life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “March, 2018”

the void is hiring…step up

Against all odds the winds are changing directions

bell choirs keep silent vigil at midnight

from the back a wheelchair

set in constant motion

subconscious patterns

run night and day

you, being the one and all,

free flowing floods flooding

body temperature liquid streaming

there she goes again

climbing over the rails

adrenaline pumps straight through the heart

stopping at flight and fright

no freeze allowed

night after sleepless night

finding me a hollow shell

still calm and beauty sensitive

aged trees newly borning leaves

Springs colors filling in daily

against the ever changing

skies and waters

greens, blues and silvers

this furious night wind

rides the water hard and wet

Friday can be somber

but hold on to your bonnet

puzzle pieces are settling into place

even in the void between questions and answers

bright resurrection arrives on Sunday mornings

patience is a rewarding experience

sorrow is the pathway into life

joy is still the stuff dreams are made of

all through the night hours

the silky cat keeps a hungry watch

until we wake to see what this day brings

a hearty breakfast, to be had by all


Amy Lloyd

In the beginning

you opened up

an emptiness

in yourself

for creation:


for darkness to sit in,

then time,

for light to travel.

This is such a day

of emptiness,

of sabbath rest,

a pregnant pause,

space in you,

and time between,

divine abyss,

for Creation

to happen.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

opening day

somewhere in the world

the grass has grown knee high and the man in the farmhouse needs a antihistamine every morning


somewhere someone is refusing to take out the garbage after months of debate on whose turn it is


somewhere, there are on a normal street corner, there is a yard full of rusty car parts anxiously awaiting a long-deserved citation


on some other Wednesday afternoon there’s a piano player practicing the black and white

while the amateur impressionist mixes pastel colors in the next room


even today there were people in multiple places on this blue-green globe holding up pieces of the silver sky in various shades of goodness


tomorrow, and on every other odd numbered day, there will be meetings of a sacred nature which will be attended by those seeking to be included when the saints go marching in


right now, this very minute, there are people thinking about each other who may never meet again in person – tho they will never, ever forget how it was not so very long ago


Amy Lloyd

The joke is orange. which has never been funny.

For awhile I didn’t sleep on my bright side.

Many airplanes make it through sky.

The joke is present. dented and devil.

For awhile, yellow spots on the wall.

Obama on water skis, the hair in his armpits, free.

I thought the CIA was operative.

Across the alley, a woman named Mildred.

Above the clouds in a plane, a waistline of sliced white.

I don’t sound like TED Talk, or smart prose on Facebook.

These clouds are not God.

I keep thinking about Coltrane; how little he talked.

This is so little; I give so little.

Sometimes when I say something to white people, they say “I’m sorry?”

During Vietnam, Bob Kaufman stopped talking.

The CIA was very good at killing Panthers.

Mildred in a housecoat, calling across the fence, over her yard.

If I were grading this, I’d be muttering curses.

The joke is a color. a color for prison.

Is it me, or is the sentence, as structure, arrogant?

All snow, in here, this writing, departure.

All miles are valuable. all extension. all stretch.

I savor the air with both fingers, and tongue.

Mildred asks about the beats coming from my car.

I forgot to bring the poem comparing you to a garden.

Someone tell me what to say to my senators.

No one smokes here; in the rain, I duck away and smell piss.

I thought the CIA was. the constitution.

I feel like he left us, for water skis, for kitesurfing.

The sun will not always be so gracious.

From the garden poem, one line stands out.

Frank Ocean’s “Nights” is a study in the monostich.

Pace is not breathing, on and off. off.

Mildred never heard of Jneiro Jarel.

I’m afraid one day I’ll find myself remembering this air.

The last time I saw my mother, she begged for fried chicken.

My father still sitting there upright, a little high.

Melissa McCarthy could get it.

Sometimes, I forget how to touch.

In a parking garage, I wait for the toothache.

I watch what I say all the time now.

She said she loved my touch, she used the word love.

In 1984, I’d never been in the sky.

My mother walked a laundry cart a mile a day for groceries.

