life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “May, 2016”

what am I missing? 

The speaker points out 

that we don’t really have

much of a grasp of things, 

not only the big things,

the important questions, 

but the small everyday


“How many steps up to your back yard? 

What is the name of your district representative? 

What did you have for breakfast? 

What is your wife’s shoe size? 

Can you tell me the color of your sweetheart’s eyes? 

Do you remember where you parked the car?” 

The evidence is overwhelming.

Most of us never truly experience life. 

“We drift through life in daydream, 

missing the true richness and joy that life has to offer.” 

When the speaker has finished we gather around to sing a few inspirational songs. 

You and I stand at the back of the group and hum along 

since we have forgotten most of the words.

The Speaker by Louis Jenkins

Mary Oliver reminds me

to let go of any need that might linger in me

to, even try, to impress anyone. 

But to stay alert to the extravagant impressiveness around me, 

puddling at my feet,

drowning my life with goodness. 

To be easily astonished,

easily filled with wonder,

to let life boggle my mind.

To stay a child of joy and nature,

a collector of miracles. 

To stay in awe of sunsets

and dandelions,

coffee shops

and grasshoppers.

To gasp every time I get a view of the ocean,

to be breathless at the view from a mountaintop road at sunset. 

To feel wonder when I see a leaf change color.

To crane my neck, every single time, to catch a glimpse of sunlight on water,

to thrill everytime I touch the curve of a babies cheek. 

To get a chill of macabre delight

at gnarly, old toenails,

and bats hanging upside down

in a dark damp cave,

or flying around a street light as darkness falls slowly through the air. 

Such things keep me alive. 

These are the true riches of our living. 

Extreme miracles everywhere around us. 

We are here to witness, 

here to share descriptions of such beauty, 

even our feeble attempts are so amazing

they boggle the mind. 

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for this reminder, 

with your every beautiful, glorious word. 

We are each here to do our part,

to record our miracles

in our own voices, 






we make up this tapestry,

we record the blazing glory,

the divine masterpiece. 

We each add notes to the grand symphony,

allowing the rocks to stay silent – 

at least for those who

don’t care to listen for the exquisite, out-of-this-world music they share – 

we play on through each day 

with such brilliance, light and passion,

savoring delight, 

everywhere we go…

until we are gone, 

and those who come behind us

find it all fresh and new once more,

and begin to tell their part of the story, 

in their own beautiful, unique ways. 



all things new 

God is not doing an old thing. God is not doing the next thing. God is doing a new thing and new things don’t fit in old vessels. As I was praying I believe the Lord is saying that He is making old vessels new again. Shedding off the old and making it new. This may mean old ways of thinking, repetitive ways that don’t work anymore or don’t yield results as they used to. Old bodies that don’t function the way they used to. Feeling any younger yet? Old and achy bodies will be regenerated into young, flexible and new bodies for the new thing to be placed into. New wine doesn’t go into old wine skins. God needs us 50ish people (give or take a few years) to impart into the younger generations and we need to be as active as they are.


      – David Hoffman

I meet you in the dark 

with my secret information,

my furtive questions.

I bring my grainy picture.

You bring me out into light

and give me yours, so much better,

for you too have been observing 

even more keenly

and loving even more deeply. 

God I come over and over

to give you 

my view of myself

and walk away with yours.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

pray & remember

I pray today for those who have suffered and sacrificed

in service to their country.

I honor the sacrifice of soldiers and sailors who have died,

and for their loved ones, who still suffer.

I pray for those who are injured,

especially those poorly cared for.

I pray for those whose who are injured in heart or mind or soul.

I pray for those whose spirits died

when they were forced to witness or commit horrible things,

whose souls have been hollowed out,

or whose purpose has been shattered.

I pray for homeless veterans,

for addicts and suicides and vets haunted by PTSD,

for they too are casualties of our way of war.

I pray for those who are sexually abused and harassed,

whose suffering continues after their time of duty.

I pray for those who have served who are lonely,

who are sad, who are guilty or ashamed.

I pray for those who are proud but unappreciated.

I pray for healing for all those who bear the wounds

we choose others to suffer and to inflict. 

And I pray for those of other nations, too.

God bless all who have suffered and sacrificed:

may they know healing, grace, and deep peace. 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

graphic found at


Freedom only belongs 

to those who choose to use it, 

but ‘belongs’ is not really the right word,

because freedom will only exist for those who let go completely,

those who allow it to stay free. 

Freedom is one of the most costly things we can ever receive,

many have given their lives, 

their very blood, 

for this great gift. 

Freedom, unused or manipulated,

is no longer freedom. 

Like any gift,

it does nothing 

until it is received,

open handed,

open spirited,

used in daily life,

practical living. 

I’ve sat in prisons

for many years

not realizing the doors were unlocked. 

Granted, many of the doors were difficult to get open,

people I trusted TOLD me they were locked,

some were rusted over,

others had puzzle latches

I had to figure out,

but one by one they all opened,

and I stepped out into 


Increasingly lighter,

increasingly comprehending of this grace-thing called freedom.

The mystery, the magnitude,

the path, the fire, the gift

called freedom. 

There I go again,

falling in love with free will,

falling in love with free air, surf and sky,

falling in love with me. 

Thank you to all who serve(d)

dawn breaking sunset

photo by Lissette Hesmadt

The skies sob for days

grieving the losses,

then the light breaks. 

The sunset shines glory

bringing hope to the night. 

I wait in a new place of peace,

buds blooming,

 like a new spring,

in my hesitant heart. 

