Mercy for the wild

brown tabby cat sitting on brown wooden stool
Photo by Anderson Martins on Pexels.com

Quarantined kids escape briefly, screeching loud into empty streets

their thin bodies desperate for release and water sprayed

high into quiet air

I grew my nails because I am not touched, I do not arouse desire

there is no purpose in their being short or useful

for love I had once, in the magnolia dimness of loveliness.

Racketed sound is a mockery, a reminder of how things used to be

when you believed in love and it slipped through your hands

like porcupine quills that have no sharp

distracting yourself with empty boxes and things unpacked

for you belong not here nor there, nor any place

always the need to pack up and relocate, find what

has never sought finding in great wild.

You may judge if you wish

I did a good thing, though you will say it was wrong

I saw nature today at its most timorous and yet bold

I let it go, I let it go.

Many months I planned the capture of her off spring

as she ate from my plates, watching side-ways with distrusting gaze

I am after all, someone prone to superstition and wonder

she arrived a month after the death of my cat

it seemed in her resemblance, it was his return

then she is pregnant and I believe I can have

a house full of life again.

But this heart cannot take one more attempt at loving

this body though young, remembers the torment of losing

those mercies in the night and belief things last eternal

when nothing but the certainty of natures hammer sounds

and nature is not a kindly thing

though perhaps in her supposed cruelty, she is pure

whilst we save cats and neuter so that they may

grow fat and listless without purpose, swatting flies for entertainment

our city nearly drained of ferals and life, and hope, it occurred to me

I didn’t want her caught and diminished by

our belief we know what is right for

creatures of the wild.

I would say, especially as a virus seeks to diminish our population

a mass of humanity grown out of control

this is natures doing, this is the deliberate

consequence of our unprecedented surge to exist

maybe she will forgive

if she does not, is that even wrong?

We place our beliefs as if they are more

than tin soldiers and waxen effigies

as proofs of some superior knowledge

all against the tilled marrow of this earth

long outlasting us, fecund dirt and soil

from which life springs eternal and unfettered

laughing at our arrogance with our

purple capes of chastity and piety

golden crosses forged from raped stone

rules to contradict and suppress the powerless.

She was caught in this cold cage and I saw

her yellow eyes find mine

they say if you stare too long into the eyes of

a wild creature they will perceive a threat

better to bow your head in prayer and submit

they say too much that is tired and old

she looked at me and with the beseechmentof her kind and mine

she asked to be wild

not neutered for ‘her own good’

because she will develop cancer and her kittens

will die time and again to the coral snake and all

other natural things.

She wanted her chance at freedom

she would take them away now, her kittens whom I watched from

my isolation and my hurt, brightening my day

a salve of selfish joy, what is it that saves

the sanctity of the unsaved?

Her shoulders were down, almost crushed, I knew

to release was the greater good

as the wild rose is always more beautiful

on the wild rose tree and not in a vase

in a sterile room to bloom and wilt and lose

richer, than the bland salt-less life I lead

tame without children, without those who

call me when they promise to love and obey.

Our human folly I saw as glaringly

as those kittens in a line, following their mother

through high grass away

my heart stung, same as when my own cat

breathed his last and we said it was a mercy

to euthanize him in his pain

but what of his freedom?

Did he go from that place of needles and

kitty grooming and dental hygiene for pets

to something as noble as her green field?

I saw roses die when I was very young

even as I dried them and tried to keep their wholeness

they crumbled because life is bidden by our false extension

but the visceral and the sad and the sorrowful and the tragic

and quite often

something more achingly beautiful than we

with all our art and books and music

could ever be.

I didn’t want to let her go, I wanted to control

insert myself into the story

trap her kittens to tame them

save them from a less noble fate

and yet who am I?

Am I a worthy example?

with my loss of love, my lack of family?

who was I to prescribe my way? To these

who had every right to live their way?

You see, I have long known I am not

their superior, they are not inferior to me

I am neither their master nor willing to decide

their fate when they have a greater sense of life

real life, than I, in my artifice, ever will

I do not eat flesh for this reason, it is to me

a cannibalism in the way we farm and produce

milk and animal products neatly spit out

without thought to their suffering, or the

terrible way they know what will happen.

We are unnatural in our artificial world

we are too aware of things, our intelligence

can be as much a curse.

Many days I wake and have such a pain inside

me, I know only comes from the unbearable

awareness and I wish I were as simple and as

loving as those felines in my garden or that

I had not listened to sensibility as a young girl

and like this cat, who so resembles mine, who is dead

believed like the earth, after rain, we should

grow wild and free

unbidden.

Yet we have in a way, and with our vast numbers

disease and famine, virus and pest try to

even the score

it is as natural as it comes to get a virus and die

but we are not able to accept that, we believe we

should conquer this God given earth, spreading ourselves out

until we are no different to bacteria or roaches.

I pity us, I pity what we know and do not know

in some ways we are the same as this mother

trying to save her kittens because of an impulse

in her case the purity of instinct

in ours we have choices and often they lead to greed

and an insatiable desire for more.

