life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “giving”

your prison is walking through this world all alone  – Deperado (lyric).  

You must leave a lot behind

for your life to become whole.
What the Beloved lets go of

to have you!
If there were a hell 

God would always be there 

carrying people out. 
There is a flock that is not well

without you.
When you think you’ve run away,

proud of your independence,

you’re really just lost.

You need each other. 
All of life is God’s party

at having found you.

Or maybe, today, another.
Don’t be ashamed to be brought in

on the shepherd’s shoulders:

you got lost in the best possible way,

looking for God. 


Remember each of the other ninety-nine

came the same way. 




Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

listen to Love is My Religion

and before it can be begun

the wind whips the wisps of promise

out of our reaching hands

the hard ground dries the wettest seeds

the thorny earth strangles

the fragile thin ice easily breaking

plunges us under the dark icy water of yesterday’s pain

the sensitive places choke us

we allow old wounds to be reopened 

by new innocents



again and again

life is not always kind

love is not always given a chance to bloom

buds crushed early

unicorns are tricky

yeti never let themselves be fully seen

or photographed

quickly disappearing into the foggy forest 

yes, truth is written by those in the know:

“it is ours to win or lose”

so, what will we choose?

to step in or duck out?

some people love to talk loud about the desire to win

then secretly, swiftly throw the game

and silently walk away

thinking they are playing life safe

fear is a brutal master

comfort-zones will kill us all

though we’ll keep 

breathing for many years

trust is a deep quarry hidden within

the high walls of the castle

each kingdom must be won 

the beast slain by our courageous spirit

removing the massive heads of the monsters

with the found sword of our personal truths

Envision holding those fearful grotesque trophies aloft!

Stepping into your full name! 



Love always wins! 

You must choose it! 

You can do it,

were born that way! 

Amy Lloyd (AL)

All my life, I thought of love as some kind of voluntary enslavement. Well, that’s a lie: freedom only exists when love is present. The person who gives him or herself wholly, the person who feels freest, is the person who loves most wholeheartedly.
― Paulo Coelho 

Read that again:

All my life, I thought of love as some kind of voluntary enslavement. Well, that’s a lie: freedom only exists when love is present. The person who gives him or herself wholly, the person who feels freest, is the person who loves most wholeheartedly.
― Paulo Coelho 

just because it’s awesome!  

So I woke up and was going to do a post about grief and heartbreak…but then this came to me from Jen Lemen and changed my mind! Enjoy!!! More Soul Snacks could be on the way! You will get lots of crazy good stuff!!! Sign up now! xo

come together

we are human

man inside a woman

woman inside a man

a tao child

landscape of gardens

thin slice of the pie

samadhi inoculated 


lint on gods sleeve

dust to dust

immortal vagabonds

luminous beings

red coat in a burning forest

a sky of palms


on a wide plank

 on a great altar

on a cosmic tabernacle of christ and buddhas

like rain like fire or a bell from afar


we are human

fireflies in the desert nite air

or a ring of bone zendo

the inner satsang of life

gods torch



in true contemplation

in righteous indignation

we enter the temple of infinity/]\

dust to dust

some diamond rough

a confluence

ablaze asunder a bright fire a torch of flames

in the satsang of life

in the womb of time 

reigning a voice in a sea trees and storms 

we are human

 god fireflies like moths to light 



Adam DeFranco (C) 2016 AD

The best advice ever, beautifully written, by Fred LaMotte:

‘Smart’ people believe in their thoughts, especially the thought of ‘me.’ How can a thought discriminate between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ideas? Only the silence beyond ideas, who watches without thought, can discriminate.
Don’t be so smart. Be a little stupid. Watch thoughts come and go without grasping them. Even the thought of ‘me.’ Rest beyond mind as self-radiant emptiness.
You are not an idea, ceaselessly arguing with other ideas. You are sparkling omnipresent free space, where all ideas arise and dissolve without conflict.
The way to peace is awakening the Witness.

Oh Infinite Intelligence, I ask not for more blessings,

but more wisdom with which to make better use of

the greatest of all blessings with which I was endowed

at birth – the right to embrace and direct to ends of my

own choice the powers of my mind.


Napoleon Hill’s Greatest Speeches. Sound Wisdom. Pennsylvania. 2016. Pgs. 161-162

rest in the miracle that has always already happened!    – Fred LaMotte

When the world does not conform

to the story in my head

I get a feeling that

“something’s not right.”

Why is the story in my head

not down-loading properly?
Why do I sense that the world

needs to be fixed

and I must repair what is “wrong”

by imposing my story

onto the mystery

of the ineluctable?
Yet the world is not a problem.

