Meaningful Poems

Meaningful Poems

Meaning of Life Poems

It is the thesis of the great psychoanalyst Viktor Frankl that man can endure any hardship as long as he can find meaning in the experience. Incidentally, as a survivor of Nazi Concentration Camps he was in a position to know. Thankfully, most of us are not tested in such extreme conditions. However, the principle is the same. Human beings cannot live without meaning. Depression is the natural outcome of living a life that is bereft of purpose.

92 Deep Poems about Life

  1. 1. The Invitation

    The Invitation is a prose poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Many years after the poem was written and had become famous, the author wrote a book based on the poem, The Invitation (1999), by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Oriah is a spiritual counselor and story teller, among other things. This poem offers an invitation to every single one of us to "show up" in the universe. She reminds us that we do not serve the universe by being small. Rather, we serve the universe by making the most out of our lives.

    It doesn't interest me
    what you do for a living.
    I want to know
    what you ache for
    and if you dare to dream
    of meeting your heart's longing.

    It doesn't interest me
    how old you are.
    I want to know
    if you will risk
    looking like a fool
    for love
    for your dream
    for the adventure of being alive.

    It doesn’t interest me
    what planets are
    squaring your moon...
    I want to know
    if you have touched
    the centre of your own sorrow
    if you have been opened
    by life's betrayals
    or have become shrivelled and closed
    from fear of further pain.

    I want to know
    if you can sit with pain
    mine or your own
    without moving to hide it
    or fade it
    or fix it.

    I want to know
    if you can be with joy
    mine or your own
    if you can dance with wildness
    and let the ecstasy fill you
    to the tips of your fingers and toes
    without cautioning us
    to be careful
    to be realistic
    to remember the limitations
    of being human.

    It doesn't interest me
    if the story you are telling me
    is true.
    I want to know if you can
    disappoint another
    to be true to yourself.
    If you can bear
    the accusation of betrayal
    and not betray your own soul.
    If you can be faithless
    and therefore trustworthy.

    I want to know if you can see Beauty
    even when it is not pretty
    every day.
    And if you can source your own life
    from its presence.

    I want to know
    if you can live with failure
    yours and mine
    and still stand at the edge of the lake
    and shout to the silver of the full moon,

    It doesn't interest me
    to know where you live
    or how much money you have.
    I want to know if you can get up
    after the night of grief and despair
    weary and bruised to the bone
    and do what needs to be done
    to feed the children.

    It doesn't interest me
    who you know
    or how you came to be here.
    I want to know if you will stand
    in the centre of the fire
    with me
    and not shrink back.

    It doesn't interest me
    where or what or with whom
    you have studied.
    I want to know
    what sustains you
    from the inside
    when all else falls away.

    I want to know
    if you can be alone
    with yourself
    and if you truly like
    the company you keep
    in the empty moments.

    The Invitation By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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    I love this more than words. I think of these words often, especially in times that I feel as though I haven't done much through the years, and I'm sweetly reminded that I HAVE done so much!...

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  3. 2. The True Meaning Of Life

    I have been through hard times, I've struggled like everyone else to find contentment, peace, and an understanding of what life is really about. I believe age has everything to do with finally knowing what life is really about, which is who we are and not what we have.

    What's Important In Life

    The years have passed by
    In the blink of an eye,
    Moments of sadness
    And joy have flown by.

    People I loved
    Have come and have gone,
    But the world never stopped,
    And we all carried on.

    Life wasn't easy,
    And the struggles were there,
    Filled with times that it mattered,
    Times I just didn't care.

    I stood on my own,
    And I still found my way,
    Through some nights filled with tears,
    And the dawn of new days.

    And now with old age,
    It's become very clear;
    Things I once found important
    Were not why I was here.

    And how many things
    That I managed to buy
    Were never what made me
    Feel better inside.

    And the worries and fears
    That plagued me each day,
    In the end of it all,
    Would just fade away.

    But how much I reached out
    To others when needed,
    Would be the true measure
    Of how I succeeded.

