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Michelle A. Bartley


Flat Rock, MI, US

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The Masterpiece


Michelle A. Bartley

If I could paint a portrait,
Of this life in which I've led,
And somehow sketch a story,
Of the visions in my head,
I'd start out with a canvas,
Stretched tightly in a frame,
And in the bottom corner,
I'd leave room to sign my name.

I'd buy myself some pigments,
Made of the finest dyes,
Carefully choose my brushes,
And other art supplies,
I would not require a model,
To pose and play a part,
I'd paint for you a picture,
Of what lays within my heart.

I'd stain the backdrop all in black,
To hide a distant past,
Cover up the broken dreams,
Which were not meant to last,
And then I'd add some shades of white,
Then splash it all in gold,
I'd marvel at this painting,
This masterpiece foretold.

But in this soulful picture,
You would see some shades of gray,
Some imperfect human shadows,
Which will never go away,
They lay within the darkness,
Of the corners in my mind,
Stashed away in jaded hopes,
That they'll be left behind.

If I could paint a portrait,
Of this life in which I've led,
And somehow sketch a story,
Of the visions in my head,
I'd prepare for you a river,
Where I wash away my fears,
An ever constant flowing,
Which stem from my own tears.

I'd outline an horizon,
Where the mountains touch the sky,
Beyond the range of yesterday's ,
Where the past's been left to die,
A life which seemed to only serve ,
To smudge a hidden truth,
So real all of that appeared,
Through innocent eyes of youth.

I'd paint for you the setting sun,
Of wasted years left behind,
Now fading from my senseless life,
To clear a shrouded mind,
Those years of constant searching,
For a single ray of light,
That I could hold before me,
To guide me through the night.

And then I'd place the flowers,
Scattered in the field,
Each a different color,
Their meaning not concealed.
Each bloom would stand for feelings,
Of peaceful, loving thoughts,
Sprung up from all the fissures,
From the battles which I fought.

You're the highlights in this portrait,
The inspiring shades of white,
The texture and perspective,
That reflect the rays of light.
Without your patient presence,
In this picture I display,
The colors which are found there,
Would all just fade to gray.

Yes, if I could paint a portrait,
Of this life in which I've led,
And somehow sketch a story,
Of the visions in my head,
Beneath the color and the hue,
The gladness and despair,
Beneath it all, if you look close,
You'll find you're standing there.



Michelle A. Bartley

How long has it been since the day we first met?
When I stood in the rain with my hair soaking wet,
If was hard to distinguish the rain from my tears,
Chilled to the bone, yet trembling from fears.

The thunder kept rolling and rumbling strong,
There was no place to run, no place I belonged,
My arms were outstretched, palms raised to the sky,
But everyone knows when you're down you can't fly.

It's always been you that's showed up at my side,
When the going got rough and there's no place to hide,
And it's always been you though I was too blind to see,
That it's always been you that I've seen in my dreams.

I remember you told me that love shines so bright,
It can blast through the storms and the darkest of night,
That faith was the answer to questions unknown,
It binds hearts together so they're never alone.

But sometimes the simplest thing that's required,
Gets lost within context of things that's desired,
Emotional longings, to stand face to face,
The aspects of life that I just can't erase.

It's always been you that's held me when I cried,
And it's always been you that I've felt deep inside,
And it's always been you, though I was too blind to see,
That it's always been you that I've seen in my dreams.

I know that there are times when I just fall apart,
When my mind cruelly tells me, "don't follow your heart,"
And you would think I would know better, after all I've been shown,
But do angels still tremble when feeling alone?

When one's tasted heaven, when one's touched the fire,
How does one settle and squelch the desire,
How does one hope to find some peace of mind?
When nothing measures up to the dreams left behind.

And it's always been you that have made it worthwhile,
You have given my purpose, a reason to smile,
And it's always been you though I was too blind to see,
That it's always been you that I've seen in my dreams.

Come To Me


Michelle A. Bartley

Come to me,
You, who I have seen my entire life,
Lying gently and unassuming within my soul.
Always just out of reach,
At my fingertips,
Setting passions ablaze,
Within my visions and dreams.

Come to me,
You, who has searched through strife,
Holding me in the subdued light to feel whole,
Upon the diamond beach,
Taste on my lips,
Faces lost in the haze,
As my desires and heart scream.

Come to me,
You, who I have seen standing naked,
Exposed and vulnerable in such need of love,
Trembling on the floor,
Holding pillows in the night,
Crying silently in the dark,
For our love to manifest and grow,

Come to me,
You, who holds the key to the sacred,
Places deep inside me, feeling the light from above,
I can give more,
Embracing you ever so tight,
Time, like a flickering spark,
Is replaced now by loves endless flow.

Come to me,
You, who has the fire in your eyes,
Flames of divinity reach deeply into my heart,
I stand transfixed,
A willing partner in the mystical,
Awaiting your angelic touch,
While you struggle to return from sleep.

The One Yet To Arrive


Michelle A. Bartley

My mouth grows weary and weak,

Lips no longer move,

Words no longer form,

The language of man,

How can it portray,

Visions seen?

