It’s all I know to do – Candice Louisa Daquin

Silent men are often admired

for their ability to endure quietly without complaint

whilst women who speak out are many times, vilified

behind their backs described as;

“that obnoxious woman who talked too much”

I lived with a silent man most of my life

he stared out of windows and when people died, his lips did not part

later on I realized it was a form of cowardice, not strength

later on, I saw how when good people say and do nothing

everything is fractured

if tomorrow I died, the people I have most admired

spoke out against tyranny and oppression

they even shared a confession or two

if they were female they were oft lampooned

if they were male they became more popular

because everyone loves a male sharer

this world is not kind to its daughters

its daughters are not kind to their sisters

it isn’t a gender battle but if it were

we have lost as we take on more, for less and less

sometimes I wonder if we had greater freedom

when our shackles were tighter

this is true of gays too, I can’t find within their collective

anything to be part of anymore

the world has grown strange and with it, myself

I heard on PBS yesterday half the world has been born

after the year of my birth, I am becoming less relevant

I could have told them I knew this already

by the way boys glances grow dimmer and there are no girls to love

for girls hesitate when you show them your heart

theirs is an unsure game of glancing round corners for prince charming

even as you stand proffering a depth they’d delight in

if they’d but give you a chance …

how ironic a man would make better match

yet you couldn’t stand, all that maleness

if I could become a creature instead of a human

I’d be a wolf

run with night pack, my loneliness obscured by trees and fur

if I could turn into a sea creature, plummet into water

or rise like a bird until clouds swallowed my shadow

for what succor is reason and what comfort, words?

when the world is a caustic, sharpened perpetual blade

and friends want friends who don’t resemble you

things you used to like, are lost in the figuring out, of how to get through

I used to fake it better and could wear a push-up bra for 12 hours without scratching

now all the edges are blurred, you left me in the fog to see my own way home

a place I no longer know, it has photos, but no key to open

I do not belong in my own picture frame

it’s been so long since I recognized an absence of pain

we used to laugh until our sides ached

sitting by the river watching the tanned folk preen and shake

their expensive personas

I liked the muddy waters best and all the out-of-the-way bars without names

I liked being nobody special and yet, I knew myself in a way I haven’t since

they took anonymity and gave it a new toll highway

when it’s my birthday save a slice for me, I’m not yet back to eating

I haven’t been made love to by someone who wanted to, in years

there’s emptiness behind the storage of sin and loose bolts, where you tried to squeeze in

I see your outline like a defeated smoke signal

we walk out to the table of earth, above the world

where you say you own nothing and have it all

my heart is heavy for all the suffering, that’s why I speak, even as you

stay silent on your boat, watching for ripples in the surface

I am beneath water, pushing air and words upward

it’s all I know to do

the curse of the confessional poet, hot whispered glares of disapproval

as they tut and turn away, their pigeon necks, bent and cooing

“she’s putting it all out there, for shame”

and you know what I think?

I think the shame is you

Good girls wish to matter – Candice Louisa Daquin

Good girls

Don’t masturbate

They don’t politely rub themselves for hours

In the steam of locked bathrooms

Where no one can hear their need

Good girls

Sit cross-legged, thighs touching, wondering why

They feel bereft

Reminded that sex and its pleasures

Still considered a sin of sorts

When in doubt show comportment

Good girls don’t

Cut themselves and hide the blood

They don’t scream behind crimson closed doors

Chop off their hair

They don’t lose their shit in public and get asked

Are you okay? / Or worse … / Walked past

Good girls hold themselves together with stick pins

and butterfly wings, egg shells and lost names

tar and soot, the remainder of hope chest

stuffing leaking out like snow in 80 degrees

Even as their feathered heart and roiling ocean is fit to burst

Good girls starve the fat bits and cook them slow

God knows know how to please others

Even as they climb further down the hole

And I would say

If you are in need of feasting

Feast on me

There’s white meat and brown

Though dried up and dessicated, none the less

They invite the stranger to sup at table

Though my teeth are small and I whistle in my sleep

Good girls wish to matter to someone

And if they do not

They climb inside a foreign language

Speaking upside down in glue

Let me lap up

This spoilt milk and curdled cream

Good girls may not have been

Tenderized as well as beaten veal

Their warrior hearts may defy the need

To bow and scrape and lose identity

In rush of elbows, knees and worldly zeal

They may

Save their patchwork daughters

They may turn and talk to you on a bus

As it rushes through the traffic like a book of poetry

They may touch your arm and ask

Do you feel as I?

