Soul Box

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Stars could fade, darkness

like nothing, this world without

you as my heart light.

© Ali Grimshaw 2019

THE SOUL BOX PROJECT is a national community art project calling for the making of one hand-folded paper box to represent every person killed or injured by gunfire in the U.S. since 2014. Hundreds of thousands of these Boxes will be displayed together in massive art installations to reveal the staggering number of gunfire victims.

I had the privilege of visiting this exhibit and making my own Soul Box to contribute to the cause. If you are near Portland, Oregon take time to visit and read what these boxes say. Multnomah Arts Center Gallery

Find out more at SoulBoxProject.org

“The point is, art never stopped a war and never got anybody a job. That was never its function. Art cannot change events. But it can change people… because people are changed by art – enriched, ennobled, encouraged – they then act in a way that may affect the course of events… by the way they vote, they behave, the way they think.”                      – Leonard Bernstein

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She – a poem by Ali Grimshaw

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She learned to take herself
out of her body, to separate
no longer be encased by flesh.

She learned to go, bundle her spirit
carry it out and away, above the invasion
the uninvited intolerable penetration.

She learned numbness, not to be
within her skin, to pack up her
soul and exit, just until it was over.

She learned how,
survival was her teacher.
It was the only way.

She didn’t know help
with mouth stitched closed
only endurance walked with her.

© Alicia Grimshaw 2018

Courage rides the train

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They stepped onto the train that day

unaware of the choice the ride included.

When the voice of hate screamed

the two stood as stone, unwilling to look away.

Unified strangers woven into a safety net

flung over the young ones

a protective cover given without request

those two hearts knew what freedom

to live without fear was worth.

The cost of standing up, as the train moved into tomorrow

was life itself.

In this morning’s memory mirror

I wonder if I would be brave enough

to ride as they did.

© Alicia Grimshaw 2018

Dedicated to the men who died a year ago in Portland, Oregon as they stood to defend two young women. My heart breaks for the loved ones of Ricky Best, father of four and US Army veteran, and Taliesan Namkai-Meche a recent college graduate. In honor of these two and the countless others who have stood up against hate please join me in acts of kindness wherever you live. Love is the only answer.

For more information read this Washington Post article, ‘Final act of bravery’: Men who were fatally stabbed trying to stop anti-Muslim rants identified

 

No More Tears

Do your eyes remain dry

cried out from
tears for the one
and one
and one
another one
and years of the countless

ones?

Those ones that were the most precious one
to someone.

My heart beats in you this day as tears run down my face.

Grief’s hand must change
what hope will never be able to.

Before all eyes have run dry.

– Ali Grimshaw 2018

Words are inadequate after another US school shooting. Still I try in the honor of those who fight for change and the grief that countless others must bare.

 

Replenishment

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Please return the glass bowl
the one with the orange lid.

Surely it is empty now, alone
on the shelf or behind the rice jar.

It is not that I am in need,
I just found myself thinking

of its emptiness, a hollow of cold.
Loneliness I wish to fill with warmth of soup.

One spoon of comfort at a time
to refill yourself

on Tuesday night
after the day’s work is done.

© Ali Grimshaw 2017

Campaign to End Loneliness

Daily prompt – Age

Courage rides the train

 

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They stepped onto the train that day

unaware of the choice the ride included.

When the voice of hate screamed

the two stood as stone, unwilling to look away.

Unified strangers woven into a safety net

flung over the young ones

a protective cover given without request

those two hearts knew what freedom

to live without fear was worth.

The cost of standing up,as the train moved into tomorrow

was life itself.

In this morning’s memory mirror

I wonder if I would be brave enough

to ride as they did.

 

© Alicia Grimshaw 2017

Dedicated to the men who died a year ago in Portland, Oregon as they stood to defend two young women. My heart breaks for the loved ones of Ricky Best, father of four and US Army veteran, and Taliesan Namkai-Meche a recent college graduate. In honor of these two and the countless others who have stood up against hate please join me in acts of kindness wherever you live. Love is the only answer.

For more information read this Washington Post article, ‘Final act of bravery’: Men who were fatally stabbed trying to stop anti-Muslim rants identified