightfully decadent,
so enchantingly effervescent.

The good times
are made all the sweeter
And the bad times -
the car trouble,
the failures,
and the lost hopes -
lose their edge,
and take on a shape as soft as smoke,
subject to float away with time,
leaving only a sharp smell behind.
484 · Nov 2019
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.
478 · May 2018
Jo Barber May 2018
Lacy blue bra
strewn across the floor
of an empty apartment.
All is still -
only dust particles
float through the air,
undisturbed by human troubles.

Shades hang open,
streams of sunlight filter in.
The rainy dew
of yesterday's downfall
lingers still.

The scent of waffles
wafts up the stairs.
Visions of
blueberries and strawberries and whipped cream
fill the eyes, nose, and mouth -
salivating for more.

Eyes snap open.
A day begins once more.
435 · May 2018
Jo Barber May 2018
Poems are so fine.
I do them all the time,
sell 'em for a dime.
Such pretty, pretty rhymes.
A writer's block exercise.
421 · Jun 2019
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.
414 · Dec 2018
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.
412 · Apr 2018
Baby Blue Boy
Jo Barber Apr 2018
Baby blue-eyed boy.
His softly curved lips
with the power to wreck ships.
So quick with a smile
that will never reach
those baby blue eyes.

Why so sad,
baby blue-eyed boy?

Can't you see
that those eyes
of yours hold all
the splendor of the sea?
Clams by the ocean side,
the flowing, green-blue hair of mermaids,
and soft, soothing waves.

Why so sad,
baby blue-eyed boy?

Lost sailors at sea,
and lovers
who will never love again.
Capsized dreams,
and stormy nights
with no end in sight.

Baby blue-eyed boy,
you may have
all the beauty of the sea,
but you have all the pain, too.
As always, feedback is greatly appreciated!!
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