The Lighthouse

By AC

On a ship named ‘The Purpose’, I’m lost at sea
The waters too rough to stay the course
Merciless waves crash with great force
Thrown overboard I look to be

I raise the sails, but there is no wind
A flare I’d send, then who will see it?
These very waters have drowned every friend
Its undercurrent is undefeated

No NorthStar to follow, I navigate blind
The moral compass I have has me lost in my mind
My only thoughts of tomorrow is me floating they’ll find
A tear fell for my life-raft as I watched it unbind

Shrouded in darkness with so many holes in this boat
Walking the plank would be easier than staying afloat
Washed away in a storm, if this tide doesn’t shift
I let Hope take the helm, yielding existence to drift

Desperate for something to cling to before I’m claimed by these waters
I need a Lighthouse– I think of my daughter
Nothing in this world more a man should swim harder for
Plug the holes, steady ‘The Purpose’, I hold firm to the oar
My Daughter–My Lighthouse–She will lead me ashore.

30 Comments

  1. Jasmine D on September 4, 2023 at 12:04 PM

    AC,

    I love the vivid imagery of your poem. I feel like I’m on ‘The Purpose’ with you seeing exactly what you see & feeling exactly what you’re experiencing. I feel the intense love you have for your daughter; it’s truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your poetry with the world. Praying for you & your family ❤️

  2. Annie on September 5, 2023 at 4:15 PM

    This poem was really inspiring. We see so many people getting lost trying to find their purpose in this world and the poem perfectly express the rough journey we often go through to get there. I admire how you hold on to the people that keep you afloat in the middle of the storm.

  3. Stella on September 6, 2023 at 6:40 PM

    This is a beautiful poem. The message, the metaphors, and the writing style are so powerful. I especially like the line, “I let Hope take the helm, yielding existence to drift.” Wow. Such a beautifully worded line. Your ability to convey emotions through your words is incredible!

  4. G on September 23, 2023 at 2:41 PM

    This is a stupendous piece of work. Gorgeous lyricism, excellent rhythm, profound and potent subject. My only suggestion for improvement is perhaps changing these two lines
    “My only thoughts of tomorrow is me floating they’ll find
    A tear fell for my life-raft as I watched it unbind”
    so that they are more clear. Not exactly sure what it means that the life-raft is unbinding. If you change both lines’ endings to a different rhyme, you will be matching the rest of your stanza structures!

  5. Barbara on September 27, 2023 at 8:15 PM

    Dear AC,

    What strong imagery you use to convey your struggle and your strength with a purpose. It is clear that you have been able to focus on your daughter and her importance to your purpose. Thank you for your honesty which helps me remember to persevere when I struggle. Love, Barbara

  6. Ann on September 27, 2023 at 8:23 PM

    Dear AC,

    I am so moved by your poem. I’m with a group reading poems submitted to Free Minds and just read them the line about “Desparate for something to cling to” and everyone was moved also. Your daughter is lucky to have you as her father. Keep writing.

    Much love, Ann

  7. Nandni on September 28, 2023 at 10:02 AM

    The imagery in this poem is very beautiful. I love the mentions of raising sails, but having no wind and sending a flare that no one will see. It shows how sometimes when we are lost, no one sees your pain or knows what you’re going through. One can feel so isolated and alone when you feel there is no one to understand the darkness in one’s mind. I think family is a very powerful motivator. Parents and children have a special relationship that the poet does an amazing job of showing. The narrator’s daughter is his beacon of hope and gives him purpose in life.

  8. Colin on September 30, 2023 at 11:57 AM

    I’m positive that you’ll get to see your daughter again. While life may seem tough now, I’m sure that it’ll improve for you! Once you manage to get through this, I’m sure your daughter will greet you with a smiling face and give you a big hug as well!

  9. Ernest on October 2, 2023 at 12:16 AM

    While I am just a college student– yet to some day build a family and have children on my own, I have always seen my parents as the lighthouse that guides me in the storm, in my life, where I can turn to and find peace in. Perhaps that is the importance of families. The rough sea is tough, the purposes in life and in everything is blurred, if there is any at all. Best we do is hope. For hope gives us power, and family gives us home, and home is where we can find our purpose.

  10. Hensi on October 2, 2023 at 12:45 AM

    This is very beautiful! You write very elegantly and it is so incredibly sweet to view your daughter as your lighthouse.

  11. DarkPheonix on October 2, 2023 at 1:19 AM

    Your powerful verses beautifully encapsulate the struggle for purpose and the unwavering determination to survive, guided by the profound love for your daughter. The imagery of the stormy sea and the metaphor of ‘The Purpose’ as a ship creates a compelling narrative, making the reader feel the weight of the challenges faced. Your words resonate with strength and hope, showcasing the resilience of the human spirit even in the face of overwhelming adversity. Well done.

