life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “September, 2018”

it’s what I want

I want to write wild poems

I want to talk of passion and death

tell you of the short time we have here

the important things we must do

how to let go of the unimportant stuff

how to be patient and kind

how to get intimate and be honest

I want to write naked, vulnerable words

Words that undress you and I –

pull you deeply into me

I want to show you my flaming desire

feel yours burning from your side of the world

I want to run and feel and sing and tell 1,000 stories

I need to be all here

to be real

to see you

to be seen

to live through my senses

to love with my touch

there’s nothing else that is more valuable

there’s nothing else I want

there’s nothing else


Amy Lloyd

Some days I feel like a Pulitzer winning novelist
whose manuscript has been eaten by beetles
and whose typewriter has been thrown into the sea.
I feel like the greatest husband on earth
in the Alzheimer’s ward trying to pick out my wife.
A world class musician who’s just had a stroke.
A holy saint trapped in the body of—well, me.
A prima ballerina on crutches.
I feel extraordinarily gifted,
and unable to live it out.
Whether it’s luck or fault or fate matters not.
The crutches are real.

But I am a prima ballerina,
and I am resolved,
even with these damned crutches,
to carry myself with grace.
Some odd divine intent prevails.
I am still a saint; so I am resolved
to live with a shred of kindness showing.
In my corner of the world,
even if this is all in my head,
that’s a noble calling,
and, when I can pull it off,
God being in it,
something of a miracle.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Rest as original emptiness.

Be the mirror, not the image.

No fluttering wings

of opinion.

No old Summer stories

struggling in a silver web

the Autumn spider spins

across the night.

Be Ariadne,

the one who doesn’t get stuck

in her own silken theater.

Play the magical game

where beggars and kings,

warriors, lovers, witches, fools

cling to their threads of desire,

while you just witness

the glistening.

Don’t be a bead, a diamond,

a netted star.

Be the spider,

the darkness Herself.

Fred LaMotte

have you ever seen a lassie?

Take my heart

and set it free,

free among

the summer trees,

free in spirit

free in verse,

take my heart

but it may burst

burst into the glowing sun,

stay with me

and be the one,

stay with me

and dance.

– JD James

“‘I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile” (Jeremiah 29:14).


I know the word story carries with it so many emotions, so much heaviness, but relief, too. I know in your head you want words and memories to make sense. You want things to line up, and it is tough to not have answers, to not be able to explain the reason behind this happening, the cause of this event.

What if you knew more than you did? What if you could give an answer to the whys of your heart? What if you didn’t have to struggle with weakness, with inadequacy, on your own? Can you imagine where that would lead you?

Do you trust how I protect your heart?

I protect you, and I push you on, too. I lead you, but it is your choice whether or not to follow. I give you vision, just enough, to see where I am and know where I go, with you. One foot in front of the other. Why do you need to know more?  Do you? Do you need to know more to believe Me more? Do you need to see more to know I am here, whispering to you, loving you, guiding you?

My daughter, you are not alone.

My daughter, you have what it takes, my creation, my dear one, to follow Me.

My daughter, you are the only one of you I’ve made. There is just one. Only one, my dear. You are my crafted jewel, my sparkling flower, my glistening water as it falls from heaven.

You delight Me, child.

Please don’t look away, believe this is too good to be true. You feel that way to Me, you know. . .  too good to be true. You are radiant and captivating and you need only stand with Me, watching where I beckon you, knowing I am the sure place for your legs to stand.

So, rest now. And then rise up. When you believe, a little more, choosing these words, my love for you, as true, you are on your way to a deeper place I have for you.

I have so much more for you, child.



I came to the end of the sidewalk

I was wondering which way I should go

There were gates for each road all around me

The signs up above were all flashing to show…

…this way

and that way

right way

wrong way

There was your way

and my way

and his way

and her way

I stood at the end of the end of the sidewalk

It was all so confusing you know

Which gate was the one I should enter?

Which road was the one to lead me back home?

