Forest for the Trees

“I don’t understand you.”

You might if you noticed.

“I don’t know why you (insert everything but the one thing you like here).”

I know you don’t, hide-bound in
your orthodoxy,
your dogma,
your conservatism,
your fear.

You see only one side of the umbrella of me turning a blind gaze upon me when I twirl~

dancing in the rain.

You see only my back – or worse,
only the footprints I leave when I wander through the unmapped forest~

There’s wolves there… and witches.
Which scares you the most?
You cannot grasp that I am both.

You want me to be just one thing.
You want me to be your version of me,
your vision of me sacrosanct in your imagining,
your security, your comfort, intact.

But,
you cannot force me to answer to one name,
one label,
for your convenience or safety, coward.

I am not a single flower, mother-fucker,
I’m the whole damn Garden.

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Author: Ashtoreth Eldritch

Writer. Witch. Wanderer of wyrd ways...

18 thoughts on “Forest for the Trees”

  1. This is absolutely kickass!❤️ Such a strong and fiery voice you have depicted here.. especially resonate with; “You want me to be just one thing. You want me to be your version of me, your vision of me sacrosanct in your imagining, your security, your comfort, intact.” Beautifully penned.❤️

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    1. Thank you! It all came from the heart. Part of it — not all, by a long shot — was in response to my mother (Gods rest her soul & hold her in Tír na nÓg) who never quite got past me not being a cookie-cutter version of herself. As she got older and started to not care what the neighbours might think, she lost a bit of that expectation, but for a long while, that wound hurt.

  2. The structure is a perfect for the words. It shows an organized chaos that can only be appreciated if the one looking cares to see what’s actually there, and not what he or she expects to see. I think my favorite part of the poem is the weight of the word “coward”. The speaker doesn’t yell it, in face it reads like a whisper… capable of causing an avalanche.

    1. Thank you! Poetry is a magic form that I am still learning — and may forever be learning — and I am enjoying the act (spell work) of word play and expression.

      Oh, I like that comparison — a whisper that can cause an avalanche. Wouldn’t that be an amazing superpower for a heroine!

  3. There is so much joy in the chaos here, defying the conventions that make other people more comfortable. I added a “Hell YES!” mentally when I finished reading it.

  4. WOOOOHOOO!!!! I wanted to jump up and cheer at your closing lines….AWESOMEly powerful piece. Thank you *from a witchy wolf who is growing her own forest* 😀 XXX

  5. OMG – a ball-tearer LOVED IT!!
    “You want me to be your version of me” that is scary, that is an insight, how we can act the way we know will be accepted by someone, not how we are… Fantastic, YOU, I feel, ARE the whole damn garden!!!

    1. Ah, thank you.

      Yes, that line, in particular, was one I often used with my mother (again, may the good gods hold her and keep her) when I was younger. It was only in the past decade, too close to the onset of her illness, that she began to release that vision and accept that I was my own person.

      As for my ex who thought the same, well… may his socks rot and his shoe soles be filled with holes.

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