  12. Jamie on October 6, 2023 at 5:56 PM

    I think it’s so beautiful how you were able to turn your feelings into words like this. It’s always great to move with a purpose in life greater than yourself such as your daughter. Use your daughter as motivation for each day to patch the hole in your metaphorical ship. Displaying your emotional journey through poetry is a gift I hope you continue to share. Keep up the great work!

  13. Jonah on October 8, 2023 at 1:51 PM

    AC, this journey of yours on “The Purpose” is really creative and is an incredible read. Your use of imagery makes your words so relatable, and your use of rhyme keeps a flow that holds the tempo of this incredibly written poem. “My Daughter–My Lighthouse–She will lead me ashore.” Is such a beautiful and hope filled line.

  14. Christopher on October 10, 2023 at 10:29 AM

    This poem is something that I didn’t even know I needed as it expresses things that I could never put into words myself. Thank you and I hope that you continue to express yourself.

  15. Kate Lilley on October 11, 2023 at 6:38 PM

    This poem is such an emotional piece. It’s beautifully written while also having a tragic side to it. The whole poem is a story and you can see the writer’s ideas blow out on the paper. You also can feel the emotions and you can really relate and feel what they were trying to say.

  16. Morgan on October 12, 2023 at 8:54 PM

    This poem echoes the poetry of so many wonderful, great American poets. The use of the rhyme and the pace, the wonderful nature metaphor carried through the entirety of the poem, the big questions being asked and the singularity of the answer to all of them being your daughter. I thought this was really fantastic. The middle verse starting with “No north star to follow, I navigate blind” was especially powerful. At that point, I can already see the ship in mind and I am hurting with you to watch a life boat unbind in front of your eyes after you’ve tried so hard to find against what feels like an inevitability. It is incredible to transition form that verse to the strength and hope you find in the lighthouse of your daughter. A truly wonderful poem beginning to end- you have a great talent here!

  17. Carleigh Gentry on October 25, 2023 at 10:31 PM

    This reminds me of when I would visit lighthouses with my family growing up. Very well written.

  18. Donny on November 5, 2023 at 7:59 PM

    Your poem is so creative! The story told in this poem is so deferent. You also tackle relatable themes like feeling lost and alone, and trying to keep your head above water (no pun intended). I love that the ships name is the purpose; it’s a creative way of setting the tone of your poem without being direct. When I read this I feel like I can see the sailor struggling at sea. This is a great and creative poem. I hope to read more!

  19. Andrew Texeira on November 5, 2023 at 11:25 PM

    I really appreciate your ability to paint a picture with your words.
    How you describe the scenery and the emotion behind everything paints a very vivid picture.

    Not knowing where you’re going in life, thinking about how much easier giving up would be, but remembering that there are people in your life that love you. It’s a message that I can personally relate to.

  20. Hena on November 12, 2023 at 12:11 AM

    The metaphorical use of a moral compass and the struggle with navigating blind convey the internal conflict and confusion within the speaker’s mind.

  21. lamb on November 12, 2023 at 11:55 AM

    Dear AC, what a powerful poem. I could see and hear the storm, the wind, the roar of the waves, the rain beating on my skin, the boat falling apart, the raft coming unlashed from the boat, all as I read your writing. Then I could imagine you seeing your daughter in your mind’s eye, and there was light shining from her face. What a blessed irony that the little ones **we** feel bound to **protect** can at the same time have the power to keep ***us*** going — both when they are little and when they are growing and grown. They protect us back in that way. Please keep your eye on that lighthouse. Sending vibes of peace —

  22. Molly on November 15, 2023 at 12:40 PM

    This is such beautiful imagery, I really am so impressed. As a daughter myself, it fills me with love and respect that my dad might feel this way about his children. The emotion you can evoke with your words is so admirable. The love you feel for the people in your life really is one of the most important parts of life I believe.

  23. Landin on November 18, 2023 at 2:29 PM

    I love how inspiring this is. Many people try to find a purpose and the path may be hard. and this poem shows all stages of that.

  24. Jack Sistrunk on December 7, 2023 at 11:33 AM

    Dear AC,

    I love this poem! It draws me in so well and I enjoy the use of metaphors with the lost ship in a storm. I like how you create a gloomy and hopeless mood. To me, it seems as though you feel a lack of purpose in life, and find it more difficult every day to keep going and pushing. But the last stanza is about what keeps you going in what you write, feels like a meaningless existence. Your daughter. She is who keeps you looking forwards, and will bring you ashore. She is the anchor to sanity, and the one who will continue to lead you in this time of strife. Also, I think that the constant metaphors to a lost ship in the sea, broken and sinking representing your feelings of stagnation and deprivation of a life purpose are a perfect fit. The rhymes keep the rhythm up, and add good pacing to the reading process. I genuinely enjoyed reading this poem and I love how it is full of constant metaphors that still allow the reader to fully understand what they mean without needing to clarify.