    And how much I shared
    Of my soul and my heart
    Would ultimately be
    What set me apart.

    And what's really important,
    Is my opinion of me,
    And whether or not
    I'm the best I can be.

    And how much more kindness
    And love I can show
    Before the Lord tells me
    It's my time to go.

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    I couldn't have said it any better than Patricia Fleming. This is exactly how I feel. I've gone that route where I would buy things in the hope that I would feel better, however, it never...

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  5. 3. Memory Album

    How dull life would be without our memories for company. For some, memories are all they have.

    Precious Memories

    ​Memories are life's special moments
    Borrowed from the passing of time.
    Ghosts and shadows from bygone days,
    Etched and stored inside our mind.

    Our minds are a memory album
    Where the past and present meet,
    Memories we lovingly cling to
    That make the heart skip a beat.

    Some we would like to forget.
    Some we love to treasure.
    Some memories become precious gifts
    That live on forever and ever.

    Yes, memories are precious moments,
    And I have quite a few,
    The memories I treasure the most
    Are those I made with you.

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    Hi Laurie, I know what you're experiencing with your Mom. My Mom has Parkinson's and Dementia. This year her memory has gotten very bad. She imagines things that don't exist, at times forgets...

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  6. 4. My Credo Of Life

    This is my philosophy of life and how to live it. Experience every moment, stay open minded, and cherish life for all that it is.

    Living Life To Its Fullest

    Let me live within the moment.
    Let me feel all that I can.
    Let me cherish life for all it's worth,
    With everything I am.

    Let me see what's right in front of me,
    With vision crystal clear.
    And face what's waiting there for me,
    With no hesitance or fear.

    May I wake each day with gratitude,
    For all my life may be.
    And always feel that wonderment
    At the world surrounding me.

    May I welcome any strangers
    With an open heart and mind.
    And always stand for what is right
    With all the strength that I can find.

    Let me forgive myself for my mistakes,
    While forgiving others theirs.
    And never grow indifferent
    But always strive to care.

    Let me not forget what matters
    In the scheme of every day,
    To live each precious moment
    In a kind and loving way.

    For this moment now is everything,
    Nothing matters but today.
    So I'll willingly embrace it
    And not let it slip away.

    For it passes all so quickly,
    And one chance is all we get.
    And a life of wasted moments
    Is a life filled with regrets.

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    Hi Pat! I love this poem and others that you have submitted. You seem to write about life, and I do the same. I like to write from the heart and so do you. They make you stop and think how...

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  7. 5. A Fleeting Image

    Recently, a friend of mine died very suddenly and unexpectedly. He was a talented photographer and a fantastic human being who devoted much of his time to the happiness of others. I had seen him a few weeks before, and he was so vibrant and alive. The death hit me pretty hard, and for the first time in over 20 years I felt compelled to write and the words just flowed. This poem is not so much about death, more so it's about the fleeting nature of life and the uncertainty we feel as we navigate it.
    In Memory Of Jakob Barak

    The Fleeting Nature Of Life

    So fleeting is this thing called life, we journey toward its end,
    experiencing pieces of a puzzle we don't truly comprehend.

    The hues of our emotion paint a picture of our past,
    as we hurtle toward a destiny that is not meant to last.

    Youth a canvas all in white, not knowing what awaits,
    feel caresses of a brush that which we know as fate.

    Love so very true in reds, that beat within our heart,
    shadows black take form as hate, which tears the soul apart.

    Greens of joy and happiness, lush grass beyond compare,
    sadness, shrouded depths of blue, the waters of despair.

    Yellow screams of agony and pain which we endure.
    Guilt and shame are shades of grey, a torrential downpour.

    Earthy brown desires are that for which we lust,
    the loss of which comes with age, like chrome begins to rust.

    The image changing constantly as time plods slowly on,
    taking shape in many forms, as the twilight replaces dawn.

    We look into a mirror for the answers which we seek,
    but we find no consolation as our eyes grow dim and weak.

