life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “dark”

I am here to tell you morning has come 

there’s this whisper promise 

in the breeze,

a bit of ethereal fog slipping between the sheets 

of night 

and dawn breaking.
there’s this rumor running 

afoot in this new born day,

a sideways glance of something – 

Oh it’s JOY! 

and all this glory burning hot. 
there’s this holy hushing

songs of angels,

a chorus of bluebells

bowing heads

softly clapping

as they watch it all approaching. 
there’s this first blush of light,

smudging darkness,

a bit like the bitter and sweet

mixed each day with our longing 

for joy to come nest. 
there’s a song playing on low

sometimes you forget to remember 

be still and know

as sure as spring follows winter

love always wins

listen to your heartbeat 

joy is our birthright 

right now

morning has come

🌞
Amy Lloyd (AL)


It could happen any time, tornado,

 earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.

 Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could, you know. That’s why we wake

 and look out — no guarantees

 in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,

 like right now, like noon,

 like evening. 
Yes!
-William Stafford

At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

 

 – Albert Schweitzer

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what fire am i?  


i am the fire on the mountain

i am the fire by the sea

i am the fire in the forest

burning down all of the trees


i am the fire in the desert 

i am the fire in the snow

i am the fire that will warm you

when your bones have grown cold


i am the fire for your shelter

i am the fire for your bread

i am the fire for your hunger

whenever you go to bed

i am the fire on the water

i am the fire that is near

i am the fire burning your words

consuming your doubt and your fear


i am the fire of your longing

i am the fire of your soul

i am the fire of your loving

i will never grow cold


i am the fire for your winter

i am the fire for your spring

i am the fire of your living

passion and life i will bring


i am the fire of destruction

i am the fire where you die

i am the fire of your Phoenix 

as you rise, as you soar, to the sky

🔥

Amy Lloyd (AL)


be strong & be courageous   


I am heavy

Stepping with sand bag feet

Slow 

Hello life

In this dark day

I look for beauty

It’s always there

I wonder if I would have jumped or gone back to die

If I had really known how hard it would be

On and on

Do I really believe it will ever get better?

No answer comes

I move away from the question

I made my choice 

I  go curl up 

In the Legacy Garden

On the round plaque with Wendell Berry’s words of understanding 

      I part the out thrusting branches

      And come in beneath the blessed    and the blessing trees. 

Though I am silent 

There is singing around me. 

Though I am dark

There is vision around me. 

Though I am heavy 

There is flight around me. 

                –  Wendell Berry
Underneath the gondola’s painted ever-green leaves –

I wish there was a raven

Who cares if people see me?

🌑

AL – 12/3/12


I fell down,

Broken

Down beneath the curtain of a world that wasn’t mine
I fell down,

Hurting

Down under the pressure of a life I couldn’t find
Watching

Others

There were times that I felt nothing but the pain of being me
Watching

Wondering

Why and how and when would I be able to be free
I tried

Hiding

Nothing kept the darkness from surrounding me with grief
I tried

Crying

But nothing kept the demons that were haunting me
The fear

The aching

The desperation etched upon my heart in every beat
The scars

Appearing

Like a chain around my soul, stealing all I used to be
I sought comfort

I sought courage

I sought loving in the hands of those that only caused me pain

I sought refuge

I sought freedom

I sought counsel in the places that left me filled with guilt and shame
I fell down,

