life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “November, 2015”

decisions determine destiny 


Today I want to feel my way 

into a familiar name 

for the One who holds us all:

a name of endearment,

like the names lovers use in the tangled sheets

a name that ripples through sunlight and tears.

I will listen for that name today, 

Knowing it is the name the Beloved uses to call me.


~Oriah House (c) 2015   My child, don’t be afraid. I am here. I know how hard it is to feel, sometimes. This moment, I know, is difficult to let yourself feel. Don’t hold back. Don’t protect yourself from feeling, your emotions this way and that. This is a gift from Me, the way your heart swings from high to low. I am the constant one. I keep you still. 


There are things you will have to face now. I know you want to bury your head, and I let you do that, your head buried on my chest. But know when you lift your head, I will be there to help you to rise. And you will rise, and your feet will find firm footing, and you will square your shoulders and take one step forward, and then another, and you will find you know your way.


There is much ahead, and the path does not always seem clear. But I help you to rise. I go ahead, and I help you to rise. And when you stumble, I will help you to stand again. And when you are scared, I will firm your trembling lip and I will navigate you through the storm of emotions and I will quiet your quivering heart.


You are fierce and gentle. You are beautiful and strong. You are chosen and delighted in. You are all I’ve made you to be. I took everything from you that has kept you from rising. I have taken everything that makes you feel small and unsure and hesitant. 


You can go forward, to the places I lead you. And you will know who you are. My child, the one who knows your Father, the one who knows your own name.



You are loved. Always and forever. 

the very most grand adventurous  perspectives 

But for my hand, as unattempted yet,

Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich.

Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail

And say there is no sin but to be rich;

And being rich, my virtue then shall be

To say there is no vice but beggary.

Since kings break faith upon commodity,

Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee.

        – Philip the Bastard from “King John” (2.1.592)


People don’t like love, they like that flittery flirty feeling. They don’t love love – love is sacrificial, love is ferocious, it’s not emotive. Our culture doesn’t love love, it loves the idea of love. It wants the emotion without paying anything for it.  

      – Matt Chandler

 time wears down 

as life takes its anguished toll 

of strained shoulders and weary back 

from the unyielding pressure of anger’s mighty weight

lash of black eyed look,

the demon,

lying in wait, 

blame unleashed

words stripping tender heart skin 

of the vulnerable 

innocence unprepared for attack

leaving hope in shreds,

shame cocks its hat sideways 

flames of passion freeze in place

ice, brittle, cutting

fills veins,


slicing to ribbons

destroying all goodness in its path

wounds with nothing to hide

nowhere to hide 

Only you can change this –

you CAN change this!

I know for sure…

you can…

if you choose to…

God only knows 

if you will 




  3 spectacular wishes on this day…for every day



AL 5/13/15
Real riches are the riches possessed inside.

– B. C. Forbes 

in a blue sky day    

Woke up mid-dream

last night

(last night = wee hour morning)

Awakened by 

broken sad mourning
My whole life 

this date has been a celebration of life

My dad’s life – 

a soul who entered this realm November 24 – 

74 years of love ago
Today, this date brings tears

and morning mourning

Followed by blue sky

Up on the red roof

Fully alive

Generating compost

Organic buzzing be garden community possibility
Lost key

Kitchen studio 

Boots on ladders

Roast beef sprout ciabatta

Pirates of the Carribbean 

Stories of lobsters racing in

crusty rolls of butter
Once, years ago, I found my too soon gone Grandma 

Today, in a swing overlooking a river

graced by such beautiful bridges

touching sky whilst grounding feet

step by stepping ever overwater

beneath sky, 

I felt my daddy…
I sensed him smiling down upon November

gently holding my heart

and I couldn’t help but feel

the way he gently 

firmly let go

of my pink stripe 

banana seat bike

as I rode down the hill 

of Kosta Drive

all those years ago
That moment I knew he knew

I could do this myself

And gave me the beautiful gift 

of setting me 

and my bicycle free. 

Robin OK  

Muse of Collaborative Completion + Visionary for Creative Collaborative ReTREATS

What is your incomplete creative project? Let me help you breathe it to life!

