Those that came before

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We are held

by unseen hands

family that came before

to hack through the wild

make a trail.

 

We are held

by their stories, mistakes

and courage. Rightness,

who is to blame

the tinted glasses we wear.

 

We are held

within their intentions

by the invisible imagination

of their hearts.

 

© Ali Grimshaw 2018

Inspired by this quote from Moorezart “We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.” ― David Mitchell, The Cloud Atlas

Photo from Pixabay

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“If you expect me to answer my own question, I confess that I do not know.”

They call me an adult. Yes, I have learned to make spaghetti sauce, to drive a car. I have mastered some dance steps and can write a concise email response (using spell check to avoid the embarrassments of the past.)

But what have I really learned in my days of clouds passing, night thundershake and the revisiting of another spring? Days of scarlet fever, owning mistakes and reimagining?

With another ring around my trunk, adding layers of curious, I know that I know less with passing time. Like paint peeling off an old house I am more than one color. I live as a revolving door to exit and enter, each time with a different view.

Growing up I thought adults had all the answers, lived in comfortable sureness. Shocked disappointment crashed down when the truth broke through with no answers in its hands.

Why didn’t mom tell me adulthood didn’t come with all the answers.

“She had only one explanation for this fact: things have to be transmitted this way because they were made up from the pure life, and this kind of life cannot be captured in pictures or words.”

1. Illusions by Richard Bach

2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Written for the dVerse challenge, Bridging the Gap: Select two quotes from two different books. You decide whether you want them recklessly random or slightly/significantly more intentional. Then, construct a poem using one quote as the opening line and the other as the closing line. The blood, sweat, and tears will come while filling in the space between. You may modify the quotes to fit your poem’s rhythm or rhyme scheme, but just be sure to provide the original quotes, authors, and works in a postscript.

 

Tug of War

 

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According to her internal judge

she was never up to par,

even when crossing the finish line first

accomplishment slid off her skin. Always

gripping, holding on for acceptance.

Yet perplexed separation pained her days.

She wanted belonging

and never wanted to fit in

knew it would change her.

A part broken off to float away irretrievable.

No one else stayed after class to console the bullied teacher.

It never occurred to her not to.

She saw those faces on the fringe,

secretly knowing she was an outlier as well.

She let go of the kinship rope

not to lose herself.

© Alicia Grimshaw 2017

Photo credit to Pixabay – Alberto Barco Figari

Observe

Safety Net

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I will embrace you

in this house of circumstance

walls cracked and cratered

plaster fallen failures.

Shelter you with my being

through the unavoidable crumbling

a steel umbrella in the storm.

I gave grown capable of being

the shelter, like the arch of

protection you once were

for me. I am solid

even as the erosion continues

with you under my wings.

© Ali Grimshaw 2018

April 26: Poem in Your Pocket Day – celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with you and sharing it with others throughout the day and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Share a poem that got you through a hard time or one that makes you laugh. Touch someone’s heart.

Morning Newsbreak

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The 5:00 am thud,

my front porch newspaper.

When will this sound disappear

from my listening landscape?

Like the comfort

of sounds, predictable life

before the robots were made.

When hands held headlines

faithful objects, a lifeline

of interpretation on paper thinness

read in gentle openness

played at morning speed of drowsy slow

accompanied by the aroma of coffee.

The illusion of a day with

news within my control.

© Ali Grimshaw 2018

“It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men [and women] die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”—William Carlos Williams

13 Ways to Support Poetry – guest blog post by Dick Allen  – A great article with specific ways to keep poetry alive in the world.

dVerse OpenLinkNight #218 If you are looking for a community of poets you can find one here.

National Poetry Month – Fall in love with a poet.