She risks her life to give us life
She cannot know what depths we cry
We tear our flesh to prove ourselves
When all she wants is a lighter spell
When killing is a memory
Where we may sit in symmetry
And smoke ourselves into a dream
Of nature’s patterns and singing streams
She gave her heart to him for life
With faith she fell into the fire.
by Lee Watson
This poem was written by a very special woman I know, straight after the first menstrual cycle workshop I had ever taught. Her words came flowing out.
I have her permission to post it (thank you), and am doing so in the spirit of celebrating any person’s journey into deepening their connection with their cycle, with the entire spectrum of emotions we all encounter throughout the cycles of our lives.
I also want to share it to celebrate the transformation of this monthly process from a place of unfamiliarity to a place where it’s presence is accepted and embodied and is an integrated ‘part of you’. Menstrual cycle work is magic.
Into the dawn I stride, reborn.
The green rising spring
Brings new hope and light.
I take time, to stand upon the
Cool grass and find balance.
The soft glow upon my face
Speaks to me of potential.
And from within the Fire rises
The pulsing passion swells my
Breast. My heart is wide open.
My hair flowing, my lips parted
The very spark of the Goddess
Is in my eye. I am Power
and radiant. I am Life.
Then the tide of time turns
The fruit is over-ripe and
Rotting. Darkness visits upon
My imagination and all begins
To chafe and wear.
RAGE. Intolerance of waste.
I feel the heavy thunderclouds form.
Finally they spill their rain
It feels like Death has come again
And loss, and grief, and futility
Drag my core down into the grave.
I weep; I weep for the pain of the Earth
and her children; for war
And the oblivion of the dark night.
Then… into the dawn I stride… once more.
poems of midwinter
During our December Red Tent all the women sat beneath the Winter tree and dreamed into their own meaning of Mid-Winter.
Awash in rich imagery and a feeling of togetherness each woman took it in turns to write a line of a poem and pass to the woman next to her. No woman could read what had already been written.
Once every woman had written on every piece of paper we opened them and were each gifted with a very special Winter poem.
Dear women of the Red Tent, these poems are beautiful and deserve to be seen. It is still Mid-Winter though the collective mood has shifted; now, very tentatively we emerge for the earliest signs of Spring. Let us celebrate these last Winter days together Xxx
Midwinter dreaming of light filled times to come
Sitting, thinking, connecting –
Flickering lights follow the
Cold damp dreary
Holograms glittering in each snowflake
Holding light in the darkness
Past and present, who said ‘presents’?
Rosy cheeks, wellies and mittens
The crystal Christ alive in me
Breathe, take a step back
A wish to be free, a wish to have space
Overwhelming love for the mother
Each one of us is so very special
The dark may be just the beginning
Let’s go home
Peaceful, calm and beautiful
I feel dark and sad and hope…
Mystical magical time
For winter gathers all around us
The trees are bare
Fired by saucy sculpture
Dew dancing as the sun rises to embrace the light
Chimes, bells, music, song –
Regardless of shape or form
Cards and greetings from friends far and wide
Have faith; the sun never left us yet
Finding stillness in the dark, being with what is
Make a wish upon a star
A flickering light in the window
Life slept, dormant, hidden
Honouring our deepest depths
White and crisp and pure and clean
Holly berries shining red
Bless,oh bless, this tenderness
Embrace, feel and give thanks
I wish all of us a merry midwinter
Generosity, beauty, love
Reflect, retire, reunite and replenish
Children smiling, voices raised in song
Midwinter dreaming of light dancing.
Amongst the depths of light
The coldness and the warmth
Witness to the stillness, the gods of winter watched
Honouring deep feminine wisdom
With glitter and tinsel in my hair
Christmas carols under the tree
Beloved star and twilight embrace
Read, eat and enjoy
Appreciating the beauty in every day
Firelight, warm bright, glowing hearts
Approaching a new year and new opportunities
I am an evergreen!
Black belt and peanuts
I see you in me
Mugs of hot chocolate warming you through
In the bleak mid-winter
As I rise to greet the day
In the air, an aching chill, a memory
A friendly face at my door
Untold joy at velvet winter
Sleep, relax and nourish yourself,
A time for harmony, peace and love
and dancing flames,
Bright Blessings to all
Only one more
Sparkling frost upon the grass
Untold truths like angel lights, shine
Trust, believe and thank
Dear Mother Christmas, I’ve been an authentic girl all year
Hands clasped around the mulled wine
A time of celebration?
