(the world is weeping) and there is tender work to be done.

you can bring

someone

a basket of hope,

soft and fresh.

.

.

but

you

cannot

make

them

eat.

.

. a broken heart,

is not easy to feed.

.

.

and,

watching the light

fade

from the bones

of someone

you

love,

.

.

can shrink the heart.

.

.

yes, it can.

but,

you must not give up.

.

. we,

are the light bearers.

the ones who chase darkness

from corners,

as we help

search for lost coins. and lost dreams. and lost

hope.

.

. we,

are the ones

who

plant

mustard

seeds

in dusty soil, and .

tell terrifying mountains

to move.

.

.

even

though

our

voices

break.

.

. we,

are the ones

who

carry

water

in buckets

for those

who are

too tired

to hope

for a harvest.

.

. we,

are the reminders,

with life on our tongue.

.

.

the ones who

whisper,

.

. i know this road, too.

take my hand.

i will not leave,

you.

.

.

so,

don’t give up.

not now.

.

.

roll up your sleeves.

straighten

your

bruised

heart.

.

. listen.

.

.

the world,

is weeping, and

.

.

there is tender work

to be done.

— (the world is weeping) and there is tender work to be done.

.

.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

.

.

Photograph by Rene Asmussen.

on being the holy broken.

you wonder

if it is worth

living your life

cracked

wide

open, whether

.

.

wearing your heart

on your sleeve

and

all your

hopes

carried in

unclenched

hands,

is ever safe, where

.

.

all the world can

see, and

all the world can

say

what they feel

about the tender courage

that has

taken

root

within you.

.

.

it will not be easy.

no.

definitely not.

there will be pain.

it is a new birth,

after all.

.

.

but, you must not

curl

inward.

.

.

lift your head.

unfurl your spirit.

reach upward.

live outward.

.

.

you are the holy broken.

.

.

the one holding the light.

.

.

and if you show your scars, people will come

and sit with you,

and they will listen.

.

.

and this

is how we heal each other.

by living gently,

and walking vulnerably.

unafraid of opinion.

ready to wipe away

tears

and

fears

and

other darkness,

with the light

shining

from

the cracks

in our bones.

moved only by the spirit.

.

.

so, yes—do it.

live your life a white dove

on the battlefield.

.

.

cracked

right

open.

.

.

it will all be ok.

.

.

—on being the holy broken.

.

.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

.

.

Photograph by @luizclas .

on samaritans and being the light.

what if,

we became

the light

in the dark

for

the ones who are lost,

.

.

who can’t find their way home,

no

matter

how hard

they try,

or pray,

or believe.

.

.

because sometimes,

faith

can

blister

and

crack,

and we all need to be covered

with

the coolness of

mercy,

when the fire

burns

too

hot,

.

. sometimes.

.

.

what if,

we became

the hansels

and

the gretels

with our hands

full

of

crumbs.

.

. and, crumbs are enough,

to lead

the way

out,

.

.

of where we

too, once

had

to

cast

our

eyes down,

to hide from the things

that snarl and that bite.

.

.

let’s feed

the hungry.

we don’t need that much.

.

.

really.

it’s been done

before

with

the smallest of numbers.

.

. even threes and fives

are seeds

for

hundreds.

.

.

let’s be the salt

and

the hands that

hold

up

exhausted arms that just can’t anymore.

.

.

let’s

look

for tired feet

and dirty feet,

and yes,

they need it most,

to

wash, and

.

.

let’s search

for smouldering hearts,

that are ready to give up,

and

let’s

gently

blow

life

back

into

the cracks.

a holy resuscitation.

.

.

let’s be the ones

who

unbruise,

and

unhurt.

.

.

who

pick up

and

carry

and

bandage

and

stand,

when it matters,

.

.

and

doesn’t it always?

.

. matter?

.

.

that

somebody

chooses

to stand

with

the outcast

and

the outnumbered,

.

.

in spite of

the holy

guidelines, and

.

.

they

have

been

wrong.

.

.

in spite of love.

.

.

so, here’s what we do,

.

.

let’s

be

the renegades

and

the shepherds

and

the cupped hands

holding

water, and

.

.

perhaps then

we might

see

that there is no

piece of paper,

degree

.

.

or decree,

that could ever

carry the weight

of

this wild samaritan

love.

.

.

—on samaritans and being the light.

.

.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

.

.

Photograph by Egor Kamelev.

on being the holy broken.

you wonder

if it is worth

living your life

cracked

wide

open, whether

.

.

wearing your heart

on your sleeve

and

all your

hopes

carried in

unclenched

hands,

is ever safe, where

.

.

all the world can

see, and

all the world can

say

what they feel

about the tender courage

that has

taken

root

within you.

.

.

it will not be easy.

no.

definitely not.

there will be pain.

it is a new birth,

after all.

.

.

but, you must not

curl

inward.

.

.

lift your head.

unfurl your spirit.

reach upward.

live outward.

.

.

you are the holy broken.

.

.

the one holding the light.

.

.

and if you show your scars, people will come

and sit with you,

and they will listen.

.

.

and this

is how we heal each other.

by living gently,

and walking vulnerably.

unafraid of opinion.

ready to wipe away

tears

and

fears

and

other darkness,

with the light

shining

from

the cracks

in our bones.

moved only by the spirit.

.

.

so, yes—do it.

live your life a white dove

on the battlefield.

.

.

cracked

right

open.

.

.

it will all be ok.

.

.

—on being the holy broken.

.

.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

.

.

Photograph by @luizclas .

on teaching you kindness.

i turn you

into

gentle

words,

every

day.

so that

kindness,

will

always bloom

from

your

mouth.

— on teaching you kindness.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

I am Mum to a boy who is autistic.

Years of struggling with social interaction sees him confused whenever he is rejected by peers, or even adults.

He cannot understand why children reject his attempts at interaction and it is heartbreaking to watch, at times.

I don’t ever want his gentle heart to harden and after a failed attempt at making friends, we always talk it through—we try and figure out whether the other person was perhaps having a bad day, or maybe they didn’t hear him say ‘hello’.

I shower him with praise for trying—trying to reach out when it is easier not to.

I speak kindness over him, so that this will be his default language in spite of how others might treat him.

And perhaps, this is something we should do with ourselves?

Turn ourselves into words—kind, trusting, hopeful, compassionate, empathetic.

So that we can care deeply for our hearts when they are hurting.

xx

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.

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.