I watch as she picks her way
across the landscape,
as if the ground is mined.

She knows her destination
but is fearful
of all arrival
will imply.

And yet her present
is no less threatening,
bleak, scattered boulders,
a darkness with sharp edges.

I have lit the lamp,
can do little more;
the journey is hers
alone to make.

But I can pray.



38 Responses to “Journey”

  1. This poem leads me straight back to your book “First I dreamt the Journey”. It reminds me that we are all responsible for our own lives, and also says what you have often said, to take the necessary risk and trust the process. The trouble with choices is that they have consequences. But being in the place between choosing and doing can be very much like ‘a darknes with sharp edges’.

    It is good to know that the lamp is lit – or is it?

    Much food for thought. This is such a powerful poem David, thank you for posting it. It’s quite nice to see it up here without having seen it before. That doesnt mean you have to stop showing them to me!

    Lots of love



    • belfastdavid Says:


      Many times I have been in that “place between choosing and doing”. It is not a good place and sooner or later I have to surrender and accept to move on. “Trust the process”, when I look back, has always worked for me. πŸ™‚

      As regards the lamp, the beautiful fairy lit a torch of hope for me early in recovery. It is good to know that it has never been extinguished.

      I am delighted to know I have given you “food for thought”.

      And I am always happy to share poems with you – this one came up for me since we last saw each other.

      Lots of love


  2. Well done. I love it when you surprise us with something deep and serious in the middle of a group of light hearted posts.

    Is this for the friend you have been worried about? What a beautifully tender tribute! Your insight is rare, and your love and compassion shine like a light in a winter window. I hope your friend is soon better, Irish.
    Take care of yourself.

    Much love,

    • belfastdavid Says:


      I think Shirley the light hearted poems keep the muse ticking over so that the deeper ones can emerge – I seem to have no real control over when that happens.

      And yes, my friend was part of it although there were others in my head too. It is always difficult when people you love are going through hard periods – all you can do is let them know you are there for them and, as the poem says, pray.

      As regards my friend there are some tests next week which, hopefully will let us all know what we are dealing with.

      You take good care of yourself too.

      Much love,

  3. Keep the light burning. πŸ™‚

  4. I have loved ones also for whom I can only pray as I watch them on these journeys.

    excellent poem!

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Jonnia,

      It is always difficult because we want to do more, but, as the man said “If prayer works, then pray”

  5. It is good that she has one to light her way with prayer.
    She will find her way, God will see to it…in His time.
    Be Blessed my friend ~:)

  6. sometimes the only thing we can do is the best thing we can do….. enjoyed–such encouraging message

  7. Why yammer? You know I get it, and all that goes along with the primary purpose, which is to pass the message to those who still suffer. This is perfectly epic and epically perfect.

  8. Hi David, no idea who she is or what will be ahead of her, but at least you gave her some light. Warm thought.
    Thanks for putting my blog up your blogroll, I did the same with yours. Keep warm and safe! πŸ™‚

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Ina both for the comment and for adding me to your blogroll.

      I am both warm and safe, although the snow is dtill coming down

      • Lucky you, I have to go shopping now and this cold wind makes it feel like -15 C or worse 😦 No snow here at all on the island where I live, just frost and stormy wind. Feed the birds, will ye? πŸ™‚

      • belfastdavid Says:

        We had the best part of a fot of snow this morning in about 4 hours from 9:00am. The city and the transport system have been chaos. I had only to go local today but I have to go further afield tomorrow so hoping for no further snow and I could do without your cold wind πŸ™‚
        I will take something for the birds.
        Living on an island sounds appealing

  9. At the moment it sounds like a blizzard πŸ™‚

  10. You better cancel perhaps? Make sure to keep warm. Anyway, good luck! πŸ™‚

  11. Hi David,

    This poem I found most moving. It really touched the heartstrings because I guess sometimes it’s all you can do. Light that lamp and pray. It reminds me as much as we can hold a hand, a persons journey can only be walked by them alone.
    The love and caring we can show along the way though, all those lamps and prayers, it brings hope to the journey and gives strength to the one we care for and for ourselves to hang in there with them.

    All my best to you, keep safe and warm and to your friend too.


    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Tikarma,

      It is my experience that what is the most help is the love, the caring, the lamps and the prayers. If we are genuine and congruent with those they rub off in a way that might not be explainable but is certainly effective.

      I nursed for years off and on a lovely severely mentally ill man. We would get him well enough to go back home but inevitably it would break down and he would have to come back into hospital again. All he wanted when he came back in was a hug! And that was always the first step to getting him well again. He is dead now but I have very warm memories of him – he taught me a lot.

      I have been out in the snow again this morning – the temptation to build a snowman is almost irresistable πŸ™‚

      Thank you for the good wishes – you take good care of yourself.


  12. Great metaphors.

    So many journeys. So few lamps.

  13. peta straatman Says:

    Welcome back and thank you.
    I’ve had the impression you have been mulling over and absorbing whatever it is that is happening and you are now back with us.
    I find this a very strong, solidly centred poem which is helping me with my situation.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Peta,

      The last few weeks have been difficult for a variety of reasons. Writing poems like this helps me cetre myself too – allows me, if you like, to see the bigger picture. No bad thing!!

      You take care of yourself.
      Be in touch when things settle down


  14. The one good thing about December is that in May it is just a memory. πŸ™‚ We have the snow everywhere now too. It spreads like a dissease?

    • belfastdavid Says:


      We now have what gives the impression of a thaw – I have been able to dig my car out and get about – however I am not sure I trust that it will last.

      I quite like it really – the city landscape looks much prettier under a covering of snow

      • Thaw here too now, the wintermagic almost gone again. We didn’t bother to dig out the car and drove with a pack of snow on top of it yesterday. Not a good plan: when we stopped, the snow just sank over the windscreen.
        Enjoy the beauty while it still is there πŸ™‚

        I bet Christmas will be all rain?

      • belfastdavid Says:

        That will be you and me both then with snow sinking over our windscreens πŸ™‚

        Two weeks of mild weather and then a white Christmas is my hope

  15. seeker of truth Says:

    Love this one, it brings good fellings and loving thoughts!!!

  16. Hi David, we had mist that froze, it was amazing, the trees all like white paintings, against this petrol sky at night it was awsome πŸ™‚ Too bad I didn’t go out to make pics. Now everything is gone!
    How is the poetry writing going on?

    • belfastdavid Says:

      I love it Ina when that happens – Shame about the lack of pictures. The last time it happened here I was out and about without a camera – driving along the motorway through a landscape which seemed completely new – Lovely πŸ™‚

      Real life has got in the way of poetry writing over the past few days, but hopefully the muse will reawaken now

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