Poems by Shaun Payne: Patience, Potential, Layers, Grace, Rebirth cover

Poems by Shaun Payne: Patience, Potential, Layers, Grace, Rebirth


Shaun Payne is a poet, photographer and father of two currently residing in San Antonio, Texas. His art form brings a subtle imagery to the beautiful yet difficult nature of existence. He maintains a website at www.indefinitebeing.com where his photographs and poems are posted regularly.
The Mindful Word

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Photo by Max Stoiber on Unsplash


I’ve heard God can be seen in the details.

The flowing glow

of the rings of a tree,

like a fingerprint of the Earth.

Or the meandering flow

of a wild river,

free to move and cut veins in rock and dirt.

Such beauty cannot be ignored.

Yet to view a landscape

by peering through the eye of a needle

can only reveal so much.

For God should be seen—without eyes—

in the space between moments.

In silence after a hard rain.

In emptiness of no breath.

In solitude of darkness.

In vanishing stillness before an embrace.

In the patience of life’s suffering and joy.

In perfect nothingness between two pair of eyes seeing each other.


Like a river, dammed

by something made from outside,

the weight of being pools, making the depths of ourselves dark,

and painfully cold.

Pushing hard against the wall

constructed to keep awareness preoccupied by the surface,

and the widening waters,

away from what lies at its source.

A spring of authentic self, not of a past reality,

continually pouring out

waiting for the walls built to be breached and existence potential experienced.


I often am where my heart is not.

Peeling a layer of life from its pulsing centre,

and as more is placed away from me

I become smaller, more fragile,

tossed about as if weightless

in this prison I’ve built for myself.

Now dangerously close to exposing

that which has remained hidden.

Hidden so well away from notions of love.

Love measured by these layers shed in your name.

Not the pounding heart found beneath.

Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash

I can see me now,

a reflection provides me a view from beneath

myself, floating aimlessly now

without my shell.

Exposed, vulnerable to the power of the moment

my layers have protected me from.

Now love is here

fear is here,

anxiety, joy,

self-loathing, self-acceptance.

Feeling is here

and it has always been

trapped outside, and

trapped inside,

where notions of self, and notions of love

have been shed to place myself everywhere

but where I’ve been all along.

I will sit with myself,

freezing in the stillness of this life,

no longer waiting, with nothing more to give

but the beating part of everything.


I can try to find a quiet place

under this cloudless sky

to allow time to create a space

where I often fall

into the fragility of grace.

Emptiness into this crowded disguise

of time erasing stillness.

Achieving enough to paralyze

the distinction from my stillness

to your endless conversation.

As you leave, slowly,

I wait for the moment

to be delivered from your familiarity.

When sounds speak to my restlessness,

and I follow my sunken contempt

for noise in this loud city

I’ve found myself regretting,

where my unwillingness

hurts only myself,

and I can continue to wear

my unfortunate disguise

of impatient despair,

that weighs heavy on a heart

so hungry for joy,

that the sun peels apart

to reveal a hopeful self.


The tattered pants

and blood-stained rags

hanging in baskets somewhere

unknowingly statuesque in a tribute to a shedding

of a painful prison

buried in glass now

cast across a downtown lawn

where heartbeats lead a

dance of a past self

dying to itself

from within every inch

of paralyzed observers

and unconscious bodily power

another emerges

that will inhabit this space

away from the fear

stripped violently away

in a moment like death

but closer to birth.