Category Archives: My World

Can You Love Me?

~Esther Mitchell, 2016~

“Can you love me as I am?”
Asked the snowflake of the sun.

“I’ll only love you as the water,
I can make a gas, like me,”
Replied the sun,
And destroyed the snowflake’s fragile beauty,
And everything that made her unique.

“Can you love me as I am?”
Asked the sapling of the storm.
“Nourish me and help me grow,
To be a tree, strong and true to who I am?”

“No,” boomed the storm,
“I’ll only accept you if you grow,
The direction I demand.”

Then the storm sent wind and lightning,
To break the sapling’s spirit,
And bend its will with fiercest threat.

“Can you love me as I am?”
Whispered a tiny voice in the night,
As tiny feet crept to the edge of a bed,
Asking for a trust that should never be earned.
“No matter what or who I turn out to be,
Can you always accept and love be,
For no reason but that I’m me?”

Be careful with that fragile trust,
And how you answer back,
For while words forever carry a mark,
It’s what you do that tells the story,
of the person you really are.

father-giving-hand-to-a-child-by-david-castillo-dominici

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici

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“An Open Letter to Fear”

~Esther Mitchell, 2016~

In the photographs in my mind,
I see myself in all my Amazonian glory,
Standing strong,
One hand on sword, one on staff,
My bow and arrows slung across chest and back,
As indomitable as I ever dreamed I could be,
As that little girl, hidden away in silence,
Until my beautiful Goddesses found me,
Breathed life, and power, and heart into me,
Lifted me up into my own raiment of deity,
Against the voices who said reclaiming my power was evil.

I want to speak with the voice of the Persian Queen trapped in my throat,
Held captive in my chest,
Beating to free herself from the cage bars of my ribs.
Not the Hebrew woman who feared a man’s wrath,
But the Persian Queen she birthed from her chest, her lips,
Drew like lightning from her eyes.
I want to feel her name — my name — in every pulse of my blood,
To hear that Queen whisper in the space between the beats,
The Queen who drew her own fear like a weapon,
Wrapped it like a cloak around herself and from it drew courage,
Turned that fear in a quiet storm upon those who believed her place,
To be anywhere, or anything, but loved and respected.

I want to be the lantern in the night,
An arm around the poor, the vulnerable, those yearning to breathe free,
To carry bandages to the bleeding, in all the battlefields,
Whether the battlefield is in the body, or mind,
To bind the wounds, be the medicine, give until there is nothing left of me,
And still be able to give some more.
I want to dry tears cried in pain,
Not because I can do nothing else,
But because I can do everything,
With love, compassion, and the courage that comes only from first knowing fear.

I want to march with arms linked and voices raised,
Side-by-side with all my sisters, whether by birth, or spirit, or Pride,
To hear our voices rebound with the power to break walls,
Rather than build them.
To sing out in one voice to all who would steal us away from ourselves,
“You can no longer have the night!”
“We take back our birthright, our magic, the hallowed blood in our veins!”
“You no longer have power over us!”

I want… I want someone to take pictures,
Not of this broken body,
Not of my shattered trust or destroyed dreams,
But of my immortal soul,
Singing of the magic of all the Feminine Mystery.
For I am at once both none and all of these things:
Amazon
Goddess
Queen
Healer
Protector
Shaman
Sister
Mother
Virgin
Whore
And Crone.
And, like every woman born,
I will use the label you brand me,
The fear you beat into me,
To teach all the Daughters of the Earth,
And their Daughters, into Eternity,
How not to be afraid.

young-flamenco-dancer-by-nenetus

 

Chap Books Are On The Way

I am in the final stages of putting together poetry chap books. Stay tuned for when they go on sale, and where to get them.

Each will have color covers, and contain 20-30 pages of poetry.

 

To Help Keep the Poetry Going…

Normally, I reserve this blog only for all things poetry. And I promise there is more poetry on its way.

I’m sorry for this post, but it’s become necessary to do this, not just for my personal health, but because not addressing this issue will most certainly impact my life, and my ability to continue writing.

Due to an ongoing medical condition, I was forced to leave my job back in February. Up until June, I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth with the help of family and close friends. Now, I’m facing the possibility of losing my car — my only source of reliable transportation — if I don’t come up with at least $750 before 8/15.

To press home the point of what I’m up against, I thought I’d share something a little more graphic, since I gather most people might not understand how important it is I find a way to keep my car…

Here’s a photo of my left leg, from mid-shin down, taken earlier this evening. What you see is the damage still remaining 3 years after my immune system and disease tried to destroy my ability to walk completely, by eating away at the blood vessels, tissue, nerves and bone throughout my body — most visible in my feet.

HSP Scars Left Leg - 8-9-16

The Rheumatoid Arthritis is another symptom of the widespread autoimmune disease eating away at me. All of this limits my ability to walk to practically nothing, and requires I have transportation that doesn’t mean having to walk more than a handful of feet to get to it.

This is why it is so absolutely imperative I find the support I need to keep my vehicle. Without my car, I won’t be able to leave my house, and my ability to get medical treatment, medication, and basic necessities to life will disappear. If this happens, it won’t be long until I am unable to write at all, and the rest of the eventualities are too terrifying for me to even consider, at this point.