Betsy DeVos is confirmed. with a broken tie.

Mildred’s five goes way up, and my five reaches.


Single Lines Looking Forward. or One Monostich Past 45 by francine j. harris

shades of true colors

There are no more exquisite and ethereal words

Only harsh and splintered ones

Words of bloodshed and war

scabbed and scraping against the gashing wounds of my broken heart

the only echos left are the screams of the gnashing souls

trapped in the torturous prisons of this worlds smiling illusion

a thousand expectations of who and what make us successful

while we wither in fields of scorched corn

wishing for a cool drink of sweet southern iced tea

in some small bordered zone of kindness

ringed with beauty for a full minute

where we aren’t allowed to speak words of death to each other

They say, tomorrow never comes.

What if ‘they’ are flat-out wrong?

What if the truth is more along the lines of…

tomorrow just doesn’t matter?


Amy Lloyd

If we run away from our sadness,

If we turn our backs on anger,

If we deny fear its inherent right to be here,

If we kick our pain out onto the cold, dark streets…

How will we ever know

That these weren’t precious gifts made of gold,

Forged in the fires of ourselves

long ago?

– Jeff Foster

You are where you need to be at this moment. Soak in the experiences around you. Things are happening for you that you are not aware of yet. Practice mindfulness and appreciate the now. In retrospect, it will all make sense.

You know the feeling where you think, “Wow, if I had not experienced this struggle, I would never have found this great blessing in my life.” As your motivation today, instead of resorting to thoughts leading to questioning everything, think only of positive ones.

Repeat to yourself, “I am where I need to be right now. Good things are present, and there is more to come.”

📷🙏Lucian Andrei, Portugal


Give yourself time to make a prayer that will become the prayer of your soul. Listen to the voices of longing in your soul. Listen to your hungers. Give attention to the unexpected that lives around the rim of your life. Listen to your memory and to the inrush of your future, to the voices of those near you and those you have lost. Out of all of that attention to your soul, make a prayer that is big enough for your wild soul, yet tender enough for your shy and awkward vulnerability; that has enough healing to gain the ointment of divine forgiveness for your wounds; enough truth and vigour to challenge your blindness and complacency; enough graciousness and vision to mirror your immortal beauty. Write a prayer that is worthy of the destiny to which you have been called.

John O’Donohue



As pastel colors stripe the sky leading to the magnificence of sunrise

I share wise counsel and deep conversation with the half-pint cat

Whispering things of wonderrrr and purrrfection

Sometimes in your dustiest of life wanderings

you learn unexpected things out of sheer necessity

Because, in order to be the human you want to be,

you must step into places you never thought your feet would take you

and wash the weeping and wounded you come upon

Somehow those hard things you chose to learn have saved the lives of another and then another

Sometimes those very things thrust into your unsuspecting, yet willing, hands

Become so important to your life’s philosophy

You begin to see a new way to be in the world

All these things open you to venture into expanded doorways and enfold you under loving rooftops

They enlarge your heart by a thousand times a thousand

They allow you to become intimate with life and humanity in a million myriad of tiny ways never understood before

Sometimes you stand on the Morning shore of your life

with the blazing sunrise radiating into your very soul

and you understand your life’s journey from a whole new perspective

you step out of that realm veiled by your former self eyes

illusions vanished

and into the subtle brilliance of this Holy Week of remembrance

Suddenly seen from a shadowy flash of sight through the eyes of Christ

walking the Via Delarosa

seeing the courage of all those faithful

pilgrims who walk the broken road again and again

Knowing exactly where the hard dirt leads

steps may falter

but never turn away

from these most valuable gifts, full of brutal beauty

knowing the only life worth living

is the one laid bare from love

the one lived knowing

Only love will save us from our selves

Only love will bring us home


Amy Lloyd

she saw dozens of daffodils

humbled, she had no words

even birds quieted down

the sun sliced through

the chilled air, her dirty brown hair

lost in an acid yellow spring

her clogged feet became lifted

over garden & cold snow

stream held mica stones:

innocently touching each other

in the clicking of electrical sparks

home to silver minnows, moving

clear waters from last week’s

tumultuous snow

memorized by heart,

freed to wander, impossible

to know the reasons

for beauty singing green spring

with cedar scented running

water–embraced by the still

soft snowy banks

of the susquehanna

too close to sunset not to notice

the gleam setting in the green,

the new born mutual smile–

as soon as we rested…….

