Don’t Tread on Me

Tread on me?!  That’s not a good idea, can’t you see? 
I’ve been to the bottom, I know every pain, I’ve got ’em.
Your shallow ways will get you nowhere!  I know how it feels to walk through a room and have people stare. The best thing about that is I don’t care! 
I thrive on it!  At first, it was hard, I will admit.
  But now I see it does not matter what people like you think!  Your worthless glare will not make me shrink!
It means nothing to me! It’s actually starting to make me happy.
  I love that for some reason; you think you’re better!?  What’s your biggest accomplishment this month?  Reading this letter?! 
  If you think I’m wrong, prove it then!  I guarantee I will remain strong!
If you’re not willing to do this, then the purpose of my letter, I guess you miss! 
I will have to be blunt!  Stay out of my life; it’s going to lead for you great strife!
  If you don’t, I’m not sure what will happen, I guess we will see… if you’re ever able to stand up to me!

(Don’t Tread on Me is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel)

Saying Goodbye

I am hurt I am shaken, I feel so mistaken.
  You left me in the dust and took with you all my trust.
  I feel abandoned; I can barely stand it.  The thought of us brings me to tears, never did I think I could feel this way, not in a million years. 
I like to think that you feel this way too, but obviously your tears because of us are few.
  I hate seeing you with someone else!  You should be with me, don’t you see?
  When I do see you, I get confused, I don’t know why but I just feel used. 
I’m sorry I don’t know what else to say, I really wish it wasn’t this way.
  I would like to express to you the way I feel and hope you know it is real.
  I’m scared though; I really don’t want you to go! 
I don’t want to hurt anymore; the pain goes from my heart to my core. 
I’m sorry if I was wrong, I’m sorry if for you I wasn’t strong.
  But I know that I will always cherish our past and will always wish that it did last.
Now I guess to that thought I need to say goodbye, no matter how much it hurts and I wonder why. 
I’m sorry if I make you sad, I’ll be happy for you and am not mad.
  I had to get this off my chest, though, my feelings I needed to show.
Now I guess I have to go..

(Saying Goodbye is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Mantas Hesthaven)


Yeah, she has a hold of me!  No matter what I do, she won’t set me free. 
She has a grip on my heart, it’s like some kind of sick art. 
The theme is always changing, my thoughts are always rearranging. 
I try to push her away, but to no avail, she is persistent and wants to stay. She will keep me awake without fail. 
She’s been weighing on me forever.  I am learning to contain her; however.
Step by step, day by day, I know I will find a way! 
I won’t let her hinder my growth!  Go ahead, take that as an oath!  My word is true, I know what she can do! 
She’s accompanied me to the bottom and made me feel just rotten! 
She paints a bleak picture and always keeps it with her. 
Although she is with me, that picture I don’t always see.  I push it away every minute of every day. 
Sometimes I see a glimpse, and yes, it makes me wince. 
I don’t let it overcome me, though.  My persistence to her I want to show! 
With my life, I am painting my own picture, it is slowly getting bigger. 
As it grows, so do I, and her picture looks more and more like a lie.
  Hopefully, one day she will disappear, and with her, take her fear! 
Until she does, I will keep painting.  For when she is vulnerable, I’ll be waiting!

(Anxiety is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Gabriel)

My Expression of Life’s Questions

I ache for something more.  If I dared to dream, it would be of love’s allure. 
Only a fool dare not risk all when their dreams adventures and love come to call. 
I know sorrow and have been betrayed.  However, I fear not because I know my heart can be saved.
  I also know pain.  My efforts to control mine or others have always been made in vain. 
Although I cannot dance, my passion is pure, and I always give most things a chance. 
Faith, honesty, and trust for me have always been a must. 
To me, beauty is relative.  With that being said, I also believe shallow people are ignorant and selfish. 
I am not happy to fail, but when I do, faith, love, and hope typically avail.
  Perseverance is my number one trait.  To be hungry will never be my child’s fate.
  I tend to be bold.  In difficult situations, at least up to this point, I have yet to fold. 
When I am down, my principles are where hope can be found. 
Finally, I am often alone, but seldom am I lonely.  I enjoy who I am and hold all life’s moments closely.

