Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Poem #18--Stars


I looked into my friend's deep eyes,
The windows to his soul.
I saw that which he tried to hide,
His dread and fears untold.
I saw the pain beyond the panes,
I heard the unspoken plea.
I sensed his view that all was in vain,
That alone he would always be.
His cry for help, real but unvoiced,
Did pierce me to the heart.
That was when I made the choice.
It was time to do my part.
To the balcony I led him then,
To the comfort of the night,
A place where he had often been,
Though always in day's light.
I said, "look up into the sky.
Tell me, what do you see?"
He said, "I see the stars up high,
Shining down on me."
"My friend," I said, "think with me.
When you awoke today,
In morning's light were you able to see
Night's glorious display?
The stars, you see, are always there,
Always giving light,
But of this we are not aware
Until the dead of night.
All of us are like the stars,
All of us do shine.
But we'd never see this light of ours
If it were sunny all the time.
You see, my friend, we need the night,
To realize who we are.
So never try to hide your light:
You're someone's guiding star."

--Karl Southwick

Based on a true story. Many times, we find ourselves lost in darkness. Trials and adversity appear to smother us, and we wonder why. I had a friend who wondered the same thing, and together we learned about our nature as children of a Heavenly King. We all have light, for we are His children, and He is the source of all truth and light. We have this light for a reason--just as sailors and travelers used the stars to guide them at night, there are people who need to see our light in order to find their way. First and foremost among these people is ourselves. We need to be able to see our light in order to know who we truly are, to see the big picture. So instead of asking why life has to get dark, look within and find your light. Never stop shining.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Poem #17--Those Hands

Those Hands 

I fell upon the cold, stone ground, 
Pushed by hands unseen. 
My wrists and legs were tightly bound, 
My body filled with pain. 
Those hands, so filled with hate and spite, 
Had tied these binding knots. 
I tried to rise, but then, with fright, 
I found that I could not. 
For, while I was on the floor, 
Consumed by my own pain, 
Those hands did labor evermore, 
Clasping binding chains. 
Thus secured, I could not fight, 
Against those ruthless hands. 
They exposed my back, with skin of white, 
And then the wrath began. 
The crack. The crack. The screams of pain, 
The shredding of my skin, 
The crack. The crack. The screams in vain, 
Thus did the wrath begin. 
Crimson drops flew left and right, 
With each resounding crack. 
Rivers red cut through the white 
Of my searing, burning back. 
Those hands continued with sheer disdain, 
As ruthless, merciless beasts, 
And, in a moment of unbearable pain, 
I called on them to cease. 
Then, to my complete surprise, 
They stopped for cause unknown. 
I weakly opened bloodshot eyes; 
A light about me shown. 
Two other hands descended then, 
My limbs they did release, 
My burning wounds they then did cleanse. 
All pain began to cease. 
My eyes released their liquid awe, 
My lips, a grateful psalm. 
Then in those bloodstained hands I saw 
The piercings in the palm. 
"Oh, Lord," I said, with shaking voice, 
"Oh, Lord, where hast thou been?" 
"Waiting for you to make the choice 
To allow me to step in." 
"But Lord," I said, "Those wicked hands, 
That attacked me with such hate, 
Lord, I do not understand. 
Why didst thou choose to wait?" 
"My Son," He said, with caring voice, 
"My Son, this had to be. 
To you it is given to make the choice. 
Thou hast thine agency. 
Those hands that held thee captive, Son, 
That beat you unto death, 
To stop them, nothing could be done, 
'Till you, with dying breath, 
Called upon those hands to cease. 
You see, those hands unknown 
Were not the hands of thine enemies. 
Those hands... 

They were thine own. 

--Karl Southwick 

When faced with emotional problems or pain, stop beating yourself up. Learn what needs to be learned from it, and move on. Beating yourself up, feeling worthless or insignificant, none of that will help, in the long run. To find peace, to obtain joy, Stop beating yourself up. Get up. Brush yourself off, and move forward. Let God help, and do not reopen the wounds that have already been healed. 
Water has interesting magnifying properties. Might I suggest that in this there is a symbolism? When we cry, our eyes fill with tears. So, from time to time, our sorrows might have a purpose: to magnify our vision, to help us see our life in a new light and our own role and purpose in it. Obtaining that vision, the tears will be wiped away, and we will see the world through the eyes of joy. 
Food for thought.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Poem #16--A Place Called Peace

A Place Called Peace

A dream is made of many parts,
Of hopes and smiles, of will and heart.
So when you dream, where do you start?
Desire is the key.

