Plastic Grows

Connection, as plastic cubes press together.

Click

A sound that speaks of acceptance, success, and lifts a smile across determined cheeks.

More clicks trumpet growth as the tower of color grows.

“One, two, three, four, five.”

Hesitation. What color next? Repeat the pattern? Mix it up? A finger taps lips in thought as eyes shine.

“Blue!”

It’s just right and belongs above yellow.
Plastic screams as hands stir the bin of blocks. It’s a symphony of possibility that makes an adult’s ears bleed, as a child listens to undertones and knows plastic grows.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Gentleness

Whispers that linger
in the cup of hand to heart.

Feathers that flutter
on words that lilt and dart.
Leaving presence behind like art.

Strength that guards
in silken threads of web.

Holding back sharp edges
with softest flow and ebb,
minding what is said.

Unrelenting,
unmovable gentleness.

How can one possess
this uncommonness,
that embodies love’s caress?

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Life Saving Poetry

Bypass lips, and tongue, to ask a soul a question. The answer you will get is a journey.

My friend John at Thoughts, Dreams and Enigmatic Things blog asked me to write something he could share on his own blog. I was honored when he asked, and had to take a good long think about what I would write. After I started writing I had to stop, and think again…

I am not sure why, but an episode from my favorite TV show, MASH, kept coming back to me. In this episode, Father John Mulcahy takes a trip up to the front line with Radar to pick up a wounded soldier. On the way back, the injured man chocks and stops breathing. The Father has to perform a tracheotomy on the side of the road, with the surgeons from the MASH unit guiding him over the radio. The procedure is a success.

Well anyway, that bit of remembering prompted this reflection.

Like a tracheotomy, the writing of poetry lets me breath while I choke.

It’s an invasive cutting, digging and searching through self.

Often its prayers whispered in pain, or shouted silently inside my brain.

Always, it’s a breathing out of questions.

I strive to make poetry, all that is worship. Not worship of self, but of the one who does the cutting and inserting of my breathing straw. The one who hears the silent words, the whispers. The one who writes the poem of me, for His, the author’s glory.

Thank you for asking me to think, John.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Six Word Stories (17)

Tunnels, arches, trails, these things hold a fascination for me.

They beckon.

“Come explore, come and learn, come experience our adventure.”

But in adventure, there is always change.

Change of self, change of place, change of perspective.

Is it worth it, this stepping into the known?

Dare we?

If we don’t dare, we will never know what we have missed. But the question of what if will always hang there.

I don’t always dare. But sometimes I am lent a bravery not of myself and jump in feet first.

Sometimes I am swept away to places I never dreamed of. Places I never wanted to go. Places of pain.

Sometimes I land in the middle of tumultuous beauty and breath-taking experiences. I am still learning to be thankful for both.

When those experiences look arching waves, may God help me find the blessing beneath life’s crush.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com

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Mary’s Redbubble Shop

Six Word Stories (13)

I used to choose a seat closest to the doors, in the single cubbies to either side of the true passenger compartments.

“Why do you sit here all alone? It’s dangerous for a single girl.”

I had never thought of it as dangerous before the question. I enjoyed the nods and light conversation with strangers. Many of them dressed roughly, carrying bikes, or oversized backpacks.

I remember one early morning two backpacking couples joined me in the cramped space. The men sat on the ground closest to the sliding doors. I moved my backpack to make room for the two women, tired and clearly already stressed. They didn’t speak Dutch or French or even German, but their chitchat was earnest and careful.

One man wished me well on my journey in English, nodding at my bag as proof I was a kind of comrade, before departing.

The contrast from those small cubbies to the larger passenger compartments with row after row of benches is striking. Few words are ever spoken. Everyone keeps their heads bowed, their minds busy on themselves, appearing to ignore everyone else on the commute. Even so, with the clatter of the train, the call of the ticket master, and the shuffle of shoes, there is a strange companionship.

I have spent quite a few hours waiting on train platforms. In the early morning, or late in the evening, I have found them to hold a strange peace.

Everyone has somewhere, and nowhere to go. Everyone is expectant, yet bored. Isn’t that just like life can be?

I would finally reach my destination in the shadows of night. Night grows and shrinks things. It hides and reveals. It is a different world than daylight, and many people fear it. But I don’t. I know that is only because I have been kept safe. I am blessed.

Night has always been my refuge. Not a time of hiding, but a time of quiet. A time when others retreat, leaving the streets almost empty. The dirt of the day is pushed to the sides, and lays waiting for the morning to come. It’s hidden in the shadows, but it still whispers to the world all the stories it holds. Every cigarette butt, every discarded coffee cup that missed the trash can. Even the caked on muck, scraped from boots at the end of the day. It will all tell you a story, if you only stop and listen.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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