Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

"Love and Fear" by Joel Robert Harris 11x14, Pen and Ink, 1/08

In each moment I have a choice. Am I choosing Love or Fear?

At the core of my anger and fear
There is a lacking
Of faith
Of trust
In life
I am afraid
That Life
Intends me to lose
You can tell my I’m wrong
You can show me all the evidence
Of love
Of bounty
Of compassion
And I will agree
Saying “Yes, I know.”

But then this festering sore
Grappling with survival will
Spurn all reason
And show me its truth
Small, shivering, and weak
In the corner of my heart
But ferocious when challenged
Biting and scratching its way
Into consciousness

Who am I going to choose?
Who am I going to follow?
Madame Abundance or
Little Miss Scarcity?
Love or fear?
I look at each knowing
They are me
Who do I choose?

If I want to change my life
Perhaps the only real way to do that
Is to change the way
I choose


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We are the black pit alumni
We pass the wisdom from the darkness
To those who fall in
Until the thud
That cracks bones
And breaks hearts

They think they are lost
Poor souls

We know they are found
This is where compassion
Is found
Where gratitude
Is found
Where the seeds of Divine Mysteries
Bud and bloom

This is where the Maiden shed Her light
And sang
“This is the Mystery of God
And His Treasure.”

That poor soul
The recently fallen
He slumps in his seat
She sobs in the cereal aisle
Or lies prone on a park bench at midnight
Lost and broken
Who have been here
Lend them your hand
Be their light in the darkness
For you
Have found
Your way out

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Your sister was sitting next to me
While I wrote tonight
Painting words onto the page
Trying to reach you through the ether
Sometimes I think
I might
If the right song comes along
Or the right color of pen
But it’s just my heart clinging to hope
My mind refuses
To hold on
To anything
But the certain knowledge
That God knows the truth
And one day
You will, too

If you ever ask me
(If you ever speak to me again)
I will tell you what I can
Which is only as true as a memory

Your sister will not care
That you don’t know her
She will meet you when she does
She will know your heart
Like a sister does
She has seen you sing into the night
She has watched me weep
When she reminds me too much of you
Or of what I have missed
She takes it all in
And then she plays with my hair
The way you did with yours
She sat next to me while I wrote tonight
Singing her little song
And I can only let her break my heart open
With her sweetness
Grateful for every minute I have with her
Knowing what it is
To long every moment
For you

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Were you crying that night?

Any night, pick one

I just want to know


About you.

Why a hillbilly for Halloween?

What’s your favorite pair of jeans?

How many boys have you kissed?


I wanted to be there for that.

I wanted to be there for


You should know that.

Your brother was the Joker.

I get that.

He always wanted to be the dark one

Like his dad

Darth Vader

The villain

The straw

That broke the camel’s back

Please tell him I love him

If you’re listening

If you’re not, these words

Will have to wait

For Eternity

When I cannot

When I will not

Be denied

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Is it because I’m fat?

Is it because I told you you were too young for a mobile phone?

Is it because she yanked you from my arms when you were barely two?

It it because I couldn’t save us?

It is because no matter how many ways I tried to free you, you still felt stuck?

Is it because I couldn’t love your father enough?

Is it because I thought of China?

Is it because I made you tell the truth?

Is it because I wanted you to be stronger than that?

Is it because I make you work at it, even after all these years?

Is it because I won’t let you hide, even though I’m across the world?

Is it because I won’t disappear, no matter how much you want me to?

Is it because I love you?

That won’t got away, you know.

I am here

Your mother


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