Poem: Love Goes On …my 400th poem in 365 days

I was afraid
That my broken heart would never heal
That when he left me
I was destined to limp through the rest of my life, wounded
But it didn’t happen that way
Love goes on
His love taught me about being lovable
The love I’d felt helped me grow strong
I was afraid
That when I left him
That he would never forgive me
That he would hate me
That he would just want to forget me
But it didn’t happen that way
Love goes on
The love we felt did not die
The love we knew helped us through
It allowed us to be kind
We made it through weakness
We made it through the unimaginable
We made it apart
And by doing so, love held us together
We came out strong
Love goes on
When I had no friend
When I was alone in a country
Where I could not speak the language
With no one to talk to
Exhausted and
Struggling at work
With no money
I was lower than low
But at some point
There’s no lower that you can go
And even there
Even alone
There is a love there
What love is this?
Whose love is this?
Is this the love of my great great grandmother
That imagined that one day I would exist
Is this the love that lingers on my forehead
From my father’s blessing kiss?
Even alone
At the lowest low
Some love will seep in
Look will seek you out
Love will find you
Love won’t give up on you
Love goes on
When a child moves out
Or becomes wiser than the parent
Or thinks that is so
When there is no understanding
Of how you could possibly be related
When the parent is frustrated and sad
When the kid is indignant and mad
Beneath it all
There is love
No matter what has been said
No matter what has been done
Though shoulders have been cold
And arrows have been slung
Love won’t get wounded
Love won’t die
You think you can kill it
Just try but
Love goes on
When brothers fall out
Threats are made
Promises are sealed
Upon your grave
But nothing can outlive love
Love can’t end
Love goes on
A passionate crush
And steamy sex
Becomes cold silence
Your mistress
Your affair
Becomes another ex
You assume that indifference or hate comes next
But hate is not real
Indifference is not strong
Try as you might
You can’t hate for long
When you are no longer lovers
You will continue to love
Love won’t fizzle out
Love goes on
And when someone double-crosses you
You want to cross them off too
But you can’t
Someone has wronged you
But you can’t hate for long
Any moment you let down your guard
Love will open the gate
Love will slip in
It will seep in
It will sneak in
Whether you want it or not
Love has more endurance than hate
Love goes on
Move away from your best friend
Ignore his call
Don’t send a letter
Try to forget it all
But you never will
The simple love you shared
Can’t be extinguished
Can’t be put out
Love does not need you to want it
Love can just hang out
Love goes on
Murder and war
Corruption and rape
Who has done this?
Who can I hate?
Hate is an impulse
But it can’t be sustained
Hate is a thunder cloud
That grows quickly, menacing
But in an instant of rage
It loses all its power
And becomes nothing again
Skinny as a toothpick
Big as a bull
Love is in love with you
A baby’s first breath
Love welcomes you
Your last dying gasp
Love escorts you
You can try to stop love
But you never will
Life or death
Wrong or right
Try as you might
Stop trying to fight
Love will win
What is there to lose
What is there to fear
You can’t stop love
The love that you felt is here
Love will always be near
Love goes on

About the poem:
The one thing I know for sure is that love is bigger and stronger than most of us give credit. We think people will not be able to handle the truth, our opinions or changes. But generally, they can and they do.
I chose the photo of a crocus from today’s walk, as the symbol of cheeriness that pops up when it seems completely unwelcomed and out of place. But year after year, the crocuses too are unstoppable. With little care or attention, they appear.
This is my final poem of my self-generated 365 poetry writing challenge. Thank you for reading this and any of my 400 poems written since April 1 2013. Please think of me if you need a poet, a speaker or a fearless cheerleader for your online or in-person event! You can buy my books on Amazon and Kindle, with more to come!
Thank you, Joan

Poem: Who says you must?

2013-05-01 11.44.42 Gaksan View of Namhae
Brick by brick
Stick by stick
You have built your life
You’ve got a house, a job
A baby, a wife
The original shelter
Is now helter skelter
The cooking and cleaning
Are out of control
The bills and the arguments
Are taking their toll
This life you created
Is sapping the life right back out of you
But continue, you must
But you have no choice
Heaven has become hell
And there’s nothing to be done
There’s no time to be kind
To those near and dear
Too much to lose
Too much to fear
Continue, you must
There’s no other way
Continue and stay
You must, you say
But if you are already homeless
And kindless
And a big ball of stress
What more is there to lose
Continue and stay
You must, you say
Who says
You must

About the poem:
It’s a funny thing. We can’t wait to grow up and get out of the house. Then we become the parents and suddenly feel trapped, in the life we ourselves created. We hunker down and be prepared to live like this for a decade or two.
But, if we created our life, can’t we change it? And if this is the best we’ve been able to create, shouldn’t we get some help? Shouldn’t we change something? How about selling the house? Quitting your job? Doing something totally different with your schedule and your responsibilities? To accept that we are the creators of our life situation is the first step in being able to improve them. It’s not that you must continue or you must change, but if you want things to be better, you can change. You can. “We have to…”, “We must…” make everything seem so desperate and tiny and futile.
I included this photo from the top of Gaksan, in Samcheonpo, South Korea. When I get a view like this, options suddenly appear as I get a new perspective on my life. The world is full of options. The set we are living at any one moment is just one of many, many possibilities.

