Sparks of Hope

Despite you hide it away
at the back of the cave,
in a crevice
behind some rocks,
your torch of hope
continues to burn,

splutter, crackle,
throw out sparks
which arc
across the gloom,
catch you by surprise.

Reach out your hand,
grasp one,
you will not get burnt,

rather the light
will stick to your fingers,
provoke a smile
and lead you back
into the sunshine.



40 Responses to “Sparks of Hope”

  1. belfastdavid Says:

    This poem was prompted by something in Alison Brown’s blog.

    Thank you Ali

  2. What a good poem. This poem is tagged with depression, the deepest cave of all I suppose, the one that leaves you totally powerless and desperate. Thinking all is lost. (it is not).

    The torch, the hope, would that be others? Other people, the right ones, are the light to guide you out of that cave as they can help to get medication, or therapy, or just an arm arouond your shoulder or whatever you need. Trusting others.

    I read your interview and you had the same profession my husband had, he is retired now. You must know a lot about the caves people get trapped in. So wonderful you do this with poettry! 🙂

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Ina,

      The most difficult thing in depression is believing that the toch is still alight (it always is)
      The particular spark which people catch sight of is impossible to predict – sometimes it is a hug, sometimes it is an insight, sometimes it is faith, sometimes we don’t even know really. All we can do is trust that “this too shall pass” – also difficul when we are in it.

      My best to your husband. I hope he is enjoying his retirement as much as I am 🙂


      • He is enjoying and says thanks 🙂 I still have 13 years to go lol. So if your bath is available, I could do with some inspired soakiing 🙂

      • belfastdavid Says:


        What is it you do Ina?

        According to my paper Dutch women are happier than British women largely because so many of them choose to work part time?? 🙂

  3. Peter Doyle Says:

    Yes David, that is inspired. : )

  4. I love it – thanks David – I knew you’d come up with something that would make me smile both inside and out! : )

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Ali,

      Your blog sparked off the poem 🙂

      I love that I can make you smile both inside and out 🙂


  5. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    This poem is beautiful, I have just printed it out to read again later ..
    (I hope that’s ok? 🙂
    It not only rekindles hope but also warmth – I love it!
    You are amazing!

    Vera & Karley

    • belfastdavid Says:

      I am delighted Vera you should want to print it off.

      I believe too that warmth comes with hope.

      And the sun is shining here today!! 🙂

      Thank you

      Give Karley a pat for me


  6. Hi David,

    Ali’s blog was most interesting. I can see why it inspired you. 🙂

    This poem was most beautiful and warming, and very visual too. I can’t imagine life without hope, and this poem certainly reminds me even in the maze of life and feelings hope never leaves. 🙂
    Thankyou for the reminder.
    It’s just what I needed to read before heading off to bed. 🙂

    I hope your week is going well?


    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Tikarma,

      I am smiling at the realisation you are just off to bed just as I am going out into my day. You are a significant number of hours ahead of me of course so possibly you are reading my blogs before I post them!! 🙂

      Ali most usually has something interesting to say in her blogs.

      We do well to remember that “hope never leaves” – Sometimes I can forget!!
      But I do know enough to trust the process 🙂

      My week has just been enhances by a very productive visit to the bookshop 🙂

      I hope you sleep well


  7. Elaine Randall English Says:

    Nice thoughts…..I find truth there…

  8. I like this sticky light that you speak of….
    thank you for allowing me to reach out and touch it.

  9. Hope…is everything.. even the spark of it… loved this David..

  10. I have days when my particular torch is little more than a glowing match-head falling to the bottom of a well (having just opened my Inbox, I think this could be one of them!) But you’re right: we have to reach out and grasp the spark – any spark – and hold it tight. Thank you for the reminder; your poem has given me the right words at the right time.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Ah Nick, I recognise that “match-head falling to the bottom of a well”. What a wonderful expression – well worth including in a poem methinks 🙂

      The spark I am just grasping is the idea that I need to spend a few days in Whitby – I shall book it before the week is out and before the spark goes out!!

      Thank you

  11. This is very encouraging and uplifting, David. That torch or spark never goes out, but there are times when we need to be reminded, and the right words bring just that reminder!

