life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Poetry”

the sensual colors of poetry 

I like your wide open window soft abandon

your wild free wheelin rambunctiousness

your inexplicable

untamed

a soft new invention

a wilderness

a concoction of sensual indigenous aromas

and I want to hear you sing

your wild buffalo song

my axe wailing some new chord

with the sun on our backs

cool water in our packs

.

I want our hikes to go on for days 

months years

exploring everything wild 

and real

fully contaminated with green forest and wild herbs 

till our blood is so fully and completely inoculated

with chlorophyll and light 

that our dreams become plainly visible 

.

as the light runs from the skies

and the sun dims

we will lie on warm ground 

inventing a new perfume 

under a blanket of whispering stars

🔥

Adam A. DeFranco

I’m in an open relationship

with my heart.

How can I contain my passion for snails?

For otters, milkweed in autumn,

the holes in old socks that live

for decades in a drawer,

stray cats, lonely porcelain

Sleeping Beauty and the Prince

salt and pepper shakers,

coyotes moaning in the wetland,

wayward petals that wander

far from their roses

on rain-swollen breaths of September.

Each creature, I’m afraid,

is my favorite partner.

You, you above all.

I say that to everyone, don’t I?

After love making,

the universe and I just lie here

gazing through our tears.

Who is the sweat-beaded Dancer?

Who is the Witness wearing only

a necklace of stars?

One who burns completely,

leaving neither smoke

nor ashes,

becomes pure.

❤️
Alfred K. LaMotte


Yes, God is mysterious as fog,

but please, don’t give me that stuff

about God playing hard to get.

She is so into you 

I can’t believe you don’t see it.

She’s flagrant about it.

She writes you the steamiest letters

in the colors of sky and leaf, 

in stone and sea and child,

her hands are all over you,

she has moves that—admit it—

make you blush.

He’s in your dreams, 

whispers to you when you aren’t listening.

You think those scriptures are some dry text

but it’s him, fawning all over you,

saying your name.

She wears the most revealing outfits,

struts her stuff, begs for attention.

They’ve always been like that. 

Going on singles cruises,

trolling the skankiest bars in town,

hoping for luck.

She has no shame, no holding back.

I’d take her aside and talk to her

about decorum and such,

but golly, 

I can’t even get in the same room with her

without her climbing all over me. 

She’s yours, mate. 
Yeah, it’s a little wild. Razor’s edge.

I get why you pull back.

But listen.  

Secretly, so in the dark you don’t even know,

it’s your own heart that’s flirting 

with everything that moves.

She’s the one 

who’s holding you quietly, calmly, murmuring,

“Easy. Easy. I’m right here.

You’ve got me. It’s OK.”
______________________

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net


I want to kiss you forever

I want to lay with you

in a tangle of sheets and tongues and crazy, wild hair

with the rain beating against the foggy windowpane

and touch your face 

as our warm 

eyes and souls and bodies 

melt into one

with God

the perfect trifecta 

I want to stay there

forever 

and then another endless, beautiful day

I’ll not ever ask for more

than to love 

and be loved

like this

by you

💋

Amy Lloyd (AL)


You can

die for it–

an idea,

or the world. People
have done so,

brilliantly,

letting

their small bodies be bound
to the stake,

creating

an unforgettable

fury of light. But
this morning,

climbing the familiar hills

in the familiar

fabric of dawn, I thought
of China,

and India

and Europe, and I thought

how the sun
blazes

for everyone just

so joyfully

as it rises
under the lashes

of my own eyes, and I thought

I am so many!

What is my name?
What is the name

of the deep breath I would take

over and over

for all of us? Call it
whatever you want, it is

happiness, it is another one

of the ways to enter

fire.

 ~ Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems

Remember: Joy is not a sin; sacrifice is not a virtue. 

         ❤️ Paulo Coelho ❤️

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say it your way    

Windows is shutting down, and grammar are

On their last leg. So what am we to do?

