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

 

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Wisdom of a sunflower

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Her face follows the sun

an anchor of light, trusted to lead while she grew

a warmth of reassurance when her sight was lost

from darkness. A seed born with the knowing

yet unable to realize until the day of blossoming.

She held it all along. Resolve of love, strength to push

through the compacted soil of failure, to stretch

when trampled, to believe in the next dawn

while she remained in the shadow of night.

© Ali Grimshaw 2018 – photo taken on a roadtrip in Spain

“Like sunflowers that stop tracking the sun as they mature, we too begin to respond differently to life as we age. We learn to brave more parts of the day with our heads turned away from the sun, because we realize that we can only know who we are if we let the sun shine behind us and allow it to draw our shadow in front of us, so that we may see how we are really shaped

We begin to realize how even darkness has its gifts, and how even if we don’t always bask in the light, we can survive.” – When Sunflowers Stop Following The Sun

I was inspired to write this poem after reading this thoughtful article.  Never underestimate the power of sharing with careful words.

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National Poetry Month 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 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

 

In reflection… Memorial Day

When you signed

put life on the line

with handwritten ink bleeding on the page,

did you realize the sacrifice

a mother’s wail to follow in the night

before your feet left this land?

My heart cracks with the thinking of it

pain leaking out slow.

The life you donated for others

unknown to you

makes me know without doubt

love is brave.

© Alicia Grimshaw 2017

Thank you to all who have given their lives for others.

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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

Refusal

Hold in place. Unwavering as the hurricane blows. Stand still when faced with a slap. Unbreakably bolted down. Absolute. Never cringe away. Stay. Forward one small step, your time. Crawl if you must. Claim your life. Take the hand that is offered then rise again. Unwilling to be swallowed, drug into the past. Drowned. Face toward what your heart holds true. Like a mountain through the seasons, remain.

Living refusal

thoughts chosen to unify

imprisoned by none

© Alicia Grimshaw 2017

My first attempt to write a Haibun (俳文, literally, haikai writings) a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. For those of you who are know this craft well, please understand this is a humble beginning.

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It’s not possible

Can there ever be too much whole face listening,

a time when acknowledgement was no longer needed,

when kindness was overdone?

No desire for extra hands to lighten the load?

A day when being vulnerable was a waste of courage?

Letting another see your frailty a chance not worth taking?

A moment of too much love?

Walk out onto your street and look.

Those downcast eyes are the reply.

Run now, its not too late.

© Ali Grimshaw