The Self I want me to be

Published by

Joseph Alan
The Self I want me to be
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It’s known there are
Three types of Self
There’s the You that others see
There’s how You really
Are and how
You view Yourself to be

But as for me
I’ll add a fourth
Which means the most to me
It’s not what’s seen
It’s more about
The Self I want me to be

I don’t want to be
Some grouchy fart
Who spends his days alone
Instead I hope
To be the one
With a warm and loving home

A home where folks
Will come and go
Some will leave and others stay
Come through my door
Without a knock
At most any time of day

A place my kids
Will know as “home”
However far away they go
They’ll recall this place
With fond memories
Of Parents who loved them so

When the bad in life
Has got them down
Or they’ve got a troubled heart
The memories
Will serve them well
And make the dark clouds part

To look and see
The love we shared
Long after Im gone
To recall the laughs
All of the hugs
And a family that was strong

There’s nothing else
I can think of
More precious than their smile
When Im long gone
I pray they will
Think of me once in a while

Each time they laugh
Or feel love’s warmth
Coming from their inner space
I hope they will
Remember Dad
With a big smile on their face

I htmlire to be
A simple man
Who’s a blessing not a curse
I hope to leave
My heart behind
Forever saved in verse

Someone who you
May never know
Save the words I leave behind
I hope they touch
Some part of you
And span through years of time

I pray the words
That I write down
For the entire World to see
Will help someone
I may never know
As much as they’ve helped me

I don’t wish to be
A person who
Only lives for material gain
I’d rather live
For the memories
Each passing day will bring

The material things
Will fade away
As soon as we cease to be
The only things
We can take with us
Are our own life’s memories

They make up who
And what we are
As they bond to our soul
They’re the only things
We get to take
When from this life we go

My treasures are
The things in life
I experience along the way
So I try my best
To make them good
As I live my life each day

I don’t want to be
Someone who
Lives with a heart of hate
Those are not the thoughts
I wish to take
I won’t let that be my fate

I wish to be
Someone who
You’ll think of as a friend
Someone you will
Fondly recall
Long after my days end

Someone who
When folks gather ‘round
And tell their stories about me
It’ll be with warmth
And a laugh or two
As they tell fond memories

And as they tell
Of things I did
I hope it always comes to light
Of words I shared
That inspired them
To love instead of fight

‘Cause it’s not for me
It’s for my Friends
For my Kids and for my Wife
My whole Family
I hope it’s clear
That’s why I lived my life

There’s so many people
In this World
That live to take from you
They’ll take everything
You have to give
Then disappear from view

When you are down
When your heart cries out
For a friend you look around
The times when you
Need someone to care
They are nowhere to be found

Then the loneliness
Fills you inside
From all over the place
And you feel complete
Aloneness as
The tears roll down your face

That’s when I hope
You’ll see me standing
In the corners of your mind
To know that you
Are not alone
You are in this heart of mine

When friends I know
Are feeling low
And there seems no one to care
I hope they look
Into their own mind
To see me standing there

Just a thought or two
Of something shared
To bring comfort to their soul
Some memory they
Will take with them
As through their lives they go

And every time
They’re feeling good
I hope I’ve played a part
I pray they’ll smile
Then think of me
As laughter fills their heart

I wish to live
For love of life
And to help others to see
The joys each day
This is The Self
That I Want Me To Be

The One We Love

Published by

Joseph Alan
The One We Love
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Well, the birds are singing
Out today
Up in the clear blue sky
And I hear noises
In the fields
Where all the wildlife lies

I’ve moved my bed
Over by this window
And there upon I lie
And I wonder why
On such a lovely day
I should realize you’ll die

I miss the days
Of yesteryears
I yearn for days of yore
I want to come back
Home again
And walk through your front door

I remember all
The silly things
We use to do for kicks
I don’t see how
You put up with us
And all our stupid tricks

From “poison ivy trees”
To playing house
And dancing to make it rain
You watched over us
And you protected us
And never once did you complain

You always met us
In the morning
With such a happy smile
And I knew inside
That if need be
You’d walk the miracle mile

While our parents worked
You stayed at home
And you took care of us
You fed us each
And every morning
And watched us get on the bus

