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Alyssa Underwood Nov 2015
I would not know that wounded hearts will never bend
Except it's by the gentlest wind
Had You not blown Your love on me

I did not know that arrows sprung with poisoned darts
Could be dislodged from human hearts
Till You began to set me free

How should I know that crushing loss can by its pain
Yield intimacy's most treasured gain
Unless You gave Your Word to me?

I could not know that failures worse than greatest fears
Might actually bless through staining tears
This soul undone by Your decree

But now I know that Love's own touch
Brings untold joy which healeth much
From One Who cleaves so faithfully
Robert C Howard Dec 2013
Above the caldera at Yellowstone,
a brittle soil-rock crust
caps a lake of liquid fire
with only fumaroles and roiling geysers
to slake its upward ******.

A single heedless step is enough
to breech that mantle's fragile seal -
spelling death by fire
to any hapless soul
who fails to guard his steps.

Fragile calderas also roil
buried in dark crevices of our psyches -
brewed of failures, slights and fears
dissolved in fiery pools
of self-consuming misery.

To dress and salve our wounded souls
we plant fertile gardens of reconciliation
with beauty, trust and charity
and kneel to gods of grace and solace.

But a despot’s practiced eye
knows how to tap our fragile crusts,
releasing acrid lava flows
from pools where fear and rage reign hot,
and reason has no district.

Friends and siblings - my flesh and kin,
this world is ours to lose or save
so let us seal well our Sacred Calderas
from bitter foes that stalk us from within.

July, 2006, revised December, 2014, 2015 and 2018
Robert Charles Howard
Alyssa Underwood Jul 2016
“The love for equals is a human thing--of friend for friend,
brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely.
The world smiles. The love for the less fortunate is a
beautiful thing--the love for those who suffer, for
those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely.
This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world.
The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing--to love
those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy
with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich,
of the black man for the white man. The world is
always bewildered by its saints. And then there is
the love for the enemy--love for the one who does not
love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain.
The tortured's love for the torturer.
This is God's love. It conquers the world.”

~ Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
drops of Jupiter Jul 2018
There is such a place, you know--
one that transcends time and space
and visions of what you're supposed to resemble,
and the limits placed by the digits
of your mortal age.

I can feel the presence of it
in my bones,
where the sky is never ending and liberated
and the sun and moon
can openly converse and love and exist,
without the rules of superiors
who like tragic love stories and twisted histories.

Whatever you decide to do, whatever you decide to feel,
there are no restraints
to keep you from the prospects of flying,
or dreaming,
or embracing things that you had to
let go of in another existence.

There is no fear, confusion, or awkwardness,
no doubts of not belonging,
of not deserving to exist in such a place
where your soul can be pure,
and being able to thrive
without having to try so hard
anymore.

You don't have to try anymore to
be a good person,
because you are one.
You don't have to struggle to hold on to yourself,
you don't have to feign ignorance
or enlightenment.

You can breathe and smile openly,
and every smile is so breathtakingly beautiful that
you glow and transcend above all heavens
and insecurities.

The ground is soft and supportive,
giving way to your feet, that no longer
feel so tired and heavy from having to labor to live,
or from constantly running away
from demons and voices
that tear at your conscience and soul.

No, you can now feel as light as air itself,
soft feet running on sunkissed clouds that
formed from tears of happiness.

When it rains,
you don't have to take cover
for it has already washed away all your sorrows and guilts,
guilts in the forms of hot, suppressed tears
in the failures of your lost ambitions
and stolen discoveries,
guilt from turning away, even when someone
asked you for help.

You can forever venture out here,
to unknown, misty, thriving islands and majestic palaces
far away,
you can do things you never got to do,
for you don't have to pretend
to be someone you aren't.

You don't have to live each day questioning
every single telltale of life.

You don't have to wonder anymore
about why the world can be
such a cruel place,
no matter how many rays of hope
reach into the darkness.

You don't have to wonder anymore,
because here
such misery does not exist,
and the ruins of a good soul
dance as a renewed, enlightened being again.

Above all,
you don't have to live someone else's life
because here, you find yourself
over and over
and over again.
07/09/18

The Green of this particular Nirvana is a component that allows you to love and live freely, with no restrictions or heaviness of people weighed down by the world, and themselves.

Here, you are liberated from the faults of others, and the faults of yourself in a time and place where you were ignorant and lost.

Here, there is no society to degrade you. You can exist solely in harmony with nature.

