Crow and The Pornographic Gaze by Sara Wright


Once she believed that
it was her fault
they came on to her,
that she owed them
something
They owned her?
Secretly the
girl was pleased
because any kind of attention
was better than none,
or being so “different” –
stitched into an Indian skin.

She was a pretty shell,
an abandoned spiral
worn down by waves –
assaulted from within
by the pornographic gaze.
How she hated being young.

Walking down the streets
of New York
They leered at her from rooftops –
Whistling and yelling,
“Here comes the Madonna…”
She tried to make herself invisible.
How she hated being young.

When she sewed on her woman coat
she discarded tight jeans,
began to weave her hair in braids,
became a scholar and writer,
turned to the animals
and plants that loved her
to find acceptance and trust.

Unconditional love
assuaged the isolation
the void in psyche and body
where once no one breathed.
How could she have known
that Nature would save her?

Learning self respect
is a life-time process.
As an elder,
she has broken
the spell –
toppled the edifice of
the
pornographic gaze.

She knows its
an ‘old boy’ problem –
a result of male privilege
bullying, a need to objectify,
chop women
into parts
behind closed doors.

Dirty old men
who stare at standing nipples,
hidden beneath a feathery cloak
leave only night chills
and a hoarse croak.

Revolted, she discards them,
and picks the bones clean.
She has the power
to render her tormentors
Invisible,
Inadequate, and knows it.

She leans
towards males
who are emotional adults,
men who are accountable,
men capable of honest relationship,
men whose deep humility
has made them human.

Their friendship,
respect for her integrity,
ideas, honesty, and empathy,
are the lenses through
which she has learned to see herself.

She is healing from sexual assault.

She is a tree with a star at her center.

By living a self directed life,
She has become the partner
she once longed for –
a birdwoman with tree roots
sunk deep in sweet Earth.

 

Sara is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Northern New Mexico.



Categories: Earth-based spirituality, Ecofeminism, Healing, Poetry

Tags: , ,

12 replies

  1. Bird woman with tree roots and a star at her center. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Elizabeth! I think this tree rooted in the earth with a star at her center is a powerful image for females. The star ( cosmic element) is embodied in the tree, and well rooted in the earth as women must be to create authentic change…. You know probably that trees communicate underground through complex root systems and assist other younger trees…. caregiving those that are more vulnerable than they are – trees are amazing beings.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Ahhhh, yess–the “old boys.” And, yes, there are indeed some men who are accountable, emotional, and adult. Thanks for giving us your poem. Brava! Good healing to all!

    Like

  3. There ARE some ho are capable of being accountable, emotionally honest, have integrity – I have had three of these men as mentors – no actually four – so I know it’s possible for men to be truly decent – but the whole of them – well that’s another story…

    Liked by 1 person

    • There ARE some men who are capable of being accountable, emotionally honest, have integrity – I have had three of these men as mentors – no actually four – so I know it’s possible for men to be truly decent – but the whole of them – well that’s another story…whoops

      Like

  4. Beautifully woven images. Thank you.

    Like

  5. Thank you for this poem, Sara, which I’ve read over and over since yesterday. The ending:

    “By living a self directed life,
    She has become the partner
    she once longed for –
    a birdwoman with tree roots
    sunk deep in sweet Earth.”

    fills me with happiness for my independence and self-direction which are here honoured instead of criticized! I am a birdwoman who loves to fly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I am so happy that you too have become a birdwoman who flies…. and oh, we have surely paid the price – no?

      Like

      • I’m re-reading “Women Who Run With the Wolves” and this time noticed a section talking about women who are “wild”, but not considering it a negative thing. Society is not always amused however! ;-) It can be lonely flying, but it’s worth it. Besides, what can one do other than be true to what is planted in our being.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. If we want to live an authentic life then we have no choice…sadly.

    Like

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