Seriously by Angela von Son

I don’t think I ever shared on my blog that I got published in Celebrate Change? Maybe I accidentally put it on my Procrastination Coach blog, I have clumsy days sometimes. I was really happy with it, and I do remember shouting it of the rooftops. Or the digital equivalent of that 😉

Celebrating Change

The sixth poem selected by our guest editor Jessie Joe Jacobs is about sexual abuse, and it’s like a punch to the gut…

Seriously

When I said
Make yourself at home
I didn’t mean
Do to my daughter
What you do to your wife

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A story untold

This is a story about what happened in my family, generations ago. The story has never been told, yet I know it happened. It’s been told in the things we don’t say. It’s been told by the things we don’t do. We hush – move on, nothing interesting going on here. And yet, there was…

I don’t know her age. The signs didn’t tell me. But she was a woman. She was beautiful. She was fertile. She was wise. She was helpful. They wanted her to say yes to everything. She didn’t. I guess that’s what got her killed. She said no to one who couldn’t bear it.

You’ll have to fill in the details yourself. Was she married? We don’t know. What did she dream of? No one knew. What was the sound of her laughter? I don’t know – but I do know she loved to laugh. She enjoyed life. She enjoyed company. She enjoyed learning new things. In the end, I think that’s what got her killed. She knew more than they could deal with.

They tried to cover it up, as justice. They tried to make it look like it was right. She was a witch, they said. She was a danger to the village, they claimed. But her family knew better. The only thing she did was say no to someone who couldn’t take it. So he made the claim. He wanted to destroy what he couldn’t have, and knew he couldn’t do it alone.

At first his words held no strength. People trusted their own judgement. They knew her laughter. The knew her beauty. They asked for her wisdom when they needed it. But sometimes she couldn’t help. The disappointed wondered if the rumours were true. They knew they were good people, who deserved good things. Maybe their disappointment was the work of the devil? Maybe there was no wisdom, only trickery? Maybe she wasn’t beautiful, and she just wore a mask.

I think she was married. She had a baby, for sure. Or was she taking care of an orphan? A boy who declared her to be his mother, because love is stronger than blood. Long before he knew her blood would be spilled, he knew he had her love. He felt it in his bones. He saw it in her eyes. He tasted it in the food she shared with him.

A boy, who witnessed the blood. Shed. Spilled. Congealed. He saw her throat, sliced open so she couldn’t speak. He saw the blood between her thighs. He heard the claim that it was self defence. A harmless man against a powerful woman. A Christian dagger against the hand of the devil. An act of justice to right an unnamed wrong. He saw. And he listened. And he took note. This would never happen again. He would be the keeper. He would pass the message along: stay safe, stay safe. So his children would be safe.

They were. He learned to fear for those he loved. He never told his story, but he worked hard to keep his loved ones safe. It was tough sometimes. There’d be contagious laughter in an unguarded moment. There’d be shared wisdom that could draw attention. And true beauty is hard to keep hidden. So he passed his fear along, to help them keep themselves safe. They did. They were. Safe. Their children too. And their children’s children. No one knew what happened.

His descendants stayed safe. They knew how to stay hidden, because something might be out there. They knew they should stay away from trouble, but never understood why. Though they’d never been told, they realised the dangers of beauty, of laughter, of wisdom, of being female and fertile.

Now here I am. Female. Fertile. Beautiful. Wise. Alive. I’m here now, to tell you this story, even though it happened centuries ago. I’ve received love in the form of fear. It couldn’t protect me. I’ve always protected myself. And I learned. There’s danger in silence. There are worries in absence. I will speak up. I’ll tell my truth. I’ll honour the ones who died. I’ll honour the ones who live. I WILL be safe. And I will love.

Marriage saving catalogue

(a poem about a desperate man)

He’s leafing through
turns a page
sniffles.

“Good-luck charm
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pain
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lump chart
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a paint
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lunch charter
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a painter
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lung check
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a painting
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-luxury cheek
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pair
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-machine cheese
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a palace
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-machinery chemical
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a palm
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-madame chemist
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pan
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-magazine chemistry
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a panel
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-magic cheque
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a panic
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-magistrate chest
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a paper
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-magnitude chicken
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a para
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-maid chief
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a parade
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-mail child
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a paragraph
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-mainframe childhood
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a parallel
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-mainland chin
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a page
sniffles.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-luck charm
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pageant
snifters.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lug charmer
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pageboy
sniggers.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lullaby chart
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pagoda
snips.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lumber charter
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pail
snipes.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lumberjack charwoman
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pain
snipers.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lumberyard chase
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a painkiller
snippets.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-luminary chaser
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a paint
snitches.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lump chasm
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a paintbox
snivels.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lunatic chat
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a paintbrush
snobs.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lunch chateau
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a painter
snogs.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-luncheon chattel
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a painting
snookers.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lunchtime chatter
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pair
snoops.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lung chatterbox
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a pal
snoopers.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lunge chatterer
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a palace
snoozes.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lurch chauffeur
marital bliss.”

He’s leafing through
turns a palate
snores.
Finally he gets stuck
with
“Good-lure cheap
marital bliss.”

I know, I know, too long to read all of it. Too much repetition of words. Still, something fascinates me about the story. So I’m leaving it like this for now.

