If I brought poetry to your exhale how would you breathe? If you brought poetry to my cooking how would it taste? If we brought poetry to our conversation what would we hear? Would we notice the moan of wind escaping our arguments, notice the water from our pipes is at a trickle, and our neighbors don’t stand in the front yard anymore hateful weeds encroaching upon our edible garden while voices overrun each other with lawn mower loudness? A muffled fear, like cotton balls in our ears falls free revealing the unison of our currents. If I lived poetry could I see the heart underneath your skin? Would you see me as a life as valuable as your own? © Alicia Grimshaw 2020
on the beach I begin because now I am ready and so are you to turn our pain into fuel build a bonfire to bring warmth for all now sitting in cold darkness I start with kindling of prejudice add sticks of fear, logs of anger a heavy round of resignation watch the flames ignite to hot glow come close and sit with me add your logs to this burning pyre hate and terror blaze brightly with heat finally an efficient use for their energy let’s watch flames of love devour all that we believe we cannot face to singe away, char and reform all that has been holding us back love knows how to transform create a burning to warm us all through this dark night. come to the beach now we are ready © Ali Grimshaw 2020 dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night – Share your poem and explore the poetry of others.
As you drive down the road of your day
I see you in a large convertible with your top down,
backseat sandwiched full of children.
In front of you, several large cargo trucks with unsecured loads,
packed quickly without care. The disbelief of it all.
You are following without another lane to change into.
I see you, white knuckled, hold on the steering wheel
as odd boxes and papers, like a flock, fly
toward your windshield to temporarily block your view.
Colliding with objects occasionally airborne.
You swerving with the responsibility of sheltering
your children from harm. All while they chatter
and throw questions at you from the rear seat.
A sensory whirlwind of sounds, movement and colors to navigate
as you drive. I see you seeking the stable horizon with your eyes,
to recenter, as events drop and plans bounce away. Readjusting
in the moment, with care, cussing and sometimes crying. Facing
the cracked windshield of the past week. Hair in your eyes, yet determined
to be all you can for your young ones. Your eyes are heavy with sleep.
I just want you to know that I have an empty garage.
Take the next exit to the right.
Yes, I can, and will shelter you for the night.
© Ali Grimshaw 2020
Dedicated to all of the parents navigating during COVID19. Remember to pull over and take breaks.
“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
– John Muir
In slowing my pace to lightly step
I saw the power of the hummingbird
defeating the odds again
to fly, even though science says it shouldn’t be able.
I leaned on the elder tree that stood through hurricanes.
Touched sprouts forcing through cracked concrete.
Studied a cactus with magenta bloom
in the desperate dry landscape.
Outside I found my mentors.
Along singing creek waters, trails of bright birdsong
and pausing in cliffside meadows where the ocean roars.
I heard the strength of the outside.
The river knows where it is going
and I will follow it.
© Alicia Grimshaw 2020
Hummingbirds have been baffling scientists for years. Matt Ransford commented, “The hummingbird is an animal that by all rights shouldn’t be able to fly” (Popular Science). But not only can this bird fly, it is the only bird able to fly forwards, backward, up, down, sideways, upside down, and even hover. – Mar 23, 2012
as you climb into the driver’s seat of 2020
what will you unhitch, leave behind
no longer pull the weight of?
will you remove your hat, let your hair freely flow
release control for what stays
or goes out the windows
to fly outside and down the road like confetti
jumbled stories of your past caught in roadside trees
will you make a u turn at the fork in the road
or pull over to share your empty passenger seat?
© Ali Grimshaw 2020
I found this poem, A House Called Tomorrow, to be an inspiration for the new year. May it inspire you to stand up for what you believe and take action to give what only you can give.
A House Called Tomorrow
You are not fifteen, or twelve, or seventeen—
You are a hundred wild centuries
And fifteen, bringing with you
In every breath and in every step
Everyone who has come before you,
All the yous that you have been,
The mothers of your mother,
The fathers of your father.
If someone in your family tree was trouble,
A hundred were not:
The bad do not win—not finally,
No matter how loud they are.
We simply would not be here
If that were so.
You are made, fundamentally, from the good.
With this knowledge, you never march alone.
You are the breaking news of the century.
You are the good who has come forward
Through it all, even if so many days
Feel otherwise. But think:
When you as a child learned to speak,
It’s not that you didn’t know words—
It’s that, from the centuries, you knew so many,
And it’s hard to choose the words that will be your own.
From those centuries we human beings bring with us
The simple solutions and songs,
The river bridges and star charts and song harmonies
All in service to a simple idea:
That we can make a house called tomorrow.
What we bring, finally, into the new day, every day,
Is ourselves. And that’s all we need
To start. That’s everything we require to keep going.
Look back only for as long as you must,
Then go forward into the history you will make.
Be good, then better. Write books. Cure disease.
Make us proud. Make yourself proud.
And those who came before you? When you hear thunder,
Hear it as their applause.
What do you hold onto
when the bottom drops out
leaving you foundationless?
Your roof carried away by a tornado.
Left only with blankness and a pen
you forgot was in your hand.
I draw myself a new house
openness of windows, tin roof to hear rain
a welcome door without requirements
with the hope that you feel safe enough to visit
uncensored, just as you are not
when you leave the premises
© Ali Grimshaw 2019
“Active Hope is a practice.
Since Active Hope doesn’t require our optimism, we can apply it even in areas where we feel hopeless. The guiding impetus is intention; we choose what we aim to bring about, act for, or express. Rather than weighing our chances and proceeding only when we feel hopeful, we focus on our intention and let it be our guide.”