set by

Let me set hatred by for this one day
let each feast with family full of joys
leave that empty, no anger or dismay
and maybe keep that chamber empty save for toys
Let there be no bombs down from the sky
let no one fall to firing with a gun
let no flogging make any children cry
let no one need to cower or to run
I don’t know what to call this day right now
Guilt day or day we stole this gorgeous land?
I give thanks for love and wonder how
We can heal the past, what demands?
Two friends will come to feast and sip eggnog
My cats will be surprised: they bring their dog.

low dudgeon

I think of how you treat me with low dudgeon.
Rarely and when fatigued I think of you.
You hide away, a hermit like curmudgeon
pusillanimous liar, unfaithful and untrue.
We share a childhood full of trauma
I work hard to heal from all the strife
but you choose to elevate the drama
and excise protestations from your life.
I ask Beloved what I am assigned to do.
You don’t believe in angels nor in me.
The mystery of angels leads me here to you;
like a bear you hide up in the trees.
I find the change the loved Beloved grants.
You refusing change, I ban you from my pants.

_________________

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: dudgeon.

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

gently

I try to be so gentle with you
trauma drama boy

I know just what it’s like
though mine is not the same as yours

you run away, though
again and again

saying that you would never try
to hurt me ever

that is a shut down
really

since you disavow all intention of hurting
you do whatever you want

your attitude is that if I am hurt or sad
it’s my own fault

you take no responsibility for failures
as a friend

trauma drama boy, you run away
once more

and this time
I’ve had enough

This time
I let you go

Beloved bless you and keep you
for the days you have left

sending love
goodbye

always on your mind

This is a compilation poem from more than one song and more than one person I’ve dated. A friend and I really dislike a song her husband sings that has the “I wish that you had told me” line. We make faces at each other and whisper, “We wish that you had listened.”

Sometimes I am treated as an admiring audience by a male. At least, that is the role he would like me to play. I get pretty bored pretty quickly. If he doesn’t give me reasonable floor time, if he doesn’t listen, well, goodbye. Find another female slave. One male tells me that my poetry doesn’t matter. I think, oh, I guess it doesn’t matter to YOU, but it certainly matters to ME. There is a certain wicked enjoyment in writing poetry that references his words, heh heh. Enjoy!

October 8, 2022

________________________

always on your mind

the songs you sing
I was always on your mind
you wish that I had told you

isn’t that a lie?
you told me never to ask you
to do anything. Ever.

what was always on your mind
you told me many times
you could read mine

what was always on your mind
you said you could read mine
I wish you had. Even once.

what was always on your mind
was your fantasy me
who obeyed your every wish

what was always on your mind
was that I would wait at home
available to listen or for sex

what was always on your mind
your terror of the ball and chain
that I’d entrap you into marriage

what was always on your mind
had nothing to do with me
I tried hard to tell you

what was always on your mind
had nothing to do with me
I tried hard to tell you

what was always on your mind
was a fantasy. Not me.
How can you be surprised I’m gone?

you wish that I had told you
you say I was always on your mind
I wish that you had listened even once

_______________________________

I took the photograph on Marrowstone Island a few days ago.

stone

stone shaped heart
refuse to love me
refuse to let me in

I don’t try to change you
I am here to change me
not you

not to bury or change or rewrite my past
but to unearth past feelings
to examine them without prejudice or fear

to hold them with love and care
so that they don’t inform the present
so that my feelings are now and not mixed with past

I listen to what you say
I am here with you to learn
what are you saying to me?

you say you are always truthful
but you break laws
you smoke some stuff, legal now

you say you do not speed
sometimes you do not speed
sometimes you do

you say you never watch series
when I suggest a series
now you tell me you are watching a series

you say you never try to hurt me
mostly you never try to hurt me
except when you do

you say you never lie
you seem to believe what you say
I don’t

I try to pay attention to what I say
I try not to say never
I try not to lie to myself

I watch you and wonder
what lies do I tell over and over
to myself and others?

_______________________

Written 6/22/22

only when I’m hungry (1)

sometimes
I still miss you
then I have to check
if I am hungry

I’m doing well, you see
I only miss you when I’m hungry

I’m moving on
but sometimes I still get hungry

hunger is tied up with fear
in childhood
and grief and abandonment

When you fed me
that was huge

You don’t feed me any more

Sometimes I still miss you
but only when I’m hungry

I think you’ve joined the dead
the angry dead
who didn’t feed me
and didn’t love me

or loved me during anger
and wouldn’t feed me

Sometimes I still miss you
but only when I’m hungry

________________

Photo taken by my friend JB.

(You always know) post trauma

You always know

You always know
when I am afraid
when I am running
when I am hiding
how afraid I am

when I keep secrets

You always know
so far
when I am triggered and terrified
and hiding and broken
and pretending to be ok

so far
you respond
and are gentle
draw me out
offer food
and company

You always know
so far
and I am still afraid
and I am still planning
and this is what I am hiding
the plan for what I will do

What I will do
when you know
you always know
when you know
but you don’t
respond

when you don’t respond
and aren’t gentle
don’t draw me out
don’t offer food
or company

You always know
so far

But I feel safer
if I don’t
trust

11/28/21