life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

bits and pieces 

I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.     – Iyanla Vanzant

I have walked through many lives,

some of them my own,

and I am not who I was,

though some principle of being

abides, from which I struggle

not to stray.

When I look behind,

as I am compelled to look

before I can gather strength

to proceed on my journey,

I see the milestones dwindling

toward the horizon

and the slow fires trailing

from the abandoned camp-sites,

over which scavenger angels

wheel on heavy wings.

Oh, I have made myself a tribe

out of my true affections,

and my tribe is scattered!

How shall the heart be reconciled

to its feast of losses?

In a rising wind

the manic dust of my friends,

those who fell along the way,

bitterly stings my face.

Yet I turn, I turn,

exulting somewhat,

with my will intact to go

wherever I need to go,

and every stone on the road

precious to me.

In my darkest night,

when the moon was covered

and I roamed through wreckage,

a nimbus-clouded voice

directed me:

“Live in the layers,

not on the litter.”

Though I lack the art

to decipher it,

no doubt the next chapter

in my book of transformations

is already written.


The Layers by Stanley Kunitz

there are people and places

which live inside me

I feel them 

as I spin the kaleidoscope wheel

they come into focus





each hold exquisite love

each hold delicately intense, brutal, suffering 

each hold ruthless trust,

radical hope,

extreme faith,

continual healing. 

each person,

each place a threshold 

of practical practice,

of growth and becoming,

of wrestling with letting go,

of spiritual teaching towards love,

of defending my tenderness,

of stepping into ‘I am’,

of allowing myself,

of removing the toxic tarter buildup of my own soul,

of seeing glimpses of the unlimited, ever-unfolding mystery. 

I’m so grateful for these people,

these places,

the ones I carry,


and those still before me,

as yet, unseen. 



Just past dawn, the sun stands

with its heavy red head

in a black stanchion of trees,

waiting for someone to come

with his bucket

for the foamy white light,

and then a long day in the pasture.

I too spend my days grazing,

feasting on every green moment

till darkness calls,

and with the others

I walk away into the night,

swinging the little tin bell

of my name. 


Birthday Poem by Ted Kooser

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