We got up early
Every morning
And still asleep came down the hill
And we’d still be there
When evening came
And the night air began to chill

And there was breakfast
That you had made
Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat
It was quick and easy
And it tasted good
And it warmed us to our feet

You watched over us
With loving eyes
You laughed and cried along with us
And you never once
Though you saw through lies
Made us get on that old school bus

You were so glad
To have us home with you
And off to the store we’d go
You made us feel better
As you told us “no”
Then bought us things from row to row

You gave us all
That you had to give
And you made our lives so full of fun
But you gave us much more
Than material things
You gave us a home when we needed one

We grew up there
We laughed and cried
And through the hills we’d roam
And we never gave
A second thought
To calling your house “home”

We always knew
If we needed help
That Grandma would be there
We always knew
That no matter what
We had someone to care

You would take us in
Your loving arms
And hold us as we cried
As you spoke soft words
And eased our fears
You’d gently laugh inside

For you knew our problems
Were little ones
That they’d soon go away
And we’d forget about it
And go back outside
And with the other kids we’d play

I recall a time
When the other kids
Had their very own skateboard
But I had none
So you gave me all
The change that you had stored

Those coins were all
That you had left
And though you knew it all the while
You gave them to me
With a happy heart
And a warm and loving smile

You charged our parents
So very little
And you never raised a fuss
With the end of the year
And Christmas time
You gave it all right back to us

You spent your life
Giving all you had
To us, you’re “Little Ones”
And you took pride
As you watched us grow
And you saw what we’d become

You gave so much
You took so little
In my heart I feel so blue
For I’ve grown up now
And I’ve had kids
And they’re so far away from you

And I want so much
To call it quits
Like I’ve wanted to before
I want to see that smile
And those twinkling eyes
As we walk through your front door

For I want my children
To know your name
And to recall that loving face
So as years go by
They can fondly speak
Of their Great-Grandma’s old place

But for now I’m here
So far away
And I get letters and cards from you
And I know the quiet message
That you’re telling me
And I don’t know what to do

You won’t speak up
And say it out loud
For that is not your way
But with pleasant words
On a little card
You say what you can not say

The words you send
Are quite spoken
And coming from the heart
And between the lines
You’re telling me
That you shall soon depart

I long so much
To come back home
And be there by your side
To give you back some
Of what you gave to us
I want to make it home before you die

You gave your life
To all your kids
To your Grand & Great-Grand ones
And you’ve filled our lives
With so much love
So much happiness and fun

Now time has passed
And years have gone
And you have grown so old
You’ve not went far
From your front yard
Nor from that old dirt road

And you’ve never had
A lot of “things”
Nor much money to speak of
But how can a life
Be considered poor
When it’s given so much love

And I long so
To walk down that hill
And to see your sparkling eyes
And to eat Oatmeal
And to miss the bus
As you pretend to believe the lies

But we can’t go back
We must go on
For time will not stand still
And as I now long
To come back to you
I know one day I shall

In these few short words
I offer for you
All of the love I have to give
But I can never give half
Of what you gave to us
In as long as I might live

I know not what else
To say to you
But I hope you know it to be true
When I say from very
Deep within myself
Grandma…we all love you

The Greatest Gift

Published by

Joseph Alan
The Greatest Gift
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I’ve saw this land
From coast to coast
I’ve done so many things
I sit here now
As my mind reflects
On the memories it brings

The experiences
Of forty years
Come back a thousand fold
My treasures are
The memories
I’ll keep as I grow old

I sit here now
As I take them out
And I view this life of mine
I see all the things
That brought me here
To this moment in time

But of all the things
Reflected here
That brought to my life joy
By far the best
Without a doubt
Has been you My Boy

All the rest
Seems quite small
When compared to you
When I think of life
Without my Monkey Boy
I don’t know what I’d do

When I met your Mom
You were but five
Such a tiny little boy
And though so small
You were full of life
And you’ve brought to mine such joy

I recall one night
At a carnival
As you talked about some ride
The first time ever
You called me “Dad”
As you filled my heart with pride

For any man
Who’s worth his salt
Couldn’t help but love a child
With little eyes
So full of life
Whose antics were so wild

You’ve always had
To be in the middle
And you would always bring
A great big smile
And a crazy joke
To most any happening