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you John,

      We do indeed need reminding from time to time. My writing often serves as a reminder to myself 🙂

  12. Hi David, in reply: I write novels, doing number 260 right now. Happier, not sure, but if I watch Eastenders, I suppose so lol.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hence the need for inspiration 🙂

      Watching Eastenders will do nothing for your serenity!!

      • No, just watched a few episodes years ago. I would like to see more costume drama (BBC) but it is always broadcasted late at night somehow.
        I will take another coffee, have a nice cup of T. 🙂

      • belfastdavid Says:

        My TV watching is still mainly football – at this time of the year there are games on most days of the week!!

        I do not have the discipline for novel writing. I am awestruck by the number you have written. And all without the inspiration of a bathtub!! 🙂

  13. christine Says:

    I fell in love with this poem when you first read it to me. I think a beacon is sometimes too much to absorb all at once but a spark I can do. And after reading this a few times over I realise that is all that is necessary.

    I am trying hard to keep the spark alight with my hospital appointment drawing near, at the same time trying not to deaden it with any unrealistic expectations I may be inclined to produce.

    Yhank you David, this is one of my many favourites; it guides prpfoundly.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      The torch of hope is never extinguished Christine

      “The beautiful fairy promised me that, and the beautiful fairy never lies”

      Ah, but that is a line from a later section of my book. I will be recording some more videos over the next few days. 🙂

      Thank you

  14. christine Says:

    Lots of love



  15. peta straatman Says:

    Hi David.

    I have problems with the concept of “hope” as a seperatae entity, which is how I have read it in your poems and prose – perhaps simplisticly? I realise you cannot delve deep into “the programme” when you are writing a poem! I have found that “gratitude” is the bedrock of hope for me. Bringing it back to “living in the moment and right this moment I am okay”.

    This first worked properly for me a number of years ago when I had been unemployed for a few months with no job in sight. Money was tight, it was winter and dreadful weather. However, I was in a comfortable chair with my feet up reading a good book, my dog was asleep in her chair the other side of the fire, we had both eaten well and the house was weather proof. Right that moment I was okay and content.

    Hope this makes sense,
    luv Peta

    • belfastdavid Says:

      It makes all sorts of sense Peta,

      In fact I am smiling at the image you portray. If we can be content in those “moments” then all feels right with the world. 🙂

      And I agree with you “Gratitude is the bedrock of hope” although for me the hope came first and the gratitude later.
      I treat hope as a “separate entity” because sometimes it feels like that – in the depths of depression it feels like a conscious effort to reach out and grasp it. 🙂

      Enjoy your fire and your book. I paid a visit to Waterstones this week so have a lot of good reading to look forward to. 🙂

      Luv David

      • peta straatman Says:

        I got the 3 latest of one of my favourite authors from Amazon last week and am firmly in the world of Lt Eve Dallas, a sexy, kick-ass New York detective married to Roarke, who is handsome as a fallen angel, the richest businessman in the world, outstanding in bed and of course Irish. That just about covers the plot lines as well.

        I go to Waterstones for proper grown up books.:)


      • belfastdavid Says:

        *Big, big Smile*



  16. A gem. Who could read this and still be without hope? It is very uplifting, and obviously written from the experience of having to discover that light for yourself. You, yourself, are testimony to its existence.

    All we need to do is reach. That is often the most difficult thing, because we have to let go of something before we can reach. Sometimes all it takes is looking into the darkness behind us and adjusting our eyes to see the truth–that we are holding on to something frail and meaningless in our efforts to ignore the truth revealed in the light–the truth that we are responsible for our own journey, and we are the only ones who can decide where it takes us. Toward the light sounds really good to me.

    I do enjoy reading your poetry.
    Take care of yourself. And remember: reach for the light, not the lighter. *grin*

    Much love,

    • belfastdavid Says:


      I could read and re-read the second paragraph of your comment time and time again. In fact I may well print it out and pin it on my cork board – so much truth in what you say.

      I remember very clearly the early days of discovering that light – the days when I desperately wanted to believe and was afraid to tell anyone about it in case it got blown out. These days I know it never goes out 🙂

      These days the lighter gets reached for less often 🙂

      Much love

  17. I have just read Ali’s blog–sort of working my way back from yours. 🙂

    I am most impressed. It is really lovely, Ali. I can well understand why David was inspired by your words. Well done.


  18. Love th3e life affirming certainty of this one David. Through the fire and come out tempered!
    Good on yer!

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