life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

wrapped in clouds

I woke up with thoughts like this

Never miss a opportunity to give pleasure to someone else

Where is the face I had before the world was made?

just below the surface of my wearing skin is so much joyous future waiting to be lived

I wrote a thought below your name, which is tattooed on this heart of mine

Greater than happiness is holiness –

You could not help me with either of the preceding < or > desires

Some Temples are built without a stone put together

God is found where two or three sit around a round kitchen table holding hands cupped to collect falling tears

How much research will it take to release the pain in my shoulders?

Poems and prose are witnesses leading to a mapped blueprint of recovery

If I build a house what will the front door look like?

Be still for a long minute

then hold the beat one second longer

Welcome home


Amy Lloyd

You are built together spiritually
into a dwelling place for God.
—Ephesians 2.22

Tourists come to admire the temple,
to take pictures and buy mementos,
but it’s not on their maps.

Pilgrims come seeking
their separate peace in it,
but they they can’t find it.

Eventually the army arrives,
ordered to destroy the temple,
but it has vanished.

It isn’t here, or there,
it isn’t in a place,
it isn’t a thing.
It is empty space.

It is the love between us.
It is not something that “is,”
but something that happens.
Like gravity that exists
only between objects in space,
the dwelling place of God
exists only in the love
we hold between us.
It is eternal.
When we enter that holy space
among us
which God creates
we enter God,
and nothing can remove us.

In the cool of the sanctuary
we listen to the music
and we breathe.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

No one told me

it would be like this—

how growing older

is another passage

of discovery

and that aging is one

grand transformation,

and if some things

become lost along the way,

many other means show up

to bring me closer

to the center of my heart.

No one ever told me

if whatever wonder

waits ahead

is in another realm

and outside of time.

But the amazement, I found,

is that the disconcerting things

in the here and now

that I stumble

and trip my way

through, also

guides me



And no one told me

I would ever see

an earth so strong

and fragile, or

a world so sad

and beautiful.

And I surely

didn’t know

I had

all this life

yet in me

or such fire

inside my



Susan Frybort


working titles


Assume, just for a moment,

I am denied a job

in the factory of my dreams

under the fluorescent lights

of a porcelain white foreman.

It’s orderly and neat.

I feed my family.

No one questions my face.

I raised my son in my likeness,

so he would never go unseen,

bobbing on a wave of expectation,

I set in motion with my back

put into my work, praying

for my country, blessed

with more of me, never worrying

about those who might die,

or those who did, trying

to stir a storm, trying

to stand where I’m standing.

A Tempest in a Teacup by A. Van Jordan

Nothing capsized, except my composure

running towards the future

with my heart on my sleeve

the sizzling summer sun setting

on my illusions of control

I wandered crowded hallways

singing a few hallelujahs

‘I could have been a contender’

*Brando voice*

long lostness slaps me in the face

(It is what it is should be added to the 23rd Psalm)

the hot, wet swamp

quicksands my day

I go down without any blazing guns

there is no glory in my aura

little bo peep

sitting on a borrowed tuffet

without a dish or a spoon

After the day is done

I find gum on my shoe

peanut butter is my favorite life hack

I embrace the whole shebang

tho some days I struggle to remember my name

<I answer to whatever Im called>

tomorrow comes early with everything I need

God patiently waiting to kiss my freckles softly

and tell me everything is going to be alright


Amy Lloyd

it simply is…

days off can feel like your drowning

no where to go

no one to go there with

no touch to keep you steady

no laughter to stable the grim humidity

little tomatoes hang desperately to the vine

splitting open on occasion

it is just fine to be in that place

tho not ever so much fun to be there

keep picking yourself back up

keep spilling yourself out

whatever you have to give is enough

whatever you take is sufficient for the moment

offer what you have to this day

doubt, tears, fears and all in

I’ve cried a river or two

over you and your choices

gone Miles out of my way for minute of your time

tossed and turned nights unnumbered

it’s a long and winding broken road

to peace and understanding

When words are uncertain

and sentiment unclear,

I love black and white.

Because the colour,

though hidden,

is always willing—

always there,

unbound by age

and unrestricted

by circumstances

as timeless sings

to me

fully expressing

in the deepest


every feeling.


Susan Frybort Brown

Wait in the space where I am. Wait in expectation, listening with your mind clear, alert, open to all possibilities. Wait on Me.

