Creativity, difficult times, Encouragement, Faith, Frank de Acosta, Inspiration, poetry

How Love Trumps Hate – A Poem and Photograph

glass flask, alchemy, chemistry
Glass flask, photo by Marissa Anderson,


Alchemy is an ancient practice shrouded in mystery. Its practitioners sought to turn lead into gold through a purification process involving heat.

The word “transformation” is a synonym for alchemy. So is “magic” and “power,” both which can describe love.

Love, an emotion, is also a quality we all need more of during these difficult times in our society.

This poem demonstrates the power of love, which trumps hate.


Alchemy of Love (Love trumps Hate)

Never lose grace in faith
Believing there is beauty
To be found in everyone
All of us at one time
Have walked in brokenness
Through the dark corridors
Of our hearts and minds
An empathetic kindness
Compassion without condition
Received from another
Can be the spark that turns
A lost, dark, wounded soul
Towards the healing of light
Mending frayed, fragile lives
Prayers reaching to embrace
The stranger as relation
Engenders the true power of love
I say this with humble gratitude
Knowing I have received love
Undeserved; given love, unrequited
We are called to walk a sacred manner
Believing there is alchemy in love

Reflection by: Frank de Jesus Acosta

This photo made the rounds on Facebook. Eric Gaines, a police officer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, was standing at a bus stop on March 1 when a teenage boy stopped to pray over a homeless man. The officer snapped this photo.

Eighteen-year-old Stephen Watkins said he was on a bus home from school when a song he was listening to inspired him to get off at an earlier stop in order to bless a complete stranger.

“I prayed for him. I said, ‘God right now you’re using me to bless this man,’” Watkins told WJZ-TV. “Thank you for showing me this song.”

teenager, young man, praying, homeless man
Teenager Praying for a Homeless Man; photo from Facebook.

Life can be difficult, sometimes devoid of sense verging on hopelessness. Let’s chose compassion and love to make life a little better in our tiny part of the world. Maybe, just maybe, that gesture will travel and touch someone’s life like this poem and photograph did for me. Keep the faith.

A Soul Beyond Eclipse, difficult times, Encouragement, Faith, Family, Frank de Acosta, poetry, Wisdom

A Soul Beyond Eclipse

Getty Images

This morning I felt like this photograph and it’s accompanying poem:

                                                        A Soul Beyond Eclipse 

Sometimes I feel weary in mind, heart, and spirit. 
Yet I breathe, opening my eyes of failing sight; 
somehow finding strength to carry on in faith. 
Despite a beaming sun and lucent sky,
the shadow of the moon chills me 
bone & marrow. 
The eclipse of my soul obscures the illumination of hope, only the stinging scars of youth and frailties of today I see. 
Suddenly a face I see as in a dream: 
a nameless muse who with but one touch animates new life.
A song wells up within me & aspiration fills my wings; 
melodic words become a circle of fire breaching the dark. 
Light of dusk fills me with a prayer of healing & creation;
I offer my burdens at the altar and slumber, becoming as ceremony smoke. 
Renewed I rise with dawn, filled with songs, poems, & prayers; 
the circle of fire becomes my arc of resurrection… 
En Lak Etch… 

Frank de Jesus Acosta

Amid the fast paced weekend of visiting with friends certain themes came up in conversation. Several people in my life are facing much stress and heavy emotional burdens lately.They or their family members are facing terminal illness, drug addiction, struggles with children, and other issues. 

It is so hard for those undergoing these burdens and the one listening  feels so helpless. 

What can one offer to their friend who is going through these times except a listening ear, some words of support? Sometimes there is that fine line, what can one say that won’t be trite or misconstrued? 

When I went through my own difficult times, I didn’t feel any better when someone said, “Everything will be okay.” 
 I wanted to blurt out, “how do you know?” 

In fact that phrase got me angry, because what was happening to me really sucked.
Could someone just say, “That sucks big time?” 
Actually, I did overhear that, from a young teenager saying that to one of my kids, who nodded his head gravely. I think he felt understood. 

I know people don’t say “Everything will be okay,”  to be unkind, so it begs the question,
what can someone say when we want to let friends know we feel badly for them?

So I listened to my friends, nodded my head, offered my opinion only if they asked, and tried to show support with a hug or whisper. I know I said “that sucks,” at least twice. 

I don’t think there are any ‘rules,’ on how to support someone who’s going through a rough time, except not to start off with “Everything will be okay,” 
or at least put that sentence at the very end. 

So, it was a great comfort when I came across this poem by Frank de Acosta. I read it a few times. I felt he understood. The words offered hope. I felt, this is something that has to be shared, so I posted it on my Facebook and then wrote about it here. 

Although I don’t have the answers to life’s burden’s, I just thought I’d share his poem because I felt he understood and that hopefully sooner, than later, that 
everything will be okay.