life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

then sings my soul

1aThere are things that make my soul sing –
Like hay bales in a newly mowed field.
Corn with tassels as far as the eye can see.
Tobacco hanging straight on rods drying high in a barn.
Farms fenced with white wood, their pastures dotted
with cows, horses and John Deer green.
Coming down a hill to see
city skyline soft in rainy mist,
or night-time lights.
Fog draping anything.
Crossing a body of water on a brilliantly engineered bridge.
All make me hold my breath with the sight of so much beauty.
The lines and shades of green from the tree farm pine trees looking like Christmas all year.
Small deli’s with homemade sausage and hand cut meats,
where the owner takes care of getting your order,
then comes out to ring you up.
All of these are miracles of extraordinary proportion.
These have fed my soul today.
So much more in store for me tomorrow.
The lavish gifts life brings are many and varied.
I am blessed to be awed by a few on my way.

AL 6/28/13

faith allows for grace in everything

Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith

by Mary Oliver

Every summerenjoy-every-moment
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
in the moonlight, but I can’t hear

anything, I can’t see anything—
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,

nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,

the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker—
green gowns lifting up in the night,
showered with silk.

And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing—
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,

the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet—
all of it
beyond all seeable proof, or hearable hum.

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.

doing all things well

1Have you considered the time of life when you face death? In America, we tend to deny that we will die. Deny that we will not live forever, but the truth is it is appointed unto man to die. No one is exempt and we will all face the transition into the next place (whatever that looks like) and we will be gone from this dimension, this time shall pass and so shall we.

I have always known that, I spent time growing up around death and a lot of funerals as my dad was a pastor and my family sang, but I still remember when I read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and did the exercise of going forward to my death and looking back – what would I want my life to be about? What would I want to be able to say and hear from others about my life? That exercise helped me in so many ways and I have continued to do it at least once a year – it keeps me growing and also helps me let go of things that I do not want to have in my life if I die tomorrow.

As I read books about The Art of Dying and The art of Being a Healing Presence I realize how important it is to live with the reality of death. Not wishing death, but aware of death. Taking care of the business of my call to live today in the best possible way. I believe the way to die well is to live well.


The colors blend
I think about
the importance of doing both well
how does it happen?
how do we live and die with grace?
the longer I live I am more and more convinced
It centers around our
which lead us to
our choices are all important
to both our living
and our dying
if I want to die with grace
I must live with grace
to live with grace
I must choose my thoughts wisely
I must listen to the wisdom which tells me,
Guard your heart, child, for everything you do flows from your heart.

AL 6/26/13


1However the Spirit works in you,
work with that Spirit.
However the Spirit bears love in you,
let that love grow.
If beauty or friendship feed your joy,
bathe your heart in those things.
If words or silence nourish your peace,
give time to them to bless you.
If baseball makes you more patient
then play baseball.
Whatever nourishes the Spirit in you
practice, that it may bear fruit.

And whatever diminishes
your kindness or generosity,
whatever chokes your faithfulness,
or diverts your gentleness and self-control,
whatever assaults the Spirit and its life in you,
let go of those things.
If watching the news or working too long
drains your compassion,
then repent of those things
and pray that you find a way
to tend the Spirit in you,
whose fruit already is there within you,
whole and life-giving, quietly ripening.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Courage is connected with taking risks.  Jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorbike, coming over Niagara Falls in a barrel, or crossing the ocean in a rowboat are called courageous acts because people risk their lives by doing these things.  But none of these daredevil acts comes from the centre of our being.  They all come from the desire to test our physical limits and to become famous and popular.

Spiritual courage is something completely different.  It is following the deepest desires of our hearts at the risk of losing fame and popularity.  It asks of us the willingness to lose our temporal lives in order to gain eternal life.

– Henri Nouwen

how do you love?


Love can be hard. Love requires you to be kind when you are angry, patient when you feel anxious, compassionate when you judge others, caring when you feel apathetic, trust when you’ve been wronged, let go when you want to hold on, know that the other person is you, take risks when you’re scared, to always see the lesson and never look back once you’ve decided.
                                                                                            – Jackson Kiddard



the choice of who you will serve is always for today!

Wresting With God
 Kathy Galloway

Get off my back, God.
Take your claws out of my shoulder.
I’d like to throw you off
like I would brush off some particularly repellent insect!

Sometimes I get the feeling that if I could turn round
quick enough
I would see you
grinning at me,
full of glee, plotting, scheming, devious, challenging

The hell with all this stuff about fire and storm
and still, quiet waters.
I’ve got your number.
I’ve unmasked you.

I’d like to throw you off
like I would brush off some
particularly repellent insect.

You’re a daemon!

Unfortunately, you seem to have this great attachment
to me.

Actually, being honest, I know in my heart
I’d miss you if you weren’t there,
leering at me, reminding me of
death and dread and destiny,
winding me up and puncturing
my pretensions.

I know, with a sinking feeling in my gut
that all the best of me –
the fire and storm, and even, now and then, still waters,
are born out of the death-defying struggle
that we wage,
my dearest daemon.


