life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “touch”

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

timing be everything…just wait and see  


 walking while waiting…not holding onto the breath…finding the shallow end of the pool, gliding full body under the water…raising expectations while others wonder , slightly wandering , forgetting to remember is not an option while the day is so bright…finding fashion foolishly delightful, while taking ones shoes off …holy hours become …earth and flesh blown open , .birthing beyond time and space, then settling into the sunroom for hot peach tea and a tiny croissant…such a simple remedy while walking and waiting…

Donna Knutson



recognizing. redefining. redeeming. 

Healthy aggression has been given a bad name for far too long. I remember the day when it was acceptable to stand down those who behaved unjustly. Not in a way that was disproportionate to the crime, but in a way that met it right where it lived. This seems to have been lost in the last decades, both because of the softee toffee premature forgiveness movement and because of our growing awareness of the horrifying effects of unhealthy aggression. As a man, I have found this entirely confusing. Often I have stood down injustice with appropriate ferocity and been judged for it, as though I was the unjust one. I have some compassion for this interpretation, as I do recognize that it is difficult for many trauma survivors to not be triggered by aggression of any kind. But something is lost when we don’t make the distinction between the kinds of aggression that rectify wrongs, and those that perpetuate them. It is time to again raise healthy aggression to the rafters of acceptability. Sometimes its the truest path of all.


   – Jeff Brown


 Change and growth are painful 
not because we’re gaining, 

but because we’re losing. 

We lose old ideas. 

Old habits. Old stories. 

Old comforts. 

We shed all that’s become

too heavy to carry onward, 

wrapped too tight around skin 

that needed to finally breathe. 

A body that had to break loose 

from the once present chapter. 

Blank pages had been begging. 

Ink aching to write 

a new road and world. 

A soul that could no longer deny

the taste of something else. 

Something that felt true. 

Something not yet seen.

We don’t have to see something

in order to believe.


 – an excerpt from Victoria Erickson’s fantastic new book- Edge of Wonder, available on Amazon

 It is time to go deeper, to find your rudder
The unswerving truth of who you are
To keep you on track to your destiny.
Some tacking and jibing – yes
But with minor adjustments
On your way once more
Wind at your back to carry you
To ease your way
for a time.
The storms will come, for oceans will be oceans
Fear appears
Fear of being tossed about in the waves
Fear of not surviving rough seas
Fear is to be your teacher
Fear is to be your guide
Fear is to hold your hand as you look beyond the horizon
Of what you have always known
To the truth you can only know
Once you face fear
And see the love in its eyes.


The Truth of You by Brenda Newberry



one step 


 The wasps outside

the kitchen window

are making that

thick, unraveling sound

floating in
 and out 

of the bald head
 of their nest,

seeming not to move

while moving,

and it has just occurred
 to me, 

 washing the coffeepot,

watching them hang

loosely in the air—


thick, elongated 

sad, down-
pointing antennae—

that this 
is the heart’s constant

this simple

 how to hold 

and hope together;

to see on the unharmed 
surface of one

the great scar 
of the other;

 to recognize 

and to make 
something of both;

to desire everything 
and nothing

at once 

and to desire it
 all the time;

and to contain that desire

in a body;
 to wash it and rest it

and feed it; 

to learn
 its name and from whence
 it came; 

and to speak 
to it—oh, 

most of all
 to speak to it—

every day, every day,

saying to one part,

“Well, maybe this is all
 you get,” 

while saying 
to the other, 

“Go on, 
break it open, let it go.”

Want by Carrie Fountain 


   Have you sat with grief? 

Have you let it wring you dry? 

Leave you swollen and exhausted

in it’s wake? 

Allowed the pain from the inner depths of hell, 

deeper than you knew existed, 

to ooze out, 

bubble up into your heart, 

so that your tears could begin 

to wash you clean? 

Have you asked yourself 

the questions with no answers? 

then allow them to just co-exist with you, 

allowing that life is good, 

finding space for gratitude 

even in the unanswerable? 

Have you walked, and talked, 

with death and your losses? 

The innocence murdered 

by anger and hate? 

Precious time stolen 

by monsters and ogres? 

Hearts trampled 

by words of violence and sarcasm? 

Are you familiar with vulnerability? 

With allowing your deepest feelings, 

painful feelings, 

raw feeling, 

real feelings, 

to come out of the grave 

where you try to hide them? 

Exposing your wounds, 

old and new? 

I know how hard it is, 

I know. 

I try to avoid it too. 

I also know the truth. 

It must be done. 

It is the broken road to healing. 

To life! 

The more we feel, 

the more we can feel. 

Go deep, my friend 

Open up wide. 

Sit a spell and let it bubble. 

Feel it all. 

It will feel rotten for a while, 

then comes the morning 

you wake up good as new! 

New and improved. 

I promise you won’t regret it. 

Just trust me on this one. 

I am intimately familiar 

with this process. 




photos found at

what matters most 


She has come to sense the inner world goes deep, indeed deeper than the wounds and breakages that others inflict. The contemplative has broken through to that sanctuary in the soul where love dwells. Crucial to this contemplative journey is the trust and imagination to realize that regardless of how you have been damaged, there is within you a sanctuary of deep love, trust and belonging. This is the ancient dream, the masterpiece of divine creativity: the creation of the human heart. Before time – back in the winter of nothingness and then all through the infinite springtime of evolution – the dream was the birth of an intimate well of kindness, care and love in the world, dwelling in the tabernacle of the human heart. 