With a unique way
Of seeing things
And humor always found
You’d make us laugh
‘Til our eyes would tear
As we rolled upon the ground

I sit here now
As I think of you
And all the times that we did share
From “Spotty Dogs”
To watching you
Dance in your underwear

I’m glad you were gone
The day Oscar died
To spare you from that pain
We’ll always miss
You’re Dalmatian “Dawg
With Spotted Shit For Brains”

And my heart it fills
‘Til it overflows
As the tears roll down my face
‘Cause I laugh so much
Yet I want to cry
Both at once in the same place

For words can not
Begin to express
All the things I feel inside
The memories
I’ll hold so dear
And I’ll treasure ‘till I die

There’s been no man
Ever more blessed
To greater prize was won
Than the gift that you
Have given me
To have you for My Son

And I’ll never forget
The day we wed
It made everybody smile
I lifted you up
In just one arm as
We three walked down that aisle

‘Cause on that day
By the grace of God
We started a new family
I can only hope
I gave back part
Of the love you’ve gave to me

And despite all
Your craziness
I know your thoughts run deep
But worry not
I’ll tell no one
For it’s our secret to keep

You see My Son
I know your heart
And with every thing you do
With every laugh
And every joke
Your shining heart shows through

You’ve always been
Such a delight
Our precious Monkey Boy
You’ve touched us all
To the very core
With your warmth and with your joy

And now I see you
Standing there
In your Army uniform
At six feet tall
Wearing the patch
Of the 82nd Airborne

And I’d love so much
To have you stay
But I know that you must go
You’ve got your own
Adventures to have
For our little boy has grown

Then in my mind
I recall the years
Through all the good and bad
The Lord He blessed
My life with you
The greatest gift I’ve ever had

And I know
Beyond a doubt
That all I did before
Is nothing in
Comparison to
When you walk through the door

No greater thing
I’ve ever done
No finer thing to be
Then to be the Dad
Of the fine young man
Standing right in front of me

And I’m amazed
To have been a part
Of the man that I see now
I hope I gave
Just something back
And enriched your life somehow

To pay you back
In some small way
In your debt I’ll always be
The laughter and
The warmth of heart
The hugs you gave to me

And if I gave
You anything
If I helped with any part
I pray it’s with
Your laughter and
Your loving warmth of heart

And when I’m gone
I quietly pray
Think of me from time to time
And know you’ve had
A special place
In this old heart of mine

‘Cause when I’m gone
I hope I’ll have
Some corner in your heart
My precious boy
Who’s meant so much
To me from the start

Now it’s your turn
To have adventures
As around the World you go
So Mom and I will
Keep the porch light on
And My Son we’ll miss you so

And I’ve got some things
You can take with you
If they’ll fit in your suitcase
Here’s your memories
Of growing up
In this simple country place

And here’s a hug
From all of us
To carry in your heart
We can’t give you
All of our love
You’ve had that from the start

And here’s a laugh
To keep inside
Save it for a rainy day
It’ll get you through
The darkest hours
That life will bring your way

So though we didn’t
Live in lavish style
Please take with you as you go
The memories made
In these old hills
Of a warm and loving home

Please keep and guard them
Close My Boy
For they will help you through
The good times and
The bad that life
Will surely bring to you

So pass my love
On down the line
And give it to your son
Give a laugh
And a hug from me
And Death will not have won

I owe so much
To you My Son
For all the warmth and joy
So Andy I say it
Loud and clear
“I love you, Monkey Boy”

The Question

Published by

Joseph Alan
The Question
5 (100%) 1 vote

I sit here now
And I look back
At my life across the years
I recall the joys
And all the pains
The laughter and the tears

The mistakes I’ve made
The lessons learned
The times that I’ve been wrong
As well as all
The happy times
That life did bring along

Im amazed
That Im alive
I think I should be dead
From all the things
That’s happened here
Both to my heart and head

So now I sit
And try to think
Just what life means to me
Both what life is
And what I hope
The future years will be

Life is such
A confusing thing
As you sow, so shall you reap
You must pay a price
For what you learn
And the answers don’t come cheap

And we’ve all had dreams
That slowly died
As the hourglass passed its sands
And it’s true that life
Is what happens while
You’re making other plans

