life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Losing”

blues jam

be strong & be courageous   

I am heavy

Stepping with sand bag feet


Hello life

In this dark day

I look for beauty

It’s always there

I wonder if I would have jumped or gone back to die

If I had really known how hard it would be

On and on

Do I really believe it will ever get better?

No answer comes

I move away from the question

I made my choice 

I  go curl up 

In the Legacy Garden

On the round plaque with Wendell Berry’s words of understanding 

      I part the out thrusting branches

      And come in beneath the blessed    and the blessing trees. 

Though I am silent 

There is singing around me. 

Though I am dark

There is vision around me. 

Though I am heavy 

There is flight around me. 

                –  Wendell Berry
Underneath the gondola’s painted ever-green leaves –

I wish there was a raven

Who cares if people see me?


AL – 12/3/12

I fell down,


Down beneath the curtain of a world that wasn’t mine
I fell down,


Down under the pressure of a life I couldn’t find


There were times that I felt nothing but the pain of being me


Why and how and when would I be able to be free
I tried


Nothing kept the darkness from surrounding me with grief
I tried


But nothing kept the demons that were haunting me
The fear

The aching

The desperation etched upon my heart in every beat
The scars


Like a chain around my soul, stealing all I used to be
I sought comfort

I sought courage

I sought loving in the hands of those that only caused me pain

I sought refuge

I sought freedom

I sought counsel in the places that left me filled with guilt and shame
I fell down,


Down beneath the curtain of a world that wasn’t mine
I fell down,


Down under the pressure of a life I couldn’t find
Then it came

The flicker

Of hope and understanding that I could be alive again
Then it came

A glimmer

The ember of the flame inside my heart began to shine


I looked inside their minds and saw that I was not the only one


How I could share the message that all of us are one
I tried


Taking all the knowledge that the world gave unto me
I tried


And realized the healing came from giving all I had to give
The love

Replaced fear

My heart beats now for others and keeps me going on and on
The scars

On show now

Proving that with courage our soul can set us free
I give comfort

I give courage

I give loving to the ones of those that are only feeling pain

I give refuge

I give freedom

I give counsel to those needing me with kindness, without blame
I fell down


Down to show my gratitude for living life this way
I fell down


Vowing to show others life is better every day


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Alexandra Gold

A remembering

December 3, 2012

a lifetime from then to now

Hello Life

echoing in the chambers

of empty shattered walls

of broken will

and weary traveling

worn and scarred

soldier of God

warrior of the light

no longer even able 

to pretend to carry the cross

just laying on it 

too tired to fight

with arms willingly outstretched

scorched and branded

by Your glory

carried into the ocean

of Your love

within the arc 

of silence

knowing I am 


by ruthless grace

my life is Yours

and now I wait

for You

to part the waters

like only You can do

I burned to ash

completely consumed

now I rise 

the flame 




Beneath the shouting,

quieter and more steady,

listen for my voice. 

Be still, and listen.

You are doing a difficult thing.

And I am with you.

I have gathered up your life,

your triumphs and failures,

your powers and your weaknesses,

and I hold it all in grace.

You have died,

and your life is hidden in me now.

I bear your grief, 

the river of it flows through me,

and I am the spring it comes from.  

When you are alone I am the body 

that weaves you with everyone.

When you are discouraged

I bind your hope to you.

When you are weary 

I am your strength and breath,

the life that carries you.

When the road is rough and long 

I go onward,

and bear you in my love and wisdom.

Keep your mind on this.

Forget the little things.

Remember my presence.

Forget whatever you can cling to.

Remember I hold you.

Never mind the demons and discouragements.

You are in me

and it is I who walk through this world

with you hidden deep within me. 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

stand up now

The World needs people…

Who cannot be bought;

Whose word is their bond;

Who put character above wealth;

Who possess opinions and a will;

Who are larger than their vocations;

Who do not hesitate to take chances;

Who do not loose their individuality in a crowd;

Who will be as honest in small things as in great things;

Who will make no compromise with wrong;

Whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;

Who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success;

Who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular;

Who can say “no” with emphasis, although the rest of the world says “yes”.


    – Ted w. Engstrom, from Motivation to last a lifetime

It doesn’t change when we stare at it from across the room. It doesn’t change when we sit in prayer and wish it away. It doesn’t change when we skirt the edges of the shadow. It doesn’t change when we pretend it’s all Go(o)d. It changes when we cross the sacred battleground willing to die to our truth. It changes when we look the lie in the eye until it has nowhere left to hide. It changes when we pick up the sword of truth and cut the falsity until it bleeds right through. The era of the sacred activist is upon us. Not the warrior run amok, but the benevolent warrior who fights for our right to the light. Some battles are worth fighting.


