Sweet Coffee Club is an interdisciplinary creative collaborative between Lyss Warmland and Jeannette Breward. We create surrealist photos based on original poetry. It’s a project we’ve been working on for almost two years, over the course of both of us becoming mothers alongside one another, and are ready to finally push out into the world. Sweet Coffee is one of the first poems we worked from.
Our work aims to find connection, care, and empowerment through creative expression that centres our relationship with our Selves, our bodies, and a relationship with the earth.
Sweet Coffee Club is unapologetically feminist. This work is about the lived experience of the women we are. It’s political and personal all at once. It’s soft and mean and spiritual and firmly grounded. We are white, and queer, and cis, and anxious, and sore, and tired, and settled, and vulnerable, and honest… but we don’t want Sweet Coffee Club to be just about those perspectives.
You can join Sweet Coffee Club too. Show us, however it makes sense to you, how you, in your body, find connection, care, and empowerment through your relationship with the environment around you. Mention us and hashtag your posts and stories #sweetcoffeeclub 💓
Twenty-six. Karen, I see you Your hair used to reach 3/4 of the way To that space where your waist curves in Where your lover used to hold you But now you can’t stand to be touched by the end of the day
You cut your hair because your baby, Captivated by its colour when it catches the light, Grabs the front pieces that had just started to Grow back Postpartum hair loss Doesn’t include the loss from infants Manually extracting hairs from their mothers but it’s never looked less like yours And more like his
You cut your hair because Who has time to style it when It’s more important To chase after your newly mobile son And you lost your curls when he Lived in your body His first home You thought he may have stolen them The way he stole your childhood birthmark But his hair is straighter than an arrow
Karen, I see you when you lose it At the coffee shop barista because She put cows milk in your almond milk order Because your body can’t process cows milk Since everything changed And it’s the first time you’d spoken to Another adult all day and No one has listened to you in nine months So that almond milk order was your attempt To reach out for what you needed and It went unheard
Karen, That barista is someone’s baby And she phoned her mother during her Cigarette break from her shift To reach out to her verbally because She hasn’t seen her in nine months Because she has to work to pay her rent and Her mother has been sick for years and She just doesn’t know what
the right thing
Just like you don’t really know what he right thing
I see you, Karen, You feel unheard because you are And so is she And this isn’t new This isn’t about milk This isn’t about masks This isn’t about care This is about desperation.
Give yourself time
even when your people are
When they’re used to you either
saving the day
or falling apart
those are the times,
waking like you just
ran some sort of marathon,
when you hold yourself
and you reach out
still breathing hard,
to do everything you ever dreamed of
not to prove them wrong
but because it’s your
When I was a little girl,
I lived in a house with a big garden
that gently sloped into a ravine.
Across the water, lived a willow tree
and when my brother and I
followed the stream against the current,
it lead to an open field full of
huge rocks- islands to our childminds
and we swore the water there was magic.
When mom got sick,
I used to walk up stream to
sit, skinny legs folded up against my chest,
smoke cigarettes, let the stream that
has held me my entire life
hold me then
I questioned a lot then, but never that the water
And when she died,
I planted a tree beside her grave
one with purple flowers
like the ones in her garden
like the ones on the kitchen table
passed down from her mother to her
the ones that died when she did
because I’ve never been great with houseplants
but I know a few things about putting down roots.
When I grew up to experience
the first bookend loss,
I drove to Lake Ontario
just like she would have done
and scoured the shore
for a jar full of lake glass
and with my own hope for comfort,
the kind I’ve always felt
rooted in water,
I almost forgot to listen
to the messages she sent through the lake-
Something about collecting and purging
what fills her without any control of her own.
So when the second bookend loss came,
it was waterless winter ice
and it’s taken until spring to thaw
and I can’t help but think that maybe
if I stop
might find that I can
to the elements that have held me my whole life
and maybe by feeling held,
I can hold her too.