    The final touches on a painting created with much love,
    as we realize that the destination is the gallery above...

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    I love this poem. Very artful, well balanced, and full of depth. You struck a nerve with me. I often like to say that life has two real purposes. One, to find, build, and refine our...

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  8. 6. A Psalm Of Life

    This inspiring poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, (1807 - 1882) was first published in 1838. It uses an ABAB rhyming pattern. Longfellow explained the poem's purpose as "a transcript of my thoughts and feelings at the time I wrote, and of the conviction therein expressed, that Life is something more than an idle dream." A very famous line from the poem is, "Footprints on the sands of time".

    Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!—
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
    Is our destined end or way;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
    Find us farther than to-day.

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.

    In the world's broad field of battle,
    In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
    Be a hero in the strife!

    Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act,—act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o'erhead!

    Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.

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    My deceased husband introduced me to this poem 55 years ago, and I've always considered it a great gift.

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  9. 7. My Creed

    Edgar Guest inspires readers to live lives that are filled with integrity. He also shows the desire to live in a way that accepts things as they come and push through no matter the obstacles faced. We each have a set of rules and expectations that govern the way we live. Have you ever thought about what drives your day-to-day thoughts and actions? Edgar Guest (1881-1959) wrote many encouraging and motivational poems about life.

    To live as gently as I can;
    To be, no matter where, a man;
    To take what comes of good or ill
    And cling to faith and honor still;
    To do my best, and let that stand
    The record of my brain and hand;
    And then, should failure come to me,
    Still work and hope for victory.

    To have no secret place wherein
    I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
    To be the same when I'm alone
    As when my every deed is known;
    To live undaunted, unafraid
    Of any step that I have made;
    To be without pretense or sham
    Exactly what men think I am.

    To leave some simple mark behind
    To keep my having lived in mind;
    If enmity to aught I show,
    To be an honest, generous foe,
    To play my little part, nor whine
    That greater honors are not mine.
    This, I believe, is all I need
    For my philosophy and creed.

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  10. 8. What Life Should Be

    This is what I've decided life is about. At an older age now, I think a great deal about what life is for.

    Finding Life's Meaning

    To learn while still a child
    What this life is meant to be.
    To know it goes beyond myself,
    It's so much more than me.

    To overcome the tragedies,
    To survive the hardest times.
    To face those moments filled with pain,
    And still manage to be kind.

    To fight for those who can't themselves,
    To always share my light.
    With those who wander in the dark,
    To love with all my might.

    To still stand up with courage,
    Though standing on my own.
    To still get up and face each day,
    Even when I feel alone.

    To try to understand the ones
    That no one cares to know.
    And make them feel some value
    When the world has let them go.

    To be an anchor, strong and true,
    That person loyal to the end.
    To be a constant source of hope
    To my family and my friends.

    To live a life of decency,
    To share my heart and soul.
    To always say I'm sorry
    When I've harmed both friend and foe.

    To be proud of whom I've tried to be,
    And this life I chose to live.
    To make the most of every day
    By giving all I have to give.

    To me that's what this life should be,
    To me that's what it's for.
    To take what God has given me
    And make it so much more

    To live a life that matters,
    To be someone of great worth.
    To love and be loved in return
    And make my mark on Earth.

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    I teach in an urban district where I have a first-hand look at life from a different perspective. I teach seniors who are getting ready to go into a world where they are thought to be NOT as...

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  11. 9. Leisure

    We are often in such a hurry in life that we move from one thing to the next without stopping to notice the beauty around us. Famous poet W.H. Davies (1871-1940) reminds us that life passes by quickly, and he encourages readers to take moments to “stand and stare.” W.H. Davies was a Welsh poet who devoted himself to writing poetry in his late 20s. Many of his poems were filled with themes of hardship and the natural world.

    What is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare

    No time to stand beneath the boughs,
    And stare as long as sheep and cows

    No time to see, when woods we pass,
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass

    No time to see, in broad daylight,
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night

    No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
    And watch her feet, how they can dance

    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began

    A poor life this if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare

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    This is a wonderful poem and has always been one of my favourites. At this time of lockdown restrictions and protecting ourselves, we have that time to stop and look at the world - to enjoy...