Poem: Above It All

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Saturday morning
I’m zipping around
Ticking off errands
The post office and the grocery store
The hardware store, the mall
Checking my watch
When I look up
The Rocky Mountains
Won’t let me forget them
Wherever I go
They stand
Above it all

About the poem:
The number of ways that nature heals us and centers us is innumerable. One sure way is to contrast the consumeristic stew that we live in, in our cities, with nature’s self-sustaining cycles of life.
When I moved to Korea and lived in Busan, it was the first time that my daily view (other than the sky) was primarily manmade. I often felt lost and didn’t realize the grounding power of nature that I’d grown up with and become accustomed to in Colorado. I notice and thank the mountains for constantly reminding me how short our time is here. This sense of geological time helps put my to-do list into perspective and focus on the important things in life. Namely, love in it’s many forms.

Poem: I Remember You

2013-05-23 21.42.10
I remember you
I remember playing jacks with you on the kitchen floor
I remember playing hide-and-seek with all our sisters and brothers
I remember how you took care of me when I was little
And I remember babysitting you
I remember how we made body prints on the concrete of the swimming pool
I remember how you wore a bikini even though mom forbade it
I remember how you taught us to do freestyle with perfect form
I remember sitting on the porch, hearing the sound of Trinidad and Tabago in your voice
I remember the first time you held my hand
I remember our first kiss
I remember riding bikes with you at midnight through City Park
I remember seeing your hair sticking up, your body hitting air for the first time
I remember sitting with you, learning to say, “Venga papi” to your little boy
I remember the smell of the bread you baked, just out of the oven when the bus arrived
I remember hiking for hours and the stories you told
I remember sleeping in the tent with you
I remember jumping on the trampoline together
I remember that walk we took on the pier
I remember the sound of the frogs as we walked to the beach
I remember your smell as if I am still curled up next to you right now
I remember that “Oh, really?” skeptical smile of yours
I remember how we carried mattresses on our heads and stuffed them into the taxi
I remember visiting your frail grandma and your many aunties
I remember how you took the time to get to know me
I remember how you invited me to come with you
I remember how you offered me something to eat
I remember how you gave me something to drink
I remember how we danced together
I remember how you taught me that song
I remember how you saw my nervousness and cracked a joke
I remember when you taught me how to field a grounder
I remember how we sat at your kitchen table for hours
I remember how you picked up the tab
I remember how you accepted my invitation
I remember sleeping over at your house
I remember you crashing at mine
I remember staying late at the office with you
Completing the impossible just in time
I remember when you taught me to wrap my hijab
I remember when you showed me how to make kimbab
I remember playing games and running around the classroom with you
I remember painting cherry blossoms with you
I remember how I hurt you
I remember that you forgave me
I remember how you saw me
I remember how you loved me
I remember how you were there when I cried
I remember you so many times before you died
I remember you so many times before I left
I remember you so many times before you left
I remember you
All of you
I remember you
Don’t forget it
I remember you

About the poem:
I have so many amazing memories with special people around the world. Whether we were close for a few hours in an airport, during childhood, in another country or at home, I feel blessed with the many memories I have of so many people. Though I don’t see you, and may never see you again, don’t worry, I remember you.

Poem: Dance it Off

Shoulders, chest, hips
Smooth slides, slips
Bump, bump, bump
Vine, turn, stomp and jump
Single, single, double
Keeps me outa trouble
Party Rock Anthem
All the Single Ladies
And Beat It
Metala, Sacala
Oye Morena
Young and old
Timid and bold
Gather in the gym
To punch it out
Dance it off
Sexy walk with an attitude
Cha cha, hip hop too
Belly dance, bachata
Beyoncé and Beach Boys
Whatever ails me
I just go to Zumba
Don’t be shy
Give it a try
When you’re not quite ‘on’
And dance it off!

About the poem:
I’ve been to Zumba class 6 of the past 7 days. Oh man, it’s just so fun to shake what my mama gave me. The classes are included in my gym membership with the Longmont Recreation Center, just at the good old Memorial Center and the Longmont Recreation Center. These classes are not a place to be perfect. Rather, come to be perfectly happy! Perfectly free to move it! It’s fun to see all different ethnicities, ages and styles out on the gym floor together. A lot of the moves are sexy, but it’s almost all women. Just dancing for fun!
I first learned similar style in African dance. Later, I found out that some of the Energy Healers recommend a jumping, freestyle motion to center yourself. Uh, that’s what I’m talking about! Dance con vigor, conmigo!

Poem: Does the Hulk Drink Green Juice?

Green juice
Makes you strong
Like Incredible Hulk
We told our young friend
Does Hulk drink Green Juice?
He asks, wide-eyed
Uh, yes
Of course, he does!
He slams down
The rest of the juice
And slams down his cup
Runs away yelling
I’m strong!
I’m Hulk!
He reports to his big brother
I drank green juice!
Now, I’m strong like Hulk!
When big brother looks at his mom and me
We know we are busted
It wasn’t 100% true
How many lies
Do we tell
This is our best lie, so far
Our best lie about food, by far

About the poem:
True story. Our three-year-old friend may think Hulk drinks green juice. Maybe he does? How do I know? Yeah, I guess that’s the point! I don’t.
I think the bigger lie we tell about food is that food can be a ‘treat’. Do something great? It’s your birthday? To show your love and appreciation, we will give you a pile o’ colorful food with little or no nutritional value. Keep it up and we’ll give you more! The more we care, the more health-demoting stuff you earn. Uh, isn’t that a lie? A big fat lie?
Recently, I have been learning about raw food and vegan diets. Some of the basic ‘facts’ I know about nutrition may not be true. There is a lot to know about how protein is made for our bodies, and providing the means to do so (via food combinations), may be more effective than simply downing protein itself. I wonder what lies I have told myself and my kids about nutrition? Hmmm Not that any of this makes up for the fact, that we flat out invented that Green Juice Hulk story. That, really was a lie. But such a good one!