Song of the Warrior Poet

author’s note: it’s been awhile since last I wrote. Finally I started looking to those I know and drawing inspiration from them. Enjoy

This life is full of people who don’t know why they smile and say hello. The same conversation repeated over and again among the ranks of adults all the way “til death. Little variation and little motivation to change. A rhythmic beat to which society marches. Though occasionally we meet someone different, someone with the spark of madness. These are those who have something to say and the passion to act instead of just talk. These the fighters who stand up, not to be counted, but rather to take a stand. These the orators who speak with the elegance of an ancient philosopher. mesmerized  by their words, we draw to them as if they were gurus. When really they’re just us if only we had the courage to be more outspoken and driven. They live the lives we dream of, giving us something to strive towards. And they, they are the ones who will lead us, modern day warrior-poets.

Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe

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Spain: an Afterward

I’ve spent the three weeks since returning from Spain trying to explain what I feel and how I’ve changed. And after all this time I’m not much closer to an answer. I was warned repeatedly that reverse culture shock coming back can be worse than when you enter a new country. I guess I didn’t believe it.. Missouri has been home for 21 years, how could it hurt me? now I think I understand, because strangely it doesn’t feel like home. These surroundings are familiar perhaps, though certainly not normal.

When I went to Spain the shock I encountered could be attributed to fear of the unknown. Here I can’t do that, there’s nothing new to blame. The result is that I feel absolutely lost. It’s like reaching for something you routinely use and it being out of place; what’s more, you’re not sure exactly where you expected it to be. my whole life is here, yet something is not quite right. Like it’s shifted out of place, and I don’t know how it should be.

I made a mistake. I returned and expected to pick up my life right where I left it in January. The truth is that I can’t because I’m just not the same person. I’ve grown in both perspective and experience. Those are now parts of me that cannot be packed away. Yet these gains have not been without loss. Somewhere outside my comfort zone I surrendered my sense of home. In the long run that will likely be a good thing, for now it’s enough to know that it’s okay.

There’s two things I learned from my short time studying abroad that I will carry forward. The first is that home is a fluid concept. Anywhere can be home if we make it so, it is something we constantly recreate. The other is how concrete our sense of belonging can become. You see, belonging is not tied to a place, rather to the people with which we surround ourselves.

Enough of my rambling writing. I guess what I’m trying to say is that my life is an uncertain balance. I can’t tell you exactly how I’ve changed. I definitely don’t have a grasp of my emotions. What I do know is that I’m capable of making anywhere home; and that if I surround myself with the right people, I can face any uncertainty that each day brings.

Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe

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Write something

Don’t forget to write. Something, anything. Set the pen to the paper and let the rhythm of your mind do the rest. It’s simply not that hard, just let it happen. Though I should warn you there is a chance you’ll end up reaching deep inside and pull on the strings you’ve tucked away. And that’ll hurt, fortunately the resulting beauty is always more powerful than the pain. Don’t forget to write, Because in the end the words will escape somehow. Don’t forget to write. Because at least this way you still have some control over what the words say.

Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe

Before the Tempest

Stand on the verge of the precipice

Prepare for what is to come.

In my heart I hope that I am ready

a storm rising in the West,

a wind in the valley below,

the results of a tumultuous spring

Again waging the revolution of life.

See the crash of light,

and the Fearsome dance goes on,

the inevitable Fight of time

Immovable forces forever tumble in the night

the risk is real, exposed as I am

unnoticeable to the tempest

Still I remain, standing here

taunting the beasts I face

“Is that all you can do?!”


Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe

dare to dream

We exist in an absurd world,

constantly at odds with ourselves;

life itself becomes a remarkable feat.

yet still,

we dare to dream in the face of it all.

Knowing full well dreams rarely come true.

And that,

that is the courage the world so desperately needs.

Each pivotal moment in history is led

not only by doers, lost in the present

but by those who turn ideas into reality.

that’s why I ask you to live for today,

hope for tomorrow,

and never, never stop dreaming.