I choose

seeing her resigned, defeated self

I release the cage, it springs back, she rushes out

it feels so right to see her dart across the field, unencumbered

I know she will take them far away now

I know I will lose them

I also know I never possessed them

and that it is right this way

for pets are not ours to ‘own’ or be master of, they are the chained

learned mules and horses who have been broken

maybe they do not know it and are happy

but what of those who are still wild?

Who am I to take, to decide? To think I know best?

I have read all the books about feral cat population

show cruel it is for nature to flourish unchecked

how disease runs rampant and sickness abounds

and I think of us and our wish to have choices

even as the same thing happens and we perish

to the hands of disease and the will of something more powerful

than our tinker toys and our belief we know all.

As much as she punishes me for my error

walking away, leaving nothing but footprints

in dry sand on my emptied deck

I feel I have listened to

something deeper than talk radio or

my biology books, I have instead

heard the call of the wild and it told me

do not always think you can disturb

this felted land with your superior knowledge

you should only know, you do not know

much.

How am I an example with my perpetuate grief

my unfulfillment, unhappy childhood, empty rooms.

All the awareness we have can be a curse

better to be wild, not to expect love or loyalty

those are human constraints, doomed often to failure

better to be without rule, not to live for glory or purpose beyond

the simplicity of instinctmy instinct told me to open the cage

it has always sought to protect rather than capture

even if she dies out there, she dies intact

not a creature molded by us, into something hybrid and wrong.

I have nothing in my arms now, as I had

nothing in my arms then

and I don’t cut my nails because there is no-one to love

or hold me when I need to be held

because humans promise and break those promises like

egg shells cast on skillets

because you told me you loved me always and

soon you couldn’t even lift a finger or try

to write a line in love, for your bitterness soured your

entire soul and I had a heart filled

but with no way to empty it.

I no longer want to be let down and told

I don’t write because there’s nothing to say

and I don’t want a relationship based on writing

because all those who were separated in the past

wrote letters to each other many, many times

no matter their distance.

It is rather, our modern impatience that says

I want it all now, I want it all or none

then you shall have none, as I shall have none

and all those wasted years were a grave mistake

just as many things I have done are.

I am not making another mistake

I will not keep her behind bars

where I have been waiting for you to do right by me

where I have been expecting to be treated right

when most people are anything but … merciful

it is our human world and I wish I were

instead that mother or a deer unbound

it is sad that we die of the virus

it is more sad, that we live as we do

things happen as lessons to teach us

will we listen? Or will we repeat

and repeat and repeat?

I release her back

into the mercy of the wild

where she looks once

over her shoulder and then

quick as lightning

she is gone.

Written in memory of the cat who loved me loyally more than any person ever has and whom I loved very much and brought with me to this country so long ago.

Halo 2001-2019. RIP.

Sneak Peak of Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen: The Color of Our Rights: A Reproductive Rights Collaboration — Whisper and the Roar

Are you following Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen? I will wear red for my sisters whose health is at risk for my sisters who have been raped for my sisters who have been battered for my sisters who are already struggling to feed hungry children for my sisters who need to finish middle school high school […]

via Sneak Peak of Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen: The Color of Our Rights: A Reproductive Rights Collaboration — Whisper and the Roar

The moral imperative

dont tread on me alabamaDon’t look away because you’ve already made up your mind

hang loose / stay nimble Kingfisher / remain open

this isn’t a soap box and I’m not ranting

this is a page among many pages and a thought among many thoughts

I hope you read it and T.H.I.N.K.

This is for the person who thinks women and girls shouldn’t have a choice

did I lose you with that last line? What happened to the certainty of your convictions?

If you are ready to condemn a rape or incest survivor to bearing their rapists child

and possibly having that rapist fight for custody/visitation and be awarded it

then consider how you might want to give me the time of day

before closing yourself off back to your old way of thinking

after all … I’ve changed my views many times based on EVOLVING

we don’t stay the same, we shouldn’t stay the same

life is not a vortex

so here goes …

What makes you believe a girl of 15 who is raped by her step father should

bear his child?

Because I hear you say on the radio; “The child is not to blame so we should not punish them by murdering them”

and the certainty in your voice

astonishes me

as I think of what it will feel like to be

raped at 15 by your step father, bear his child at 16 and then tell the child at 13 when she is old enough to know, who her father is

watch her face crumple

should that child never exist? She may go on to do great things that is true

But we are putting the rights and the acts of predators before the rights of that 16 year old

We are raping them again

We are telling them you may be an individual but you have NO right over your body

you were raped and now you are going to be given this life sentence

and your child will be too

and yes, that child may grow up to be something amazing

but sometimes we don’t need to know every eventuality

we just need to know what is wrong and what is right

and it is wrong to make a child bear a rapists child if they do not want to

just as it is wrong to give that rapist any rights over that child’s life

there is really … no punishment great enough for rapists and molestors

but we are going soft and we spend far more of our time

trying to undermine the rights of women and girls

and I have decided (call me paranoid if you wish) this is

a conspiracy against women and girls

and before you say “oh but other women think so too, it’s not just men!”