     – Jeff Brown

It’s not easy 
to do the hard thing
to lose 
to stand
to eat 
to sleep
to wait
to be 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 keep the fire warm
to build wells
to send out love
to melt your defenses
to keep touching the lepers
to allow healing to come
to ruthlessly let go
to remain open 
and ready
to keep saying yes

not easy, 

well worth it

blinders off



In a far off corner of a wide wide world

lies the circumstance that faces another.
A circumstance so abject that life

never really begins. And then it

dies quietly, announced by

an unheard whisper.
And from our corner of this world,

safe and secure under bejeweled roofs,

we pay our cursory glance of sympathy.
We forget that all corners connect, and

that the experience of each life lives

within us all. Albeit in disguise.
And we miss the possibility hidden

in the circumstance of another.
The possibility that compassion might soften

the edges of our own uneven experience,

and that the simple act of togetherness

might liberate our disheartened lives.
There are no far off corners

in this wide wide world.
And there are no separate lives.

Nic Askew


I ride Greyhound

because it’s like being
in a John Steinbeck novel.
Next best thing is the laundromat.
That’s where all people
who would be on the bus if they had the money
hang out. This is my crowd.
Tonight there are cleaning people appalled
at the stupidity of anyone
who would put powder detergent
into the clearly marked LIQUID ONLY slot.
The couple by the vending machine
are fondling each other.
You’d think the orange walls
and fluorescent lights
would dampen that energy
but it doesn’t seem to.
It’s a singles scene here on Saturday nights.
I confide to the fellow next to me
that I suspect I am being taken
in by the triple loader,
maybe it doesn’t hold any more
than the regular machines
but I’m paying an extra fifty cents.
I tell him this meaningfully
holding handfuls of underwear.
He claims the triple loader
gives a better wash.
I don’t ask why,
just cruise over to the pop machine,
aware that my selection
may provide a subtle clue.
I choose Wild Berry,
head back to my clothes.


I Ride Greyhound by Ellie Schoenfeld 

I spot one. 

a coin laudro-mat

I feel blessed to be able to wash my clothes. 

towels and unmentionables. 

a small bag. 

I walk into the familiar,

yet for a while now, 

Blessedly Unfamiliar. 

I remember the years of this in my life

my most missed luxury in all of life

was washing and drying clothes

at home. 

So hard this part of life became. 

So challenging and humbling. 

$4.50 to wash 

a quarter for 5 minutes to dry. 

I struggle to adjust. 

I hadn’t planned on this. 

I don’t look the part today. 

I have to ask questions to reacquaint myself with this system. 

Here in the midst of 

hard working-and-living men, 

tired mothers and crying babies,

the immigrants and struggling,

These to whom I belong. 

those who make their living 

through making clean the dirty.
I stand and watch the circle go round 

Hot tears stinging my eyes

I remember. 

Those days. 

Those tough-as-nails days. 

Plunged from luxury to poverty

in a heartbeat-break of life. 

So soon we forget…

So quickly we remember…

I watch the water rise – 

  I didn’t put in enough soap. 

      There are no suds. 

I pray that hot water I chose 

for those 2 extra, hard-earned quarters,

 will do it’s work

and my clothes will smell good. 

I will not prolong my stay –

or use more of my precious coins. 
I pray each of our guardian-laundry angels 

will bless each of us

doing laundry every day 

in all types of conditions. 

This would be pure luxury in parts of this world. 

I pray for grace. 

I pray to remember. 

I pray to be grace. 

I pray to be The Words of God to heal the broken. 

I pray for grace. 

I pray for the crying baby,

and the tired man,

whose current outfit could use a good washing itself. 

I pray for the immigrant family,

quietly folding together,

speaking Spanish in hushed voices. 

I pray for the fabulous girl at the dryers,

with the faux Burberry scarf flung jauntily over her shoulder,

I hope to carry myself with such flair and dignity. 

We are all here –

Bearing the high cost,

and inconvenience,

of poverty in our society. 
I pray as quiet tears run. 

I stand in my washer’s corner hoping nobody sees my memories. 

I blow my over-productive nose. 

and give thanks for all things. 

Especially that I have known these struggles.

