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:


How Poetry Gave Me a Voice
Huffington Post
Why would teens go to the library to read poetry when they can easily be on Facebook, clicking away at their notifications? Why would teens read, or even write poetry, when they could be liking photos on Instagram or watching music videos on YouTube?

and more »

The Guardian

Clive Palmer's poetry unearthed and it's, er, well-meaning
The Guardian
Palmer's book of poetry, Dreams, Hopes and Reflections, was published in 1981 under the name F Clive Palmer when the mining magnate, and possible billionaire, was 26. It is not known how many copies survive, but when one happened to cross Guardian ...

and more »

Houston Chronicle

Can poetry save America? Houston poet makes the case
Houston Chronicle
And his new prose collection, "Twenty Poems That Could Save America and Other Essays," brings these qualities to bear on the craft of contemporary poetry, on its shifting parts and changing wholes, and on its best and most imitated practitioners. For ...


The Guardian

Black Country by Liz Berry poetry review – 'love flowed out of me like honey'
The Guardian
They say poetry, like charity, begins at home. If her debut book of poems is anything to go by, Liz Berry would surely agree. Along with its lavish, atmospheric cover image of a bird's dark plumage, what is immediately striking about Black Country ...


The 50 Best Independent Fiction and Poetry Books of 2014
Flavorwire
2014 will go down as a landmark year in independent literature, chiefly because a few longstanding “trends” or “developments” are hardening into verifiable traits of fiction and poetry beyond Big Publishing. To begin with, independent poetry, noted ...


RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

'What Rhymes With Islamic State?' Militants Express Ideology Through Poetry
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
When Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote that poetry was an "act of peace," he presumably did not envisage that the art form would one day be taken up by violent Islamist extremists. Though many media reports have highlighted how Western Islamic State ...


AUM launches poetry slam, showcase
Xenia Gazette
The event will include featured performances by the current World Poetry Slam Champion (and Dayton native) Ed Mabrey; World Poetry Slam Co-Champion Chancelier “Xero” Skidmore; and San Francisco Slam Master Mona Webb, who is the event's host.

and more »

SunHerald.com

In Baghdad cafe, poetry – not politics – sparks the debate
SunHerald.com
“I believe he stole it from another poet. I say this because he never wrote another poem.” While the debate may seem misplaced amid Iraq's sectarian horrors and political turmoil, it was in keeping with the time-honored chinwag that has for decades ...

and more »

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, ...


The Atlantic

The Last Rock-Star Poet
The Atlantic
“Poetry is dead!” cried John Berryman, emerging in distraction from the Manhattan hospital room that Dylan Thomas had just exited by another, more conclusive route. Poetry had been unconscious for four days, as a result of alcohol and then morphine.

Google News

A Happiness Poem

If a happiness poem could bring forth a smile, Then... Read More

Since Youve Been Gone...

My life has changedin so so many waysIt seems to... Read More

Colorful Talk

"I heard what you said, Red. Yet, I have to... Read More

Because of You

You are to me my lifeline my security. That scares... Read More

The Crusader: A Search for the Virtue Inside (an excerpt of an Epic Poem)

On through the darkness she searches the bones Seeking the... Read More

Kens Poem

How wonderfully sweet to be a dweller dwelling... Read More

Ive Learned

You cannot make someone love you. All you can do... Read More

Rules for Writing Poetry

You've been writing poetry since that first assignment in your... Read More

Uamaks Aquatic [suspense: now in Spanish and English]

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

Famous Poets Quotations - Top 30 Poetry Quotations by Famous Poets

"For this reason poetry is something more philosophical and more... Read More

In the Mountans of Haiti [A Poem: in English and Spanish]

In the Mountains of Haiti(In the City)-July is a hot... Read More

Three Poems [Lima; Judges and Evils Creation]

1.Evil's CreationThou knowith evil clings To tender peace-; Nor does... Read More

It Was Not Me

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

The Time Has Come and Buzzing

Most of my poems are written late at night, often,... Read More

Three Love Poems [all wicked]

Advance: Mr. Dennis Siluk's poetry can have its fire-hearted twists:... 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

Feelings, O How Glorious!

Sometimes we feel hard-pressed, Our backs against the wall;... Read More

Five Poems from Home [And a view on the planet vs. the poet]

Five Poems from Home1) Remembering: Dorothy Parker [Dedicated to the... Read More

In Poetry: Meaning of Words [And ...Rocket-belt]

In Poetry: Meaning of WordsWhen I write poetry, I check... Read More

Whats A Prisoner to Do?

What's a prisoner to do when justice fails and... Read More

Writing Innovative Poetry

Writing innovative poetry, the kind of poetry that reputable literary... 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

Mother, I Dont Mind The Pain

I am among those who know that one never recovers... Read More

Commuting Hell!

It's dark, it's cold, its' just six thirty,thoughts of sleep... Read More

Ode to: The Ice Maiden of Ampatos Summit [now in: English and Spanish]

Dedcate to Antonio Castillo. L. Of. Los Andes UniversitarioOde to:The... Read More