in finding the ones who will hold your heart.

look for the ones who lean into your story.

the ones who don’t shrink back from your pain.

the ones who can hear what you are not saying.

these, are your people.

love them fiercely.

— on finding the ones who will hold your heart.

© Liezel Graham 2019.

Photograph source Pixabay.

{a repost from a year ago}

thoughts on failure.

let your failures leave you a better person, not a bitter person.

you are not alone in failing.

let the mistakes you have made—all of them—even the big ones, especially the big ones, leave you as one who will walk back to search for the one who needs help.

you are not the only one who has been lost.

everyone says let go of your failures—let go of your past. i say, all the things you wish you could undo in your life—those three am regrets? don’t let them go. hold onto them, but hold onto them loosely, so that you will always remember what it feels like to get it wrong.

because you are not the only one who has to fight off their past.

don’t let shame define you, but don’t forget the taste of it in your mouth.

give others what you needed when you were on your knees, with your back against the wall.

do this without any ulterior motive.

just be kind.

kindness, compassion and love like to get their hands dirty. they’re not ones for standing around looking holy.

so, take your hurts, take your memories, your failures and your regrets, and go out there and be a safe place for others and give them grace like it’s water.

you hold light in your hands and hope in your mouth.

and you might be the only one doing so.

this is how we change the world. this is how we save lives.

— thoughts on failure.

Photograph by Ander Burdain.

this is not my usual style, but things that need to be said.

liezel

{Chasing Brave}. A writing group with me, on Facebook.

After pulling my hair out and adding a few more frown lines to my forehead over the last few days, the writing group off my Facebook author page, is FINALLY ready.

If you are not sure whether you will enjoy the group, here are the group rules. You do NOT have to be an experienced writer. I am not going to teach Creative Writing. We shall explore how to write more bravely and with more courage than we have up until now, together as a group.

If you are keen to join in on the weekly prompts, please request to join via the link. It is a private group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2507722909509651/?ref=share

For those of you who have no interest in writing—everything here will stay the same! Thank you for reading my poetry and my stories!

{Chasing Brave} Writing Group Housekeeping Rules.

1) In this group everyone is welcome regardless of religion, belief, gender, sexual orientation or race. Please don’t post links to other sites and any content that can be considered spam. Please respect each other.

2) I will share a weekly prompt either on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. We will explore how to look inward (with courage) and write outward (with brave vulnerability).

3) If you share what you have written, please mention whether you want any feedback from the rest of the group.

4) I am not a Creative Writing teacher, so I will not be focusing on technique. I want to help you take your writing a bit deeper—help you explore taking the layers off.

5) Encourage each other. Be kind! Remember that some members are beginners, others are more experienced at writing, but ALL of us require courage to share our work and our stories with strangers—hopefully we won’t be strangers for long!

6) Let’s turn this into a beautiful, safe, supportive writing community!

7) You do not have to share what you have written with the group, however please try and let us know how the writing exercise allowed you to grow (or not).

If you want to explore writing in a more vulnerable manner, then please join in! We are quite a large group at the moment and I am still finding my way around facilitating such a large number of people, but it is already productive and there has been some brave sharing.

 

liezel

a new year’s song.

the year is dying in my hands

and

i am filling my apron

with a feather

for hope,

and

tiny bits of tumbled sea glass

for courage.

when the waters rise,

they will not wash over me.

a pinch of faith,

you only need a little,

and

a quilt of mercy

to warm my heart

that

at

times

has

loved

so coldly.

i will guard the spring.

guard it fiercely,

so that only

love

will

flow,

but i know

that i am cut from rough cloth

and

grace

is the bread that keeps me alive,

and you.

so

i will give

and give

and give,

until

we cannot see

who we once were,

for all the love.

that,

is how they will recognise us.

the broken ones.

not the knowledge.

not the perfection.

not the raised eyebrow,

but

the

love.

it’s how i recognised you,

when

all

i had known was failure.

you loved me first,

and

never

stopped.

and i will not worry about

my hips

or

my wrinkles

or

my yesterdays

or

my tomorrows.

i am held.

and because i am the one,

that

one,

who deserves an entire parable.

yes.

the one

who wanders

and

strays

into thickets

and

thorns,

where others see the danger,

i will remember that i was searched for

over and over,

every time

and

i too will

search

when others get lost.

i will not be the pointing finger,

but

the open hand that says,

here i am.

let me be

a light in a glass jar,

shining

in spite of it all.

— a new year’s song.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Photograph by Anshu A.

{a repost from 2018}.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your tremendous support, your friendship, your encouragement, your willingness to be vulnerable and your courage in sharing your hurts and your joys, here on my page!

You are all so beautiful!

2020 will be a tremendously exciting year for me. I have a recording session lined up in January where I shall be recording a selection of my poems, my second book will be published in March and I have been afforded a wonderful opportunity to teach on vulnerability and creativity in April (more to come on that later in the year).

I shall also be starting a group off this page for those of you who want to explore writing as therapy, or as a healing tool in your own life — a safe space where you can share your writing, ask for feedback from others (or not), enjoy writing prompts and perhaps just find your feet as a writer. More on that in the new year and it doesn’t matter where you are in terms of skill — this will be a space to heal.

I wish you a spacious, honest New Year,

liezel

may all your days be honest, and may you be honest about all your days.

i have carried a young poem

in my hands for days

now, but

in this year

where i have had to

strike rocks in the desert

just to taste a drop of water,

i have nothing left to make it

holy,

these words in my cupped hands.

nothing to dress it up with.

somewhere

between march

and

september,

i ran out of gold,

frankinscense

and

myrrh.

but still,

this poem wants life,

wants to bring red velvet hope

where there is straw, and

a friend said

to me,

as i undressed my heart,

have a gentle christmas,

and

may it be honest.

so i am holding this up,

instead.

this word.

honest.

lifting it high above my life tonight,

like a star.

a compass.

not merry.

not bright.

but a light,

nonetheless.

— may all your days be honest, and may you be honest about all your days.

© Liezel Graham 2019.

Photography by Annie Spratt.

sharing a little freeform writing with you on this eve before christmas.

if this year was hard for you—mine has been—losing both my gran and my brother in the space of a couple of months, knocked the wind right out of me, and if you are missing the breath of people you love, if you have lost a part of yourself, or if you have no idea how tomorrow, or next year will look…

then i wish you a gentle, honest christmas.

it doesn’t have to be merry.

it doesn’t have to be bright.

may all your days be honest, and may you be honest about all your days.

know that you are loved,

liezel

my deepest thanks to my beautiful friend, Lisa, for giving me the gift of an honest christmas.

audiobooks and spotify. yes, or no?

Please talk to me about audio books, streaming and cd’s.

Would you be interested in an audiobook of poems, or a cd?

Do you use streaming platforms such as Spotify?

Any thoughts on a theme, or content for something like this?

Lastly, would you have a preferred accent for the narrator, or would you enjoy the poems if I read them personally?

For those who don’t know, I have a South African accent with a wee bit of Scottish flavour 😉

Thank you, lovely people!

There are some exciting things happening in the new year,

liezel

Photograph by Hannah Timms.