Cause there was

high way

and by way

low way

and long way

There was which way

and what way

there was fast way 

and slow way

there was dream way

and scream way

There was wander way

and squander way

One sign read short way

one even read no way

there was one reading far away

all the way to the milky way

Then I saw a small sign near the bottom

It wasn’t flashing or bright

But this sign it caught my attention

Cause this sign in the shape of an arrow

sat pointing toward a dirt road marked LIFE…

Now this road it had a small entrance

Not many had gone through before

The gate was all rusted and creaky

Had to knock just to open that door…

It was dark and a little bit lonely

There was just a small lamp for to see

It took me awhile to adjust to the style

For this road was far greater than me

For it’s Your way

not my way

It’s a new way

Walking life way

The longer I walked, I saw better

Though it never got easier to see, 

But this road lead right where I followed

cause Life was the journey, you see…


Amy Lloyd

Diamond Road…Sheyl Crow

Walk with me the diamond road

Tell me every story told

Give me something of your soul

That I can hold onto

I want to wake up to the sound of waves

Crashing on a brand new day

Keep the memory of your face

But wipe the pain away

When you¹re lonely (you¹re not alone)

When you¹re heart aches (on Diamond Road)

It’s gonna take a little time

Yeah, it’s gonna take a little time

When the night falls (you’re not alone)

When you’re stumbling (on Diamond Road)

It’s gonna take a little time

To make it to the other side

So don’t miss the diamonds along the way

Every road has led us here today

Little bird, what’s troubling you

You know what you have to do

What is yours you’ll never lose

And what’s ahead may shine

Beneath the promise of blue skies

With broken wings we’ll learn to fly

Pull yourself out of the tide

And begin the dream again

When you¹re lonely (you¹re not alone)

When you¹re heart aches (on Diamond Road)

It’s gonna take a little time

Yeah, it’s gonna take a little time

When the night falls (you’re not alone)

When you’re stumbling (on Diamond Road)

It’s gonna take a little time

To make it to the other side

So don’t miss the diamonds along the way

So don’t miss the diamonds along the way

Every road has led us here today

Won’t you shine on

Morning light

Burn the darkness away

Walk with me the Diamond Road

Tell me everything is gold

Give me something of your soul

So you don¹t fade away

When you¹re lonely (you¹re not alone)

When you¹re heart aches (on Diamond Road)

It’s gonna take a little time

Yeah, it’s gonna take a little time

When the night falls (you’re not alone)

When you’re stumbling (on Diamond Road)

It’s gonna take a little time

To make it to the other side

So don’t miss the diamonds along the way

Don’t miss the diamonds along the way

Every road has led us here today

Life is what happens while you¹re making plans

All that you need is right here in your hands.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

You have your story,

the knife that stays in the wound,

a tapestry of hidden pain

made of twisted threads of silence,

turned backside out, unseen.

No one wants to hear,

the wall keeps its secrets.

Behind your lips the darkness

is a tomb, still deepening.

A body wrapped in stiff linens.

But the Beloved wants to hear.

Knows the story, of course,

having suffered it.

But waits patiently at the table,

sits resting in the silence,

like his hands in his lap,

belonging there.

Lends courage for the telling,

remembering the men and their stones,

the crown of harsh words,

the women running from the garden.

Stands weeping outside the tomb.

And waits for the Lazarus moment

of your story coming out,

alive, and changed.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

R. I. P.

Why am I still here?

What am I adding to this world?

the questions are a bit wandering

as well as wondering

I think through what I keep answering,

You’re here to spend as much time with your family as possible

You’re here to enjoy these moments

You’re here because you and I needed to meet and help each other

You’re here because the cats job isn’t done and she still needs to protect you

You’re here because there’s still meaning and purpose for you to be here

I know it’s difficult to be confused

I know it’s difficult to be dependent

I know it’s difficult to forget so many things

Life can definitely be difficult

You’re here because you’re loved

You’re here because you are adding love and joy to people’s lives

You’re here for more reasons than I can ever understand or name

(Just as we all are)

You’re here because you’re not quite ready

When you’re ready you will go

There are so many things we will never understand

as we let go into the inhale that keeps us here

so close to the exhale that lets us go

as we surrender into the soul of the soul of the universe

whose name is Love


Amy Lloyd

PS I love you

So how does the chain begin to link each one of us together?




I love that you are talented

I bow to the way you help others.

That you recognize your god given gifts.

That happiness and heartbreak sound like


That we speak different languages

And hold holy histories that come from the

North, the south, the east and the west.

