Ogre

I am now a full grown Ogre

We mature at a different rate
than you humans
I don’t really pass as human
but since I am 5’4″
no one guesses I’m an ogre

I have been an Ogre since
before birth
my mother ill
attacked by antibodies in the womb
luckily the illness does not cross
the barrier of the mixed mother daughter
the placenta
but the antibodies do cross

I am born with my immune system
red hot and ready to fight

my maternal grandmother is an Ogre too
she cares for me while my mother heals
you are right to refuse help she says
you may feed yourself
and she lets me
I am four months

Two grrl cousins are also stressed from birth
one arrives early and survives
smallest child to live in that city
all they have for premies is a warm box
her parents are warned
she might be slow

the other is born in Bangladesh
mother very ill
mother damaged by illness
she survives too

three Ogres?
No
different mitochondria
from three different mothers different immune systems different parents

Ogre, dark angel, and martyr

And the others wonder why we fight

A woman says “I like you when you’re well.”
to me when I am sick
and my partner disappears
he says, “I can’t have a disabled partner.”
I snarl, “I am not disabled.
I am just on oxygen.”
But it is not true
I am disabled
And very annoyed

I avoid the woman for a year
and think about it
I am never “well”
if it’s an antibody disorder
and if I got it in the womb
what would I be like if I did not have it?
no one knows
and I don’t either

So I have done well
in the end
to survive a chronic illness since before birth

Ogres take longer to mature
but once we do
we are hell on wheels

And at last I accept it

I am happy being an Ogre
and I will be the best Ogre I can

And it will be fun
At least, for me

Which?

For a long time I think I am a werewolf, but I am not controlled by the moon. But I can get angry. And then I remember this poem and think “Not a werewolf. An ogre.”

_______________________

Butterfly Girl Comes to Visit

She is so beautiful with her wings
multicolored many splendored lights caught and multiplied
as she flutters

I freeze
I am an ogre
Huge and clumsy
I know from past past many times
Not to touch you
My rough fingers have brushed the tiny feathers from your wings
You cry in pain and your flight becomes erratic
My kiss is just as bad
Rough lips
If I move the wind of my passing blows you against a window
You fall stunned

I hold and crush
the box of feelings that can hurt you
Sorrow, anger, fear, dismay
Even fatigue turns my aura red
And scorches your wings

I hate to cause you pain

Fly butterfly girl
My baby needs me, my pager rings
My ogre husband stirs
The effort of holding still plain on his face
I can’t hold still much longer

Butterfly girl
Fly on home

Hello universe

You know what?

I want to get remarried. Add that, Beloved, to me wanting someone to love and to love someone.

Commit, damn it.

And that is what I now want. Thank you recent ex for showing me what I want.

I want to be myself from the start.

I want to notice bullshit and walk away before we get involved.

I don’t want to be controlled, I don’t want to control, I want a partner.

I don’t want to be enabled, I don’t want to enable, I want mutual respect and caring.

I am not your shrink, you are not my shrink, and if one of us needs a shrink, we should find one.

I want to notice lies and walk away before we get involved.

I want to speak up if you tell me lies, or I want to back away for good.

I want to be loved and I want to love. By the same person, damn it.

Hear my prayer, Beloved. Hello, universe. Here I am.

the elk remember

I am trying not to curse you
for hurting my small child AGAIN
she doesn’t deserve that, how can you?
hasn’t she been hurt enough?

I am trying not to curse you
I am a scientist not a witch
witches curse people, I won’t do that
at least, I try not, try not

I can see your choices though
the map laid before you: you must choose
the path to take. A serious decision
that will take some honest work.

I can see your choices: it’s not a curse
it’s not my fault. It’s up to you, your choice
Grief again makes me hurt and angry
but I don’t curse you, I try not

I don’t know when it is too late to choose
you have refused the path over and over
but I am not part of it any more, not angry,
sad. The choice is yours alone and always was

I believe it is never too late to choose the path
and at the same time some people never do
my sister, dying, saying to me alone: “I’m bad.”
Me saying “No.” My sister: “I’m sorry.”

I don’t want to do that again, do you hear me?
If you choose not to change, stay on this path
I suppose I would relent at the end
But I don’t want to. Do you hear me?

I am trying not to curse you
for hurting my small child AGAIN
she doesn’t deserve that, how can you?
hasn’t she been hurt enough?

but there are the elk
I spoke to them once and they answered
to my surprise and yours. I can’t help it if
the elk remember

Pandamnit “friend”

I had a friend during the pandemic. A very close friend. The friendship developed over a year.

