on mothering diabetes.

in my fridge,

in

the

shelf

that

is

designed

to

hold

cheese,

there

are

vials

of

hope,

and

a kit

with

pre-filled

hormone,

that

will

bring you back

if

you

should

ever

slip

too

far

away from me.

i,

keep

nocturnal vigils

with

foxes

and other

mothers

who have to

keep

on

keeping

on,

before 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

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 words can carry,

hypo

hyper

ketones

coma

death.

but,

i

also

know

the

hope

in glass vials,

where

every

drop

holds

life.

i,

know

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.

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.

on being wild.

i am not

soft

and

beautiful, fluent

in the language

of

women

who

know

how to act,

how to speak,

how to

be,

round

and

pliable

and

tame.

this

truth,

i have

always

known, and

i carry

it

fiercely.

i am

thorn

and

metal,

shaped

by

war.

and,

somewhere

between

nine

and

all

the

other

years

that

formed

my

skin,

i

learned

to

keep my edges

sharp

and

wild.

unrestrainable.

and,

this

is

where

i

hide.

— on being wild.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

be gentle (with yourself).

you,

are a life made of seasons.

do not apologise for

the starkness

of your winter.

— be gentle (with yourself).

© Liezel Graham 2018.

It takes a great deal of courage to live transparently.

We are encouraged to put on a brave face, a happy face — think positive, pray more, hand it to God.

But sometimes, these things do not lift the burden.

And, this is ok.

Learn to be gentle with yourself and the season you are in.

Learn to be gentle with others and the season they are in.

Sometimes, a kind word and quiet companship are more powerful and more healing than (well-meant) advice.

ancestors.

a friend

and

i,

were talking about

fears

and how they are

there, but

they hold no passport

and

so,

we don’t know

which

body

they

belong to,

forever guessing

their country

of

origin,

questioning

how

they

settled

in

our

neural

pathways.

and,

i said that

i believe

we carry

ancestral memories

in our

dna,

and they too,

have no

body

of origin,

but still,

they

exist

in

my

cells

as this deep love

for rain,

and

the sound of the ocean,

and

the feel of water

on

my

limbs

as

i

metamorphosise

into

a

fluid

being,

unusual

in one born

in

may,

a sign of the earth.

yet,

somehow

there is water

flowing

deep

within

my

bones,

and

i wonder

whose

memories

i carry

within my body,

and

whose

breath

will

one day

carry

my

love

for

the sea.

— ancestors.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Some days, a poem will just birth itself almost instantly — an opening of the door and a silent entering.

Waiting to be put onto paper.

A dear friend and I, were having a conversation about irrational fears and it started me thinking on irrational loves and how we sometimes love things that are inexplicable when compared to our family. I have always believed that just as we carry genetic disease, we carry ancient memories in our DNA and perhaps this explains our fears and deep loves. xx