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THE INNER CHAMBER
Please. Stop holding back on me.
Like a child standing at the neighborhood ice cream truck, arm outstretched, eyes huge, mouth watering.
I stand here longing to slip underneath your decades of cold-rolled steel armor and touch the real you.
Your soft underbelly where your greatest fears run amuck through your darkest worlds.
Where you hide the monsters you are sure will send me screaming,
Stuck deeply with their sharpest swords,
A trail of blood decorating my getaway.
?Where you go to revisit the smell of your newborn’s head and
The sound of the thousand “I love you’s” that have decorated
Your heart, like a high ranking general.
His bright, glistening medals lining his proud Chest
Just as your children’s “I love you’s” decorate your soft, gooey middle core,
That part of you no one else gets to see.
To open these innermost, secret chambers,
Would be to allow another warrior into your most private sanctuary.
The space where you lay down your weapons,
Remove your many layers of armor.
I get that. It’s a most dangerous proposal.
One you haven’t had much luck with in your past.
I understand that when the elixir of youth’s innocence,
Formed a rosy gauze over your insight,
And your understanding of how your species really works-
You allowed a few in.
I know what they did,
Betrayals scattered across
Your sacred sanctuary,
Littering the once pristine floors,
That you initially built.
Floors that were not lacking in any way-
From the purest white ideals,
The hopes and impossible delusions,
That a teen bride imbibes as she
Sweetly dreams of her white wedding day.
While your armor may be a suitable deterrent for most,
I can see it is transparent in some places.
Worn thin from years of overuse.
You should know that.
Through these unintended, accidental windows,
I can see what lies there.
Multiple masses of thick scar tissue where-
The injury of betrayal and the loss of innocence
Played out like a well-executed horror film,
Leading you to absolute conviction concerning
The danger such risks can afford.
Should I ever be the very rare, honored guest,
Chosen to visit you there,
I can’t promise you that I won’t ever
Pull a shank from my pinions and consider
Hacking at your soft underbelly.
I could probably even get a few small
Yet effective weapons past your metal detectors,
Your multiple teams of soldiers standing guard.
But would I? Would I pose that danger?
I’ve seen how we can dissolve
Into tattered, faded copies of ourselves
Marked with coffee rings and ink spills.
Our most evil versions of ourselves taking over
Like the energy vampires who manipulate
Every conversation and exhaust all those around them.
I cannot say to you that I have never attacked
With both barrels blazing,
After sustaining a life-threatening blow
From your finest canons.
You know that I have.
While certainly not my proudest moments,
I cannot promise that I,
In all my medieval humanness and imperfections,
Could rise above my own scars and
Open wounds and turn to face you,
With my finest intentions displayed proudly
Like the white feathers of a great owl.
When the salt is still burning through
The wounds that we both knew
Would probably not ever heal,
Due to the unexpected, additional attacks
They have been pummeled with--
When our shadow people join forces to
Show us just how ugly we really can be--
When my own fears and pain from
My own scar tissue turns me into someone
I’d avoid at all costs in a dark alley--
How can I promise you complete safety?
How could I ever be truthful in saying
I could never hurt you,
That I would never consider smuggling in
A small shank intended for your underbelly?
Am I any better, any more kind, less sinister?
Than the black clothed, face painted, stealth ninjas
That snuck in before me?
Littering your inner chamber with blood stains,
Chunks of flesh sliced away with razor sharp swords,
With words that should never have formed
On the lips of anyone who also tumbled forth
“I love you?”
I can’t. I cannot promise you my visit there,
Should I ever be permitted into your sacred space,
Will be one of godly like goodness
Devoid of human insecurity, self absorption
And crippling imperfections.
I honestly cannot give you that.
Even as much as I want to.
What I can give you is a broken, imperfect person,
Who at least understands the delicacies of
?Such an important journey into that sacred space.
A person who recognizes this space of yours,
As truly sacred.
A person who will respectfully take off her shoes,
Not trample the few square feet of soft,
White carpet that has yet to be stained with your blood.
The lifeblood that the very ones,
You chose to love, and who promised only
To love and protect you,
Went before me and carelessly,
Sometimes wits the most frightening and shocking intentions,
Boldly splattered from your tender heart,
Across your white carpet, once so pure and clean.
I can only promise that my goal here
Is and never will be to cut you open any deeper.
I can only promise that I will keep this in mind,
Before I go forward and knock once again,
Upon your tightly sealed, inner chamber door.
The one you’ve outfitted with five, impossible deadbolts.
I can only promise that I will bring--
A satchel of tenderness.
A backpack filled with understanding,
Patience and genuine love.
If I can fit it in,
A little, true selflessness.
And should I pack all of this for my journey,
There won’t be any room for my weapons.
So please, when I knock on that door,
Don’t greet me with a long, cold,
Terrorizing glance down the barrel of one of your biggest guns.
Realize I come in peace, unarmed.
Recognize and acknowledge the white flag
I hold high out in front of me.
Hoping just to know you.
To love you.
To lounge in bliss within your warm, sweet chamber.
And finally get the chance to meet the real you.
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