Phone: 513-659-3356




Don’t miss the 5th annual Creative Collaborative ReTREAT, Sep 30-Oct 2, 2016! 



 In a day of goodness

We splashed this city all over outselves

Stopped to smell the lingering roses

Went home happily full from our adventures

Life is bittersweet

full of separation, loss, grief, and hurting hearts

full of friendship, adventure, kindness, beauty and truth

I love you

I miss you

I hurt

I laugh

Life is good




I want my grief

to be brilliant, fast and gone. 

Like Mozart. Or Stevie Ray. 

Like fireworks. Boom! Flash! 

Ooh, ahh. OK, done. Let’s go. 
I want my grief to be brave.

Hurts more now, heals faster, 

Grandma said, pouring salt 

On a skinned knee. 
I want to stand up to grief,

Stand it down, like the 

Tiny man, big tank 

In Tiananmen Square. 
Because. Because if I am brave,

Bold, salty, open enough 

The tank, the bleeding, the tears 

Will stop sooner. I tell myself. 
But grief laughs. Humbles me.

I lose keys, break cups, get lost. 

Asked at CarMax Why are you

Selling this car? I burst 
Into an embarrassment of tears.

A friend says, One doesn’t have grief,

Grief has you. 

We wrestle, to the mat. I’m pinned. 
But sometimes I break free.

Break patterns instead of dishes. 

Start to write myself a new story, 

To fling myself toward yes, 
Begin to say, Oh. Now this. . . . Observe

What life brings. Reframe. Say, 

I’m not wrestling grief,

We’re dancing. 
So, I put my right foot in . . . 

And turn myself about. 


I Want My Grief by Peg Runnels

to each his own  

18 years ago 

I stood at the edge 

of a great abyss 

in life 

a part of me, 

not known until that time, 

had awakened 

now I had a choice to make, 

to accept – 

or deny – 

this part of myself, 

which was revealed 

in such a wild, 



and overwhelming manner 

I knew this would be 

what, ultimately, 





as I stood, 

still in innocence, 

not really knowing – 

yet, somehow, 

knowing in every way – 

the costs, 

the benefits, 

the responsibility, 

the awareness. 

the long dark road ahead, 

the excruciating valley years to come, 

the sharp, rugged climb up the mountain. 

18 years ago, 

I struggled 

with all of this 

as I stood on a balcony 

and made certain vows 

concerning the choices 

I would make through 

my time of learning: 
I would only follow love. 

No matter how I failed, 

I would remember it is not about how good I am.

 I would try, to the best of my ability, to live the words of Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount. 

I would never make a choice 

simply to benefit myself,

only to get money,

or to be comfortable. 

I would learn to be truthful and fair 

and be the person I wanted to be. 

I would be honest with myself – always – especially when I was wrong, or made a mistake –

yet, I would not live in fear or hate myself if I made mistakes,

I would stay aware and learn – 

so I would not make the same mistake twice. 

I would make the best choice I could at any given moment, 

and then move forward the best I could with no regret. 

I would do my best and give my best. 

I would look for good things every day. 
And with these parameters firmly in place, 

like Eve, 

I bit that apple 

and began… 

for good… 

for bad… 

to make my choices. 

from there I began to grow in wisdom, knowledge and self respect

from there I began the path to healing

from there I began to understand myself and realized each souls value, including my own

from there I have learned all I know about life and love

from there I began the long walk home




  I must lie down where all the ladders start,

In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart. 

      – Yeats



choices…every day give thanks 


God of Love,

in a world great with darkness

I drink your light. 
In a world of violence

I soften my heart.
In a world of fear

I deepen my breath.
In a word of grief

I enlarge my embrace.
In a world of shouting

I open my roots.
In a world of fragments

I let myself belong.
In a world of walls

I go out into the streets:
I bear you to those

who are mad with hunger for you. 
In a world of fissures

I return to you,

always to you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

Wanna build a new life? 

It happens one day…one choice… at a time.  You CAN do hard things. You can make the right choices for yourself. 