Always choose to Be more.

Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe

It’ll Hurt

Posted some new content on Tales of Spain where I contribute. Check it out!
–Joe

Tales of Spain

Travel is painful. We’re easily misled by well curated instagram pages or the precise perfection of well designed vacations. Yet travel is really so much more. Travel is waking at 17264993_1291684324234563_2657859027488032465_n4am to catch that plane. It’s constantly second guessing the metro system. Travel is getting very lost on said metro. To travel means accepting the panic when asked a question in a language you absolutely don’t know. Sometimes you’ll get sick in a foreign city and have to curl up in a hostel, that’s okay. And maybe you’ll find yourself explaining the messed up world of American to politics to a couple of Canadian girls, you’ll be alright. Yes, travel is painful. But it’s entirely worth it. As a traveler you will leave pieces of yourself everywhere. Your journey will take and take. Still we go through with it, why? Because even though it hurts, were not losing ourselves, we’re…

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…para llevar

Sometimes all you need is

to be in strange places

with strange people.

to go beyond yourself

and discover what comes next.

*

Out there is big, bad world.

one that will inevitably break you.

you’ll find yourself at the bottom

there you’ll also find your demons waiting

But I beg you not to lose hope,

Those strange people

the ones that are always there

will know to stretch out a friendly hand.

*

“Be not afraid” and just go.

See the unimaginable

experience it all

and gain a broader perspective

because in the end

It’s all an adventure

So laugh at everything

Sing like an idiot

and make some mac+cheese “para llevar”


Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe

an Eventful day in Madrid

Check out the story I just posted over on TalesofSpain, while you’re there take a look at what my classmates and I are experiencing here in Spain…

Tales of Spain

Woke up late Saturday morning excited for a day in Madrid. The plan was to meet up with some friends at their hotel and then go see the Palacio Real. A simple enough plan that left plenty of room for error. The first step was the commuter train from Alcalá to Atocha station in Madrid. An easy trip that I can quite literally do in my sleep. From Atocha I switched to the metro system. With map in hand I successfully made my two connections and was just looking for my final stop. Unfortunately I had misread the directions that I’d been given and ended near Coslada almost halfway back to Alcalá. Of course, leaving the metro to look for the hotel, I didn’t realize right away. Finally after walking around for a good half hour, I finally found the street I thought I needed only for it to dead…

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To the Last

Author’s note: This is another post in my collection of micro fiction. I write these pieces to remind myself that I really need to work on my dialogue skills…

After spending the last of his energy. Having fought to the best of his ability. All that remained was to wait. Though not for long, a dull sound rising in his ears. A combination of the pounding in his chest, and the tread of his enemies approaching. “I know that sound,” he whispers. No doubt in his mind of the battle soon to occur. No doubt that he would raise his weapon one last time. Never forgetting why he began. The ideals he stands for need a champion to the last. To go quietly was never an option, death too must be earned it seems. Struggling to his he squares his shoulders, “They know who I am. Let them come if they have the courage.”

Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe

Days of Gold

These are the days of Gold

Days of Love & Loss

of Triumph & Failure

These are the days

we’ll remember when old.

These are the nights of Joy

nights of Song & Laughter

of Life & Conversation

These are the nights

we’ll forever live for.


This was a piece I had written a good while back and just never knew what to do with. I had held on to the stanzas above telling myself they weren’t ready that they needed something more. my perspective was changed the other day while on the train. A man with a guitar in a knapsack and a message of love and hope hopped on. After having played a few Bob Marley songs and leaving his impact, he left, presumably to play for another train full of people.

Right then and there something clicked. It was wrong of me to withhold “Days of Gold.” It’ll never be finished; it’ll never be ready. All that matters is the willingness to be vulnerable. So anyway, go make something you love, and then give it way for the sake of someone else.

Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe

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