Of Things That Have Been – Guest Post: Holly Grantham

What an honor to have my friend Holly Grantham visiting today. I invited her to bring her words. And she graciously said yes. Holly and I have enjoyed working as poetry partners in the past. You may recall our project entitled Adagio.

We have plans to collaborate after the first of the new year, writing poetry, sharing the lines and space, creating and word weaving together.

Enjoy now, the words of this beautiful woman..

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Of Things That Have Been

I finger them mindlessly most days,
These tokens of thanksgiving.
In some familiar corner of my brain I am
aware of their weight and
the anorexic string that
keeps them connected to a well
untended.
But something has shifted
inside of me and
I can’t remember
how to see.

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I have a bowl that sits on my kitchen counter
and in it are the scraps and corners and pieces of
meals prepared and cooked and fed to
the people that I love.
The contents of that bowl get tossed,
mindlessly most days,
into a growling pile of dirt.
Layer upon layer of repasts
Just sitting there
Marinating
Giving themselves over to death.

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Most days since Spring
I feel a hollow ringing somewhere just
below my rib cage
as if my heart was suddenly deafened by
the weighted silence left in absence’s wake.
I long to be overwhelmed by wonder.
And then, one day, the memory, it returns
Joy, it grows in the humus of things that have been,
in the layers that settle at the bottom of my days.
I remember slowly
how to give thanks.
I remember, friends, how to see.

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Holly Grantham, Bio

Holly is a wife, very relaxed homeschooling mom of three boys, snapper of photos, coming of age writer and a soul drowning in grace.

After years in Atlanta where she attended college, married the love of her life and lived in an intentional community, she found her way back to her home state of Missouri. She now lives in an antebellum stone house, raises chickens (sometimes) and pretends she lives in the country.

Holly may be found at her writing home A Lifetime of Days, on twitter @HollyAGrantham &
on her  facebook  writer page.  

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It’s Okay to Change Your Mind

It’s Okay To Change Your Mind

Decide you want to stay another day
To wake the morning of the First

And then
With the whole Earth

Rub the sleepness from your tired & wondering eyes
Wash  your weary face
Look up to the heavens
Feel a hundred flakes of confetti,
Crimson gold guilt leaves
Blow over you, thrown in celebration from the sky
Oh what a party it shall be

Then choose to find sweet beauty moments in

The midst of almost
unbearable

Pain

See

Over the horizon, this new and glory-filled day

Made by The Artist, who loves us

And knows well the grief of pain

Decide to look out on this life

To hear we love you

And embrace mankind’s collect cry

We’re so glad you chose

To see the Earth unveil her love

What amazing grace,

You changed your mind, its okay

You chose to see another day

We’ll name it, call it, celebrate with you

Your miracle,

Your second birth, your

Changed-your-mind birthday

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To read the series in its entirety click here

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No More Happily Ever After’s

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Welcome to Day Nine.

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No More Happily Ever After’s

And they lived happily ever after
Wait, what?

All those precious years spent
The clock tick tock
Tick, ticking
Wishing and waiting for
The grand grande finale
Life put on hold while things become bigger,
And better and bester and bestest
All those fair tale endings
Their endings so perfect
The slippers and princesses and knight’s
In their bright shiny armour
I sort of like things just the way
That they are

Even if sometimes
They seem dull, dim and plain

Maybe it all was a crock of baloney
Maybe Hans Christian Anderson or ole Walt
Yeah, Disney
Or dear  Mother Goose
Or whoever dared write it
Should have sat up and noticed
All the wild and the wooley, the winsome
The wonderful spilling out on the now
Like paint from a bucket tipped from the sky
Because I spy
With my little pair of hazel green eyes
The craziest most wonderful things in
A day
There are white standard poodles
Seated in cars
Blazing
Through busy intersections
Sitting up straight as a board in the passenger seats
In open convertible cars
It struck mommy as silly
And tickled her funny bone
As we drove all the way home

