life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

I will be your wise one

I will be your wise one,

led by wisdom and discernment,

your star, not mine.

I am a sovereign of my own choices,

among your royal priesthood.

I offer you my power.

You are the star I follow,

with my eye on your light

every day.

I am always seeking,

never too complacent to ask,

to observe, to discern, to wonder,

looking for your light in this world,

in those I meet,

in my own dark sky.

I am not deterred by weariness,

the unknown, the strangeness,

the settledness of others.

I seek the child, the tender,

the hope, the small

amid the strong and violent.

I bear valuable gifts. This is the reason

I am in this world. I kneel

and offer treasure, every day.

I know my quest threatens

the powers of might, and I am not afraid,

and do not collude with them.

I am not afraid to find another road,

always seeking, open to the new.

Lead me.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —January 3, 2019

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice.

And to make an end is to make a beginning. – T. S. Elliot

Carrying heavy things

into the past

just so I can

lay them down on a convenient corner

and so continue on around the bend

without the load I’ve borne beforehand

the next light years ahead

will be easy like Sunday morning

Songs and friends of yesterday

returning to play new verses

versions of ourselves yet to be

coming to the forefront

stages set with beauty

bells ringing all around the glorious trees and rooftops

what’s the next best step?

when’s the celebration?

pop the cork, baby

Let’s start today

look at what you’ve accomplished

in such a short span of life

count the days a complete success

there is no such thing as failure, anyway

look me in the eye and give me your best defense

then, look forward into the shining future

and tell me how much you love me –

let peace descend onto the earth

let it begin

again and again

with me


Amy Lloyd


Signs and stars in the heavens

hearts found along every highway

in every little town along the pilgrims pathway

it’s Christmas Eve and we are feeling the birth

of all these unlimited possibilities happening

starting here and now

as the sunlight fades into in glorious color

and we feel our fine and mellow happy hearts

dream again of all our Christmas wishes

& it goes on

Sometimes the old myth is right,

the light has gone out of the world,

you can see plainly in your heart

and its hungry darkness, the aimless grief,

a heavy echo of something missing, or someone,

not lighting, like a mood or a utility,

but a source, life itself, and its warmth.

Something like the friendship of the earth.

Not exactly breath, but essential.

Emperors are lost. Roads vanish.

You need to plead. Someone needs to fetch it.

Someone needs to assail the fearful thief

who has stolen the light and hidden it,

buried it in the darkest place where no one

can go, no one can find it, no one can return.

Someone innocent and honest, brave enough

to be true and risk everything to set off

with nothing but a fish hook and a loaf of bread

to find the light for us who hunger for it,

and for the trees who wait in silence.

On the longest night when even the angels

can stand it no longer, God sends a child,

tender and willing, (and a mother who offers him

to this dark world), a child with nothing but love

saying, “I will go into your darkest places for you

and there, there, I will draw out the light.”

The harsh wind clamping down,

the threat already issued, soldiers on the move,

the child comes into the night, facing the darkness.

His mother sings, and he begins his journey,

and already he has a bit of light in his hands,

and already the night begins to turn

and the stars dance and the angels sing

and your heart begins to rise

like the long-lost morning sun.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

And why are you anxious about clothing?

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

~Matthew 6:26-30

Clinging to light is not the Way.

Clinging to darkness is not the Way.

Winter is not an absence.

Spring is not a destination.

Lose your Way

in the bardo between seasons

and wake up wherever you are.

Fred LaMotte

I am not running anymore; I have run all my life; now I am determined to stop and really live my life.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

of road-trips and birthday’s

Of roadtrips and birthdays

Days before the new year starts

We are doing so much brave and new!

We are opening


stepping in

reaching out

shouting louder

whispering softly





letting go

feeling fullness

washing dishes

pouring wine

clearing the old

embracing the new

sweeping the threshold

then stepping over it

life is happening now

as we breathe

as we bathe

as we lose

as we find

as we smile

as we cry

as we live

as we die


Amy Lloyd

Happy Birthday to my lovely fellow-girl adventurer in the great path of life, Robin O’Neal

path. 12.25.15
the path keeps winding
I keep walking
always into surprises
always into adventures
today an unexpected ‘wow’ on the path
love always wins
grace always changes us
I keep seeing it
as I let go into the the flow
It just keeps expanding
love is truly the only thing that could possibly change this world,
or anyone,
someone like
Amy Lloyd

begin again

Carrying heavy things

into the past

just so I can

lay them down on a convenient corner

and so continue on around the bend

without the load I’ve borne beforehand

the next light years ahead

will be easy like Sunday morning

Songs and friends of yesterday

returning to play new verses

versions of ourselves yet to be

coming to the forefront

stages set with beauty

bells ringing all around the glorious trees and rooftops

what’s the next best step?

when’s the celebration?

pop the cork, baby

Let’s start today

look at what you’ve accomplished

in such a short span of life

count the days a complete success

there is no such thing as failure, anyway

look me in the eye and give me your best defense

then, look forward into the shining future

and tell me how much you love me –

let peace descend onto the earth

let it begin

again and again

with me


Amy Lloyd

Reverence may take all kinds of forms, depending on what it is that awakens awe in you by reminding you of your true size.

