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:


New poetry by area poets to be featured on buses
The State
New works of poetry and accompanying photography, displayed on placards normally used for advertising, are once again being placed inside Luzerne County Transportation Authority buses for the 2014-2015 edition of the Poetry in Transit initiative.


Palo Alto Online

Pure poetry: Resident Barbara Allen creates Palo Alto's first 'poetry post'
Palo Alto Online
Palo Alto native Barbara Allen has loved poetry since childhood. Raised by an aunt who lived on Coleridge Avenue, she played along streets named for some of the world's most celebrated poets: Tennyson, Melville, Coleridge and Emerson. As a teen, Allen ...

and more »

Palestinian poetry reflects a painful longing for home
National Catholic Reporter (blog)
My feet are torn / And homelessness has worn me out / Park benches have left their marks / on my ribs. / Policemen followed me / with their suspicious looks. / I dragged myself from place to place, / destitute except for / day-long memories of a home


Marshalltown Times Republican

Poetry winner
Marshalltown Times Republican
Ellen Podhajsky, right, won the Seventh annual Poetry Out Loud contest recently at Marshalltown High School. At left is state Poetry Out Loud Director Yvette Hermann and pictured at center is emcee Chandler Fisher. In the contest, students recite two ...
Seward High School holds poetry recitation contestSeward County Independent

all 2 news articles »

Limerick Post

Doolin to loop prose with the poetry
Limerick Post
POETS and writers are being invited to submit entries to the third annual Doolin Poetry & Short Story Competition 2015. Hotel Doolin, in association with Tramp Press and Salmon Poetry, says that for the first time their competition includes a poetry ...


American Life in Poetry: No. 508
The Recorder
It seems we're born with a need for stories, for hearing them and telling them. Here's an account of just one story, made remarkable in part by the teller's aversion to telling it. Poet Mary Avidano lives in Nebraska. City Lights. My father, rather a ...

and more »

Harper College News

English professor places second at statewide poetry competition
Harper College News
Harper College Associate Professor Jessica Walsh recently placed second in the 10th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition. Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White awarded Walsh of Roselle and poets from Harrisburg and Chicago as this ...


Share “Video & interview - Poetic license:...”
NewsOK.com
Through fall 2015, the airy studio in the northwest corner of the landmark Skirvan hotel's first floor will be the permanent home for Edmond native Kerri Shadid's popular Poetry Stand, for which she writes spontaneous custom poems on the spot, as well ...

and more »

Hope releases his first book of poetry
Bradenton Herald
JUNEAU, Alaska — Ishmael Hope spent six years putting together his first collection of poetry, "Courtesans of Flounder Hill," a period of time in which the manuscript went through many changes — as did Hope himself. Among them: He became a father to ...


Review: 'This Bird of Dawning' illuminates Christmas story with music, dance ...
Salt Lake Tribune
The performance uses dance, pantomime, and an eclectic selection of poetry and music to tell the Christmas story. The title comes from Shakespeare's "Hamlet," but several of the poems are local. Since the story begins with the Magi setting out to find ...

Google News

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