Take responsibility. Gain your whole world. Self respect comes only this way. It’s so worth it!!! xo


and then one day…


 The road to forgiveness.. after the pilgrim lanes,
and the ruined chapel,

the gull cries and the sea-hush 

at the back of the island, 

it was the way, standing still 

or looking out

or walking, or even talking 

with others in the evening bar, 

holding your drink

or laughing with the rest,

that you realized part of you

had already dropped to its knees,

to pray, to sing, to look, 

to fall in love with everything

and everyone again,

that someone from far inside you

had walked out into the sea light

and the great embracing quiet

to raise its hands

and forgive

everyone in your short life

you thought you hadn’t,

and that all along

you had been singing 

your quiet way 

through the rosary of silence

that held their names….


Excerpted from LEAVING THE ISLAND by David Whyte

 photos found at

it was bouncing around in my brain this morning   – Linda Clark

Getting it Right—Write!

I have a notion

I must confess

A notion you see

That has me quite obsessed
It sits in my head 

both day and night

it haunts my dreams

and gives me great fright
It rules my thoughts

this little notion

stirring up doubts

and causing a commotion
It wiggles and niggles

in my brain

with a feverish pitch

it drives me insane
This obsession you ask

what could it be?

My obsession is a task

I seek endlessly!
To get it right

To do my best

To show I’m bright

I can pass the test
This feeling to get it right

Is ever so strong

I work day and night

To not get it wrong
I was given great insight

About this “getting it right”

I just learned recently

A truth that has finally set me free
It’s not it at all

about getting it right.

It’s about happiness and light

and letting your soul shine bright
No have to’s

No pressure

No should’s

Did me a world of good!
So no longer will I labor

to get it right 

I will do my best

to give it a rest! 
So In my chair I sit and write

No longer will I yearn

or worry with concern

it’s quite easy once when you learn
I will change my mantra

and simply ignore

those three little words

I was obsessed with before
What’s my new mantra

you might ask

I’ve changed my word

just a small task
I am no longer worried

about that word right

I will feed my soul

and simply WRITE!! 


Linda Clark



We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
 Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,

 Transforming our broken fragments

 Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.
Somewhere in us a dignity presides

 That is more gracious than the smallness

 That fuels us with fear and force,

 A dignity that trusts the form a day takes. 
So at the end of this day, we give thanks

 For being betrothed to the unknown

 And for the secret work

 Through which the mind of the day

 And wisdom of the soul become one. 


John O’Donohue

for the love of all things poetry 💞  


 I fit words together, 
hoping they mean something.  

Wanting them to make sense. 

To myself. 

To others. 

Allowing them my raw emotion. 

Willing to give them up freely. 

Creating a monument, 

for this one moment in time, 

to share with the world. 

These words become something tangible. 

A thing, 

a gift, 

a piece of art. 

A part of me, 

stays with them. 

Little pieces of me live, 

like shapes in a puzzle, 


a picture, 

a flower, 

a song. 

Small particles of my soul, 

like tiny rose buds,

opening in my hand, 

mesmerizes with it’s 




I write words on a page, 

and feel love 

spreading outward, 

as the flowering happens, 

as this thought blooms. 

As words become thoughts about… 

As the pieces become beautiful… 

As the poem is born, 

of water, 


star dust 

and becomes… 

a small piece of my soul,

left behind on pages, 

for others to find, 

sharing a small moment, 

never to be lost, 

because it has been 




Gratitude makes room for new 




as they find their new home 




Waiting for more 




to flow and enter in. 

There is always more, 

and more than enough. 

The heart that gives gathers, 

but never tries to hold anything hostage. 



pretty much everything, 

about life, 

only works when we allow it, 

all of it –

every sacred cow, 

every color on the wheel,

every tiny wildflower we see,

every spec of mud, 

to be free. 




Photos found at 


I am so much more than I ever thought I was – Sherri Yerkes (speaking from the heart) 


So several weeks ago now, Robin Ok called to connect on the upcoming Creative Collaborative Retreat 2015.

I still remember her words, “I signed you up for some things that you can say ‘no’ to these if you want….