 

Roman doors

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broken stern –
sink well enough and I’ll be preserved
my cabin doors standing
my galley floor burnt

sunken tools –
they tell my story
repairman of what’s broken
a carpenter by trade

archaeologist –
if you find my vessel
in 2000 years time
what will you uncover?

a charred heart
for healing
– sink well enough and I’ll be preserved

I present to you: the most complete Roman river craft ever discovered in north-west Europe. Unlike most vessels of its kind known from Roman times, it was not stripped bare and abandoned, but sunk while still in operation… It was wrecked around the year 190 AD, possibly due to navigational error. It sank, and much of the ship’s interior and captain’s personal belongings were preserved.

The doors struck me, even before I remembered I could use them for our #ThursdayDoors. They look like if you enter through them, you might step back in time. The doors are the entry to the cabin. Behind that was a second room, the galley. Cooking was done on a tile, to keep the wood safe from the fire. You can see the tile in the picture of the guided tour. It’s right from the grinding stones, in the next cabinet.

The wooden thingy behind the knife blades, was a kind of mixer, used to remove lumps from the porridge. In the next picture you’ll find around-the-corner keys. I don’t understand how those worked, which is a good reason to go back for a next visit!

The carpenter had a number of wood processing tools. I chose to photograph this one, because of the wood curls that were found in it. Wood chips almost 2000 years old, because he hadn’t cleaned his tools yet… It makes the past present, and makes me wonder about time.

I took pictures of the things that touched me the most. Except for the sandals, which are replicas, all items you see are real. They belonged to the captain of the ship and he used them. They also found a cabinet and chests where stored things in – all wooden, and very rare finds to be preserved, and preserved this well.

I’ve seen lots of Roman remains but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Roman doors. The Museum Hoge Woerd near Utrecht (The Netherlands) has done a great job at displaying all the wonderful special finds and telling their story.

Theology (n+14)

“end,
now”,
at the pepper café.
“plenty of tiles,”
up her chapter.
“Take me,
I’m a real greedy.”
she takes
from her polymer
some whipped cross
in her.

Unedited as yet, because I don’t feel well today. If you want to know more about n+ poems, you can check out my word cloud on the right and click on the tag to see other ones with longer explanations.

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Thursday door – 3

This door was hiding something. Scroll down to find out what!

Mode d’emploi

To be me
To feel me
To experience me
To acknowledge me
To accept me
To allow me
To love me

To be me
To feel me being me
To experience me feeling me
To acknowledge me experiencing me
To accept me acknowledging me
To allow me accepting me
To love me allowing me
To love me loving me

To be me
To be me feeling me
To be me experiencing me
To be me acknowledging me
To be me accepting me
To be me allowing me
To be me loving me

To feel me
To feel me being me
To feel me feeling me
To feel me experiencing me
To feel me acknowledging me
To feel me accepting me
To feel me allowing me
To feel me loving me

To experience me
To experience me being me
To experience me feeling me
To experience me experiencing me
To experience me acknowledging me
To experience me accepting me
To experience me allowing me
To experience me loving me

To acknowledge me
To acknowledge me being me
To acknowledge me feeling me
To acknowledge me experiencing me
To acknowledge me acknowledging me
To acknowledge me accepting me
To acknowledge me allowing me
To acknowledge me loving me

To accept me
To accept me being me
To accept me feeling me
To accept me experiencing me
To accept me acknowledging me
To accept me accepting me
To accept me allowing me
To accept me loving me

To allow me
To allow me being me
To allow me feeling me
To allow me experiencing me
To allow me acknowledging me
To allow me accepting me
To allow me allowing me
To allow me loving me

To love me
To love me being me
To love me feeling me
To love me experiencing me
To love me acknowledging me
To love me accepting me
To love me allowing me
To love me loving me

Today the poem came first, then I went looking for a door to go with it. After all, participating in Thursday Doors needs a door! This poem/exploration felt like a prayer to me. So I decided to go look for church doors in my city. Then I realised church doors, when closed, have a rather impermeable quality. They’re there to protect what’s inside. So I realised I wanted to go look for welcoming doors, and make that my quest. A door that says “come in”. Or, even better, “come in I love you”.

Since I tend to practical, I wondered if that could be combined with buying fresh bread. With going to the library. With whatever that’s on my to do list. And I remember how this poem started… The original title was ‘to be list’. I think I need to go outside to be instead of to do.




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Today’s #ThursdayDoors brought me a lovely quest. What looked like a boring door with nothing but emptiness behind it, turned out to be interesting and fun. The dinosaurs will be travelling to Enschede to day, which is about a two hour drive. I smile when I picture the cars who will meet this unusual convoy, and the children (0-99) in there who’ll be as surprised and happy as I was to meet them.

Getting nowhere again (n+a lot)

Oh wine I’ll just graduate
getting nowhere again
I’ll turn
that discount
digging up the tram rails
– well-windowed

I’ll just grade
getting nowhere again
I’ll turn that disclosure
digging up the tram rails
and welfare

oh wind

I’ll just grace
getting nowhere again
I’ll turn
that discipline
and welcome

the west

I’ll just goal
getting nowhere again
I’ll turn that directive

– digging up the tram rails

Oh well I’ll just go
getting nowhere again
I’ll turn
that dirt

wave

Last week I fell in love with the N+ machine. I was mesmerised by the results of my first experiment with it, and loved SO many of the lines it brought me. Today I’m in a more critical mood. I like bits and bobs, but certainly don’t think every strange word combination deserves to get a poem of it’s own.

I promised a weekly #N+Friday, and I still think that’s a good invitation to play around with some of my finds. Today, I combined a number of N+ stanzas into one new poem. It tells a story now – but I’m not sure it’s going anywhere 😉

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