John Westlake

Gold Star - 15,145 Points (Crawley)

137. How I Would Describe Me


People often say to me
“What can you tell me about yourself”
guess it’s my duty to explain to them
and so I look them in the face and reply

My eyes are deep like two tiny oceans
just be careful you don’t drown in them
you’ll never reach the bottom
and there’s not a beach in sight

My arms and legs are a library
ruined by several scars
each one tells its own story
of how it came to be
but none can be bothered to read it

My mind is a battle field
full of the tangled wreckage of ancient conflicts
parts of it are like covered with mines
each one a painful memory
every now and then a fresh war will start
bringing new carnage and suffering
the remains they leave are left to rot in the sun
only to be consigned to the past

My personality is a broadsword
razor sharp and straight to the point
it only can be wielded by me
the blade is often glowing
letting you know how genuine I am

My honesty is a radiant beacon
shining like a miniature sun
it helps my truth stay pure through this life
never dimming or even going out

My truth is a shotgun
let me give you both barrels
a useful weapon in this life of deception
because I have no space for lies or cheating
no bull trash will ever stand in for it

My patience is a tranquil lake
surrounded by many beautiful trees
every tree is in full bloom in a variety of colours
yet when the leaves and petals fall
they make not even a ripple on the water
there's always time in this peaceful place
and none of it can be wasted by those who deserve it

Yet my temper is a volcano
often smoking as a warning to others
sometimes it will blow its top for a while
but its often short lived unless the lava runs
in which case be somewhere else

My happiness is a meadow on a summer’s day
full of millions of flowers
each one living in harmony
the stems bowing slightly in the gentle breeze

My love is like a huge blanket
soft and comforting to those who feel it
let me wrap it round your shoulders
and it will keep you safe and warm

My loyalty is a lovable dog
always faithful always there
as long as you stay true it'll love you
but it will turn on you if you abuse it

I have described myself as best I can
now you know a little about me
it’s time for the favour to be returned
what will you tell me about you

Submitted: Friday, April 11, 2014
Edited: Saturday, April 12, 2014

Topic of this poem: Me


Do you like this poem?
9 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poet's Notes about The Poem

This was written on my 30th birthday (11th April 2014) . The first ever poem written by me on my birthday.

Comments about this poem (137. How I Would Describe Me by John Westlake )

  • Bronze Star - 2,179 Points John Richter (3/2/2015 8:30:00 AM)

    Very metaphorical... like mines laid in parts of your mind tells me that you have a lot of hot buttons. Shotguns, battle fields, billowing volcanoes, and oceans to drown in - all things that you could project onto others. I find those parts of the poem rather sinister - TMI - if you know what I mean. But maybe I'm not seeing the larger metaphor. Is this poem - in entirety - something metaphorically different than a description of yourself? Having been written on your 30th birthday is relevant to that metaphor? With the arms and legs of scars to read - a library that others can not be bothered to read - I think you feel it necessary for others to know your temperament. But I disagree with your 'guess' in line 3 that you must explain yourself - you have no duty to explain yourself to others. I would try adding rhyme to this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 7,944 Points Daniel Brick (1/20/2015 12:59:00 AM)

    Something crucial got erased from my comment on HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE MYSELF,
    the second sentence should read - In my comments on your SPRING POEM I challenged you with the idea etc. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 7,944 Points Daniel Brick (1/20/2015 12:52:00 AM)

    This is a brilliant poem! It succeeds as a vivid figurative and original portrait, admirable for the craft of poetry writing you display as well as the honest thorough disclosure of self. I challenged with the idea of a poem which both celebrates but also reveals its dangers - But that would produce a dissatisfying hybrid poem - B-U-T here you succeeded in portraying the multiplicities that make up Y-O-U. And there's even a stanza that echoes INTERNAL WARFARE, with considerable power. This whole poem is a model for its kind - the Self-portrait has been well served. It's a keeper for sure. Add it to the library of that impersonal creator-god in your FUTURE HISTORY poem so people can understand both the external and internal worlds of our human experience. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 22,636 Points Akhtar Jawad (11/2/2014 8:01:00 AM)

    I read only one poem by you, by reading this pen picture you appear a straight forward, honest and truthful man and a poet who writes in a simple language and style and that is why your reader is impressed by you. I liked your poem because of its simplicity. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,728 Points Points Of View (9/22/2014 9:42:00 PM)

    it’s time for the favour to be returned
    what will you tell me about you........it's a big task for me, needs time to think of how can i describe myself :)
    rate 10 (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,576 Points Darlene Walsh (9/15/2014 9:37:00 AM)

