Only People

Only people
the flame of soul
is all you take
to heaven, you know.

All else crumbles
to dust and ash,
but flames of soul
are made to last.

All bodies
fall away, decay.
Wrappings mortal
times earthly prey.

But flames slip
through gaping fangs.
From eternity’s
edges to hang.

Emptied hands then
have a choice.
Hellish solitude,
or gems with voice.

Only people,
treasures that last,
are worthy to store
or to Jesus’s feet cast.

© 2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Contempt

Crumpled paper
creased beyond repair,
cast in exasperation
from a corner, glare.

Proof of irritation
an act of my contempt
for this, my situation
for being nonexempt.

A deadness percolates
thoughts refuse growth
the thing one loves,
slowly steeped in loath.

All a point of view
mutilated page
silence feeding ghosts
rising poets rage.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Hesitation

This heart has slowed,
longs to linger here,
where the past is distant,
the future unclear.

A hesitancy
to pick up life’s pace,
a straining to remain firmly in place.

Give me grace.

Unlike a crossroad
where choices must be made.
More like a settling,
a sinking in
of ways.

Smell the resignation
come wafting on the wind.
Stagnation that lingers
on boots,
and trouser hem.

Mix it with the drums.
Foreboding rhythms felt,
clashing with a heartbeat.
Wearied,
yet compelled.

Standing amid the street,
holding baggage fast.
Wondering
how long this lump in throat will last.

Change coming fast.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Truth

Not perception,
not reaction,
but what is.

Under veils,
under paint,
chip it off to reveal

something feared.
Revered.
Held at arm’s length.

Don’t look too close
one might choke,
if unready to face.

Still it waits.
Can’t be erased,
for it still is.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Free

No one saw me
head to the ground,
feet to the sky,
pretending to fly.
It would have made you cry
hilarity.

A grown woman such as me
behaving as if three.
But just maybe,
you would have joined
the jocularity.
Felt free
to again be three.

Sometimes I take myself too seriously. This is just self reminder that it’s okay, and good to be ridiculously sometimes. Yes, the cover image is of my actual feet. I thought it was cute.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Ink Spots

bravery in pen work
truth of staining spots
tell the story of a heart
stocked by fear
but still uncaught

every stoke
a slash at past
seeks to sever
cords
that grasp

the only sword that has a choice
to further peace
through language voiced

still leaving stains
on those who wield
the heavy tool in open field

not blood
but ink is what it weeps
into fingerprints
it seeps

brave
to name this sword a friend
knowing well it will offend
yet again

and mark the poet at its end

©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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Tresses

Tips bright with borrowed light.
Soaked every strand,
took command.

Roots show through in ashen huge
whisper of years demands,
open hands.

Wisps array
as standing troops,
gently falling into loops.

Crowning character.
Grounding finger,
through tresses linger.

Catching thoughts
in webs
of morning knots.

Pulled and furled,
twist or braid,
spreading gray is unafraid.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Mary’s Redbubble Shop

Look Beyond

Look into the eyes of difference and see beauty.

Look into the face of change to see hope.

Look beyond normal and find promise.

Face the eyes of beyond and find a new bond.

A bond, unafraid to go beyond.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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MaryGWriting.redbubble.com

Hosanna Joy

Her lips were purple,
her face a powder white.
I knew my baby sister wasn’t right.

“She’s now in heaven,”
said a mother torn in grief.
“For the first time she knows relief.”

An unfinished pine box,
made by my father’s hands.
Everyone in a daze of funeral plans.

“Goodbye baby sister,
there are few as strong as you.
We won’t forget battles you fought through.”

Holding tight the ribbon,
my balloon dark maroon.
Let it go. Watch the crowd disperse too soon.

Just a memory
in a five-year-old’s mind.
Deepened with my seasons and outlined.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo of Hosanna Joy and Mary Grace.