Take back your happy, sunshine smiley face.

Ne’er dispense those convenient postulations.

Preach no gospel of self-aggrandizement.

Bouncy, mass ideology has no place here.

For here only real shall be spoken.


Keep the empty slogans of the lobotomized.

Destroy useless strip mall rhetoric.

Lay waste internet philosophizing.

Stupid slogans for lemmings are verboten.

For here only real is accepted.


Tell me all things happen for a reason,

As the chaos of the universe reigns.

Insist that it wasn’t meant to be,

When greater effort creates reality.

For here only real is espoused.


Posit that bad things happen to good people,

Knowing all the while that bad comes to us all.

Insist that others reach for the stars,

Yet most aren’t meant for astronomical heights.


Each journey is as unique as the traveler.

Every path littered with obstacles.

The throes of life surround us all.

This too must be embraced.


Empty exposition cures no ills.

Sermonized cliches will not the journey ease.

Make as much room for pain,

As you would for moments of joy.


Bliss softens, sorrow hardens.

Ease brings solace, pain trouble.

Offer yourself up to growth,

Not to platitudes.

For only then can real be obtained.


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About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on September 5, 2014, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. Well delivered, John, i like it very much
    my best to you

  2. “Take back your happy, sunshine smiley face”… from the first line I am hooked. Thank-you for shedding light on the contrast between commercial happiness that the world around us offers and the ‘real life’ full of battle scars. Looking forward to reading more of your evocative thoughts!

    • Thank you for the feedback, Kay-Leigh. I’m glad you enjoyed it. You said it so well…”To recover one’s senses and / to come to one’s own self again…” and that can’t be done without living in the real world. Thanks again for your thoughts and for visiting my blog.

  3. I dig the way you both used and abused the generic make-you-feel-better phrases. Excellent work.

  4. LaVancia Phoenix

    I love the plastic, superficial, hypocritical “normal” you so eloquently project as an opposite of “real.”

  5. Thank you for choosing to follow one of my blogs. I hope you will continue to enjoy the posts. Léa

  6. Thanks for following me and leading me here, nice post.

  7. Hmmm, for a lover of fiction like myself, this poem is a gauntlet thrown. I’m not a big believer in platitudes or that all things are meant to be as they are. I suspect that of being utter hooey. However, unrelenting real can be wearisome. Sometimes, I need my imagination to dance rings around the real.

    • Escaping into our imaginations is not only necessary for personal reasons but it is a place that can produce great art and other contributions for our society. In this case, I’m mostly referring to those affirmations or (un)sage wisdom being dispensed like so much Pez candy. Life wisdom and direction should be about more than empty platitudes. Thank you for reading, the comment and for visiting the blog!

  8. Poetry in perfection, indeed.

  9. Melody J Haislip

    The throes of life surround us all.
    This too must be embraced.

    Hard, but true. You speak wisely, my friend.

  10. Thank you for visiting my blog and following my work. I have been mentally off the grid for a long time The sander stand your piece. From time to time I pursue a different question at the moment I am trying to learn how to invest an object with spiritual energy. This is a bit different for me since as you can probably talk my POETRY feelings are my core interest. Despite this I feel it is time for me to turn on the porch light and wait for the visitors I’m supposed to welcome.


  11. wisdom rarely found on poetry blogs . . . good stuff! Keep writing . . .

  12. “Make as much room for pain,
    As you would for moments of joy.”
    Brilliant and moving, your words speak. Truth.
    Thank you.

  13. Well written … thank you for the follow 🙂

  14. Thank you for visiting my blogs and I enjoyed the things that you have written.

  15. Make as much room for pain, As you would for moments of joy

    Yes, good stuff

  16. Really enjoyed this John. Love the honesty in your work, for what it’s worth 🙂

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