    A wonderfully deep description. I like your happiness and loyalty, much like myself. You appear to be filled with pain and painful wisdom. And everyone should follow the advise in your last paragraph. To put your self in words, to see for yourself as well as share with others. It can help a lot. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 213 Points Nancy Oyula (9/15/2014 5:45:00 AM)

    Describing oneself to others has always been a task for me. Like I lack words completely LOL. On your piece, I sure love how you've illustrated. Nice one, John: -) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 62 Points Gergana Teofilova (5/11/2014 8:58:00 AM)

    This is simply wonderful...So much beauty is there in these words...I wish more people would think of themselves this way. An exquisite piece! Keep it up! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Kiki Houwers (5/8/2014 2:18:00 PM)

    Hello John,
    This is a wonderful poem, I can really relate to it.
    The methaphors are just outstanding.
    It's simply said beautiful! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 120 Points Amanda Laurent (5/2/2014 12:25:00 AM)

    You're a master of similes and metaphors! What a dishonor we do to ourselves when asked who we are or what we're like; we simply say, I have brown hair, blue eyes, and I like blah blah blah... But the way you've done this...that's how you really paint a picture of who you are and convey it to the world. Going on my favorites list! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 853 Points Nika Mcguin (5/1/2014 10:57:00 AM)

    This is so clever, and every verse was so on point! I've done a poem called Introduction, but I think it has been totally beat out by this one lol. I really have no words to describe how awesome this is, so I'll just tell you my favorite verses.

    This one really stood out to me, being a library nerd and all:

    My arms and legs are a library
    ruined by several scars
    each one tells its own story
    of how it came to be
    but none can be bothered to read it

    I also enjoyed:

    My patience is a tranquil lake
    surrounded by many beautiful trees
    every tree is in full bloom in a variety of colours
    yet when the leaves and petals fall
    they make not even a ripple on the water
    there's always time in this peaceful place
    and none of it can be wasted by those who deserve it

    All together this is such an impressive write!

    ~Nika (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 5 Points Jackie Osae (4/27/2014 9:01:00 AM)

    Wow, THIS is so beautiful, and you are amazing and obviously very talented!
    Very deep description. You know, usually when asked to describe yourself, one kinda fumbles and doesn't really know what to say. But you, You nailed it! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Haley Session (4/22/2014 3:41:00 PM)

    love the poem john :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 2 Points Mirjana Miric Inalman (4/21/2014 6:58:00 AM)

    Wonderfull poem, all the personifications are touching and deep and this part was my favourite:
    My truth is a shotgun
    let me give you both barrels
    a useful weapon in this life of deception
    because I have no space for lies or cheating
    no bull trash will ever stand in for it (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 82 Points Nicole Gravell-pellerino (4/19/2014 12:25:00 AM)

    Beautiful. You are a talented writer with an amazing gift. Keep writinng. It is by far one of my favorite poems. I hope one day that I am as talented as you are. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 5,586 Points Bri Edwards (4/12/2014 2:04:00 PM)

    hey, what happened? ? ? i was sure i left a comment here yesterday, but i don't see it today! ! ! old age?

    so i wrote something like: [today i came back to mention the parts i especially enjoyed]

    one of my favorite stanzas is:

    My truth is a shotgun
    let me give you both barrels
    a useful weapon in this life of deception
    because I have no space for lies or cheating
    no bull trash will ever stand in for it

    as for ME and MY shotgun truth: i don't always fire if the other guy is too weak to take the punishment.
    sometimes i fire only one barrel. i think john could take two barrels. i THINK i could take both of his.

    never dimming or even going out ............even or ever? just wondering. either works for me!
    ====================================
    perhaps my favorite stanza is/was/IS:

    My patience is a tranquil lake
    surrounded by many beautiful trees
    every tree is in full bloom in a variety of colours
    yet when the leaves and petals fall
    they make not even a ripple on the water
    there's always time in this peaceful place
    and none of it can be wasted by those who deserve it

    it took me a while to fully understand the proper way to read/understand the last line, but when i did, i REALLY LIKED it.
    =================================================
    but its often short lived unless the lava runs
    in which case be somewhere else .............. a good warning to all! but check for lack of apostrophe in its
    ================================================================================== the last three stanzas are nice as well. hell, the whole poem is very worthy.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - i have written some poems which, in part at least, talk about me and my life. but i found this poem by john to be
    more inclusive about his personality and certainly more 'poetic' than mine were. perhaps i'll try something more like this some day.
    thanks for sharing. sending to MyPoemList. bri :) (Report) Reply

Read all 16 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  10. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]