If you’re willing to help, you can do so on the Go Fund Me page below, where my friends and family have been contributing toward the goal of paying off my car and helping remove a stress that contributes to my continued illness.

https://www.gofundme.com/esthermedical

Everyone who contributes can opt to receive special gifts, as well as complete repayment of the contributed amount, as soon as I possibly can. Just be sure to leave your name and address when you donate.

If you prefer not to donate via GoFundMe, you can e-mail me at esthermitchell(at)esthermitchell.com (replace “(at)” with @) for additional options to donate.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. If I can keep my car, and lower my stress, I can complete books faster, which means more for you to read.

“Compass”

~Esther Mitchell, 2015~

Did you ever truly believe in me?
I never saw a glimmer of belief,
Your pretty words hung hollow,
A shiny bauble between us, with no substance.
You were supposed to be my first supporter,
My cheerleader against the world,
My compass to understand honesty,
And you taught me only that I should accept your lies,
Because you told me they were true,
And you assumed I could not see the deception as it was.
I found my compass elsewhere,
In eyes that saw me as beautiful,
When all I saw was a discarded, ugly thing.
I learned what belief was,
In the actions of another,
A guardian angel who flew in on roaring engines,
To save me from my own hand,
When you couldn’t even be bothered to know I was gone.
I was too old for Fairy Tales,
When I found my first true supporter,
Who was awed by all the things you failed to see,
Who wrapped me up when I was cold,
and who loved me, for me.
Did you ever truly believe in me?
I’ve learned the answer to that question,
In bitter contrast between what you failed to give,
And the strength another gave me, to live,
And the answer is a resounding “No,”
Because had you believed in me then,
You would believe in me, still,
And I would not feel a stranger,
To the blood in my own veins,
Every time I hear you exclaim,
Another’s triumphs as your pride,
When you couldn’t even bother,
To see me, when I was right before your eyes.

Compass

“Hug”

~Esther Mitchell, 2014~

Three little letters.
They reach through the web of wires,
The pulsing electrical current,
Pushed on by the strike of a key.
Striking.
Do you know how each blow pummels me to the ground?
How the letters are meant as erasers,
To eradicate a past you can’t bear to witness,
Remove all traces of it from your sight,
White-wash your vision with roses and light.
Light.
Light hits my face as I break the surface,
The water scented with chemicals,
Burned into my brain, until the smell gags me,
Before the light is ripped away,
Turned blue like the glow of a mocking spectre,
Swallowing up color in darting wriggles of light,
Until the dank smell of old water mixes with blood.
Blood.
Ever notice how blood smells so rich?
Like a mineral parade making a winding road of my body,
Learning the creases of my skin like a lover,
Leaving behind a part of myself I can never retrieve.
Retrieve.
Retrieving my messages online, I see those three little letters,
Blinking at me, in response to my pain.
They’re supposed to tell me someone’s listening.
They’re supposed to tell me someone cares.
But how can someone listen when the words screaming in my silence,
Are “don’t touch me” and “help me” all rolled together?
How can anyone care when I can’t help but shrink away,
From those three words that blink on my screen.

globe

“Fairy Tales”

~Esther Mitchell, 2015~

I learned very young,
To hide pain behind a smile,
And that disappointment didn’t exist,
Unless it was someone else’s, in me.
While other children knew carefree,
I learned to act like I belonged,
I perfected the comedy of “play,”
To cover over a tragedy in which I was the corpse.
My flesh houses an empty hollow,
That echoes even today with my silent screams.
By the time my peers learned to read,
I was pouring out what was left of my soul on tear-stained pages.
I had already learned sticks and stones merely left bruises,
But words had the power to kill,
It only took one to take away the rest of my life,
Washed it away in a sea of chlorine meant to white-wash the truth,
Into something more palatable for adults to swallow.
See, they don’t want to hear that you’re damaged,
Or that you’re pulled apart from the inside,
A twisted, rotting corpse of yourself.
A child is supposed to be happy,
And if you’re not, they don’t want to know.
They’ll stick their heads so far into the sand they come up in an ocean,
Where they can’t possibly see the evidence of your tears.
I was a prisoner in solitary confinement,
Attempting my own execution, just to escape the monsters in my head,
Hoping to outrun demons that mocked me with my own worthlessness.
When I was still a child, I learned not to wish,
There was no genie in my bottle,
Just a handful of white oblivion, ready to swallow me up if I let it.
It became easy to think of letting it.
It became easy to let it.
And then an angel taught me how to fly.
Taught me clouds were meant to be walked on.
Taught me corpses could be brought back to life, could be beautiful again.
Taught me what it was like to fall.
Taught me what it’s like when the ground swallows you whole,
Takes away angels and sweeps away clouds,
Until there’s nothing left but that hollow, empty grave.
And the blood runs red,
Streams that become rivers,
Until it carries away the pain,
And I wish again – to remove the heart that won’t stop beating.
Because I learned as a child,
Fairy tales are only there to trick you into ignoring the darkness.

Image by graur codrin

Image by graur codrin