Drawing: a signpost at a crossroads. Directions are "Back", "Forward", "Somewhere" and "Nowhere". Caption reads: "Life is a journey, so I've heard."

Journey poem by Iris Carden

Life is a journey, so I've heard,
but no-one said which way to turn.
So many choices, so much stress!
I didn't get my map or GPS!

Forward or back or here or there.
Am I getting someplace, or going nowhere?
There's choices to make each day, week and year,
and consequences aren't always so clear.

Keep in balance, health, time, and money,
Make a mistake and it's not funny.
Family and work, hobbies and rest,
balance them out or there's a mess.

If I could backtrack to a time long ago
when some big choices set the way I would go,
if the consequences of what I'd chosen were clear
who would I become, now and here?

But there's no going back, no u-turns allowed,
I'm right where I am, and there's no backing out.
The many choices which got me to here,
should have been lessens, but they weren't so clear.

So when the new choices are present today,
"What could go wrong?" I hear myself say.
"What could go wrong?" I think of the past.
I stop to consider. I'm learning at last.

What can go wrong probably will;
often at the worst time possible.
That being said, it's a fact of life,
I have to keep going whatever the strife.

When I look at the choices that come day by day,
I think of the risks and I hope and I pray.
I hope to the path of the overall best,
there's no going back to try the rest.

Maybe I'll regret the paths I don't take,
but since it's my journey, it's not a mistake.
Whatever I've done, wherever I've been,
it's all my journey though the map's unseen.

I hope when the journey finally ends,
I'll at last see that map and it will make sense.
Choices that seemed bad and those that seemed good,
will all come together, just as they should.

Whether smooth highways, back alleys or rough tracks,
I hope the wrong turns will eventually lead back,
to the road I'd have followed if I'd had  GPs,
to a life that was good, well-lived,  more or less.

While you’re here…

Find Iris Carden's books:  
    at Lulu (publisher)     
    at Amazon  
   or  at your favourite online bookshop.

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.


  1. Love this thought…so very true!
    “Maybe I’ll regret the paths I don’t take,
    but since it’s my journey, it’s not a mistake.”
    I so wish we had a map, or an instruction manual…or even a glimpse of what the next step should be! 💞


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