Broken

Down beneath the curtain of a world that wasn’t mine
I fell down,

Hurting

Down under the pressure of a life I couldn’t find
Then it came

The flicker

Of hope and understanding that I could be alive again
Then it came

A glimmer

The ember of the flame inside my heart began to shine
Watching 

Others

I looked inside their minds and saw that I was not the only one
Watching

Wondering

How I could share the message that all of us are one
I tried

Learning

Taking all the knowledge that the world gave unto me
I tried

Doing

And realized the healing came from giving all I had to give
The love

Replaced fear

My heart beats now for others and keeps me going on and on
The scars

On show now

Proving that with courage our soul can set us free
I give comfort

I give courage

I give loving to the ones of those that are only feeling pain

I give refuge

I give freedom

I give counsel to those needing me with kindness, without blame
I fell down

Humble

Down to show my gratitude for living life this way
I fell down

Thankful

Vowing to show others life is better every day

💔🔥❤️

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A remembering

December 3, 2012

a lifetime from then to now

Hello Life

echoing in the chambers

of empty shattered walls

of broken will

and weary traveling

worn and scarred

soldier of God

warrior of the light

no longer even able 

to pretend to carry the cross

just laying on it 

too tired to fight

with arms willingly outstretched

scorched and branded

by Your glory

carried into the ocean

of Your love

within the arc 

of silence

knowing I am 

undone

by ruthless grace

my life is Yours

and now I wait

for You

to part the waters

like only You can do

I burned to ash

completely consumed

now I rise 

the flame 

alive

🔥

AL


Beneath the shouting,

quieter and more steady,

listen for my voice. 

Be still, and listen.

You are doing a difficult thing.

And I am with you.

I have gathered up your life,

your triumphs and failures,

your powers and your weaknesses,

and I hold it all in grace.

You have died,

and your life is hidden in me now.

I bear your grief, 

the river of it flows through me,

and I am the spring it comes from.  

When you are alone I am the body 

that weaves you with everyone.

When you are discouraged

I bind your hope to you.

When you are weary 

I am your strength and breath,

the life that carries you.

When the road is rough and long 

I go onward,

and bear you in my love and wisdom.

Keep your mind on this.

Forget the little things.

Remember my presence.

Forget whatever you can cling to.

Remember I hold you.

Never mind the demons and discouragements.

You are in me

and it is I who walk through this world

with you hidden deep within me. 
__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net

quest for that shade of blue


When the light lessens,

Causing colors to lose their courage,

And your eyes fix on the empty distance

That can open on either side

Of the surest line

To make all that is

Familiar and near

Seem suddenly foreign,
When the music of talk

Breaks apart into noise

And you hear your heart louden

While the voices around you

Slow down to leaden echoes

Turning the silence Into something stony and cold,
When the old ghosts come back

To feed on everywhere you felt sure,

Do not strengthen their hunger

By choosing to fear;

Rather, decide to call on your heart

That it may grow clear and free

To welcome home your emptiness 

That it may cleanse you

Like the clearest air

You could ever breathe. 
Allow your loneliness time

To dissolve the shell of dross

That had closed around you;

Choose in this severe silence

To hear the one true voice

Your rushed life fears;

Cradle yourself like a child

Learning to trust what emerges,

So that gradually 

You may come to know
That deep in that black hole 

You will find the blue flower

That holds the mystical light 

Which will illuminate in you

The glimmer of springtime. 

💙

A Blessing for Loneliness by John O’Donohue  


Alone and lost

    at the edge

    of an ocean

    of memories,
    a heart of the deepest blue

        beats

    to the slow monotony

    of a swaying metronome;
found in the crashing waves

    of a dark desolate shore.

 
The weeping wind,

    with its hidden whispers,

    murmurs her name;
as nights they walked

    hand in hand
        flashback into view.
Haunting the torn fabric of his soul.