That your joy spills out of your smiles,

That if I were to see you jump up and down

I would do the same in my heart .

You bless me with your shadows

the phases of the moon.

The creases in the broken sidewalk,

The miles you would drive to be by my side.

How feelings are important

And watching thoughts go by

Says, we are reaching fertile ground.

And though we are linked arm in arm,

I will let go of you

Be your impossible push,

Realize that all friends have their talents

But separate calls.

For in the end,

The chain was never broken

And the gift of being friends

Will always be the bond.


Rev. Donna Knutson

waiting to cross over

And still now every morning,

each momentary wish for healing

is a risk, a wakening call

to change, to choose,

to leave so much behind,

and be again made new.

– Steve Garnaas Holmes

Hey can you write a letter for me?

Dear … (what’s that preachers name?)

Every holy diadem of a single

solitary breathing

every moment on this shelf of living

a single, solitary life

subsumed into the pain of others

the holy grail of connection

filling this cup within my heart

this role play with each character

each story a classic

an epic tale of woe and joy

there is always room for more

than tables and candlesticks

turning a carpetbag into a steamer trunk

poppins would be proud to carry

under a particular umbrella

why do we so easily forget ourselves?

abundance is our birthright

gluttony a human pursuit

shared by too many of our contemporaries

marking time by comparisons

making life a heaviness to be borne

where music falls as dirges

and the cracks we free-fall into

drop 45 minutes straight to the center of the circle

the letters we learn to write

always seem to start the same way –


what would happen if I was not fine?

Cuz Im not so sure

I am…

feeling suspended

If you didn’t tell me how you are in such a smug word

but drizzled your feelings sweetly, slowly, a bit at a time

throughout a scrawled leaf of imperfect penmanship

a new thought might become magical

a new life might be born into being

we might all find a new nickname even better than T-bone

as a matter of fact


Amy Lloyd

Oh, I talked so much last night.

Told secrets,

laughing at the words that came pouring from my insides.

Life that was raw and succinct .

That crisp expression

when you capture something right.

That knowing that years were not wasted

and even trying to work out your salvation,

is a mistake…

the time I found a compass in the drawer,

the frog in an open palm

a New York City block

and a long, winding road in the desert of the heart.

We can hear it in a hundred ways

God forms changing by the years,

by the nudge

someone sitting next to us in a pew

messages delivered

by monster,

by administrator;

by the balancing of chemistry

and the hours on a clock.

Wordless expressions

on the faces of men.

Children wrapped in pastel blankets

and swaddled in their parents arms

diligent tendering

finding words on paper

to match the age that you’ve grown to.

We say we don’t do it…

but that working it out before it’s too late…

we try it

hear our mistakes

wonder why we thought such a thing

or how long before the veil wakes us up

the morning arriving, so soon.

and plane trips are often distractions

when you’ve forgotten

which direction to go…

knowledge of Carl Jung,

and we’re gone for hours.

Sixty is not a long time

but it’s enough to know some rules

to practice the ordinary niceties

to break free of the constant enabling

to fraction more inner waking

and to sleep inside deep, deep healing skin.

When you truly hear the language of

Love…you know to whom you belong,

For what you would die

How you would comfort,

And how everything is a gift.

And the Spirit of the Living God

Leans inward on the heart.


Rev. Donna Knutson

into the deep

Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows have gone over me.

—Psalm 42.7

on the edge of flying

the verge of breaking through

standing in the pouring rain

hoping to find you

somewhere in the darkness

on this dark and stormy night

questions with no answers

crash upon my soul

bloody battles all around

as I stand within this pain

holding on to something

in the middle of this night

at the end of living

not knowing what to do

tears matching the weather

flooding from my soul

please release me for a moment

there’s still work for me to do


Amy Lloyd

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.

—Isaiah 43.2

Hurricane winds have torn the air itself apart.

The sea and all its deep is heaped upon you.

The sod of grief laid down in silence buries you.

The diagnosis weighs, the fear

floods your veins, your heart, your lungs.

What you must do, a swarm of locusts,

noisily consumes your life.

You sigh, you weep, and sigh.

In the dark waters you pass through,

the devastated ruins where you lived,

I will be there.

Even as night closes it is my arms you feel

or do not feel.