I will nod and agree, because I have seen and heard those other women

in fact one is my neighbor and she said; “I don’t understand why a person has to have an abortion they are just lazy because they did not use birth control”

and I wondered because she is a lovely person and quite bright

HOW she could think this and WHERE that judgment came from

but despite this, despite other women damming other women as they have always done

it is the masculine need to control women that is at the crux of this debate

it is the male led world (still) that tries to close its fist around women’s private parts

and tell her what she can do with her own body

and it is the misinterpretation of what we perceive God to want and dictate

that leads us to condemn, insult, hate, shame, loathe, obliterate

the rights of other women to do what THEY NEED TO DO

and sometimes what they need to do is

have an abortion

and it’s not only in the cases of girls who have been raped by their step fathers

but mothers and wives and adults and middle aged women

who for a variety of reasons have decided

as human beings they have the right to decide what to do with their own body

and if there were a war and there were two sides

and someone said to me; will you fight for our side

despite being a pacifist I would

because I have worked with the women and girls who have come to me and said

my parents did not let me have an abortion when I was raped by my uncle

I had to bear this child and that child grew up knowing I hated it

though I tried not to

and I was condemned again for hating the product of my rape

although I could not stop myself

too much of the burden is upon the women

and I do not think those grey haired men who sit in judgement

would wish to adopt my child of rape or your child of rape

I do not think they would wish to have a child of color

or a feminist or a lesbian as their child

I think they want to turn the clock back to when

women did not speak out or wish to assume any control

of themselves or their daughters

and yet

what they do not understand is

before their time

women were in control of themselves and their daughters

and they flourished

until they were defeated

but as with any battle

there can again be

a revolution

and I suspect the time is coming

when women will once more (they should not have to)

rise up they should not have to)

and say (they should not have to)

to their daughters and their sons (they should not have to)

this is not okay and I am not going to lie down and take it

and when that day comes

I will be part of that battle

and would die defending

the right of women and girls to do what they want with their own bodies

and those who will come at me with

what about the babies rights?

what about the rights of the unborn?

what about how murder is wrong?

will hear me reply

what about your cruelty? Enforcing laws

draconian and otherwise upon the bodies and souls

of women and girls

all because it comforts you to judge

others

rather than yourselves

and who is saying anything about

the men who get women and girls pregnant

and how often they do not want

to be saddled with a child

and this is my last thought on the matter;

What would men do if they were the ones who were

raped and abused and what would they do if they

could become pregnant and had to carry a child

and were told by women

oh you should carry this product of rape to term

and give it up for adoption because it is selfish of you to abort and it is murder

when there are so many childless couples who would be so glad of your

birthing factory abilities, sorry, I mean, unwanted child

what would men say if they were told

I am sorry you were forced to have sex and got pregnant

but you cannot have an abortion

be mindful of the sanctity of life in this overcrowded world

and shut your legs in future

the undertone, it is all in the undertone

and I say

if men were to wake up to that?

there would be abortion clinics on every corner like Starbucks

and that more than anything else tells you what you need to know

if you are still listening

and not assuming you know

what women should do with their bodies

because you possess

the moral imperative

 

Choice

thHere’s to you, a sterile woman

for your children will not

inherit the earth

whilst underneath your sweating arms

tired with empty burdens

you hold up the belief

less is more and more

is not always best

if that ruffles a few feathers

puts a nose out of joint

causes a skirmish

so be it

you will stand

among the tall old men with their placards

of ‘don’t kill babies’ and headless dolls

throwing fake blood at women

who enter the sanctum

you will stand and spread

your merciful wings

shining they stretch

to cover even the fearful

do not be afraid you say

I will see you safe

murderers! murderers!

the tall old men shout

rattling their signs and faux uterus

rot in hell!

the words of a good Christian

spat on her dress a glob of hate

you feel nothing no damage

you are the light who guides

these women have decided

and it is their right

not an easy choice

but one they alone should make

not governments or men

with signs and garish photographs

of bloody murder as they proclaim

swearing hate with

bible in one shaking hand

where lies

their mercy?

 

she sits here

in a quiet kitchen

without children underfoot

longing

empty

sad

and is still

and is yet

glad

to protect the ones who can

choose

as she cannot

for her womb

is absent and if they knew

the haters would

say

this is God’s doing

you deserve to be barren

damn you

such is the gentle heart

of a believer

 

Many women I encounter say they would never have an abortion because of their personal beliefs but equally they would never take away the option for someone else. That is what this is all about. Choice. Personally I have noticed  a shift toward restricting/banning abortion, swings-and-roundabouts, in 20 more years it’s going to shift the other way. Point being, abortion is never ideal, but the right to make a choice is an ideal worth striving for, worrying that this is being ignored. When you search for pro-choice online there is not as much as pro-life, giving the impression we’re shifting radically. I’d say it’s more the vehemence of extremists scaring others to speak out, thus I speak out, as a woman who cannot have children and would love to, but believes others need to make their own choices about their own bodies. Will be interesting how many followers I lose by the days end. And that’s okay.