How exciting! My heart already was saying a great, big, fat ‘yes’ – before I even heard the list, which ended with a session on poetry! 

Oh joy!!! YES!!! Ideas poured in…

The retreat weekend came – 13-15 of this month and it was everything, and more, than expected! 

Beautiful, powerful, connecting, art-full, musical, spiritual, abundant, accepting, empowering – on-and-on I can, and will, go. I was overwhelmed with love and joy on many levels, but my greatest bit of on-going-bursting-out-all-over joy is from my poetry session. 

New words were framed, created, brought out of heart-hiding into beings of light, onto old inspiring paper and into the hearts reading and listening. We shared our poems at the end of the hour – no one left with dry hearts or eyes. 

Poems (words)  are living things. They touch us, heal us, bring us joy and create space inside us as we bring forward what was inside and allow new thoughts to be born, creativity always creates anew inside and outside of ourselves. We give to receive and in receiving we give back again. 

This magic has taken root in some great and powerful ways, I am so amazed at the beauty, the power, the courage, the immensity of these poets – new and seasoned veterans – all old souls. 

I am so grateful to have been able to share this session, which helped connect these amazing, gifted women with their inner, living, beautiful poetry. I believe poetry lives inside each of us. The need for beauty is essential for us to live, discovering, excavating that beauty is our life-long, ever-changing, most-challenging and surprising gift. 

Check out Barbara Endel’s new, amazing poetry blog –


This poem came to me yesterday…kinda summed it all up:

Our poems 

Are like the wart-hogs 

In the zoo 

It’s hard to say 

Why there should be such creatures 
But once our life gets into them 

As sometimes happens 

Our poems 

Turn into living things 

And there’s no arguing 

With living things 

They are 

The way they are 
Our poems 

May be rough 

Or delicate 


Or great 
But always 

They have inside them 

A confluence of cries 

And secret languages 
And always 

They are improvident 

And free 

They keep 

A kind of Sabbath 
They play 

On sooty fire escapes 

And window ledges 
They wander in and out 

Of jails and gardens 

They sparkle 

In the deep mines 

They sing 

In breaking waves 

And rock like wooden cradles. 


Living Things by Anne Porter


Living in astonished and passionate gratitude for each of you. Thank you for allowing me to inspire you…thank you for inspiring me! 

 If you do nothing Nothing will be done. 

Sounds like we should know this, 


It’s just fascinating to me to see 

the result of a decision to create a newsletter dedicated to good news, 

then to commit to creating that publication for one full year. 

8 full years later, 

as I ended that project, 

to make way for new projects, 

there were over 135 issues 

on a website devoted to that good-news thing. 

4 years ago I decided to begin a daily poetry and quotes blog, 

I now have almost 2000 blog posts.

December 2012, I committed to a poem a day. 

11 months later, 

I had over 700 poems written. 

It’s crazy cool! 

And it has been a huge lesson to me, 

Dreams and Ideas are great, 

but only the commitment, focus 

and actually acting on the idea, 

will call it forth into the world. 

All those words, ideas and poems would still be inside me somewhere, 

if I had not said, yes, to DOING it. 

Nothing gets done without the work. 

Intention and action go together

in order to build the house, 

in order to change the world.


a graceful feeling


  Anything that you learn becomes your wealth, a wealth that cannot be taken away from you; whether you learn it in a building called school or in the school of life. To learn something new is a timeless pleasure and a valuable treasure. And not all things that you learn are taught to you, but many things that you learn you realize you have taught yourself.

― C. JoyBell
I spent my weekend with my amazing friends, Kitt, Mike, Rebecca and Christian Haberman, in Louisville. 

I sum this powerful time of connection and sharing with this: 

I learned things. Lots of beautiful things. Things I will have with me always. (Happy Sigh) I am so grateful for all of the great people I have in my life. 

I stayed in the room below (Lesley Haberman being all grown up and off in college) and got ready with these messages before me, reminding me, filling my heart. Messages written by a beautiful, teenage girl to remind herself….remember…remember..


Thank you, Lesley, thank you Haberman Family. Love is so very good to us! 

  What a beautiful world… 

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