.for just a little while

~words ~kate lamberg (c) ’18


may everything I do today

be my anointing of you;

every thought, word and deed

a pouring out of myself for you,

a gift of service, adoration and thanks.

May every act comfort you,

receive your sacred story,

join me to you in your suffering,

embrace your dying

and prepare for what will follow.

In your death may you be wrapped

in the balm of my own heart.

Give me courage to give my gifts

no matter how others may judge them.

May my life give off the aroma

of gratitude and love.

Accept the anointing of my tears,

my prayers, my being.

In your love

I carry the alabaster jar of my life

into this new day.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

for whom


The sound

of a bell

still reverberating,

or a blackbird


from a corner

of a


Asking you

to wake

into this life

or inviting you


to one that waits.

Either way

takes courage,

either way wants you

to be nothing

but that self that

is no self at all,

wants you to walk

to the place

where you find

you already know

how to give

every last thing


The approach

that is also

the meeting itself,

without any


at all.

That radiance

you have always

carried with you

as you walk

both alone

and completely


in friendship

by every corner

of the world




Title poem from the upcoming book





Available on Amazon Preorder

The life you clutch, hoard, guard, and play safe with is in the end a life worth little to anybody, including yourself, and only a life given away for love’s sake is a life worth living.

-Listening to Your Life

What do you compare life to when life is all you know?

Who do you blame when everyone is exactly the same?

How do you know what you’ve never known?

Why do scale the building when you’re not sure what you want?

Why do you bring a letter opener to a gun fight?

What do you clap for when the curtain has fallen and the actors have gone home?

When will your chance at fame and glory press the doorbell of transformation?

Seems like the only way to stay alive is to keep moving, even if it’s just upstairs to bed at night

and downstairs for coffee in the morning

Yes, the journey of any length begins with one step

‘Leg over leg the dog went to Dover…’

Don’t surrender before the first shots been fired

Eat when you’re hungry

Rest when you’re tired

Dance on the hard days

smell every flower while it blooms for you

and, like a very wise man once told me –

‘Always kiss your lady goodnight’


Amy Lloyd

when the morning comes

some weeks things go by

at such high octane velocity

you end up with a Ferrari in the driveway

engine making your sleep deprived heart awaken and pound in your ears

you turn 16 again and the world feels so full of possibilities and excitement

there is no time to overthink or process in such whirlwinds

you just make gut instinct choices

knowing which thing is the right way

there will be settled moments soon

moments of rest and calm are coming

the new routine includes a kitty eating breakfast in the wee hours of the morning

my new long-term goals include picnics in the thatch roofed treehouse

does that blood red-deep pink sunrise have a message for my poet soul,

as I drink coffee from my favorite cup

on this chilled, side of the longest-coasted-lake-in-the-world?

the answer to that question are these words

freely dripping out to capture life’s beauty attending me into my day

(this, my first poem at this place in the Universe)

yes, I know there will be hard – our days always hold hard and soft,

most usually NOT in equal portions

and so we rate them ‘good’ or ‘bad’

we walk through our years of questions

and our years of answers

sometimes we forget to sing the silly songs of our childhood

until we unexpectedly meet around a table full of laughter

and the words fall out

and we breathe in that easy goodness

which I have come to fully recognize

as God

knowing the sweetness of my recognition

is grace


Amy Lloyd


Tomorrow I will start to be happy.

The morning will light up like a celebratory cigar.

Sunbeams sprawling on the lawn will set

dew sparkling like a cut-glass tumbler of champagne.

Today will end the worst phase of my life.

I will put my shapeless days behind me,

fencing off the past, as a golden rind

of sand parts slipshod sea from solid land.

It is tomorrow I want to look back on, not today.

