samaritan.

loss,

the kind that

settles

in your

bones, because

it has become

a regular visitor.

unwanted,

of course.

feared,

as well.

this

kind

of

loss

that

explodes

through

the front door

of

your life

and rips

the curtains

from the windows,

allowing

everyone

to see

the inside

of

what was once

hidden

private

sacred,

until.

this loss,

can fester

and

cause

your

heart to breed

bitter

and

your

tongue to sing

self-destruction.

so,

you must not let it.

do

you

hear

me?

whilst the windows

are

bare,

throw

them open.

and,

when you

see

their eyes

from the other side

of the road,

let them look.

let them gawk.

your pain,

is

your

pain.

let them stare, but

you,

you,

let the light in.

lay it all out

on

the

floor

and

let the light

soak up

the poison.

and

with time

loss,

will

gain

weight,

more

and

more,

until

one morning

you will look

up

and

see another

with

a

splintered front door,

and you will

find

compassion

empathy

love,

pouring from your

hands

and

you

will

mend

another’s

curtains,

ripped

from

windows,

and

you,

will be love.

—samaritan.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

With this poem, I wish I could flesh out the back-story, but I cannot.

Not yet.

But, I know that loss, can breed bitterness if you let it, or, it can grow bigger and metamorphosise with time — this, is not a quick thing — into something beautiful.

If you will let it, it will soften your heart and your hands and you will become Samaritan to others who need someone to cover their nakedness from the world’s prying eyes.

So, you let the light in.

Yield to it — the loss and the light.

It will be ok.

when the waters of long loch, sang to my bones.

today,

the

grey

waters of long loch,

caressed

her pebbly edges

in

an

embrace,

so fierce,

that

it

took

my

breath

away, and

the

autumn

clouds,

cloaked,

in november’s

softest

light,

smiled

gently

on

this

love,

and me.

and,

i held all my

loss

and all my

hope,

in

my

gloved

hands.

a prayer,

thrown

to

the

wind, and

the

waters

sang

an

ancient

lullaby, to

the water

in

my

bones, and

i understood.

and

this,

was

(finally)

enough.

—when the waters of long loch,

sang to my bones.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Photograph — Long Loch, Cove, Scotland.

© 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

(there is) life after death.

the wild cherry tree
that stands
sentinel
below my kitchen window, had

until today,

lost all her leaves,

but two.

and all morning long
i kept watch
over her labour
as i rinsed the remains of

give-us-our-daily-bread

from plates, and
somewhere
between brewing tea
and folding laundry,

she let go of the last signs
of life,

and i stood with my head
bowed
in that solemn moment, but

she swayed in the wind
and said,

‘there’s no need for sadness,
i have been expecting this loss
and
it is good.’

as two leaves became
one
with all the others, and

gold

lay like love,
all over the
very ordinary
lawn.

— (there is) life after death.

© Liezel Graham 2018.