Tuesday, February 19, 2019

i am, my story

i was at war with 
myself & the world

i am here, 
not to provoke you
that i am not you
that my skin is dark rose
that my hair is thick as forest
that my tongue is quick as snake

i am here, because you have given
me compassion
       & priceless gifts 
that i can speak freely
that i can act and believe in my 
       faith and decisions
that i don't need to cover my face
       nor hair if I choose not to
that i don't need to step back 
       for someone else to go in 

i am here, because you made me
see that sky is blue
       not charcoal in dust or gunpowder
see that streets are clean
       not mired in holes or littered by dead
       bodies, whose faces i knew
       whose lives i knew 
       whose nightmares I heard 
see my reflection upon the emerald lake
       underneath this scarred face & body
       ...a fire in my eyes 
       ...a sword my hands move  
                                                 to grasp

i am here.
thank you for a new 

Posted for dVerse Poets Pub - Privilege, hosted by Anmol (HA).   I admire my adopted country, Canada, for being in forefront of defending and advocating for women rights like the Yazidi women who survived ISIS and the Saudi teen escaping Saudi Arabia.

Thanks for the visit.


  1. I think when we can share the privileges we have with those who suffer we have taken a giant step towards understanding ourselves better actually.

  2. your title is strong micro poetry Grace, I came to read because it draws me straight into your world. this is wonderful imagery with words, i see, feel and hear you.

  3. This is a strong poem. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This poem is so nicely crafted, Grace. I love the shape and the repetition of ‘I am here’ which reminds us of the presence of others, some intruding, some hiding themselves, some baring their souls, all different, all needing or looking for something. I also love the contrast between word ’provoke’ in the second stanza and ‘compassion’ in the third, and the lines:
    ‘i am here, because you made me
    see that sky is blue
    not charcoal in dust or gunpowder’.

  5. Your strength is only bested by your compassion. Your closing stanza is killer bang on. I love the message, that many of us should be humbled by our particular privileges; not everyone is so fortunate.

  6. Grace, I'm glad "you are", your poem is powerful and poignant.

  7. Sure have to take stock of what we have many a time, as some aren't as fortunate

  8. Wow...so heart wrenching. You speak of what many of us have only ever heard about. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Excellentperspective, Grace! The clean streets not littered by dead bodies got to me.

  10. As I read your poem it felt like a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings you have been given!
    i am here, because you have given
    me compassion & priceless gifts

  11. You are Grace personified. I love this poem. I m also grateful to Canada for giving you space to shine.

  12. Ah, this is such a tender and thoughtful verse, Grace! I love how your compassion and understanding fill the gaps in this story. The politics is subtly represented which is such a good way of going about it. I loved this strong assertion: "despite/that i am not you/that my skin is dark rose/that my hair is thick as forest/that my tongue is quick as snake".

  13. Your voice shows us that privilege does not have mean "a wall," but can mean "open arms."

  14. Soils Without
    Sadly too
    A Privilege
    That Increases
    Blood Shed on other
    Soils Already Soaked With Blood...
    How We take
    to Give it..
    Privilege Given Granted...
    Taking Away From Others As Blood....

  15. Wonderfully wrought, Grace. I especially like your framing of being at war with yourself & the world, then emerging at the end with fire in your eyes.

  16. Grace, this is an important and wonderful poem. I love it.

  17. That was very moving, your courage and gratitude shone through, brightly!

  18. The repetition here is so effective. The imagery as well. The last stanza, set off to the side, is almost like a new placement for the I -- so a new beginning.

  19. This is beautiful, a poem of being grateful, of being given a chance that doesn't exist for others.

  20. iconically imagistic, with each line so subtly yet powerfully delivering such a powerful witness of the importance of being! Well done!

  21. That's a very powerful poem. It really made me stop and think about what it must like to be a refugee from a brutal war then ending up in a foreign land with utterly different values and customs. Suzanne - from Wordpress "Being in Nature"


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