A poem for the one who longs to be seen.

how you fought your way out of their words

how you taught your eyes to look away

how you held the light in your mouth

how you chose to grow kindness


all the courage that lives in your hands, all the fear

that you stand on every day

you are a tree called beauty, strong

you are branches

flung wide open, filled

with song

— seen

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Reynardo Etenia Wongso on Unsplash


For you who longs to be seen.

You are enough.



everything has a name. everything needs love.

everything has a root.

it doesn’t matter who planted it.
it is growing now, here
in your soil.

follow it down, follow it
down into the earth.

then dig.

dig with your hands, dig with your bare feet.
don’t be afraid.

it is only dirt
under your nails.

it can all wash away, anything can be cleaned again.
made to shine again, even cracks can be filled
with gold.

and the rain is coming.
lift your face to the heavens, and smell
the water.

are you ready?

what you hear at first, that thing that climbs up your throat on
a trellis of ivy

is not always the leaf attached to the bone, sometimes
you speak
but a child comes out of your mouth, hurting

for something, but

everything has a root.

follow it down, into the soft, moist earth
to where it lies pale, and

it is not dead.
just buried a long time ago.

it breathes, it has been waiting
for you.

listen, find the thread.

don’t be afraid, there is nothing to fear

it was just a seed once.

sit with it, ask for its name.

it already knows yours.

come, come over here, and sit with it.
it needs you, needs
your presence.

if you ask it what it wants, it will say
kindness, and
to be seen for what it is—the beginning, the place
where your hunger started, where
your fear began to grow.

everything has a root.

it doesn’t matter who planted it.
it is growing now, here
in your soil.

follow it, follow it down into the earth.

open it up so that the light can fall on it, then
cover it with kindness, water it
with love.

ask it again for its real name, then

go about your day, your one beautiful life.
make tea. make beds. make

is a short season.

you know everything you need to know, now.

everything has a root.
everything has a real name.
everything that is hungry in your bones was planted a long time ago.
everything needs kindness, everything
needs love.

it doesn’t matter who planted it.
it is growing now, here
in your soil.

— everything has a name. everything needs love.

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

I have been dwelling on this theme quite a lot the last couple of days—this taking the time to fully recognise the real emotion that I am feeling in a given moment.

Recognising that my feelings and hurts and fears are rooted in something deeper, something that often was planted when I was young and perhaps, unable to deal with it in a way that would minimise its effects on me.

Much of what we feel; that comes out of our mouth when we are upset, or angry, is rooted in something else.

It has a different name.

It doesn’t need guilt, or uprooting, or destroying.

It needs kindness, and love and compassion.

I have been challenging myself to stop in the middle of overwhelm, or sadness, or anger even, and to find its real name…to follow the thread back to when it was planted, and then I cover it with love and kindness and compassion.

May I encourage you to do the same?

Much love,


#poetry #mindfulness

Poem: Every war has a first bullet. Every bullet can be buried deep inside a meadow.

the first time someone calls me fat, throws the word at me sharp and sure of its target.

only a small stone at first.

laughter fills the bus.

i am five years old.

i know so many things.

that books are my friends, that green is my favourite colour, that i really hate green beans, that outside is safer than inside.


i do not know what to do with this thing, the weight of it seems to grow, it breathes, climbs right on top of me, follows me


never leaves.

it tries to live with me until death do us part, but later

i look death right in the eye, twice.

and i live.

and i learn to fight a hundred battles by lunchtime.

i say to myself

my odd eyes, too-big nose, too keen smile.

i say, look at you!

here you are eating happiness in the middle of the day, not caring about the mess.

there is no thinness to your life, your laugh is full-hipped and wild.

there are no bones to your joy, your hands are so full of everything beautiful.

just look at you.

— every war has a first bullet. every bullet can be buried deep inside a meadow.

© Liezel Graham 2020.

Image by Fuu Ju


A naked poem about bullets and wars and things that won’t leave, but shrink the more you eat happiness.

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