I feel no anxiety or fear,

just wonder and amazement.  

something tender is taking root,

opening thoughts, 





unlimited potential. 

the desires of 

my heart,

my body, 

my soul,

my spirit. 

It is a good moment.  

I realize 

I feel a dawning of 

a truth. 

New days bring new ways, 

life continues to unfold. 

The best is yet to come. 



Thank God for this great work,

that the Mighty One within you

has come this far,

that together you have grown so,

that journeying through this landscape

you have changed it

and for the better.

You have left behind treasures still uncovered

and wounds already forgiven.

Even in your failures and missteps 

you have scattered gifts and blessings.

You have dug a deep well and drawn 

from within a mystery from beyond.

Your river has given life, polished stones,

sheltered beings unseen, carried travelers.

The seeds you’ve sown, the birth you’ve given,

the bridges you have built you will not know,

and those coming after will wonder.

But the One who smiles upon you,

walks beside you and breathes within you

looks up and says with confidence,

“Yes, now let’s go on.”


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

happy days 

Hello, Friday. 

Bon voyage, day ‪in May‬. 

Good night, daylight.  

so long, sunny de-light. 

see ya later, ‘gator-‘gator. 

After while, crocodile.  

‪tomorrow‬ is another day,

where the flowers sing and sway. 

dancing will commence at daybreak. 

Good night, darlin’ moon,

see ya again real soon. 

Oh, hi there, Saturday,

Good morning to you, happy day,

let’s have a groovy one, 




corporate memories

I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,

Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight,

All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage,

Desolation in immaculate public places,

Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,

The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,

Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,

Endless duplicaton of lives and objects.

And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,

Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,

Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,

Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,

Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces. 

Dolor by Theodore Roethke

photos found @

light pours through  

photos by Fisherman Dan @ Branford, CT

Mist rises through light poured into the meadow,

blessing breathed into the world.
Here, on the sidewalk, without

having to know, you inhale it.
Not the meadow you saw 

gleaming this morning,
but one far off. This light has come far

to find you. 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light


shine. shine. shine.   

photo above OF Lissette Hesmadt taken by her daughter!!! Ah-mazing! 

Never water yourself down just because someone can’t handle you at 100 Proof.


– Unknown 

Someone you know was walking through the woods alone, just following his whims, when he looked down into the hollow where a dark stream flowed. On the other side of the stream he saw something gold glinting in the darkness. It was out of his way, and looked difficult to reach, but the mysterious thing beckoned to him. So he left the well-maintained path, and descended the steep bank. He made his way, with great effort, through painful brambles and resistant thickets. Beyond the stream he could see the gold thing, shining in a tiny shaft of sunlight. As he stepped into the stream he realized that it was much deeper than he had imagined. He paused, thinking this was a silly obsession. What would people think of him going to all this trouble just to find a piece of trash beside a creek? But that thing seemed to be calling out to him— not from across the stream, but from within him. And he thought, “What better have I to do than to pursue this mystery?” So he plunged into the stream. It was over his head, and cold, and the current was surprisingly strong. He imagined what would happen if he drowned, and they found his body here. How would they explain that? It made him laugh. But he had resolved to make this little journey, so he swam across the current. 

On the other side he waded through the mud to the treasure. It was certainly nothing that anybody else would want. It was an old picture with a gilded frame, dirty and mostly caked with mud, but shiny along one edge. He wiped off the glass. What he saw astonished him. It was a portrait. To someone looking on it might have looked like nothing but vague shapes of light and shadow. But among the dreamy shapes, he saw a portrait of himself! Only it was more noble and beautiful than he could have imagined. In this picture he had purpose. There was a look in his eyes of deep joy and wisdom. And it was clear that whoever had painted the picture had done so with great love and tenderness, with respect for even the tiniest and most ordinary details. Amazed, he stared at it for a long, long time. The afternoon passed away. 

Finally, clutching it to his heart, he returned across the stream. But in the strong current the picture slipped from his hands and it sank into the unreachable depths. At first he wanted to dive down and find it; but then, floating on the water, he realized that it did not matter. He had seen the picture, and it was engraved in his heart; that was all that mattered to him. He crossed the stream and found a new road, eager to go home and, though it seemed impossible, to tell his wife. 


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

let the desire for beauty rule your life

Abandon every

program and routine.

There is no sequence

of postures.

Stand valiantly and

gently sway

in the breeze of your

own breath.

Let your body rise and fall,

circling slowly, a vast

starry firmament between

the ligaments of each bone,

muscles washed in

attention, moving

out of their ocean wheels,

galactic cells, Wordless

creations of the infinitesimal…

There are no instructions.

There is no book.

No, more slowly.

Go nowhere,


inventing themselves

from molten stillness.

Now it is your own dance.


Classless Yoga by Uradiance 


Excuse me while I kiss the sky. 

Pardon me while I hug the moon. 

Forgive me while I dance with the ocean. 

Give me a minute while I ring up a few stars. 

Hold your horses while I sing with the angels. 

Patience my old friend while I make love to the world. 

Get some rest while I fly the skies with the eagles. 

Count some sheep while I paint a masterpiece with Mother Nature. 


Come lay beside me and hold me close, 

touch my soul with lovers hands,

whisper the secrets my heart longs to hear, 

sing to me softly, 

kiss me like butterflies, 

while I love you forever

and ever, 

and we fall asleep together 

each night, 

for a thousand years

then a thousand more. 

Sweet dreams, 

my love. 

and good night. 



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