Ode to Joy

No, I’m no Beethoven, but I’ll try
to do you justice, joy;
Not a lot of poems are dedicated to you, are they?
We’re all depressed poets here, yearning for you,
spilling our sorrows out onto paper,
out into the world, in the hope
that when we’ve spilled it all, we may calm down
the storm inside us and find you as a remnant 
And see you, experience you, bathe in you—
But when we do, we never write poems to you, do we?

We’re afraid, joy, that if we revel too much
in your sun-scented, waxing crescent moon-washed arms
and share this fullness we finally feel
inside our bodies, parched for so long,
we’ll end up losing you. Or maybe
we’re just speechless,
for you’re not much of a writing prompt, are you?
But then, so aren’t our lives supposed to be:
Vomiting pain helps, yes, but romanticising not.
Nobody romanticises you, do they, joy?

But what is there to romanticise?
How can I paint a picture or write a poem
that’s beautiful enough to capture your likeness?
For joy, oh, true joy, now that I feel you
now that I feel this rainbow ocean of butterflies
this calm zephyr of sunrise
the still, satisfied millpond of moonlight
engulfing my heart I feel
That you were worth it,
That I am worth it.

Maybe it’s you healing your way up through me
but somehow, somewhere I feel
that you are worth the demons
that have made me feel angelic today,
you are worth the pain, the suffering, the struggling
the chaos, the storms, the blackholes, the voids
all the metaphors I have used for my grief
are now washed away with your gentle breath
that finally caresses the skin of my soul;
After all, one cannot feel joy 
if one has not known despair.

Joy, oh sweet, pure joy,
You are not a party popper
Or bungee-jumping in the rain—
I feel your tranquility, your finality
in the ichor now coursing through my veins
and in the healing of well-deep wounds
that now seem shallow, oh, so shallow
before your benign, fulfilling presence
that leaves the air inside me smelling of roses.

Oh, what a moment it was, 
Swelling with mellifluous melody
as you peeled the glasses of gloom off my eyes—
that'd been there so long, I'd forgotten they were glasses—
that had shown doom as the answer to life
You, joy, you show people life
needs no answer— it is life, it is us
that we live for, and it is you
that makes it worth our while. 

Pure, all-calming, persistent joy
You came when I least expected you to
led in by my home: Mummy, Cas, and Dean and Sam
grown and nurtured by me;
And I know not whether I will have you tomorrow
or the day after, or next week, or next month,
For I am no seer, sweet joy, my dear
But I will let the slow chocolate fudge of your walnut brownie melt on my tongue
and you have been here for a week,
and I feel you inside me now
And that is what matters. 

25th April/ (13/30) / Free verse

5 thoughts on “Ode to Joy

  1. “I’m no Beethoven.”

    Says who? It’s the internet, who can really be sure?
    This was a… joyful… poem 😉 I enJOYed it very much.
    I think you’re right. Joy is described as a fleeting experience for most. I hope to achieve a state of joy someday. Not constant and simmering and unbearable. Just… a tranquil on which I float, the melange below all things. That’d be nice. Better keep meditating in the meantime. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, dang it. You’ve uncovered my disguise. Now I get to play Fur Elise on your birthday, is that right?

      Thanks! I hope you get the ‘Tranquil on which you float’ eventually- that’s exactly what I was hoping to capture in the poem. Oh, and be careful with the meditation. Might unlock your secret untapped superpowers.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’ve read happy poems, sure, but they’re usually about momentary bursts of happiness, like dancing in the rain or listening to music and so on, rather than the peaceful, internal kind. Maybe there are ones about the second kind as well and I just haven’t explored enough, but in my experience I’ve rarely, if ever, come across them. I’d love to hear any recommendations you might have 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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