💔

Shipwrecked heart by AllPoetry member, Halosonthemoon

read the rest here: http://ow.ly/eO4E302oGFH


when I ride the nights ragged hours

when my loneliness rages with ruthless, restless, too warm turning 

when heaven is that smudge of light

seen beside the farthest star

when sleep is torn from my hungry grasp

and I am left without an inch of satisfaction 

from the feathers beneath my head

when I open my eyes to the same shade of black

I see with them closed

then I feel the disappearance of my desire to conform

my self is borderless at 3 am

my pretensions dissolve into this dark

I surrender to my grief

as well as to my hope

I swim to the other end of the bed

to cooler pastures

I visit the sheep 

living among the stuff 

down there

I listen as they recited the 23rd Psalm 

to reassure my nervous entering

in that strange world

I hear all the sounds from this new dimension 

my mind takes on the shape of new perspective 

alert to this unusual adventure 

I cry a little

laugh a little

think about the glory of love

the world turns on its axis

I breath free

I fly home

💞

AL


I am a sheep

and I like it

because the grass

I lie down in

feels good and the still

waters are restful and right

there if I’m thirsty

and though some valleys

are very chilly there is a long

rod that prods me so I

direct my hooves

the right way

though today

I’m trying hard

to sit at a table

because it’s expected

required really

and my enemies—

it turns out I have enemies—

are watching me eat and

spill my drink

but I don’t worry because

all my enemies do

is watch and I know

I’m safe if I will

just do my best

as I sit on this chair

that wobbles a bit

in the grass

on the side of a hill.

🐏

Here In The Psalm by Sally Fisher


Your great mistake is to act the drama

as if you were alone. As if life

were a progressive and cunning crime

with no witness to the tiny hidden

transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny

the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,

even you, at times, have felt the grand array;

the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding

out your solo voice You must note

the way the soap dish enables you,

or the window latch grants you freedom.

Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.

The stairs are your mentor of things

to come, the doors have always been there

to frighten you and invite you,

and the tiny speaker in the phone

is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into

the conversation. The kettle is singing

even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots

have left their arrogant aloofness and

seen the good in you at last. All the birds

and creatures of the world are unutterably

themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

🌎

Everything is Waiting for You by David Whyte

from Everything is Waiting for You

©2003 Many Rivers Press


photo sources found at pinterest.com


threads that won’t break 


On Dec 3, 2014 (2 year anniversary of my living death in the dark night of the soul, I got a post titled Love never Dies from Jen Lemen at Hopeful World http://hopefulworld.org

Here’s a taste of what it said:
I am struck also as I write to you from this wintery desk, that building our capacity for stillness helps so much when the wild comes to our restless souls. Without that practice of being quiet, it’s easy to be scared when our wild, instinctual thoughts pop up. It’s easy to think that they are bad somehow or in need of corralling. But the practice of quiet and stillness helps us recognize our instinctual knowing for what it is: a call to our most true nature. A call to a kind of expression that is more vibrant, more textured, more passionate, more alive–even if it’s a little bit messy. Even if it kicks up a little bit of shame that we are this human, this raw.
So I invite you today to sit with me for three magic minutes. I’ll be right here with you, my own mind a rollercoaster of crazy, of frantic, of nonsensical worrisome things. I’ll sit with you and notice everything in my own soul, while you notice everything in yours and together we will begin to knit together an understanding of what’s underneath that noise: a gorgeous, exquisite tapestry of human longing designed to carry us to an awake magnificent place.
Will you join me?

Setting the timer now.

Let me know how it is on the other side.
With so much love,

Jen
It’s now 3.5 years later and Jen Lemen is still bringing all that, and more to me, to you, to the shaky, hoping world, to the edges of eternity…love never dies. 
Today, in this crazy, brutal brutal place, where we ask…
how can these two people be our Presidential choices?
how can people keep killing other people?
how can I deal with the grief and the fear of this? 
how can I help?
what is the solution? 
what is my part? 
Jen Lemen is doing her part. She’s offering Soul Snacks – 
http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks
Amazing gifts to all of of struggling, hungry, hurting, angry, frustrated pilgrims and poets. 
Right now she has open enrollment and I have just this…
Don’t wait! http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks
Gobble this up, savor it a bite at a time, eat them from start to finish, or nibble from the middle to each edge of crust. Savory, delectable soul-spices involving all your most subtle senses. 
http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks

💞

Keep wrestling, burn, scream, let go, melt, let your heart keep breaking for the sake of your heart, keep saying the names of your people, fiercely defend your tenderness, think, grieve, repair, renew, continue to do what’s in your heart to do…each thread matters…each color makes the world more beautiful…
in the end, only love is eternal, only love remains…
http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks

🔥

AL


We are God’s thread

weaving through the tapestry,

the masterpiece is slowly 

created. 