Tomorrow I start to be happy; today is almost yesterday.


Tomorrow by Dennis O’Driscoll (first verse)

pieces of gratitude

miracles. everyday.

I receive them

all around me

I ask. I receive.

I seek. I am given.

I knock. and gain entrance to the kingdom.

I begin to write on a blank sheet of paper. Poems appear.

I take a step. My way opens and I find a path prepared.

I open my heart and mouth. Songs and melodies erupt in time snd space.

I breathe and the perfume of fresh air and flowers fill my being.

My way is effortless. Life flows easily with great abundance.

These miracles go on and on. Every minute. Every day.

I am in awe. I smile.

I am here. I am full.


Amy Lloyd

Ordinary Miracles.

Today I am so tired

I have no space in me for big.

I must return

to the small ordinary miracles;

to the way the cup and the bowl

laid upon this table,

once earth themselves, now,

after fire’s touch

are something else entirely,

and give themselves freely

and with the simple symmetry

of their curved line

to the holding of emptiness

or fullness.

Or I will drink tea,

and follow it’s warmth and healing touch within and without,

and mingle my breath

with its vapour and touch the journey of its essence from far away lands

to here, to now, to me.

Or spend time simply remembering

that between the covers

of the books upon my shelves are held minds, lives, worlds, stories, wisdom that will all last longer than this little body of mine.

Or marvel at the striped stones

upon the shore that tell deep time, layer by layer and recall wild days of disaster and dancing in their still sea vigil slowly loosing their grains and building beaches for children’s hands to make sand castles with until the next tide sets them swimming again.

Or just knowing that already I have seen a seed become a tree become a log become a fire become dust and become soil for seed’s planting.

Or watch the sky and know that the blue is still behind the clouds and the stars still shine even in the day.

Or simply sit with the slow rhythm of breath

knowing its biology as blessing, its divine anchoring as presence and prayer.

Today, I am so tired I have no space in me

for big questions, queries, feelings, problems, pains, plans, whether mine or others,

so I will just sit with the small ordinary miracles of being; breathing, watching, touching, tasting the now,

and in the now knowing

the love from which all that is, is.

I will dwell there, today,

in the wonder of it all,

in the wildness of

the small ordinary miracles

of being.


Richard Hendrick

what about some sterling news?

It seems too enormous just for a man to be

Walking on. As if it and the empty day

Were all there is. And a little dog

Trotting in time with the heat waves, off

Near the horizon, seeming never to get

Any farther. The sun and everything

Are stuck in the same places, and the ditch

Is the same all the time, full of every kind

Of bone, while the empty air keeps humming

That sound it has memorized of things going

Past. And the signs with huge heads and starved

Bodies, doing dances in the heat,

And the others big as houses, all promise

But with nothing inside and only one wall,

Tell of other places where you can eat,

Drink, get a bath, lie on a bed

Listening to music, and be safe. If you

Look around you see it is just the same

The other way, going back; and farther

Now to where you came from, probably,

Than to places you can reach by going on.


The Highway by W.S. Merwin

Come with me

into the field of sunflowers.

Their faces are burnished disks,

their dry spines

creak like ship masts,

their green leaves,

so heavy and many,

fill all day with the sticky

sugars of the sun.

Come with me

to visit the sunflowers,

they are shy

but want to be friends;

they have wonderful stories

of when they were young –

the important weather,

the wandering crows.

Don’t be afraid

to ask them questions!

Their bright faces,

which follow the sun,

will listen, and all

those rows of seeds –

each one a new life!

hope for a deeper acquaintance;

each of them, though it stands

in a crowd of many,

like a separate universe,

is lonely, the long work

of turning their lives

into a celebration

is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,

the simple garments of leaves,

the coarse roots in the earth

so uprightly burning.


Sunflowers by Mary Oliver

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 exquisite feather dropped 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

On this day of your life, I believe God wants you to know …

… that the next step is the most important step. Take it

now. Do not wait.

Life is not going to come down there and sprinkle

glitter dust on your shoulders to let you know that you

are Good…or that you are walking the Right Path…or

that you are making the Best Decision.