For the dreams do not
Always come true
That rarely is the case
And as soon as you
Get to your feet
You fall back on your face

Then there are those
Who’ll gladly take
Your dreams and hopes from you
Then leave you standing
As an empty shell
Not knowing what to do

They’ll take your heart
Then take your soul
They’ll promise to be around
Then at first sign
Of troubled times
They’ll drop them to the ground

Then as you pick
The pieces up
From all over the place
The one who said
They’ll always care
Laughs right in your face

And as you stand
With teary eyes
And a sad and broken heart
You can only watch
The one you loved
As they turn and they depart

For there is no way
To keep them close
Or do what they will not do
Just as you can’t
Will a rose to bloom
You can’t make them love you

So you let them go
Even though it hurts
You must let them go away
For it’s to no avail
If you’re not wanted
To try to make love stay

And then begins
The empty nights
And the long and hollow days
But the road back to
A healthy heart
Can take so many ways

It can take you down
So many paths
With only one as the right trail
And the times you’ve made
A wrong turn or two
Are impossible to tell

But with the help
Of Special Ones
And from God above
You reclaim yourself
As you reclaim
The capacity to love

Yet still you fear
To love again
To give freely from the heart
‘Cause you’re so afraid
One day they’ll leave
So you hesitate to start

But deep inside
You know that
To give it any less
Would only be
An invitation
To make good love a mess

So here Im
My Sweet Angel
I stand before you now
Offering to you
All that I am
I hope it’s enough somehow

‘Cause even though
I sometimes fear
I know you do not lie
And I entrust to you
My heart each time
That I look into your eyes

Please know my love
That every time
I touch your auburn hair
And look into
Those smiling eyes
I see my place in there

And when I draw you
Close to me
As your breath mixes with mine
I taste your lips
And I know
I could stand by you through time

Then all at once
From deep inside
I feel things I’ve never felt
And Im so glad
I’ve played the cards
That life so cruelly dealt

For without them
I would not be
The man that Im now
And to love someone
So totally
I just would not know how

And if we’d met
Before all of that
Before life made us search our heart
The precious love
That we have found
You or I would tear apart

But perhaps now
That we both know
Of the pain that love can give
We’ll play no games
With the other’s heart
Just share the life we live

I once said I
Would live my life
In fear again to care
For if Im hurt
Like that again
My soul would disappear

But I now say
That’s a chance I’ll take
Just to be with you
‘Cause nothing ventured
Nothing lost
Means nothing is gained too

Despite the fears
Im not one
To live my life alone
I’ve always wanted
That Special One
And a kind and gentle home

And it’s not a question
Of being afraid
To have no one by my side
It’s just that it’s
Not who I am
And from it I will not hide

And you have a Son
From your own past
I accept him as my own
I hope he will
Accept me as Dad
So we’ll have a happy home

For we both have
Our troubled pasts
That we must both forgive
And learn to accept
If side by side
We ever hope to live

I’ll never be
A wealthy man
I knew it years ago
I can’t offer you
An easy life
As through the years we go

And Im not perfect
I have my faults
I don’t ride a gallant steed
Im not a knight
In shining armor
Just a human being with needs

But I’ll give to you
A gentle hand
And two arms to hold you tight
And I’ll try my best
To let you know
I love you day and night

To promise more
Would not be right
Just promises in vain
We’ve had enough
Of them broken
We know that cutting pain

So with a lump
Stuck in my throat
With nervous, shaky hands
I offer you all
The love I have
From a bruised, big hearted man

If you can live
With all I am
With all the good and bad
Then I can live
With yours My Love
Through the happy and the sad

I’ve no idea
Where we would live
And how I do not know
But I have faith
The Lord shall provide
As through the years we go

Now I ask you
To stand by me
As the years do pass us by
And know that I
Do love you so
And that I do not lie

For when I say
‘Till death do us part”
I pray that it shall be
I know not what else
To say except…
Cindy, will you marry me?

Life Renewed

Published by

Joseph Alan
Life Renewed
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LIFE RENEWED
23 Years After
Where Did All The Children Go?

