Only We Can Know

for AnneMarie


The past lies in shadow
waiting for the lanterns
of our yearning,
the desire to remember
who walked before
in these footsteps.
Of course there’s a debt,
a tribute or remittance
for sacrifices made,
punishments suffered.
Their sins are bottled,
their gold in iron-bound chests;
we have our own lives
yet we are not alone.
Soulful and sentient,
we climb the hills
to dimly lit cottages
as rain falls unceasing.
Perhaps it’s time
to rescue the boy
from his isolation,
the grandmother
from her sorrow.
Only we can know
but we won’t know
until we seek
and in our seeking
there is mercy.




photograph by Javier Aragon























Reading of “Only We Can Know” with music by Patrick Ball


16 Responses to “Only We Can Know”

  1. says:

    Thank you, Don…just perfect for this foggy morning.

  2. David Barnes says:

    Tracing the lines of this poem as a Living Pathway now, this morning, one scribes a great Arc in all directions, up and down and all around, aflame with that quality of mercy which clears the way ahead for all, with peaceful hearts made new and clean. Words of living magic Don, a wondrous work!

  3. Ravenstalk says:

    ~ Yessssssssssss ~ ~ There Is Mercy ~ ~ ~ 💞💞🙏💞 ~

  4. Anne Blaney says:


    it’s time
    to rescue the boy
    from his isolation,
    the grandmother
    from her sorrow.

    The light I have reveals what’s in the past, and what is ahead. In my light I know the mercy!! I live in that cottage now, in the great living forest.

  5. Lloyd Meeker says:

    Thanks, Don. You are so right. We won’t know until we seek. It’s not easy work, seeking — at least that’s my experience. It means looking carefully where I’d rather not see, listening to voices that make me squirm, and feeling currents I first learned were bad, even unholy. In my experience, mercy follows after I muster all the courage I can.

  6. Marco Menato says:

    Thank you for taking me there!

  7. John Albright says:

    Beautifully said, Don. Often it takes something we would never, of our choosing, seek to provide the motivation to do greater works.

  8. Tom Figel says:

    Don, the sentiment is perfect for the holiday we are celebrating today, and the hopes we have for what got underway in 1776.

  9. David Banner says:

    Poignancy fairly drips from this one….

  10. Geoff Tisch says:

    July 4th. – Would it be useful to drop the word “pursuit” from The Declaration of Independence ? Just Be Happy!
    What do you think?

  11. Susan Bennett says:

    Poignant in every way… the journey of awareness… in time and outside of time
    thankyou for capturing the feeling of what this is

  12. Rose Meeker says:

    Beautiful, Don. This brought a tear. Yes, mercy…

    And what a spectacular photo!

    Thank you.

  13. Veronica Lim says:

    Beautiful music, beautiful image, haunting words. Thank you, Don.

  14. Elizabeth O Nunn says:

    Memories come, not to torture but to seek release.
    Unresolved issues await not mental fixing but untangling by Life’s true design.
    All are but opportunities to radiate Love and to trust the outworking.

  15. Maria Frid says:

    Releasing ‘the sins’ that are bottled, in my eyes, is the essential work of seeking………….mercy and clarity only comes after the glorious release. Thank you, always stimulating!

  16. Chris Dalengas says:

    Very nice, Don!!

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