Tag Archives: Poem

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.

 

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“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! 🙂

“Wild”

~ Esther Mitchell, 2015~

Silent, she sits,
Her body is a drum held quivering,
A beat hangs ready to pound from her mouth,
A booming clap, like thunder off the canyon.
Her words are a weapon,
Forged to draw her own blood,
Not lines on a map or stains on a battlefield,
She offers up her own blood,
Her own flesh,
Says “Hear me, for I am the body you’ve forsaken.”
Every life into this world is bathed in her blood,
Every life out, in her tears,
Oceans filled with her weeping,
Until the world is pulled under,
Gasping against her unwitting vengeance.
Her heart pulses with fire,
Shoots sparklers into the night sky,
Bathes the heavens in white-hot lightning,
Dances the night sky with streamers of light,
Until her frenzied celebration slips into the dawn,
Peels back the curtain to embrace bright heat,
Unwilling to be thwarted by its burn.
This is the birthright trapped within every woman,
Which frightens men to violence,
Trying to tame that which refuses to be anything but wild.

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“Child of the World”

~Esther Mitchell, 2001~

I was born a child of the world,
Knowing no borders,
No boundaries,
No race, religion, or creed.

I was born a child of the world,
Daughter of the Earth,
Of the Sky, of the Sea, of the Flame,
Sister to all creatures.

I was born a child of the world,
I know none of the boundaries,
You place on hearts, minds and souls.

I was born a child of the world,
I don’t know your hate,
I know only encompassing love.
I mourn for the bloodshed,
I mourn for the pain,
I weep on this ground,
That bears your hate’s stain.

I was born a child of the world,
And I’ve travelled it over, in body and dream,
I know the faces of all its peoples,
I embrace them all just the same.

There is no one beneath me,
No one placed above,
I am a child of the world,
And my message is only love.

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“Political Malpractice”

~Esther Mitchell, 2014~

While corporations and insurance companies,
Battle it out to see who can line more pockets,
Reorganize themselves out of the truth, out of the blame,
I lay ripped to pieces by words like “policy”, “deductible”, and “network.”
While my body tears itself apart from the inside out,
And my mind trips over itself like a landmine,
Buried around every corner with ghosts,
Someone with a pen instead of a stethoscope,
A calculator instead of a microscope,
Sifts through the ashes of my life,
Weighs the ashes, and tells me what I’m worth.
I sit here, unable to afford the help that would save my life,
Defend my sanity,
Bring me relief,
Because some rich old man,
Hides behind association with false gods,
Prays at an altar of greed disguised as benevolence,
In a white-washed marble temple of hypocrisy.
I am not a statistic,
Not yet,
But I’m liable to become one,
Because that’s what happens,
To the legions of the invisible ill,
When what’s needed to heal us, to keep us well,
is determined not by a lab coat or scrubs,
but by a fat cat in a three-piece suit.

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