life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “August, 2017”

catch the colors & feels of the day

I hate Mozart. Hate him with that healthy
pleasure one feels when exasperation has

crescendoed, when lungs, heart, throat,
and voice explode at once: I hate that! —

there’s bliss in this, rapture. My shrink
tried to disabuse me, convinced I use Amadeus

as a prop: Think further; your father perhaps?
I won’t go back, think of the shrink

with a powdered wig, pinched lips, mole:
a transference, he’d say, a relapse: so be it.

I hate broccoli, chain saws, patchouli, bra-
clasps that draw dents in your back, roadblocks,

men in black kneesocks, sandals and shorts —
love hating that. Loathe stickers on tomatoes,

jerky, deconstruction, nazis, doilies. I delight
in detesting. And love loving so much after that.

The Pleasures of Hating by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Especially on long drives through the country,
you like to tell that story about your old girlfriend
whose parrot was killed one afternoon
by a raccoon who stole in through the pet door.
It was horrible, you say. Feathers everywhere.
Are you laughing? Stop laughing.
She really loved that bird.

Laura McKee Exotic Treats

We didn’t say fireflies
but lightning bugs.
We didn’t say carousel
but merry-go-round.
Not seesaw,
not lollipop,
We didn’t say pasta, but
spaghetti, macaroni, noodles:
the three kinds.
We didn’t get angry:
we got mad.
And we never felt depressed
dismayed, disappointed
disheartened, discouraged
disillusioned or anything,
even unhappy:
just sad.

Where I Come From by Sally Fisher


I hear the complexity in your head

all the music playing

on all the different channels

the way it creates your life

the way it complicates your life

the way it defines things

I understand it

I see the landscape of beauty within you

reflected in knowing the colors of my own beauty

the depth of who you are

the vast oceans of who I am

who we are together and alone

fills me like an ocean at high tide

revealing the hidden life living

just below the surface of the great blue waters

you are not ever going to be easy

I am not easy

You are not ever going to be boring

I am not boring

underlying it all, I have finally realized a hard truth –

you might not ever realize you are so much

or that I am

you might never know,

as I already know,

we are enough,

yes, you, and I, are so much more than enough

Amy Lloyd



It feels good to imagine that the entire dysfunctional family will heal. It feels good to imagine that everyone will overcome the traumas and find their way to an awakened life. I held out for that vision of possibility for many years, largely because of the unhealthily enmeshed nature of trauma. We suffered together, we would rise together, that sort of thing. But it seldom happens this way, both because of the complex nature of ancestral trauma, and because it takes so much energy and imagination to craft a healthier way of being. Most people who have been trapped beneath the rubble of family madness, don’t have the energy, or the faith to get out from under it. It has become who they are.

If you are one who got out, you have to stay out. You have to keep going. You have to give yourself permission to shed the paradigm, even if its lonely, even if you feel the temptation to go back and wait on the others. Because the world changes when one gets out. Because you are our best hope for a healthier tomorrow. I know its difficult to get out alone, but you are never truly alone. You are raising the bar for all of us.


– Jeff Brown

Awesome Crab Photos by Fisherman Dan @ Branford, CT (via Branford Point in Branford, CT/Facebook)

memes via pinterest/al513

here’s hoping

Change and Permanence

I asked a friend of mine at this 65th birthday what wisdom he had acquired over the years. He said; “While it seems all things are changing, in the end, they are always the same.” My initial reaction was a disappointment in such a shallow remark, but he explained. “How we remember things that happened in our lives is always being revised and changed. We see our life events differently from different viewpoints in our lives: youth, middle age, and aged. One event can take on many meanings in our lives and the storyline around it may change significantly, but, in the end, it always ends the same for everyone – death.” His words, while not presented in a morose manner, still knocked the philosophical wind out of me. I nodded sagely but pondered the thought that life was nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on our personal Titanic.

When in doubt, write it out. Surely there must be some missing piece to life’s puzzle, some meaningful point to all the energy and suffering one experiences daily and why we choose to take the next breath. There has to be some dynamic of the spirit or soul involved to make it all worth while. Is life really no more than an illusion – a series of dreams until the dreamer becomes but a dream? How do we make sense of life and find something real within the illusion? How do we turn illusion into something we can sense, touch, taste, feel, and embrace? How do we make sense of the madness of modern life? Perhaps Fritz Perz, father of Gestalt psychotherapy, was right, “we have to lose our minds to come to our senses.”

