Journal Poetry


I’ve talked about things that can help with mental illness. There are the conventional methods like medication and therapy, and then there are individual methods—things that each person has to figure out on their own. One of the things that really helped me with my depression when I was in high school was writing poetry. Poetry was a form of therapy for me. The ability to express my thoughts, feelings, emotions on paper didn’t take my depression away by any means, but I think it helped lighten that weight and darkness I was always living with. So I thought I would sometimes share some of my poetry. It isn’t good—like it would never earn me the title of poet laureate, but it’s another one of those examples of showing that you’re not alone. I always thought I was alone all those years ago—that no one else understood what I was going through. I now know that’s not true. Maybe some of you will be able to relate, and for some reason, that alone can bring a sense of peace and comfort.

Let me preface this first. I consider my poetry like a journal. I once wrote this: I write two kinds of poetry—journal poetry and observation poetry. I call it journal poetry because it is simply a journal entry put into the form of a poem. I call it observation poetry because it is observations of the world around me written like the way I see it—with beauty, as art. At least I try to write with beauty and art. As with journal poetry, it is simply observations put into poetry form.

All of what I’m going to share today was written when I was a senior in high school. That was a long time ago! Around seventeen years ago. Something to remember is that just because this is how I felt once doesn’t mean I necessarily feel it anymore. One of my favorite songs is Feelin’ Alright by Traffic. Due to copyright laws I can’t use the lyrics, but you can look them up here. In the third verse author Dave Mason says not to get lost in what he’s saying, that he did mean and feel what he said at the time, but that was then, not now. I love the way he phrases it. It’s always been some of my favorite lyrics ever. So, here it is—some of my old poetry. And yes, that is a picture of me writing on a boulder at Bryce Canyon National Park!

Scan 2017-9-14 15.38.26

No Title                                                                                    

Never as good as I want to be.
Never as good as those who don’t even try,
so why do I try?
Never fitting in where I want to –
I’m alone.
Never writing like anyone else,
and Anyone Else is who Everyone wants.
Never as good as I want to be.
Never as good as those who don’t even try,
so why do I try?

Sifting Through Time

sifting through time
fingers going through white and black
memories evoked by hand’s touch on a tree
paper cut pain – not from the cut; the paper
sifting through time
black smudges on white

Meant to Be

I don’t understand why God wants me to be alone,
but I guess that’s just the way He works.
Some things are just meant to be a certain way,
but that doesn’t stop it from hurting like hell . . .
’cause it does.

And not to end on a completely depressing note, here’s a slightly happier one.

 Pastel Colors

Pastel colors dress April’s evening sky.
Pastel colors are the dress I now wear inside of me.
That’s the story the sky is telling;
that’s the story I try to portray to the world.
Simplicity and contentment are good enough for this moment,
for moments are only moments – coming and going as they please,
and life leads up to other things at a later time.
And April’s evening sky tells this story,
so I try to dress the world in pastel colors.

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