life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

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losing control

Is it hope or denial, surrender or giving up, the discipline of good self-care based on experience or rigid adherence to principles that may not apply? This being human is messy, and discernment often clearer in hindsight than at the start of the day. When to get moving, when to be still? How to care for another without abandoning the self? How to find necessary solitude without disconnecting from life-sustaining community? Yep, I am a bundle of questions this morning- and that’s okay. I will sit with the questions, accept how little I know, and appreciate how infrequently I am “in charge.” 🙂


In this molting age of Aquarius

with water pouring from aged and busted pipes

the tin man sits heartlessly rusted in the laundry room

well beyond any repair

I see your fragile heart spread out for miles and miles

love returning from around the bend again and again

layer after layer of imbedded pain releasing with each soft, round circle and sharp-edged square

we are always tenderly held

pulled from the wreckage of our own spinning brains

working through nights of barking dogs and wild hares

seasons coming and going taking their fine time to bring us out of poverty’s grasp

husks of skin and bone carry the eerie, ethereal beauty of life and death within us – our own and all others

unmapped blue skied tomorrow’s are crossroads paralleling well worn pathways on roads less traveled

everything is connected by this web of grace weaving through our crazy-quilt patterned ancestral charts

our grave stones marking us brothers and sisters- pushing up daises as one, my friend, as well as, my foe

come to me now, save me from destroying myself in my chosen isolation

talk to me in this fine moment of cabbages and kings

take me to the river and wash me clean

feed me with roasted chicken, grapes and sugarplums

sing to me the lullabies of my mother I have loved since childhood

laugh with me in the face of my worry-stone worn smooth by endless hardened time

love me like the rock of ages

and never let me go


Amy Lloyd


all of that

yesterday I was born a leaf a small fragile tender wisp trembling as I hung on the vine

yesterday I hung as mist above the marsh grasses softly whispering to the birds soaring above me as they taught me to sing songs of freedom into each new morning

yesterday I was a gust of air short lived, but not insignificant full of bone rattling cold and hat disturbing bravado

yesterday I was a large, slow, snow flake plopping down like a wet goose feather making the world a magical place

yesterday I was a world made of glass lying shattered on the floor hoping to be recycled into a new and useful planet

yesterday I was various people – a student, a host, a friend, a lover feeling my way into the next moment hoping to find a way home

yesterday I was a tall tree proud yet with humble confidence accepting the grief that winter brings, gently weeping, waiting for spring

yesterday I was a large, dependable mountain made of sheer delights to behold and explore all along the way. The greens of my valleys the grandeur of my peaks leaving me breathless and in awe at every step of my life’s grand adventure.


Amy Lloyd


everything you thought you had,

everything you expected it was,

everything they appeared to be

seemed to transform unexpectedly

into a silent vapor memory.

And all that loss

found its way

inside your chest

and throbbed against

the pulse of living.

You learned Mourning does not

rely upon an efficient and selective process…

It took a season,

and another season,

and another,

to walk through each

tract of land set before you.

You learned grief itself

is an unmapped journey

you would inevitably experience,

and might become lost

among the non-sequential

complex layers.

You learned we all carry

the death of someone,

something, or someplace

around inside,

and for that,

we need not ever feel ashamed.

A marriage,

a child, a friend

a calling, a mission,

a beloved companion,

a way of being…

Try to stifle the Soul's crying.

Try to bundle up and hide

the monumental Why's.

Only to learn

that to surrender

and fully plumb

the depths of sorrow

can Grief be free

to move and breathe

through the runnels

of your heart.

Even while you own

the newer moments—

even as you go through

the motions of an active

and unfolding life.


~ Susan Frybort

at the end of the year

As this year draws to its end,

We give thanks for the gifts it brought

And how they become inlaid within

Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

Days when beloved faces shone brighter

With light from beyond themselves;

And from the granite of some secret sorrow

A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned,

For all we loved and lost

And for the quiet way it brought us

Nearer to our invisible destination.

John O’Donohue

Excerpt from, ‘At the End of the Year’

Mark Nepo tells us to,

‘put down what doesn’t work –

so that we can find what is sacred’.


What worked so well yesterday,

may not work today.

We wear out our structures of known truth,

the frameworks of what we use for living,

for healing.

Let them go,

trust in the new architecture –


with our personal, classic twist.

We are always becoming.