The new spiritual buzzword “mindfulness” seems to fill in the empty gap of my friend’s timeline. Personally, I feel that is a misnomer in that mindfulness really involves much more than our conscious mind and it generally means turning down our mind’s volume so we can focus on more subtle and deeper aspects of our existence. “Soulfulness”, I believe would actually be a better term, but someone else beat me to the naming game and our culture is always suspicious of things out of consciousness’s bounds. I define being mindful as being integrated into mind, body, and spirit.

Abraham Maslow gives us a roadmap with his concept of a “hierarchy of needs” based upon the Vedic concept of energy chakras ranging from basic survival needs to what Maslow called “self-actualization” where one is aware and capable of experiencing and comprehending a vast array of life’s experiences. He used the phrase, “peak experiences” to describe what is characterized as “a highly valued experience of such intensity of perception, depth of feeling, or sense of profound significance as to cause it to stand out, in one’s mind, in more or less permanent contrast to the experiences that surround it in time and space.” Peak experiences have been identified as sharing three key characteristics:

• Significance: Peak experiences lead to an increase in personal awareness and understanding and can serve as a turning point in a person’s life.

• Fulfillment: Peak experiences generate positive emotions and are intrinsically rewarding.

• Spiritual: During a peak experience, people feel at one with the world and often experience a sense of losing track of time.

Maslow suggested that one can think of peak experiences as the most wonderful experiences of your life. Those moments of ecstasy and complete and utter happiness. Being in love is one example of a peak experience. Such moments may also occur when you are in a creative moment or when reading a book or listening to a music. You might feel a sense of “being hit” by a particular creative work in a way that strikes an emotional chord inside of yourself. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes the feeling of a peak experience as “flow”, a state of mind during which you become so involved in an activity that the world seems to fade away and nothing else seems to matter. “When in a state of flow, time seems to fly by, our focus of mind becomes sharp, and we experience a loss of self-consciousness.”

One does not have to be self-actualized to experience peak experiences, but those who hang around the peak of the pyramid do tend to have a greater ability to “flow”. Peak experiences tend to occur during artistic, athletic or religious experiences. Peak moments in nature or during intimate moments with family or friends were also common. Achieving an important goal, either a personal or collective one could also lead to a peak experience or when an individual helps another person in need or after overcoming some type of adversity. Love and compassion seem to be integral components of “peaking”.

I like the phrase, “strike an emotional chord”. My friend’s rather bleak assessment of life had only two notes: dream, die. Coincidently there were children and grandchildren present at the celebration and I could see them naturally expressing a discordant symphony of uninhibited peak experiences. They were intensely focused on whatever they were doing and innocently open to all the experiences of the moment. Yes, it was an improvisation, but music none the less. Perhaps it is these full chord peak notes flowing together that provide the background music for our life drama? Maybe we are not “beings” but love songs to a lost Lover, an enchanted chant? The joyous shrieks and giggles of the children held more wisdom than my friend’s sage words and the heavens listened intently to their chants of joy. ❤ ~ John Hardman

“The soul is filled throughout with discord and dissonance and so its first need is poetic madness. That way through musical sounds we can awaken what is dormant, through sweet harmonies calm what is turbulent, and through the blending of various elements quell the discord and temper the different parts of the soul.” ~ Marsilio Ficino

always and ever

we hold eternity in the palm of our hand

life can be found

within the milky way

or within a grain of sand

life is ever revolving into death into life

the music never ends

always and ever

ever and always

we hold eternity in the palm of our hand


Amy Lloyd

i don’t know…


When you Don’t Know, 

there is a crack in the delusion of mind.

And you can be penetrated 

by an entire Universe.

Not Knowing is not ignorance.

Nor is it stupidity.

It is Curiosity. It is Wonder.

It is the relaxation of the separate ‘I’, 

and the presence of great Compassion.

When you Don’t Know you can be entered

by a tired sun exploding into reds and oranges,

by a yellow moon and a trillion distant stars, 

so far yet so close,

so distant yet so Here. 


Knowledge will not bring you to it.

The ‘I’ cannot understand it.

Not Knowing is its gateway.

Surrender to the moon. 