I hold you, even now, I hold you close.

The sodden air, the trough of sorrow

open to the sky, the pleading heart,

is me, steadfast in you.

You will go on, in the tiny ark of my heart,

and after long enough for much to die

in this world and the next

we will begin again.

In the naked fields

birds return.


Weather Report

Forty days
beyond whose floods
new things emerge.
One hundred percent chance of rain
and bows.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

just one

There are hundreds of thousands of people,

maybe even millions,

holding the world together,

each doing one small act of goodness today,

one righteous act of peace,

one simple smile of grace,

one pie to a neighbor,

one cleaning up another’s mess,

one holding space,

one sharing faith,

one sock finding it’s match,

one stepping into the breech,

to bring one giant defiant action against evil.

Somehow we hear just a few names in history…

great people, yes.

they inspire us, yes.

However it does not make our ordinary, everyday, small effort lesser

not one bit.

We seem to have come to believe only in celebrity.

We forget our lives are mainly small acts strung together

in beautiful, ordinary, every day life

I have found this bold truth worthy of notice:

there are no small parts to goodness

Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of people,

maybe millions,

holding the world together,

every day –

one small piece for each of us.


Amy Lloyd

on the night before the hurricane

The night takes me into its absorbing darkness

wrapping my heart in its enveloping cashmere arms

I tried to grab the fog…I mist

the dreaming tree singing Don Williams songs

carries me deep into my waiting heart

my drum beats out of time with the world at large

with wonder and intimately connected

to the whole shebang

grief and joy are always co-mingled

shenanigans playing wild and free with a soul

holding space for

beautiful sorrow

ruthless trust

living death

at the waters edge

I fly into the dark night



and covered

fortune tells our tale of greatest luck

as only truest lovers can

wisest fortunes thrown in

together at the right moment

breathing fabulous life and dearest death

equally beneficial to the big picture

I choose the left hand side of everything you offer

headlight beams pointing towards the future into the gathered darkness

I hear your voice in my ear

as the winds’ caress takes me home


Amy Lloyd

in the moment of waiting

life and death hangs heavy on the 2nd floor

while right outside the clear glass pane

life goes on

the building of new houses

the preparation for moving storms

wind fills the waiting sail

the sun comes and goes

shifting easily moment to moment just like the tricky brain of the dementia patient

spaces of love held in careful prayer

music and forgiveness flow

full of light

cleaning the stagnant air

I have no control here in this radical space between worlds

angels fly around through the night

the reaper waits patiently in his corner

time slips freely through open hearts

gentle hands cup liquid grace

coaxing a smile here and there

the terrible beauty of death sits on gaunt faces

as a wavering query spills from dry lips,

Is this crossing over?

we, in a circle of three, agree that the crossing is near

rest now

it is well

it is well


Amy Lloyd

The Wisdom of Death

Many years ago,

Around the autumn of my thirty-seventh year,

A woman , with wisdom written on her brow, woven into her long gray braid ,

came into my life, who would say these words

And a few more, for a short two years.

Her words would weave sorrow into joy,

She would help me see, feel and hear

What adoration was bound up in my deep pain

My body torn open and broken for God.

That by expressing the wound the healing would be born into Light.

“ Place me like a seal over your heart,

Like a seal on your arm;

For love is as strong as death,

It’s jealously unyielding as the grave.

It burns like blazing fire,

Like a mighty flame.”

Song of Songs 8: 6

Her tongue was a cool burn

Through a steamy fog;

Her eyes deep blue

Taking the world in

Breathing holy flames that little dogs and chattering squirrels felt;

They quieted, to bow.

Her right arm, linked into my sweater as we walked through the park;

And it didn’t matter, if rain, or the wind of the Spirit God broke off orange and red leaves from the highest trees and threw them down onto grieving, gasping hearts

As perhaps for a second or three, the colors would transform into maybe a miracle or two;

For we were serving the angels

And leaning into the impossible abyss of death.

Facing scandals and refusing to pardon the emptiness that shatters the illusions,

Until there is deep rest…

Peace that passes all understanding,

Bearing witness to the beauty of the skies,

Reckoning with how small a casket can really get.

“ Many waters cannot quench love;

Rivers cannot sweep it away…”

And God holds all of the children

Whether man, woman or child

In a healing pool

Until the day when God captures the heart.