What do you want, what is your goal?
What is the drive within your soul?
Mine is one of joy untold.
I seek a place called peace.

      A place where skies are never gray,
Where raindrops dance, then fade away.
Cool breezes on warm summer days,
That do encompass all.

            This place is one where one can think
On ships of thought that never sink.
Where one can sit right on the brink
Of naught, and never fall.

Where one can be a prince, a king,
A maiden fair, or anything
That may achieve their fondest dreams
Without all pain and fright,

Where Friendship lasts and love abounds,
Where charming laughter doth resound,
Where flowers bloom from fertile ground
As all Earth bathes in light.

To reach this place has been my dream,
To settle by its soothing streams.
Though time has shown that, it would seem,
I shall never meet my goal.

But then I stop, and think again,
And realize how close I have been.
This Place called Peace is locked within,
Hidden inside my soul,

Where I can reach it any time,
And let it flood my troubled mind,
And share it with all of mankind
For I have found the key.

So now, when I am feeling down,
I quickly turn my life around.
For sorrow cannot here be found
In this lovely Place called Peace.

-Karl Southwick

This poem is a description of the pursuit of peace. To me, the ultimate achievement would be to obtain total peace--of mind, of heart, of soul. Peace is a goal, a dream, an ideal that can be the birthplace of true happiness. And it is hidden within each one of us. No matter how much turmoil might be in our lives, no matter how hectic or stressful our lives might be, there is always some measure of peace inside us. All we have to do is look, and we will find it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Poem #15--Teach the Children

Teach the Children

There are those to whom we all attribute our success:
Our teachers, friends, and families, to name some of the best.
But oftentimes we overlook the ones that mattered most,
The ones who started us on the path should be recognized foremost.
The teachers of the little ones, of us while we were young,
Who, on the ladder of this life, helped us up the first rung.
These teachers never ceased to teach, e’en though we were too small
To understand all of God’s words, to comprehend them all.
Now, in life, we may not recall the lessons that they gave,
But their importance was utmost, a life-impacting wave.
The introduction to the children of God’s word and will,
Is perhaps the most important, and bears with us still.
A simple word, a kindly deed, teaching us to pray,
Our teachers in this innocent age made us who we are today.
So never forget your importance, my friend, for it is great indeed.
After all, our Savior and our Lord said “Bring them unto me.”
You have done all that and more, yes, that much is clear.
He is grateful you helped to save the children he holds dear.

-Karl Southwick

This is a thank you to all of my teachers from my past. Teachers of any kind, even if that wasn't their official job or calling. We are surrounded by teachers, who are more than willing to teach us, as long as we take the time to listen. So thank you to all of you who have taught me so much. Thank you. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Poem #14--Listen


Friendship is a powerful thing, a special, helpful force.
It helps us, when we’re feeling lost, to find the rightful course.
So if there is one lesson now, that everyone should learn,
It is that friendship’s a two-way street; we must give it in return.
There are few things more important than being a great friend,
Helping one another to endure right to the end.
But sometimes, all our efforts seem to go on deafened ears.
Friends refuse to listen, and we are driven straight to tears.
Few things cause us sharper pain than good advice ignored,
So when a friend commits this crime, what good can lie in store?
Oftentimes we find ourselves in such a situation,
Reaching out to help a friend who’s stuck in tribulation.
But then they just don’t listen to our desperate pleas and cries,
They simply ignore our efforts, and call our warnings lies.
Sorrow fills our bodies as we gaze at a friend lost,
Heading down a darkened path, unaware of cost.
We try and try to hold their hand, to lead them the right way,
But they simply refuse to listen, for their hearts have gone astray.
And, for the friend giving advice, the pain is sure and real,
For they know best, and try to help their wayward friends to feel.
When a person does this thing, and good advice ignores,
The sorrow of their consequences spreads faster than a war.
Not only will they feel regret, when their path does reach its end,
But so shall feel their caring, loving, yet newly ignored friend.
So think first before you decide to go your stubborn way,
Listen to the caring warnings of friends from day to day.
Do not ignore their earnest pleas, if righteous these pleas are,
Stand by good friends, and give them heed, and you will then go far.
 --Karl Southwick

