Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tin Cup in a Beggar's Hand

—Anonymous Photos
—Poems by Nick LeForce, Sacramento, CA


Beware the captain
That sails only on smooth waters;
That drops anchor only in safe harbors;
That lets aboard only familiar faces;
That will not brook strong winds or stormy weather;

Whose life, well lived, is a deadly comfort—
Never to be dashed against the rocks of passion;
Never to be dismembered on the shores of love.

Yet a life so well lived it hides a shipwrecked soul.

I have been such a captain.

But now I set out on unknown seas

With sails full open
Guided only by whispers in the wind;
By images in white capped waves;
By patterns in the flight of birds;
And by bits of news from distant ports;

In search of that soul survivor,
The almost forgotten fragments of Self
That shall heal the world as the world heals me.


What is the world to me?
A tin cup in a beggar’s hand
waiting to hear the “clink”
of every coin you drop.

What you discard as worthless
is worth more than years
because you teach me
that there is no gate to heaven.

Love turns away no one.

The walls I see exist only inside my eyes,
the gate only inside my mind.

I was too busy laying claim to the world
to notice heaven around me;
too concerned with the coins in my cup
to realize I made myself a beggar in life.

Then, you came!
You believed in me.
Your eyes twinkling like stars
in the night sky
witnessing my dreams.
Your smile rising like the morning sun,
melting walls and gates and
awakening the magic in me.

How can I ever give to you
what you have given me?

I offer what I have with love.
I pour the wine of my words 
into your cup, wanting us
to get drunk on life
and share the heaven in our hearts.


I do not know when
I lost my footing on the earth
or when I moved upstairs
from the heart to the lofty places
where ideas dance.
I do not know how many steps
I must take to make the pilgrimage
back to the holy land.

But I do know the longing
for something that cannot be named;
the missing of something unknown
as if the day calls me;
calls me out to play…

because I was once eager
to go outside.

I once knocked on the doors of friends

I once moved in my body
as if I belonged there.

But here I am, now,
in the middle of my life,
with duties to be done
and chores to be completed

while the pilgrim comes, uninvited,
knocking at the door of my heart;
bringing sacred relics
of the life I have not yet lived;
ready to take me, even as I am,
if I am willing
to find my way
down the stairs
and open myself
to life
once again.


Bone knobby hands,
bulging river veins,
speckled age spots.

500,000 hours worth
of skin deep secrets 
holding stories
that may never be deciphered

of minutes and moments
that make up a life—

a history of grips and gripes
and tender touch;

of changing diapers
and doing dishes;

of writing and wronging
and giving and taking;

of handshakes and high–fives
and come-here’s and stops;

of everything handled
and all out of reach—

molded by cooking and cutting
and cleaning and creating
and years forgetting her youth.

Yet still longing to be held
in the bone knobby hand
of the once-again lover,
lost to her in all the middle years
of making money and raising children.

His touch can still send a shiver
somewhere up the spine of her soul.

And you can see it
in the curl of her lips,
as his fingers encircle hers,

while their eyes look off
at separate horizons.

(prev. pub. in Heaven in Our Hearts
by Nick LeForce)


I place myself
at the mercy of the world—
I drop all pretense
of winning the fight
against the tide of my life.

I let the chips fall
where they may—
I let my actions
be ends in themselves
without regard
for the consequences
or the benefits
that may come of it.

I forfeit the titles
that hold no meaning for me—
I let myself be defined
by the way I show up
in the moment.

I live this day
as if it is my whole life—
I let this morning’s awakening
be my birth,
this night’s fall into sleep
be my death,
and all the in-between
be the fullness of me

and then, I give my blessing
to all of it—


(first pub. in Endless Horizon by
Nick LeForce)


How high the tiny edge
of shallow water
to the pebble in the sand;
the pebble that endures
the inevitable onslaught of life
hundreds of times per day,
tossed in the waves,
washed by the sea,
worn by the tide.

Imagine the white foamed wave
towering and tumbling over you
while you stand fearless in its path
because you know
it is what brought you here
and what will take you
on the next leg of your journey.

You would welcome
the rush of coolness
peeling at your surface
and the pull and lift
of the current
wanting to claim you,
to carry you along,
outward or inward,
as if you are lovers
finding your place
with each other;

and the lettering
of your movement
across the wet sand
is your sonnet to the sea
that calls the waves back
again and again
because you know,
even though you are tiny,
your love is as great as the ocean

and your love will go on
even after you have been
worn down into sand
and the ocean leaves
the white foam of its tears
glistening on your surface.

(first pub. in Divine Whispering
by Nick LeForce)


I befriended clouds
playing peek-a-boo with the sun
rising over Darling Harbour.

My eyes danced with them
across the sky
and we never needed
to know each other’s name
because we were born together
on this day.

We celebrated the moment.

We sang a silent hymn
to the coming of the light.

They shared with me
the secret of shifting shapes
and the magic of becoming
a mirror for the imagination
because clouds embody the belief
that you can be anything you want!

When I rose to leave,
I no longer needed feet or force.

I floated between worlds
laughing at gravity;
and I let the wind carry me,
along with my friends,
through the heavens.

Now, if you look,
carefully, at clouds,
you will see me there
playing peek-a-boo
with the sun
and calling to you
to come, come
dance with me
across the sky.

(first pub. in Endless Horizon)

Today’s LittleNip:

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

—Joseph Campbell


Our thanks to Nick LeForce for today’s fine poetry! About himself, Nick writes: I call myself the Transformational Poet because I believe poetry can touch the heart and transform lives.  I use poetry as a medium to bring out the inner qualities of a person and to help people find their own path in life, which is the life the person is meant to live and not the life crafted out of obligations from the rest of the world. I want to release the incredible potential that is hidden inside people and awaken them to the wellspring of resources for living life fully. Ultimately I want to create a world where people see and bring out the best in each other.

My poetry also integrates my work as a life-coach and trainer in the fields of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Hypnotherapy, which study how language impacts experience and provide tools for helping people overcome challenges and achieve their dreams. I have the good fortune to travel extensively conducting trainings, and I always read poetry in my classes. Some of my poems have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, French, German, and Spanish.

I’ve published 7 books of poetry: Heaven In Our Hearts, Endless Horizon, Divine Whispering, The Poetry of Life, The Work of Being Yourself, Falling Before Grace, and Bearing Witness, all available through

Thanks, Nick! Welcome to the Kitchen, and don’t be a stranger! For more about Nick, go to or


By the way, if you’d like to hear James Lee Jobe read his own poems which were posted on Medusa last Saturday, go to

Nick LeForce
Celebrate Poetry!

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.