Red Lollypop

I think I want a
red one. Wrapped in plastic.
Sticky sugar treat.

Plastic never comes
clean off. Always a remnant
to pick, flick away.

Remember not to
run, paper stick hanging from
a happy red grin.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Coming About

It’s a difficult thing
coming about.
Shifting position,
turning around.

Humbling questions,
confusion galore.
But brave souls
can also restore

An off kilter compass,
foot steps astray.
Brave hearts holding
pride at bay.

Utter “I’m sorry,”
cry when they pray.
Know, failure
is more than okay.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Uncracked Spine

Books beg to be read
as their pages whisper,
syllables of loneliness.

“Love me,
as I love the touch of your hands
on my untracked spine.”

“Choose me.
Let me linger in your mind
as slow sipped wine.”

Once the pages open,
words walk through soul.
Hook, to your whole.

Tethering other’s stories
to what makes you,
you.

“Meet me,
in pages of cream,
Through ink dark as dreams.”

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Reflections (1)

Thoughts on this statement?

I know keenly that things I once assumed proved wrong. My opinions have changed. So the way I write and interpret poetry will do the same.

Does that make my earlier work obsolete? No. They give glimpses into the journey my heart has been on since birth.

Read poetry, any literature really, with a grain of salt. Thoughtfully. Joyfully.

Words will change you, words will challenge you. Give yourself some grace and space to grow past them.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Not Alone

The trod of booted
feet.
Never lift a face
to great.
Hands in pockets
deep.
One block left
to defeat.

Alone yet not
alone.
Carrying thoughts like
stone.
Hunching shoulders
prone.
Coming night, the
unknown.

But something is
unseen.
An aura somehow,
clean.
Wholly real, so
serene.
Yet hidden by a
misty screen.

It shimmers on the
edge.
Surrounding like a
hedge.
Embodiment of a
pledge.
Leading away from the
ledge.

A gentle hand at
night.
When it’s fight or
flight.
Reminding of the
right,
To walk through lonely
night.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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The Dreaded Red Mark

I love the adventure of writing. I love exploring and experiencing the world or emotions I write about. But when I finish that first draft, editing must always happen.

I hate seeing those nasty confidence crippling red marks. Let me tell you, for someone who is mildly dyslexic, it’s never just one red mark. More than likely, it is a sea of them I feel I could drown in. This has been my number one challenge in completing my work.

“I have learned that taking one bite at a time and chewing it well is important.”

So how do I face those red marks?

Slowly, methodically, and with help.

I have learned that taking one bite at a time and chewing it well is important. One word, one-line, one paragraph, one page. If I get ahead of myself, I give up.

I also pace myself. Sometimes we are unaware of the energy spent while creating something, and the drain it can have on our being. I fix one word, then remind myself to blink and breathe. After tackling the next sentence, I do the breathing over again, and maybe step away from the screen to get a drink.

I am a much slower writer than most people, but that’s okay. We all create in our own way and honestly, I’m not trying to be anyone else’s competition. (Unless I am writing for a contest, that is.) I dread those red marks, but there is also nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing them disappear from my work.

Trying is also something I do slowly. I often make mistakes while trying to fix things. Rarely is a second draft enough. More likely, a third, fourth, or even fifth draft happens before the piece is ready. The longer the project, the more drafts needed.

“So those red marks keep me humble and social.”

I rely heavily on grammar software as it’s difficult for me to see mistakes like the use if the wrong ‘to’ in a sentence. I don’t know if I could even attempt writing if it wasn’t for programs like Grammarly and ProWritingAid. But even after I reread things myself, and let the computer to its thing, I always need at least one other person to help. Software just can’t pickup all my mistakes.

So those red marks keep me humble and social. If my husband isn’t available to read through my work, I have to reach out and ask someone else. This is always awkward for me. Will they roles there eyes at my mistakes? Will they be able to see past the red to the heart of things? Can I trust them?

Oh, those little red marks teach so many things…

How do you handle the dreaded red mark?

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Six Word Story (39)

Is it sinister? Or two sisters bearing their souls to one another?

Meetings that stretch out for hours.

Car discussions that don’t stop even when you reach the driveway.

Prayer meetings that last into the wee hours of the morning.

Band practices that don’t have an end time.

Yes, sinister things are planned under the cover of night. But evil doesn’t own the shadows. God lives there too.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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Six Word Story (38)

They are small, they are fierce. Why do we underestimate them so? Why do we deny they are reflections of what still lives deep inside of every adult heart?

Cherish those hearts, be they in the bodies of 2-year-olds, or in full-grown adults with all our learned coping mechanisms. It’s never too late to be brave.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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Under

Trembles only felt,
never seen by the world at large
have given roots strength.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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