archives, poetry

Where We Are Going, Will There Be Grass? {poetry}


Modern life. There is always so much to do.

Sometimes even the things that nourish us, like Yoga classes and dates with friends, can feel like little teeth that nibble into our center of calm. There is always so much to do, and we are spread thin, too thin.

As a recently settled urbanite with gypsy tendencies, I have become all too aware of the tyranny of busy. I want to hold on to the lessons of living in the raw scraped-back parts of Australia.

I want a bunch of unfilled minutes in my day. Minutes, like rosary beads to count in a rhythm of contemplation. To contemplate the sky, to sink into the grass. To let the sounds of the birds and the smells of nature wash over me as I drink a mug of tea in the garden. A slice of time in the day with no words and no lists. A quiet pause of all that I am. To just breathe, one light-filled breath at a time.


Where we are going, will there be grass
and will you wonder
If you lay your body deep in the summer scent
as often as you could have?
Will you wonder why you spent your tired moments
lying on the bed, always the bed
soft furnishings for your weary bones
while beyond the windows the sunlight pooled
with ferocious beauty, into the grass
warm, summer, spongy, green

Will you wonder
if you bared your shoulders to the moon
as often as you could have?
Did you think the leaves in the night garden
were passive little things, when all the while
they were greedily sipping the lucent light?
Did you let the fabric of your clothing
make small puddles at your feet
as you gave the closeted parts of your skin
freely to the fat of the moon?

Where we are going, will there be bees
and will you wonder
what made you blind to the tiny miracle of them?
Such short and busy lives, so filled with purpose
driven with the knowledge of all they must do
will you wonder why you weren’t mad with envy
as you spooned honey from the jar.
Stolen sweetness for your half-cold toast

Whitman asked of us to “loaf and invite our souls”
to “observe a spear of grass” and did you?
Did you let your frame soak into the earth
the earth-soft of the earth
her carpets of sand, grass, dirt?
Slowly spreading your uptight bones
like cold butter in a warm pan
loosening the knot at the base of your neck
liberating yourself from all you could not control
did you ever unbuckle your thoughts of work
the deadlines, the shopping list, the phone calls
and give yourself over to the moment
to just be?
There was always so much to do
and how you got caught in the cogs of that
forgetting that in order to fill the cup of life
we sometimes need to empty it
once a cup is full, there is no more room

will you wonder why you starved the beasts
of your imagination
as you diligently worked through your to-do list
why you didn’t just switch of the beeps and tweets
of modern life, to listen to the magpies
as they stood guard, singing their warning song
with crystal clear beauty?
Will you wish that you wrote poems
and painted the sky?
Will you wish that you had sprinkled
a little cinnamon on the daily grind of life?

Where we are going, will there be grass
and will you wonder if you surrendered
your earth body to it
as often as you could have?


Bell Harding is a Rumi-loving painter, late bloomer, and poet from Australia. Her home is a vintage caravan called Lou Lou, which likes to roam but is currently stationed in Fremantle, Western Australia, while she tries her hand at civilian life. Bell has a degree in fine art, and loves to paint barefoot in the dirt. She seeks beauty, wisdom and adventure in the landscape, and looks for the small poetry in daily life. In her expanded moments, Bell loves to paint, cook plant-based food, and write pretty poems with sharp little teeth. You could contact her via Instagram.


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