Potential for beauty, we can’t know,

    unfolding,

       becoming,

          revealing glory 

so bright 

it makes the sun squint 

and reach for sunglasses.  

Brilliance so far beyond ourselves

we go shining into the gray

as we open to the new jewels appearing,

sparkling in the moonlight. 

As we step into the needle’s eye 

the angels catch their breath,

cheering our blazing garments,

dazzled by the vision

God is revealing through the creation. 

As we surrender to the greatest mystery,

the beauty we inhabit 

becomes us,

walking in humble clay

eyes out shining the stars 

set in the heavens. 

Until we totally disappear and all that’s left

is holiness 

so pure 

all we can do 

    is 

bow in wonder 

at ourselves

and give thanks 

as the silk thread 

becomes liquid gold and silver

pure and simple

glory

as we realize our place in the whole. 

We are the temple of our creator. 

The home of God. 

😎

AL



As deftly and finally as one pulls out a thread

someone is weaving them, gracefully tying them,

minute and irreversible.
In the towering sky, even under the fortress, 

root tendrils muscle in and bind ligaments

through an abyss we had been told was absolute.
No enormity of terror

can keep up  

with the steady, unseen healing. 
Before the assault, the horrible wound, 

gaping and exposed,

the stitching has already begun.
Even as we sigh in our own world,

moving on, separate,

we are being sewn in. 
In the earthquake, the collapsing mountains,

not a bit of rubble falls

on the path from the temple.
If you could hold your immortal soul

in your hands, you would hardly recognize it

from one moment to the next.
Your grave is already empty. 
__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net


photo sources found at pinterest.com

how far will you go?      


Better to live your life open rather than exist on borrowed time, waiting for the great unmasking.

      – Kate Jacobs



love is the flame
all people yearn for the flame

some people never discover there actually is a flame

some people ignore the flame

some people avoid the flame 

some people examine the flame

some people research the flame

some people control the flame

some people fear the flame

some people are fooled by fake flame

some people admire the flame

some people use the flame

some people walk on the flame

some people dance with the flame

some people dance in the flame

some people become the flame

some people are consumed by the flame
your choice…

how will you burn?

🔥

AL


Those who are drawn to the root of love are mystics. Mystics are not satisfied with the surface patterns of love, with the emotional tangles and insecurities of human loving. They seek a purer wine, a more potent passion. They need the essence of love, its divine substance.

         ~ Irina Tweedie


On the day I died

water ran through pipes,

footsteps identified people in the house and

the dogs nails clicked quickly on the wood floors above my head,

insisting it was time to go out for relief. 

I still needed coffee,

light with cream,

2 sugars. 

The sun was bright 

and I remember the sky was that deep blue,

romantically named, azurite. 

There was cockscomb, 

half alive in pots near the wooden footbridge I walked over. 

I used to love them when I was alive. 

I touched their red, velvety, blooms seeking to feel something. 

I mistook fluttering angel wings for birds,

battles fought,

 just beyond where I lay

on the words of Wendell Berry –

the only thread

keeping me tethered to this world. 

I sat on benches beside ghosts 

of those who had gone before me. 

I could still only feel them beside me,

I was in the world between worlds. 

There was darkness, a fire swamp, screaming, clashes of swords, 

I could not save myself. 

God was everywhere. 

I found myself in a boat,

where I stayed for 2 years, until, 

in recent weeks,

the call came to step out,

to start walking on water. 

Late in the day, 

I stood in the bathroom, 

accepting the most insulting job offer I have ever received,  

then sat on a stool,

 trying to act as if I was alive,

pretending to look for puzzle pieces,

slightly aware of the colors and shapes,

singing echoes of songs I used to love,

with my beautiful Robin,

who seemed very much alive. 