(My Expression of Life’s Questions is a poem by Justin Heupel)
(Photo by Joshua Earle)


I’ve had enough! It’s no one’s fault but my own!  My lack of discipline has been shown! 
I don’t feel like that justifies my ignorance, however.  I can’t live like this forever! 
Mistake after mistake, how many dumb decisions can one person make?! 
To that, there is no right answer, mistakes are just a cancer.
  Most are treatable, though; it depends on how far you’re willing to go?! 
Can you push yourself past that limit?  That moment when you think there is no way to win it!?
  I know I can, I have before, even after people had hope for me no more! 
So I’ll get past this as well, even if in pain I must dwell. 
I know afterward, I will reap my reward, of this I am assured! 
I’m going to overcome every lousy decision; this is my mission, and my mission I will stand by.  I will not fail, I’d rather die…
(Overcome! is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by
Gayatri Malhotra)

Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional positive regard: the act of loving without a charge.
A commitment to see past a person’s mistakes & be there with them no matter what it takes!
To know they may have been wrong, but for them to stay strong.
Realizing that we can’t be perfect & when there are struggles, fighting is not worth it.
Wanting the best for a person and settling for nothing less.
Understanding what is right and not letting you give up without a fight!
Believing in you when you feel like life is through!
Forgiving, no matter how wrong, and still being able to stay strong.
This characteristic is hard to find, and a person with it is one of a kind!
So if you are lucky enough to come across someone this loving, never let them go…
I won’t, I KNOW!

Unconditional Positive Regard is a poem by Justin Heupel
(Photo by Mark Adriane )


Can I be more like water?  Flow-through life drifting over things and people who do not matter.
Can I quench another’s thirst?  Can I slow my flow when a person’s dam is about to burst?
Can I provide others refreshment when all they feel is resentment?
When it is time to grow, can I provide nourishment and let good intentions show?
When people are feeling weary, can I provide distraction or entertainment to help them see life’s intentions clearly?
All I can do is try and do these things like water.  In the end, it is all that will matter.

Water is a poem by Justin Heupel (Photo by Didin Emelu )

Unturned Tides

Tides unturned with lessons unlearned…  Life goes on, I remain strong. 
Bigger waves come; all I do is run. 
I’m still above water, but running has become harder. 
What to do now?  I’d like to swim but I don’t know how.
A storm is coming, and there is no running. 
I try to float, but there is no hope. 
A wave takes me under…  I begin to wonder… 
Who am I now?  Who stole my dreams, and how?
  The further I sink, the more I think… 
I’m almost to the bottom, my hopes are gone; somehow, I lost ’em.
  Ok, here we go…  The end of the show! 
Oh no, this must be a dream, wake up quick…  It’s not as bad as it seems! 
Ok ok! I’m awake and alive…  What a scary dream…  Things are never as bad as they seem!

Tired Thoughts is a poem by Justin Heupel (Photo by Ian Espinosa )

Tired Thoughts

My mind goes blank, but of what?! That is the debate!
For I still possess a yearning.  Inside me, it just keeps turning. 
At times I wait to see what can be done, but at others, it seems this awful feeling has won. 
At times I have great aspirations, yet they often seem to be quelled by dire situations.  As hard as I try, these opportunities so often seem to fly by. 
Even so, I do not consider this defeat, only another challenge I must meet! 
I must make it easier on myself, however, and in every action, be oh so clever.

(Tired Thoughts is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Rishabh Agarwal)

Courage, Strength, Hope, Love, and Faith

My courage, my strength, I must go on, I must have faith! 
My love, my fear, both appreciated more with every tear!
  My mercy and intuition help me to evaluate every situation.
  My blood, my sweat, help me to pay off every debt! 
My joy my passion, I will always remember smiling and laughing!
  My life, my strife…  Nothing’s won without a fight!
  My lies my hate, not forgotten, never too late. 
My hope my creed, shown by every deed.
Hard work and dreams, sometimes nothing is as it seems.
  My doubt and questions; answered by hard life lessons. 
Every family member, every friend…  No matter what, I’ll be there for you until the end! No matter how hard or painful, lonely, or cruel…  Don’t give up; there is nothing we can’t do.
 LIVE, always for good, leave no moral left misunderstood!
 LOVE with all your heart; if you don’t give it your all, it’s not even worth the start! 
Life is not easy, no one ever said it was…  So live it for yourself, not for someone else. 
Try to be humble and kind, you never know in life what you will find… 
Do this not for me but for yourself…  To say; I have nothing else!

(Courage, Strength, Hope, Love, and Faith is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Javier Allegue Barros)