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  12. 10. The Choice Is Mine

    I've had my share of troubles in life, though not as much as some have had. But I've discovered that happiness - or a lack of it - never really comes from my friends or foes. Although they do influence it, it's really up to me.

    Happiness Poem

    Life may not let me choose my lot,
    But whether I'd be happy or not...
    That is my choice.

    To leave hurtful memories behind
    Or allow them to bother my mind...
    The choice is mine.

    To fret over a mistake when it's done
    Or learn from it and move on...
    The choice is mine.

    To be bothered by all that people say
    Or ignore them and go my own way...
    The choice is mine.

    To hide my feelings, pent up, unspoken,
    Or say my mind and ease the burden...
    The choice is mine.

    To enjoy what I've been able to gain
    Or ungratefully regard it with disdain...
    The choice is mine.

    Sometimes I won't get to pick my lot,
    But whether I'll be happy or not
    Will always be my choice.

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    I really loved this poem. It is simple but lovely, the sort of thing you could hand to anyone having troubles with life. The choice is theirs to let things worry them and spoil their lives or...

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  13. 11. Remember Me

    Everyone wants to be remembered when they leave this world. I wrote this because we only have today. Tomorrow we are not promised. I learned that the hard way when I lost my mom. I know if she could have, these are some of the things she would have said.

    Poem Encouraging Others To Make The Most Of Each Day

    If I were to leave this world today, I'd want to be remembered, it's true,
    for going that extra mile just to show my love for you.
    I'd want for you to be proud of me and know I always tried.
    When you hurt, I did, too; your tears I also cried.
    I'd want you to be compassionate to never turn away
    from someone who might need a hug or encouragement one day.
    I'd want you to know I'm sorry if I ever caused you pain.
    I hope you learn from my mistakes and
    forgive me just the same.
    There are no second chances when God
    says it's time to go.
    We only have today to let our feelings show.
    Remember this when you say your prayers and count your blessings tonight,
    and treasure every precious moment God gives you in this life.

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    Beautiful poem. It inspires me a lot with Einstein's words, "Try not to be a success but of value." It goes into my inner core and resonates a deep feeling in me, to live a purposeful life....

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  14. 12. Something To Tame

    I think once in a while we all need a simple reminder of the power of the tongue.

    The Power Of The Tongue

    I have seen what words can do,
    As I deal with people everywhere;
    The tongue is powerful, it's true!
    Something to tame and use with care.

    I've seen spiteful words ruin a life
    And gentle words heal and bless;
    I've seen careless words stir up strife
    And tender words ease distress.

    I've watched silence speak out loud
    And idle chatter bring mischief;
    Seen timely words persuade a crowd
    And hasty words end in grief.

    I've seen people eat their words
    Who can't seem to hold their tongue;
    Watched them take the shame it affords
    When they are later proved wrong.

    My tongue, too, can go astray,
    So, dear Lord, help me watch with care
    To whom I'd speak and what I'd say,
    How I'd speak and when and where.

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    That was such a kind and honest evaluation. I can't take all the credit for this particular poem though. I owe it to my mum - the first person to point out Prov. 15:1 to me in the Bible, and...

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  15. 13. Remembering Will Have To Do

    Wouldn't it be nice to have a picture book created of your life and all the beautiful moments that have passed so during hard times you can still find peace and joy?

    Remembering Days Passed

    If I could create a picture book of
    memories from the past,
    every chapter a masterpiece
    of unforgettable moments rehashed.

    What a pleasure it would be
    to turn a page each day,
    reliving all the happy times
    that quickly passed away.

    Smiles I miss from loved ones
    where heaven is their home,
    babies all grown up now
    with children of their own.

    Summer rains and winter days,
    autumn leaves that fell,
    snowcapped pines at Christmas time
    I remember so very well.