A letter of complaint go just so far,

Proving the only one in step are you.
Better, perhaps, to simply let it goes.

A sentence have to be screwed pretty bad

Before they gets to where you doesnt knows

The meaning what it must be meant to had.
The meteor have hit. Extinction spread,

But evolution do not stop for that.

A mutant languages rise from the dead

And all them rules is suddenly old hat.
Too bad for we, us what has had so long

The best seat from the only game in town.

But there it am, and whom can say its wrong?

Those are the break. Windows is shutting down.

📝
Windows is Shutting Down by Clive James 


My name is Tara and I’m 55 years old Precious Moments angel statue
 I would not classify myself as a hoarder, more of a rescuer of Target receipts 
When I first moved in it was just mostly boxes because  I was moving in then I tried to unpack but everything just got put wherever Martha Stewart magazines 
I just started asking God that I would like to know what it would be like to have an organized sea of stuffed frogs 
A bed looks like a bed with picnic baskets 
And your table doesn’t have stuff on it it’s a painting of a cornucopia
 And the couch you can sit on it people can sit on it like American girl dolls
 Well I’ve finally come to the realization I have too much Praise Hymn compact discs 
I told God that I just have this one wish and this one dream that Lord you just send someone to help Jesus Christ Hearts Me Florida license plate holder
 My mother, she had a one-bedroom Nativity set
 We all ended up sleeping in the same crumbling Family Circus comic strip 
I didn’t know how a house was supposed to be tangle of mismatched electronic cords
 I haven’t been in the closet in five years because Victorian dolls 
I realized I have to let some things go because how am I ever going to get out of this mayhem and foolishness if I don’t Walking in Wisdom Embracing Love 2005 calendar
 You have to be willing to do the work McDonald’s minions Happy Meal toys
 You have to be able to let it go uncashed paycheck from 2008 
If you don’t, it will swallow you flattened American flag balloon 
My brain is not wired for this 18-year old pile of unopened mail
 I’m trying to recover from a migraine marching penguin with Santa hat
 I’ll do that tomorrow but then tomorrow something else happens candy cane stuck to the floor
 Whoa, that’s my vertigo lint roller covered in lint
 I don’t want to deal with cordless phones coated in dust 
I need to breathe nearly natural poinsettias
 I’m hoping and praying for a miracle unused Trisha Yearwood tickets from 1999
 I always felt like if Jesus came to the door and opened the door I would have felt so shamed because I wasn’t showing
 gratefulness and pink Jesus Christ “Enjoy” baseball cap in Coca Cola font
 Those are mine, I keep those Bed Bath and Beyond crystal Kleenex holders 
I didn’t realize there was so much dust Easter bunny
 I have done the Lord’s work humbly Thomas Kinkaide puzzle of Cinderella castle
 Yes and with tears

💨

Hoarders: Tara by Kate Durbin



I drive down Copperleaf Lane
looking at those copper leaves
falling from the poplar trees
(well, to tell the truth, 
I’m not sure they’re poplars
but that fits well with my poem…
it’s called poetic license)
I see why the street is named thus, though
it is a copper way
on a copper day
Must have been named in fall
because other seasons the leaves were all 

not living up to their name

rule breaking in their seasons
flowery white
shades of green to green
or absent 
I love nature 
reveals so much about how we could live

freely
patiently

endlessly creative
one leaf 

or leaving
one name 

many names 

or none
one slow beautiful movement within them all
in each one precious moment in our time of time

paying no mind to the rules, we find

words, and trees, always finding their rhyme 
🍁

Amy Lloyd (AL)


blues jam



inhale to receive exhale to give      

Earth our waitress

            comes to the table in her rumpled apron

            stained with a hundred juices.

            “What will it be this morning?” 
            “Let’s start with some mist

            in one of those green valleys,

            and a cup of black loam with

            a single tree frog.

