Butternut Squash Soup

Thankful for tears
as I chop onions.
Release,
I didn’t know I needed.

Raw bitterness
dumped
atop sweet
orange flesh.

Juice
flows past my firmest grip.
Gentleness,
mixed with curry spice.

Squash and pear.
present with sadness.
Stewed together
then blended smooth.

A prosses,
as the bubbles rise.
God met me here.

The soup is done.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Walnut Greens, Falling Purpose/Door is a Jar Magazine

I have been waiting in great anticipation to share this publication with everyone. It’s always such a blessing to my heart to see my words in print, and as an acceptance from Door is a Jar Magazine was unexpected, it makes it even sweeter.

I first connected with this magazine on twitter #writingcommunity.

Door is a Jar is a print and digital literary magazine of poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, drama and artwork. Our publication focuses on writing that is accessible for all readers.

Door is a Jar Magazine

Their emphasis on accessibility for all and clarity so that everyone can enjoy and understand the stories and poems they publish is right in line with what I am all about. I enjoy academic and literary works but my heart is where the simple becomes beautiful.

“Within the cover letter please include your full name, contact info, and a fun 3-sentence bio, which will be published in the magazine. (We’re not as interested in how many degrees you have, or how widely you’ve been published. Instead, we want to hear about the real you. We want to know about the little things that spur you along.)”

Door is a Jar Submission page

My poems Walnut Greens and Falling Purpose appear in Issue 23 Summer 2022 alongside the work of 49 other writers. This issue is available on Amazon as an ebook and in print.

If you are a writer, I encourage you to take advantage of their rolling submissions.

Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Aracknid Atrist

Silken strands strung stunningly,
a woven web of artistry.
Secretions from innovations soul,
yet born to place each strand,
just so.
Elegant economic pattern,
drops of diamond dew bespattered.
Stops one dead in tracks this morn.
Now to face arachnid
scorn.
To such a masterpiece destroy…
A humbled apology employ.
Hours spent on spinning threads,
a masterpiece of newness
spreads.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Arachnid Artist was originally published in The Dwelling Issue 7: BUGS UNDER THE RUG.


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Stone Driveway

I would test the line
With a toe.
Were the rocks really as sharp as I remembered?
Would they bite as deep as last time?
A deep breath, a dive.
Move fast,
Perhaps it won’t hurt as much this time.

Then,
The coolness of grass.
A softness, refreshing, soothing bruised skin.
Until I was called to cross again.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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He Names Me

Who am I?
The one that you see?
What she thinks of me?
All they note?
Or the thing he missed?

Who?

Guilty
That I forgot
Lost in the mess
Of others’ thoughts
Spewed at my feet

Why?

Untranslatable
From one mind to another
Labeled with others
Experiences
Self perceptions that tell lies

Where?

Is the truth of me
In this ever shifting nexus
Is it written down
In His book of days?
Was I

Planted

A vine that climes
Grabbing hold of His
Provisions
Both free and confined
To grow along the trellis of

His cross

When I reach the top
Will I know?
Intertwined and grounded
By Him, with Him,
I am for Him

Upheld

Blooming in my seasons
Existing, a separate being
Singleness, within the
Universe’s Whomb
Bearing fruits as He names me

Loved

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Covid Verses/Paddler Press

The Covid Verses

Featuring 30 poems written during the global pandemic, this eclectic collection from international authors shares the humour, the frustrations, the loves, and the loss that we all have experienced.

– Paddler Press

I love it when an editor brings writers together and creates something special. I believe that is what Deryck Robertson has done with The Covid Verses. My poem Starving Overtime has graciously included in this collection that stands a testament to the world’s shared grief, pain, and fear. It may have been a dark two years for many, but it’s not a time we should forget, lest we fail to learn from our experiences.

This collaborative chapbook is available in print from Paddler Press. Please consider picking up your own copy to support this great Canadian Small Press.

Mary Grace van der Kroef

Keep Lit

He didn’t say
we wouldn’t weep while we waited.
He didn’t say
feeding the lantern’s flame,
wouldn’t singe.
He didn’t promise,
finding oil would be easy.
Only “Be ready,”
and the Spirit will with you sit.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Miller Farm Fairy

Originally Written in 2009 while sending time in Bourbon Indiana on my Grandparents Farm. We enjoyed many walks down to the pond and dressing up in cattails and corn leaves sparked my imagination.

Her skirts are bound with borrowed twine,
Its folds of corn-leaf silk.
Braided reeds with clover, wheat,
Above a face as sweet as milk.

Her cheeks glow pink, her feet are bare.
Eyes a-twinkle in the light.
Heals they stain a healthy green
As they dance with all their might.

She is friends with the old elm tree;
Names the drying cornstalks.
Talks with people and things unseen…
But only till it’s six O’clock!

Then it’s off with her corn-leaf skirts,
Goodbye to pond and field.
For mother will be calling soon,
The table spread. It’s time to eat.

Bath with a story,
Sleep with sweet dreams.
Rest until tomorrow,
A day filled with many new things.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Washed Out

I found this poem from 2008 hiding in my files. It was written before I considered myself a writer, and before I ever dreamed of being a poet. I thought it would be fun to share it with all of you.

In fields of grey
and washed out rose,
Beneath a sky
in eternal repose,

Opposite a Rainbow,
its edges torn,
Beside a bramble
full of thorns,

While set against
a horizon, worn,
Laid across
a brook so forlorn,

Is a precious place
imprinted deep,
on wooden planking
where he sat to weep.

He watched
a little boat drift,
so far away
his last loving gift.

Carved from a branch
leaf for a sail,
it bobbed down stream
green foam on its tail.

The lady fair
he had dressed in moss,
her fragile wings
still held high aloft.

With her went his worlds
colour and life.
His soul skipped a beat
at this, his first strife.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Splinter

Like
a splinter in the foot
you just can’t seem to see,
is the pain within a heart
filled with
anxiety.
No one else can see
pain
that you now feel.
Often times you ask
if it’s even truly
real.
Walk about your day,
the prick
will stab with pain.
Balancing
the wound
becomes a dripping drain.
Energy is lost,
focus on protect.
Friendships
pays the cost,
when attention you
deflect.
How
to remove
a shard that can’t be seen?
First admit,
discard
pretending’s screen.
Allow
a probing look.
A gentle searching poke.
Trust
someone who knows,
this pain in not a joke.
Often
it may feel
like a bandage ripped away.
The sting,
it may endure
well into your day.
But,
pain of healing hands
is worth a season’s rest.
It’s a pain that’s bearable
when into tears it’s
pressed.
Gentle
words may pinch,
a tweezers searching bite.
And tears can wash away,
splinters
and their bite.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Splinter,’ was originally published in Fahmidan Journal‘s Issue 6: Autoimmune & Mental Health Warriors. Page 10–11.


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