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May 2021 · 609
Tongue of Fire
JDL May 2021
Like a kindled fire it smokes

Upon the wood it grows

With no ventilation it chokes

Turning thy friends to foes

From thy tongue in thy cheek the flames doth crack

With the empty words we billow

Tears of sap seep with each fiery snap

As we burn the weeping willow

Withdraw the wood from thy furnace

And if the charred remains ever smolder

Then inward thy glare must turneth

For these flames shall make thee ever colder
Oct 2020 · 61
The weight of silence
JDL Oct 2020
A midnight mutter, that indistinguishable sound

Garbled echos of prisoners bound

muffled cries held by chains of denial

Their mere presence that doth defile

To the extent of their chains, abruptly they stop

With nowhere to go, inevitably they drop

Without a sound upon the warden’s chest

Without weight, downward they press

Pressure builds, the constriction holds fast

Like shadow puppets upon the wall ‘tis cast

the heartbeat rhythm that now struggles to beat

The silence continues until the inevitable defeat
Inspired by Psalms 32:3-5
Sep 2020 · 827
JDL Sep 2020
Intelligence is like a compass, in that it allows you to go a specific direction but is only useful in the context of the wilderness that you stand within. Without knowing where you are and where you need to go, a compass will only help you stay the course towards an unknown destination. Wisdom is the map upon which the compass lies. That which gives sustained direction the context it needs to ensure the intended destination is reached.
Jul 2020 · 70
Poetic “Skill”
JDL Jul 2020
I recently had something astonishing happen to me during my time of morning the loss of my childhood dog. During a moment of intense grief I noticed that I was grieving in poetic verses, in a way I have never written poetry before. I quickly got up and tried to write down what came out of that moment, but as soon as I began to write, it was gone. It was at this moment that I realized that truly authentic poetry comes not from intense thought, but from documented experience in verse. I now realize that the skill of the poet is not in the ability to write, but in the ability to capture vivid experiences before they are whisked away by our cognitive faculties.
Jun 2020 · 228
No more
JDL Jun 2020
Must there be more to life than this?

If there’s no more than this

Then all we have are illusions of ignorant bliss

If there’s no more than this

Then all we know is existential loneliness

If there’s no more than this

Then how can we know we even exist?
Jun 2020 · 66
Victory Lap
JDL Jun 2020
Many people say that life is a race, and for many it is. But for those whom believe in Jesus' sacrifice for us know that Jesus already ran the race in our place and won. But the first place medal has been placed upon us instead so that our lives may no longer be a race, but a victory lap.
Apr 2020 · 177
JDL Apr 2020
All good things happen in the time they take to be Good.
Mar 2020 · 245
The Selves
JDL Mar 2020
We all have two “selves”: the false self is the one that believes we belong to this world, the real self is the one that knows we do not.
Mar 2020 · 134
JDL Mar 2020
Do you ever wonder why music transcends sound?

Or why a painting transcends the landscape that it represents?

Or why your home transcends it’s geographical location?

Or how a story book transcends the pages and words by taking you on an adventure to another planet that you wish to never leave?

Do you ever wonder why no matter what you do or where you are, something profound feels to be missing that these transcendent moments merely beckon?

What makes them so tantalizing?

Why do so many of us live for these transcendent moments that always fail to deliver what they always promise?

Is it because what they promise is actually the thing to which they point rather than what they promise?

Is that why these transcendent moments deliver with diminishing returns?

Are we just getting a titillating taste of true reality or is it just a scratch and sniff of a single ingredient?