            Then fallen apples over easy

            with extra worms,

            a side of scattered leaves

            in a caramelized sunbeam.” 
            “That comes with Summer’s last

            abandoned bird’s nest salad.

            Or soup of the day, fern bog

            with skunk cabbage and blue

            chanterelles.” 
            “I’ll take the soup,

            a half carafe of Autumn rain,

            and a cruller the shape

            of a groundhog’s hole.” 
            She remembers your order by heart.

            Old ones keep coming back to this place.

            They bring grandchildren.

            She knows what you love. 
            There’s a line to get in.

            Sometimes it seems

            we have to wait a year,

            but its worth it.

🍃

Alfred K LaMotte

Packed in my mind lie all the clothes
   

Which outward nature wears,

And in its fashion’s hourly change
    

It all things else repairs.
In vain I look for change abroad,
    

And can no difference find,

Till some new ray of peace uncalled
   

 Illumes my inmost mind.
What is it gilds the trees and clouds,
   

 And paints the heavens so gay,

But yonder fast-abiding light
    

With its unchanging ray?
Lo, when the sun streams through the wood,
  

  Upon a winter’s morn,

Where’er his silent beams intrude
    

The murky night is gone.
How could the patient pine have known
    

The morning breeze would come,

Or humble flowers anticipate
    

The insect’s noonday hum,—
Till the new light with morning cheer
    

From far streamed through the aisles,

And nimbly told the forest trees
    

For many stretching miles?
I’ve heard within my inmost soul
    

Such cheerful morning news,

In the horizon of my mind
    

Have seen such orient hues,
As in the twilight of the dawn,
    

When the first birds awake,

Are heard within some silent wood,
    

Where they the small twigs break,
Or in the eastern skies are seen,
    

Before the sun appears,

The harbingers of summer heats
    

Which from afar he bears.
🌞

The Inward Morning 

Henry David Thoreau

Every night before I go to sleep

I say out loud

Three things that I’m grateful for,

All the significant, insignificant

Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.

It’s a small practice and humble,

And yet, I find I sleep better

Holding what lightens and softens my life

Ever so briefly at the end of the day.

Sunlight, and blueberries,

Good dogs and wool socks,

A fine rain,

A good friend,

Fresh basil and wild phlox,

My father’s good health,

My daughter’s new job,

The song that always makes me cry,

Always at the same part,

No matter how many times I hear it.

Decent coffee at the airport,

And your quiet breathing,

The stories you told me,

The frost patterns on the windows,

English horns and banjos,

Wood Thrush and June bugs,

The smooth glassy calm of the morning pond,

An old coat,

A new poem,

My library card,

And that my car keeps running

Despite all the miles.

And after three things,

More often than not,

I get on a roll and I just keep on going,

I keep naming and listing,
Until I lie grinning,

Blankets pulled up to my chin,

Awash with wonder

At the sweetness of it all.
🤗

Three Gratitudes

BY CARRIE NEWCOMER
these two pictures are from Robin OK’s morning from Michigan. The rest are from my morning walk in Branford, CT with Phoebe Snow Good Times!


adding this below – just sent via text from my friend, Anni, currently in Scotland for her daughters wedding!! 

and from my friend, Bill…this day just keeps giving…


and from the lunch table


afterburner      


Ask yourself

As you stand there

In the pale grey air

Frozen to these four walls

Feet turned to stone

Decide!

What is worth saving?
Can you will your hands

To grab the memories

You carry only in your heart

Can you pack your boxes full

With the laughter that rings in your ears
The clouds taunt you

Hurry!

There is no time left

Three red flags declare your fate

The defiance of your feet

The moan caught in your throat

Your hands still empty

🔥

This Does Not Belong To You by Salyna Gracie
http://womenspiritualpoetry.blogspot.com/2014/10/this-does-not-belong-to-you-by-salyna.html?m=1

At any given moment 

we get to decide what we keep

and what we leave behind

what truly matters

what creates value for us

As my friend, Barbara McAfee, says,

“Who ya gonna be while you’re passing through?”