– Jeff Foster

what does fear gain us? 

what’s the upside of my refusal to let go?

why was my before so much better than my now? 

does letting go mean I’ll just sit down…

stay here forever…

in my misery…

in this less than glamorous corner I find myself in?

everybody I know lives on the edge of a page

turning softly as the answers 

arriving on the wind

clearing the cloud obscured vision

of our wandering wondering 

everybody I know lives on the rocks of the active volcano 

hanging onto the burning questions 

waiting for the miles to find the nightingale’s broken-hearted love song

 sometimes we say things we don’t mean to help us get through this hard moment we stand in

sometimes we truly think we mean these words declared 

the heart given so freely

while in bondage to another

until we step into a new chapter and find they were just a wish

a desperate plea of hoping to find an easy way out

a numbing poultice to relieve the pain

while the infection remains ignored

the flamingo shakes her tail feathers 

The grackle’s shadow invades our dreams 

We keep meeting our own colors in every one of these beauteous spirals 

messages left in each dropped exquisite feather on our pathway

patience is a virtue very few are rich enough to pay the humble price to gain

hearts are very fragile when allowed to keep breaking 

  “Imagine the world of our voices sing out the Sterling news” 

  – m.e.

Imagine all the people living in light and love within themselves

Imagine what a changed world that would be

what if we were no longer afraid of light shining within us

what if it no longer matters if we live in the now of ourselves

what if we look at the larger question of ‘oughtness’ 

What then? 

My God, what happens then?? 

Amy Lloyd


I remember a time before




But, the

Light was always there.




                came anyway.

God in-siding out

what had to be heard

the healing of heroines 

chubby doves sitting on the wires and pines waving slightly in a shallow breath 

I remember a time before mystics were real,

before eternity was now

when planting seeds took strong backs

and dreams of cottage gardens 

I could see in my mind

waves and rows

I remember a time before waking in the night

Spirit praying within me

so glad that not all prayers were answered then…

but complete now 



speaks with this Voice 

Knitty, gritty

   God of my heart

beginning again,

this morning with havens within me

 grocery list in the pocket of my purse

a chair full of laundry to put into drawers

a party to plan

cottage light bending towards the west

 thirst so great for the people of God

          Be Still 




this separate land

opening the front door

God in the House

Peace in the Heart…

going to buy strawberries

wave at the babies I see 


Rev. Donna Knutson (via Facebook)

While you were sleeping
the ocean was moving inside you.
Rivers were making their long journeys.
Couriers walked through the darkness
knowing the way, finding places.

In the morning when you sit to pray
your prayers return to you
from their unseen journeys.
By the time you say them
they are tired.
They have done good work.
Let them rest
on a soft bed of silence.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes


Photo sources found on Pinterest

on the hard days



On the day when

 The weight deadens

 On your shoulders

 And you stumble,

 May the clay dance

 To balance you.

And when your eyes

 Freeze behind

 The grey window

 And the ghost of loss

 Gets into you,

 May a flock of colours,

 Indigo, red, green

 And azure blue,

 Come to awaken in you

 A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays

 In the currach of thought

 And a stain of ocean

 Blackens beneath you,

 May there come across the waters

 A path of yellow moonlight

 To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

 May the clarity of light be yours,

 May the fluency of the ocean be yours,

 May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow

 Wind work these words

 Of love around you,

 An invisible cloak

 To mind your life.




It’s Okay to be Uncomfortable


“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” I John 4:18

My darling, I am not in the fear. I am in a new place, a separate place outside of it.

Step away, with Me.

There is refreshment here. A new place to stand. There is room to move, to breathe, to spread your arms wide, hands open, fingers stretched, head relaxed.

I have work for you to do with Me, yes. We will go and I will push you to lean on Me and trust Me and do things uncomfortable for you to do alone.

But you don’t go alone, my dear.

And when you are with Me in the place that could feel so uncomfortable and stress-filled, on your own—when you depend on your own strength, when you look to yourself for answers—you can rest and relax in my presence. You can head out into new territory with Me and not feel scared.

Sometimes I don’t tell you why it is I’ve asked for you to go to a place with Me. And that can feel uncomfortable, too. I know how you like answers.

But don’t not go to this new place with Me because fear grabs hold of your heart. Don’t let fear paralyze this human whom I love and adore so that fear is more powerful than this truth: I am here with you, holding your hand, not leaving your side. I am enough. My presence is enough. Where I take you is enough. You are free here, in this place with Me, outside of fear and no longer trapped.