Would you wish to cry?

And hold it in a blue dropper

Waiting for a quiet moment to pour out

Disguise the truth of thinly held together madness?

Good girls may be caught

In-flagranti and rolled over iron bed frame

In contorted pose of acrobats anquish

Many will say afterward

What happened to her? She seemed so well behaved

Before she became a whore.slut.fool.puta.cunt

Good girls may shout

From their confines in grimy mental ward

Behind glass only appear to mouth

Words of female repression and horror

For as a man will take his wont

A women doing the same, is twice judged

By her sisters and herself

Learned behavior owned by masters

Who seek to extricate her voice

The touch of a wave as it crests

Furiously over those barriers we believe

Protect us from harm

She is despite this, a creature of the sea

When they eventually tire of her

She finds salty pathway and is reabsorbed

Good girls are black pearls

They are made by rolling in worldly grit

Until they glow dark beneath the storm

Lithograph…- Eric Syrdal

 

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Sculpture by M.J. Talbot

Near the hollow
Where the babbling brook plays
Where willows bow
their shaggy helms
juniper kneels to holly
And oaks remove their crowns

There lived a maid
The daughter of a giant
Though she inherited no great height
nor the strength to crush a mountain
Her birthright was of the heart and of two gentle hands

She loved a Sellsword
Who, asked neither for coin nor power
When he sold his heart
To her blue eyes and fair smile

Though, as her blood demanded,
Never would she walk by daylight’s escort
lest she forever be turned to stone

Theirs were the hours
of darkness
in moonlight
and to the symphony of the night
they danced by torch’s flame
until morning’s fire
drove the pastel fingers of dawn
over the horizon

Then they would away
into shadow’s umbral arms
until the evening
lowered its twilight curtain

Sellswords
even those bound to a heart
must answer
when the war drum beats

Death cares for neither
coin nor power
when a heart is crossed
with a blade

So it was without fortune
nor fame when he was brought
to the hollow
where the babbling brook plays

At the feet of his love
he was laid
by the golden light of morning
his wound, mortal
he would not greet the evening alive

She
wishing for him to see her once more
before his body was cold and spirit gone
stretched out her arms to shield
his loving eyes from the sun…

…and ever after you shall see her still

their love immortal
forever fixed in her eyes
and in her embrace of stone

Introducing Eric Syrdal: Ariadne…

waterhouse_ariadneI have seen her

The Aegean sea
in her hair

Her warm skin
kissed
in the Mediterranean sun

Her supple hands
that spun the crimson thread
that bore a hero through
to kill the beast of the labyrinth

but what hero is this?
that leaves
such a vessel of
valor and courage
wrapped in womanly flesh?

as she slumbers in peace
doth the rogue
take flight to the waves
and away with her heart
steal the morning light
from her eyes

were I born
of likeness to brave Dionysus
and to seek the favor
of Olympus

Receive the blessing
to woo, her

Then should She
not shed tears
to find her heart stolen away
while in the world of dreams

no
say not
what they would have us believe

Athena did not
in her manner of reason
lead Theseus away

Nay,
he left her
alone..
thankless knave!

and though
she lives now
on that great mountain
above humanity

Her ear
will bend to me

For her heart
and mine
are linked by a common thread

for just when we
were thought safe to slumber
we awoke instead
to a broken heart
and a leaving tide

under the sky of Naxos
we lost everything

and so

I will wait for her

and she will one day
hear my voice

and I will one day
look down

and at my feet
will be her crimson ball of yarn

and on that day

Labyrinths will fail
and Minotaurs will fall

and she will save me too


Eric Syrdal is an independent poet/author. He’s an avid gamer and Sci-Fi enthusiast. He enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy literature and spends a great deal of his writing time focused in those genres. He is from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he lives with wife and two children.  You can read more Eric’s writing at My Sword and Shield….