Sunday, October 24, 2010

Warrior Hearts

image from emoda.com

She was born
with a gentle nature
and a tenacious spirit,
which would
come in handy
down the road.

She and her mother
were born
of the Celtic mist,
the turbulent tide
and the
hope of the
morning star.
They came,
blood and bone,
from a long line
of Irish crones.

Stoicism
was bred
in their marrow.
This, too,
would prove
helpful.

They shared
hearts full of dreams,
lives of disappointment
and, fortunately,
a wicked cackle.

When she was
fourteen,
the worst thing
that can happen
to a girl-child
happened.

There followed
bad and
painful times,
and despair.
Somehow,
she hung on.

With the force
of her will,
her mother
kept her
tethered
to the planet,
and
would not
let go.

When she was
barely seventeen,
she had a girl-child,
one more elfin
Celtic woman-
in-the-making.
And for this child
she turned her life
towards hope.

More pain
would follow,
for more pain
always follows.

Like her mother's,
her marriage
was oppressive.
Like her mother,
her spirit 
rose from
that oppression
and cast
those bindings
definitively 
Off.

Oh, how
her spirit rose!
Like the sunrise
over a peaceful 
inlet mountain,
fiery red
and glowing,
so bright it hurt
one's eyes,
did it arise.

But life
as a single mother
is no picnic.
She had watched
her mother
do it.
She had lived it
as a child.
Now here
it was again,
all pain and struggle
and trying
so hard to
keep on
keeping on.

Times of despair,
of hopelessness,
the too-much-ness
of every single thing,
trying to find
a storybook ending,
finding instead
the Rocky Horror Show
of Real Life.

And then
this girl
got on
the healing path.

Courageously,
she went to
the scariest place:
within.
She peeled away
the layers
of muck and shame,
as her forebears
once dug
in the earth
to find the
potatoes
that kept
their souls alive
through
years
of famine.

In that deep earth,
she found treasures
that had lain
buried within
for decades,
gone all unnoticed.

She strung them out,
in wonder,
all pretty and twinkling
and feeling
just right
in the hand:
her heart's jewels,
her own worth,
the worth that was
always there,
belatedly discovered.

After so much pain,
it takes forty years,
give or take,
to finally believe.

Now she believes.

She has claimed
her voice
and uses it
to state her truths
respectfully.

She takes no shit
from any single body.
This is her time now.

She has arisen,
and, baby,
you better
keep your
sunglasses on,
that's just
how bright
things are
about
to get!

Instead of the
scarcity
in her
fridge
and wallet,
she chooses
to see
the abundance
of the All That Is.

She is grateful
to be alive
and on the planet.

She stopped
dreaming
of those misleading
fairy tales
and started living
her very own
Reality TV Show For One,
and what a show!

Her life is
far from easy,
but her
radiance
is dazzling.

Her mother
has watched
all this
with pride,
her daughter's
warrior heart
coming into
the light of day
and claiming
its passage.

This fellow warrior
was walking
in her footsteps,
following markers
she had herself
laid down
to point
the way.

They exchange nods
of deep respect
and recognition.
They are both
Warrior Women
on the path.

Now the girl
flings
a long scarf
round her neck
jauntily,
and pulls her
combat boots on.
She is heading
out the door,
looking for
the day's
fine adventure.

Her beauty
turns heads
wherever she goes.
But what stays
with you
is her kindness,
her respectful manner,
her compassionate heart
for the most broken
among us,
her seeing of
the downtrodden,
the bypassed,
and their worth
as human beings.
It is her
inner light
-that she has
always had-
that truly
shines.

13 comments:

  1. Damnation....this was wicked good, a Phoenix of a woman rising form the ashes to capture the spirit that moves us along and then some. You told a story, painted some pictures and all in all a wonderful mixed media writing that will stay on my mind for a long while. Great work.

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  2. i wonder whether only women are born with warrior hearts... ? and why is it that only women need that type of a heart ?

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  3. Good question, Maya:) Glad you all liked it - took three tries to get it right.Still could use some work.....

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  4. The poetic story opened up one truth that lot of times a woman should be brave at heart, that bravery can only lead them a better living in life.Lovely support between the mother and child which is always true in whatever suituation it may be.But I am worried whether there is no end to hurting womans emotional feelings in life by men?

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  5. First, it reminded me so much of my mom in some ways. Especially the Celtic referrence. She also had a warrior heart and taught us girls to be strong. Even though she was married to a man who made all kinds of demands on her. She, remained strong. ( Though, kept her humor and made faces behind his back, or gestures)

    This poem was wonderful, it is spirited and gives hope. It should be published for young women going through such times.

    Wysteria

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  6. what an empowering story! your words:
    "Instead of the
    scarcity
    in her
    fridge
    and wallet,
    she chooses
    to see
    the abundance
    of the All That Is"

    hit a sensitive chord here. life is not easy but a "warrior heart" can see the brighter side of things and that is enough to keep her going. but then, all the trials and tribulations she went through helped mold her into becoming a feisty spirit. indeed, it is the inner light that truly shines.

    sherry, it is a big blessing to know you and your blog!

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  7. It does seem women need a lot of strength to get through this life. I imagine all of us can relate in some way to this woman's suffering - and her survival! And she did not just survive - she transcended, which is the real journey of life. Thank you for reading and commenting, I so appreciate your thoughts.

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  8. Sherry,
    A wonderfully spirited poem.
    Pamela

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  9. HOLY, HOLY, i LOVE this :) You done good xx

    Sometimes I wonder what it is that keeps people hanging on, I wonder if that warrior heart is our will to live, like grasping for that next breathe, even if we wanted to Just Stop...

    A woman came into where I work last night who has had an unbelievable life :( and was crying and is just at the bottom. She cried 'why am i still here???' And i thought of this tiny bit that must live within us, that no matter what Can't Stop. I see it in her, I told her that. I didn't really know what to say or do, the most I could come up with was to have a cigarette with her :( I hope she comes back soon...

    Your poem makes me want to grab both combat boots AND sunglasses! Tuwandaaaaa

    i love you xx

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  10. The will to live is so strong - fortunately! Yes! re the sunglasses and combat boots! You help the people who come through where you work more than you can imagine - by being kind to those the world has turned its back on. You do good work in the world!!

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  11. Great story poem! What would take some people a whole novel to say, you managed in just these few lines, and it's more beautiful and memorable that way.

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  12. Yes!! Brilliant poem! Let's hear it for kick-ass women who take no guff and live the lives they were meant to!
    I'm late getting to my warrior mode, but intend to milk it for the rest of my time here...thanks for putting how I feel into words, Sherry!!

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!