Watch for the signs of structural failure,

build the new bridge,

delight in this magnificent design,

those amazing cranes hanging in the water,

strong, foundational columns

rising from deep within the waters,

creating the new skyline of your life,

welcome this new place of crossing.

It can handle rush hour,

or heavy foot-traffic.

Continue the build,

always creating with the future in mind,

before the old fully implodes underneath our feet.



Let mystery have its place in you;

do not be always turning up your whole soil with the ploughshare of self-examination,

but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring,

and reserve a nook of shadow for the passing bird;

keep a place in your heart for the unexpected guests, an altar for the unknown God.

Then if a bird sing among your branches, do not be too eager to tame it.

If you are conscious of something new—thought or feeling, wakening in the depths of your being—

do not be in a hurry to let in light upon it, to look at it;

let the springing germ have the protection of being forgotten,

hedge it round with quiet, and do not break in upon its darkness.

Henri Frederic Amiel


Fear is a focus That draws focus away From what matters.
Guilt is a hammer That pounds, And pounds, And pounds, On men, Until they surrender, Or stand.
Depression is…
The turning point is so often Found, at the bottom of things. Talking in circles, In a tiny office, With a short, squirrelly man, Who knows more about drugs than people, Psychiatrist indeed. That man sent me into a coma for weeks.
I woke just in time for The sullied, red succubus To have her way, make war, And leave me Broken, sore, and poor. I had spent my life in the pursuit of love And was given loneliness. So, I spent nights in the pursuit of flesh, Only to find less And less And less Of me.
I drank so it would be easier And it was.

Then, in a burnt ashen haze I slipped into a coma, Again, 3rd times a charm.
This time, I woke up in time to go to church. Not for Christ or Communion, Not for meaning or books, or verses Or stories I knew by heart… I went for friends. People I knew, who knew me Before the drill sergeant, and war, Before the agency, and war, Before the sordid succubus Made her own brand of war.
I found my friends there. They had always been there. At my turning point. At my bottom, Where friends are, Where friends live With you, In peaks and valleys Over mountains And oceans Through life. That kind of friend That should have been a wife.

Charles Cooper

I can change a lot of things…

I cannot change someone else’s insecurity

I can fight a lot of battles…

I cannot win against someone else’s insecurity

I can do a lot of things…

I cannot do anything to prove someone’s worth to them…

I can treat everyone I meet with respect and value

I cannot make them understand it from the inside out…

I can send all the love in my heart to others

I cannot make them accept that love…

I do and be and know and give…

I can change my own thinking…

I can fight my own demons…

I can seek to understand my own value and the value of each one…

I can do my own work…

Heal my own life…

That’s all I can do…

 That’s my purpose…

to find the love within my own heart

and reflect it into the world

so that you find grace to do the same

if you so choose

Amy Lloyd

it’s all alright

the truth will always set you free

sometimes I’m startled by how these things happen

how calmly I now speak into the fire

how my voice no longer shakes when I say goodbye

how the complications are so divinely directed

how each event carries within it this seed of opportunity

provides space for new beginnings

a chance for each player to do things differently

wisdom creeps into us slowly sometimes

yet nothing goes away until we learn the needed lessons

how many things I am ready to send on their way

there’s a wind of soft relief at my back gently supporting my progress

the ground beneath me holds my weight

I smile as I walk on knowing

Every little thing will be alright

Amy Lloyd

some people come

to break our hearts,

you know

it’s that special one,

the one who

takes you

and you can’t say no.

they touch some place

in you that

long ago

was neglected

or abandoned

or made to feel

not good enough.

but they come,

like an angel

they come,

and they take your heart

and they hold it

too tight

and they

hold it until it hurts

and then they are gone,

and then they are gone

and leaving you

gasping for air.

all I can say to you

sweet friends,

those of you

who dare to love,

is that when these love angels come,

and they take you,

be steady,

be brave,

and remember,

yes they are taking you,

they have been sent

from the great beyond,

they have been sent

just for you

to take you home,

home to a deeper love,

to take you

home to

your heart.