You can’t make this stuff up
Dear for Pete and
For heaven’s sake
A capuchin monkey’s having lunch
Out on the Parkway
With his owner
Seated out on the deck

The scandalous, humorous right here right now
Stop and wake up
In the middle of this one crazy life
The what’s happening this minute
While we’re off in a fog
Dreaming of perfect
And all the incredulous make-believe
After’s are not after
No, they are what’s just right here

In the mannered South where I was raised
To be oh so polite
Never abrupt, rude or
God-forbid loud
Or question my elders
I would just let it lie or lay or
Whatever

But the theology of the whole notion
Is just a little too off
And the cost well the cost
Is much too high to pay
You pay with your life
If you don’t enjoy this one glorious day

I’ll take my happily’s
Now, at lunch
By the deafening train track
With red bugs and yellow jackets
And Dementia, seated to my right
And all the uncertain rest
Of it
All

I’ll take my happily’s
In the comings and goings
And the dull inbetweens
The murky uncertainties and the worry and pain
The cancer, the divorce, the loss and the rest

I’ll look for the happily ever’s
All over the place

For me the ending of today’s well-lived story
Comes in the miraculous the beautiful
Found in
One very flamboyant
Fall tree

That caused me to slam on the brakes of the car
And stop at the urging of mother
Stop
On the side of a steep mountain hill
Stop in the middle of one thin hilly road
Stop dead in our tracks

And capture this moment
With one very long stare

The epitome of Joy
On a plain old Thursday
We sat and we drooled and we sighed
Just look at this

Our happily’s some days
Come in the form
Of tree’s whose leaves
Look like candied corn
Covered in
Technicolored leaves
Displayed against a canvas,
An
Azure blue sky
Sacred
Majestic
Pointing us heavenward
And reminding us

Look to the trees with their magnificent Glory
And leave the happily ever after’s
To those old
Children’s stories

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Joy: The Anecdote For The Blues

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Joy: The Anecdote For The Blues

This thing called joy
Scarce commodity, some of these days
Other days more plentiful than tree frogs
After the summer downpour
Singing their hight-pitched song
Harmonizing
All wet, wild and wonky
While the steam rises from the pavement

Perhaps we learn best when we go
Creeping through life
That joy is a by-product of slow walking
Slow talking
Pedaling places and savoring sentences
Scavenging for joy
In a world full of pain
Seeking beauty in the slower pace
Downshifting to meander
Instead of full throttle

Slow is a multiplier of joy
Some days
Quencher of thirst
Chaser of dark shadows and bad news
And evil doers
And what lurks underneath the bed

But joy fills in the cracks
Calks the gaping black hole places
Where the dull and dark
Need light and love

I know a story or two
About sadness and pain
You do too
I re-tell them, wear them out
On rewind

But I know some stories of miracle
And surprise
Of overflowing joy explosions
Like a whole box of Hot Tamales
At a buck a box
Poured into your mouth, in the best
Movie you ever have seen

I think if we spill it
Like sticky Coke on that movie floor
The sweet joy might
Just grab on to someone else

Lord knows the pain is deep

So spill that uncontainable joy
Share your news of good, great and excellent
The by-products of your prayer
The miracles in your life
Whisper it in humility
Or shout it shrill, roller-coaster ride loud
Hollering at the top of your lungs

Cause Lord knows we need
To wash that pain away
Like an ice cold sweet tea washes down
BBQ smothered in liquid heat

Wash me in your joy
Spill it out on me
And catch the happy tears I weep

Tomorrow may bring
A new flavor of pain
Share in my joy and I’ll share in yours
Remind me when the ebony clouds roll in
That Joy will come
In the morning, or the day after
Tomorrow’s morning
Remind me, soul
And re-tell the good, good news
You just lived

Joy is the anecdote
For the blues

Color me
In every shade
Of joy

joy boat leland

 

 

 

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joining Lyli and Jennifer