Poetry Over Panic Online Writing Group

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“Poetry gives you permission to feel.” – James Autry

As the world shifts, I am looking for ways to give. With all the emotions swirling, we are faced with finding healthy ways to process them. Reflective writing using poetry has met that need for me and others I have written with. This is why I have created some group writing circles to provide this for others.

My hope is that, by writing and reflecting together, we can learn from this unusual time, and face it with loving curiosity. It would be especially wonderful to write with others across the globe. If this calls you you please click the link for a free ticket.

Poetry Over Panic: Women’s Writing Circle for Positive Self Reflection

“Poetry provides guidance, revealing what you did not know you knew…” John Fox

We are stronger when we lean on and learn from one another.

Join me as we continue forward into the unexpected.

Love,

Ali

 

End of the Rope – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

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The rope winds gently around my waist,
twisted, smoothly strong by years of mistakes,
trying again, doubt and wondering how.

Thick with memories of others who
believed with the strength of solid ground.
Believed that all earthquakes eventually stop shaking.
Believed in soil’s ability to grow what we need next.

The end of this rope was handed to me long ago.
A generous lifeline offered for free
to keep me on the planet.

Now I look down at the rope in my calloused hands,
threads of the millions, an explosion of frayed ends,
their forgivings, endurance,
the woven learnings of my ancestors.

The rope loops back and around me,
over and over,
then off into the distance.

I don’t need to see the end now
to trust it is anchored deeply somehow.

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

Inspired by William Stafford’s poem “The Way It Is”

dVerse – Final Couplet Prompt

Photo taken in on my last trip, Château de Suscinio in France.

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.

Quench

white ceramic cup
Photo by Saif Selim on Pexels.com

Choose a small cup

simple, without handle

 

each hand deserves a curve of warm

the offering of this today, inhabited

 

it cannot help but overflow

effortlessly overcome boundaries

designed by small needs

running down the sides in abundance.

 

Maybe you have forgotten

how little it takes

to satisfy thirst.

 

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things – Available on Netflix

dVerse Poets Pub –  Open Link Night

 

Traveler

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Your silhouetted resilience

of an almost ageless traveler

with kid’s eyes of curious.

Ready for all that is,

wildly wondrous.

Unwilling to miss a viewpoint

be it window wide

or mountaintop.

Fractured city lights illuminate

all the bold and beloved

I see in you.

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

dVerse Quadrille #96 Wild

Dedicated to my adventurous life partner, Adam.

One bowl – poem by Ali Grimshaw

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And the words were ladled out
to fill her, like warm soup
for a bleak benumbed soul in need

she had forgotten to feed her
spirit, an inner child who waited
patient for her spoonful

another day here was possible

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.” – Francis Bacon

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.

dVerse – Open Link Night