If these transcendent moments are created through material objects but move beyond the object, mustn’t there be something beyond material reality?
Mar 2020 · 389
The real reality
JDL Mar 2020
Maybe our current reality seems so subjective because we can see only through our own perceptions, bound by time and physicality. Maybe Heaven is where we will all finally see the same real, objective, profound reality for which each one of us has been yearning and of which all things in our current reality are mere reflections.
Feb 2020 · 225
My Tiny Heart
JDL Feb 2020
Oh God, you keep my tiny heart beating
Attention always given to my bleating
Your breath keeps my lungs from collapsing
Your Grace keeps my sins from relapsing
You keep firm the Earth beneath my feet
Your ears hear my prayers to help me sleep
Your clean water flows freely within my sink
Your gift of consciousness allows me think
Your love and grace forgive when I disobey
Without you I would not have the words to say
Oh God, you keep my tiny heart beating
Feb 2020 · 221
When I’m Lonely
JDL Feb 2020
When I’m locked you give me The Key
When I’m blind you help me see
When I’m deaf you help me hear
When I’m off course you help me steer
When I’m indecisive you help me choose
When I’m too tired you let me snooze
When I’m lost you show me The Way
When I’m having troubles, you pray
When I’m looking down you point me Up
When I’m pushed down you lift me Up
When I’m broken you Glue me back together
When I’m losing it you keep me Tethered
When I’m forgetting something you remind me
When I’m taking you for granted you forgive me
Feb 2020 · 528
JDL Feb 2020
Intelligence is like a compass, in that it allows you to go a specific direction but is only useful in the context of the wilderness that you stand within. Without knowing where you are and where you are going, a compass will only help you stay the course towards an unknown destination. Wisdom is the map upon which the compass lies, that which gives sustained direction the context it needs to ensure the intended destination is reached.
Feb 2020 · 716
A poem a day
JDL Feb 2020
A poem a day
Keeps the inauthenticity at bay
Feb 2020 · 618
Don’t Fight, Just Write
JDL Feb 2020
Fist to face, Pen to paper
Words of disgrace, poetry is safer
Feb 2020 · 832
JDL Feb 2020
Blazed is the trail made by their mistakes
The high road created for all our sakes
Explorers of lands that were once uncharted
Now the cartographers of the paths they started
We are the proverbial parchment upon which they sketch
Vicariously imbuing their wisdom within each etch
The end of their journey is where we begin
For the trail ahead must be blazed again
Jan 2020 · 165
Self Confidence
JDL Jan 2020
We cannot become successful and produce true joy by having confidence in ourselves. How can we?

Does a captain drop anchor on the deck of his ship?

Is a house built upon its own structural foundation?

Does a tree hold fast with roots that grow above the earth?

Everyone and everything depends upon something deeper and more profound than itself for stability. It would be paradoxical and against our nature to assume otherwise. I know that I could never live up to my own expectations. No, I do not put confidence in myself, my confidence is in a Man who did live up to every expectation for me and yet died a death that I should have died.
Nov 2019 · 244
JDL Nov 2019
Unsung heroes whom bare our scars
Substitutions to fight our wars
With strength and dignity that isn’t learned
To provide the freedom we didn’t earn
Like wounded victims upon their shoulder
Our weight they carry feels like a boulder
Yet in strength they stand to serve us all
So that we are not the ones to fall
To Veterans and to all who are currently serving, thank you for your dedication, sacrifice and loyalty. Thank you for being our substitutions.
Sep 2019 · 269
It’s Only a Decoy
JDL Sep 2019
Like a beast’s attraction to the hunter’s artificial call, the enchanting spell of desire transforms the decoy into a beauty beyond imagination only to be broken when the betrayal of it’s soul-seeking arrow sinks deep.
It’s easy to be tricked by the calls and decoys that life presents which fail to fulfill what they always promise.
Sep 2019 · 230
Heaven and Hell
JDL Sep 2019
Heaven and Hell are not places God sends us when we die, they are simply the two opposing places we go to get our true heart’s desire for the rest of eternity. It’s only when that desire is for the Lord that it will be Heaven.
This was a great epiphany that I was given recently and it has completely changed the way I think about my actions and the consequences for those actions.
Jul 2019 · 479
The Shore
JDL Jul 2019
As I stand upon the shore,

Peering into the waves of what came before;

Reflecting upon times of pleasure and revelry

Just as the tides leave awash priceless treasures and memories

Some are swept away into the seas of eternity

The ocean before me, the only certainty

Into sand the water seeps

Like tears for loved ones lost we forever weep

Each day another tally etched upon our flesh

Each one bringing us closer to the day of our final rest

Adding yet another plank upon our rickety raft

Born within a body that was not meant to last

The final plank in place ready to head out into the great unknown

For our sins we must be prepared to atone

For on this journey they will be our only companion

Yet blocking our way is our soul’s Champion

His body and soul bruised, cut and bleeding with every one of our past mistakes

My flesh renewed, is that all it takes?

