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:


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Washington Post (blog)
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The Millions

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James Franco, Poet
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Adam Duritz performs poetry to sold-out Meijer Gardens crowd
The Grand Rapids Press - MLive.com
The easy answer is lead singer. But watching him guide his seven-member band through its set at Frederik Meijer Gardens amphitheater was more like watching a type of sonneteer at a musical poetry slam. Known for his autobiographical lyrics with more ...


"POETRY STREET" celebrates Maya Angelou, July 27
Riverhead LOCAL
After a very successful launch in June, “POETRY STREET” will again be hosted by the Blue Duck Bakery Café in Riverhead on Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 2pm to celebrate Maya Angelou. The celebrated poet, educator, and civil rights activist was one of the ...


NBCNews.com

Poetry and Rehab: Friends Paint Picture of Hooker in Google Murder Case
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After her arrest in California, on July 4th, Alix Tichelman broke out as America's vilified, irresistible character du jour. She was billed as "The call girl killer" and "the black widow of Silicon Valley": a soulless young woman mixed up in the death ...

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Boston Globe

Maine recovery center uses art, poetry to take a hard look at heroin
Boston Globe
But what separates Grace Street is its philosophy that visual art, poetry, and writing about one's journey — from the torturous past to a hope for the future — can help drug users navigate the winding road to a better life. “We're saying, let's start ...


The Independent

Poetry International festival 2014: Actors and poets gather to celebrate the ...
The Independent
"Love poetry has always been something people like, but most of it isn't funny," said Celia Hewitt, Adrian Mitchell's second wife and the subject of his famously light-hearted love poem "Celia, Celia". "It was chosen to be one of the Poems on the ...

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Larry and Lina: Busy Chicago Poets In A Digital World
WMUK
Larry Sawyer and Lina Vitkauskas of Chicago are busy poets. In addition to publishing numerous poetry books, they helped start the Chicago School of Poetics and are co-editors of Milk Magazine, one of the first online poetry forums in the late 1990s ...

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