Edit: Wow, I can't believe this poem got chosen to be the Poem of the Day! I've never received so many likes, comments, and feedback on any of my poems, so I feel overwhelmed, but very happy. Thank you for taking the time to read my words; it really means alot to me <3 <3
Alyssa Underwood Jun 2016
Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
    Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was ****.

But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.

He was beaten, he was tortured,
    but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
    and like a sheep being sheared,
    he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
    and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
    beaten ****** for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
    threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
    or said one word that wasn’t true.
Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
    to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
    so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
    And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.

Out of that terrible travail of soul,
    he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
    will make many “righteous ones,”
    as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
    the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
    because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
    he took up the cause of all the black sheep.


~ Eugene Peterson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ47-KYUdpE
KDFr Jan 21
No-one will ever know
hiding behind a wall of lies is a weeping brother trying to sew the torn peices of his broken soul back together.
No-one will ever know
he's withering inside but still still trying to grow,
stretching his limbs for help but does anybody notice him there? No.

No-one will ever know
that screaming from behind a veil of make-up is a girl's dying soul.
Wrapped in pretty clothes
she's trying to break free of the hurt she feels inside
but they don't know.
No-one will ever know she's been tormented by her imperfections and failures
and although she tries not to let it show, it does
but does anybody pay attention? No.

No-one really cares
and they all do a good job at pretending not to see or not to know.
Instead of stopping to help
they turn a blind eye on conviction
and they just go.
Lizzy Apr 2014
I'm very tired
And it's very late at night
My thoughts keep me up
It's getting harder to fight

I think about my failures
And everything I've done wrong
How I **** everything up
It's all a familiar song

My words are getting literal
I can't disguise my guilt
The hatred for myself
In every direction it's built

Well rhyming gets so hard
When I try to write my mind
Because I'm unable to find the words
That could shed light

Even without a rhyme or a rhythm I find it hard to articulate these dangerous thoughts I have. As many writers do, we have this sense of frustration because no combination of syllables can really portray the emptiness and sadness that lives in us. Styron called it "melancholia", but not even that will suffice.
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
Today not all of our mistakes are failures
Today I'm closing the door on
the things we keep behind our teeth,
the ways we never learned how to be
soft, but always tried
our best anyway
this is a tribute to the lost sleep
the nights I keep marked in tallies on
my arms, the letters I keep locked up
in a dark drawer,
where maybe something besides moths and regret
will eat away at them.

Today, not all of our thoughts are broken
today you take me out of my skin and I learn how to dance;
the rhythm is choppy but I follow
it anyway, after all we are only testing the waters here
we are only stargazers
awaiting some grand cosmic miracle, we are waiting with our
hands in our pockets for something big to happen,
we are falling in and out of obsession
chasing strangers
around and around in circles,
throwing our
fists in the air claiming "not everything is lost",
slowly coming to the realization that
it's also true not everything is found.

Today you don't know what you're looking for but you can't stop
searching the horizon, like maybe if you peer long enough,
your brain will slow down enough to process
the harsh thump-thump, thump-thump that tells you you're still alive
that tells you you're still here
that tells you you're still waiting

And my fingernails are digging into my palms now from the suspense
of writing and re-writing my name onto fresh pages,
crumpling and collecting them
in the bottom of waste baskets along with
half smoked cigarettes and
last night's rain, because
it is rare that two paths will cross in this world with anything more
than a brief flash of recognition,
it is rare that anything
better can be captured before it slips
down through the cracks;

but that thought was me eons ago
that was me in someone else's skin
today I'm putting nets out to catch the things
we throw around & never keep,
I'm writing your story into my
daily script & keeping a list
of "to-dos" before the big event;

tonight I'm alone and I'm
too busy to look out the window,
maybe the stars will flicker or maybe
they won't, but regardless
I'm still counting my heartbeats to know that I'm here
(still counting my heartbeats to know
the time I have left),
I'm still patching
this wound up with fragments of could have been,
reminding myself that not all
of our hearts are broken, and not all
of our moments are failures.
Alyssa Underwood Jul 2017
As the redeemed of Jesus Christ, if we are ever to find true refreshment in our desert wanderings, it will be as we choose to dwell in God’s presence and in the newness of His daily mercies through faith. Our trials tend to force us, like pushy but invaluable friends, to learn hands-on what it is to live in the grace of the moment.

