”I have four Yogi Mini-Books. Each is so creatively handmade and colorful—a delicate presentation with a powerful message! I gave one book to my husband for our 49th wedding anniversary.Mei Lam
About the Artist
Yogi Grunwald has been an artist for as long as she can remember. After a two-year course at the Sheridan College of Applied Arts, she has continued to educate herself informally. She has tried many artistic media, but her current passions are calligraphy, bookbinding, and other paper arts.
Yogi lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I became aware of her calligraphy on Instagram and invited her collaboration. I was thrilled when she agreed. We’ve never met.
The Fine Print
If You Ever Wonder
I want you to know
in these dark days
when all the world
is utterly changed,
one thing that remains
is how we feel
when anyone opens
the book of Us
to a random page
and finds a truth
they had forgotten.
Nurses and doctors,
meat packers and crop pickers,
journalists and janitors,
clerics and counselors,
bus drivers and truckers,
mail carriers and shelf stockers,
first responders and trash collectors,
scientists and governors and cooks,
every essential worker
eats and drinks
from the book of Us.
Pots and pans clang
from balconies and windows
flung wide from street to sky.
We are the cheering crowd, the book of Us
assembled without masks and bound
together between soft covers
by a strong, supple spine.
Every page is sacred text.
Nobody is not essential.
We are the prayer for our ailing world
and this is the beginning of our shift.
View images and learn artistic details about each multiple on Yogi’s website: Maize (yellow), Ultramarine, Curaçao, Nut (brown), Graphite (dark gray), Tomato (red), Heather (plum), Sky Blue, Violet, Green.
You Asked Me to Write You a Poem
You asked me to write you a poem,
one to remember me by, someday:
Please don’t type it. Write it out.
It’s more personal that way.
Do you believe my hand is steady,
my scribbles easy to read?
Do you think the paper of my life is clean
and the ink will never fade?
There’s no perfect in me or what I make;
only struggle, and play, and a jot of grace.
I tell my pen now: Move straight, stroke slow.
Pay attention to what comes before it goes.
Set down the text in the plainest speech you know.
Laugh aloud at your clunkers and mistakes.
Don’t worry—you get as many tries as it takes.
Leave enough space to find yourself
between the letters, the words, the lines.
Nap between stanzas, or have a glass of wine.
Abandon this desk to walk in the world.
Absorb the rhythms and rhymes that swirl.
When you’re back inside and begin to write more,
nothing will be as it was before.
These shaky lines are my right hand’s best.
May they speak to you, though we’ve never met.
I do what I do for the sake of love—
every poem, too soon, is over and done.