My voice is in you. You hear the whisper of Me in the light, when fear is surrendered and I am your strength.

You hear Me in stillness—but stillness amidst clamor, too. But I quiet clamor within you. I still the storm and whisper, “I am here, my love. Keep your eyes on Me.”

Take that deep breath now. Slowly now.

Slow your pace, for just a moment. Stay in the stillness—retreat to quiet, where my voice is what you seek. Become conditioned to it, accustomed to moments of silence and openness and listening.

I create space within you, my darling.

You feel stretched and overwhelmed and tired and unsure, and I show you the wide open space within you, the place where I am. It is a place of comfort, of safety, of quiet, of companionship.

When you feel alone, head into that open space within you, with Me, and you will hear my voice within you, stirring you, whispering wisdom and love—guiding you deeper Home.

– Loop subscribe here

letters home

You are really very brave

to live fearlessly…

to hold the heavens in your heart

and to give it all away…

to pray and to listen to the God in your mouth

to the people who are thirsty

to the shouting of pain.

You are really very brave

to have died and come from the womb

as tender and kind,

Christ holding the bread between thin bones of resurrection ,

as empty and waiting

for moonlight to breathe open a new door.

You are really very brave

to cherish the loss,

to celebrate the union

to break free…

to live for eternity

while pouring from the water jugs,

while living for only the Beloved…


Rev. Donna Knutson

thank you, dear heart,

for being so brave,

for your courage to stay open,

for giving, and receiving, love,

for taking me into battles

and winning wars with your ferocious strength

thank you, dear heart,

for valiantly defending your fragile tenderness

for loving your own terrible beauty

for revealing your deepest darkness to the light of discovery

and laying open your wounds to the healing air

thank you, dear heart,

for being willing to walk into

connection again and again

with open hands and beautiful trust

knowing what you know about heartbreak

thank you, dear heart,

for, even when you are shaking afraid,

you always shout,



‘Let’s dance!’


‘I gotta have more cowbell!’

Thank you for your life giving work

your refusal to quit

your belief in the way I live

I adore you

I honor you

I cherish

I bless

your amazing work

in my chest,

in my world,

in my relationships,

in my wanderings,

in every moment I am graced to be here.

I give you the gift of the best me,

in every breath we have together,

the brightest shining light

I can be is because of your amazing work

we do good stuff, girl,

you got the beat…

Oh, skip it, Let’s roll!

Yours forever true,



Amy Lloyd

P.S. I love you

give what ya got

< follows heart >

Blessed are those who keep watch through the day and night

Blessed are those who hold them up and those who stand in with them

Blessed be the good shepherds who watch over the watchers

Blessed are those who do not count the cost, yet know this spending of their life is the greatest treasure that anyone can give

Blessed are those who remember how little it takes to encourage and lift another

Blessed are those who retain the ability to give and keep giving in feast or in famine

Blessed are those who pour generously for another from the rarest vintage

Blessed are those who never, ever, ever quit

Blessed are those who understand and respond with open invitations

Blessed are those who visit and bathe and wipe and watch and hold and kneel and pray and cook and shop and weep and love and clean and share and laugh and crawl into bed with and sing and dance and do all sorts of other wonderful and miraculous works

Blessed be them all – each and everyone

Blessed be the the givers of love and care, may they be given the greatest gifts of all –

Love, grace, respect and the most tender care in return


Amy Lloyd

When at the end of this day,

if all you feel you can offer the world

is a handful of brokenness,

give it.

Then in return,

let the world hold you

in its grace

as you sleep



Susan Frybort

A Dreamer…

A Dreamer…
— Read on


your profile is fading from my memory


I dial L for love, 1 4 7, blank space, then 0.

Oh that’s my password, I hate what I feel for you, “I’ll never love again”, that’s my past word, I feel your presence, you’re a gift from god.

I try so hard to be simple, I make love to the page, the words get intimate.

I see a white picket fence, a swing and a baby’s cot, no punch lines to hit on you, or maybe not.

Damn Maxine, what have you done to me?

Somebody help me, somebody tell me.

I’m drowning in pool of tears, it hurts to see you with anyone else, though my heart is blind, so it chose to see the best in you.

The innocence in your vices, the angel in her, to give her wings, to fly away from the hood, the child in your flaws, yet the woman in the smart choices you make…

And all the rest in you.


We can hang like laundry, the thoughts that wring in my head.