~Barbara Brown Taylor


(Of the Glory of Growing Older)

No one told me

it would be like this—

how growing older

is another passage

of discovery

and that aging is one

grand transformation,

and if some things

become torn apart

or even lost along the way,

many other means

show up

to bring me closer

to the center

of my heart.


No one ever told me

if whatever wonder

waits ahead

is in another realm

and outside of time.

But the amazement, I found,

is that the disconcerting things

within the here and now

that I stumble

and trip my way

through, also

lead me



And no one told me

that I would ever see

an earth so strong

and fragile, or

a world so sad

and beautiful.

And I surely

didn’t know

I’d have

all this life

yet in me

or such fire

inside my



Susan Frybort

wanted: oboe

Can I provoke you to send me a voicemail full of laughing?

Love is revealed beyond its invisible threading

re-stitching our lives and hearts


as they keep bursting at the seams

with joy-filled peals

Let your light-star shine

brighter than the sun

reflecting to the moon

and back again to your upturned smile

Uncover your shaded solar plexus

Until I am blinded by your yellow

What other colors would you like to show?

Let them shimmer and ooze

like molten, blended rainbows

Today’s lesson:

sit in the over-large, comfy chair of silence

empty, yet also full of gratitude beyond emotion

Until the oboe comes to reenergize you

then wash your face of yesterday’s smudges

and lightly step out

onto your own beautiful path

for this very moment in eternity


Amy Lloyd

best practices

An examination is always in order.

A thorough taking out,

deep intensive scanning,

fine combing,

hands gently running over every inch,

thoughts probing deepest depths




yes, our heart is always mystery

Who can possibly know it?

Guard it,

know it,

teach it,

keep it,

tenderly care for it,

tend its ever growing garden.

Your whole life depends on it.


Amy Lloyd

Practice beauty everyday

listen to the hawk cry as it flies over,

hear the stampede of deer hooves as they run through the woods;

notice the first frost on the morning grass.

Follow your eyes,

to those of a stranger


Feel the distance between you and a child,

pick up the phone,

hear their voice , ” hey ma.”

practice beauty everyday

Leave a tip larger than you can afford

know generosity as wisdom,

kindness as ordinary,

respect as necessary

Follow your eyes

to those of the elderly,


Witness what passes too quickly,

as time,

as weather,

wonder wished

dreams yet to live

Taste the first cup of hot chocolate


a tiny sip

practice beauty everyday

hold something lightly in your hands,

turn them upwards when you pray,

be moved by somersaults

a holy handshake

a hug


practice beauty everyday.


Rev. Donna Knutson

December 2017

Amazing Photos above by Leslie Haberman

There is no comfort without engagement,
no good news without strings attached.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

there may be darkness

Every year

he says, “I love these people.

I’m going to go be with them,

just to walk them through the darkness.”


Every year the angels tell him,

No, this is a bad idea.

It never works.

But the Eternal One nods at him and smiles

a sad little smile,

and he pours himself out

into a great mysterious emptiness,

and he comes.


He always comes

and walks with us,

and every year I walk with him,

he smiles and nods that same smiling nod.


There is the brief moment in the stable—

despite the hardship quite lovely, really—

but then the hard work,

the road, the town square, the disputes…


And then he is taken.

Every year, taken:

shot beside me as we walk,

jailed, deported, lynched, crucified.


I walk on without him,

looking for a welcome place for him,

trying to bear that light,

let it gleam just a little…

And then it gets darker,

until it seems stupid and hopeless and foolish,

and then once again,

the angels shaking their heads

but singing glory anyway,

he comes.


Knowing, he comes,

every year he comes.

And I watch for them to take him,

and they do take him, every year,

and I say,

“The angels are right, this doesn’t work.”


He nods and smiles and says,

“Yes it does.”

And he comes again.

