friend.

sometimes,

the watery

winter

sun

calls my name,

gently,

from behind the clouds,

caressing

my face

with his tendrils of

hope.

but i turn my back.

not now, i say,

can’t you see

that i am hiding

from the light.

but he rubs solace

into my fears

anyway.

— friend.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

advice to the drowning.

on a cold, winter’s day,

a man

carrying a heavy load, lost his footing and

fell

into a deep, icy

river.

exhausted

from the

cold

and

the weight he had been

trying

to hold

he struggled to keep his

life

above

the

blackness

below.

on the banks of the river

there were,

fortunately

for him,

several others

willing

to help.

and a rope.

‘keep your head above the

dark and look towards the light’

and

‘i am praying for you. this battle is surely

spiritual

and you can,

indeed,

you

must

win this fight.

have you tried fasting?’

and

‘this despair is all in your mind,

just think positive.

do not give in to the

negative thoughts that are

swirling,

they are false

and you have the power to

overcome

this water’

and

‘i fell into a similar river once,

the water was warmer

and

not

quite

so

deep,

but i got out.

and

so can you.

if you try hard enough’

and

‘i shall throw you an apple and

some

organic carrots.

eat yourself

from out of

that

dark space’

and

‘what weakness is this?

i wish that i too had

the luxury

of

letting go of my

load.’

and

‘if you only knew how many

people all over this world

have prayed

for water

like that

which you are

so

fortunate

to be in.

so

just

swim.’

but

the man

was tired.

worn out.

ashamed.

defeated.

and

nobody

had thought

to throw

the rope,

and

so,

surrounded by

advice,

he drowned.

and all the helpers

walked away

muttering,

carrying their

thoughts

and

prayers

and

holiness

to

find

others

more worthy

to save.

— advice to the drowning.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

#WorldMentalHealthDay

Lessons on Joy.

My neighbour

has a three-legged,

chocolate brown

Border Collie.

Every afternoon

I stand

at my window

and watch

her exuberant,

lopsided

joy

as she discovers

the familiar route

of her daily walk,

once again.

If she could

talk

she would tell you of

a long line

of hard-working

ancestors

who helped bring

order

to the

chaos

that often accompanies

farming life.

Speed,

and

agility

are in her DNA,

but

not

in

her bones

and

she has every right

to

mourn

the limb

that

never was —

the

absent

appendage

to her

wholeness.

But

all

she

does

is

live.

Loud,

vigorous

and

ebullient,

with

open-mouthed

enthusiasm

at

the great fortune

of

yet another

day.

And

my heart

contracts

at this

choosing

to grab life

and shake

it

upside-down

until all the

good

has fallen

out

of

its

pockets,

in

spite

of

all

that was

lost.

— Lessons on joy.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Just for today. Rest.

Just

for

today,

be all

the

things

that your

weary heart

needs

and

let tomorrow

plant its own tree

to shelter

under.

— Just for today. Rest.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

On Motherhood and PND.

With

Motherhood

freshly etched

into her eyes,

she twisted all the

fragments

of

who

she

once

was

into an embryonic

frame,

from which she

hung

skin

taut with hope.

— On Motherhood and PND.

© Liezel Graham 2018.