🔥

AL 

In Memoriam of my death, consumed by the flame, 

December 3, 2012 – 

may I be remembered as 

Daniel J O’Connell having the:

Spirit of a warrior

Soul of a poet


Irradiat your mind with the light from within, allow your existence to move along within the unbroken continuity of nature. The ideal of authenticity lies deep in the heart of one’s union to the world not the possession of it. The grandeur of unity holds a definitive place in the infinite. When you calibrate your spirit with that of the world you are left open to respond to your life harmoniously with the universe. Unmask your illusions from those artificial ideas you have build your lives upon with walls and boundaries solidifying your thoughts about a tragic disassociation to nature. It’s up to you to be open now or wait for the great unmasking…the choice is yours but unmasking now allows you to reconcile your existence while you still have the chance to live it.

    – Lissette T. Hesmadt


We have known and have believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them.  1 John ‪4:16‬


No matter the results and outcomes,
     the thousand possibilities,

          you are here now. 
Why even try to trace

     what the beggar will do with your money?

          Let your giving be the whole horizon.
Be lovingly present

     and wars and stars and grief and cats alike

          will be unable to trouble you.
At the center of the world and in each breath

     this is the holy temple, the birthing moment:

          giving and receiving love. That is all. 
This is the sacred point,

     the love in you 

          meeting the love in the world.
However broken or weary you are,

     bring yourself here, in love, 

          now. 
__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net


photo sources at http://www.pinterest.com

light & shadow


Of the light in my room:

Its mood swings,

Dark-morning glooms,

Summer ecstasies.
Spider on the wall,

Lamp burning late,

Shoes left by the bed,

I’m your humble scribe.
Dust balls, simple souls

Conferring in the corner.

The pearl earring she lost,

Still to be found.
Silence of falling snow,

Night vanishing without trace,

Only to return.

I’m your humble scribe.
📝

Secret History by Charles Simic 


Sleep hangs in soft evening light

in the corners of the room –

like an old pair of favorite pants,

slightly baggy,

immensely comfortable,

a few worn-thru patches of natural ventilation. 

Soft, favorite, go-to pants 

for days off. 

Those ones always ready to take you anywhere in comfort,

on a day where you are

not trying to impress anybody –

just need to be the real you. 

Stripped of pretense. 

A day where dreams can change your living, 

and love songs can overflow inside

from start to finish. 

You eat dinner with friends. 

Savoring moments. 

Hoping this day of summer 

will linger long

like honey on your fingers 

after the toast is gone. 

Sweet and sticky,

clinging to everything. 

Extra goodness

for the tongues finding. 

Shadows fall. 

The day drops it’s load 

and lets go. 

Relaxing into nothingness,

eyes begin to see 

the spaces between worlds. 

Beauty fills the air,

waiting for me. 

In the quiet of the night,

I lie alone,

yet not… 

I am loved. 

Aware, as I float away,

just how magical 

a moment can be. 

🖋

AL

sometimes


Sometimes the wind that strips everything

is the strong breathing of a yes.
The river of life wears away your little island

and bears you somewhere fertile. 
Receive the gift only departing can bestow,

the holy not in what is anointed
but in what is next,

the beginning beyond the silence beyond the end.
In thickest darkness is a door felt, not seen.

It gives. 
Beside you in confidence 

God is uncompleting the journey for you.
Lay your hand on the dark door. A voice 

says, “Come, join my becoming.”
__________________ 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net