Stand up straight.

Stand up.

You are not made to cower and fret and wring your hands. You are made to walk with eyes up, head held high, so you can see the path I take you. Together we go, just one step at a time, and into territory that may be unknown but will be safe and familiar too . . . because I will be there.

And I am your home.


Loop —


Days of wine and focus
of hanging on
of staying strong
of keeping faith
of sitting still
of being silent
of standing in my own shoes
of letting go
of allowing the mystery
of hearing the call
of accepting what is
of not crossing borders or boundaries
of opening and opening
of trusting the journey
of seeing the face of God
of surrender into something bigger than I can know
of making the daily commitment
of acknowledging the grace
of thanking for everything
of looking for the miracles
of talking to trees
of taking time to prepare
of expressing my love
of helping in time of need
of following my own path
of obedience rather than sacrifice
of love and love and love
of all things love

Amy Lloyd

accepting grace

Prayer is simply giving God his breathe back.

– Lou Giglio

There are prayers that God hears

That may not even be noticed as prayer

by the one praying –

The eyes lifted in awe to a sunset.

The beach comber picking up rocks as she grieves huge losses.

The deep breath before entering the office of the abusive, power-hungry boss.

The smell of your first cup of coffee.

The watery laughter through brimming tears of the overwhelmed new mother.

The patience of the store clerk doing his best with the impatient standing in line.

The smiles of the people who know the secret of choosing to live life well.

The accomplished weariness at the end of a good days work.

The ride to home after 17 years of waiting.

The beautiful silence of a couple sitting together holding hands.

Candles burning in the darkness their shadows dancing on the walls.

The smell of an old library.

The many tastes of freedom.

Sharing gifts with others because you know there is ALWAYS enough.

Finding something special on the sidewalk.

The list never ends –

It’s why we are told to pray continually –

Keep naming.

Stay aware.

Living as if everything is the miracle that it truly is –

Everything is grace.

Our world is the spoken word of God,

we breathe the very breath of God which brought us to life,

and, as God said,

It is very good.


Amy Lloyd

You breathe in.

You breathe out.

You breathe fire,

the making of stars,

the winds of creation.

You breathe a Word

that goes out

and lays hands on people

to heal and bless.

You breathe God in.

and God out.

You speak grace

in tongues you can’t know.

Look at us,

walking around,

glowing embers.


Weather Report


in the atmosphere

and in your heart,

which is to be expected

when you live

in the heart of a star.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light


And then there are the days

where you cannot breathe


everything has turned to beauty

and iridescence.


you are a witness to this ordinary world.

This ordinary burning world

that lays itself out for you effortlessly,

in all its absurdity and sanctity,

in its sorrow and its light,

in its compassion and its terror.

All One. All Art.

And you are a Doorway today.

You are a Magic Theatre

where the heart plays

its paupers and its princesses

and pretends to fluff its lines.

Do you remember.

Do you remember.

His first day at school?

How he slipped through your fingers then?

So eager to leave, and did he know?

The frosted spider webs

clinging to the office bins

when you went out for a quick cigarette

and how they cracked you open

without warning and how they broke you open

without warning and how you couldn’t

tell a soul.

You had a secret with the spiders.

And then mother’s courage.

Her snow white hair tumbling out in your hands.

Her translucence in the last light.

Where you held her.

She had become see-through.

Some days.

Some days.

You try to form words but none will come.

You try to write but the pen won’t move.

You try to speak but the silence silences.

Some days are see-through too.

It matters not how much money you have.

Your status in this world.

The strength of your immune system.

The number of weeks you have left.

It matters how completely you inhabit this life.

How deeply you let the days penetrate.

And crack you.

And make you beg

for more

for less

for more

for less

for more.

Don’t be ashamed to break down today!

To weep. To laugh. To snort. To dribble.

To not know. To admit all your mistakes.

All your damn mistakes.

To begin again.

To be a puddle of nothing on the ground.

To be translucent and soft.

Awakening is not a hobby, friend.

It’s a radical reframing of your entire existence.

It’s the devastation of the dreamer.

And in the rubble,

such intensity.

Such ferocity.

Such light.

In the devastation

we can truly meet.

And knit with the spiders at dawn.

Giggle with the afternoon crows.

Play hide-and-seek

with the grown ups;

make them forget their melancholy,

if only for a moment.

Sing star-mantras with the wolves.

