If only…


if I could hand out

flying with clouds, beyond pain,

relief your eyes seek


© Alicia Grimshaw 2018



unpuzzling the enemy


hate screams black in fear, with intent
to turn listener to stone or distraction

what you think is the opposition
dressed in defenses worn comfortably

is only,       just another
scared,       eyes-wide        and searching

no different than the face in
your bathroom mirror each morning

© Alicia Grimshaw 2018

Quadrille #61 – dVerse Poets Pub

Invisible Weight

Your bones scream to rest

an anvil on your chest

no dawn comes lightly.

Invite the monster to sit with you

it gains ugliness with denial

put your arm around that which

you don’t want to hold.

© Alicia Grimshaw 2018

When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it.” – Jenny Lawson’s book  Furiously Happy

Image result for images of stigma

Nose Above Water

Just enough oxygen.

Not a breath more,

than what is needed

for life to continue.

Her body floats in liquid blue.

Hair feathered out

on the surface like tentacles

reaching for a firm grip,

a holdfast,

to keep from



© Alicia Grimshaw 2017

Closed Shutters

Light filtered through shutters, yet she chose darkness. 

For months she pushed it away, terrified 

of being consumed, eaten whole. 

Adamant in her refusal to sit with it.


Now she contemplates the dark.

Always kept at arm’s length


This unfamiliar,

meeting it for the first time.

It is not as cold to touch as expected.


Unwilling to go it alone, she invites 

Curiosity to accompany her

and this new nameless acquaintance

to hide under the blanket together.


She turns to face them,

leans in to hear their voices

more surprised than terrified.


© Alicia Grimshaw 2017

Photo taken in Amsterdam 2014


Cut yourself free

from the weight of all you have not forgiven

vitality constricted by past failures

a tangle of rope, that does not allow a full breath.

Tightening with each memory

of a time you did not stop it,

held mute as the words were flung your way,

didn’t stand up tall enough for yourself.

You carry fault for letting it happen.

Patterns of knots encircle your being.

Twisted, tight, wound round, a strangle of heavy.

If you would have been smarter, stronger, better …

tried just a little harder…

if you had only been more.

Use the knife, cut yourself free.

© Ali Grimshaw 2017

womens-day-2110799_1920.pngI am taking a stand to eliminate violence against women. Thank you to all of the organizations who reach out to help women in need each day.

#BeBoldForChange – International Women’s Day 2017

The future of heartbreak

“How do you keep your heart whole?” he asked. “I can’t bear the breaking.”

“You don’t,” she whispered. “Let it crack open,

like a ruby pomegranate full of moments you have been alive.
Tear away the soft sides, let the jeweled pieces scatter.

They will be found.  Picked up by the parched,
carried forward into days where hearts
will be strong enough to break, expand.”

“I am not that strong.” he said, shaking his head.

Tearing off a part of her own heart.

“Take some of my mine, you will be.”

© Ali Grimshaw 2017

#Loveuary – share the love this month with But I Smile Anyway…