Writing Circles Nourish Us

Community of Leaves, Portland, Oregon
Willing Hearts

Separated
by time
and space
Yet, 
physical distance
holds no power
over hearts
willing to listen
and reflect-
Not actually separated 
after all

By Kelley Morris
You can find more of her poems here
pianogirlthoughts

I have never met Kelley in person but I feel
connected to her. We were once strangers
living in separate states, then she joined a
writing circle. I listen to her words and I
came to know her. Coming together, with
women like Kelley, across physical distance
to cherish poems and write together is
generating hope. It is my heartwork to
facilitate a safe space for you to hear your
own voice and experience authentic connect
with others through writing together. I have
written with people from Europe, Canada and
all over the U.S, and every time we are
inspired by the circle.

Thank you Kelley for sharing your voice.

Curious about giving it a try? Sign up below.

Poems from the Circle

Brooklyn Bridge 2019

sky

I see the sky,
the blue, the cloud; and
at night, the stars,
the moon, the planets.

You see the sky,
don’t you?
the same sky…yes?

Could it be, that
although the miles,
our experiences,
separate us…
we are still connected?

We are the same.
you are here and I am there,
or I am here and you are there.

The same sky…wherever we are.

Carrie Cannady
October 14, 2020
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 here. I continue to meet 
amazing women across different time 
zones. Writing together provides a 
mirror for us to process life in a 
safe place where we have all agreed 
to listen with compassion. 
Interested in joining a writing circle? 
Email met at coaching@aligrimshaw.com

One breath – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

I want to launch into the air a thousand words of love. Handwritten and in every font, (even the unpopular ones) lines and curves that will rise and carry us forward upon touch, and to accompany these words, send the sounds that bring us alive, like birdsong, a child’s laugh or footsteps echoing toward home. Release them as a million messages to freely be carried by the breezes that reach us all, to land on building tops and crosswalks, to fall in the teacups of the grieving, in the tangled hair of a skipping children, to settle on weary parkbench sleepers, cling to the yet delivered news traveling with the sunlight to the next continent, let the words land on the bare hands of the parched and weary like raindrops on the skin of those that need it most.

I pause here to take a breath and now realize you are still listening. How generous of you.

What do you want to launch into today?

I’m listening.

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

Join us for Open Link Night on dVerse

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Outside of Your Home or View – Oregon Coast

Let’s Write Together

“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.” W.H. Auden, New Year Letter

In this time of change, I am keeping my eyes on love and offering a safe space to gather for reflection. There is much to process each day. Without an intentional pause I notice how easy it is for my brain to experience emotional overload. Poems provide an opportunity for slowing down, to pause. Writing together is an invitation to pause in the wonder of this day and remember we are alive. Every voice is welcome.

Renewal Through Poetry: Writing Circle

Join a small, online group to

  • Explore the use of poetry to inspire us.
  • Cultivate curiosity about our thinking and writing.
  • Experience writing as a tool for positive self reflection and well-being.

You will have the opportunity to connect more deeply with yourself, through your own writing, as well as through the writing shared by others. By offering a safe environment, through reflective listening, this workshop will support participants in expressing their authentic voice.

No writing experience needed. Group maximum 6 participants.

We will meet virtually using Zoom.

Nested – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

Somedays we may
need to return to the nest
lined with words of hope,
blanketed by belief
in our ability to fly again.

Somedays we may
need to hold ourselves
leaning into curved sides
of this small structure
built by someone who loved us.

© Ali Grimshaw 2020
dVerse Poet's Pub - Quadrille #113: Blanket Us

4:00 am Inquiry – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

Whose fault is it?
Were you the one
who left it undone?

Did she really say
say it that way 
or was it just play?

Why didn't you leave
sooner rather than later?
Did it get better?

Was he to blame?
Should I feel shame?

When did it all start 
mattering so much?
Is it ok to touch?

What is there to do?
Are you wondering too?

Where is the starting line now?
What are the rules in play?
Are you even in the race?
Do you want to be?

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

dVerse Poet's Pub - Open Link Night. Come join us here.

Poems from the circle

Leave the dirt on....

Messy, scrambled words
Striving for control
    How I am perceived
    How I am received
Oh! You want me to show you

my skinned knee, 
my bruised heart, 
my bad dream?

My words, without my edits,
will show you the twisted, rambling trail
I have taken to get here.

    Are you sure you can keep up?

By Nancy A. Musgrove
I am grateful for Nancy’s permission 
to share her poem from the writing 
circle here. I continue to meet 
amazing women across different time 
zones. Writing together provides a 
mirror for us to process life in a 
safe place where we have all agreed 
to listen with compassion. 
Interested in joining a writing circle? 
Email met at coaching@aligrimshaw.com

Receiving – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

The messages kept landing
paper birds like folded airplanes from the sky.

Confetti of voices wanting to be heard
swirling of anger, colors of hurt, colliding confusion
spiraling to crash on the ground.

We hold our hands out to catch them
scattering in the street to pick up the fallen.

Each message, a precious life with wings
a paper bird in need of repair.

We sit in a circle and begin to unfold 
cupping our hands, just one at a time 
listening to its life of song.

It is like we have always known what was needed.
We knew we would stay as long as it took to give the listening
for each bird to be heard. It was clear. It was not a burden.

As we gently passed them from one hand to another, 
one by one around the circle, 
the sky opened to us all.
© Ali Grimshaw 2020

dVerse  ~ Poets Pub, Open Link Night with Linda
Share your voice and read the poems of others.

This poem is a reflection on the writing circles I have hosted. I will continue to offer a safe space of refuge for others to be seen and heard just as they are. Love is always the way forward.

topsy-turvy – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

Which way out?
Down is upside down
up is not what it used to be

Which way to the familiar 
where the predictable
seemed to be real?

Which way to rise
above the untaught history
which left us blind?

Which way forward
to undo, redo, or never do
again what once we did?

What we weren't ready for
or maybe never are, 
let's help each other rise
let us begin again.

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

Writing together provides a mirror for us to process life in a safe place where we have all agreed to listen with compassion. Thank you to all of you who have written with me in the last few months. I am so very grateful to share this journey with you. I have added this new date and time to open up the invitation to others in different time zones. Let’s connect across the boarders. Stay safe my friends.

Listening Inward

A online group journaling experience with Ali Grimshaw.

Tuesday, August 11, 4:00 – 5:30 pm PDT

The world needs the unique light that only you can shine. Keep your light on through the renewal of shared writing. Writing together can surprise us with new insights and guide our own journey.

  • Explore writing as a tool for self-reflection.
  • Slow down with yourself in space of self-care.
  • Be inspired by the words of others.

Testimonials from my past writing circle participants:

“Thank you for your loving energy, leading us to a place within ourselves that we either didn’t know was there or had been untapped for sometime. Your deep listening is a gift, and I feel held in it.” – Carrie

“I loved your focus on being intentional, hearing the voices of other women and your positive energy. You are a light and an inspiration.” – Diane

Register Below.