therapy.

in a field

on the farm

that i like

to walk past,

there is a tree.

once upon a time,

i am sure,

she must have stood

tall

and

proud, a

useful

tree

indeed, a

normal

tree, a

tree

that

when people

saw her

they

would say,

in their very knowledgeable

way,

for they know all about

how

to

be

a

proper

tree,

now there is a beautiful tree.

but,

not anymore.

now,

she is gnarled

and

bent

from

her

waist

down

to

the

ground.

a naked

act of worship

to the soil,

that

now holds her

grounded

in root

and

branch.

unable

to

aim

for

the light,

she

kisses

the

earth.

and people walk past her

in private conversation

with each other

and

they

do not notice

how

her

lowest

branches

have

shaped

a safe space

for

the lambs, and

how the birds still

converse

with each other

in her

misshapen

crown,

whilst

they sing

sky

songs

to

her

about

clouds

and

the sun

and what it means to

be

alive, and

not once

do they tell her

to

go

back

to

who

she

was, to

unbend herself

from her

melancholy

and

the thing that caused her

to

fold in

on herself, because

to them

she is

still

a tree.

— therapy.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

on why i write.

all

the tears

of my

foremothers,

spill

hot

relief

onto the pages

that i write.

i weep in ink.

— on why i write.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

These last few weeks (on social media) have been really hard.

I have wanted to cut myself off.

From the anger.

From the heartache of women who remain, unbelieved.

I have, instead, decided to write even more transparently — even more bluntly, than ever before.

There are women, who share my DNA and those who are my sisters by the sharing of hearts, and wombs and fears — women not known to me, but whose stories share the same ancient refrain.

Whose voices need to be heard — need to be honoured.

This, is why I write.

nothing has changed.

i walked along the lapping edge of a loch, seeking

the mute swan

who speaks her

peace

without a sound, finding

solace beneath the

tender canopy

of ash and

sycamore, for the world

is bleeding from her bones and every woman

that I carry within my

dna is afraid, it has

always been this way

the feminal voices whisper.

nothing has changed.

nothing

has

changed, since we buried

our bruises under layers

of silent resignation, carrying

the world in our womb

and our word

still

not

enough.

so, i take them by the hand

lead them by waters that

are quiet

and still,

seeking

the peace

of the wild things, the robin

calling from the undergrowth

and the wary fallow deer

always watchful,

of man

in this sylvan glade, where

nothing has changed.

nothing

has

changed.

— nothing has changed.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

EDIT: I have stumbled upon a beautiful poem by Wendell Berry, called ‘The Peace of the Wild Things’.

And in honour of his exquisite words — you really should read it — I have changed the title of my poem to ‘Nothing has changed.’