239. The Hound of Heaven

By Francis Thompson  (1859–1907)

  I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;

  I fled Him, down the arches of the years;

I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways

    Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears

I hid from Him, and under running laughter.         5

      Up vistaed hopes I sped;

      And shot, precipitated,

Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,

  From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

      But with unhurrying chase,        10

      And unperturbèd pace,

Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

      They beat—and a Voice beat

      More instant than the Feet—

‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’        15

          I pleaded, outlaw-wise,

By many a hearted casement, curtained red,

  Trellised with intertwining charities;

(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,

        Yet was I sore adread        20

Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside).

But, if one little casement parted wide,

  The gust of His approach would clash it to.

  Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.

Across the margent of the world I fled,        25

  And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,

  Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars;

        Fretted to dulcet jars

And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.

I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;        30

  With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over

        From this tremendous Lover—

Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!

  I tempted all His servitors, but to find

My own betrayal in their constancy,        35

In faith to Him their fickleness to me,

  Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.

To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;

  Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.

      But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,        40

    The long savannahs of the blue;

        Or whether, Thunder-driven,

    They clanged his chariot ’thwart a heaven,

Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o’ their feet:—

  Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.        45

      Still with unhurrying chase,

      And unperturbèd pace,

    Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

      Came on the following Feet,

      And a Voice above their beat—        50

    ‘Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.’

I sought no more that after which I strayed

  In face of man or maid;

But still within the little children’s eyes

  Seems something, something that replies,        55

They at least are for me, surely for me!

I turned me to them very wistfully;

But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair

  With dawning answers there,

Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.        60

‘Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—share

With me’ (said I) ‘your delicate fellowship;

  Let me greet you lip to lip,

  Let me twine with you caresses,

    Wantoning        65

  With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,


  With her in her wind-walled palace,

  Underneath her azured daïs,

  Quaffing, as your taintless way is,        70

    From a chalice

Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.’

    So it was done:

I in their delicate fellowship was one—

Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.        75

  I knew all the swift importings

  On the wilful face of skies;

  I knew how the clouds arise

  Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;

    All that’s born or dies        80

  Rose and drooped with; made them shapers

Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine;

  With them joyed and was bereaven.

  I was heavy with the even,

  When she lit her glimmering tapers        85

  Round the day’s dead sanctities.

  I laughed in the morning’s eyes.

I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,

  Heaven and I wept together,

And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;        90

Against the red throb of its sunset-heart

    I laid my own to beat,

    And share commingling heat;

But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.

In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.        95

For ah! we know not what each other says,

  These things and I; in sound I speak—

Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.

Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;

  Let her, if she would owe me,       100

Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me

  The breasts o’ her tenderness:

Never did any milk of hers once bless

    My thirsting mouth.

    Nigh and nigh draws the chase,       105

    With unperturbèd pace,

  Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;

    And past those noisèd Feet

    A voice comes yet more fleet—

  ‘Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me!’       110

Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!

My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,

    And smitten me to my knee;

  I am defenceless utterly.

  I slept, methinks, and woke,       115

And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.

In the rash lustihead of my young powers,

  I shook the pillaring hours

And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,

I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—       120

My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.

My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,

Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.

  Yea, faileth now even dream

The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;       125

Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist

I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,

Are yielding; cords of all too weak account

For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.

  Ah! is Thy love indeed       130

A weed, albeit an amaranthine weed,

Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?

  Ah! must—

  Designer infinite!—

Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it?       135

My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;

And now my heart is as a broken fount,

Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever

  From the dank thoughts that shiver

Upon the sighful branches of my mind.       140

  Such is; what is to be?

The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?

I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;

Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds

From the hid battlements of Eternity;       145

Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then

Round the half-glimpsèd turrets slowly wash again.

  But not ere him who summoneth

  I first have seen, enwound

With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;       150

His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.

Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields

  Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields

  Be dunged with rotten death?

      Now of that long pursuit       155

    Comes on at hand the bruit;

  That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:

    ‘And is thy earth so marred,

    Shattered in shard on shard?

  Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!       160

  Strange, piteous, futile thing!

Wherefore should any set thee love apart?

Seeing none but I makes much of naught’ (He said),

‘And human love needs human meriting:

  How hast thou merited—       165

Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?

  Alack, thou knowest not

How little worthy of any love thou art!

Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,

  Save Me, save only Me?       170

All which I took from thee I did but take,

  Not for thy harms,

But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.

  All which thy child’s mistake

Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:       175

  Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’

  Halts by me that footfall:

  Is my gloom, after all,

Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?

  ‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,       180

  I am He Whom thou seekest!

Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’

making the day yellow…with a little orange & a splash of pink thrown in

Words that do not become flesh in us remain “just words.” They have no power to affect our lives. If someone says, “I love you,” without any deep emotion, the words do more harm than good. But if these same words are spoken from the heart, they can create new life.

It is important that we keep in touch with the source of our words. Our great temptation is to become “pleasers,” people who say the right words to please others but whose words have no roots in their interior lives. We have to keep making sure our words are rooted in our hearts. The best way to do that is in prayerful silence.

– Henri Nouwen

tumblr_mnk5btFRR31qko7rto1_5001 2 3 4 al


But I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things. – Vincent Van Gogh

1 2 3 4 5


How will you know if you like something if you don’t try, taste, touch, smell it?
Stay open! So many things to love in life!!!

If in doubt about something new, remember:
Whatever is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
– Philippians 4:8

the number one reason for gratitude


Quote for Today – Patience

 1Oh my, indeed! just what I needed today!!! Thank you, Brian!!!

BrianWilson13's Blog

“ Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.”

St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622)
French bishop and writer

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