From the Darkness

By Michael W. Raley

From the darkness I have emerged,

As my hope is no longer submerged

By the ocean of emotional turmoil

My feet now stand on firm soil.

In my spirit and soul, all is well

After my seemingly endless season in hell.

With the Lord’s help, I was victorious;

My joy and peace feel glorious.


An Encounter with a Whitetail Deer

By Michael W. Raley

In the stillness of a hot summer night,

I encountered a whitetail deer.

The doe was at the edge of the woods,

Standing on the grass.

Curious and pensive,

The doe looked in my direction.

As I looked back at her,

My spirit admired the beauty of God’s creation.

As I started to make my way back home,

The noise startled the deer

And she turned to seek refuge in the woods.

Arise Wounded Warrior

By Michael W. Raley

Truly, a crushed spirit is hard to bear,

For it represents the time you put yourself out there,

Only to be met with rejection and pain.

You ask yourself, What did I gain?

I gave myself to someone or to a cause,

Only for them to reject me because of my flaws.

Or how about the prayers which go unanswered?

The anguish will eat away at you like a cancer.

Our best hope is to be thankful and rise up each day,

So that we may continually seek our path, to learn the true way.

You may have suffered defeat,

But that is not an excuse to retreat.

Arise wounded warriors! Arise!

Today we have wisdom, strength, and momentum on our side.


By Michael W Raley

With a change of environment,

I feel as if my life is fresh once again.

Hope has returned to my spirit.

My sleep is deeper,

My coffee taste sweeter,

The air seems fresher

And the world looks different.

I’ve severed ties with the past

And by God’s grace I am in a position

To move forward, looking ahead

With wide-eyed wonder to new possibilities.

The Countdown has Begun

shallow focus of clear hourglass
Photo by Jordan Benton on

The house has been sold.  This house represents seventeen-and-a-half years of memories, but it is now symbolic of a broken home. My ex-wife and I built this house together and that is why staying here was taking a toll on my mental health.

After speaking with family and a few close friends, I decided the best thing to do would be to put the house on the market. The real estate market is hot in my area and my house sold in three days. While cause for celebration, the quick sell accelerated my timeline for finding a new place.

I am happy to be moving and beginning this new journey of my life. I’ll be moving into an apartment for the next year so I can figure out the next steps. I have no problem in living in a smaller space or downsizing my stuff because I’ve learned not to measure my value or success by the things I own.

I never thought I would be starting over at this stage of my life, but here I am. If you think about it, each day gives us a chance to start afresh. While the thought of the additional packing and cleaning wears me out, I am balanced with the expectation of a clean slate. Yes, selling the house does not change the personal circumstances- the divorce, the toll on my mental health, or what the future holds, but this is for the best. I had to do what was best for me.


The Overwhelmed Facade


By Michael W. Raley

I feel so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to begin.

I am doing my best to maintain the facade

While going through these difficult life transitions.

I feel so inadequate,

So not up to the challenge.

However, I know that’s not me.

Heartbreak and grief have overtaken me,

Rendering me helpless and hopeless.

I find myself fatigued and out of breath

As I try to remove the ever increasingly difficult obstacles in front of me.

If only my advocate would intervene and say, “That is enough,”

Then my heart would rejoice and my spirit would be victorious.




Needless Reminders of the Past

grayscale photography of a pathway
Photo by Pixabay on

By Michael W. Raley

I try to move onto a hopeful future,

Only to find others continuously reminding me of the past.

Every failure, every misstep, and every mistake,

Is recalled  with ultra high definition memory.

I’ve had to battle my own thoughts and anxieties on the subject

And I don’t need to be piled on like this.

I know what happened was traumatic and sudden,

But I can’t do anything about it.

We must adapt and accept the new reality,

My current scene in the great cosmic play of life.

Those old wounds will never heal

If you keep messing with the scabs.

Let us learn to dwell in the present

Because I don’t live in the past anymore.