No one can answer that question for anyone else,

though many times we allow them to do so. 

Sometimes it’s a radical loss

we have lost everything we have kept dear

all our treasures in this world

in fire, flood, loss of jobs, health,

bloody battles with power hungry ex’s,

even flukey things never expected.

These are our opportunities 

when we only have ourselves left

and we burn as we adjust to this new space of being

the grieving takes us into different, 

often difficult, spaces 

where we get to (ok, have to) do a new thing

this is where life can reveal our best,

or worst, 

because, it’s always our choice! 

My wish for us is that

this becomes a beautiful foundation 

to rebuild our new ships –

the latest and greatest in technological wonders –

the kind which will catch the best wind

to take us to the next adventure  

for which we set sail!

Where our very lives become  

our grandest home ever!

The best is always yet to be! 

⛵️

Amy Lloyd (AL) 

aka The Oracle of Hope & Happiness

When there has been too much pain, we often forget that we have the built-in capacity to move through it to another state. The Divine gave us tears to be cried, the capacity to express our anger, a vast range of emotional devices that, when healthily unleashed and expressed, can clear the toxicity out of us, and lead us to lessons of self-love at the heart of them. In our authentic vulnerability lies our greatest power—the power to re open our hearts after loss and disappointment. The idea that feeling the pain gives power to those who have hurt us is completely wrong. Feeling the pain is an act of self-empowerment and the only way to make a break from the prison of repressed emotions. Reach inside and unlock the door…


– Jeff Brown



rest in the miracle that has always already happened!    – Fred LaMotte


When the world does not conform

to the story in my head

I get a feeling that

“something’s not right.”

Why is the story in my head

not down-loading properly?
Why do I sense that the world

needs to be fixed

and I must repair what is “wrong”

by imposing my story

onto the mystery

of the ineluctable?
Yet the world is not a problem.

The problem is

there’s a story in my head
but it’s not quite the same

as your story, is it?
And so there is conflict,

there is suffering,

even if our stories are about

salvation, about justice

and equality, the perfect

marriage, the cleanest

environment, or gaining

enlightenment…
Happiness cannot arise

if we slather the world in the thin

veneer of our narration.

Happiness is the dance

of atoms ordered by

the dynamics of chaos

in the heart of the now

when we let both story

and teller disperse

like a fine mist,
when we let things clarify

all by themselves

the way silt filters and falls

through a mountain brook

in liquid transparency.
Now rest in the miracle

that has always

already happened.

Just shut up and see.

A rain cloud vanishes.

There are crystal drops on

blades of grass, each containing

the sun.
💫

SOMETHING’S NOT QUITE RIGHT by Alfred LaMotte
https://www.amazon.com/Savor-Eternity-One-Moment-Time/dp/0996523146

Let us go forward quietly, forever making for the light…

   Vincent Van Gogh 

these anniversaries 

the marking of dates

building Ebenezer memorials 

from the stones of help

bringing me to this place

tasting again

the bitter herbs

the roasted lamb

the flat bread

the milk and honey flowing over everything 

the fresh dates and figs 

of now

sitting with this

bitter-sweet

sweet-bitter

this life

this love

this past

this practice 

this present 

this grateful 

that gratitude 

that changing

this constant

this birth

this death

this resurrection 

always this love

ah this love

just. 

this. 

love. 

always the path of thanks

always the gifts presenting 

along the diamond road

this is my tradition

my version of holiday 

each one

my best of days

my worst of days

feeling it wrapping around my senses

these memories clouds 

wrapping around me

enveloped from behind me

me always facing forward

always facing toward the rising moment just ahead

the path before me the most important 

always remembering,

along with that other Southern Belle…

tomorrow is another day…

the best is always yet to be! 

