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

housekeeping.

i woke up this morning

to find

that all the

worrying things

in my life

had already

settled

themselves

down,

in my mind

for the day.

there they were,

seated in the most comfortable chairs,

completely at home.

bickering amongst themselves,

clamouring

for my heart’s attention,

who was more important?

who deserved more attention?

who wore the scariest mask?

i tried to show them the morning light

dancing on the wallpaper,

but,

they preferred the dark.

let’s have some tea,

i said,

a sweet start to the day,

but,

they only drank the bitter waters of ‘mara’.

i tried to show them

pictures,

beautifully framed,

of all the good memories

from the past,

but,

they had images of their own,

not yet developed.

negatives,

where the light

appeared

dark,

and i struggled to

discern the real

picture.

so, i left them there,

in their front row seats,

grumbling for lack of attention

and

i went out,

seeking

peace and promise,

and

somewhere

between

my boy’s laughter on the playground swing,

and giving an old book from the charity shop

a

new

home,

and an old lady’s

petal pink smile

in the dairy aisle,

and sipping spicy, chai tea

in the warmth of

a tea shop,

i walked right into holiness.

mundane grace,

found me

and

smiled at my

unwelcome guests,

laughed at their

false bravado,

and

their dwindling shadows,

and

before i knew it,

light flooded into the corners

where fear likes to

lurk,

and happiness,

kicked melancholy

right out of her favourite seat.

what a commotion that was.

and hope,

sweet

gentle

hope,

walked right up to despair

and said

out!

now!

and,

that was that.

party over.

here and there,

a handwritten promissory note

of future doom

still flaps about in the breeze,

but,

the windows are open

and

hope has a broom.

and,

she’ll take care of those.

she likes to keep things

clean.

— housekeeping.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

It’s been a funny old day.

Perfect for mental housekeeping.

Fortunately, hope, likes to keep things clean.

grace, in the everyday.

i breathe

thanks

for the

gifts

as

they

fall

into

my

lap.

a

moment

by

holy

moment,

eucharisteo

for the

seemingly

insignificant

details of

my life.

instead of

relying on tired

memory

at day’s

end,

when

i forget

the taste of the tea,

sweet and milky.

the warmth from the radiator,

always reliable.

candles and apples,

and flowers

from the grocery store.

windows in walls beneath a roof,

and books

that

line

my

walls.

a washing machine that

works.

and food in cupboards,

my daily bread,

given.

and,

i search deeper

for the plain things

that

are holy things

of old.

the water and the wine,

and

the fish and the bread

and

the mud and the spit

and

my breath and my life

and

always

the giver

becomes

the gift

and

it

is

all

a golden

thread

of

everyday

grace.

and

i

breathe

thanks.

— grace, in the everyday.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

walking each other home.

and,

perhaps

you were broken,

splintered,

by the twin gifts

of loss

and

grief,

not

because heaven took its

eyes off you

for a year,

or ten.

a holy turning away

when the force

hit your chest

and

the air was driven

from your lungs

with a shock

that never

seems

to

end.

it feels like that, some days,

doesn’t it?

but,

you are not alone.

you

are

not

the only one,

take heart.

all over the world

there are

others,

further back.

searching.

the blessed ones who mourn

in the dark,

seeking desperate comfort.

the sick ones who fear

the dark thing with teeth,

seeking fresh hope.

the incarcerated ones who carry shame

like a disease,

seeking one more chance.

the different ones with DNA

that didn’t follow the rules,

seeking just to belong.

the hunted ones who hunger

for peace,

seeking a safe place to breathe.

all over the world

we

are

broken.

and, someone needs to

shine

the

light.

to hold the lamp

on the journey

home.

to whisper gently,

not long now,

be strong,

we’re almost

there.

—walking each other home.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

I have sat with this one for a while, and I have rewritten it and deleted it, and polished it, and now I am going to leave it as it is.

I think it says what it needs to say.

Liezel xx

self (worth).

does the sparrow

count

her worth,

in seeds found,

at the end of the day?

a tallying of

numbers

lining up

with avian goals

to achieve,

until

the figures

nod

approval to

her

existence,

or does she simply

rest,

content,

with full belly

in her warm nest,

a life

lived.

— (self)worth.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

I have been working on my internal dialogue — the driven personality that seeks to find (my) worth in what I do.

A counting of what I can tick off my to-do list at the end of the day and only once that list is long enough, full enough, allowing myself the pat on the back, the well done.