If I read you like a poem.

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

“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

dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night - share your poem and explore the poetry of others.

Because now. – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

Photo by Roman Pohorecki on Pexels.com
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.

Take the First Exit to the Right: A poem for Parents

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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.

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World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Healthy Parenting

The River Knows – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

“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

photo by antilandscpaper 2-26-20

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

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your tomorrows

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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

dVerse Open Link Night

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.

 By Alberto Ríos

For more information about Alberto Ríos click here Poets.org

 

Hopeful Intention

 

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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.”

– Joanna Macy, respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology.

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