The problem is

there’s a story in my head
but it’s not quite the same

as your story, is it?
And so there is conflict,

there is suffering,

even if our stories are about

salvation, about justice

and equality, the perfect

marriage, the cleanest

environment, or gaining

Happiness cannot arise

if we slather the world in the thin

veneer of our narration.

Happiness is the dance

of atoms ordered by

the dynamics of chaos

in the heart of the now

when we let both story

and teller disperse

like a fine mist,
when we let things clarify

all by themselves

the way silt filters and falls

through a mountain brook

in liquid transparency.
Now rest in the miracle

that has always

already happened.

Just shut up and see.

A rain cloud vanishes.

There are crystal drops on

blades of grass, each containing

the sun.


Let us go forward quietly, forever making for the light…

   Vincent Van Gogh 

these anniversaries 

the marking of dates

building Ebenezer memorials 

from the stones of help

bringing me to this place

tasting again

the bitter herbs

the roasted lamb

the flat bread

the milk and honey flowing over everything 

the fresh dates and figs 

of now

sitting with this



this life

this love

this past

this practice 

this present 

this grateful 

that gratitude 

that changing

this constant

this birth

this death

this resurrection 

always this love

ah this love




always the path of thanks

always the gifts presenting 

along the diamond road

this is my tradition

my version of holiday 

each one

my best of days

my worst of days

feeling it wrapping around my senses

these memories clouds 

wrapping around me

enveloped from behind me

me always facing forward

always facing toward the rising moment just ahead

the path before me the most important 

always remembering,

along with that other Southern Belle…

tomorrow is another day…

the best is always yet to be! 


AL 7/23/16 gratitude/tradition



                            is beauty                



        by rare moments                                           

of exquisite suffering.    


    is suffering               



           by rare moments                                           

of exquisite beauty.    



Duality of Life Mug

there’s this summer song

of cool wind on my skin, 

playing sweet percussion through the tall, lush marsh grass

gentle water

invisible birds singing in surround sound

my heart resonates with the language we have spoken

the songs we have sung

the rich vibrations of our connection

over the past few days

the new sun warms my back

my shadow sits large

writing poems

this silence my gratitude

this morning my pleasure

this day my gift

this moment my life

thank you for reaching out 

for breaking through the darkness

for holding my hand


The worst isn’t the last thing about the world. It’s the next to the last thing. The last thing is the best. It’s the power from on high that comes down into the world, that wells up from the rock-bottom worst of the world like a hidden spring. Can you believe it? The last, best thing is the laughing deep in the hearts of the saints, sometimes our hearts even. Yes. You are terribly loved and forgiven. Yes. You are healed. All is well. 

     – Frederick Buechner 

      The Final Beast

Then I walked 

straight forward

out of the gate,

through the wood,

along the river,

toward the mountain
and I thought of the future

I could make in the world

if I walked toward it

like this,

with my face toward the hills

and my eyes full of light

and the earth sure

and solid beneath me,


with a fierce anticipation,

and a faithful expectation,

with the sun and the rain

and the wind on my skin

and that old sense…

of many paths

breaking from one path.
So learning to walk

in morning light

like this again,

we’ll take our first 

light step

toward mortality,


out of the garden,

through the woods,

along the river,

toward the mountain,

its simple,

that’s what we’ll do,

practicing as we go


we’ll be glimpsed, 

traveling westward, 

no longer familiar,

a following wave,

greeted, as we were at our birth,

as probable 

and slightly 

dangerous strangers,


coming into view,

someone about

to find out.
Some wild 

and improbable risk 

about to break 

on the world again.
David Whyte



New and Selected Poems

what am I missing? 

The speaker points out 

that we don’t really have

much of a grasp of things, 

not only the big things,

the important questions, 

but the small everyday


“How many steps up to your back yard? 

What is the name of your district representative? 

What did you have for breakfast? 

What is your wife’s shoe size? 

Can you tell me the color of your sweetheart’s eyes? 

Do you remember where you parked the car?” 

The evidence is overwhelming.

Most of us never truly experience life. 

“We drift through life in daydream, 

missing the true richness and joy that life has to offer.” 

When the speaker has finished we gather around to sing a few inspirational songs. 

You and I stand at the back of the group and hum along 

since we have forgotten most of the words.

The Speaker by Louis Jenkins

Mary Oliver reminds me

to let go of any need that might linger in me

to, even try, to impress anyone. 

But to stay alert to the extravagant impressiveness around me, 

puddling at my feet,

drowning my life with goodness. 