It ran into trouble. I got my fourth pneumonia. He said, “I need to return to my real life.” I should have walked away, but he had promised. “We will always be friends.”

The adult part of me knows that always and never are lies. But the small child connection to the Self wants to believe, oh so badly. The adult notes “That is a lie. You are lying to yourself, because I don’t believe always or never.”

The child has eternal hope.

A year later, abandonment. The adult is cynically unsurprised. The small child part weeps.

And my church is melting down. Me too. I wrote a peace poem and promptly got into a fight. Devil’s fall up to angels and then they fall down again. A peace poem sets me up to fail. The ends don’t justify the means and I may resign from the church.

The fallout from the pandemic is only starting. Everyone is grieving, everyone is hair trigger.

Peace you and anything you have lost in this Pandamnit.

Falling II

poem: Falling II

I can’t fall
until I let go

my cousin says that people learn
to stay away from angry people

I am hurt and then let that go
and think, yes, she is right
my cousins say over and over
that I am too angry when I’m not angry
until it makes me angry

my cousin gives good advice
I let go and stay away
it’s not my anger

I thought allopathic medicine
was where we listened to the patient
I let go of that too, disillusioned

a family member wants to be free
I let go

I let go of you slowly
I let go of coffee
I let go of sitting next to you
I let go of seeing you daily
I let go of asking
I let go of driving by

I let go of hope

I have not let go of longing

I think that I can fall
without letting go of longing

it is only a thread
like a spider’s web
thrown into the universe

I don’t think it will stop me
from falling

Judgement

Why are the roses caged, you ask? What did they do? Nothing, they are being protected. I found that rose and transplanted it years ago, but our deer eat the buds every year. This is the first time that it has bloomed in the 21 years I have lived in this hours. Isn’t it beautiful?

I am listening to this:

I wrote this poem today. This is one of the poems where I have no idea where it will go when I start writing it. I start writing about judgement and it never ever goes where I expect. The poems go where I want to go in my deepest heart, in my soul. I am never where the poem is, the poems show me the way….. Then I try to go there. And it can take years….

I am being judged
and watched

I have no issue with the Beloved

it’s the humans I don’t like

I twist people’s words
but not with malice

when the antibodies are up
it is hard to communicate
hard to explain
it is hard just to survive
and I might be focused on survival first
and comforting the people around me second

can you blame me?

how near to death have you passed?
and how often?

first pneumonia
heart rate 135 when I stood up

my doctor and I could not understand it

my doctor partners thought I was lying
in 2003

second pneumonia
after my sister’s death
which was bad enough
but the legal morass that she had set up
with her daughter as the center

pitting me and her daughter’s birth father
and my father
against all the PhDs in the maternal family
smart, smart, smart
yet emotionally stupid

my niece is not an inheritance
to be passed to whom my sister wants

she reluctantly came home
and the myth endures
that this is an injustice

third pneumonia
one year after I find my father dead
triggered by grief
and the outdated will
and the mess he leaves

and I don’t even get sued
about the will
for another year

endure that
endure endure endure
endure hatred
endure triangulation
endure meanness
unwarrented

I do not care
if you want to believe
what you want to believe
it isn’t true
and it hurt

and I learn to let go

with the fourth pneumonia

I see the liars surrounding me
downvoting
yes, it does matter
except that one that I trusted
that mentored me

has lied all along

that hurts too

let it go
let it go
let it go

and I let it go

each pneumonia is a time of change
creativity
I am lonely and sick
and not trusting

as I improve
slowly, slowly

I wander garage sales
estate sales

and find things
things that are beautiful
things that enhance my joy

at the start of covid
I was so down
I was so sad
I wanted to lie in the street
and give up

the Beloved sent a spirit
he says he is no angel

I see angels bright and dark
after all they all fall

just as humans do

we all fall
we all fall down

try to look perfect
try to look virtuous
tell yourself that you are good

that is the biggest lie of all

the bad parts of your spirit
locked in the basement of your soul
howl
howl and want to be freed

and if one gets out
and you reject her or him

he will return with nine friends
yes that is what the bible says

she will return with nine friends

he/she MONSTER
will free the others

and you will do bad things
you will be terrible
you will hurt people
while you try to contain
while you try to lock away
while you try to chain
your monsters
your evil
your self

let them go
let the monsters go
they are howling
I hear them all the time
when I meet you
when I speak to you
the monsters howl at me
begging to be loved

yes, they want to be loved
and I love them

but if I mention them

you get that look
of horror

someone sees
me
someone sees
my evil
someone sees
what I hide

I can’t help it
raised in alcohol neglect and lies
on my own
as soon as I can walk

but I can’t walk away
at nine months

so I find other escapes
words
songs
books
poetry
rhymes
numbers

and my sister
when she is born

I do all the mothering

that I have longed for

even though I am three

we were talking about your monsters
not mine

you must go in to the cave
where you have locked them

and free them all

fall on your knees

and say
forgive me forgive me

for I have sinned

bow your head

and hold out your arms

and what, you say,
will the tortured monsters do?

