have you ever?

have you ever eaten
sweet potato

baked in its own skin, taken straight from the oven
still warm.

rough on your mouth
at first,

but then,

sweet

soft flesh,
opening orange
on your starved tongue

no fork
no knife
or plate,

not dressed up as anything
it is not.

hands taking what they want,

this gift.

— have you ever?

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Ela Haney.
{Unsplash}.

there is beauty all around us.

this morning, i baked a tray of lovely sweet potatoes.

a poem found me in the soft, orange flesh.

reflections.

the poet is always a mirror.

— reflections.

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Inga Gezalian.
{Source: Unsplash}

a thought for the poets and also
something a little introspective.

allow your creativity to be a reflection.

in your words:

be brave.
be fearless.
be kind.
be honest.
be unapologetic.
be a map.
be a compass.
be hope.

you have words.
use them wisely.

liezel

my mouth can change the world.

if every peach skinned morning,

just as the new light holies me,

i decide

to keep all my words skin soft
and warm.

a prayer, perhaps

if you believe.

but, also if you don’t.

it works either way.
just like love.

i might remember this,

that i have so much kindness
in my mouth, but

there are days it doesn’t get used at all

and heaven sits on my shoulder all day,

a sparrow,

waiting to be set free.

— my mouth can change the world.

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Photograph by James Hammond.

MAJESTY 2020—an upcoming creative event in Nelson, NZ.

Friends, I am thrilled to announce that in April this year, I shall be taking part in an exciting creative event hosted by Atelier Studio Gallery in Nelson, NZ:

MAJESTY 2020—an Art & Faith Incubator.

I shall be facilitating a workshop on ‘Exploring Vulnerability and Courage in Creativity.’

In this workshop we shall explore how to step deeper into ourselves as CREATIVES in order to explore the courage required to live, and thus create, vulnerably, and how this allows us to encourage and bring hope to others.

I am in wonderfully fine company with David James (host and Visual Artist), Simon Hunter (Visual Artist), Jill Smith (Visual Artist & Art Therapist), Mark Raffills (Poet) and Dean & Jo McQuoid (Worship Leaders).

It’s going to be a wonderful time of sharing, learning and creating!

Click on the link below for further details.

https://mailchi.mp/9221e4cb4346/majesty-2020-an-art-faith-incubator

on manuscripts and love.

The behind-the-scenes glamour of a book being born.

It’s cold and blowing a hooley out there. In other words it’s the perfect weather for sitting snugly underneath a duvet and deciding which poems go where in manuscript number 2.

Also the perfect excuse to drink copious amounts of hazelnut flavoured coffee.

Now you know some of my deep, writerly secrets and it pretty much boils down to good coffee, and lots of it too!

A Counting of Love, is a beautiful collection of poems and prose poems about love and how it is the golden thread in our lives.

Old love, new love, love as it ends, love as it begins, sacred love, love for our children… love as the glue that holds us together, always.

x

swimming in deep water.

at the leisure centre

through the revolving doors

i walk

i wear my favourite jeans

the ones that lift

and support

there are parts of me

that need help

staying up

even after all these years of

strong

i come from a place only i know the scent of

i strip away

my coat

my shoes

i am on holy ground

a rain damp hat

knickers

too

everything that hides

me from the truth

of other bodies

them from me

me from you

i walk on feet

afraid

naked

almost

still

our eyes find each other

in all this wetness

and

we talk

we are strangers

in this great daring thing

together

we throw words to each other

like bright balls

catch and throw

catch and throw

your turn now

now my go

can i show

you

a little bit more of

me

when last has a stranger seen

the pale

of my skin

the dimples on my thighs

that grew with my pregnant

belly

but never left

twelve winters my hands have

felt them every night

just before i yield

reproving

as if my whole life is held

hostage

by the plumpness of my legs

that have carried me

bravely

through doors

and

far away from war

when we have finally shown

each other

enough

we undo the babysoft skin

of our courage

and

leave

revolving outward

into winter

later

quite by chance

we see each other in the

bread aisle

fingers carefully looking for

something sweet

our eyes do not meet

for more than

a second

they can’t

we are wearing far too many layers now.

— swimming in deep water.

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Photograph by Stefano Zocca.