Scott Lockhart

Austin 2017


This morning sky hits me full in the eyes
scrapes its colors across my heart
removing the scabs of pain
filling me with the salves of glory and holy glow
beauty softens my crippled steps
my wrinkled brow unfurls
I relax into my own amazing skin
this face worn and lived in
like comfortable shoes
reflecting in the mirrored waters
silvered and serene
alive in this scene of splendor
this dream of my determined direction
blood and bones of my stubborn calling
purposed love heals this hurting world
the thrill which was gone
has returned from its lonely wandering
the darkened streets of this old towne
and greets me at my own front door
ready to accompany me on new adventures
there are things to do
people to meet with deliberate eye contact
moving beyond superficial language
intimate words to be spoken to souls connecting
conversations built in real time bliss
laughter is holy spirit’s medicine
pouring out as spoonful’s of honey
on throats sore and choked with words unspoken
flowing tears are made of God
salt releasing those squatting daemons
living large within our temples
structures built on unlimited grace amazing
on a day like today anything could happen
this is the day which will answer all my longings
this is the day where everything begins and ends
this is the day I’ve patiently waited to inhabit
this is the day I’ve learned to give thanks for…
just as it comes
for better and for worse
for all there is and could ever be
the dazzle of light
the shadow of darkness
romance contained within every divine comedy/tragedy
notes making sense only within the grand symphony
rising and falling as our epic stories continue on
music is everything….everything is music
“break a leg”
[play on]

Amy Lloyd

I was going to write about turtles and the Tinies…but I have to finish something…it’s time…you know

when you are there,

when the push inside

says it must be complete…it will change your life…

that shove , that nudge,

that singular tap on the shoulder

from the Holy one…

the words that come through and they are sacred…

Yes, today is the day…and perhaps tomorrow,

it will be stories of turtles and Tinies…

or God on the freeway,

God in the sound of laughter,

God holding healing ceremonies and elevating the vibration of

challenges and Chia pets in boxes from a shelf…

at the store,

or finding wrapping paper with dinosaurs as,

it’s the thought that counts…and three year olds count !

I was going to write about muscles and musicals ,

about museums and the way God messes with the mind;

how heart math and geography are probably more connected through dots on a map…no,

I think not….

but, for today

I have to finish something

that actually says…

it is complete…there is an end…

before the new beginning…

and the birth happens again…


Rev. Donna

Hills and valleys of money and power:

prepare for them to be leveled.

Mountains of privilege and exclusion,

unreachable heights, insurmountable summits:

God surmounts them.

Even the strongest are condemned.

Valleys of racism and sexual violence,

of incarceration and abuse, bear God’s sign:

“Clean fill wanted.”

Don’t count on the mountain to stand on,

or the valley to hide in, the prophet says.

The glory of God is not for the few,

the gated, the elevated,

but for all people when,

no longer separated by hills and gullies,

we are finally together.


Mind the carols you sing this dear little baby.

He means to upend your world.

Herod will fall to the dream of a peasant girl.

The emperor’s throne will become a pit.

Even the deep grave will become

a mountaintop experience.

Don’t build your house on a treacherous slope.

Upending is coming.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

rising morning

Red sun rising above on-ramps

Orange and gold orbs dancing on silver water

love bridged and abridged

prayer ascending descending

ethereal mist surrounds baseline





floating up from this magical smokiness

this morning’s color therapy








Fall sits in blazing splendor

this December beginning

revealed spots of hidden beauty

all along commutes

portals into mystery at every bending moment of God-path’s every where

work waits to steal the beauty of my wanderlust

but for now…

I smile

at the courage of all these leaves

letting go

simply jumping with abandon

without nets

free falling into their next adventures

at the extreme holy beauty of this very moment

I carry this with me

changing the landscape of my day

holding this sacred space

returning again and again

to dip my feet into the colors

of my mindful remembering


Amy Lloyd


Be present. Be here.

Feel your feet on the ground,

your belly rising and falling.

Be open and receptive

to the life all around you.

The sounds, smells, tastes.

Feelings rising unexpectedly.

A tingling in the belly.

A contraction in the throat.

Heaviness in the head.

An old sadness coming to visit.

Stay curious as the moment dances.

Listen. Listen with your entire body.

Hear yourself. Hear the other person.

Hear the silence in between the sentences.

Let the silence linger a little while longer.

There’s no rush. There’s no ‘better’ moment to get to.

Silence doesn’t always need to be filled.

Be a little more naked. A little slower.

Know a little less what you’re about to say.

Be a little less prepared, a little messier,

a little more willing to expose your vulnerable heart.

Be surprised at your own responses.

Don’t numb yourself with the same old stories.

Stumble if you need to. It’s okay. You are held.

Let your words emerge from silence and return to them.