Wishing to get a call from you, to tattoo your face in my memory, to cloak these scars.

To hit it from the back like a bass guitar, then pulling you closer, let me not take it far.

You wouldn’t understand, cause nothing lasts forever, cause even the word friends, finishes off with the word “ends”.

So I want you to be my nothing, cause “nothing” lasts forever.

Your name flows in my veins, I bleed you, my drug of choice, I need you.

Flow deeper than the ocean, my eye seas you.

You are the best poem my eyes have ever seen, am I just another friend?

So your boyfriend presses the answering machine.

Zeblon Thwala © 2018

who knew my pain would have such brilliant colors?

such intense shades of red, yellow, green

flaming neon orange, the most shocking pink you can imagine

no bland grey pain will do for me

no dark night will hold me captive

I light up the sky and shake the earths foundations with my despair

with the very abundance of my ‘why me’s?’

I will take all the oxygen in the room

I will explode like a blazing star

yet it will never be enough

When I speak the heavens tremble and planets begin to fall

I will demand to be released from the grimy, peeling, poorly painted prison walls where I find myself

I will demand every damn day to get what I want

I will demand my colors be the brightest in the land, why would they not?

I demand my genie lamp be refilled with endless wishes, it’s only fitting

I say, I will walk in the light,

no matter the cost

I will spark fire in the dark,

no matter if it causes forest fires

no matter who dies of fright

I will conquer the night with my one endless question, repeated over and over

I will paint myself myself, as a reflection of what I want

I will fight and fight and fight

I will not go down with the ship

I simply will not understand

I simply will not surrender

I simply will continue to suffer

I simply will continue to paint the world with all the vibrant colors

of my intensely shaded, publicized pain

that is what I will do

who knew my pain would be so colorful?

I’m pretty amazed at that shocking blue I just conjured up with my anger

and that razzle-dazzle raspberry I just made pop with my angst


– Amy Lloyd (about a girl)

I have taken back my own listening

The weeping cherries have cried their last for me this spring and are spent and ragged from their bouts with this wracking grief

We have eaten cake and shared a toast or two, full of promises and new love

The dogwoods and lilacs having waited, now bloom just for me perfumed air follows me for all these miles

My heart is still full and empty at the same time, life is always bitter and always sweet. always both at once.

Flaming bushes hatch their eggs and throw holy joy into the blue sky

My tears find their way to the ocean, to mingle with their brothers and sisters

Freedom is never free, the cost is always found on the edge of a cruel mans sword

I lay on feathers of lost innocence those birds plucked for my dinner I will eat with relish

My body, still adjusting to this new age, burns away the old days, realizing this present moment is all I have

What does it mean that I spoke, for a minute, about you, about good hair, you in a suit and tie, aesthetically pleasing to the eye and ear

I wonder what will become of me in these nexts, in these upcomings, in these wild, deep blue yonders

A new friend reminds me,

‘Don’t wander off alone in thought lest you dear feel lost’ – I have not listened to this well-intended advice

I am forever lost to my own thinking, forever making towards the light of my own future, forever stepping into the now of my own footsteps,

forever inhabiting my own self, forever revealing my own hearted purpose for be-ing here, forever knowing myself as I am known

Over and over I find new truth, for better or worse, I am that I am


Amy Lloyd

remembering gratitude

It seems,

as we age,

we become more of what we are.

when dementia or Alzheimer’s begin,

we lose our ability to remember.

important pieces fall out of our knowing,

and we become our habits

I have been told, the skills that last the longest

are those habits we have learned so well

we don’t think about doing them,

they are a part of us instinctively:

folding laundry,

washing dishes,


these are the last things that we forget.

our attitudes reflect who we have been.

I have been caregiving someone with advanced dementia.

it is difficult to watch.

I seek to understand my own living better by witnessing this.

I am learning much.

Recently I have been reminded of something extremely important:

We become what we practice.

gratitude is a practice.

a practice I want to develop,

so that if I ever forget other things,

gratitude will be incorporated,

so fully into my living,

that it is part of my dna.

I want to wrap my living so deeply in gratitude right now,

that if I lose everything else,

if I forget my own name,

I will still not forget to say,

‘thank you’.

if I forget words,

I will still breathe


if I forget how to walk,

my eyes will still

carry the light

of grace.

Nothing is worth more than this day, because

it is the day I have been given to practice,

to acknowledge all the blessings,

this is the gift I have been given,

this one precious life.