Impressions stamped upon the mind,

Appearing time and time again,

A movie locked in rhythm,

Circling upon itself,

Replaying the same scenes,

Over and over again.

YOU, the one always coming, yet,

The one who has yet to arrive,

Influencing my heart,

Entering my dreams,

How often you have rested,

Silently in my arms.

How often I have reached to touch,

To run my trembling fingertips,

Through your hair,

Or have felt your kiss,

Upon my exposed neck,

Yearning desperately for more.

How often I have hungered for you,

Craved the intensity of your love,

Longed more, to flow upon you,

Bathe you with the waters,

Which passionately stirs,

Within my heart and soul.

I no longer look into the eyes of others,

Attempting to find you,

No longer search out paths,

In blind hope of discovering,

Some mystical truth,

Which constantly eludes me.

I have searched within my depths,

Faced the oncoming waves,

Along with the undercurrents,

Have almost drowned,

In my own desires,

Barely coming up for air.

Still, I stare almost unconsciously,

Off into the higher horizon,

Images of deeply felt,

Emotions surge unrelenting,

And, within your eyes,

I refuse to look away.

YOU, the one always coming, yet,

The one yet to arrive,

Influencing my heart,

Entering my dreams,

YOU are the one I await,

Then, and only then, will I feel content.

In The End, It's You and I


Michelle A. Bartley

Can you hear my silent voice,
My whispers spoken not through choice,
But coming from my heart and soul,
Desiring to make us whole.
Through fear of loneliness you run,
Embracing almost anyone,
To chase away the bitter cold,
Creating dreams that can't be sold.

Who do you think will be there,
When it turns out that no one cares,
When in the end the truth will shine,
And you will realize your mine.
So many times I've sat alone,
And watch your heart just turn to stone,
When patience could not be your friend,
To see things out until the end.

You turn your face to outer things,
When lukewarm heat is all it brings,
Convinced that this is all you need,
To mend a heart that always bleeds.
But, this I say to you today,
I will not make a grand display,
Nor will I force your love to flow,
For in your heart, you already know.

Our love will simply always be,
Embroiled in eternity,
No matter the path you choose to walk,
Or what truths you choose to talk.
Our love is true, our love is strong,
And baby, be it right or wrong,
It's been foretold from days gone by,
And in the end, it's you and I.

No One Is Free


Michelle A. Bartley

The streets leading out of,

The world which we made,

Are covered with diamonds and dust,

The idols we built,

Made of fools gold,

Have tarnished and started to rust.

The places of worship,

Set high on the hills,

To guide those who have fallen away,

Are ruled my men,

With hidden agendas,

To delude us and lead us astray.

'Come let us show you',

'The way to salvation'.

'To answers, we hold the only key'.

'We can make you feel better',

'Put your fears to rest',

'For only a small, little fee'.

They stand on their platforms,

Preaching a tale,

Of how they have learned to cope,

While raping the system,

Upon the back,

Of salvation, redemption, and hope.

So many follow,

The lies that they weave,

In an effort to save their own souls,

Each man for himself,

May the best man survive,

As they race from abysmal holes.

So sad that it is,

That so many believe,

They can purchase a ticket to heaven,

By going through motions,

Given to them,

By men with dishonest intentions.

They're holding a light,

Made of neon and brass,

Which calls out to those in despair,

While leading people,

Farther into the dark,

To a world that can lead them nowhere.

The only way out,

Of the world which we made,

Is to travel the road we took in,

To gather our strength,

To walk in the dust,

And face all those demons again.

It's not long and wide,

Or an easy path,

You won't find that it's paved in gold,

The price that you pay,

While heading back,

Are the insensible dreams you have sold.

With each crucial step,

We must do all we can,

To help those who can't find the way,

Reach out our hands,

To guide them along,

With the gentle words that we say.

We must be like the moon,

When it is full,

A beacon set high in the night,

Absorbing the rays,

That comes from the sun,

And in turn, reflecting its light.

For we can't truly be free,

When others are troubled,

It's the most intricate part of the plan,

You can't be part of the light,

And truly shine,

Without loving your fellow man!



Michelle A. Bartley

I close my eyes and often dream,
See visions play upon the scene,
Another world more real than this,
Where love and light still hold promise.

Across a bridge which spans a void,
Where things are clear and truths employed,
And every heart that has been broken,
Is mended with words softly spoken.

I close me eyes, and hear the call,
Of crystal waters from the falls,
With voice that clearly speaks my name,
And tells me it's so glad I came.

The waters wash away the years,
All the sadness, pain, and tears,
Renews my heart and clears my mind,
Revealing dreams I've yet to find.

I close my eyes, I see a place,
Where flowers dance in splendid grace,
Within a valley, protected by,
The mountains as they kiss the sky.

I see the place that offers me,
A perfect love to set me free,
Where friendship is the cornerstone,
Where one don't fear being alone.

I close my eyes, without a care,
And see an essence shining there,
An angel sent from God above,
Filled with radiance and love.

His heart aflame, his eyes on fire,
Embraced, I rise in my desire,
To places most would never know,
This very special place I go.

I close my eyes, and this I see,
A wonderous world awaiting me,
It gives me purpose, sees me through,
While finding my way home to you!