Veins of Joy

Standing like a tree in autumn,
rain in my face with light fading,
I search down into my roots,
wondering if the veins of joy
will gift me again.
Those lonely people
in their thatched roof cottages,
the rail thin boy walking the roads
with a stream of dumb cattle,
sleeping in the rain, hungry
and cold to the bone.
The deeper veins are past them,
this I know, so like the giant evergreens
I send my tap root even further,
through clay and stones,
seeking the elixir, not once
but many times, day after day
if I am to lift my face to heaven.
Their words come to me then
in the dark of my searching –
you are not alone;
the vein you seek
you seek for many.
They keep me company,
bringing me back to the warm room
and the leaves of the maple tree
turning gold in November light.
The joy I’ve found,
hard wrought from the earth
and delicate as a feather
against the weight of trouble,
at least I know as my own.



photograph by Louis MacKenzie


12 Responses to “Veins of Joy”

  1. Lloyd Meeker says:

    Beautiful, Don — my take is the elixir is good only for one earth-turning, which makes the search for it a daily discipline. I find myself not making the journey often enough. Thank you for this reminder.

  2. Eric Dunn says:

    I think this is my favorite of your poems! So real, so palpable!
    Thank you my friend!

  3. Pat Fitzsimmons says:

    Thank you Don. The sensei question at our recent Elder Retreat was
    “Can you hold the weight of the world and feel the joy of your presence”
    I believe this conveys a kindred spirit with your poem today.

  4. Tom Figel says:

    Don, very nice, very thoughtful, and, seems to me, linked to the material of “The Irish Girl”.

  5. Susan Beckstrom Brisby says:

    One of my favorites, well done!

  6. Veronica Lim says:

    Don, I prayerfully seek those veins of joy before I arise from my bed each morning. What a difference it makes as I begin my day! Thank you.

  7. I have found it, too, Don!

  8. Nancy Rose Meeker says:

    Lovely, Don – personal and universal. And I appreciate the comments before me!

  9. tom wilson says:


  10. PenDell Pittman says:

    There is joy for me in knowing that I am not alone, and that the deeper veins I see are, by no means, in vain: they are indeed sought by and for many. Thank you, Don, my deep-rooted friend, for the call to grace that I hear in your “Veins of Joy.”

  11. Pichay says:

    In my own creeping thinness my veins beg nourishment.
    Thank you.

  12. David Barnes says:

    How true, that seeking on behalf of the many brings us our own, each one, the joy of the One – sufficient unto the day, freely received & freely given Very good Don!

Leave a Reply