We live in the grace of the moment by continually recognizing both the immense need and the immense blessing of each moment (by developing a conscious and habitual attitude that says, “I am so desperately needy AND I am so abundantly blessed.”) and by relying on the Holy Spirit to teach us exactly how to reconcile the two. This happens as we first learn to live in the reality of the eternal, for it's an ever-present awareness of eternity that liberates us to receive every present moment with thankfulness and live it to the fullest, without setting up false expectations for it or worrying about the next.

When we are convinced that our life is hidden with Christ and He alone is the Prize, that this world is not our home and we are simply on assignment here, and that our pain and failures are only temporary but, with His redemption, the beauty and wisdom to be gained from them are eternal, we are set free from living in the regret of yesterday or in the fear of tomorrow. We can instead live in the blessing of the right now which fully meets the need of the right now because both need and blessing are gifts from the Father to get us ready for eternity and to meet our Bridegroom face to face. We have need of nothing but Him and His grace, and His fullness dwells in us.

The life lived in the grace of the moment is the life absolutely surrendered to the reality of God’s wisdom, God’s character and God’s sovereignty over it, for in entrusting ourselves to those, we acknowledge that He has a set and planned purpose for our lives, that it is good, and that He is powerful enough to carry it to completion. His wisdom assures us that He has always had in mind, down to the smallest details, exactly what He is doing with us; His character, that His heart is ever faithful toward us; and His sovereignty, that His directing arm cannot be shaken or thwarted. They reveal to us explicitly that He loves us with all of His mind and heart and strength, and in that knowledge we find perfect rest. As beloved children we know that we will be taken care of without having to know how it will happen or what it will look like.

In our helplessness we can simply look up to Him, reach out for Him and cry to Him in humility and thanksgiving, for our God cannot resist eyes and arms and hearts doing that. He always picks up and holds close to Himself those who long for Him. We may think that what we most desire are answers and perfectly successful plans and reasonable control over our lives, but what our souls crave is comfort and intimacy and love, and we can have those the instant we fully surrender to His embrace. He may sometimes hide His face from our “Why?”s but never from our “Hold me!” cries.

If we mistakenly suppose this life to be about this life, we will miss the present grace for fretting over and fighting for all the blessings we don’t have or fearing that those we do will be lost, until we find that they have become an unbearable millstone around our necks. If we pin our hope on anything in this temporary world it will be no stronger than that—a mere pin, easily pulled out and easily broken when life weighs too heavily upon it.

Enduring hope can only be based on God’s absolute promises given to us in His Word, not on our own expectations or wishes or impressions of how things ought to be. Enduring hope lets go of everything that can be lost to take hold of everything that cannot, and in doing so is actually able to squeeze the sweetest nectar out of those released and perishable blessings so that even their losses, though painful, do not leave a bitter aftertaste. For it’s often in the loss of a thing that its worth to us becomes most precious, and by letting it go with grace we can best savor its purest delights.

Realizing that the pain runs so deep only because the beauty ran so deep and that without it having once touched us we wouldn’t now know the emptiness of its loss, our grief will eventually turn to thankfulness that it ever touched us at all, and we will be left awed by the mystery of its haunting. There's a peculiar kind of beauty that can only be experienced with the innate knowledge that the moment is fleeting, and the most intense beauty can only be seen in the presence of both light and shadows.

The ability to enjoy our tangible blessings is surely heightened by the conviction that they are not ours to possess, by the acceptance that their loss is inevitable, and by the understanding that they were never meant to satisfy. For the enjoyment, then, will be absent the tainting dread, the taking for granted, and the twisted expectations which so easily and often mar our earthly pleasures. We will relish what we’ve been given today but recognize it may very well be gone tomorrow, and even in that uncertainty we will find a contented peace, for in every loss there lurks a hidden blessing, and all that really matters can never be lost to us. It is just as important to be a good steward of our losses as it is of our more obvious blessings, for the beauty that comes from nobly and graciously accepting loss far exceeds any tangible beauty that can be taken.

Knowing that we belong to another time and place and that this one is only meant to lead us there, like the charming towns one passes through on the way to a better destination, we will take in the sights with wonder and delight but keep traveling on toward our true home. For these sights, though tantalizing, are like mere slivers of light from a ***** under the door compared to the glory to be found in God’s Presence. But when received as personal gifts of His grace, they become to us a stage precisely and delicately set by a Lover to attract the attention of His beloved, to show off His greatness and show forth His beauty to win her heart, and our hearts indeed are won.

To live in the grace of the moment is to keep looking to Jesus—to Jesus’ feet to lay our burdens down, to Jesus’ arms to be held securely, to Jesus’ hands to receive all we need, and to Jesus’ face to know our only sure hope and hearts’ true desire.


