20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


The final day of vacation holds a sadness
a knowing that the hermit life created for a time must end
that all the sandy remnants washed upon the shore
which once housed life
now provide enjoyment for collectors

as their broken parts begin to renourish the shoreline
as your broken parts started to renourish while on temporary retreat

Yet the wholeness is still fleeting
as soon as the water washes upon the shore
it just as quickly recedes
and even an extended solitary stay
cannot stop the feeling
of slipping away

And so the melancholy pervades
even as the others play and walk the beach
in quiet confidence of more time

More time –
     It’s what you always want
     no matter the endeavor

More time to hug your children
More time to finish your work
More time to stay still

More –
     Nothing is ever enough

Why can’t the blessed moments in life be enough
     without wanting more?

Each moment is encapsulated in the now, past and
     future are no longer or not yet real

More implies lack, and looking out at this expanse
     you know you want for nothing
     except for More

Each shell you collected is real today but gone tomorrow
     and you still want More

Each day a gift, never to be received again
     and yet you sit, melancholy on the sand
     counting the hours until you must part
     rather than counting the waves, the shells,
     the single grains of sand that could fill up
     an entire lifetime of More

Waves, shells, sand
     they know everything comes to an end
     transition is the only way to sustain life
     they share their wisdom
     for those who are open to hear
     those who dare to turn their backs on More

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

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

Life by Moma Grace

Today while visiting a great farmers market in East Harlem I noticed a wonderful poem in one of the booths and I asked the owner if she wrote it and she said yes. The poem entitled Life was written by Moma Grace from Ghana who formerly worked in her country’s version of the FBI! She said the poem was given to her in a dream and that she reads it everyday after her prayers. I feel so blessed to live in a city where you can run into wonderful people like Moma Grace! Read her poem below to be inspired!


Favorite Quotes

While researching for another article, I came upon some of my favorite quotes. Among them are a few from Plato, the Greek Philosopher.

My dad has adopted this one for himself: The Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you will end up being governed by your inferiors.

The greatest wealth is to live content with little.

There are three classes of men: lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor and lovers of gain.

This, and no other is the root from which a tyranny springs-when he first appears he is a protector

1 Comment

Thank You, Mom

I remember, as a child, when I thought my cousin “had it all.” OK. Let’s say it for what it was: the green-eyed monster. I used to look around my world and think, Everyone has such a perfect life.

until my mother saw that I was beating myself up with this attitude. She sat me down firmly and said, “Everyone has something.”

To tell you the truth, I didn’t believe her. After all, G.’s life looked pretty darned good to me. As I got older, of course, I came to realize the wisdom of her words. I was looking at the outside, the surface things. And while those might look good, they’re certainly not everything.

This was in the early stages of my having epilepsy, and I admit that I was in an Oh, poor me kind of mood. But my mom’s words began to sink in, and I’ve heard them in my mind over and over and over. She has been gone for 17 years now, and I hear them still.

Yes, everyone does have something, be it a physical, emotional or psychological challenge, an employment difficulty, a financial burden, parenting stresses…whatever. No one slides through this world without challenges.

I tend to wrap myself up in a ball of pity too often, and those parties are lonely. So now I look at people in different ways. If someone says something negative to me, rather than wondering what I did or said to deserve it, I think, instead: What is the reason that this person needs to say this? What is their inner motivation to hurt? They must be hurting, themselves. And perhaps there’s something I might do to assuage that hurt.

So today, any old Monday, I am thinking about my mom, and I thank her for giving me some of the best words I have ever heard. They have helped me manage some extremely stressful situations.

Thanks, Mom. I love you.


What Can I Do?

It takes so little effort to amend
an argument, or straighten out the bend
a road oft takes. Forgive the careless word
that flits around you like a little bird.

Please realize that this might be the hour
you leave the earth, so sniff the red rose flower
and praise the trees that stand there mighty, tall.
The spring, the summer, winter, and the fall

have given you a panoramic view,
provided excellence, each season new
in character and dress. You leave the seed
within your words, plant wisdom others read.


Words from My Grandmother, Carried in the Thunder

There are spring storms and the way children
quickly dart into your bed when frightened
during them.  Allow this.

There is not going to be enough time, ever
Plan accordingly.

Half the distance will never amount
to a hill of beans, but here she mixes metaphor
and hominy.


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