What We Can Do Now

They showed love

in the most extraordinary way:

they laid down their lives

for the women who were threatened 

by the raging man. 

The women

and the three men were 

going about their lives,

strangers on the train,

until this hate-fueled, broken man

focused his wrath

on the identifiable Muslims. 

When this scene escalated 

the three young men

did not avert their eyes

or move away,

busy about their own lives. 

Instead, they moved to protect

to calm, and care. 

The man with the knife

stole their lives,

but the love they showed

in their action will continue 

to inspire us. 

What we can do now 

is to live 

and choose ways to share our lives,

with similar self-giving

wherever we see 

hate erupting

or vulnerability 


©Laurie Lynn Newman

The gods

Are we courageous 

enough to take an honest

look at what we


and our actual


Even non-religious Americans

claim moral connection to

the ancient code,


“A fearless moral inventory?”

But we 

may stumble with 

the very first step–

“Thou shall have no 

other gods

before me.”

A cast of colorful divine characters 

parade through our lives,

personal and public:








What can you

add to the list?

Have we the courage 
to meet them,


sit down for a cup of tea

or a beer,

and frank discussion 

to see if indeed

by our attention, thoughts, time and


they may be our 

little gods, 

after all?

©Laurie Lynn Newman 



give it a rest. 

Enough with the getting

and having,

the grasping and gasping. 

You woke up today

and have breath

and a new day to 

witness to simple beauties:

a loved one’s laugh

a stranger’s smile

the pleasure of touch

a song remembered. 

Let the light

of gratitude fill you up

so that in the

time of rest

you see yourself

part of the whole 



©Laurie Lynn Newman 


There are many kinds

of love

that we experience in this life. 

If we cling to narrow

expectation, we may


the moments when

we are illuminated 

in the light of loving


Here is a true story:

On a birthday that felt 


missing my beloved ,

a small miracle happened. 

After forty-five years,

my third-grade, best- friend

remembered my birthday 

and found me.

Across state lines,

across decades,

across our teen and adult years

lived on separate coasts,

love gave us

a new chapter of


Perhaps in the fragrance 

of a flower,

Or the glow of the smiling moon,

through laughter of a friend,

or kindness of a stranger. 

If you notice, you will see:

Love will find 


Lightning Strikes 

Mark Twain:

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

It’s  inspiration

that animates

the search for the

right word.

Out of the humid, dim,

heavy air the lightening

dazzles the sky, suddenly and

the right word materializes

in brightest syllable

and we know, this–

this is the word

that clarifies.

This is the word



©Laurie Lynn Newman