    Thank you for sharing this poem,
    JS

  25. Cadence on December 18, 2023 at 12:45 PM

    Your poignant and vivid portrayal of navigating life’s tumultuous seas resonates deeply. The metaphor of “The Purpose” as a ship adrift captures the struggle with challenges, yet the determination to hold on for the sake of your cherished connection, in this case, your daughter, adds a powerful emotional layer. The imagery of plugging the holes, holding firm to the oar, and finding strength in the lighthouse of your daughter is beautifully expressed. A moving and powerful piece!

  26. Bettina on February 17, 2024 at 2:41 PM

    This is a beautifully written poem. The use of metaphorical language and imagery really added to the writing. The vivid descriptions made me feel like I was on that ship in a way. It is amazing that you were able to take writing about something a lot of people can relate to, a loss of purpose, and transform it into its own mini story. It was very touching when you mentioned your daughter at the end to signify a lighthouse. It was like you were grasping for a purpose and then realized that all you need is your daughter to hold onto. This poem was like artwork to read.

  27. Kennedy Critz on February 23, 2024 at 1:38 PM

    I love the imagery this poem allowed me to paint. You really embodied the act of having readers paint a picture!

  28. Sierra on April 1, 2024 at 12:01 AM

    Wow, wow, wow! Your use of words, the imagery, the emotion, it all comes together perfectly and I was encapsulated in your story! You’ve fought many tough battles and it may feel like you’re drowning at times, but never forget your loved ones during these dire times. As you said, your daughter is your light, and she will help guide the way during your battles. There were so many lines from your work that really stuck with me, and they all left me stunned and in awe. The beginning immediately hooked me, “ On a ship named ‘The Purpose’, I’m lost at sea. The waters too rough to stay the course. Merciless waves crash with great force, thrown overboard I look to be”. I’ve been in places like this before, and I can feel your hurt and the intense emotion behind it. “ These very waters have drowned every friend. Its undercurrent is undefeated”, “ “No north star to follow, I navigate blind”. The power and emotion behind both of these, i’m shocked! I’m so impressed and inspired, and I really do hope you intend to write more. You are so talented, and I’d love to be able to read more of your work. Lastly, do not forget, that when times get hard you will always have someone that loves you and will have your back. Don’t forget to lean on them a little, they will always be there for you. Keep going with your passion!

  29. Hannah on April 5, 2024 at 8:47 PM

    Your poem vividly captures the turmoil of feeling adrift at sea on the vessel of ‘The Purpose’. The imagery of merciless waves crashing and the absence of wind speaks volumes about the struggles one faces when lost in the vast expanse of uncertainty. Your words paint a picture of desperation and longing for direction, reminiscent of the writer’s own journey through life’s unpredictable waters. The metaphor of the daughter as a lighthouse shines brightly in this narrative, symbolizing hope and guidance amidst the darkness. It’s as if you’ve reached into the writer’s heart and depicted their innermost fears and desires with profound clarity. Your ability to evoke such raw emotion is truly captivating, leaving the writer feeling understood and inspired to navigate through their own storms with renewed determination.

  30. CO on May 8, 2024 at 3:02 PM

    Dear AC,

    I adore your poem “The Lighthouse”. You so vividly describe scenes, such as how course the waters are, that almost feel movie-like in the best way possible. You do an amazing job providing the reader with illustrations of what’s going on, which helps one to understand the meaning of the poem, or what it could mean. Also, because of the images you’re able to evoke in the reader’s imagination, the audience is better able to connect with the poems and the emotions behind them. Your language choice also helps with this, when you use words such as “yielding” “drift” and “cling”. These words specifically stood out to me because of how they help to play off of the visuals you created.

    While reading your poem, I was incredibly curious about “the course” you’re on and what this could mean. Perhaps when writing it, you we’re thinking of your own course, but as a reader I think that this can be interpreted differently by the experiences of the reader as well.

    I really like this poem because of how much you cherish your daughter. It’s admirable how much you love her, and this really comes across in the poem. You describe her as your “Lighthouse” who will “lead me (you) ashore” when you are in rough waters. Growing up, my mom would tell me how I was her purpose in life, and while reading your poem it reminded me of her.

    This is a wonderful poem that is incredibly expressive of your feelings in such a visual way. Thank you very much for sharing this piece of writing with the world.

    Best,
    CO

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