John O’Donohue 

Excerpt from BEAUTY

 dear lord in this time of darkness
help us see the darkness
dear lord help us to not pretend

no more pretending
dear lord may our gaze be defenseless 

and unshardable 
teach us the piety of the open eye 
dear lord in this time of darkness

may we be unafraid to mourn and together and hugely
may dignity lose its scaffolding

faces crumble like bricks
dear lord let grief come to grief
and then o lord help us to see the bees yet in the lavender

the spokes of sunlight down through the oaks
and the sleep-opened face of the beloved

and the afternoon all around her 

and her small freckled hands


Prayer by Teddy Macker


Hearts out searching for a home
that one place where we belong

it’s a cold dark night here lately

but I have seen the light

home is your arms 

holding me tight
deeper and deeper into the beautiful 

waking my heart to sing this song

fly with me as flames grow higher

passion flaming deep desire

touching us on this dark night
There are times when life goes hazy

that place we all fall down

life can be so hard my baby

will you hold the line tonight?

open up your heart and fight 
we can do it together

love’s the place where dreams come true

we can make it together 

I believe we can make it

there is hope in this moment 

there is hope in the sky

when days go dark and lonely baby

as long as stars are burning bright

there is hope

there is hope, ’cause

they burn for you

oh baby 

we can make it through



Listen to Time of the Season by The Zombies


photos found at 

September’s Still Remembering


 This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight; 
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves; 

The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves, 

And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows. 

Under a tree in the park, 

Two little boys, lying flat on their faces, 

Were carefully gathering red berries 

To put in a pasteboard box. 

Some day there will be no war, 

Then I shall take out this afternoon 

And turn it in my fingers, 

And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate, 

And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves. 

To-day I can only gather it 

And put it into my lunch-box, 

For I have time for nothing 

But the endeavour to balance myself 

Upon a broken world. 


September, 1918 by Amy Lowell

Listen to September Grass by James Taylor


Photos found at


 Peace in Our Hands by Valerie Lorimer – find her artwork on Etsy

beauty in all she is

It’s true, what all our heroes say. There is a way

in this world for beauty,

for good. It may

be a crooked path

in a tanglewood, but

stay the course and,

when the way grows rocky,

walk your horse,
and who knows, you may yet

come upon the wild rose,

as I have done, and,

paying close attention,

keep from crushing her into

the grime, and then,

with any luck, in time

remember how you found her

and how to find her again

when the way gets wilder.


To a Wild Rose by Todd Boss

In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. One of the fascinating ideas here is the idea of soul-love; the old Gaelic term for this is anam ċara. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and ċara is the word for friend. … In the early Celtic church, a person who acted as a teacher, companion, or spiritual guide was called an anam Ċara. It originally referred to someone to whom you confessed revealing the hidden intimacies of your life. With the anam ċara you could share your innermost self, your mind, and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. … In everyone’s life there is great need for an anam ċara, a soul friend, in this love you are understood as you are without mask or pretension. Where you are understood, you are at home.

     – John O’Donohue

Listen to Christina Perri sing A Thousand Years

Photo sources at

covers off

You cant wake someone 

pretending to be asleep

You cant talk to someone

pretending to listen

You can’t touch someone

pretending to be interested 

You can’t connect with someone 

pretending to be your friend 

You can’t teach someone anything 

pretending to know everything 

You can’t satisfy someone 

pretending to be perfect

You can’t give enough to someone 

pretending to be grateful 

You can’t change the world 

pretending to be kind

You can’t heal your heart 

pretending it’s not hurting 

You can’t solve a problem 

pretending you haven’t got one

You cant be loved by someone 

pretending to be ready for love

You can’t find the truth 

pretending it’s a lie

It is what it is

Pretending never really works…

but don’t even bother telling that to the pretenders


Listen to The Platters sing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

photo sources found at 

better, best, best-est

Tired and hungry, late in the day, impelled

to leave the house and search for what

might lift me back to what I had fallen away from,

I stood by the shore waiting.

I had walked in the silent woods:

the trees withdrew into their secrets.

Dusk was smoothing breadths of silk

over the lake, watery amethyst fading to gray.

Ducks were clustered in sleeping companies

afloat on their element as I was not

on mine. I turned homeward, unsatisfied.

But after a few steps, I paused, impelled again

to linger, to look North before nightfall-the expanse

of calm, of calming water, last wafts

of rose in the few high clouds.

And was rewarded:

the heron, unseen for weeks, came flying

widewinged toward me, settled

just offshore on his post,

took up his vigil.

                               If you ask

why this cleared a fog from my spirit,

I have no answer.


A Reward by Denise Levertov 


            Day ends, and before sleep
                         when the sky dies down, consider

          your altered state: has this day

            changed you? Are the corners

         sharper or rounded off? Did you

       live with death? Make decisions

   that quieted? Find one clear word

            that fit? At the sun’s midpoint

    did you notice a pitch of absence,

        bewilderment that invites

          the possible? What did you learn

     from things you dropped and picked up

         and dropped again? Did you set a straw

     parallel to the river, let the flow

            carry you downstream?


Questions Before Dark by Jeanne Lohmann


Photos by Fisherman Dan @ Branford, CT

Post Navigation