Brian Johnston

Gold Star - 20,488 Points (Jan.20,1943 / Oklahoma)

Ph: Faith: Living With Love And Depression, Etc. - Poem by Brian Johnston

I've great news for the world! You are free to choose either!
Depression's your flavor? Then go right ahead
And embrace the depression that means so much to you,
But loved or depressed still someday you'll be dead.

Now to some, that's depressing, to others quite hopeful,
For life is like school. Jesus! There's much to learn!
If you think learning's fun, then life can be a blessing,
But those who fear judgment find life a slow burn.

Is a student alive with no dream of vacation?
Not thrilled top to bottom when lesson gets done?
It's our choice to see challenge or simply disaster
So much in life rests on the way story's spun.

There are some who view life as a 'bouquet of roses, '
And others who choose to see just 'trail of tears, '
But a man is not stupid who sees both as feelings
And feelings can change though it often takes years.

There is no one so lucky that death is not waiting
And glasses (1) can color the luck we compare.
If it's choice to be happy why would you not claim it,
Just what do you gain when you live with despair?

Now I'll bet there are some who say 'You're skirting pain, sir! '
'I'm dying of cancer! Put that in your pipe! '
Well, friend, death's rarely painless, and always a wonder,
But lessons are learned too; I try not to gripe.

But acknowledging pain is one way to reduce it,
Forgetting past joy is quite human as well,
And to choose our own lives is the task that's before us
Has a man ever lived without demons to quell?

It is nearly lost cause to change others around us
Best chance to change world is addressing our flaws
If the world sees us change it might follow example,
For sure more impressive than jawbone (2) or laws!

And the Bible says service is heart of faith living,
The tepid face danger God might spit them out,
The true Christian is one who is kind to a stranger,
For action counts more than the prayers of devout.


Brian Johnston
Oct 5,2017

Poet's Notes:
(1) A reference to the expression 'to look at the world with rose-colored
glasses: ' If 'rose' is the color for optimism, perhaps 'blue' is the color for
sadness or depression. The point is that we all choose the 'tint' for the
glasses we wear!
(2) 'Jawbone' as used here is a 'double entendre' and intentionally refers
both to the use of violence (as with Sampson slaying 1000 men, Judges
15: 16) and to the use of bombast with politicians/parents who 'talk us to
death' but don't 'walk the walk! ' It's not called the 'Bully Pulpit' for nothing!

Topic(s) of this poem: faith, service

Form: Syllabic Verse


Comments about Ph: Faith: Living With Love And Depression, Etc. by Brian Johnston

  • Bri EdwardsBri Edwards (10/16/2017 4:04:00 PM)

    my newest comment, after poem revision:


    i'm reading and up till here it is quite good:

    There are some who view life as a 'bouquet of roses, '
    And others who choose to see just 'trail of tears, ' .......i would stick the apostrophes (') inside/(to the left of) the commas. or did PH do it that way?

    - - - - - - - - - -
    FROM note #1: The point is that we all choose the 'tint' for the glasses we wear! ..........again, i don't totally agree with you that we all choose. perhaps, like hair color, we are born or develop our tint for viewing the world, and like getting hair dyed, it takes chemicals to change the tint sometimes.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    AND i don't follow: And glasses (1) can color the luck we compare, ............luck we compare? hmm?

    so, are you saying later that i can learn a lesson from dying? Gee, i can't wait! ! ! ! ;)))))))))))))))))

    you have done well this time with contraction construction! very well.

    favorite lines so far:

    It is nearly lost cause to change others around us
    Best chance to change world is addressing our flaws
    If the world sees us change it might follow example,
    For sure more impressive than jawbone (2) or laws!