That I know how this feels. 

That I am part of this humanity. 

Not separate 

I am one with all God’s created people. 

All seeking clean clothes,

washing machines

and hope. 
The crying baby starts to laugh

I smile as well. 

God is always good

I am always blessed – 

If I am willing to see the blessings –

even if it takes years and years to see them.






 In this long dark, logic and plain sight are useless. You navigate by the diffuse and reflective attention of the moon and stars. Bringing a deep, penetrating silence to the knowing that lives in your bones, stirs in your womb and emanates from your dreams, you recognize that you are no longer who you used to be and not yet still who you will become. You are both, you are neither, you are perfectly between things.

Even if distantly and dimly at first, abilities you never had during the day are coming alive. Where you used to seek leadership outside yourself, now yours is the deciding voice. Fear is becoming your strange ally, as you learn to honour and cradle its soft underbelly. Instinct and the mystical pull of your feeling leads the way. You can sense the density of objects around you, hear the songs of stones and know things are coming even before they’ve left.
For you, brave pilgrim, I hold this lantern at the crossroads. While others are anxious to see you arrive, I praise your vast withstanding of the uncertainty from which all meaning is born. 


– Love, Toko-pa


And then there comes a moment

when all you have suffered

all you have learned

all you have lost and found

rise up and become 

and suddenly you are 


you are 

who you dreamed of being 

so many years ago

suddenly you have arrived

at what you caught glimpses of

for so many years 

and the search,

the free fall of broken dreams,

broken hearts

broken everything

tumbling down rabbit holes

stumbling over the feet 

of your own lack of knowledge

is over 

you find yourself on solid ground



raising your Ebenezer 

those tributes to God 

for all the mighty stones of help

building this foundation on the solid rocks 

you know so well 

and though the pilgrimage may continue

though the journey is definitely not over

though life is fragile

and security an illusion

there is a new sureness to your step

a trusting unshakable

a calm in it all 

a new assurance of provision

a new traveling song to be sung as you walk forward

always forward

always pilgrim ready for new adventures

forgetting the names of what lay behind

you press on to your calling

the prize set before

reveling in the mercies ever new

for each new day

there is no stopping now

you have found something

which cannot be taken

you have arrived here by your own determination

reached a place 

both spiritual and physical

a place of such magnitude 

the light shines from every angle

it has sealed up the oldest sores

bound up the deepest wounds

satisfied the deepest longings

changed everything 

settled old scores with finality 

no longer will you settle for less than you deserve

no more will you tolerate anything less than your best and highest offerings 

you must be all you can be 

gratitude fills you for this place 

a place so lovely 

it can bear up 

even under the weight 

of our hearts wildest desires 

with just this simple name

it resounds inside our souls like a bell –


yes, beloved,

     you are home. 

right where you belong. 




photo sources at 

extra special

An extra day —

Like the painting’s fifth cow,
who looks out directly,
straight toward you,
from inside her black and white spots. 

An extra day —

Accidental, surely:
the made calendar stumbling over the real
as a drunk trips over a threshold
too low to see.

An extra day —

With a second cup of black coffee.
A friendly but businesslike phone call.
A mailed-back package.
Some extra work, but not too much —
just one day’s worth, exactly.

An extra day —

Not unlike the space
between a door and its frame
when one room is lit and another is not,
and one changes into the other
as a woman exchanges a scarf.

An extra day —

Extraordinarily like any other.
And still
there is some generosity to it,
like a letter re-readable after its writer has died.


February 29 by Jane Hirshfield



remember to remember 

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.

It’s the same when love comes to an end,

or the marriage fails and people say

they knew it was a mistake, that everybody

said it would never work. That she was

old enough to know better. But anything

worth doing is worth doing badly.

Like being there by that summer ocean

on the other side of the island while

love was fading out of her, the stars

burning so extravagantly those nights that

anyone could tell you they would never last.

Every morning she was asleep in my bed

like a visitation, the gentleness in her

like antelope standing in the dawn mist.

Each afternoon I watched her coming back

through the hot stony field after swimming,

the sea light behind her and the huge sky

on the other side of that. Listened to her

while we ate lunch. How can they say

the marriage failed? Like the people who

came back from Provence (when it was Provence)

and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.

I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,

but just coming to the end of his triumph.  


