While wandering – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

"Without poetry, we lose our way." - Joy Harjo


the future of my day is coming from 
where yours has already taken a seat

while I wake, you are closing the book 
to rest your head in a country covered by stars

Here on this pondering path of forest
synchronized with the slow passing of light
this fern comnunity reaches toward many 

more than any one person can see
and one of them is me

a gathering of condolences for this 
time of separation, green fronds reach
to surround me in a forest embrace

our fiddlehead hearts, 
together while apart

your voice sits with me, uncurling
I am moss damp with missing you

© Ali Grimshaw 2021

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30 Ways to Celebrate the 25th Annual National Poetry Month
Day 3 of National Poetry & Global Poetry Writing Month

I used to hold his hand – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

Your separation started with a small knot, 
then the winding began.

Strings of storybooks, twined through nights
and days of countless fresh starts, repeating circles.

The looping of stories wound through our shared days. Up and down 
on the life school rollercoaster, back when I used to hold your hand.

Our faces in the wind a side by side scream of surprise
moments you reached out, adding to yourself
adding another layer of becoming.

While some saw mangled routes and loose ends 
I envied your brave expanding, overlapping leaps 
of curiosity to solidify your center.

Now you roll down new streets
with layers of perseverance over boyish charm
a masterpiece touching lives I will never meet.

I hope you never stop winding over that small knot,
tied while I watched.

© Ali Grimshaw 2021

This poem is dedicated to my two amazing sons. I am grateful to be your mother.

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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

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Purgation – Poem By Ali Grimshaw

“Poetry offers the world something that’s small enough to carry close to your heart, and big enough to carry all of the ordinary things that can be encompassed in any one day.” — Pádraig Ó Tuama

Purgation

shame sweeping
disinfecting disappointment
vacuuming deeply the corners
of deliberately lost memories

I open one eye, hesitant
to take a look 
then squint until
rooted in my intention

It's possible there is
no monster of madness
in the closed cupboard of the past
just dust bunnies multiplying

and the purgation continues.

©Ali Grimshaw 2021

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Appearances – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

I was that edge, frame frayed
threads separated whillynilly 
curving off in various directions 
nibbed and frazzle fuzzed
leading to unraveled times

with scissors, I cut loose ends
to regain control or
at least create an appearance 
of smooth evenness
but it was not an honest look

just a pretending of edged calm

© Ali Grimshaw 2021

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Bashful – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

a slight alteration
not a full smile
where teeth reveal themselves

just a curled corner of lips lift
your cheek rising upward
winking your eye

those unfamiliar to your face
wouldn't notice the half-smirk
so quickly retreating behind
the coffee mug

 but I saw it as real as sunrise
 and I don't need more
 to know you felt
 joy today

© Ali Grimshaw 2021

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Rooted – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet / confinement of your aloneness / to learn / anything or anyone / that does not bring you alive / is too small for you.” – David Whyte

tug and pull, I must

still it doesn’t fit anymore

not after this year

hundreds of breaths have past

in between arrivals and goodbyes

and I am changed

now I have new thoughts

I pull on like the wool sweater

you used to wear on your

most difficult of days.

Thoughts that have rooted

myself to you

intertwined with the me

I have yet to meet.

© Ali Grimshaw 2021

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Happy New Year!

Wishing you deep full breaths of peace.

Remembering – By Ali Grimshaw

My boys on the Oregon Coast, USA 2015
Remembering 

I have celebrated while wind rocked our cliffside camper
with ocean views and barking sea lions.
Grandma's patient smile as we played cards 
in the warm, small inside.

I have roasted turkey while feeling cooked 
in a silver Tallahassee trailer 
where there was no cool breeze to invite through the windows
sweating through my doubts hour by hour.

I have welcomed friends, folks, and yet to know arrivals
to my table that was extended, folding out into the living room
mismatched plates, chairs, and napkins set with open invitation 
because all, meant all being in one circle of faces.

I have driven from afar to a crisp outside Autumn feast 
appetizers of touch football complete with commentary 
by the elder generation, and orange-warm grins around a fire pit
concluding with pie topped with fishing stories 
where we laughed until we cried.

This day is never the same 
I am grateful for this, non-tradition.
That my expectations are not there 
to choke out the one constant, 
the Thanksgiving that I continue to hold
memories of love that never fail 
to show up on this day.

 © Ali Grimshaw 2020

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Let’s Carry the Load

In the fog of conflict blinded numbness
we look to the leaders to steer,
peel back disagreement from the windshield.

We wait with held breath for a directive to follow
while voices clash, a radio screech between stations
unwilling to tune in to clarity.

We hope for a brilliant leader to put on a pedestal
of responsibility, like the GPS we depend on to find our way
the one who will hold the key to making it all go away.

Let's reach into our own pockets.

What if the driver we seek is us?

Not singular
but each, all
together.

The many 
unified. 

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

Let’s give thanks for poll workers, 
Stacey Abrams, fact-checkers — 
and the weather Thank you to every 
single person who helped to provide 
others with the opportunity to vote in 
our recent election. Together we can, 
yes we can, keep democracy alive. 
Thank you Joe Biden.

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