let it stop with you

when you leave,

do not take the one who hurt you,

with you.

— let it stop with you

© Liezel Graham 2019.

I woke up this morning with these lines in my head.

I have not been able to shake them the entire day, so I am sharing them again.

These words have their root in growing up in a home that was at times chaotic.

There is a saying that goes ‘hurt people, hurt other people’.

I believe this to be simplistic, but with a certain truth to its core.

What I do know and what I have seen, is that hurt people can heal. Sometimes, it takes a great deal of work, patience, kindness, honesty and time.

If you are leaving chaos—in whatever form it may be, leave it behind completely—let it end with you.

If you grew up in a place where you were hurt, please seek help to work through your trauma and to heal your wounds. Never be ashamed of your scars.

Be kind to yourself, and gentle.

You are not what was done to you.

You are not what you were told you are.

You are not someone else’s pain.

Trust your instincts and listen to your heart.

May healing be yours,

liezel

there are things we do not know

my brother found me walking in a meadow.

the sky was big, clouds climbing all the way to the very top where God sits and has his tea, deciding on all the things people pray for—deciding who gets a miracle and who does not.

i never knew that my brother liked meadows, never knew that he liked to walk quietly, the morning light liquid on his back.

i only know that he used to eat life, loved living—that we didn’t get what we asked for.

as we walked, i showed him where the night-soft body of an animal travelled through the long grass in the dark. moving from one place to another, unseen. hidden.

he nodded, grinned at me, then winked.

where the blackberry bushes climb over each other, rambling berry-pinked and bower-shaped, he crawled into the middle and left.

perhaps to climb the clouds back to heaven, to tell of the softness of a summer’s day—the beauty of it.

the dead do whatever they want. none of our rules matter. rules are made for the living.

i wonder how often he walks beside me, dimple-cheeked, smiling at my grief, holding my loss in his hands, stroking it softly—the night-soft body of an animal, moving from one place to another. hidden. unseen.

— there are things we do not know

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Photo my own.

The Saltings, Old Kilpatrick.

The meadow at The Saltings. Old Kilpatrick, Glasgow.

the big reveal—my new book’s cover

I can finally share the cover for my second book, ‘a counting of love’ with all of you and I am a wee bit overwhelmed with excitement!

I will let you all know the release date in a few days, but here’s a taste of what it looks like.

Isn’t it stunning?

‘A counting of love’, is a little bit longer than ‘stripped’ and the poems explore love in all of her facets. I have included poems about love, faith, motherhood, selflove and body image—it is a beautiful collection of poetry that encompasses so much and I am deeply proud of it.

I hope that you will love it as well.

My gratitude to the very talented South African artist, Maritha van Amerom, for allowing me to use her striking digital print on the cover. Do go and look at her fantastic work at maritha.net.

And my gratitude to the wonderful Onur Aksoy at OneGraphica for the cover design.

I’ll share more soon!

liezel

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