    Oh, what a pleasure it would be
    to flip the pages through,
    for now, I see them in my mind,
    so remembering will have to do.

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  16. 14. Time Is

    Time feels different for different people. Depending on the situation we’re facing, our perception of time is altered. Sometimes, time moves slowly, and other times, it flashes in the blink of an eye. “Time Is” is one of Henry van Dyke’s best-known poems. It was originally written to be inscribed on a sundial. This was published in the 1904 collection “Music and Other Poems,” and it was read aloud at the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.

    Time is
    Too Slow for those who Wait,
    Too Swift for those who Fear,
    Too Long for those who Grieve,
    Too Short for those who Rejoice;
    But for those who Love,
    Time is not.

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  17. 15. Fire And Ice

    A poem about the end of days, when the world will end by either fire or ice. "Fire and Ice" is one of Robert Frost's most popular poems. It was first published in 1920 in Harper's Magazine.

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I've tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

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    Robert Frost is a poet of great repute. It is not within our jurisdiction to comment on such a literary giant. However, in view of your invitation, I would say that he might have been in...

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  18. 16. In The Garden Of Your Heart

    I just turned 98 and am so grateful to be rational and positive in my thinking. I see so much of the opposite and often wonder what brings a person to that state of mind. Many things can contribute, but I think being self-centered is a big factor. Keeping an active mind is so essential. I've created over 1500 crossword puzzles, making one every night over the last years. Knowing they will be used to give others enjoyment is a happiness.

    The Importance Of Thinking Positively

    What seeds have you been planting
    In the garden of your heart?
    What will be forthcoming
    When the germination starts?

    Thoughts are the seedlings that we use,
    Of this there is no doubt.
    The fertile soil within our minds,
    We never are without.

    If gracious thoughts are planted,
    The returns will surely be
    A harvest full of beauty,
    Which you will plainly see.

    If your thoughts are dark and dreary,
    You are very apt to find
    That weeds will soon be growing--
    The most depressing kind.

    Once they have gained a foothold,
    They will not want to leave.
    They'll thrive on your unhappiness,
    Making sure that you will grieve.

    It is hard to keep bad thoughts away;
    Some are bound to filter in.
    The thing that's so important
    Is that you must sweep them out again

    Before they get a chance to grow.
    That way you're sure to find
    Each day will be rewarding,
    For you'll have peace of mind.

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  19. 17. Remember

    Useful advice about living life. It describes how to make it through the difficult times and make a meaningful life.

    Poem With Useful Advice To Live By

    As I walk through life,
    I look at all I have done.
    I had wandered aimlessly
    And wondered what I have become.

    I have been through so much.
    It is amazing I made it through.
    Lessons I have learned.
    I am shocked I pulled through.

    At times I wondered
    What life was all about.
    The trials experienced in life
    Can make all the good come out.

    We try to make it day by day,
    Remembering what we were taught.
    Just remember some time to pray.
    It is important;
    We need it every day.

    Life can be short,
    Unexpected at that.
    We try to take its punches,
    Just hoping it won't break our back.

    Remember who you are,
    Who you want to become.
    Everything will fall into place
    When the time comes.

    Don't forget I love you's
    Every chance you get.
    The time may be short.
    There is no time to regret.

    Life can be exciting,
    As we all have found out,
    Eventful, even busy.
    There is no time to be left out.

    Remember who you are
    And who you want to become.
    The time can be short.
    Don't leave things undone.

    Remember your families,
    They are the only ones you've got
    To carry you in times of need.
    They cannot be bought.

    Remember they love you,
    Either here or there.
    They will always be with us,
    Help for things to bear.

    Poem With Useful Advice To Live By, Remember

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    A wonderful poem and every word is true. At the moment, a dreadful trauma my hubby is going through, that goes for me too. He was suddenly struck down with sepsis and was seriously ill. He...