And I,

a tiny light in a great emptiness,


I am waiting for him.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


just as you are

rusty and dusty

a bit ragged

with that nagging cough

edges frayed and worn

a bit of dust is the stuff of life

dry bones beginning to breathe

be alert, that’s not chocolate under your fingernails…

check the room, don’t let the bedbugs bite…

but do let your out-dated arrogance go up in smoke

easily, so easily, let go your striving

remember life is but a dream within a dream

kiss me with the mouth with which you just voraciously ate rare meat –

that mouth you drank copious amounts of wine, with –

just kiss me thoroughly

let your carnal juices run and mingle with mine

don’t stop to wipe your sweat dripping onto my waiting skin

let me trust you

with my darkest secrets

and yes, please, do the same for me

let’s tell the stuff that make us squirm

let’s be completely uncomfortable together

leave the light on so I see all of your naked body

while you trace my stretch marks, I will gently kiss your souls’ scars

we’ll lay all night in pools of starlight

square in the middle of the circle of us

arms and legs intertwined

as our hearts grow entwined together

until we are paralyzed by our own beauty

I am learning everything I need to know in this world

the song of the whales as they ride the green and blue star filled waves

into the night sky of eternity


Amy Lloyd

I want to write a poem the birds will understand

and the snakes and stones

the trees with their

secrets and green faces

Let it enchant the dolphins and the whales

when they are courting in the middle of the ocean

Let it talk with the aborigine

who knows the moon’s a person in the sky

And should it be the last poem in the world

let it be among the first in worlds we’ve never

seen                                 where it may talk to rivers

there                                                       and animals we’ve only

seen in dreams                                              Let it walk

around in rooms                                                      where

God’s footprints have remained behind

Let it be something I’ve been unable to imagine here

There’ll be fish there             I may be riding on the

back of one today

Will the poem be about the cheetahs and the wind

we only see when we’re in love?


Paul Carroll

narrow ways

I know this house,

and this horizon,

and this world I have made.

I know this silence

and the particular treasures

and terrors

of this belonging

but I cannot know the world

to which I am going.

I have only this breath

and this presence

for my wings

and they carry me

in my body

whatever I do

from one hushed moment

to another.

I know my innocence

and I know my unknowing

but for all my successes

I go through life

like a blind child

who cannot see,

arms outstretched

trying to put together

a world.

And the world

works on my behalf

catching me in its arms

when I go too far.

I don’t know what

I could have done

to have earned such faith.

Watching the geese

go south I find


even in silence

and even in stillness


even in my home


without a thought

or a movement

I am part

of a great migration

that will take me to another place.

And though all the things I love

may pass away and

the great family of things and people

I have made around me

will see me go,

I feel them living in me

like a great gathering

ready to reach a greater home.

When one thing dies all things

die together, and must live again

in a different way,

when one thing

is missing everything is missing,

and must be found again

in a new whole

and everything wants to be complete,

everything wants to go home

and the geese traveling south

are like the shadow of my breath

flying into the darkness

on great heart-beats

to an unknown land where I belong.

This morning they have

found me,

full of faith,

like a blind child,

nestled in their feathers,

following a great coast

to the home I cannot see.



© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

Narrow daylight

Filled with delight

Slim golden shapes pared

with towering candlelight

Savory days

spiced with laughter

Sprinkled liberally with joy

Enlarging hearts

open for personal business

winging south in early morning light

Snow globe world

Shaken and stirred together

with Love and light

Life grows long and lovely

as a colorful sunset

on the Hudson in November

feeling the richness of true intimacy

only afforded by honest communication

a hand reaches me in the dark

luxurious cashmere touch awakening

love surrounding me

I feel the wind blowing

every little caress

taking me home


Amy Lloyd

Be ready any moment to surrender who you are to who you will become

Sometimes I just get so scared

I’ll be gone and you’ll forget me

Life is hard, sometimes not so fair

Rain keeps pouring down on me

One more day of stormy weather

One more tear rollin’ down my cheek

There’s my fear, a fist in leather

my broken heart just skips a beat

Once or twice felt myself not knowing

Felt some doubts a time or two

But each time I see your sweet face glowing

know somehow I will make it through

I’ll be there should you ever need me

I’ll be there anytime you fall

I’m the one who loves you freely

I’m the one you can always call

There’s a little bit of sun shinin’

Peeking thru those clouds at you

There’s a little bit of rainbow shinin’

Smilin’ down as the sky turns to blue


Amy Lloyd

From Jeff Brown:

The primary cause of our unhappiness is not our thoughts. The monkey mind is not the source of our anxiety. It’s a symptom of it. Forget the monkey mind. The mind is not the problem—unhealed pain is. Men have been blaming the mind for their neuroses for centuries, while deftly avoiding that which sources its maladies: somatic constrictions, and unprocessed emotions stored in the body itself. It’s like losing your keys somewhere in the house, and looking for them in the car. Useless, useless, useless. Until we stop blaming the mind—and recognize that its anxieties stem from the unresolved emotional body— there will be no liberation. Shifting out of unhappiness is not a cerebral process—that’s just another ineffective band-aid. It is a visceral full-body experience. It’s the “monkey heart” that’s the issue—the state of inner turbulence and agitation that emanates from an unclear heart. The more repressed your emotional body, the more repetitive your thoughts. Flooded with unhealed emotions and unexpressed truths, the monkey heart jumps from tree-top to tree-top, emoting without grounding, dancing in its confusion. Often misinterpreted as a monkey mind, the monkey heart is reflected in repetitive thinking, perpetual anxiety and negative imaginings. To calm and clarify your mind, you have to heal your heart.

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