To be easily astonished,

easily filled with wonder,

to let life boggle my mind.

To stay a child of joy and nature,

a collector of miracles. 

To stay in awe of sunsets

and dandelions,

coffee shops

and grasshoppers.

To gasp every time I get a view of the ocean,

to be breathless at the view from a mountaintop road at sunset. 

To feel wonder when I see a leaf change color.

To crane my neck, every single time, to catch a glimpse of sunlight on water,

to thrill everytime I touch the curve of a babies cheek. 

To get a chill of macabre delight

at gnarly, old toenails,

and bats hanging upside down

in a dark damp cave,

or flying around a street light as darkness falls slowly through the air. 

Such things keep me alive. 

These are the true riches of our living. 

Extreme miracles everywhere around us. 

We are here to witness, 

here to share descriptions of such beauty, 

even our feeble attempts are so amazing

they boggle the mind. 

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for this reminder, 

with your every beautiful, glorious word. 

We are each here to do our part,

to record our miracles

in our own voices, 






we make up this tapestry,

we record the blazing glory,

the divine masterpiece. 

We each add notes to the grand symphony,

allowing the rocks to stay silent – 

at least for those who

don’t care to listen for the exquisite, out-of-this-world music they share – 

we play on through each day 

with such brilliance, light and passion,

savoring delight, 

everywhere we go…

until we are gone, 

and those who come behind us

find it all fresh and new once more,

and begin to tell their part of the story, 

in their own beautiful, unique ways. 



2…the space between  


 “For us women the spiritual life, in one way, is easier than for men. Only a certain temperament of man can surrender like we can surrender. And spiritual life is surrender. Bhai Sahib said, ‘Women are taken up through the path of love, for love is a feminine mystery.’ He said we women do not need many spiritual practices. We need only to renounce. Renounce what? Renounce the world. Complete renunciation, which is the most difficult thing for the woman, is necessary. I had to do it—to give everything away. Bhai Sahib said to me, “You cannot say to the Beloved, ‘Oh I love you, but this is mine, and so far and no further.'” You have to give everything away, including yourself, in complete surrender.”

~ Irina Tweedie (20th century Russian Sufi mystic)





Yesterday, this poem (below) resurfaced. I wrote it a while ago, after a disappointment. It immediately spoke up and wanted to appear on the blog…I said, hmmmm, do I really want to go there in public? It kept saying, yes (and refusing to be ignored). OK. Surrender brings humility. Rejection beings a chance to learn new layers. Love, and life, require courage. 

 So, I am posting this poem for whoever it is for…

 have you ever given,
or received,

a gift –


or misunderstood?
We’ve built a whole retail myth of love 

from giving, 


unwanted gifts. 

‘Re-gifting’ is a popular side effect 

of things taken,

out of obligation,

by others who don’t want, 

or think they need,

the present presented. 
It’s a thing in relationships as well,

it takes two to tango. 

If one person is wanting something,

the other is not able to understand,

or accept, 

it just doesn’t work. 
This week I experienced a return. 

My greatest gift,

the gift of me, 

held out to another. 

My gift was not wanted,

so, eventually, I withdrew

this large, tall gift of 


complete with all I have to bring to a relationship. 

I wanted to share this with someone,

who I love,

but that person doesn’t want the same thing I want. 

This gift of sharing all of the various shades, shapes and colors of our souls 

in this amazing thing called life. 
One of my lessons,

hardest learned –

you can’t give someone something, 

if they don’t want it. 
I have become mindfully committed to 

not allowing a glimpse of possibility,

or potential,

to derail me from what I really want.
Never. never. never….


Never. never. never….

You can make lemonade from lemons, 


you can’t make a silk purse

out of a sow’s ear. 
This week I received blessed closure. 

The final collapse of space held for another to enter

The invitation explored, 


I moved into new, beautiful space. 

No more allowing,

or trying to give myself

to someone who didn’t really want what I have to give. 

It’s not wrong,

it’s just painful. 
Unconditional love is free,

living and giving it 

requires responsibility to living my highest and best 

and requiring that in return. 

I believe in it,



it will cost you,

change you,

require much more than cheaper versions of love. 

Not everyone can accept the responsibility of this gift,

which always requires the best of us,

the same in gift in return,

knowing its value,

tenderest of care,

thinking of the other, 

stepping out of our ego, 

into its vast ocean of mystery,

life changing grace. 