And live the days.

Somehow live through the days.

Where the beauty is just too relentless.

Where we haven’t got the strength to stand.

Where we cannot breathe ourselves.

And so Love breathes us instead.

And warms us from the inside.

And fills us with new hope

under an iridescent sky.


– Jeff Foster

Listen to Say a Little Prayer by Diana King

You breathe different in a room when you know it’s not about the good you can accomplish but about the grace you can accept.

– Ann Voskamp


Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.

John O’Donohue

Excerpt from ANAM CARA

The shadows of the ships

Rock on the crest

In the low blue lustre

Of the tardy and the soft inrolling tide.

A long brown bar at the dip of the sky

Puts an arm of sand in the span of salt.

The lucid and endless wrinkles

Draw in, lapse and withdraw.

Wavelets crumble and white spent bubbles

Wash on the floor of the beach.

Rocking on the crest

In the low blue lustre

Are the shadows of the ships.


Sketch by Carl Sandburg

The skies sob for days

grieving my losses

The sunsets shine glory

bringing hope to my nights

after my bouts with prairie madness

from this God forsaken place of lonely crucifixion

I wait in a shy place of peace

buds slowly blooming like new spring

in my hesitant still-beating heart

I have done with the earthquakes of anxiety and fear

the clay tentatively stilled beneath me in this ground breaking moment

of wonder and amazement

something tender is taking root inside me

this new thunder moon

brings loud silent space for

letting go

opening thoughts

new ideas

voices shared

building collaboration

untapped possibilities

unlimited potential

the desires of the holy trinity of myself –




I acknowledge deep calling to deep

within this waterspout of quiet spirit

there is dawning of truth

softly arriving on the wings of the summer breeze

clouds and answers silently forming without the need for words

recognition is first step into new beginnings

grateful hearts, wrung dry as deserts,

somehow know for sure:

the best of life is always yet to be,

true spiritual waters always grow corn


Amy Lloyd

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot

The changing light
at San Francisco
is none of your East Coast light
none of your
pearly light of Paris
The light of San Francisco
is a sea light
an island
And the light of fog
blanketing the hills
drifting in at night
through the Golden Gate
to lie on
the city at dawn
And then the halcyon late mornings
after the fog burns off
and the sun paints white houses
with the sea
light of Greece
with sharp clean shadows
making the town look like
it had just been

But the wind comes up at four o’clock
sweeping the

And then the veil of light of early evening

And then another scrim
when the new night fog
floats in
And in that vale of light
the city drifts
upon the ocean


The Changing Light by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

my peanut butter & jelly


I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.”

Jack KerouacThe Portable Jack Kerouac


They kept showing up, for days,
dead on the windowsill,
and for days I did nothing about the ladybugs
except to ask if their entering the house
unnoticed and dying before I saw them
was symbolic.
Thinking so was easy.
They symbolized birth and death,
change and rebirth.
It was also possible the tiny beetles
embodied an inborn need
to show themselves,
to turn up in every and any place,
even as the dried-out remains of the once lively.
Or they stood for the burden of being one thing
relieved by becoming another,
which all the world’s children suffer.

This went on and on, and could’ve gone on
forever, so finally I opened the window
and blew them into the wide open
because everything and everyone should get a chance
to be mourned, and they got theirs,
but first they had to die, which is life,
not symbolism.


The Symbolic Life by Hayan Charara


Photo by Michael Provost via Facebook

you are my bread and wine,
my peanut butter and jelly, my chocolate.
You are my teacher, my rescuer,
lover of heaven, light of my way.
You are God’s selfie,
and my best mirror.
You are the One in whom I meet my many,
the world’s many, all of us one.
You are my breathing coach,
my soul’s midwife,
the reaching out in me,
lover that lights my love,
comedian in my tragedies,
pitcher my hope pours from.
You are the hole through which
God springs out of my life.
You are the one who knows,
and who never makes fun of me.
Trickster, host and scout,
you hide in every low place,
find the question in everything
show me the holy in everything.
When I burrow into my ruin
you are the one I met there,
preparing a table.
You laugh at my sin, hold my despair,
sleep in my boat, stand on my forgiveness,
walk my way, die my death.
You are my next life, germinating in me.
On my cross, in my grave you wait for me.
You are my resurrection.
And so you are for the whole aching world,
for this holy, spinning universe,
that sings in harmony for you
our thanks to God.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


