on being the holy broken.

you wonder

if it is worth

living your life

cracked

wide

open, whether

.

.

wearing your heart

on your sleeve

and

all your

hopes

carried in

unclenched

hands,

is ever safe, where

.

.

all the world can

see, and

all the world can

say

what they feel

about the tender courage

that has

taken

root

within you.

.

.

it will not be easy.

no.

definitely not.

there will be pain.

it is a new birth,

after all.

.

.

but, you must not

curl

inward.

.

.

lift your head.

unfurl your spirit.

reach upward.

live outward.

.

.

you are the holy broken.

.

.

the one holding the light.

.

.

and if you show your scars, people will come

and sit with you,

and they will listen.

.

.

and this

is how we heal each other.

by living gently,

and walking vulnerably.

unafraid of opinion.

ready to wipe away

tears

and

fears

and

other darkness,

with the light

shining

from

the cracks

in our bones.

moved only by the spirit.

.

.

so, yes—do it.

live your life a white dove

on the battlefield.

.

.

cracked

right

open.

.

.

it will all be ok.

.

.

—on being the holy broken.

.

.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

.

.

Photograph by @luizclas .

on teaching you kindness.

i turn you

into

gentle

words,

every

day.

so that

kindness,

will

always bloom

from

your

mouth.

— on teaching you kindness.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

I am Mum to a boy who is autistic.

Years of struggling with social interaction sees him confused whenever he is rejected by peers, or even adults.

He cannot understand why children reject his attempts at interaction and it is heartbreaking to watch, at times.

I don’t ever want his gentle heart to harden and after a failed attempt at making friends, we always talk it through—we try and figure out whether the other person was perhaps having a bad day, or maybe they didn’t hear him say ‘hello’.

I shower him with praise for trying—trying to reach out when it is easier not to.

I speak kindness over him, so that this will be his default language in spite of how others might treat him.

And perhaps, this is something we should do with ourselves?

Turn ourselves into words—kind, trusting, hopeful, compassionate, empathetic.

So that we can care deeply for our hearts when they are hurting.

xx

on mothering diabetes.

in my fridge,

in the shelf that is designed

to hold cheese,

there are vials of hope,

and

an emergency kit

in bright orange,

remember, remember

in case you forget

how to breathe,

with

pre-filled

hormone,

so that when my fingers

fumble with fear

i have a needle ready

to plunge into muscle,

to bring you back

if you should ever slip

too far away

from me.

i keep nocturnal vigils

with foxes

and other moon mothers

who have to

keep on

keeping on,

until the day breaks.

i punch a calculator in my head with every meal,

and

i sing songs of

no, you cannot eat that

now,

and

please, you must drink this

now,

or, else.

and in this home

we

know

needles,

and

fear, and we belong to the ones with sharps containers

on their kitchen counters

where others have no such

things, and

we are intimately familiar with the fear that can slip into a word,

hypo

hyper

ketones

coma

death.

but, i also know this hope that lives in delicate glass vials,

where every drop

holds life,

yours, and

my heart, and

i promise you

that cells might forget

how to keep

you alive,

but i will not forget,

or

give up.

and, for you,

and for life,

i am grateful.

— on mothering diabetes.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Today, 14th November 2018, is World Diabetes Day.

In our home, we sing a different song and we fight a daily war that involves needles and insulin and fear — if I am honest.

But, we know hope and we are grateful for the simple miracle of insulin.

And, life.

graffiti.

when i was

twelve,

i learned

that

i could

love

someone,

and

fear them,

at

the

same

time.

that,

fathers

write

words

on the inside

of

their

daughters’

eyes,

that

will

blur

their

vision

forever.

a self-destructive

wall

of

graffiti,

forever

spoken

in other voices, despite

a holy whitewash.

i learned

that

those,

whose

eyes

are

backlit

with

the pure light

that

is

born

from

knowing

they are safe,

do not understand

the

language

of

spray-canned

letters

and

diy

painted-over

walls,

and

so,

i learned

to search

for

other

voices

who

knew

how to

wallpaper

the

inside

of the brain, and

this

work

is

never-ending, really.

it

never

ends.

but,

with

each

new

layer,

the

message

fades.

d

i

s

t

o

r

t

s

until,

i can

almost

believe

that

i

once

was

enough.

— graffiti.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

samaritan.

loss,

the kind that

settles

in your

bones, because

it has become

a regular visitor.

unwanted,

of course.

feared,

as well.

this

kind

of

loss

that

explodes

through

the front door

of

your life

and rips

the curtains

from the windows,

allowing

everyone

to see

the inside

of

what was once

hidden

private

sacred,

until.

this loss,

can fester

and

cause

your

heart to breed

bitter

and

your

tongue to sing

self-destruction.

so,

you must not let it.

do

you

hear

me?

whilst the windows

are

bare,

throw

them open.

and,

when you

see

their eyes

from the other side

of the road,

let them look.

let them gawk.

your pain,

is

your

pain.

let them stare, but

you,

you,

let the light in.

lay it all out

on

the

floor

and

let the light

soak up

the poison.

and

with time

loss,

will

gain

weight,

more

and

more,

until

one morning

you will look

up

and

see another

with

a

splintered front door,

and you will

find

compassion

empathy

love,

pouring from your

hands

and

you

will

mend

another’s

curtains,

ripped

from

windows,

and

you,

will be love.

—samaritan.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

With this poem, I wish I could flesh out the back-story, but I cannot.

Not yet.

But, I know that loss, can breed bitterness if you let it, or, it can grow bigger and metamorphosise with time — this, is not a quick thing — into something beautiful.

If you will let it, it will soften your heart and your hands and you will become Samaritan to others who need someone to cover their nakedness from the world’s prying eyes.

So, you let the light in.

Yield to it — the loss and the light.

It will be ok.

when the waters of long loch, sang to my bones.

today,

the

grey

waters of long loch,

caressed

her pebbly edges

in

an

embrace,

so fierce,

that

it

took

my

breath

away, and

the

autumn

clouds,

cloaked,

in november’s

softest

light,

smiled

gently

on

this

love,

and me.

and,

i held all my

loss

and all my

hope,

in

my

gloved

hands.

a prayer,

thrown

to

the

wind, and

the

waters

sang

an

ancient

lullaby, to

the water

in

my

bones, and

i understood.

and

this,

was

(finally)

enough.

—when the waters of long loch,

sang to my bones.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Photograph — Long Loch, Cove, Scotland.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

hidden.

autumn,

is turning her shoulder,

lowering

her

gaze,

gathering

her

dying colours

as she prepares

to say

farewell.

until

next

time.

but,

first,

winter

must

pass

through

my

bones.

and i

am left,

exploring

the

empty

spaces

where

what

was

once

impossibly green,

is

now

dust.

and,

i pray.

pray,

brave

kitchen

prayers

of

i know there’s

more,

whilst

wiping crumbs

from

this table

like

another

desperate

woman

long,

long ago,

and

faces change,

and

stories

are diluted

with

time,

but,

loneliness

wears

the

same

cloak,

and,

women

have whispered

the same

desperate

hope

for

roots and belonging,

and

healing

and

another heart to call

friend.

and,

you

were

bread

then,

giver of hope.

and,

so

i

wait

to

be seen,

to

be

enough.

hungry,

for

my

spring.

— hidden.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Sometimes, the bravest prayer you can pray,

is for

more.