Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy
When I think back, it was during my study abroad travels that I first started writing poetry. I always traveled with my sketchbook, a lesson my professor instilled in me, which at this point was filled with sketches of buildings, until the last week when I finally took a moment to slow down. Wanting to remember everything, I took a moment to open myself up to the sounds of the world and just listen and watch.
Sipping my coffee, I watch as it sinks, lower, lower
People come in and out
I feel the worn spine of my book, turning pages, passing time
A bit of foam lingers on my lips
Fingers warmed by their tight embrace
Conversations flow freely
A babies cry, newspapers crumple, mugs clink, laughter erupts
A Tuesday morning
I linger in the corner, peering over my book
Language that I do not understand, people I do not know
Unfamiliar, yet I feel peace
I do not want to leave, I linger
My coffee mug turns cold, my book closes
It is time to leave my old friends
Sink to the depths of the ocean
Age a thousand lifetimes floating like a leaf
Wait by the flames and become ash
Search for these moments
Hold tight this quiet that settles your mind
Releasing the voices of turmoil
Finding your rescue within
Shouting to the howling wind will defeat you
Dulling your embrace of this world
A deafening companion of uncertainty
Seek out your core, steadying your foundation
And build amidst the darkest depths of silence
Finding your armor against this world
Breathe in your peace and release
Your heartbeat a steady reminder
Rest a focused thought
Bring it in but hold on to nothing
In and out till it’s slow and steady
Find your answer
You are the deep ocean
A floating leaf and the dying embers
Find your calm
How do you feel on this morning?
There are tears in my eyes
Time moves on and yet I linger
Another day, another year
I wish for the wind, ripping through my hair
For the sun to burn my skin
For the gravel to pound my skin
For the pain that once drove me
Now there is new pain
This kind I do not like
It grips me in the night and never fades
Now I am fear, regret, and despair
I am tired
But how do you look on this morning?
My eyes have dried so I put on a smile
Never will you see me weep
Another day, another year
I am tired
And yet you have never asked me
How do I see you?
You are strength, determination, and courage
You are beauty, love, and kindness
You are whole
You are everything
You never have to face this world alone.
I am here.
Why are there tears
When I look up into the sky
What do I see
I see everything.
Your love, your beauty, your soul
Painted living wonders
Dancing in the wind
I am carried in your arms
Where am I?
I have forgotten this world
Entering the one above
Free of my sorrows, pains
I am bound no more
For I have you always with me
Because you show me
In this world and in the next
Strength, courage, compassion, love, forgiveness, kindness…
Because of you
I see God in colors. He is there in the bright yellow and oranges of the sun rises, in the ethereal blues, purples, and pinks of the nightly sun sets and in the incredible blues of the sky and the deep greens of grass. In the seconds that my eyes fall upon these wonders I am at peace, immediately thanking Him because I can see His work.
And it is beautiful.
Where do you see God?
I see you
Eyes black as night
A memory brought to life
Do you remember
A time we spent
In the night
With you by my side
Uncontrollable, unshakable love
One day you will know
Remembering my embrace
Looking into my eyes
Pure and bright
Until that day
Black and white
You will see
We were made for this life
Just you and I
My troubles set my already troubled mind down a dim road.
They pile on, unforgiving in their weight.
One by one I hold a box before me, revealing its contents with the pleasure a girl might have opening her closet to check for monsters.
I try to make sense of them, because I am a thinker.
Sorting out the why’s, the because.
Searching for an answer, a semblance of a reason this box is here.
I am too slow in my goings, the progress I make seems but a single page from a book, where there is little hope in understanding the entire story.
But I must make sense of it, because I am a thinker.
Oh how I wish things were easier done than said, than thought.
If they were maybe I would burn my troubles to the ground.
Would I be free of the weight then or would I remain trapped to the ashes left
in its wake?
The humor of it seems I am both wary of action and inaction.
I fight for the sanity of my rationality knowing my mind is both lock and key, with the power to free and the power to cripple.
A balance of both, a lesson in each, I surrender to the acceptance of the weight.
I carry them now in the hopes that someday I will have the strength to light the match, scattering the ashes with a lasting breath of air.
My mind settles and I am free.
Because I am a thinker.
I have always been told: “You’re a thinker.”
I always thought it was a good thing, but I’ve come to realize sometimes you just need to act.
I write this after having lost an opportunity because of my lack of action. Have you ever lost something because you did nothing, were waiting for a better moment? Could you see the opportunities laid out before you but didn’t act because you were afraid of failure?
Most of us struggle with this. It’s a fight we must win against our own mind telling us to hide. We do not realize it in that moment of uncertainty, but there is nothing to hide from. Sometimes we need to release ourselves from the pressure of overthinking things, from searching for every possibility. Break through that barrier because it’s holding you back from life and unimaginable experiences.
Our mind can be our cripple but it can also be our greatest strength.
Conquer it and you will conquer fear!
We had arrived an hour early to church through the confusion of time change. There was no one but us three in the church. I was a bit fidgety but there they were, right and left of me, both stoic…
We gather at church a little early
Sitting in the quiet
Somber, peaceful, silent
My dad with his head hung low
Mom with her eyes to the Gospel
I sit and I watch
Each deep in thought
For a moment the world is stilled
My mother clings to her religion through books, truth
Words that fill, satisfy
She accepts all and gives everything
Walking in search of Father who will heal her sins
I sit and I watch
With his head hung low, eyes closed shut, my father prays
An exhaustion so pure his body gives in
He has worn a different path
Searching not in books but in his heart
Solitude and meditation are his links
It is beautiful witnessing two beliefs
Both strong and powerful
Pure and genuine
A love rooted deep through living
Having known dark and light
I sit, I watch, I wonder
How can a belief be questioned
How can there be uncertainties
When your two constants have surrendered so completely
Where they go I will follow
It is not a blind following to be shamed
But rather a belief in of itself
To follow with all your heart
To love, to trust, to faithfully leap
I sit, I watch, I follow
San Antonio, Texas
Defined by our past
Our great loves and epic tragedies
Our triumphs and failures
The company we keep
And those who’ve fallen
The surface so easily legible
We are labeled and defined
Friend or Foe
Worthy or Unworthy
What then remains
We are all that can be seen
Yet so much more
Dreaming creatures, we are passion
Longful leaders, wild believers
Beautiful lovers, hopeful visionaries
Ever-changing, always and forever
Dreaming, believing, seeking
Who we are
Recently joining Young Catholic Professionals I attended a panel discussion about Joy. There were three topics: pleasure, happiness and joy. Pleasure is fleeting, happiness is an emotion that comes and goes, but joy is constant. Only true joy may be given to us by God, by knowing Him. This gift allows us to persist even in the midst of our sadness.
Pure Joy is given to us by God
We see it in the crinkles of our eyes
Feel it in the lightness of our hearts
We asked and have received
And thank God for that because in Life there is also Sorrow
We have all seen Pain that overtakes
If our Joy so easily corrupts we have mistaken it for happiness
Merely an emotion amongst others
Pure Joy is a state of being
Be joyful in knowing that He is in control
And thank God for that
Why do we wait to jump, hesitate to fly
We fear the time in between
The void beneath us
Fear the shattering descent
Believing it is not our time
It is not our place to decide
Release yourself from choice
When we are ready, He will know
And when we jump we will soar
Needing the ground no more