bird poop heart….#lovelettersonthepath


after the last straw 

has changed everything 

about your comfort zoned life

and the free radical of your new way of living

has established a tentative foothold

on the sheer face of the rock

you find yourself 


within the jagged spaces 

between the silences

suddenly you see there growing near

within the cracks you hang from

a green vine

with beautiful fruit

ready for your hungriest longing 










It is not easy to reach, yet

you spend your last ounce of strength




claiming your prize

and there you are

forgetting your precarious position on this mountain 

eating with sheer delight

juice running down chins and elbows

until, even the stones, fill with joy

and laugh with delight at your moxie

tomorrow you will bravely face our sorrow

and allow your salt to run 

to heal your wounds

further up this climb you will feel what you need to feel

and let those emotions have their way with you

until you embrace the mystery 

then throw caution to the very winds you stand in the center of

and open your arms wide as you can 

to life


Amy Lloyd



in the fray


~ The Call


I have heard it all my life,

A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.

Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.

Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.

But always it says: Wake up my

Love. You are walking asleep.

There’s no safety in that!

Remember what you are and let this knowing

take you home to the Beloved with every breath.

Hold tenderly who you are and let a deeper knowing

colour the shape of your humanness.

There is no where to go. What you

are looking for is right here.

Open the fist clenched in wanting and

see what you already hold in your hand.

There is no waiting for something to happen,

no point in the future to get to.

All you have ever longed for is here

in this moment, right now.

You are wearing yourself out

with all this searching.

Come home and rest.

How much longer can

you live like this?

Your hungry spirit is gaunt, your heart

stumbles. All this trying.

Give it up!

Let yourself be one of the God-mad,

faithful only to the Beauty you are.

Let the Lover pull you to your

feet and hold you close,

dancing even when fear urges you to sit this one out.

Remember- there is one word

you are here to say with your whole being.

When it finds you, give your life to it.

Don’t be tight-lipped and stingy.

Spend yourself completely on the saying.

Be one word in this great love

poem we are writing together.


~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

a few remenants of time remaining

whiskers and sweat are a lifestyle choice

ashes and rust are a way to rough up the shiny Venetian plaster

scraping razors uncover behind the blood red

layers of years, of jobs, of actions done wrong

smokey two-chains of battle-scars and emphysema

gravelly voices fighting their way through to explore love

laughter leveled at consistent foolishness and aggravation

wisdom rides securely on the broad shoulders of rough and ready

careless broken pieces of windowed ledges hang by threads of cheap silcone

flash fires suddenly stormy weathered downpours

powder kegs are a mile a minute strewn along sidewalks

life must be lived with honest appreciation of all the possibilities

better walk in the middle of the street in the early morning hours

it’s hard to change directions when all you know are guilty pleasures

looking for moments of light breaking through

is that a cat on his neck?


even after the third time of asking the question to yourself

not trusting your own eyes

saying it out loud for someone to confirm it’s strange truth

it ALWAYS is what it is…

Lightning 13 miles from thunder moving closer with that crazy-eyed sky

hearts are, as usual, are our least/most vulnerable spot

even after the eclipse shows us how to start over step by step…

Prize fighters never forget how to clench fists

hard getting harder with each blow

unless desperado chooses to open that gate

practical life changers have seen some business,

leading to…

“you gotta get up early in the morning to try to get me…

and all you’ll get is tired”

at some point you gotta rest from the never ending battles

I was here for a minute

then flew into the deep blue yonder

while you play games you’re sure to win

knowing my life has completely changed

in ways beyond this moment of knowing

beyond the lingering smell of cigars I can’t outrun

destiny takes no prisoners

freedom rides the hot delta winds right outside the open prison door

love always wins no matter the surprising shape it takes

suddenly the simplest spoken truth shifts all perspective of the weeks behind

{changing nothing and everything simultaneously}

I breathe again released from my illusive, nagging, self doubt and confusion

please remember – no more trickery allowed when the truth will serve better

there in the clouds of heaven

Atlas finally takes the world off his shoulders for good

and lays down to rest


Amy Lloyd

This is what life is really like.

This is what life is really like.

This is what life is really like every day.

—Gray Parrot, Vienna, 1943.

In the circus animals’ diary: “And all this was destroyed in ninety minutes.”

Makeshift forests flaming to high heavens, metal bent bars.

