The behind-the-scenes glamour of a book being born.
It’s cold and blowing a hooley out there. In other words it’s the perfect weather for sitting snugly underneath a duvet and deciding which poems go where in manuscript number 2.
Also the perfect excuse to drink copious amounts of hazelnut flavoured coffee.
Now you know some of my deep, writerly secrets and it pretty much boils down to good coffee, and lots of it too!
A Counting of Love, is a beautiful collection of poems and prose poems about love and how it is the golden thread in our lives.
Old love, new love, love as it ends, love as it begins, sacred love, love for our children… love as the glue that holds us together, always.
today i saw a woman
in an orange jumper
a red floral skirt
from all the living she had already done by
brown hair unbrushed
and when she smiled at me
the soft skin around her eyes
showed me how much
she loves to laugh
a history lesson in joy
and for a moment she was
the most beautiful thing that
i had ever seen, and
i wonder if she knows this
when she looks at herself
in the mirror at night.
— the woman who laughed in colour.
© Liezel Graham 2019.
Photography by Kate Kozyrka.
Today at the library I saw a woman in a wrinkled, rumpled outfit, no make-up and with her hair unbrushed and a little wild, but when she smiled at me she lit the room up, and her smile was like an explosion of colour, and I hope she knows just how beautiful she is, and how her face spoke of her love for life, and it was a pure, intoxicating thing to witness.
there are wars being fought all over the skin of the earth, and
tomorrow does not fit into my hand.
does not have my name written on it yet, but
a magpie in its dinner coat,
is having an icy bath
in a pothole
in the middle of the road,
and isn’t all this beauty wonderful?
— it doesn’t have to be perfect.
© Liezel Graham 2019.
Photography by Jannet Serhan.
a wee monday scribble to remind you that despite it all, this world is a beautiful place…
peter mayer sings it beautifully over here,
at the end of a long walk
we come upon a split
in the path.
i know these woods like i know the contours of my son’s face.
i should not be afraid to let
him run ahead,
i know this.
but he shares my brother’s name, and i cannot see beyond the trees today.
i have lost so many things;
misplaced so much,
that my hand will not let go of his.
— let me hold your hand a little bit longer.
© Liezel Graham 2019.
I wrote this poem after a walk in one of our favourite woods this morning.
Today, is nine days without my brother and this afternoon, in a phone call back home, I listened to my Mom’s heartache at trying to find her way around a new normal without her son.
Learning to let go is a hard thing.
Photograph by Lisa Fotios.
summer’s light pulls me from my sleep earlier than i had hoped, but still i wake to silence in the house and quietly i rise, feet bare; limbs stretched out — a languid nod to the sun on the green of my mat and later, somewhere between midnight and now, i make breakfast and countless cups of hot assam tea.
and as the hours slowly walk their way towards home, i teach a small boy how to do addition — if you take one and add it to another, just like this, see how well they fit together, then you have two. and this is how we find each other in the most ordinary of places.
and later, after lunch, i stare for a long while in silence, at the swollen thunderclouds making slate-grey rain fall down on theold kilpatrick hills, and i envy them their freedom to let go, and somehow, somewhere between the soft shell of my earlobe and the horizontal exclamation of my clavicle, my bruised skin remembers your mouth.
and i wonder how to hide this, but my body will not listen, it never does, and the radio is softly playing that song, do you remember it, and i peel potatoes for dinner, and run hot bubble baths, and all i can do is blush.
— the kiss.
A weekend of long walks and looking up.
Images © Liezel Graham 2019.
Today, I experienced one of those surreal moments where time seems to stand still for just a little while, and everything inside you pays attention.
I saw a grizzled, old man.
Spine curved with age, he shuffled, unhurried, enjoying the early evening sun on his face.
As my gaze started to drift away, I noticed his shoes — they were red. The brightest red that I had ever seen. A celebration unto themselves.
They made my heart jump with joy. The sheer audacity of disregard for age, or convention, or what might be seemly enough for a man who has seen more than a few seasons.
As our eyes met — and it was just the briefest connection in time — I smiled at him. A gift, in exchange for this unexpected, wild delight of a man in the final act of his life, owning the sidewalk in his red shoes.
Oh, the beauty of this defiant act of joy.
— On exiting the stage in red shoes.
© Liezel Graham 2018.
It seems a good day to repost this story. Here’s to living our lives owning the sidewalk in defiant red-shoed joy,