Life in a suitcase

Their voices
Peeling memories away
layers of lives left littered

one packed suitcase
one hope
one chance

Back across the sea
buildings without occupancy
echoes through rooms
call them back home

Here they are
far from the familiar
family table and
some are missing

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

dVerse Quadrille #98

This poem was inspired by this article. Interview: Artists Rebuild Refugees’ Emotional Memories of “Home” Inside Suitcases By Jessica Stewart

Scale Model of Abandoned Home

“Working together with writer Ahmed Badr, architect and sculpture artist Mohamad Hafez listened to the stories of refugee families living in America and helped shine a light on their experiences. As two former refugees themselves—Hafez from Syria and Badr from Iraq—this is an issue close to their hearts. The result is Unpacked, an emotional multi-media installation where the voices of each family tell their experiences as viewers engage with an incredible scale model of the homes they’ve left behind.”

“Each model, created by Hafez, is packed into a suitcase as a symbol of the baggage these families carry forward into their new lives.  As Hafez listened carefully during the interviews, which often ran six to seven hours, he was sketching what he heard. Using what he discovered, he was able to mold their memories into a visual representation that leaves no question about the dire circumstances these refugees faced.”

Unpacked will be on view at the University of Madison-Wisconsin – February 5, 2020 to March 15, 2020.

If Poets Ruled The World

 

If you brought poetry to your exhale

how would you breathe?

If you brought poetry to your cooking

how would it taste?

If you brought poetry to your singing

how would it sound?

If we brought poetry to the conversation

what would we hear?

Would we notice the moan of wind outside our arguments

that the water from the pipes is at a trickle, our absent neighbors

don’t stand in the front yard anymore, weeds thrive

overtaking the edible garden, while last year’s birdhouse

remains empty? A muffled fear

like cotton balls in our ears.

 

If I lived poetry

could I see the heart

underneath your skin?

 

© Alicia Grimshaw 2018

“Poetry, whether the writing itself is explicitly political or not, always seeks a better way to respond, to think, to live.” – E. Ce Miller, writer, journalist

Sharing this great quote from Moorezart

 

 

 

unpuzzling the enemy

57FA6A00-5466-455D-AE3A-752BB65C334A

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

Not for purchase

image

Your judgmental gaze cannot melt
the lines of my mistakes, they have become
collective beauty I hold as my reward for living
unimaginable shapes to fill with crayoned hues
I am my own coloring book
not available for purchase

© Alicia Grimshaw 2018

Option – a thing that is or may be chosen

15958049-24D4-43AC-B78C-0819AA47009E

What if you believed it would all work out?

Would your breath come with ease
would you giggle at yourself, delight in the breeze
raise your waving hand, yell out “me too,”
with the aliveness of your five year old self?

Would you skip across the parking lot
dressed in sequins, colors that say, “I have arrived.”
Would you walk long enough to greet the dusk
stepping lightly until it kissed the sky goodnight?

What if you did?

© Alicia Grimshaw 2018

Seasonal Departure

img_6538.jpg

 

At the station, the train of life only pauses

our illusion of control blankets nature’s causes.

 

Nights to days shift, and the engineer steers

rhythm of the planet moves through the years.

 

Cycle of no endings, wheels freely spin

untouchable by human error, solstice arrives again.

 

© Alicia Grimshaw 2018

Couplets for the Solstice – dVerse poetry challenge