First off, let me just say that I am no great writer. So none of the poems I put here are what I would consider to be epic. They do, however, encapsulate how I feel at times as I face what I'm going through in life. I haven't ever shared them with anyone before, so I thought I'd take a step out of my comfort zone and share them on here. I won't post them all at once. I'll just start with one and see what follows. Anyway, here goes! "SMILING When agony assails from all sides My first instinct is run and hide Hide away from this insane world Cry in a corner like a scared little girl But I only cry tears that never stream From my eyes or down my cheek The pain stays locked away within As I relive guilt and bitterness again On a daily basis I face my giants Set my face in a mask of grim defiance I tell myself the giant is overcome That the junk of my past is over and done All David needed was a stone to slay So I bow my head and begin to pray I say the words and read the truth But why do I end up feeling so aloof? The pain is just beneath my skin As I try to tame the shame within I try to smile in spite of the pain Believing that in time things will change But some wounds go too deep And even haunt us in our sleep Some wounds open up again and again A perpetual tribute to our sins Chipping slowly away at my resolve Making me doubt my sins can be absolved Did I do something to deserve the ache? Why am I being given more than I can take Where was my sin that was so egregious In my youth, please tell me, Jesus Why do I feel like I'm in hostile territory Never getting to write my story Standing still while life moves ahead So many words that go unsaid So many battles in my head So many times I give in to sin So many times I cry out for healing Do those prayers ever go past the ceiling? Is there a divine method to the madness A reason for all this vexing sadness A purpose in the cuts and bruises A lesson in the blood that oozes Is it punishment or mercy in disguise As every day I opt to live a lie To play a role in a cruel game called life Not trying to live but only to survive Loving God but hating what I am Inside my light flickers and goes dim How to change something so ingrained Until only grace and joy remains That mystery is one I have never unraveled As I take the lonely road less traveled I look forward to hobbies and petty things Instead of babies born or wedding rings I'm an actor of the highest degree As I own my masquerade exceptionally The world is my audience that I always fool Holding it all together and keeping my cool Portraying the character they came to see As I lose more and more of my identity So devoted to my weary craft am I It comes so naturally; no need to try But where is the truth amidst the lies? I'll never know for sure I realize Each day is a chance to start anew So why am I still feeling blue? What am I doing so very wrong When all I want is to sing a new song To leave the past in the hazy fog To somehow get beyond its dreary smog To see the Son rise in the sun rise As the bitterness inside me finally dies To get to a place I've never been before Where I can be so much more But still I linger on my tortuous way Not even knowing sometimes what to pray Or what to say to make things clear To break the chains of shame and fear I'm still somehow breathing My eyes have not stopped seeing God's mercy around me in little ways And the hope of future better days But I need help, Oh Lord, it's a fact Perhaps this mystery can still be cracked Because the time has come to let it go But what "it" exactly is, I still don't know Help me see the painful reality of my life Rescue me from this pattern of strife Show me how to make my leap Into the unknowns of the deep Amen, I say these words to thee As I lay me down to go to sleep"