There are few things that make me sadder than giving a friend good advice and having them simply ignore it, moving on with what they want to do instead of what they know they should do. However, I know that I've done the same thing in the past to some of my friends. Basically, if we want to be better people, it'd be wise to listen to our friends when they tell us what they know and what we know is right. If they say we shouldn't do something, and we know they're right, no matter how much we may want to do that thing, we should listen. There's less pain in the end if you simply heed the words of your friends.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Poem #13--My Personal Mission Statement

My Personal Mission Statement

Every success begins with a dream.
Whether working alone or as part of a team.
I will never stop dreaming, as long as I live,
And when others stop dreaming, assistance I’ll give.
I shall help all my colleagues, my neighbors and friends,
I shall love them forever, for time never ends.
But first comes my family, the love of my life,
We shall stand together, through trouble and strife.
To them I shall give my utmost devotion,
Share memories and happiness, the purest emotion.
I will value integrity, and loyalty, too,
Honesty and truthfulness shall be my virtues.
I shall never give up on doing my best,
I shall never hate others, nor others detest.
To those who I meet, I will give due respect,
I shall think all my life, so I never forget.
The things I have learned shall always be there,
To build upon them is a primary care.
I shall lean upon God as I travel on my way,
Shall be used as a tool in his hands all my days.
I shall never give up, and I never will quit,
I will instead start again and build up bit by bit.
I shall work well with others, both woman and man,
I shall be there to help them, their thoughts understand.
I shall spend my life helping, to be there for my friends,
I shall guide them, when needed, through life’s twists and bends.
I will press on forever, through joy and through sorrow,
For this defines me, today and tomorrow.
-Karl Southwick

Each of us, while on this earth, needs something to drive us, something to guide us as we undertake this tempestuous journey of life. Personally, there are many things that I intend to focus on, specific aspects of life that I wish to follow and develop, that I might be the best I can be in all areas. This poem is the embodiment of those dreams, goals, and aspirations, drafted in order to be a map for my individual life. If I live according to these principles and standards I have set for myself, then I shall have no regrets. All people should have things like these, sets of directions they have established for themselves and that they can follow. I encourage you to come up with your own, and to abide by your own precepts.

Poem #12--Families


On this mortal journey, we oft feel alone,
Abandoned, resented, joy is unknown.
We swim through our trials, but quickly grow faint,
What started as water has thickened to paint.
We struggle and kick, fighting for air,
But slowly we sink, giving in to despair.
And then, all alone, we give up the fight
And plunge into the darkness, deeper than night.
If this is our case, then why even try?
If this is our fate, why have we not died?
What do you do, when the waves start to swell?
How do you survive, and the darkness dispel?
Listen, I’ll tell you, the answer to these
Is to realize the power of strong families.
We need not live in cruel isolation,
From this our family can be our salvation.
And this, my dear friend, is the solution to life,
The answer to struggling, to pain, and to strife.
Families are the seed from which goodness is sown,
For with them we’re strengthened. We’re never alone.
So, when you’re drowning, in trials’ dark seas,
Turn to your companions, your mortal family.
Love them and help them, and you will soon find
They are a power that strengthens the mind.
So never forget, for these words are true:
Your family is there, and they can help you.
-Karl Southwick

This one is fairly self-explanatory. It has come to my attention that the power of family bonds in today's society is grossly undermined. People seem to just lose the will to try to help the members of their family, becoming so focused on themselves that they lose sight of the bigger picture. The thing is, the family is one of our greatest assets in our lives. We have been born into groups of fellow human beings, who have taught us and raised us, helping us along our way. In nature, most organisms experience a closeness with their families, with the groups they were born into. Humans are not an exception. Our relationships with our families should be as powerful as we can make them, for we're all on this journey together. Why should we have to go at it alone? And why on earth should we not help and gain help from those to whom we are naturally close? Not only is it good sociology, but it is science. Families are powerful. Rely on them and love them, and the quality of your life can increase exponentially.