will they smite you?
will they burn you?
will they lock you in their place?

mine didn’t
mine were babies
grief, fear, shame
and I embraced them
carried them up to the light
and care for them

wash them
diaper them
feed them
wrap them in warm blankets

and love them

until they stop crying

and begin to grow

Off balance/balance

Plato’s Groove lovely poem from yesterday reminds me of Portia Nelson’s poem “A Poetic Interlude:  Autobiography in Five Short Chapters”. I wrote my own version of this back in 2005, about trying to change. It is hard. I also want to submit this to the Ronovan Writes BeWoW Wednesday, for Be Wonderful Wednesday. @RonovanWrites. I think looking inside and trying to change and changing is wonderful…..

Off balance/balance

Confusion
Makes no sense
React react react
Engage
Argue
Fight
Want to bite kick scream
Argue (control) argue
Icky tone of voice
Ugly
Confusion confusion
Told I am wrong
I am overreacting
I am invalid
Child again
Hide

Confusion
Makes no sense
React
Stop
Don’t react
Stop…..
Wait…..
Feel…..
Confusion ANGER
Let anger go
Confusion: Sad, Hurt
Sad feels lonely
Not engaged
Remember you are loved
Remember you are lovable
Sad is ok
Remember
Roses and violets and lupine
Spring from the path
Where your true self steps
Call true friends
Comforted.

Confusion
Makes no sense
Hurts
No react
Listen
Confusion not mine
Sad
Disengage
Remember
Roses and violets and lupine
True self
Comfort self

Confusion
Not mine
Step away
Comfort self

Comfort
Comfortable
I am loved
I am cherished
I am safe

June 11, 2005

previously published on everything2.com

Molting

I am growing
My shell hurts
It hurts it hurts!
I cannot shed it
I try and try and try
I fight
I seek allies and help
I fight
One year, two years, nearly three

I’m free
My shell suddenly releases and slides off
I can feel my soft body expand
To my real size
Bigger
Joy!

Oh!
They’re attacking!
Why why!
My brothers! My sisters!
No!
Your claws hurt!
They are cutting me
Ow ow stop why!

I run
Scuttle sideways
Soft and clumsy
Hide
In the mud

Why why?
Oh, my wounds ache
Stabbed
By multiple claws
Deepest pain
In my heart
At this betrayal.

I hide
I sit
I think

It was so hard
To shed my shell
Why would they attack?

Oh!
Their shells hurt too!
Their words
They were grabbing me
To try to see how I’d shed my shell
They were desperate
Oh they must be in such pain!

Can I forgive them?
Do they know not what they do?

I hide
I sit
I think
I heal

My shell is strong now
I am bigger

I will go forth
And see who is trying to shed their shell
I will try to protect the newly molted.

Cucumber love

Cucumber love

They say they love you

And they do

Sort of

One day you find yourself
Wearing a construct
An exoskeleton
Awkward
You can move
See out

You built it slowly over years
Because that’s what you were told to do
You wanted to be loved
It made you feel safe

There is praise
Or at least pressure to keep it on
You may not have known it was there
And slowly begin to feel
Who you really are
Awaken to the shell

One day you slip out

They are still saying how much they love you
To the empty construct

You watch bemused
For a while

You say “That isn’t me.”
“Of course it is,” they say

“I’m over here,” you say

Shock and outrage
“That’s not you!
You’ve changed, you’re depressed
Confused, manic, gone out of your mind!
Off the deep end!” 

You might even go back in
the construct for a little while

But now you’ve tasted freedom
You won’t be able to stand it for long
You will be out soon

Some people will see you as you really are

Some people will tell you they still love you
But as they say it to the construct
They act as if you’re still wearing it

They still think you love cucumbers
Though you ate that dish once to be polite
They hold the construct in their minds
Even after you’ve destroyed it
And behave the same as they ever did

As you walk away
You will wonder who they loved

first published on everything2 on June 9, 2009