Beth Grindstaff | 3 poems


In a dream
my father comes
slowly through
a grave-less field

to give back
all the mercy
he once took.

He carries the mouth
of a bridled horse
upon his neck,

the sleeping hives
of winter
in his chest.

I have known
that if I wait
long enough
at the window.

I have known
that if I wait.

But I am
so deep
a river,

so winged
a creature now.

So wound-less
a thing.


The dog rolls in the earth,
not to leave
her scent upon the grass but
to take the grass with her,
to press its cool light
into hers.

So, too, do I live.
Ecstatically open,
ready to be filled.

The Way in 


The wind destroys
that which most
resists it.

The wind seeks
that which best
yields to it.

That which offers
the deepest


It is winter.
The mountains grow dark.   
The sky grows fat
with snow,
but the ground
has not yet frozen.


There is an expanse that comes
with transition. 
Fleeting.  Barely perceptible. 
A room made
entirely of peace. 


This is where I want to live.
In the still before the gale.
In the sturdy space between
God's bright breaths.


The way is long.  Arduous.
Filled with the cruelest of perils.

The way is different
for all creatures. 

And you ask,
How will I know? 


When the boundaries of your compassion
grow so broad
they dissolve entirely,

you will know.

When you offer yourself freely
to the storm that threatens
to level you,

you will know. 

When the stones in your heart
sink deeply enough
to grow fast into the cage
that holds them,

you will know.


You have always known. 

beth_grindstaffBeth Grindstaff is a poet who lives in the Appalachian Mountains of northeast Tennessee.  She has been writing poetry since she could hold a crayon.  From a very young age, words both captivated and enthralled her, and she made it her business to harness their power to the best of her ability.  Beth has had work published in several anthologies, including Fresh Breath and The Golden Wings.  She was a featured guest on Women on Air, a weekly radio show aired on WETS-FM, in April 2013.  Beth’s first collection of poems, This Fragile Husk, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016.

Beth has experienced many losses, trials, and challenges in her life, including the sudden death of her father in 2009 and a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2015.  She works hard to be a source of light in the world, to hold love as the highest ideal, and to thrive in spite of her difficulties.  She hopes her work will offer respite and harbor to those weathering their own storms.

Beth is a massage therapist, medical language specialist, Reiki practitioner, avid cyclist, and proud pet parent.

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