Siberian tigers, black panthers, jaguars, pumas,

bears, hyenas and wolves, and all the lion pit saved from burning

by the keepers’ own hands. By bullets. Only so much can be said.

Herbage will be scarce. Nature will gather like sleeping poppies

over the craters and lost species.

The African wart-hog will be cooked over an open fire in the garden.

One thinks of one’s restlessness, Faustian—

in the minutes-before-dawn dark

with the devil cry of black crows, the miry skull

of the half-eaten rabbit, then gold grimy hills

and light-making jewels and hand mirrors among the trees.

Why are you here? It dawns. All this will never be again.

The circus can’t be locked.


Circus City by Carol Frost

be my friend

FRIENDSHIP is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us to see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn.

A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.

In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves.

Friendship is the great hidden transmuter of all relationship: it can transform a troubled marriage, make honorable a professional rivalry, make sense of heartbreak and unrequited love and become the newly discovered ground for a mature parent-child relationship.

The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life: a diminishing circle of friends is the first terrible diagnostic of a life in deep trouble: of overwork, of too much emphasis on a professional identity of forgetting who will be there when our armored personalities run into the inevitable natural disasters and vulnerabilities found in even the most ordinary existence…

Friendship transcends disappearance: an enduring friendship goes on after death, the exchange only transmuted by absence, the relationship advancing and maturing in a silent internal conversational way even after one half of the bond has passed on.

But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the self nor of the other, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.


in CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment

and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words by David Whyte

What about sin as a means to grace?


We are only ever trying

to meet The One.

Which means,

meeting ourselves.


Every conflict in relationship

between family, friends or lovers

is an invitation:

To feel our feelings more completely.

To connect with ourselves more deeply.

To get clearer about our path.

To breathe.

To find our voice. To speak our truth.

To know who we are.

To discover:

What we want

and do not want.

What is okay

and what is not okay.

(And it’s okay

to be

‘not okay’,


Through the storm of conflict,

we are invited to clarity

and to the truth of our humanness.


We are only ever being shown

the frightened parts of ourselves

still crying out for love!

– Jeff Foster

patience is our closest friend 

the bestie we rarely acknowledge

as the truest ally of our healthiest self 

our one true sister 

we rarely learn to develop a deep and loving relationship with her

not realizing what we’re missing 

patience tells us truth as nothing else can

reveals levels of impatience, insecurity, immaturity and understanding 

within ourselves

As well as inside 

every relationship 

every circumstance 

we encounter 

I want to leave every interaction feeling full

Not drained to the marrow of my soul

I’ve got my own anthem playing here

volume on high

a very personal love song

written just for me 

with extra notes played 


Every time I say ‘no’

my need for silence 

drawn from the beauty 

of listening 

to that score

where I find the glory 

of the burning bush

no shoes allowed

I kiss the ground

In these virtuous moments 

 where I find all the answers to 

my unique ‘yes’




Amy Lloyd


Come to the river of your life

Look at your own reflection

choose to plunge into your own water

mouth wide open



Amy Lloyd

There comes a day when

it no longer matters what others think.

All that matters now

is that we follow our own lead.

That we no longer resist

the urge to get our feet wet.

At the waterside.

At the harbour, where we draw our own tide.

Yes all that matters now

is that we source the depths of our own longing.

For we know that our very being depends

on the truths we tell ourselves.

And these truths are reflected now,

in the stillness of the water’s surface.

Yes, look and find,

that after all, you are perfect.

To your own self to which you are now true.

And to your own purposes which call you.

THERE COMES A DAY by Ana Lisa de Jong

Living Tree Poetry

August 2017

So come to the pond,

or the river of your imagination,

or the harbour of your longing.

And put your lip to the world.

And live your life.

– Mary Oliver

For one day soon you will step into your own stunning universe—beyond the myths, outside any limitations or predictions, far from the illusions this life invents—as you answer the call to uncover the many starlit truths contained inside your incomparable soul. You will be reborn to fresh and glorious revelations only you can carry to completion. And while all the infinite possibilities expand within, may you sing aloud, rejoicing in your new birth, no longer owned by anyone’s idea of who you should be.

(~an affirmation from Susan Frybort’s luminous new book, ‘Open Passages’, available at any independent bookstore through Ingram Distribution on Amazon- kindle and paperback- at

Listen to I’ll Find a Way by Rachel Yamagata

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