They Tell Me Not to Write About Things Like This

My bedside altar

My bedside altar

I’m aware.
Eyes not open.
No movement, body frozen,
but aware.
I am heavy. Not dead, but…
Why should I open my eyes on this world?
Why should I wake up, get up, do… anything,
but sleep.

I doze and then…
My eyelids flutter open.
An image, there, in my head
superimposed on my bedside altar.
(A paper pop-up Durga forms the background of my altar.
Kuan Yin , Jesus , the little Finnish Witch ,
the crow, and the beaded turtle
all sit in front to either side
where I can see them when I open my eyes.)
I close my eyes.
Still there.
There was no picture in the article,
but I can see her.
An eight-year-old Muslim girl.
Kidnapped. Raped. Bludgeoned to death by
two policemen and the caretaker of a Hindu temple.
Raped, beaten to death in the temple.

To try to scare her community off their land.
This innocent was tortured and killed for a piece of land.

my head, my heart, my gut screams at Durga.

“I fight the demons,” she cried back.
“The men who did this see the people who get in the way of their greed
and call them demons.
They pray to me to fight them.
But their greed is the demon!

Kuan Yin, trapped in her tree trunk murmurs,
“I hear her cries. I listen, but I am bound here,
bound in the trunk of this tree
or in the helplessness of my womanhood.”
(Downstairs, Kuan Yin rides a dragon.

I turn to Jesus.
“I’m bound, too,” he says.
“Bound in the convoluted misuse of my life –
and the things I said, and the things I didn’t say
that are written in my name.
I can’t protect this child.”

I yell, but he just shakes his head.

And the Finnish witch?
“I’m small.
They’ll kill me, too.
After all, I’m a witch.”

Then the crow, front and center on the altar,
caws loudly and turns his beady eyes on me,
boring into me.

“I spit on the humans,” he shrieks.
“They kill each other and kill each other some more,
murdering children everywhere…
What’s new about Hindus killing Muslims when in Yemen Muslims kill Muslims,
and Americans help them?
When Muslims kill Christians and Christians kill even more Muslims,
(just as they killed indigenous peoples all over the earth,)
when one tribal group kills the members of another tribal group…”

(“And all of them call the people they’re killing, Demons,” murmured Durga.)

“When Buddhists kill the Rohingya,” continued the crow,
his wings lifting menacingly.
“Nazis kill Jews, and Israelis kill Palestinians,
And men everywhere kill women…”

CAW, CAW, CAW! He screeches.

“But the worse,” he paces back and forth in front of me,
“the worse is how they increase and increase,
creeping out and out upon the land,
stealing the livelihood of the wild things, killing the wild things,
millions of wild things,
and nothing, nothing,
not even the killing of each other,
stops them.

He pauses and preens his feathers…
Preening until his heart stops beating so fiercely in his chest.

Then, staring coldly into my eyes,
he continues

“But I survive.
I have learned to live among you,
and I will outlive you all.

I sigh and grope my way out of bed.

The beaded turtle, just moves,
step by step,
slowly on.

Was that a hopeful ending? I think so. I did, after all, get out of bed. I wrote it down, and posted it in hopes that the message – Durga’s message – “Greed is the Demon” – would go somewhere. Like the turtle, I’m moving slowly, step by step…

Greed keeps humans from the Dance of Life. That’s the message in The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet as well. The end is hopeful, too, — more hopeful than just getting out of bed — albeit known to be temporary. Humanity can come back to the dance, and stay there if the activists don’t let their guard down. Well, that’s hopeful… if exhausting.

You can take a break and read an enticing suspenseful metaphysical fantasy! The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet can be ordered in paperback from any independent bookstore and bought online as either a paperback or an ebook at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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