Take the next step. Right now. Stop waiting for a “sign”

from the “gods.” Your sign is your intuition, wrapped

in your desire.

Hesitation is not a stopping place on the road to heaven.

⁃ Neale Donald Walsh

a day to remember

Deep, heavy snow erased the land and rendered it in black and white. It clings to every branch and twig in marshmallowy fatness. There are no things now, no color, only white blobs. Every branch is burdened, bowed or broken. Some limbs, overloaded, crack and fall and sigh and settle back into snow’s old silence. The path is blocked by disasters of fallen trees and snow-bent boughs stooped the way sorrows weigh you down. Every tree and hillock is disguised. Nothing looks the same. The way has vanished. I have to pick my way around these heaped up baskets of bent and fallen branches covering the trail. I lose my way. I could turn back—my fingers are cold, my feet are wet, I’m hungry for breakfast, and I’m not sure of the way. But I am as changed as the woods. I might stand here till I become a snowy mound, one with this sparking silence. Why wouldn’t I find a way for amazement? Why not endure hurt or hunger for gratitude? Isn’t beauty the way? Even in struggle, isn’t wonder the path?


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

there is wonder

in the shape of things

magnificence in patterns

grace in the traced template

outlining perfection

or a the very least,

mind boggling excellence

there is magic in a great shape

simply exquisite how I love things so much

my imagination immediately begins to conjure up favorite selections:

cotton candy clouds reorganizing in mid air

ferns unfolding into majestic fans for kingly trees

fat snowflakes plopping onto every available surface in my walking world leaving me thrilled and chilled to the bone

leaves dancing to the grounded drum beats

random pieces of nature shaped into hearts

a thick glass 6 oz coke bottle, ice-cold, being pulled from the clanging machine

cupcakes with perfect frosting being deconstructed one finger swipe at a time

the outline of a baby cheek sleeping on the shoulder of the young man in front of you

Rama Desi’s yellow house, complete with chalk sidewalk dragons

the most perfect button I’ve ever seen on a belly…

the fingers of my imagination slowly touching each one

lingering on you…

my mind takes me into other worlds

cinema of beautiful shapes

wealth of living awareness

well beyond limits

riches of the mystic

always ready when I push play

stories to be shared





each continued…. continuously…

at their own beautiful pace


Amy Lloyd

taking a new position


Make a place of prayer, no fuss,

just lean into the white brilliance

and say what you needed to say

all along, nothing too much, words

as simple and as yours and as heard

as the bird song above your head

or the river running gently beside you.

Let your words join one to another

the way stone nestles on stone,

the way water just leaves

and goes to the sea,

the way your promise

breathes and belongs

with every other promise

the world has ever made.

Now, leave them to go on,

let your words carry their own life

without you, let the promise

go with the river.

Have faith. Stand up. Walk away.




Twenty Poems of Requited and Unrequited Love’

© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

It’s not easy

to do the hard thing

to lose

to stand

to eat

to sleep alone

to wait at all


to be long-time patient

to be strong

to allow the pain

the grief

the tears of exhaustion



to press on

to refuse to settle

to believe in spite of loss

to sing on the shores of exile

to fight in the face of minority

to keep the fire warm

to build wells in dry places

to send out love

to melt defenses

to keep touching the lepers

to allow healing to come

to ruthlessly keep letting go

to rise above our stories

to inhabit them completely

to set our boundaries

yet keep opening our hearts

to be prepared

to live ready

to keep saying yes


Amy Lloyd

When you shift your focus

from what is absent

to what is present,

from what is missing

to what has been given,

from what you are not

to who you are,

from the ravages of linear time

to the immediacy of Now,

you are reconnecting

with love, truth and beauty,

and abundance is yours,


For in truth,

nothing is lacking where you are,

nothing is missing from the present scene of the movie of your life,

and you are forever full,

and at the point of completion.

The only reason

you cannot find Oneness

is because you never left.

The day is just waiting to be lived.

So breathe in life, friend,

breathe in life.

– Jeff Foster

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