The Valley Of Pain

We were exiled from the Garden of Eden.
Its sinless wonders nevermore to regain.
So every man on life's toilsome journey,
Must enter the valley of pain.

We don't enter because of desire
And it's certainly not a voluntary fare.
But, rather, it's a matter of destiny
Compelling and forcing us there.

Eden's garden; its beauty so magnificent,
Can't be reclaimed; it is a lost paradise.
Trees of knowledge and life gone forever,
We are now paying consequences price.

The valley of pain is bleak and lonely,
And all heartache must be suffered alone.
The petty and trite ceases to matter.
When facing hurt as never before known.

In pain's valley, no restaurants exist.
Shopping malls can't be found anywhere.
There's no joy to be had from entertainment.
There are no parks, for it is no picnic there.

There are no banks in the valley of pain,
No theaters, no lounges, no beach.
In this valley, we have no lofty aspirations,
Surviving the only goal we hope to reach.

Pain's valley in not a poor man's haven;
We'll find no comfort, or ease or rest.
Nor will we encounter family or friends
For this valley is one's own personal test.

Bitter anguish is experienced in this valley,
A site of conflict on a titanic scale.
A place of failing and spiritual torture,
Of deficiency and interminable travail.

When we enter the valley of pain,
We no longer worry about unpaid bills.
We don't fret about outstanding car notes,
We don't care about acquiring new skills.

When we enter the valley of pain,
We don't dabble in vain vanity.
For this valley inevitably drives us,
To the very brink of human sanity.

When we enter the valley of pain
Family prayer just will not do.
Praying in the church is insufficient,
And social prayer is inadequate too.

We must find our own secret hideaway
Close the door to the world and all its strife.
We must surrender ourselves to our God
And let Him work a miracle in our life.

Saundra L. Washington is the author of two coffee table books: "Negative Disturbances, Homilies that Teach," and the book from which this poem is taken, "Room Beneath the Snow, Poems that Preach." She can be contacted at: http://www.clergyservices4u.org

In The News:


The Economist (blog)

Remembering life in Romania under communist rule
The Economist (blog)
ON A RECENT Thursday night, a handful of Romanian poets gathered inside a Soviet-era themed bar in New York's East Village to commemorate the Romanian revolution. The irony was not lost on the writers, many of whom shared painful memories of life ...


BBC News

Scottish Poetry Library Tessa Ransford founder dies
BBC News
She added: "A fine poet of great sensitivity herself, she was the prime mover behind the establishing of the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh - which dedicated library supports all kinds of poetry, serving poets, spoken-word artists, scholars of ...
Tributes paid to Scottish Poetry Library founder Tessa RanfordHerald Scotland
Literary world mourns Poetry Library founderEdinburgh Evening News
Scottish Poetry Library founder Tessa Ransford dies at 77The National

all 7 news articles »

The Hindu

Progressive poet
The Hindu
HYDERABAD: His poetry speaks volumes about the evil impacts of globalisation. Yet, he is not against development. His poetry speaks for the deprived and the downtrodden. Yet, he never forgets the fact that lyrical beauty is equally important for poetry ...


Alum J. Bradley hosts There Will Be Words poetry slam
Central Florida Future
During his senior year at UCF, Bradley started Orlando's first poetry slam called Broken Speech Poetry Slam through UCF's English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta. Currently, his daily life involves a full-time job as a training consultant at Express ...


The Independent

Jeremy Corbyn writes poetry on the train to work, he reveals
The Independent
“I do write quite a bit of poetry myself,” he said, adding that he had found time to write some verse whilst travelling on the train during the leadership campaign. Mr Corbyn also revealed that he was fond of creating “totally random paintings that are ...
Jeremy Corbyn: The secret poet and abstract artistTelegraph.co.uk
Corbyn promises to release the painter or poet in everyoneThe Times (subscription)

all 346 news articles »

Los Angeles Times

Teach This Poem seeks to make poetry accessible to students
Los Angeles Times
One of my favorite digital features is the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day, in which a new poem is delivered, daily, via Web or email. I don't look at it all the time, but fairly often, and I am glad to know it's there. Here's a taste of today's ...
Poem-A-Day - 'Tell Me Something Good' by Ocean VuongSt. George Daily Spectrum (blog)

all 3 news articles »

Portland Phoenix (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

The Art of Poetry at Federal Street Folly: Longtime collaborators of word and ...
Portland Phoenix (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)
books_art of poetryTG_090315 Back in 1978, Robert Gibbons and Bradford Fuller were strangers who happened to be side by side, up on extension ladders painting a house in Marblehead Neck on the North Shore of Boston. The poet and artist, respectively, ...


The New Yorker

Ecstasy of Influence
The New Yorker
Emerson paved the way for poets of genius, but his own brilliance lay elsewhere. Credit Illustration by Roman Muradov. In January of 1842, Ralph Waldo Emerson's firstborn child, Waldo, contracted scarlet fever and died within a week. He was five. He ...


WMFE

Slam Poetry's Blue Collar Roots And Growing Popularity
WMFE
In clubs and coffee shops across the area, local poets take the stage in what's become a growing art form … spoken word poetry. These poets compete in what's called Poetry Slams. Winter Park poet Curtis Myer organizes the S.A.F.E.! Words! Poetry! Slam ...


Madison Square Park Conservancy to Host 'Poetry Under Fata Morgana,' 9/17
Broadway World
On Thursday, September 17, 2015 from 6:00PM to 7:30PM, Madison Square Park Conservancy will host Poetry Under Fata Morgana, a free, public poetry event showcasing leading voices in spoken word poetry and performance, organized by artist Teresita ...

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