To the hand of the Son of Grace we grasp

As He reaches to the Father of Truth and Love that will forever last
Apr 2019 · 251
Wiser Men
JDL Apr 2019
A wise man is not guided by virtue of his own wisdom, but by that of wiser men.
Jan 2019 · 2.3k
The Gardener
JDL Jan 2019
Even a tree that bears good fruit has dead branches
Even a tree that bears good fruit cannot prune itself
Even a tree that bears good fruit needs a Gardener
Sorry it’s been so long, I missed this. I hope this helps brighten someone day! God bless.
Dec 2018 · 1.7k
Falling to the top
JDL Dec 2018
Sometimes it takes a great fall to realize that you are already at
The Top.
It’s easy to take what we have for granted and sometimes it takes a sizeable event to boil away all other distractions to reveal your greatest blessings that you have had all along.
Nov 2018 · 778
I want You
JDL Nov 2018
I want Your strength
Not my strength
I want Your wisdom
Not my wisdom
I want Your patience
Not my patience
I want Your grace
Not my grace
I want Your humility
Not my humitility
I want Your love
Not my love
I want Your Spirit
Not my spirit
This is one of my favorite prayers
Nov 2018 · 986
The Fall to Winter
JDL Nov 2018
Life’s rhythm
Ever changing
The days keep the beat
Life’s rhymes and tempo meet
Change the only certainty
A struggle till defeat
Cold replaces heat
Ever changing
Until the


Nov 2018 · 2.5k
JDL Nov 2018
They say everyone is a winner
But if to ‘win’ is to be victorious
Wouldn’t that mean that we have all lost?
Nov 2018 · 1.2k
JDL Nov 2018
   to hollow,
  The Torch of
   the selfless
Nov 2018 · 3.5k
Critics (A “Rap Poem”)
JDL Nov 2018
You must do it the right way
YOUR way is the only write way

They say nothing rhymes with orange
Well I am here to encourage

Yeah, go ahead and laugh at it
You don’t even know the half of it

Our poetry is for us, ourselves
Whether you’re ninety nine, or twelve

We commune within our souls
Another etch upon our scrolls

Our soul inverted, exposed
Something only we compose

Don’t ever be discouraged
Your writing is encouraged!
HePo seems to be a very positive place for poets, but for those of you who have dealt with negativity about your poems, this is for you.

Also, for you critics out there, this is only my second “rap” poem so be nice plz. ;)
Positives feedback is of course always encouraged. :)
Nov 2018 · 155
Beer Connoisseur
JDL Nov 2018
Head, body, flavor
Effervescent, ‘tis pleasant
With each sip savor
Oregon, Brewery’s abound.
Nov 2018 · 2.7k
Old Growth (Haiku)
JDL Nov 2018
Hundreds of years gone
With a few swings of an axe
Amber tears, so long...
So many ancient trees are lost each year. May this poem serve as both a memorial and a dedication to what has been lost.
Nov 2018 · 1.8k
Old Growth
JDL Nov 2018
Forest sentinel,
Feet of roots,
Fingers of shoots
Hands of stems,
Arms of limbs
Skin of bark,
Flesh of starch
Beard of moss,
Nothing of dross
Blood of sap,
Crack of snap
And that was that...
So many ancient trees are lost each year. May this poem serves as both a memorial and a dedication to what has been lost.
Nov 2018 · 968
JDL Nov 2018
Sliver in my finger,
Oh why must you linger?
You have become a part of me
Cut you out I must, pardon me
Like slivers, many of us have regrets from mistakes past. Don’t let them define who you are. It may hurt, but sometimes you just need to cut them out and move on.
Nov 2018 · 7.7k
ADD (Haiku)
JDL Nov 2018
Attention all ye
Deficits of Disorder
Look it’s a squirrel!
I like many others struggle everyday with ADHD. It’s not easy but it’s what makes me, me and it’s part of what makes me special. :)
Nov 2018 · 1.5k
Anniversary Rap
JDL Nov 2018
I remember back in the day

when I used to pray

for a woman to say,

I love you for who you are.

I didn’t realize how far

God would raise the bar

of His love for me.