🗓

AL 7/23/16 gratitude/tradition


Life

                                    truly             

                            is beauty                

                    beauty                                     

           salted                                                     

        by rare moments                                           

of exquisite suffering.    
 Life

  truly             

    is suffering               

              suffering                                    

  peppered                                              

           by rare moments                                           

of exquisite beauty.    

         

🌹                   

Duality of Life Mug


there’s this summer song

of cool wind on my skin, 

playing sweet percussion through the tall, lush marsh grass

gentle water

invisible birds singing in surround sound

my heart resonates with the language we have spoken

the songs we have sung

the rich vibrations of our connection

over the past few days

the new sun warms my back

my shadow sits large

writing poems

this silence my gratitude

this morning my pleasure

this day my gift

this moment my life

thank you for reaching out 

for breaking through the darkness

for holding my hand
💞

AL


The worst isn’t the last thing about the world. It’s the next to the last thing. The last thing is the best. It’s the power from on high that comes down into the world, that wells up from the rock-bottom worst of the world like a hidden spring. Can you believe it? The last, best thing is the laughing deep in the hearts of the saints, sometimes our hearts even. Yes. You are terribly loved and forgiven. Yes. You are healed. All is well. 

     – Frederick Buechner 

      The Final Beast


Then I walked 

straight forward

out of the gate,

through the wood,

along the river,

toward the mountain
and I thought of the future

I could make in the world

if I walked toward it

like this,

with my face toward the hills

and my eyes full of light

and the earth sure

and solid beneath me,

walking

with a fierce anticipation,

and a faithful expectation,

with the sun and the rain

and the wind on my skin

and that old sense…

of many paths

breaking from one path.
So learning to walk

in morning light

like this again,

we’ll take our first 

light step

toward mortality,

walking

out of the garden,

through the woods,

along the river,

toward the mountain,

its simple,

that’s what we’ll do,

practicing as we go

and

we’ll be glimpsed, 

traveling westward, 

no longer familiar,

a following wave,

greeted, as we were at our birth,

as probable 

and slightly 

dangerous strangers,

someone

coming into view,

someone about

to find out.
Some wild 

and improbable risk 

about to break 

on the world again.
..
David Whyte

Adapted from LEARNING TO WALK

From RIVER FLOW: 

New and Selected Poems


blank space


Today I find myself empty

Empty of words

Empty of color

Empty of strength

Empty of grief

Empty of empathy

Empty of ability

Empty of thoughts even

I’ve been here many times 

I understand it better now

I will allow

I will rest

rest from thought

rest from guilt

rest from wanting

rest from expecting 

rest from having to

rest from desire

I rest in my truth

rest in faith

rest in trust

rest in love

rest in what I believe 

rest in what I have experienced 

I will just be

stay open

stay present

stay here now

in wordless prayer –

Allowing the emptiness to be 

Today I am empty

and it is

well with my soul. 

💭

AL


Writing about empty mind is not easy.

When I have got it, there are no words.

When the words come, it goes away.
Sitting in anger and fear,

Mind is full of the past and future.

Images of catastrophes big and small

Jostle for a seat at the brain.

Resentment, incredulity and disappointment

Slide their way into heart spaces

Pushing out loving-kindness.

Equanimity lies in pieces.
Some of us scrape up that slimy

Emotional stuff and put it in jars

To carry along with us,

And then we complain that

Our load is too heavy.

We need to put down that

Lumpy sack of ooze

And take a breath.
The sage said,

“I pack no provisions for my long journey—

Entering emptiness under the midnight moon.”

He did not pack his ego,

Or his remembrance of self.

He carried no big plans

Or regrets of the past.

Like a wise fool he may have

Even forgotten to leave.

While he sits still in darkness,

The moon travels the sky.

🗯

Empty Mind by Tom Barrett


        

I have a small vial of clay

that used to hold my father’s ashes.

