And a voice spoke to me,
“the alphabet will be your lodestar”
and I woke from the dream enraged!
Why do his letters get to be so important?
Why can’t I paint or play music,
why can’t I sculpt clay or knit?
Why do those 26 letters
have to be my guiding star?
“Well,” said the soul,
“you can either come to them
squealing like a noisy pig,
or you can come to them with grace.”
But I don’t want to feed my animus
so he becomes fat again!
Where is the beauty in men’s letters?
I want to explore dreams,
I want to search for images within,
to imagine a butterfly
alighting on a woman’s head,
to see the Goddess’ hand
descend from the sky.
Not swallow more bullshit
that offers us 26 reasons
to follow the rules of grammar.
The soul contemplated,
“what if the alphabet had a wife?
You could take on his name,
bring word and image together.”
Hell no! I’m not walking back
through the carnage of Hades.
I’ve never heard him apologise
for breaking the spirit of women
and banishing the Goddess.
Her image was everywhere,
before his ruthless desire to crush
the wild feminine, human and divine.
Writing changed the fate of women
by turning his words against us.
Fancy being dethroned by a man
who pushed his stick into wet clay!
For his arrow-headed writing
came at a high price for us women.
Once honoured, we gatherers,
we earth mothers were taken apart,
singularly, by those 26 letters.
We lived like hunted animals
until found, caught and drowned
or burnt to death at the stake.
“You always knew that words
would chase you down,” replied the soul.
“You cannot escape them, nor must you.
Dig deep into the alphabet Deborah,
know that following your star
will be no glorious call,
rather a heavy burden.
It’s time for you to stop projecting
your star onto others.
The alphabet is your living symbol.”
Yes, but my talent isn’t me,
I was just born with a love of words.
The soul shone to witness humility.
“You alone bear the heavy burden
of becoming yourself,
whether you like it or not.
So rearrange his alphabet,
release into it your unheard song,
there is no sound as beautiful as love.
You are a woman
who transfers her art into words.
Believe me when I tell you,
you will be left breathless
when you hear your wedding tune.”
“And don’t get tied up with the vows,”
the Goddess joined in,
whilst I tried on my wedding dress
after a night of dreaming metaphors.
“For as soon as words take over
they will take down my image again
and turn you into a witch.
Same shit, different century!
No, it’s time to pull language
into new and interesting shapes.
Remember, according to the strength of the bow,
words can be shot any distance.”
“Aim high, reclaim the alphabet
for the use of all women,
let the Goddess, nature and the feminine
be your sacred witnesses.
Don’t let Sophia’s wisdom change
as he tries his pickup lines on you.
For too long we have traded an ear for an eye!
There may be no holy gospels
written to Sophia herself,
yet her image is everywhere.
Paint the Holy Spirit in words,
see her sparkle like a star on the page.”
“Make me this happy promise
to seek out wedded wholeness.
For when his outer letters peel away
you will sense great soul energy.
Word and image both encase spirit.
“Let each letter awaken you,” guided the Goddess,
“become an ecstatic wanderer.
Write the word, ‘Woman’
and, ‘Goddess’ often,
write a book that tastes of the wild.
Let images fall on the empty page
before the words descend.”
“Make yours a resurrection story,
make use of your soul-voice,
gather your ancestral bones.
Let the soul look out of its windows
upon poetry’s heavenly lines.
Be dazzled by his alphabet,
look for the lost letters of yourself.
Remember each marriage
will pull the opposites closer.
Be slow of speech, hold a slow tongue,
but fast with a pen in your hand.”
“Your marriage will soften
the hard edges of his alphabet.
Remember a poetess
armed with a pen,
can bring a nation to its knees.
Strings of written words
have immensely long tentacles,
remember the strength of the bow!”
Where will this marriage
of word and image lead?
Will I lose my capacity to love
I asked the Goddess?
In answer, a healing hand
stretched down from the sky,
while love, light and reverence
were being tattooed
upon my matrimonial hand.
“Come,” she said,
“you cannot be late for your own wedding.
Drink the shaman’s spirit.
The marriage of word and image
So I reached up
Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2018