What happiness can arrive when sunlight's retreat paints leaves cherry crush, berry swirl butterscotch eye candy walking through an ordinary Monday your hand in mine, we breathe the awe street lined masterpieces colored by a lack of chlorophyll less of something created more today © Ali Grimshaw 2020 Another yummy tree in my Portland, Oregon neighborhood.
What’s missing? she asked herself. It wasn’t that she didn’t know her strengths. It wasn’t that her imagination had run off to have an affair with someone better. It wasn’t that she expected easy.
What was missing now was the risk to hope again. To dream bigger, like a five-year-old coloring with abandon on the whole wall. Markers in hand, in full out play. As far as each arm could reach. Without fear of intersecting lines, sharp puncture points or curvy wide spaces.
What’s missing is the leap, the willingness to let it unfold and seeing herself capable of not only the journey but strong enough to feel all the textures of emotion like carpets of days she had walked through to get to now. She knew her heart would break every day and that just meant that it would keep growing.
Top of the hill, feet on the pedals, hair in the wind, she is going.
© Ali Grimshaw 2021
“In the Celtic tradition it was said that we suffer from soul-forgetfulness. We have forgotten who we are and have fallen out of true relationship with the earth and with one another. Thus, the path to wellbeing is not about becoming something other than ourselves or about acquiring a spiritual knowledge that is essentially foreign to us. It is about waking up to a knowledge that is deep in the very fabric of our being, and it is about living in relation to this wisdom.” – John Philip Newell, “Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul,” The Daily Good
Now as I remove it, I lay it down. It leans back on the bed relaxing into a stretch my stiff body is unable to replicate. It has protected me from the virus all day and expects to have some time off. I breathe in, stretch, and begin to wonder how many words it has caught in the past few months? Words I thought to express but didn't. I hesitate often with thought, with care for myself and others. I don't speak as quickly as I used to. It is not for lack of valuing my voice. It is that the past months have shifted me. In the last year I have wondered more than ever how my words will be heard and where they might land. Looking down now. I realize how often I redirected sentences into my mask instead of sending them. I see so many captured. There are layers of phrases. More than yesterday. Some scribbled from speaking to myself, some barely readable as they were spoken in a whisper under my breath. They are massed together. Jumbled softly in the woven fabric, an unusual relic. Is it worth saving? Is it worth deciphering these undelivered words? What could I learn if I used a magnifying glass to dig backward? revisit the past there is wisdom in Spring rain see today's blossoms © Ali Grimshaw 2021 Napowrimo 2021 Join us on dVerse for Haibun Monday
Some say, Who am I? I need to find myself. I have lost myself. Some ask, How do I go on? How do I begin again? What matters now? There are those who are living as question marks and those who refuse punctuation. When your heart burns away, is cracked to irreparable or crushed to stillness is that the end or the beginning of learning to love? © Ali Grimshaw 2021 Three quotes from a man who left this world too early, Martin Luther King J. May we remember his words.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
“At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”
now, before the spark dims and doubt blankets your mind with too comfortable now, before familiar climbs onto your lap with worries, warmly weighty and resignation joins in to pull courage from the room now, before you forget the dreams of befriending a green tree of sunlight the touch of dragonfly landings. © Ali Grimshaw 2020 In this world of ever changing circumstances taking time to slow down with a poem and a small group of thoughtful people is, like a cool glass of water on a hot day, refreshing. I look forward to the opportunity to write with you. Writing together can: • Surprise and delight us • Allow expression of feelings in creative ways • Guide our own journey
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Within this cold capsule
unable to expand, frozen
limbs ache with limitations
of tight thoughts.
let thaw my mind
melting madness, tips to toes
until I sting with vitality
of circulation returning.
unwilling to still my spirit
any longer, wind brings
deliverance of movement.
© Ali Grimshaw 2019
Maybe you’re not late.
Will you trust Mother Earth
with Autumn’s end
even when you don’t feel ready?
Maybe you are right on time
keeping the cycle.
A tree with your own falling leaves.
Maybe your season is happening
just as it should be.
© Alicia Grimshaw 2019
Painted leaves sing in unison
Unlike music, their song
is soundless harmony.
This orchestra of color
soothes the tempo
an internal pounding
from a day of instruments
that refused to play
the same song.
Fall catches me
with muted volume
a serenade of equilibrium.
© Alicia Grimshaw 2018
At the seasonal station
the train of life only pauses
departure depends on your duration
illusion of control blankets nature’s causes.
Days to nights shift and the engineer steers
hibernating bunks of linked sleepers softly
breathe away their past selves
rhythm of the planet moves through the years.
Travelers lulled to comforted right
cycle of no endings, wheels freely spin
balance tipped toward the night
untouchable by human error, solstice arrives again.
© Ali Grimshaw 2019
Where do you go after
you’ve swept up a dusty decade?
Voices of memories, dialogues of decisions
glinting pieces of effort,
shambled shards of mixed failures and gritty grains
of overcoming the odds. The minutes after
the disposal of what was,
a pause before, you’ve put away the broom.
Clean floor, the past no longer felt
between your toes.