There was a definite cracking sound

It came from that place inside

Secret Deep 

Like the milky way

Or the center of the earth

Or heaven

More possibly hell 

– At least half way to one or all of those places

Like winter ice in the springtime thaw

The sound was unmistakeable

Now i feel it moving outward from that secret place

Like an inchworm 

Made of glass

Or razor blades

I wonder if half of me will 

suddenly

Melt down onto the floor

Like a bizarre murder in an action movie

Where the camera stays still

watching 

to catch

The guy who just got slashed through 

From the sword of justice

Looking normal 

for suspended moments 

Then

Slowly

The smile still on his lips

One piece slides to the floor

While the other stays upright 

To the delight 

of the eager

 bloodthirsty 

cheering 

audience

All of whom I know

🗡

AL



strength  

  
LIGHT AND DARKNESS
When we are touched by the presence of sacred wonder, we do not suddenly run away from the darkness and pretend that it does not exist. Nor do we try to explain away the darkness or become lost in angst over questioning how such darkness can possibly exist. Rather, seeing the greater divine light even a little, we start to see how our delusions only cause ourselves and others such suffering. This growing realization can then begin to slowly open our hearts to compassion and love, both for ourselves and for all other beings who toil in the darkness, caught in cycles of pain, fear, and ignorance. From this love also comes a growing commitment to fight the delusions and the darkness and to serve the light however we can. Indeed, each one of us can fight the darkness in our own ways and in our own time.  
First, we can begin to fight our own delusions and grow spiritually as best we can. We can work toward our own awakening and strive to gain our own growing clarity of vision that allows us to see more and more the delusions for what they are and to see, beyond the delusions, the boundless preciousness of all life, including our own. We cannot truly begin to help others and the world until we begin to clear the clouds from our own eyes. And to do this, we need to start cultivating an open heart of loving-kindness for all life. The true end of suffering comes with the dawning of a deep wisdom that sees the transient, impermanent veneer, but also sees the very present and real luminous spiritual reality that flows through all of us. This requires a commitment to fight first our own intolerance, cruelty, arrogance, anger, and hatred. Change must start in our own hearts and minds and must start with exercising kindness towards ourselves and to those around us in our daily lives.  
Second, we can work to not add to the darkness in our own corner of the world and work instead to shed whatever light we can, even if it is only in the small interactions with others in our daily lives. Our everyday interactions, no matter how humble, can call forth the divine light into our own lives and those around us, when we act with a kind and loving intention. It is certainly wonderful when good people affect positive change on a community wide or larger basis in society. Such efforts need to be supported and commended. But not all of us are always in a position to affect larger societal change. This does not stop us,however, from working quietly in our small corner of the world, bringing light to our own lives and bringing some light to those around us. Such efforts are not to be put down, but have infinite significance. Even a few lights in a darkened city shed beauty and wonder. 

Indeed, the light of love, no matter how small, makes a difference, and the world will be healed only when all of the small corners are filled with light and love. And that will happen only when each of us makes that effort where we stand in the moment in our daily lives.

⚡️

Steven Jay

m.facebook.com at simpleinnertruths

    
  
on the edge of flying. 

the verge of breaking through 

standing in the pouring rain

hoping to find you,

somewhere in the darkness

of this dark and stormy night,

questions with no answers

colliding with the light. 

bloody battles all around,

I’m caught within my pain. 

holding on to faith in something

in the middle of this fight. 

at the end of living

not knowing what to do,

tears, they match the weather

flooding from my soul. 

I shake my head for clearing,

prepare my heart to fight,

struggle to my aching feet

step into the ring of light.

death lies all around me,

as I pray this simple prayer, 

release me for a moment,

there’s work for me to do. 

⚡️

AL

 

 For the dulness that encloses me I pray
your grace burn off the morning fog.

That the dream of doubt I wear like clothes

I pray may in your light dissolve, and fall away.

For healing of the wound that is a world that is a wall 

between me and your delight, and mine, I pray.

From the coma of my fears awaken me

with your warming, seeing sun. 

For my eyes, sleep-sealed and glazed, I pray

to see the nub and fullness of what is. 

From the soft bed of my grave

raise me into this day amazed and new.

__________________ 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net

 

  

 

extra special

  
An extra day —

Like the painting’s fifth cow,
who looks out directly,
straight toward you,
from inside her black and white spots. 

An extra day —

Accidental, surely:
the made calendar stumbling over the real
as a drunk trips over a threshold
too low to see.

An extra day —

With a second cup of black coffee.
A friendly but businesslike phone call.
A mailed-back package.
Some extra work, but not too much —
just one day’s worth, exactly.

An extra day —

Not unlike the space
between a door and its frame
when one room is lit and another is not,
and one changes into the other
as a woman exchanges a scarf.

An extra day —

Extraordinarily like any other.
And still
there is some generosity to it,
like a letter re-readable after its writer has died.

💌

February 29 by Jane Hirshfield

  

 

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