They’re on a hillside in Montana now;

the vial is clean and empty,

ready for me. 
I should keep it in my pocket,

hold it deep in the folds of my coat,

until I am folded into my little vial of clay.
It asks me, what is the difference

between you and clay?

The answer is water.

That, and love. 
The little vial of clay says daily:

drink water while you can,

and love. 

__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net


There is a community of the spirit.

Join it, and feel the delight

of walking in the noisy street

and being the noise.
Drink all your passion,

and be a disgrace.
Close both eyes

to see with the other eye.
Open your hands,

if you want to be held.
Sit down in this circle.
Quit acting like a wolf, and feel

the shepherd’s love filling you.
At night, your beloved wanders.

Don’t accept consolations.
Close your mouth against food.

Taste the lover’s mouth in yours.
You moan, “She left me.” “He left me.”

Twenty more will come.
Be empty of worrying.

Think of who created thought!
Why do you stay in prison

when the door is so wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.

Live in silence.
Flow down and down in always

widening rings of being.

🎴

A Community of the Spirit by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.
       – Rumi


mirror mirror   


Reborn as a court reporter

Inside a waking dream

Trapped between misspelling Subpoena and shouting guilty over and over

In a feudal land someone personified Justice as a woman, as a joke.
Oh the bliss that reason brings

Cold, calculated, harmony of all things

Where we agree, to agree, to disagree

That we can all agree on something.

“If only I got what I deserved”

Said no man ever.  

The wrongs of another cannot be punished too harshly

Until you turn the eye inward,

To the mote and see yourself,

Know yourself,

Judge yourself,

Find mercy for yourself if you can.

Such a futile exercise for man

When you are done with yourself, 

Ask if you can ever withhold forgiveness again?

🙀

Finding Mercy by Charles Cooper


We are all of us judged every day. We are judged by the face that looks back at us from the bathroom mirror. We are judged by the faces of the people we love and by the faces and lives of our children and by our dreams. We are judged by the faces of the people we do not love. Each day finds us at the junction of many roads, and we are judged as much by the roads we have not taken as by the roads we have.
The New Testament proclaims that at some unforeseeable time in the future, God will ring down the final curtain on history, and there will come a Day on which all our days and all the judgments upon us and all our judgments upon each other will themselves be judged. The judge will be Christ. In other words, the one who judges us most finally will be the one who loves us most fully.
Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely, but Christ’s love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ’s love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering that Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal. The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.

~Frederick Buechner originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words

              Somewhere between what it feels like, to be at

one with the sea, and to understand the sea as

mere context for the boat whose engine refuses

finally to turn over: yeah, I know the place—

stumbled into it myself, once; twice, almost.  All

around and in between the two trees that

grow there, tree of compassion and—

much taller—
tree of pity, its bark 

more bronze, the snow
              settled as if an openness of any kind meant, as well,

a woundedness that, by filling it, the snow

might heal…You know what I think? I think if we’re

lost, you should know exactly where, by now; I’ve

watched you stare long and hard enough at the map

already…I’m beginning to think I may never

not be undecided, about all sorts of things: whether

snow really does resemble the broken laughter

              of the long-abandoned when what left comes back

big-time; whether gratitude’s just a haunted

space like any other.  This place sounds daily

more like a theater of war, each time I listen to it—

loss, surprise, victory, being only three of the countless

fates, if you want to call them that, that we don’t

so much live with, it seems, as live for now among.  If as

close as we’re ever likely to get, you and I, is this—this close—

⛵️

Carl Phillips. 

Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 19, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets


I am not your enemy.

I am for you, not against. 

I am not like your anger,

I am not your fear.

I am your joy, your peace. 

I am your breathing, your heartbeat, 

your blood, your Being. 

I am the fullness of you, 

unfolding as you let me.

I have only blessing for you,

like a mother for her newborn. 

I am your perfection, longing for you. 