Notice if you’re talking just to avoid the silence.

Notice if you’re regurgitating a story you’ve told before.

Notice if you’re trying to impress, or win love.

Or avoid being seen for who you really are.

Friend, in silence we truly meet.

Genuine understanding is beyond mind.

Love is wordless; needs no more words.

Listen to the silence; it is volcanic.


– Jeff Foster

God-path portal by Robin OK

He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside,

He came to those men who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same words: “Follow thou me!” and sets us to the tasks which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience Who He is.

– Albert Schweitzer

When we pray, we don’t pray to change God’s mind, to urge God to fix everything, we pray to change our own hearts. We pray to be made compassionate if we are selfish; we pray to be given strength when we feel weak. We pray so that we might take action against injustice or suffering rather than sit idly by. We pray so that we are humbled by our flaws and yet grateful for our gifts and strengths. If our heart is hard, we pray that it be made tender. We pray to see ourselves with clear eyes, neither too proud nor filled with self-doubt and judgment. We pray to be filled with empathy for those who are sick, abandoned, imprisoned, or suffering. We pray to be given the strength to do what is hard. We pray to remember what is within our power to do, and also to remember what is beyond our capacity to control. we pray to remember in hope that all is not lost, that it is NEVER lost. And that we have a role to play in making things better. We pray to grow closer to God and to those who have gone on before us so that we remember the faith that inspired simple lives to be better lives.

This is why we pray. Not to relinquish our own responsibilities to one another, but to remember them! To inflame our sense of right action, not to extinguish it by soothing our conscience to sleep.

So, we pray! We pray so that our eyes become clear and our hearts emptied enough to make room for Love. We pray to be awakened. For God to awaken us all to our present duty! It is here that the world will be made whole.


Punk Monk

beyond our house of cards

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 courage.

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


Poems by David Whyte

© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

From Facebook/ India Museum of Spiritual Art


There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. We enter the world as strangers who all at once become heirs to a harvest of memory, spirit, and dream that has long preceded us and will now enfold, nourish, and sustain us.

John O’Donohue

Excerpt from BENEDICTUS (Europe) /



I am all for aha! moments and other peak experiences, but my most lasting transformation happened in the subtleties, in those private moments of decision as to which path to walk. In every moment, there is a choice: Will I open, or close? Will I take responsibility, or blame? Will I download the learning, or deflect? Will I go to my edge, or fall back to safety? Will I honour my intuition, or listen to the world? Millions of moments of decision that inform who we become. Getting out of Unconscious Prison is a life-long journey. True path is built with choices. I choose authenticity.

– Jeff Brown

“No one is coming to save you, but it is not because you are unloved. To the contrary: You are so revered, so adored, so magnificent, that to send to you a savior would be to destroy your opportunity to become what you are in truth, to realize yourself fully, in the glory of your divine humanity.

It is true, there are those who need surrogate representatives to protect their interests: the children, the elderly, the sick, the caged, the oppressed, and the mad, and there are not enough heroines to care for them all.

No one is coming to save you because you are the hero, the heroine who has come to free up life here. Yours must come first. There is no other way.

If you were not required to save yourself, you would not know what it takes, your compassion would be shallow, your eyes would be dull and cloudy, your strength would not hold out.

If you refuse to save yourself, you condemn creation to incompletion. Those you might have healed, might have protected, might have represented, might have loved back into wholeness, may not fulfill their own destinies either. For some of these unknown persons, you may have been the last dry match in the the world, and it would be enough to set them ablaze by your example.

You don’t need the white knight. You are the wild horse racing the wind.

You don’t need the holy man. You are already holy.

You don’t need the medicine. You are the medicine.

You don’t need magic. You are a living miracle.

You don’t need acceptance. You are loved and adored beyond measure.

You don’t need courage. You need faith.

There is nothing wrong with you. Be who you are: who you really are underneath all the lies inside you.

You are the return of the promise. The peacekeeper. The grace giver. The redemptive force of Creation here to uplift the broken-hearted.

No one is more qualified than you are to do your holy work.

Apply all that secret knowledge. Set it in motion. Give it form in the world, and become the living gift that never empties.” ~ Alison Nappi Author

a buzz

it happens every time this year…

some form of mystical madness

that seeps through …


even raptures the atmosphere…

something waiting,

anticipating, announcing …

I often go off the grid, around the corner, deep down in the layers of my life…and sit there, pray there, waltz with God…

and then I review the pages of the calendar

heading back to Dec. 24th and leaving the main stream,

while never able to remove myself from the

Road to Damascus

and falling off horses,

falling off logs,

awakening to the fire in my cells…

the interruption of human and divine

blind radiance that makes the unknown, Known.