I never thought I would see

the day that I would be growing my family tree

with the woman of my dreams.

I can’t wait to see our son’s face as it gleams,

God’s love has no bounds it seems.

I can’t believe its already been four years

since the day that brought me to tears.

We no longer need to live in fear.

Our life is so perfect and we built it with love

and nothing can stop us because

we have everything we need from our Father Above!

4th anniversary - 07/21/2017
My first attempt at a “rap” poem

My wife was pregnant with our son at this point :)
Nov 2018 · 1.6k
The Golden Child
JDL Nov 2018
With a crown made of perfect pearls of achievement

Tears made of perfection’s unmet attainment

Wrapped in golden robes woven with high expectations, their trophy

Placed on a throne pedestal, feeling like a phony

Sat inside the trophy case of high potential to collect dust

To whom shall I look up to and trust,

If I am held so high I can’t even see the ground?

I must climb back down if I am to be found
Nov 2018 · 232
Read between the lines
JDL Nov 2018
Logic in gear

  Expressionless emotion

I am here

  Logic in motion

It appears

  Drank it’s seductive potion

Always here
  Disregarding all other notions

I fear

  Poetry and God the antidote

I’ll be fine

  My firey passion I must stoke

I’ll figure this out in time

  Emotional expression with every
  pen stroke

I’ll just come up with better rhymes

  This logical loop broke

It didnt work like other times

  Through the poetry I wrote

I need to go back and read between the lines
Nov 2018 · 6.0k
Vicarious Wisdom
JDL Nov 2018
You have two choices:
Learn from your parents mistakes
Or to become them
JDL Nov 2018
To do

Get the coffee ready to brew

Do the laundry - It’s 6:22

Find a solution to our financial quandary

Get everything organized - It’s 8:30

Drink enough coffee to stay energized

Make a list - It’s 9:45

Make sure nothing gets missed

Play some tunes - It’s 10:26

Jam out while cleaning our room

Feed our son - It’s nearly noon

Change a diaper, she’s never done

Put our son to sleep - It’s half past one

Shhh he’s asleep, don’t make a peep

Organize some more - It’s 2:33

Clean the house and mop the floors

The dishes are ***** - It’s almost 4:00

Wash the dishes and kitchen in a hurry

Husband is home soon - It’s 5:30

Finish the laundry and clean up the living room

Husband is home - Items left on the list? Zero.

Amazed at the work that had been done, her husband is so proud to call her his wife, couldn’t imagine life with out her, only she could do such a great job being a stay at home mother, wife, hero

Happy birthday my love and thank you for all you do! I love you with all my heart.
The poem I wrote my wife for her birthday today
Nov 2018 · 207
My little bug
JDL Nov 2018
I once saw a precious baby caterpillar emerge from its egg upon a rose

But for a moment in the beauty before me, I froze

In that instant, time seemed to stop as our eyes first met

His innocent gaze had washed away all of my past regrets

I will call you my little bug

Oh on my heart strings did he tug

Ever hungry, I fed him leaves from the  very same rose that carried him before he was born

In awe as I witnessed this sacrificial beauty that outshone both flower and thorn

Oh how my love and respect for that rose grew that day

The blessings given to me were more than words could say

Each morning I left my little bug in the rose’s embrace

And every evening when I got home I would always stop to say hello and look down upon his beautiful face

One of these very evenings, I found him out of sight, hanging on a stem

He had a hard shell woven around him

In the eves that followed my little bug no longer greeted me

Growing in his own way, it seemed he no longer needed me

Even still, I went out every night to check on him to make sure he was safe

I made sure I was always there for him no matter what he faced

He grew, and grew and grew some more

If only I knew what he had in store

A day like any other I came home to greet him, I watched in awe as his cocoon began to quiver

And then the silence and a dramatic pause upon his metamorphic stage, sent down my spine a shiver

The casing that held him for so long began to split at its seams

Vibrant colors revealed, in the sun he gleamed

I watched in awe as he finally emerged, fully grown wings ready for flight

Both bitter and sweet, my tears I held back with all my might

With a quick beat of his wings he was aloft, and for just a moment he landed on my nose for one last hug

