Island of Pain

I never planned
for their cracks in my bones,
for their poison in my blood,
for their teeth
gnawing at my gut.

I was born of Aries—
surfing fiery waves,
dancing to the moon
in darkness
and bright.

Then the Nosoi warped
my course, and took me
(kicking and swimming)
into their Island of Pain.

“I won’t suffer your whims,”
I said, crafting it up as I went.
“I will feed on all the hurts
you birth, and morph
your island into my home.”

I never planned
for their warping ropes
(I was born of Aries),
I will fight them
with what comes
out of the blood
and the bone
and soul.

Process Note: on his first contribution to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads’ Sunday Mini-Challenge, Brendan decided to go big and asked us for a piece “about a situation or time or relationship… as if it were an island encountered on the wide wild sea.” My poem glimpses into what happens in the island I found. It also dances with the theme of Sanaa’s Prompt Nights: Are you “Spontaneous or Not?” And lastly, I wanted to continued Rereading My Pratchett, so I invited the Muse to keep in mind the following quote, from Lords and Ladies, while we birthed today’s piece: “…if you stay here and keep trying to call the Lords and Ladies, then you’ll be up against me again. Not playing stupid games in the daylight, but real witchcraft. Not messing around with moon circles, but the true stuff, out of the blood and the bone and out of the head.”

Nosoi – in Greek mythology, “spirits (daimones) of illness, plague and disease.”

Ixchel (Mayan Rainbow Goddess), by SunshineShelle
“Ixchel”, by SunshineShelle
(She looks like she’s ready for anything… and everything.)

61 thoughts on “Island of Pain

  1. Such a burst of fiery enthusiasm here 😀 I love the attitude in this poem especially these lines:

    (I was born of Aries),
    I will fight them
    with what comes
    out of the blood
    and the bone
    and soul.

    Thank you so much for your kind participation 🙂
    Lots of love,

  2. Pain indeed does try to isolate us. That island provides both, prison and retreat.
    So much easier on those of us who are inherent introverts.
    I really feel sorrow for those butterflies who beat their wings against the bars.

  3. Masterfully done, my friend. I live on that island as well. Born to dance, we learn to shuffle but with a wild cackling heart! Loved this. Especially “I was born of Aries, surfing fiery waves.”

    • I think this is what they meant when they said that the universe only gives us what we can handle… even if it doesn’t feel like that every now and again…

      So let us cackle wildly and shuffled on. 😀

  4. Pain is often a spur to our psyches to dig deeper, fight harder, when our flesh may be willing to succumb to the inevitable. You expressed this conflict with great clarity in your piece.

  5. Thanks Magaly — this isle of initiation into pain has a shamanic (or wiccan?) ring to it, out-crafting mortality with arts that sing (that fire-surfing!), Interesting, that against Their devices of cracked bone and poisoned blood there are inner devices of bone and blood that sing. Amen.

    • I was just done working out when I wrote this one, and for me exercising is a rather ritualistic act… perhaps those feelings leaked into the poetry and projected the “shamanic (or wiccan?) ring” you perceived.

      When it comes to using bone to fight bone, well… I believe that turning once enemy into a friend we must deal with is easier than fighting the current all the time.

      Hm… it seems that there was a lot belief leakage in this piece. 🙂

  6. We learn a lot about ourselves when we go through pain.. I gave birth 3X and each was different.. Definitely climatic ( not in THAT way! *wink wink*) lol… your verses remind me of when my son came thru, I (literally) could feel my pelvic bones opening to let him out!. and when he did- everything went silent…. what a moment. Giving birth is the greatest!

  7. This is instantly now a personal favorite, Magaly–every element in it is shining bright as silver, strong as steel–a very sharp and polished steel, which one always needs when dealing with mythical beings, especially the malevolent ones. Pain is perhaps the most desolate island, for no one comes there of their own free will, and the loneliness of its spirit is cold as a killing glacier. Really really excellent work here. Let your Aries fire burn, dear warrior princess.

    • My tummy is doing better. But my bones continue to deteriorate with time… I’m hoping that now that I can workout again, my muscles will take some of the pressure and the deterioration slows down *fingers crossed*.

  8. How many degrees of perfection can a writer have? There is a exposure in this work not just observation… I feel it is an ode to strength of the isolated individual, and power associated with unrelenting grinding elements that pound them. Ohh, and thank you (so happy) for using my watercolour to accompany your post 🙂

    • The more they kick us, the thicker our scar-armor gets…

      And I so love your watercolor, Shelle. The look on her face is perfect for this poem. I look into her eyes, and hear, Bring it on. I can take it. And I will look freaking fantastic while I give it right back to you.

  9. Acknowledgement, then defiance! Such a strong, passionate response to the pain that comes uninvited and unwanted. Bone and blood, the cause, the cure! Wonderful piece. Love Shelle’s companion piece! You two definitely channel each other artistically.

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