life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. –Reverend Billy Graham




the cost of freedom is never cheap. so very grateful for courageous women and men who are willing to serve our country – even as we grieve and pray.

To be free is nothing, to become free is everything. – Unknown

pray for peace

A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim
by Walt Whitman

A sight in camp in the daybreak gray and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air the path near by the hospital tent,
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there untended lying,
Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woolen blanket,
Gray and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.

Curious I halt and silent stand,
Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest the first
just lift the blanket;
Who are you elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-gray’d hair,
and flesh all sunken about the eyes?
Who are you my dear comrade?
Then to the second I step—and who are you my child and darling?
Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming?
Then to the third—a face nor child nor old, very calm, as of
beautiful yellow-white ivory;
Young man I think I know you—I think this face is the face
of the Christ himself,
Dead and divine and brother of all, and here again he lies.

by Mary Oliver

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had His hand in this,

as well as friends,
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poets said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry

but how you carry it—
books, bricks, grief—
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled—
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

A Prayer for the War Dead

For those killed in battle, Lord, mercy.
For those wounded, maimed or haunted,
minds and hearts broken by mayhem
and the doing of mayhem— mercy.

For those whose spirits died to pull the trigger,
whose souls withered to do what they had to,
their hearts and faces held in the horror— mercy.

For those, now broken, for whom there are flags
but not food, shelter, health or sanity—mercy.

For those of other nations, who also served,
who also were taught to make enemies
of those who had been taught to make them enemies,
who suffered our terror—mercy.

For those who suffer without choosing:
the innocent, the families, the land, the cities— mercy.

For those who suffer for peace nonviolently,
who sacrifice and die protesting, healing, teaching,
for all of gentle hearts—mercy.

For us who call others to kill for us,
who continually offer our little ones in child sacrifice,
who find no better way, and who glorify
the killing and the dying rather than repent—mercy.

Lord of Gentleness, we confess our violence;
we confess our fear and self-centeredness;
we repent of our cold-heartedness and beg you:
forgive us, heal us, and bless those whom we have harmed;
in the name of Christ, who died loving,
who received and did not pass on our evil. Amen.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


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