A Poet’s Flame – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

“They started to burn the poets

But ash makes for more fertile soil.” – Khet Thi


if they are only words
if they are only lines scratched in stone
if only poems from one heart 
how could they be so dangerous
to those with guns

so threatening 
that the flame of one 
must be put out

so powerful
that extinguishing one
wasn't enough

I hear the call of lost poets
their voices speak on 

to those willing to receive 

their light

I was stunned by this article, Where Poets Are Being Killed and Jailed After a Military Coup by Hannah Beech, New York Times. In honor of these lost poets I wanted to share their story. These words of mine feel so inadequate and that is why I am promising to remember the courage of these poets whenever I doubt the power of poetry.

May we find peace.

Join me for a writing circle

Self-Compassion Through Poetry: Writing Circle,

Friday, June 25, 10:00 – 11:30 am PDT Register here

Photo by Paul Bulai on Unsplash

Snapshot – Poem By Ali Grimshaw

“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.” 
– The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 2013 –
your arms around me
encircled together
heart to heart

someday I will touch a photo
this moment's embrace
replaying this day

until then
I am noticing the feeling
while I still have you near

I am memorizing the shape
of holding you
holding me

©Ali Grimshaw 2021

Photo of my son and I on my birthday 2020. 

Poetics on dVerse Poets Pub - Come join the fun HERE.

No Experience Needed – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

“Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.” – Audre Lorde  

Come write with me

throw your words on the wall

like paint.

Splattering in play.

See which ones stick.

Watch which ones fall.

See the bridge

that you have forgotten.

The girl inside you

is longing to get messy.

©Ali Grimshaw 2021

Self-Compassion Through Poetry: Writing Circle

Friday, June 4, 8:30 – 10:00 am PDT. Register here

Photo taken in Amsterdam.

invasive species – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

it may 
seem obvious 
but once you begin 
tangles will grow
a lie's life all it's own
vines wound round
tightened with retelling
knotted numbers of mistruths
curled to choke 
your heart 
from the inside out 
disrupting the ecosystem 
of yourself
edging toward
extinction

©Ali Grimshaw 2021

What's in a word? Quadrille for dVerse Poets Pub
- Join a friendly community of poets HERE

Airborne – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

releasing herself
to the sky
to feel the lift 
let her weight trust 
in the invisible 
courage of currents 

surf soaring free 
up, over and through
this unexpected windscape
surrendering her need 
to know
to resolve
to figure it out 

arms wide, in full float
with the faith of a bird
that doesn't remember
a day without flight
or a time of being grounded

©Ali Grimshaw 2021

dVerse Open Link Night - Join in the fun HERE.

Photo taken in Bozeman, Montana, USA.

Beyond Survival – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

I am in the trough
between
crests of fear
a briefness
then surprise

I let another wave
pass through me

after the cold slap
initial sting, I realize
I am still here

It is unexpected 
knowing my history 
of being pulled under

Now I tread my legs
strongly sure
lift my face skyward
with dare

©Ali Grimshaw 2021

Let’s change the way we talk about depression and suicide. Here is a link to the full article Why mental health advocates use the words ‘died by suicide’, from which these valuable points were gathered.

Please use “died by suicide,” instead of “committed suicide,” as it removes culpability from the person who has lost their life and allows a discussion about the disease or disorder from which they were suffering. Let’s move away from blame toward compassionate language.

Not everyone who suffers from depression will have suicidal thoughts. And not everyone who has suicidal thoughts will act on them. 

“Speak with your loved one about how they are feeling and encourage help-seeking by way of the many resources available, including the American Association for Suicide Prevention and American Association of Suicidology.

Be direct in your conversations. Dr. Klich finds that because suicide is so stigmatized (and also, just a really tough thing to talk about), people tend to skirt around the issue, or even unintentionally steer victims of suicidal thoughts toward a reassuring answer.

Confidential support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by way of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Poems from the Circle

Becoming

Can I still declare I am becoming?
There are no vast tomorrows in my future
Imagining The Creator 
Does He still admire his handiwork?
No longer does my body bear fruit
my womb barely remembers giving life
stretch marks have become old road markers 
now rendered dusty, leading nowhere
my thoughts at times confuse me
I leave out words wondering
where do they disappear
Between my mind and fingers in motion
hair on my head, now strands resembling
common condiments pay homage to seasoned memories
what few remain allowed to go their own way
they have known submission
followed each latest hair trend
yet, I continue occupying this body
it no longer needs to become
acceptance of time confirms I am still here alive
nothing thrown at me forced me to recoil
never once did I resolve to ever just look back.

By Aissatou Sunjata 5/7/21

I am grateful for Aissatou’s permission to share her poem from the writing circle. I continue to meet amazing women across different time zones. Writing together provides a mirror for us to process life in a place where we have all agreed to listen with compassion. Come join us for a writing circle. 

Self-Compassion Through Poetry: Writing Circle Friday, May 21, 8:30 am PDT. Register here

Some of the Time – Poem by Ali Grimshaw






Let me hold space for your voice to appear on the page.

Self-Compassion Through Poetry: Writing Circle

Friday, May 21, 8:30 – 10:00 am PDT. Register here
Tickets are by donation. 

Unexpected joy – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

a gathering of cells
multiplying magnificent

a seed inside 
breathing being 
and no one even knew

that you had begun
arriving, 

small magic 
happening inside the womb 

she went about her day 
hanging laundry
in her quiet way

while the message of you 
grew


© Ali Grimshaw 2021

An early Mother's Day poem.

Quadrille Monday on dVerse

Poems from the Circle

up to me

fitting in is not required.
it’s not even necessary.
how could any of us fit
a mold that is not ours?
who made the mold anyway?
why did I never question this
generational imperative
to be someone or something
I was not ever intended to be –
or become?
I question it now.
I release it now – today.
I free myself to be…
me.
all that I am, and
all I can be is
up to
me.

By Carrie Cannady
April 2021
You can find more of Carrie's poems and reflective wisdom here at Leadourlives.net

I am grateful for Carrie’s permission to share her poem from the writing circle. I continue to meet amazing women across different time zones. Writing together provides a mirror for us to process life in a place where we have all agreed to listen with compassion. Come join us for a writing circle. Tickets are by donation.

Self-Compassion Through Poetry: Writing Circle Friday, May 7, 10:00 am PDT. Register here

Self-Compassion Through Poetry: Writing Circle Friday, May 21, 8:30 am PDT. Register here