20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


The Beat

Originally posted on Spirit Led:

Colorful Stained Glass

The turning and the churning
is in each of us
the desire to make change
if we can persevere
ignore the rain

The slashing and the gnashing
of self-sacrifice and teeth
the pain of labor’s love
if we have patience
release the white dove

The prowling and the growling
rumbles from deep within
the courage to make our demands known
end our children’s suffering
see them grow

The timing and the rhyming
we each find our own beat
make joyful music for the world
wrap each other in our arms
keep our hearts warm

Together
together
together

And the beat goes on

©SpiritLed 2014

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Prayer

Originally posted on Spirit Led:

Fog with trees and lamp post

Connect me
to some nugget of truth
or insight
that I may record it
for the world to know
that I may spill it
from sacred lips
like a stream ever-flowing

And if the sound still falls
on deaf ears and eyes avert
from the vision in my soul

So then use me as the song
in their hearts
the breath when they
are disconnected
the lonely howl of pain
when the darkness lasts too long

May I be the focal point
of hopeful direction
a calming in the rage
a cooling in the heat

Let my life be a lamp in the fog
starting first with me

©SpiritLed 2014

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Tiny Cracks

Wet wall

Memories seep through tiny cracks
like a bird building a nest
you gather up all you can find
twigs, feathers, bits of trash
yet even concrete cannot seal you off completely
nothing stops the seeping

dripping in like
         the water leaking into a metal bowl
         from the pipe beneath the sink

slithering in like
         the venomous snake who seeks refuge
         in an unseen crevice in my garage wall

tiptoeing in like
         the cat who moves through darkness
         to appear where she wasn’t before

©SpiritLed 2014


April Fool

I’m no April fool, but I thought
I heard you say, a hundred years
ago, that life would be easy,
the games we play would be more
sophisticated, but they would still be
fun, that the little cracks that form
as we navigate the boundaries ,
would not transform into gaping,
boundless caverns, but instead creep
clouds of light into every moment
and remind us that we are who
we’re supposed to be

no, that was just imagined, for
so many times this seems to be
the definitive experience of
guileless courage, a hazy fog of hapless
misunderstandings, lethargic
ramblings of a maddened soul

even if the words don’t make sense,
leak out all the roiling emotion you keep
so tidy on the shelf of self-control,
dump the contents in a scattered and
untidy heap in a way such that only you
can sort through and make any logic
from the chaos, organized and classified
from appropriate to downright crazy,
go ahead and dive right in,
flounder in the helpless overwhelm that
cleanses the creative palate

even if the madman in your mind
claims that you will never heal
the wounds that reside inside,
sleeping just beneath the surface,
reaching up to reveal the tender parts,
then retreating to leave doubt and
revelation in their wake

even as the walls begin to tumble
down, as you sink, rising and falling
soaring and tumbling through
the cycles that bring you near
perfection then catapult you
out into the shadows where
the grey gloom hovers, seeps inside,
fills the cavernous holes

even there in the most violent and
torrential path, truth is revealed,
sears the heart like streaks of dust
across the cloudy window pane
from which you peer with silent
anticipation and lonely longing
to see the light and rise up
to your rightful place
at the throne of your own life

©SpiritLed 2014


7 Comments

The Healing Parts

The healing parts are mighty and wild,
careening through the dark mind,
simultaneously passive and angry,
they take you over, consume your soul.

They hunger for affection, else they grow
a life of their own, they thrive on tenderness,
else they join together to conquer
their demons with your pain.

The healing parts want to survive,
as the soul writhing in the night.
They are displaced and dissociated,
and only love returns them home,
validation of their realness,
so they may quench their fires,
no longer reduce you to ashes from the
inside out.

The healing parts are us,
and we, them. We are the parts
we buried deep so long ago, the voice
silenced and the voice raging, the broken, fragile,
lonely, fearful, hurting, hating parts.  We are healing
and we are real.

©SpiritLed 2014


Sound of No Sound

Lost in thought, her mind
wanders to a younger day, when she
expertly walked the tightrope over joy and
pain, a misstep here and there, but
never completely losing herself in that
cauldron of self-awareness bubbling
below

Pain – it was not feared then, but
admired, on the weathered faces of
the elders, noting their wisdom and
grace, the simple way they brushed
her hair from her face, and kissed
her forehead, assuring her with their own
worry that there was none for her

But now she wonders where that
elder-wisdom has gone, and will it ever
find her, or if it’s even hers to long for,
the kiss of peace long ago washed from
her furrowed brow.

When did she stop trusting herself?
Was it the first time she rolled over in her
lover’s bed only to find he wasn’t there?
When she felt the sharp sensation of betrayal
from one she considered a friend?
When the sting of loss pierced her heart so
deeply she thought she would drown in the tears
she never cried?

In the stillness that is left she listens,
listens for anything that will convince her
she’s alive, and in that empty place, darkness
reverberates like a thousand universes swirling
around their suns, like the hum of angel wings,
like the breath of creation in her ears

Like all those who came before her
Like all who will ever come

The sound of no sound
bringing life, bringing light
resting in the goodness that rests
inside the stillness of her mind,
where she is whole

©SpiritLed 2014


1 Comment

Thirty-Nine

Today I turn 39.  My last year in my 30’s.  If I had my nearly 4 decades to do over, I’d stay home with my kids, which is a total contradiction because I hated staying at home when they were very young.  Now I’d do it all over again and for longer, just for more time with them.  I’d go to graduate school the first time I had the chance.  I’d go back to that first relationship in high school, and I’d say no to that boy.  Yes, it would change the course of my life, but I’d avoid the pain of losing a friend.  I’d make and keep better connections with friends of my parents and my extended family.  I had no idea how much I would wish I knew them better as I got older.   I’d demand more of myself.  The status quo and self pity would never be in my coping toolbox.  I’d learn about self care early on and make it a priority.  I’d stop myself from picking up terrible interpersonal habits that negatively affect my relationships.  My poor husband really has to deal with a lot of baggage.  I’d let people get close to me, I’d be more vulnerable.  And I’d expect it of other people too.  I’d take back every mean word I ever said to my sister.  Maybe we were just kids, but I’m sure it affected her, and she’s the only sibling I have.  I’d set better boundaries for myself, and I wouldn’t be afraid to say no.  I wouldn’t find a sick comfort in relationships that make me feel bad.  I’d talk to my mom about her illness, I’d share my fears about living a life without her.  I’d snuggle up next to her that night when she asked me to.   I’d understand that in order to feel great joy and compassion, you also, at times, have to allow yourself to feel great pain.  I’d never stop writing.  Or dancing.  Or letting the world know how smart I am.  Or crying.  I’d cry a LOT more.  And I’d pray more.  I’d figure out early what makes me passionate and pursue that.  Or not stop pursuing that.  I’d have a job that I love, that fulfills me, that I can’t wait to get up and do every morning.  I’d force my foot into that Cinderella slipper and never let it fall off my foot.

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”

~Henry David Thoreau

Happy 39.  It’s going to be a great year.

©SpiritLed 2014

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