life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Pale Picasso Blue

I didn’t know I was blue,

until I heard her sing.

I was never aware so much

had been lost

even before I was born.

There was so much to lose

even before I knew

what it meant to choose.

Born blue,

living blue unconfessed, blue

in concealment, I’ve lived all my life

at the plinth

of greater things than me.

Morning is greater

with its firstborn light and birdsong.

Noon is taller, though a moment’s realm.

Evening is ancient and immense, and

night’s storied house more huge.

But I had no idea.

And would have died without a clue,

except she began to sing. And I understood

my soul is a bride enthralled by an unmet groom,

or else the groom wholly spoken for, blue

in ardor, happy in eternal waiting.

I heard her sing and knew

I would never hear the true

name of each thing

until I realized the abysmal

ground of all things. Her singing

touched that ground in me.

Now, dying of my life, everything is made new.

Now, my life is not my life. I have no life

apart from all of life.

And my death is not my death,

but a pillow beneath my head, a rock

propping the window open

to admit the jasmine.

I heard her sing,

and I’m no longer afraid.

Now that I know what she knows, I hope

never to forget

how giant the gone

and immaculate the going.

How much I’ve already lost.

How much I go on losing.

How much I’ve lived

all one blue. O, how much

I go on living.

Spoken For by Li-Young Lee

Is it

the season?

the sky?

the sea?

or simply new shades of blue

writing love poems across across sky?


Amy Lloyd

Our pool is still blue but a few leaves

have fallen, floating on the surface

of summer. The other swimmers

went home last week, tossed

their faded bathing suits aside,

so my daughter and I are alone

in the water which has grown colder

like a man’s hand at the end of

a romance. The lifeguard is under

her umbrella but her bags are packed

for college. We are swimming against

change, remembering the endless

shores of June: the light like lemonade,

fireflies inside our cupped hands,

watermelon night. We are swimming

towards the darkness of what

is next, walking away from the sounds

of laughter and splashing, towels

wrapped around the dampness of our loss.


The Last Swim of Summer by Faith Shearin

Colors swirl around in you,

blues and greens, mostly,

like rivers, like flames, or a planet,

thick and vibrant.

To you they are beautiful.

To someone they are survival.

Outside a child walks by, crying.

Not your child.

You don’t have to respond.

The colors need framing.

Crying, and walking.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

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