    The tepid face danger God might spit them out, ..............this would be a tad easier to follow (i think) if you added the or a in front of danger. and if it didn't make the line 'too long', i'd put that in front of God.

    but the poem is quite good as is.

    more favorite lines:

    The true Christian is one who is kind to a stranger,
    For action counts more than the prayers of devout............but some may disagree, especially with the second line, especially the some who believe in the power of prayer, which i don't.

    i would hope a good Christian would both prayer (for good things for self and others; and to thank God, OF COURSE!) , ....AND BE kind to a stranger! ! ! !


    perhaps a showcase appearance? November is coming up.

    to MyPoemList

    and i know how you like being rated, so for once i'll rate your poem: 8 1/2 (ok, call it 9) .

    bri :)
    (Report)Reply

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  • Bri EdwardsBri Edwards (10/12/2017 6:26:00 PM)

    OOPs! i meant to send this, NOT ALL THAT you may see in my first comment! ! ! this, then, is also in the first comment i sent about a minute ago.

    bri :)

    ok, i decided to read and comment now.

    You are free to choose either! ................love or depression? ? ? a person can have both OR go from one to the other OR have only one, OR neither. but i don't think it is a choice in most cases. of course a person often can do 'things' to promote love and to lessen depression and vice versa. but it is not always in a person's makeup to be able to say i want love or i want depression and get what they (think they) want right away.............or ever.

    Has a student yet lived with no dream of vacation,
    Or not felt deep thrill when hard lesson gets done? ..........right on! ! ! !

    and more favorite lines:

    But a man is not stupid who sees both as feelings
    And feelings can change though it often takes years.
    Not a favorite line:
    And glasses can color the luck we compare, ..........i'd end with a period, not comma. and i don't understand it, the line.

    i'm finding lots of lines i like and rhyming also. ;)

    Well, friend death's rarely painless, and always a wonder,
    But lessons are learned too; I try not to gripe....................i THINK you 'want' a comma after friend. otherwise it sounds like you are calling death a friend, which CAN be the case.

    *** [[Recently while I was writing a poem, I found myself using “But” to begin nearby lines/sentences. I didn’t like the way it sounded, so I just chopped “But” off the start of the second line and capitalized the line’s originally-second word, making it the first word. I liked THAT MUCH better! ! ]]

    These lines of yours prompted me to type the above***:

    “But lessons are learned too; I try not to gripe.

    But acknowledging pain is one way to reduce it, ”
    ================================================
    “Has a man ever lived without demons to quell.” ……….i think a question mark would make this line stronger.
    “jawbone” ………..a reference to a Bible***** story or “talking/preaching”? ? ?
    ***** [from Google]:
    “Judges 15: 16 Then Samson said, With a donkey's jawbone I have...
    biblehub.com/judges/15-16.htm
    And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. Holman Christian Standard Bible
    ‎Judges 15: 15 • ‎Judges 15: 16 • ‎Judges 15: 16 NIV • ‎Judges 15: 16 KJV”

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Ain’t Google a gas! ?

    More favorite lines:

    “The tepid face danger God might spit them out
    The true Christian is one who is kind to a stranger,
    For action counts more than the prayers of devout.” ………..but I at first misread, I believe, line one. I thought it was speaking of a “tepid face”. Silly of me?

    “tepid
    adjective
    • 1(especially of a liquid) only slightly warm; lukewarm.
    ‘she soaked a flannel in the tepid water’
    • • 2Showing little enthusiasm.
    ‘the applause was tepid’ “
    So, one could have a “TEPID FACE” if it showed “little enthusiasm”.

    To MyPoemList and maybe I could squeeze it into November’s showcase; YES, the whole poem, if you agree and I remember! ! !

    Bri :)
    (Report)Reply

    Brian JohnstonBrian Johnston(10/14/2017 1:19:00 PM)

    Some day, I swear Bri, I'm going to edit one of your comments for you! Ha! Did an English teacher ever write 'Too Wordy' on a paper of yours? None the less, most of your suggestions have been taken to heart and 'cliff notes' added to help where you (at least) had trouble.

    The gist/jest of the poem though is that at least in my opinion, everyone of us is at choice in how we respond to our lives. Love, depression, fear, joy, sadness, etc. are all pretty much just choices we make. That explains the 'Etc'. in the title by the way! : -)

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 5, 2017

Poem Edited: Saturday, October 21, 2017


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