Just before he took off for the skies, I looked into his eyes and said “you will always be my little bug...”
To my amazing stay at home wife and my little bug (my beautiful little son)
Nov 2018 · 584
When life gives you limits
JDL Nov 2018
Life is difficult
When your life gives you limits
Make your limits fade
Nov 2018 · 297
JDL Nov 2018
Let’s get married, it’ll be fun
It was lust
Let's get pregnant, we’ll have a son
False trust
Let’s have another child, we had twins
About to bust
Let’s go to counseling, it’s time to mend
They must
Let’s get a divorce, it’s the fix
It was lust
The son and the twins caught in the mix, born of lust, lack of trust, product of divorce, about to bust, to mend, get counseling they must, anything but fun
Nov 2018 · 710
Write or wrong
JDL Nov 2018
Come, pick a side!
They say

Their side is the only way
They lied

There are two sides
They pay

The price has been paid
They tried

There is only one way
They say

The write way
They stay
Sometimes it’s just easier to write than it is to fight.
Nov 2018 · 1.3k
The poet’s untimely spark
JDL Nov 2018
When changing a diaper,
When I’m helping with the bills trying to decipher,
At work while I’m helping a customer,
At night when my wife is putting our son to sleep and he’s getting fuss with her,
When I’m studying for my IT Certifications,
When I’m trying to enjoy a staycation

I guess creative sparks just move about at their own timing and pace,

With minds of their own, they choose the time and place
JDL Nov 2018
Wounds heal and memories fade
But the price has already been paid

Self image and esteem crippled
Coalescing with your life it ripples

Loneliness and disparity take hold
Driving you further inward you fold

The weight you carry feels like a boulder
A gentle hand upon your shoulder

Eyes at the ground you didn’t see the light above
Your Father is there to show you His love

Relinquishing prior understanding you fold
To Your Lord, to whom you hold

Coalescing with your life Jesus’ Love ripples
Never again will you be crippled

For your pain and price Jesus has paid
Wounds heal and memories fade
Nov 2018 · 1.4k
Hurt people hurt people
JDL Nov 2018
In youth, imaginations run wild
The small patch of trees in our yard was mild

I found this place most enchanting
It was at this time that a man I knew well would disenchant me

The trees in this forest smiled back at me with benevolence
When he entered the forest, it grew evil, corrupted by his malevolence

With my friends, we played fun games that were make-believe
With this man I played something he told me was a game, I was in disbelief

He said it was a secret, a keep-sake
Later I found that it was something from me for him to take

Many years went by, and with every year the games were increasing
My imagination and innocence ever decreasing

I began to see the forest for what it was
My imagination and hopes that once were it wasn’t

One day many years later, this man finally disappeared
No longer in my conscience, it had appeared

It was at this time of reflection above his grave
My life reborn, I now feel brave

Within this forest I stood, at my fear’s final resting place
From that moment on, I knew that I would no longer feel misplaced
To all who read this, I thankfully was never sexually abused. However, I know and have known many who have. If you are one of those individuals, your identity can and will be reclaimed. There are many out there who understand how you feel. Don’t give up.
Nov 2018 · 1.7k
Do we have a choice?
JDL Nov 2018
Must everything be black and white?

Must we choose left or right?

Wouldn’t either choice eventually take us back to where we began?

What if we made our decisions based upon the needs of others, wouldn’t that be grand?

Mustn’t the pendulum meet in the middle before making it’s next move?

Wouldn’t the clock’s tick tock stop without this groove?

Are decisions made on predefined options still based on our own choices?

What if we instead made decisions using our own voices?

Why then is the road less travelled?

Is it because it’s only made clear when the facades built upon it unravel?
Nov 2018 · 194
Make Waves
JDL Nov 2018
Our lives are like ocean waves, born of a celestial entity among a diversified sea of possibilities. Direction and intensity set at birth with a future blurred by the endless horizon
This is an excerpt from a longer poem of mine called 70 Percent. Feel free to check it out!
Nov 2018 · 707
JDL Nov 2018
Isn’t it odd that people ask rhetorical questions?
Nov 2018 · 819
Existential paradox
JDL Nov 2018
When read enough times
A paradox you will find
Hidden in plain sight
Half joke, half truth. Half me, half you.
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