Spotlight Daily Bread – Rise Above with Love and Hope by Alex Cook


Alex Cook is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Boston, MA. Since 1997 he has created over 110 murals in the US and abroad. In 2014 he created the YOU ARE LOVED mural project, collaborating with organizations of all types to artfully express that important message. He has written and recorded 6  albums of original songs and performs around the US. Alex is available to paint murals, create works of art, and speak to your school or organization about community building through art and/or the YOU ARE LOVED mural project as covered by The Christian Science Monitor.  Alex was also an elementary school teacher and prison chaplain.


by Alex Cook

Spiritual Art and Music

(Shared with permission)


Goddamn I’m strong.

Who are you to say that?

I am a man who has, for months and years, been backhanded in the spirit, slapped and spit on, lied to and lied to and lied to.

Tonight is my night. Tonight I will walk out into the darkness. My movements, concentration. Though a dead rain falls and fills the valley with mud, I will, by my concentration, remain dry. A thousand winds blow against me, but my eyes will not squint. I will crouch down, my thighs trembling, my shoulders, my arms. I will move slow, but I will move. Under the radar, under the wires, into the blackness. And I will remember, every moment, my purpose, freedom.

No matter how much I fail, I will succeed. Give me back my life.

I will lie down in a bed of conviction. I will kneel in the garden I can feel. I will not kneel in any other place. And when I find that I am sleepwalking to some graveyard, some brothel, kneeling there mindlessly, terrified, crushed in the soul and spirit by the sleepwalking itself, then I will shake the sleep from my eyes. I will pick myself up and walk back. I will, yes, again, throw off the gargoyles and parasites, clinging and screaming condemnation. My patience is their impotence. I will lay down again in the walls and halls that ring bright.

I will write my steps with ink black as blood. I will not be terrorized. Or if I am, then I will throw off the terror. I will not be terrorized.

I will not give up. I will not complain. And when complaint cries in my heart, leaps to my lips, I will murder it. I will not be ushered back into hell. I will not give up or be a living dead man underneath the currents of waters. I will not sink down into the mud. I will not drift with currents. I will not flail and drown. My strokes, deep and concerted. I will transform oblivion into grace. The mud will fall from me and I will rise like a wave of water.

I will fold my arms inside my chest and pull out white wings, untouched by air and still moist with birth.

I may be wearing prison clothes. I may have a number on my back. You think I’m too dumb to move, but all this time I’ve been watching. I know this prison yard. I know the chinks in the wall. I’m breaking out.

I will utter no sound as I pass the guard. Instead I will blind him with my perfection. I will slide a diamond star blade of wholesome eternity between his ugly ribs. And I will walk out the gate. (c)

by Alex Cook

Spiritual Art and Music

Artwork below by Alex Cook



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