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.

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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

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
 

Poetry has arms – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

Poetry has arms 
to reach beyond borders
stretch across isles
swim channels of shame
while handing our fresh hankies
for tears of lost love

Poetry has arms
to hold, comfort, and allow
for all to be felt 
the sharp, the cut wide open
with acceptance
Poetry pushes no one away

All are welcome
through this doorway

© Ali Grimshaw 2021

Come write with us.
Self-Compassion Through Poetry: Writing Circle
Fri, May 7, 2021 10:00 - 11:30 AM PDT
Click HERE for more information

Let me hold space for your voice.

Join a wonderful community of poets for dVerse Open Link Night - HERE

Poems from the Circle

Where to Write From

You might think that
to be a poet
you must have a 
way with words
You can keep thinking that
more room for me
You might think you 
must reach way down 
in the weeds
pulling out muddy roots
from your sodden brain
or recall in detail
places of distinction
You might think you 
must go heart searching
to find phenomenal
fodder for verse
or have personal connections
with the waves, the sun, 
the moon and the stars
There are those 
who have done that
But really you might be
content to write frilly froth
of fabled fellows
Or maybe, just maybe 
you’ll surprise yourself, 
crawl down deep like an 
a spelunking explorer
to places in yourself
you haven’t been
or yet even noticed 

By Lilli Ann Carey

I am grateful for Lilli Ann's permission to share her poem 
from a recent writing circle. Writing together provides a 
mirror for us to process life in a safe place. Each of us has
words that matter. Within the writing circle we nourish them.
Curious? Email met at coaching@aligrimshaw.com

Handwritten on March 7 -Poem By Ali Grimshaw

What if I wrote what could not be spoken of
words of depth, concise sentences of discomfort
and truth, looped them together with my hand
a signatured message unique, like my voice.
Left on your desk, enclosed by the folded paper,
to find tomorrow or in a haste of reorganizing,
leaving you to wonder when it arrived. 
Would you recognize the writing or disregard 
then discard it as scrap, all while maintaining
focus on achievements of a workplace that doesn't 
have time for cursive communication?

©Ali Grimshaw 2021

dVerse Open Link Night #288 - Join us.









Poems from the Circle





Looking For My Wild Card
     That’s no weakness ... That’s your wild card
     From Kim Stafford’s poem “Advice From A Raindrop”

I do not think of myself as wild —
I am a peacemaker

But the hint that perhaps I have a wild card,
a side of me rarely displayed, waiting within
till needed — then ready to flash forward?

I savor that suggestion
and seek within, hoping to get acquainted
willing to adapt my peaceful approach

Might I become a mirror to others
that they see their own behavior as destructive
and pause to consider other options?

Or might I blend in, becoming part
of what had seemed contrary to my beliefs
only to discover therein new perspectives?

My wild card may seem pretty tame to others —
I may be the one most needing its nudges

©SJaeschke 2021

I am grateful for Jazz's permission to share her poem 
from a recent writing circle. You can find more of her
poems here on her blog Steps and Pauses. 

Writing together provides a mirror for us to process life. 
I would be honored to hold space for your words to appear on the page. 
Join me for the next gathering.  No experience needed. All voices welcome. 
Renewal Through Poetry: Introductory Writing Circle
March 28, 4:00 PM PST register here – Eventbrite 


Thank you School of Blue

There are moments when 
what someone else has inked onto the page
stops time for you

when another's words absorb through your skin 
settling deep in your belly
like a surprising crumb of nourishment 
you didn't know you needed.

A small taste of harmony,
blooming on your tongue.

It opens a realizing that wasn't there before 
a long lasting hunger, 

you nibble through a second read
then a third,
taking your time to swallow it all.

Remembering a desire for flavors
that had been forgotten

how good a poem could taste.

©Ali Grimshaw 2021

My poem is a response of gratitude for a poem I read today called Ice Cube on School of Blue
Read the poem HERE. Thank you, Rick Frame, for the nourishment.

My photo was taken near Amsterdam. A lovely, crisp morning of reflection where the sky and the water gave back to each other. 
LAPC #138 – Natural Light 

Poems from the Circle – Lighthouse Keeping

I spent some time with Ali Grimshaw’s writing circle and once again, enjoyed being with like minded souls as we explored poetry together. The inspiration for my poem came from, “Lighthouse Keeping” by Kay Ryan. – Val

Lighthouse Keeping By Val Boyko
Find Your Middle Ground

Know that we are
keepers of the light

Holding space and
reaching out to those
in darkened places.

Its not our job
to judge, advise, fix
or rescue others.

Our calling is to keep
the light shining
within ourselves and

bring it to the world,
to keep us all afloat.

Thank you Val for sharing this inspirational poem and for all the loving support written on your blog, Find Your Middle Ground. You are a bright light in the world. Keep on shining. I will be reading in appreciation.

Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez

 

500th – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

"The decision we face is not to chart the perfect way forward; it is simply to embark on a journey. Once we’ve taken a step forward, the work will teach us where to take a second step, and then a third, and so on. Purpose does not reveal itself to those sitting safely at the starting block. In other words, you don’t plan your way into finding your purpose. You live into it.”
- Jacqueline Novogratz

500th

I guess I can't call it an accident
it's time to admit, intentionality.
Claiming my inner poet five years ago
(a birthday gift to myself) has led to this
my 500th post. I would have given up 
sharing, long ago, if it hadn't been for you 
you reading, then reflecting back 
your thoughts in return.

Knowing the aloneness of darkness
I started with the desire  
to reach just one
share my flashlight 
sit beside and just listen 
and listen some more.

These years have brought your voices
on the breeze, across seas, 
stanzas have sailed, flown
and walked themselves
beyond boundaries,
I have heard your hearts.

Together we are rewriting 
a world through poetry.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.
I am here to serve you in yours.

I would love to write with you and hold space for your words. 

Renewal Through Poetry: Introductory Writing Circles
March 7, 4:00 PM PST register here – Eventbrite