For the woman, who was carrying for this soul,

Had known of such deaths in her years on the earth,

And witnessed the torture and truth,

That within the wound and the loss of a child

Is the song that awakens the Birth


Rev. Donna Knutson


Dying Well

fruity goodness

I thought I’d win the spelling bee

And get right to the top,

But I started to spell ‘banana,’

And I didn’t know when to stop.


Banananananananana by William Cole

I get stuck on silly things

Like rainy days

when my phone rings

I get stuck in parking spaces

And hugs of biblical proportion

I get stuck in desperation of

empty wallets

And gas tanks

And stomachs

And stalkers

And water bills

And Freddies

Some days i just get stuck in bed

Covers all up o’er my head

‘I cant get up’, I tell my clock,

‘Cause I am stuck,

So just shut up’

I get stuck when my pillow gets hot

Or when it’s cold and I cry

And ice sickles hang from my eyelashes

I get stuck on random things

Like boots and shoes

And onion rings

When socks don’t match

Or there’s no cream

for my coffee

or my pie

I get stuck

when stupid songs stick in my head

The ones I just don’t want to sing

I get stuck when I think about what I want

Instead of what I have

I get stuck in a few more minutes…

Or another year goes by

Reminding me

I might get stuck dancing…

At your wedding to someone else,

Or on your grave,

Or in a dream about Madonna, and bananas and a cat who likes to pray

I get stuck eating meatball subs

And pumpkin muffins with extravagant amounts of butter

at times I get stuck in the blues

I know it’s sad

Yet mighty true

the hardest times to get unstuck

Are when my mind gets stuck on you

Stuck on you

Stuck on you

Yes I get stuck


St……stuck on you


Amy Lloyd

not so ordinary prayer

Do You Think I Love This World?

“Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).

My daughter, look now. Look at Me. Raise your head again.

I come for you.

What do you want to ask Me? Can I tell you the desire of your heart? I know you tire of staying in the same place. I know you are tired of looking at this world—but oh, how I love it.

Can I tell you how much I love this world?

I love each bit of it. The cracks in the sidewalk, the pebbles mixed in desert sand. This is the landscape through which I walk. I walk where I want you to see. I walk through villages and down crowded streets. I sit at wells and wait and I walk up mountains and sit on hills next to quiet seas.

I see beneath the facades, the walls my children build. I enter in with permission, and I long to make my home. I keep walking and knocking and waiting and listening. I know my home. I know my Father. I am Spirit who moves in you and wants to stay. And when you let Me in, and I stay, I remove the walls. I let you see beyond this world to what exists in it to save it.

I have come to save the world, and there are children who still do not know. They don’t know there is a dream beyond food for their stomachs and a place to lay their head when they tire.

I am Home without walls.

I am Home so you can rest here and see more of the things I see. Someday you will understand. You will see more. I give you glimpses, and I let your heart imagine the possibilities of true freedom, true love, true joy, true rescue. Oh, the day I come again! But you don’t have to wait to receive my Spirit. And when you receive it, I equip you to paint the landscape anew for children who don’t yet know Me in their hearts.

Oh, daughter, I love the world.

I love these children. I love you. I come to rescue. I come to save. I come to love. I come to liberate children who are trapped and see no way of escape.

I come.

Open your heart.

I come.

Look in my eyes.

I come.

I am all you need, and I go ahead.

Let me give you new eyes, a new heart—fresh courage and faith so my loved ones, the world,who don’t yet see Me can see Me in you.

Yes, let them see Me in you.

And I will come to them, and they will know they are rescued and not forgotten, too.


oh beauty,

oh time,

oh love,

oh life,

awaken us all

to hear,

to see,

to be aware,

to courage

shake our comfort zones

let us scream

let us cry

let us shout

let us encounter passionate love

let us waste no more of our living

help us choose wisely

help us live wild

help us love mercy

establishing justice, inhabiting grace

keep us humble

keep us growing

keep us connected

keep us intimately involved

knowing the valve of ourselves,

as well as the value of every other

Oh God of love

Oh God of peace

Oh God of life

Oh God of joy

awaken us and bring us peace

forever and ever and ever



Amy Lloyd

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