I could flip to October and the birthing of babies,

or back to January and the beginning of the end with mom;

or June 7th and Ordination

Whether it be babies or bumblebees,

or prayer walking in the trees,

kayaking on Lake Cunningham,

no one has the same God

or just the right story,


the journey through all of eternity

now that is truly yours,

given freely for you. Forever and ever,

kind of like fairy tales

or the mystics and giants.

You find the Light when it’s time,

when the messages click,

and sometimes there is that horse

or the conversation with Hildegard

– the twirling with Rumi

the sunset that opens the inner eye

the cool morning breath as you walk around the block…

the prayer that seeped through to the other side…

the baby you rock to sleep every night…

finally you can say,

we are dancing in paradise

God’s rumba is ALIVE…


Rev. Donna Knutson

Only calmness will reassure

the bees to let you rob their hoard.

Any sweat of fear provokes them.

Approach with confidence, and from

the side, not shading their entrance.

And hush smoke gently from the spout

of the pot of rags, for sparks will

anger them. If you go near bees

every day they will know you.

And never jerk or turn so quick

you excite them. If weeds are trimmed

around the hive they have access

and feel free. When they taste your smoke

they fill themselves with honey and

are laden and lazy as you

lift the lid to let in daylight.

No bee full of sweetness wants to

sting. Resist greed. With the top off

you touch the fat gold frames, each cell

a hex perfect as a snowflake,

a sealed relic of sun and time

and roots of many acres fixed

in crystal-tight arrays, in rows

and lattices of sweeter latin

from scattered prose of meadow, woods.

Honey by Richard Morgan

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

When love’s got hold of you, there isn’t a lie in the universe that can hold you, or pull you apart.

Let the broken say: when you’re bruised by lies, believe truth and whisper it louder: I am my beloved’s.

– Ann Voskamp

There are bees all over

making love to the lavender

I, the daughter of Eve,

think about my bad choices.

revel in grace abundant,

that gently saves me from my self.

shy sunflowers

remind me of forgiveness.

the garden gnome and the smiling turtles

remind me of when I used to try so hard.

nothing was easy.

I worked for two.

carrying a load made to share.

Love…is a holy experience

Yes and Amen!

so is life!

the sparkling red bird feeder

keeps reminding me

to stop and just relax.

The birds come,

when it’s full they eat;

when it’s empty they fly

to find provision

at the next place.


there is provision.

they never whine or complain –

they just fly!



the cool breeze makes me smile.

I think about sharing the empty chair

with someone

who prays for me.

who prays with me.

who could sit in silent company

with me.

breathing it all in.

loving it all out.




speaking these miracles

in new ways, to open me

to more wonder,

while sharing

the same heart,

the same thirst.

There’s intimacy in the air tonight

God is walking with me

in the cool of the evening

Eden is ch-ch-changing

Welcoming me home.

Well done, my child

Amy Lloyd

Bee Blessing

The night

the bees came

was a cold one,


sharp and

frost tipped.

They arrived


swaddled in

smoky slumber,

lost in the deep humming


of the hive.

The signs had been


the Beeman told us,

and a dark night

before the new moon

was perfect.


they would

wake to a

new world,

like toddlers


their journey


knowing only the



rhythm of the

car engine


Scouting ahead,

like a faithful


the Beeman

had checked the


and pronounced it


“They will like the

old ivy and

the heather”,

he said,

“It will make

the honey sweeter




Locked up in the

old orchard,

high walled,


open skyed,

they will work

their ancient


and turn pollen


liquid gold.

Leaving their

wax worked


at dawn’s daily


to gather goods,

their wings

a droning


upon the wind,

they will


blooms and blossom,

alighting with

a touch

that dusts them

with the yellow

gift of

new life,

as they seek

the hidden


of the


So these,

our new


stalled in choir

combs now,

upon this

whole and holy

land of


will make,

with us poor


one great

monastery of



bees and brothers


seek the

sweet nectar

of the now,

and are in our




and become


(Written to celebrate the arrival this month of the new Beehives to the Ards Friary Walled Garden)

By Richard Hendrick

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