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  20. 18. It's Fine Today

    In this world, we face troubles of many kinds. Things are not always going to go our way. Some people wallow in that misery, but others have a positive perspective and can push past the trouble they face. What makes the difference? Douglas Malloch (1877-1938) shares the answer in this poem. When we don’t focus on our problems, they get smaller and smaller. We can’t worry about what happened in the past or what could happen in the future. Instead, we need to look at what is positive for us today. Douglas Malloch came from simple roots, and that simplicity is seen in the dialect of this poem.

    Sure, this world is full of trouble
    I ain't said it ain't.
    Lord, I've had enough and double
    Reason for complaint;
    Rain and storm have come to fret me,
    Skies are often gray;
    Thorns and brambles have beset me
    On the road — but say,
    Ain't it fine today?

    What's the use of always weepin',
    Making trouble last?
    What's the use of always keepin'
    Thinkin' of the past?
    Each must have his tribulation —
    Water with his wine;
    Life, it ain't no celebration,
    Trouble? — I've had mine —
    But today is fine!

    It's today that I am livin',
    Not a month ago.
    Havin'; losin'; takin'; givin';
    As time wills it so.
    Yesterday a cloud of sorrow
    Fell across the way,
    It may rain again tomorrow,
    It may rain — but say,
    Ain't it fine today?

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    Wow, this poem gives a cool perspective on life. This poem makes one realize worrying doesn't help.

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  21. 19. Everyone Is Searching

    • By Danielle L. Somack
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems December 2019

    My name is Danielle. I'm a teen poet and artist. My poem "Everyone is Searching" is about humanity as a whole. It's about yearning and looking, of wanting and needing. It's about basic human desire and the drive behind human greed. My poem explores this idea of what we are really looking for and why we need more. Whether it be love or money, everybody is searching. Everybody wants to find happiness. Not many realize they have all they need. Not until it's gone.

    Poem About Searching For Happiness

    Everyone is searching
    for the missing piece in life.
    The key to unlock the door
    and steal back all lost time.
    Searching, looking, restless,
    scanning every crack and crevice,
    lying awake at night,
    dreamless, empty presence.
    Your broken heart
    from years and years
    lets laughter fall onto
    your deaf ears.
    No happiness is enough.
    No joy can be felt.
    Everyone is searching
    for something to heal themselves,
    yet no medicine is strong enough,
    no key can ever be turned
    to give us what we want the most,
    to give us what we yearn.
    The thing we want is an illusion.
    Our perceptions are distorted.
    The Snow Queen's looking glass
    when it dropped and shattered.
    All is worth what we rate it,
    all ranked by how we place it.
    Chasing what cannot be found
    instead of choosing to be content.
    Wanting what we do not have,
    a dream that cannot be,
    a masterpiece of mirages,
    all too soon we believe.
    When will we begin
    to accept what is here?
    The present day in which we live,
    not the past or future.
    When will we stop searching
    and decide we don't need more?
    Only then we will find
    what we've been looking for.
    The good you have is here,
    yet you keep looking on,
    never realizing what you had
    until it is gone.

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    This is such a perceptive and mature poem from one so young. Her message in this poem is "Happiness is knowing when you have enough. Be thankful and grateful for what you have."

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  22. 20. A Day Away

    I've struggled with depression most of my life. I tend to see the worst in things and often need to be reminded of things most people do naturally. This short poem is one of those reminders. A great tragedy occurs when the bad days numb us to the good ones. Try to enjoy the good days, because they don't last that long. Try not to fear the bad days, because they won't last that long. Whether time is currently your friend or foe, however it can help you today, remember today won't last that long.

    Feelings And Perspective

    Some feelings are shallow, some feelings are deep.
    Some make us smile, some make us weep.

    Some we love, some we don't.
    Some we'll savor, some we won't.

    Some grounding, some uplifting,
    Some long-lasting, some constantly shifting.

    No matter what feelings I'm feeling today,
    I know tomorrow is only a day away.

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    I, too, have dealt with depression most of my life. I have learned two things. Feelings are just that. They are fleeting. They come and they go. I have also learned to rely on my rock, my...

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