My judgment is not harsh, but pure mercy,

my seeing your brilliance folded in the bud,

my knowledge of your beauty waiting in you.

I do not judge your doubts 

but give you strength to tear them open

and find in them the mirror of your grace.

I know your childish fears, 

your helpless lashing out,

I have seen the rage seeping into you.

My wrath burns not against you but that lie.

I will hold you until you quiet in my arms.  

You are angry because you are afraid

that I am not here for you

but I am here

                   for you.

Be still, and let me hold you. 
__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net



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

breaking the mold…feelin’ dangerously cheesy

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.      – Chesterton


In the pantry the dear dense cheeses, Cheddars and harsh

Lancashires; Gorgonzola with its magnanimous manner;

the clipped speech of Roquefort; and a head of Stilton

that speaks in a sensuous riddling tongue like Druids.

O cheeses of gravity, cheeses of wistfulness, cheeses

that weep continually because they know they will die.

O cheeses of victory, cheeses wise in defeat, cheeses

fat as a cushion, lolling in bed until noon.

Liederkranz ebullient, jumping like a small dog, noisy;

Pont l’Évêque intellectual, and quite well informed; Emmentaler

decent and loyal, a little deaf in the right ear;

and Brie the revealing experience, instantaneous and profound.

O cheeses that dance in the moonlight, cheeses

that mingle with sausages, cheeses of Stonehenge.

O cheeses that are shy, that linger in the doorway,

eyes looking down, cheeses spectacular as fireworks.

Reblochon openly sexual; Caerphilly like pine trees, small

at the timberline; Port du Salut in love; 

Caprice des Dieux
eloquent, tactful, like a thousand-year-old hostess;

and Dolcelatte, always generous to a fault.

O village of cheeses, I make you this poem of cheeses,

O family of cheeses, living together in pantries,

O cheeses that keep to your own nature, like a lucky couple,

this solitude, this energy, these bodies slowly dying.
🧀

O Cheese by Donald Hall


why is it so hard to see you get in that line?

the one where you wait to fly away…

my heart is so full of you. 

I’m so very grateful for you,

for these days, 

full and joyful.

Over way too fast. 

There’s so much more to do,

too share,

talk about,

explore. 

You,

so handsome,

funny,

brave,

smart 

and practical. 

Always thinking,

finding yourself,

ready for more,

standing so tall 

with your quick smile,

and quick frown. 

I think about you little, 

eating cheese off your bed –

you were always a wild animal,

always manufacturing a tail from some found source. 

You were always so much more than that – 

you were always art,

always real life,

always finding God in the clouds,

always quick to find the silly,

my beautiful son. 

I laugh through my tears 

at the sheer gift of you. 

I love you pure,

to the deepest depths of myself. 

I can’t possibly comprehend it, 

but I know, somehow,

God loves you even more than I do. 

Breathe in, breathe out.  

Let go…

Fly free, be well, live full, and come back soon – 

my only prayers 

👦🏼

AL/Mom


When the news came in over the phone

that you did not have cancer, as they first thought.

I was in the kitchen trying to follow a recipe,

glancing from cookbook to stove,

shifting my glasses from my nose to my forehead and back,

a recipe, as it turned out, for ratatouille,

a complicated vegetable dish

which you or any other dog would turn up your nose at.

If you had been here, I imagine

you would have been curled up by the door

sleeping with your head resting on your tail.

And after I learned that you were not sick,

everything took on a different look

and appeared to be better than it usually is.

For example (and that’s the first and last time

I will ever use those words in a poem),

I decided I should grate some cheese,

not even knowing if it was right for ratatouille,

and the sight of the cheese grater

with its red handle lying in the drawer

with all the other utensils made me marvel

at how this thing was so perfectly able and ready

to grate cheese just as you with your long smile

and your brown and white coat

are perfectly designed to be the dog you perfectly are.
🧀

Good News by Billy Collins




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

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