Mary Oliver reminds me

to let go of any need that might linger in me

to, even try, to impress anyone.

But to stay alert to the extravagant impressiveness around me,

puddling at my feet,

drowning my life with goodness.

To be easily astonished,

easily filled with wonder,

to let life boggle my mind.

To stay a child of joy and nature,

a collector of miracles.

To stay in awe of sunsets

and dandelions,

coffee shops

and grasshoppers.

To gasp every time I get a view of the ocean,

and be breathless at the view from a mountaintop road at sunset.

To thrill when I see a leaf change color.

To crane my neck, every single time, to catch a glimpse of sunlight on water,

and the curve of a babies cheek.

To get a chill of macabre delight

at gnarly, old toenails,

and bats hanging upside down

in a dark damp cave,

or flying around a street light as darkness falls slowly through the air.

Such things keep me alive.

These are the true riches of our living.

Extreme miracles everywhere around us.

We are here to witness,

here to share descriptions of such beauty,

even our feeble attempts are so amazing

they boggle the mind.

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for this reminder,

with your every beautiful, glorious word.

We are each here to do our part,

to record our miracles

in our own voices,






we make up this tapestry,

record the blazing glory,

of the masterpiece.

We each add notes to the grand symphony,

allowing the rocks to stay silent –

at least for those who

don’t care to hear this exquisite, out-of-this-world music,

playing with such brilliance, light and passion,

everywhere we go.


Amy Lloyd

little things


trusting my issues

You must not retreat on your journey

just because it ceases to make any sense

feeling lodged in the In-Between.

Yes, there may come a time when a liminal phase

is unappealing or even discouraging, your identity

suddenly a puzzle, and clinging to a former phase

seems to be the only familiar thing to grasp hold of.

Yes, it might even feel bewildering and ambiguous

walking in the middle of two of life’s chapters—

not really old, not very young.

Neither high nor low, rather,

fixed upon a lengthy threshold

before a noble rite of passage.

The impulse to defy your present category,

or resume a past persona,

or take up completely new traits to clarify

your whereabouts will rush in to assist you,

and that can be all right. Be reassured,

it is all part of the human experience,

even this place called the In-Between.

And you can take your time within this space.

You can contemplate the deeper meanings

you missed as an adolescent.

You can try new things and gain

broader emotional range.

You can dive into the mosaic seas of your innerscapes

and surface with sparkling treasure.

You can be playful inside your second youth

and wise within your years.

Most importantly, you can keep living

your bold and valiant life,

even while you’re feeling



Susan Frybort

I’ve long had trust issues with You

We both know the truth of it

Sometimes I don’t like poetry’s punch

sometimes it reveals my own sordid secrets

my prejudicial biases despite

my walk of shame through trash-filled parking lots

hearing howls from next doors graveyard shifting

willows always weeping

fake flowers decomposing in the worm laden grass

My faith starts the morning

feeling a bit wet and soggy

I keep leaking all over my day

trying to lean into the heart of it all

the end of the innocence was over long ago

still and yet,

Jesus always willingly

lays down on the proffered cross

even as the daily crucifixions continue to be demanded

by mobs and masses

the known and unknown

(I keep desperately wanting, expecting, something different from)

carried out in-spite of the pain inflicted –

possibly because of the pain inflicted –

we are violent people

so ready to kill

to proudly prove our way the only right one

even so, love knows no boundaries

chooses to soften on in

courageously receives the wound

lies there calmly bleeding out

dies over and over

in-order to rise again and again

the face of the lover cannot harden or turn away

always faces forward

sees with second sight what is possible

else all will be lost

soft answers wrung from the broken, bleeding hearted

are the only way through the hate wrung words

of the wounded little birds

defending their own lostness

we can never be whole if we refuse

to lay down and hand the nails to the other

…I know it makes no sense…

…It’s never my first choice…

even with practice it’s brutal

to get on that rugged tree

…Hence the trust issues…

All I somehow know is

it’s my only shot at truly living a life of joy

A life that matters even a little bit

A life that carried the weight of eternity

and so I try every day, all day,

just a smudge,

a smidge,

a smattering,

to doubt myself

and trust the Greater,

the One True Love and Lover

the Maker, Creator and Guardian of my pathway and only hope

of getting what I truly want

which has always been

to truly see and love another

to be fully seen and loved by that other in return


Amy Lloyd

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