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

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

mask.

i undresed my anger

and found

grief

hiding,

naked and neglected.

— mask.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

…and it’s important to add, that when I speak, or write of grief, that I personally include, loss. And that is what I am trying to convey here, that loss — especially in childhood when one doesn’t always know how to process the incredibly strong emotions that come with that helpless feeling of having things/people/stability/security ripped from you — can lead to a myriad of masks.

when joy, was a dead bird within my chest.

i woke up

this morning

with joy, a

dead

bird

within my chest.

she just lay there.

curled up,

a weight of

dead

feathers;

throat silent.

and i wanted to

mourn her,

rail angrily against the

poisonous

seeds

that had stolen her.

cancer.

depression.

death.

fear.

anger.

loneliness.

foreignness.

distance.

and all the

dark things

that go

bump

in the night.

but my words

were

gone.

stolen.

so i sat with her,

cradled

within my hands

gently whispering

all that i had left,

i am sorry.

i am sorry.

and slowly,

the liquid morning

light

fell

just so

onto her face,

and elgar’s

enigma

covered her body

with a gentle

blanket of cello,

and the

cool

autumn breeze

from the open window

ruffled

the fine down

on her breast,

and she remembered.

all the good things,

all the beautiful things,

all the hopeful things,

as the warm tea from

faraway places

warmed her throat

until

her voice

returned.

and she shook

her feathers

and inclined

her head

as she ate

hope

amongst the thorns.

—when joy, was a dead bird within my chest.

© Liezel Graham 2018.