graffiti.

when i was

twelve,

i learned

that

i could

love

someone,

and

fear them,

at

the

same

time.

that,

fathers

write

words

on the inside

of

their

daughters’

eyes,

that

will

blur

their

vision

forever.

a self-destructive

wall

of

graffiti,

forever

spoken

in other voices, despite

a holy whitewash.

i learned

that

those,

whose

eyes

are

backlit

with

the pure light

that

is

born

from

knowing

they are safe,

do not understand

the

language

of

spray-canned

letters

and

diy

painted-over

walls,

and

so,

i learned

to search

for

other

voices

who

knew

how to

wallpaper

the

inside

of the brain, and

this

work

is

never-ending, really.

it

never

ends.

but,

with

each

new

layer,

the

message

fades.

d

i

s

t

o

r

t

s

until,

i can

almost

believe

that

i

once

was

enough.

— graffiti.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

be gentle (with yourself).

you,

are a life made of seasons.

do not apologise for

the starkness

of your winter.

— be gentle (with yourself).

© Liezel Graham 2018.

It takes a great deal of courage to live transparently.

We are encouraged to put on a brave face, a happy face — think positive, pray more, hand it to God.

But sometimes, these things do not lift the burden.

And, this is ok.

Learn to be gentle with yourself and the season you are in.

Learn to be gentle with others and the season they are in.

Sometimes, a kind word and quiet companship are more powerful and more healing than (well-meant) advice.

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.

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.