The Oak and Holly Kings in battle
Kittens curling cosily
Grace and beauty
Stars sparkling in the frost clear night
Harmony and balance
Strangers becoming friends
Feeling the turmoil
Breathe in this blessed moment, each newly brought morning.
Gathered with those with whom we connect
Delving into the depths
Wind, rain, sleet, snow
Light sparkles dancing merrily in puddles
The warm glow within –
To love, to learn, to hold
Weak sunshine lifts our spirits
Inside the sleeping bear cave, dark softness
Sharing, loving, being together
Carol singing, frozen fingers
Excited children waiting for Santa
Holy holly pickles tickle
Look. Take stock. Thank.
After the rain.
bubbling up from the deep
Rain gorged streams flushing and cleaning
Meeting with friends – loved ones
As we danced and sang our voices high
Shards of possibility as yet unreal shimmer
Finding harmony within darkness
No more wind and wet for a while
Silly hats and party frocks
Trecking through the snow
Courageously love and give love
Please sit down, relax
When I hear midwinter
Hibernate, cuddled up in blankets
We wonder at the stars and skies
Candles shining in my window
Running hand in hand
Ice crystals tinkling as the wind blows
Gifts – the kind that no one can see – love care service
The constancy of hands held
Joining in song opens my heart
Echoes from the future of birth pains, life’s arrival
Finding beauty in the dark
I’m stuffed, never mind the turkey!
Kisses under the mistletoe
Honey-tipped lips of love sing of joy
Your love is like the wind in my sails
Guiding my ship to the long lost place I call call home.
Like a hand placed gently on my back you buoy me,
hold me steady me through the storm
with truth, love and laughter.
You have been friend to countless people along the way,
and will touch the lives of many more,
without even knowing where the ripples end
from the stone of love you cast into the pool.
And now our paths have crossed I am just learning,
what it is to be, how I can be, how to give with love
and endless vitality…
How to shake off my identity,
Letting it flow from me.
Births deaths life,
You have seen it all a thousand times
The wisdom of your soul is rich
Woven and gathered from threads of a Miracle.
Magical coincidence, tears and laughter
The joys and blows of life,
Like the wind in our sails,
On the ever turning tides
Carrying us all home once more.
Dear woman, fight not the tides of sadness that come
Just allow, listen, learn, discern.
This temporary storm, the waves that crash,
and tear and erode. This too will pass.
Come morning, the night sky gently dissolves
In hues of rose and peach.
You will also slip into pure release, deep down within.
Dear woman, it will come. It needs no instruction, no help, from you
then you will float into the arms of the mother and be renewed.
Such gifts are abundant as your blood flows.
Hush now woman, surrender to tranquility and peace.
Let me cover you in jasmine flowers, comb oil through your hair.
Tonight you will dream anew and you will awaken energised,
fresh inspired in spirit,
as a new song given birth to sound,
or a glimpse of green on a winter tree.
Then you can run, with the wild Spring breeze in your hair!
Dear One, look, it is the rising sun!
The energy of the flames will infuse your heart with fire and sparks.
Live, love, express wildly the desires of your soul with passion and grace.
But remember dear woman
This too will pass.
The cycle will turn, your summer leaves will crinkle and fall.
Fear not to take refuge in the house of your heart
and know that the nature of life and death resides in your soul.
Written by Jane in tribute to Red Tent gatherings all over the world!
Balls of tension hang motionless in mid-air
transformed into bright stars of an empty sky
I float free of this illusion and of me
the clock stops and I am a million worlds.
Awakened travelling, cycles of fate
endlessly interweaved spiralling paths
of souls somehow destined to re-unite
change the future and the past.
I dream, I feel, memories not mine.
Visions shimmer through the stillness
behind the veil of the world in my eyes.
Vague remnants of parallel time.
This creature alive with love and joy,
Radiance expressed in pure unsung form,
Glistening with light, a child of love,
Enveloped with a flesh not too dense
for the light to shine free
and touch all around with beauty and mirth.
Drawing from nature
my roots twist deeper
Spiralling tips enter crystal caves
sucking at creation
drinking in the glory of the Earth Mother
My eyes are stones that glitter and shimmer
red womb the rose of the fertile plane
The mind is the sky lark
singing of new worlds
Heart shines, joy divine
Innate perfection in my boughs.
Wild Woman Soul
Lost in dreamland, a dismantled skeleton
alchemical abyss shrouded by the mundane
Her instincts ripe from the depths of souls nature,
She clamours for the fragrance of silent mountain air.
Clawing at the earth, squatting, the initiated Warrior,
Burning and potent, robust, wide eyed.
Singing for soul and for blood and for babies,
Roughshod and free, the wild woman soul.