John Westlake

Gold Star - 15,505 Points (Crawley)

137. How I Would Describe Me - Poem by John Westlake

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


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 137. How I Would Describe Me by John Westlake

  • Rookie - 69 Points Jemima Rivas (4/28/2015 8:28:00 AM)

    I like this poem sorry I LOve this poem..absolutely wonderful beautifully done :) a natural (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Silver Star - 4,237 Points Brian Johnston (3/4/2015 7:57:00 PM)

    Dear John,
    I decided to take you at your word and have written a poetic response to your poem which I call an Echo Poem. I used your poem as a kind of roadmap to guide me as where I should put more weight and places I might visit. I would like to have both of us publish the two poems together on both of our sites if you are open to this. In addition I would like to honor you by featuring it on my site and challenging others to also Echo your poem as I have done in the March Contest that I am running on my site. Hope you like my poem as well.

    Who I Am

    I wish I could be clear as you
    But when a mirror comes to view
    I find reflections blur the tons
    Of promises I've yet to keep.
    The virtues to which I aspire
    Just kindling in God's cleansing fire
    A testament to what I've spent
    In daytime dreams before I sleep.

    At times my eyes are shallower
    Than tadpole bog from summer shower
    But there’s a depth in self-less mirth
    That fathoms ocean’s honesty!
    I have my scars and injuries
    Reminders that I sometime please
    With sad stories and past glories
    For which there is no amnesty.

    I don’t take pride in vanquished foes
    Or stealthy night walks on my toes,
    The charges led, the grateful dead,
    Aren’t bullet marked on résumé.
    Yes, memories of past wars hurt
    And new one’s benefits seem curt,
    The battles won, the killing done
    And winning joy’s naiveté.

    In personality a spark
    Of servanthood, like Noah’s ark,
    Yet to serve God, His judgment odd,
    World lost to save humanity.
    And honestly how can this stand,
    This horrifying reprimand
    Where saints all fail and demons wail,
    Is Justice too insanity?

    But Bible’s truth is Parable
    And God’s Love not unbearable
    Though we may fret, bemoan our debt,
    God’s Justice earned, but Grace God’s gift.
    Though truth may not be found in me
    In loving God I can be free,
    My sails are full, sin’s lost its pull,
    My restless heart no more adrift.

    Direction comes with good intent,
    And peace the fruit of time well spent,
    Green pastures call, demand my all,
    My patience ripples on a lake.
    For service is a restful noise,
    Like one the wind in leaves employs
    Ripples caress, service redress
    Wounds of a soul lost on the take.

    Sure I’ve a temper, hear me roar,
    But keep your gun locked in its drawer
    My passions vent, my anger spent,
    I’ll soon be sleeping like dead tree.
    My happiness the world of Pooh
    With flowers that are meant for two,
    Or three or four, open the door,
    Here friendship has no enemy!

    My love a cloud embracing all
    Its form envelopes like a shawl,
    With scent of earth, infusing worth,
    Dew drops condensing on a rose.
    I’m loyal like no one you’ve seen,
    Like color in an evergreen,
    Put doubt aside, embrace the pride
    Of emperor without his clothes.

    I’ve tried to do sir what you asked
    But you did set me quite a task
    Hope that you see, something of me,
    In my poor effort at this verse.
    And now as I am close to done,
    I swear it’s been a lot of fun,
    Though poetry’s not rocketry,
    Well, hell, my friend, it could be worse! (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,652 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 - 9,894 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 - 9,894 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 - 28,248 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

  • Silver Star - 3,042 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

  • Silver Star - 3,307 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 - 277 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

  • Veteran Poet - 1,067 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

  • Gold Star - 8,398 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

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 11, 2014

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 12, 2014


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