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:


Poetry gathering hosts competition on YouTube
Elko Daily Free Press
ELKO — The Western Folklife Center has announced the launch of the second annual spoken word poetry competition on YouTube for poets ages 18-35, as part of the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. “Expressing the Rural West: Poetry of the Next ...

and more »

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cabin Country: The poetry of cabin life
Minneapolis Star Tribune
One summer day when I was shopping at a center in St Paul, someone was reading poetry on a loud speaker, and as I was eating my apple pie, I heard the words: “I must arise and go now, and go to Innisfree.” The poem continues: “I shall have some peace ...


Advocate.com

Richard Blanco Talks Pilgrims, Poetry, and His Princely New Memoir
Advocate.com
Back in 1970s Miami, Blanco had not yet grown to become the first gay, Latino, and immigrant inaugural poet, who helped usher in President Obama's second term with the hopeful ode to unity, “One Today.” He was Ricky — an overweight and sensitive child ...


Toronto Star

Canadian Poet Greg Frankson Banned From Live Poetry Events For Alleged ...
International Business Times AU
A Canadian poet, well-known in literary and social circles, has been banned from live poetry events in three cities, across the country. This followed allegations of sexual harassment against him, which were filed with the Ottawa's Capital Poetry ...
Well-known poet banned from events in three cities over sexual harassment and ...Toronto Star

all 7 news articles »

How Has the Social Role of Poetry Changed Since Shelley?
New York Times
Shelley once called poets the “unacknowledged legislators of the world.” This week, Adam Kirsch and Leslie Jamison discuss how the social role of poetry has changed since then. By Adam Kirsch. No one asked for Shelley's views on the Congress of Vienna, ...


Thanksgiving Poetry Potluck
Huffington Post
"The Pumpkin" by John Greenleaf Whittier Whittier, an American poet who spent most of his life working a farm, wrote this poem in praise of everyone's favorite decorative gourd in 1850. The stanza below is particularly appropriate for the dessert ...

and more »

Saskatoon StarPhoenix

'I burned a lot of bridges'; Bastard Poetry frontman took risk to make music
Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Though he started writing poetry at a young age, he didn't pick up a guitar until age 21. He started hanging out with musicians and due to his limited experience usually got cast as a bass player. It wasn't easy, but Shenton put in the hours to get ...

and more »

Gift guide: Poetry books
SFGate
Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself, illustrated by Allen Crawford (Tin House; 256 pages; $28.95). A lovely and inspired visual interpretation of Whitman's classic 60-page poem. Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf; 169 pages; $20 ...


How Many Scifi References Can You Catch At The Nerd Poetry Slam?
io9
On January 15, the Vancouver Poetry House Society held its annual Nerd Poetry Slam. Matt Loeb's came in fifth, but I really feel like "Sci Lingo We Ride" deserves a ton of accolades. The references fly thick and fast in this poem. Not give away all of ...


Chalkbeat New York

Indy Pulse puts poetry, performance on stage
Chalkbeat New York
A few weeks later, she'd stand before a room full of poetry slam competitors, teachers, parents and a three-judge panel to perform “Ebola Poem,” her emotional answer to the way some of her classmates have joked about the disease and even used it as the ...

Google News

Africa

AFRICA (to africans in diaspora)africa here i come, africa africa... Read More

Beautiful Dreamer, Stephen Foster, Americas First Folk Song Writer

"Beautiful Dreamer" was written by Stephen Foster just before his... Read More

Four Poems: Grendels Nature...the Racetrack...Counting days...[Now in English and Spanish]

English Version1) Grendel's DivorceYou must know that I do not... Read More

It Was Not Me

It was not me as I am now. It was... Read More

Way of Life: Rhymes of the Inca [four poems: see in Spanish and English NOW!]

Way of Life: Rhymes of the IncaPizarro (Spanish conquistador ((1525))The... Read More

Superman

So many looked to you for inspiration,Unlikely hero for the... Read More

Contract of Death [Now: in SPANISH and English]

Contract of DeathI heard today, the preacher say: "Daniel has... Read More

Grandpas House & From Iraq with Love [Two Poems]

Grandpa's House [The ole Real House]The house needed painting Sun-blistered... Read More

Lima, City with the Stretched out Wings [In English and Spanish]

Lima, City with the Stretched out WingsIt's an ink-black... Read More

A Different Place...

I wish we had met 20 years ago... A different... Read More

Tale of the: Old Hunter and the Golden Hare [In SPANISH and English now]

There once lived an old man and his goodwife On... Read More

Man Unbowed [A poem]

Man UnbowedUnbowed by sin, the world of man, stands Upon... Read More

Welcome to the Town of Feeling

Happy, Sad, Mad and Glad, Moved in down the streetCautious... Read More

Two Poems: San Jeronimo Brook & [in English and Spanish]

Fair Andes! Thy arms reach highOf iron-woven solid stone Thu... Read More

Chan Chan and The Gorriones (Two Poems in English and Spanish)

The following two poems, one in English, the other in... Read More

Asha of Darfur [A poem with a commentary by the author]

Asha of DarfurCry, cry-oh little Darfur woman For your sister... Read More

Daybreak at Pikes Creek [a Poem]

Daybreak at Pikes Creek [Summer of 2005]Daybreak by Lake Superior... Read More

I Shall Wait...

I Shall Wait..On all the new mornings, and every singking... Read More

Looking Out the Rear Window

The funeral rite concluded With the pastor shaking hands, Offering... Read More

The Game of Life

When your life becomes unbearable And the light of... Read More

Mechanical Poetry - Part Three

Have you ever read the lyrics of a Simon and... Read More

Four Poems: Two for the Devil, Two for Peru

Here is some witty poetry (not sure if that is... Read More

Uamaks Aquatic [suspense: now in Spanish and English]

Delicately, my mind was selecting a muffled tune, out of... Read More

Arizona Blue--Gunfighter: The Wolves Nest [Chapter One of Seven: The North]

[Episode Five]Arizona Blue-GunfighterThe Wolves Nest-in the North[Episode Five]Northern Minnesota Area?Winter... Read More

Three Sweet Poems, and Two Not So Sweet [now in: SPANISH and English]

1) End PoemWherever you are today- Is where you were... Read More