Failing and Flying by Jack Gilbert


 We are often surprised when love falls apart. It makes no sense to us—how can something so beautiful turn so ugly? But we should not be so surprised, because few of us are ready to hold love safe. Few of us are trained in the art of love. The entire world has been organized around masks and defenses. Adaptation and disguise are our specialty. But love is a different world—an unmasked, surrendered landscape that few of us have explored with any great depth. It’s easy for most of us to articulate concepts, but to hearticulate feelings is another planet altogether. We are only at the beginning of an enheartened way. We haven’t
downloaded the ways of the heart. We are learning as we crawl. Best we stop beating ourselves up when it doesn’t work out. There is so much left to learn. 


   – Jeff Brown 

     excerpt from Spiritual Graffiti


photo sourcs found at 

smoke screens


“Smoke on the Water” in Cincinnati on 12/6/15 as captured by Wayne Clause

 I stand where I am
lost between worlds

the past is gone

the present space between 

a foggy future 

not fully workable

full of hard edges


empty air

lack of conversation 

missing soft expression 



my fingers clasp wispy dream clouds 

of you

of love 

of home

of music

my tired hopes hang on by threads 

longing for what I want 

a home for living full of love and happy

building a life

eating food made with love

friendship filled with





touch to sooth our sore places

arms to hold and be held

keep me safe 

let me breathe a little easier

laugh a little

sing a lot

covering me 

surrounding me with love





So much that was 

good in her, 

so much in me, 

cut off now 

from the future 

in which we 

grew together.

through the window 

of my new house 

that hawthorn’s 

crooked faithful 

trunk round 

an old and broken 


my mouth dumb

and Dante’s voice

instead of mine 

from the open book.
‘Brother, our love 

has laid our wills to rest. 

Making us long 

only for what is ours 

and by no other thirst 

Our life not lived 


must still 

live on apart, 

longing only 

for what is ours 


each grow round the missed branch 

as best we can, 

claim what is ours 


though not forget 

loved memories, 

nor that life 

still loved by memory, 

nor the hurts 

through which we 


tried to learn 

Our pilgrim journey 

apart or together, 

like the thirst 

of everything 

to find its true form, 

the grain of the wood 

round the hatched knot 

still straightening 

toward the light.




‘THE SEA IN YOU: Twenty Poems of Requited and Unrequited Love’

© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

Now Available at


when will it get better? 


 The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action: and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;

Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;

Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,

Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait,

On purpose laid to make the taker mad.

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind a dream.

   All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

   To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


 – Sonnet CXXIX, William Shakespeare 


 I believe it is no ones intention to live as a perpetual victim. 
No one ever said they wanted that as a career,

wanted to spend their valuable life having no personal power –

yet how many are there

trapped by the belief that life, 


some ‘other’ 

has taken something from them

which they should have?

they deserve(d) it

they didn’t want to lose what’s gone

      (I understand that)

but now it’s gone

and they’ve been wronged

they spin in the agony of not controlling 



something, anything

They can’t see what they’re doing,

they can’t hear what they’re saying,

they can’t see how they’re living,

because they are sure

sure they are right,

sure they deserve to be this grand victim,

sure the very best of life,

their very happiest,

is behind them now. 

They may say ‘they are not special’,

but in reality they believe they are SO special

life should only, always, give them what they want…

no matter what. 
I used to try to convince them otherwise,

spend massive energy,

years invested in living with people determined not to see,

not to let go,

not to find happiness and peace. 

People refusing to do the work to gain truth and freedom. 

now I take it case by case,

I trust God enough to allow them to come,

allow them to go. 

I do my own hard work 

of letting go

of letting go

of letting go…

of loving with no expectations of return…

of finding out new insights about my own heart…

of standing in my own healing,



without being distracted by the manipulation 

of people living as victims. 

I remind myself (over and over) everyone has a right to live as they choose, 

truth is never an argument to be won. 

Then I give thanks that I chose something new for myself. 

I pray for each person in the world to live with peace and joy…

I grieve my own, very personal losses, 

and, eventually,

life goes on…



 Amidst ten thousand losses and swirling joys. 

At this very instant on the sacred Earth I wait. 

Come to us Beauty, Wisdom, Goodness, Peace, Solace, Grace, Counsel, Love. 

See the open archway this cold night 

Air, rich as gold flows.

Fine snow, glistens our faces. Each flake, 

every exquisite crystal blossom is the covenant of your love 

told a thousand, thousand times. 

   – Patricia Van Ness



 Listen to Serenity Fisher sing So Far From Oh Well


listen to Michael Buble sing Feeling Good

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