Category Archives: Poetry

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

“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.

“One Heart At a Time”

~Esther Mitchell, 2010~

I’m sorry I hurt you,

he whispered in the night,

I’m sorry I made you feel,

worthless in my sight.

I never meant to harm you,

to put pain upon your face,

or scars upon your heart,

he murmurs as she flees for safer space.

His thoughtless words have done their evil task,

his cruelty has left a brutal mark.

She’s suffered in silence for the last time,

determined to slip away in the dark.

One day she’ll learn terrible truths,

that will chill her to the bone.

She’s not the first one he’s harmed,

She’s far, far from alone.

Note from the Author: 

 Domestic Violence doesn’t come in just bruised and battered bodies. It also comes in hateful words, screaming, and belittling. It comes in emotional, spiritual, mental and financial control, not just physical or sexual torture. It comes in inflexible control over another person’s health, welfare, or general well-being. And it often comes from those we expect to love us most. It can come from a parent (birth, adoptive, step, or by-marriage), a spouse, a lover, a sibling, or even a child. And the worst part of it is, most forms of abuse are silent to the rest of the world. Physical marks can be noticeable, in some situations. But emotional, mental and spiritual marks are invisible to the unknowing (and/or unconcerned) eye. Financial abuse is often the worst, as often the victim is ridiculed or blamed by the world at large for their own victimization (how cutting the words “how could you be that dumb?” can be when no one understands the manipulative tactics of a financial abuser. Financial abuse often leads to or involves other forms of “silent” abuse, as well – emotional, mental, or spiritual, or any combination of the above).

 It is vitally important that society as a whole takes a step back and looks at the whole picture of abuse, and not just the poster-child, if you will – physical beating. Compassion, not ridicule, is called for. “I told you so” has no place in the mouth of someone claiming to want to help. Nor does negating another’s experiences with your own. Statistics show that, even in the same household, no two victims suffer the exact same abuse. Victims often aren’t looking for advice – they know what they need to do. What they’re looking for is someone to give them the unquestioning support and sense of strength they need to carry through what has to/needs to be done. Telling someone “you need to get out” says “I think you’re stupid, too” when they’re in a mentally or emotionally abusive relationship – they KNOW they need to get out. What they need to someone to convince them they really ARE strong enough to make it out.

 It’s also important to note that Domestic Violence isn’t a “one-time” thing. Not only does it go on for years, but the perpetrators of Domestic Violence often have a long history of abuse. They might have acted out as children in a fashion that left parents or siblings wary of them. It’s possible they were even so out of control as to be institutionalized in an effort to control their violent or neglectful impulses and outbursts. They always blame others for their inability to control their emotions or anger. They’ll start explosive arguments over the most minor of comments or events, seeing a slight or accusation in any word or action that isn’t specifically aimed at praising or providing comforts for him/her. They tend to expect others to take care of them or provide for them, and they take it for granted that it’s other people’s jobs to provide their care. They’re not likely to remember your birthday or special occasions, but will incessantly remind you of their own and what they want you to provide them. In short, they tend to have a narcissistic outlook, and they will repeatedly abuse every person who is involved in a close personal relationship with them – probably the main reason why most of their personal relationships fail.

 Spiritually speaking, abusive personalities tend not to actually follow any religious tenants with a true heart, but they will quickly make use of religious dogma as a weapon against the person/people they are abusing – especially when used as a way to prove how the victim “brought this on” him or herself.

“There Are Dead Here”

~Esther Mitchell, 2001~

There are dead here,
As indelible as the stone which trapped them in,
As barricaded from memory in death,
As they were from freedom in life.

There are dead here,
Their restless souls crying out,
Caught in the moments of haunting tragedy,
Never released, never rescued, never acknowledged.

There are dead here,
Clinging to iron once meant to protect,
But which became their fiery prison, their grave-keeper,
Fused to the very safety that betrayed them.

There are dead here,
Unspoken of, unseen, unheard,
They cry out for justice from unmarked graves,
For honor, and tears, for the humanity they were stripped of.

There are dead here,
I can hear them in these walls,
And tears slide down my face,
As I make a pact here – a promise to never forget.

As long as I draw breath,
The dead here will be honored, and remembered,
Flowers, from my soul to theirs.

Note from Author(2004):

This poem was written a week after June 24, 2001, when research into an unrelated event turned up an utterly shocking and sickening event that took place in New Orleans in 1973. The images in the book on LGBT history regarding the Upstairs Lounge massacre shook me to the core, and after days and nights of being unable to put the images from my mind, I was compelled to write this piece, to offer some solace to the victims of this terrible massacre that went unsolved due to the prevalence of homophobia and bigotry that’s long barred the resolution of this case. It is my fervent hope that sharing this poem on the anniversary of this terrible act of hate and miscarriage of justice will one day bring justice, closure, and peace to these restless souls.

Note from Author (2013):

The above poem and note were first originally shared via e-mail with several groups to which I belonged at the time. Today, on the 40th anniversary of this tragedy, with still no resolution, it seemed fitting to share it again, and this time with a much wider audience, as I have access to such an audience, now. This is a wrong that still needs righting, and it’s time people start speaking out.

“Mother’s Love” (A Mother’s Day Tribute)

There are mothers in every life,
Those who give us breath,
And those who hold us tight.

Yes, there are mothers for all of us,
some stay for a lifetime,
others pass through with little fuss.

Some give us life,
Some give us hope,
Some help us laugh,
Some help us cope.

But there are mothers for everyone,
whether with two legs or four,
be they mother to a daughter or a son,
for Nature smiles truly bright,
in the presence of a mother’s love.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MOTHERS OUT THERE – AND ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO HAVE TOUCHED MY LIFE IN THEIR OWN SPECIAL WAYS! 🙂