This week I followed the gift full circle. 
I woke up a bit sad, 

truthfully, for both of us,

but new,

released from the wish of what was not to be. 
I hope to be able to re-gift it soon,

to someone 

who truly knows how to value it,

nurture it,

return it to me,


with the dream,

the vision,

of what could be,

if we build an ark of this love,

sail into the mystic

and invite the world 

to the best party ever…

Water into wine,

has always been,

just the beginning of miracles!!!!!




Good Friday 


 Copperleaf Lane is dancing in white,
like a row of brides,

as ready, 

as they possibly could be 

to say, I do. 

I drive through the flower strewn pathway

feeling special,

like life is unfolding,

just for the love of me.  

I am beloved, 

a daughter of graces,

twirling within this beauty,

this bounty,

the world’s abundance falling freely around me. 

I sing,

la dee da dee da

You keep filling my senses,

you keep walking towards me,


that beautiful heart of yours,

held gently, 


within your hands –

the perfect gift

for a girl like me. 

Heaven is holding its breath…

counting intensely…




The moment you have spoken the exact words that describe your distance from where you want to be, the moment you have uttered the exact aching dimensionality of your own exile, you have already turned around, faced the other way and taken the first steps on the long awaited journey home… 


David Whyte


Re-imagining Work, Self and Relationship

   yesterday I was born a leaf

a small fragile tender wisp

trembling as I hung on the vine

yesterday I was a gust of air

short lived, but not insignificant 

full of bone rattling cold and hat disturbing bravado

yesterday I was a large, slow, snow flake

plopping down like a wet goose feather

making the world a magical place

yesterday I was a world made of glass

lying shattered on the floor

hoping to be recycled into a new and useful object

yesterday I was various people

a student, a host, a friend, a lover

feeling my way into the next moment hoping to find a way home

yesterday I stood tall as a tree

proud yet with humble confidence 

accepting what winter brought, gently weeping, 

embracing this brand new life bringing




here’s the thing…

what’s a girl to do with all this happiness?

what sort of containers can hold this amount of wild joy?

will howling at the moon help disperse it into the world?

or dancing in a beautiful fountain, with you, bring sanity?

what if I shout it proud to everyone I pass on street? 

will they clap to hear my good news? 

will you wish me happy for every morning and evening? 

will you take a train, plane or automobile to see me? 

will you hold me & tell me that I’m the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen?

will you love me with all you are for everything I am right now,

and ever will be becoming?

living well is my best revenge

won’t it would be nice to share this happiness? 

do wild and crazy things?

come on, everybody,

let’s let joy flow in big puddles all around us,

till we jump like children,

till we swim in the ocean of all this blessed grace



distilled beauty 


 I could write a book on that…
I’ll write a poem instead

I’ll condense the whole story

into a few lines

a word 

or two


there you have it. 

The End. 



find sources for blackout poems and quotes @ (search/blackout poetry)

awareness. appreciate. gratitude. abundance. 


pick a peck of poems 


 Stop whatever it is you’re doing. 
Come down from the attic. 

Grab a bucket or a basket and head for light. 

That’s where the best poems grow, and in the dappled dark. 
Go slow. Watch out for thorns and bears. 
When you find a good bush, bow to it, or take off your shoes. 

Then pluck. This poem. That poem. Any poem. 

It should come off the stem easy, just a little tickle. 

No need to sniff first, judge the color, test the firmness. 
You’ll only know it’s ripe if you taste. 
So put a poem upon your lips. Chew its pulp. 

Let its juice spill over your tongue. 
Let your reading of it teach you 

what sort of creature you are 

and the nature of the ground you walk upon. 

Bring your whole life out loud to this one poem. 
Eating one poem can save you, if you’re hungry enough. 
When birds and deer beat you to your favorite patch, 

smile at their familiar appetite, and ramble on. 

Somewhere another crop waits for harvest. 
And if your eye should ever light upon a cluster of poems 

hanging on a single stem, cup your hand around them 

and pull, without greed or clinging. 

Some will slip off in your palm. 

None will go to waste. 

Take those you adore poem-picking when you can, 

even to the wild and hidden places. 

Reach into brambles for their sake, 

stain your skin some shade of red or blue, 

mash words against your teeth, for love. 
And always leave some poems within easy reach 

for the next picker, in kinship with the unknown. 

If you ever carry away more than you need, 

go on home to your kitchen, and make good jam. 

No need to rush, the poems will keep. 

Some will even taste better with age, 

a rich batch of preserves. 

Store up jars and jars of jam. Plenty for friends. 

Plenty for the long, howling winter. Plenty for strangers. 

Plenty for all the bread in this broken world. 

On How to Pick and Eat Poems by Phyllis Cole-Dai


photos found at 


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