Tamara Willems

to fear with love

is just one of those words
I don’t use

I don’t use hate, I don’t use fat
I don’t say shut up

I don’t say them,  I don’t like to hear them
I choose not to
wear them
I don’t like the taste of them
on my tongue

and today,
I can taste it…

I don’t watch the news much
I find it frustrating, and as my family can tell you, I find myself
arguing with the tv too much
so instead, I try and catch the weather and then turn it
to a cooking show
I gave up reading the newspaper
not much good there, anyway
I try to stay informed, I am open,
but I choose what I read, and to what depth
and I choose what I see and to what great detail over, and over and over
and I choose
what I allow to enter into the sanctity of my own home
and attach itself here

this can be hard sometimes
I don’t turn a blind eye
or believe if we are quiet and smile
everything will just be ok
I am aware
of what is happening in the world
and it can be troubling
to say the least

I am sensitive you know,
I am a wonder-er
and a questioner
and when things have me feeling
I guess,
I am a writer
I have great respect for words
and I feel the need to honour them
with grace

I am
a purveyor of kindness
and love
no matter how small and feeble
this may at times seem

my biggest problem today, is that my washing machine
won’t work
not that a mob of angry white men carrying mosquito repellent torches
is gathering in my street
not that people choose to be too ignorant of what has come before
to recognize the real dangers here
not that selfishness and unkindness seem to be gathering speed
not that angry voices, and violent rhetoric have so willingly replaced whispers
of hope
from supposed leaders
and then there’s the awful feeling
of standing together,  but not quite able
to touch
no,  my biggest problem today
is, that I can’t seem to get my clothes

I walk out to the pond, where I try to clear away
the thick covering of duckweed
and offer the fish an opening
to sunlight

while I am there a loud thud lands on the roof of the cabin
above my head
and I realize I have frozen for a moment
in fear
not knowing what this intruder may be
this is what I am carrying today
until  I see,  as he hops to a branch in the nearby tree
it’s just a squirrel
and now

and then I breathe…

quietly now,  I put out an offering of nuts
and as the blues start to arrive
and the little grey
bravely edges his way in

I take my place in the sun
and I offer my gratitude

for a heart that is love
and a spirit that is kind
and a mind that is open

and,  as this is all I have
to shake the world in my gentle way

so this too
is what I have
to offer you ♥

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