Spangled blackberry skies

it is the ceiling of the small room splitting apart inside of me, the way it opens up towards a spangled blackberry sky when i hold the names of God in my mouth, the way my breath escapes upwards and higher and further away than it has in a long while—the tally of seared seasons that i have clenched in my hands, how i have held onto their sapless bodies because their presence is something, is at least a thing that i have, and now to speak grace over them, to rub the memories with lavender oil, and rose geranium for not-forgetting-because-then-there-is-no-learning, this is what it is to return—to whom, you might ask—don’t we all return to something at a thousand turns in the journey, but you are correct to ask ‘to whom’, because it is not the turning back, but the turning to whom, or to what, or to where that matters, and for me it is a walk back from the thicket, or rather, being led by the hand, and it is old and it is new, and there is holding my own name on the blanket of my tongue and knowing it matters, i could tell you so much about freedom and noise and how i have struggled to listen through it, and how it comes and goes, but only to the edge of my vision, always it is there, and when i reach for it, it leans over and allows me to touch it, i could tell you all of this, but rather i would tell you that this morning there was light the colour of a ripe apricot, towards the hills, diffuse behind the chimney stacks, the loafed roofs of the flats filled with other soft mammal bodies, learning how to die beautifully inside their own skin, finding their way around hope, and perhaps at last knowing it to be the food that fills, but also, whilst all of this holiness was splintering off the walls of my life, there was the sound of the percolator bubbling on the range, the birds outside, the faraway traffic toing and froing, the ones i love slowly finding their way back to me out of their dreams, picking up the circles of light that shifted whilst they were sleeping, how the sound of them moving about the long lines of the house, this space of quiet and peace, how this by itself was already a prayer answered, an old one and a new one, one upon another and seventy times seven times over and pressed down and spilling over the edges of my days, these rooms with breathing bodies, still here, still with life in their bones, still able to say the words ‘new’ and ‘again’ and ‘love’. isn’t this already enough? to be here, in this now. in this feathered, singing moment, not wanting for anything else.

© Liezel Graham 2023

{image by Heather Carpenter on Unsplash}

a few words from my early morning.

i hope they find you too.