From Grim to Grin

Forty-eight years ago
I took on the burden
of healing humanity.

I pushed myself.
I worked hard
night and day.

But I didn’t want to examine
what was inside
this enormous burden.

I didn’t want to look
too closely
at what might be within.

I didn't want to experience
the coldness of loneliness
or the darkness of helplessness.

I didn't want to experience
the tightness of poverty
or the fire of hatred.

I didn't want to experience
the pain of sickness
or the devastation of war

lest it pull me in
to its bottomless pit
lest it pull others in more.

Tonight, finally, I faced IT
this burden
I’ve carried every day.

I turn it inside out
upside down
and outside in.

It’s full of emptiness!
It doesn’t contain
a burden at all!

I only see ONE thing
in this eternal sack
slung over my shoulder.

I only see ONE.
I only see
love smiling back at me.


  • I love looking at your artwork. It’s so cool that you illustrate your beautiful poems with your art. Nice combo.

    Mary Ling
  • Oneness to the rescue!

    Martin Hobart
  • You have a way with words!

    Doug Mainer
  • I didn’t realize until I read your poem that I have been carrying a similar burden all my life or at least most of it. Wow! Many thanks as I feel lighter…

    Samantha Belzer
  • There’s something about the way you write that affects me in a good way so I wanted to thank you for that.

    Denny Oakes

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