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.


Autumn Revisited

My autumn Bougainvillea
My autumn Bougainvillea

On this Saturday morning there is a damp coolness in the air. The skinny birch trees in my backyard are almost naked of their yellow leaves. The only spots of color are from the Miami Pink bougainvillea climbing up the stucco walls towards my Talavera sun goddess mask. Only in Southern California can you have bouginvillea plants alive in late autumn. Well, maybe Florida too.

This poem, by Frank de Jesus Acosta, was on my Facebook feed this morning. Frank shares his poetry with those who subscribe to his Facebook. On many mornings I find that his words resonant with me, lift me up, make me pause and think, and overall contribute to my day. Thank you Frank.

The colors of Autumn sunrise in LA-Albert Valles, Photographer
The colors of Autumn sunrise in LA-Albert Valles, Photographer

Autumn Revisited

The morning chill is brief

in the city of angels

Once the sun gives rise

to November days

Autumn paints orange-red leaves

gently falling off balding trees

A many colored quilt

blankets lawns and quiet walkways

This Saturday seems sleepier than most

all at once I yawn and smile

A long list of chores lies on the table

where it will likely see tomorrow

Days like these are made

to find the sweetness of life

A psalm of praise, a song of renewal

random acts of loving kindness

A bike ride to the park, my paradise

island of green in an ocean of concrete

I walk barefoot in the green cool grass

resting against a tree to watch the children play

Unfettered minds releasing their genius

creating new worlds of harmony and joy

Cities made of caramel stones

lollipop trees and chocolate milk rivers

Closing my eyes, their chatter and laughter

brings enchantment to a broken world

A circle of elders drum and sing

wafts of burning sage evoke a prayer of thanks

Releasing my spirit from worry

trials and troubles that weigh down dreams

An Autumn day is healing and joyous

if you surrender to its beauty

I lay me down on my bed of grass

searching the clouds for the face of God

A cool breeze caresses my sun kissed skin

I realize, God resides in all creation

The Creator is breath in water

spirit fire of all life in earth and heaven

A grandmother and child pass me hand in hand

and the arc of living is revealed

We are one inter-dependent circle of blood

spirit, heart, and mind; cradle to grave

As the chill returns slowly to the afternoon air

a list of things undone invades my sanctum

Defiantly I mount my rubber wheeled steed

to find the highest point of landscape

From where I can bid this day farewell

with its sweetness and its freedom

This Saturday seemed sleepier than most

and all at once I yawn and smile

As the world around me grows glowing orange-red

I feel the presence of God in the Autumn sunset

Poem by: Frank de Jesus Acosta