*Lord Jesus, merciful and all-sufficient One, in every need, small or great, tangible or intangible, give me the discernment to discover Your extravagant gifts of grace, the wisdom to receive them, the eagerness to open them and the passion to cherish them well. Give me eyes to see and a heart to fully enjoy with gratitude each blessing You have prepared for me today, for this very moment, and may I thrill to Your every advance of love.
~~~

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."
~ Colossians 3:1-4

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding..."
~ Ephesians 1:3-8

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness."
~ 2 Peter 1:3

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
~ Colossians 2:6-7

"Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
    for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is Your faithfulness.
I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for Him.'
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him,
    to the one who seeks Him;
it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the LORD."
~ Lamentations 3:22-26

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
    my hope comes from Him."
~ Psalm 62:5

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
~ Romans 8:18

"Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess."
~ Hebrews 3:1
At school I had trouble socializing,
And still, The Owl, comes all too late?

My formative years are spent deep within caves searching,
Yet The Owl is never found there?

The failures and sadness accumulate over time,
Leaving The Owl traversing some other’s sky,

I feel life slipping away each day,
And still The Owl never manifests!

Where is The Owl? Does it not come with time?
Will cleverness induce her, perhaps woo her with rhyme?

Quell restless mind, The Owl reforge me so I’m freed!
Grant me your talons so that I may succeed!

And still, The Owl, who never manifests,
And still The Owl never manifests.

I curl chalky fingers into travertine-grip,
Aged ruin takes a hold, in my despair as I slip,

Sans which The Owl never did manifest,
To wit, sans The Owl, pounding sand as I jest,

So what, The Owl, never did manifest?
And still The Owl never manifests.

Life without The Owl, was no life at all,
No solemnity of greatness, a life of doltish pit-fall.

And still The Owl never manifests.
And still The Owl never manifests.
Most people believe they have a guardian angel looking over them and intervening to make their lives better; more fulfilling. Angels in ancient art were represented as owls(watchers) for the god(s) would inhabit animals to monitor humans.
Caladrius Jul 2017
Even in ourselves
We look for perfection yet cannot find

    Even so
We are disappointed
in the Failures of others

We may point and stare, but
       They say,

You point to the hypocrite you are.
Copyright © 2017 Caladrius All Rights Reserved
"One lie weakens a thousand truths."

"Time heals, steals and reveals."

"Karma finishes what revenge neglects."

"The future is uncertain, but we play a part in its design."

"Help when you can, pray when you can't."

"If your life is out of focus, it's time to change the lens."

"Honesty is in the alcohol."

"The only thing better than a second chance is never needing one."

"Sometimes the most valuable company is yourself."

"Instincts over impulse, always."

"The greatest comeback is the one least expected."

"Fear is a light sleeper."

"You can't change the past, but it can change you."

"Some are born with a silver spoon, others with a pitchfork."

"Even the smallest of pebbles has its place in the sand."

"The humble voice resonates the loudest."

"Write your failures in pencil, your triumphs in ink."

"Scars speak every language."

"Two things you should always trust: your gut and your God."

"Every tear leaves something behind."

"Courage brings you to the fight, wisdom wins it."

"Relationships start and end, but the lucky ones get to begin again."

"The devil doubts. The angel accepts."

"Biggie makes you dance. Tupac makes you think."

"Justice is money green."

"The only thing better than good friends are lifelong ones."

"I'm in a fight with life and I'm losing on points."

"We are remembered for three things: the times we did good, the times we did bad and the times we did nothing."

"Every underdog wants to be top cat."

"Love never travels alone."

"Dreams reveal what thoughts conceal."

"The problem with the world is the wolves outnumber the sheep."

"You can't spell tragedy without rage."

"Focus on the valley and the hills will disappear."

"When you ignore pain, it ignores you."

"The past and future are distant cousins."

"Hope is always listening."

"Moonlight is for lovers and devils."

"Nothing will get you in better shape than a breakup."

"Time is a tattletale."

"Sometimes all that's left is a penny and a wish."

"There's a special place in heaven for those who suffer on earth."

"We are connected by smiles and tears."

"The mirror mimics what the mind imagines."

"If infidelity was a crime they would have to build more prisons."

"What the blind man sees, the sighted man seeks."

"The ego is a phony friend."

"Luck will take you as far as fate allows."

"Two things that never forget: elephants and broken hearts."

"My train of thought has no conductor."
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