Thursday, September 21, 2017



Of course, your worships! Of course
I'll tell you everything.
Just take the pins away.

I don't grieve for what he took,
the soul from me like a pinching shoe,
so why should you?

He started small, being just an imp;
to suckle me up like chokevine
on the corn was his main aim

and so he twined, he capered, growing greater--
so droll, good sirs, and stroked--o yes
he stroked, but always without respite

he talked, his wheedling voice alone
in the mother-pit of all silence.
He brought forth secrets from my womb;

the malice in history's whispers
the true seraphim in Eden
and Lucifer's ten thousand sweet names;

how to rot and how to blight
how to pox the peach-pink skin and turn
the plump cheek hollow.

Surely you understand! I've always
been  fond of learning, good sirs. I only wished
to improve myself. Do not! Please, 

don't pull me from the sky;
for Hel is winter deep 
and fire is no girl's friend.

 ~September 2017

for Fireblossom's   Distorted Lens

Note: I have flagrantly conflated pagan Norse Hel, a land of infinite cold and the dead, with both burning at the stake and Christian Hellfire, because witchcraft is often tied to the survival of paganism in medieval Europe, but mostly, because I can.

Images: Hexenschlaff (Witches' Sleep) 1889, by Albert von Keller   Public domain.
Los Caprichos(The Follies:Beautiful Master) by Francisco Goya   Public domain


  1. One of your best monologues, Joy and description of the incubus, as well as other assorted women's maladies..
    I never like to get to close to the flames.

  2. You see, this is why learned men over the centuries have argued that we women should not be educated unduly, lest we fall to ruin! Funny how the wheedler, the seducer, the destroyer bringing ruin is so often also male. Kites in the wind are we, with no more thoughts for our own destiny than a paper diamond on a cross would have, and with no more directing influence in our feverish energies than just a tail of tied knots behind us could exert. Our only salvation, surely, is God In The Home, and his stewardship over our childish hearts and minds.

    OR, we could just let ourselves go to Hell, or the icebox, as we darn well choose. Good good lovin' and Ben & Jerry's for me, please. Thanks for being a crucial and celebrated part of Fireblossom Friday, dear BFF!

  3. This is an absolutely brilliant monologue! I was especially blown away by the closing!

  4. What I love most about this poem is that we can't quite tell who's madder--the woman doing the raving or the ones sticking the pins. I also really like your mixture of mythologies and beliefs and delusions... I've always thought they dance quite well together, even it the idea makes more than a few people cringe. And your note? Fantastic. Love, love, love it all!

    On a separate bit... every time I see the accompanying image, I wonder if the riders are screaming in pain. I mean, a broomstick can't be all that comfortable to begin with. And a broomstick on a naked bum, well... ouch! *flies away cackling... not on a broomstick!*

    1. I'm just annoyed he won't let her drive. ;_) Thanks Magaly--you made me cackle with or maybe crackle, with your sympathetic magic.

  5. I feel not just the delicate torture of hell, but words working like drops of water becoming boulders in a Chinese water torture. You made me convinced that we need no hell, it already exist in p(l)ain sight. I hope that there are some good men somewhere.

  6. Nice contrast of the poem, not so much with my understanding, but I try.

  7. A properly distorted view of everything .Well done!

  8. A riveting tale, Joy. I have watched much this same scenario unfolding in someone close to me, the man sneakily pushing buttons, the woman falling prey, and what it is doing to her mind . Your poem hits close to home. Too close. So well done.

  9. First read I got this witch's cursory examination of her plight to be resonant of that song by the Who -- "Meet the new boss / same as the old boss" -- as if this gal who used to be tormented by the Master Goat is now tortured by the Master God. Just another dick with a scepter ... that a confession of sin is to be burned out of a hoar-frozen victim (Hell for Hel) is an ultimate irony. In between those warring powers, a simple desire for improvement, which sounds a little ingratiating here but given the circumstances, whaddayagonna do? And if we're all stuck between these warring powers, then the ultimate boon is avoidance -- not a great culture for thought to ripen in. But whatarewegonnado. Great response to the challenge, H.

    1. Well, I don't imagine one who's been taught by the Great Deceiver is going to be absolutely frank to the men with pins about her more carnal motivations. ;_) I really didn't intend the speaker to be terribly sympathetic, but of course, a victim, even a willing one, is exactly what she is, of so many forces that perhaps her choice of opting for a little dark power and groove makes some sense. Thanks, B--this is pretty light fare, but it does get the All Hallows juices flowing.

  10. And yet again, the many ignorant men who torture us because we are wise women....

  11. A well executed narrative of mythic and herstoric proportions.It was fucked up then and it's fucked up now but look, if it gets to hot in the vally of the damned, there's always the ducking stool to help cool things off!

  12. I got the incubus idea right away, but there is so much more here.

    I have a wife, a daughter, 3 daughters-in-law, 7 granddaughters, a sister and a niece, all of whom I dearly love.

    And here they all are - and you, and I - in a world made horrible by horrible men.

    We don't burn anyone at the stake any more, but there is so many other ways to torture people and destroy lives with words and laws social stigma. Sadly, we humans are expert at exploring them.


  13. Even in hell a woman has the wisdom of the fire she has been male forced to walk through. This is awesome!

  14. The inquisition, Salem witch trials, so many horrid images go through my mind. People do awful things when they are convinced only they know the truth. Scary stuff here. And I agree -the Hel Hell ice or fire was such a good image

  15. 'how to rot and how to blight
    how to pox the peach-pink skin and turn
    the plump cheek hollow.'

    Who is truly mad here? I love the above stanza. I can see the effect in front of me.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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