Like decades past
I stand again
Leaning on the rail of this old porch
New memories burn
Within my mind
Adding flame to that old torch

Some twenty years ago
I asked myself
Where did all the children go?
As I look around
I tell myself
The answer I finally know

The child I was
Never truly left
At times I hear from him
His laughter still
Echoes in these hills
That little boy now lives within

Sometimes I catch
A hint of those days
But it always leaves too fast
As I hear My Boys
Playing in the woods
Just like an echo from the past

This patch of dirt
On which I live
Though it’s not too much to see
Just old scrub brush
And rolling hills
Still it means the world to me

This is the land
I grew up on
Running in the summer sun
After many years
I returned back here
And a new cycle has begun

I still recall
Two decades past
As I looked around the old place
The silence it
Was deafening
As tears rolled down my face

For I could look around
And see the past
In the remnants that I saw
And I’ll not forget
The sadness found
In the eyes of my Grandpa

As he looked around
One summer day
Thinking that he was alone
And he softly spoke
Unto himself
“This just don’t feel like home”

“Where are the kids
They should be bugging me
‘Bout some “fort” they’ve got to build
As they run across
This old front yard
There should be laughter in these hills”

And Grandma missed
Her “Little Ones”
Who’d now grown and moved away
And though they both
Still loved us so
They also missed their yesterday

A time when kids
Made lots of noise
Came howling through their door
Laughing about something
They had just done
They longed to hear that sound once more

And their eyes did shine
When we’d return
On a visit we’d come home
But all too soon
We would leave again
And they’d be left alone

And Family came
And Family went
In and out of their old home
New grandkids came
Then they’d grow up
And away from here they’d roam

In all the years
That I was gone
When life was not quite right
I still could hear
Wind in these old trees
Calling to me in the night

It gave me comfort
It gave me strength
And helped me to find the way
To get back on
My feet again
And to face another day

So many times
I’d miss this place
As these old hills would call
So after many years
I returned here
And it’s still home after all

Now I look across
The same dirt road
Where once the trees did burn
And I smile inside
When I see the trees
As slowly they’ve returned

My Grandma passed on
Many years ago
My little Boy she never knew
But she got to know
My oldest Son
And no wrong could he ever do

And my Grandpa
He knew them both
Before it came his time go
His Great-Grandsons
Made his eyes light up
As his quiet smile would show

And I’m so please
At his end of life
He knew two of My Boys
Watched kids play again
In his front yard
As they made all kinds of noise

A quiet man
Who rarely spoke
But upon them he would gaze
I think it made
His life complete
And brought peace to his final days

My Mother now lives
In the old farmhouse
She says “One day it will be yours
When my time comes
And I join them both
On that far and distant shore”

It’s a prize which I
Don’t want to collect
But one day I know I will
For life goes on
Even in death
And the promise she’ll fulfill

But for now we’re here
By the old dirt road
And she gets to spoil My Boys
She’s their “Mom-Mom”
Whose eyes light up
When she buys them lots of toys

And as I watch
Those scenes unfold
Im taken back through time
To a little boy
In the summer sun
As I take a journey in my mind

The years they all
Just melt away
And once again I get to feel
My Grandma’s arms
As they hold me close
For just a moment it is real

Back to the time
When the child was I
Playing on this same old ground
Which my Sons now roam
As they jump and shout
And wreak havoc all around

My Brother too
Has moved back here
With a Wife and with three kids
And I’m glad they make
As much noise as
Both he and I once did

About a year ago
My middle Son
The one I never got to know
Came to find me
Now they’re living here
They too found their way home

And I find it strange
In a most wonderful way
That to him these hills would call
And though he grew up
In another place
He belongs here after all

He and his new wife
Live out here now
And we got the news today
They’re going to make me
Into the Grandpa
A baby girl is on the way

And another pair
Of precious little feet
In these old hills will get to roam
A Great-Great Granddaughter
Will run across his yard
And get to call this old place home

The children which
We once were
Are grown but still inside
They live within
Each one of us
And the joy I can not hide

‘Cause the hills they seem
Content again
As children’s laughter fills the air
And the yells and shouts
Of “Little Ones”
Echo around from everywhere

And it makes my
Inner Child awake
And want to come outside to play
With the kids again
In this little valley
And with Life Renewed…today