The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Strong hearts, run free

Ahoy me hearties. This is record-breakingly close to the wire – posting five minutes before midnight! I have had, dear chums, a day so crammed with meetings and so forth that I have not been able to write for one moment. But I did promise my friend Ann Atkinson tonight that I would post this online for her – so with humble apologies for my half-heartedness, here is a pre-existing poem that might serve her purpose. So – for Annie, with love.

Strong Heart Songs

As their men went into war, the women of the prairie tribes
stood tall to sing Strong Heart Songs.
They sang the strength into their men.
You must be saying all the time to yourself:
I will be brave. I will not fear anything.

And when the fight came to the camp itself,
a tumble of arrow and hoof and scalp
the women of the prairie tribes stood tall
in blankets stitched with scorpions
and sang of heroes, battles won, brave deaths.

My tribe is daily gathering itself for battle.
One standing up to nightmares in the classroom;
one harried in her genius by disbelief;
another, back-to-back with all the clan
and one is racing with his life against an illness that must win.

Braves, as you go to hospital or courtroom;
as you start that meeting with the twinset London girl
who thinks that Birmingham is in the North,
the doctor drawing up the battle lines,
the midwife still insisting that you’re not in pain;

stand tall and listen for the tribe.
Draw round the scorpion-stitched blanket,
listen past the bow and blade
and hear us singing Strong Heart Songs:
You must be saying all the time to yourself:
I will be brave. I will not fear anything.

Advertisements

3 comments on “Strong hearts, run free

  1. Kim Moore
    April 7, 2012

    Love this poem Jo. Don’t care if its new or not! Thanks for posting-
    Kim

  2. Kim Moore
    April 7, 2012

    Love this poem Jo
    Really enjoying the daily poems!

    • Jo Bell
      April 7, 2012

      Thanks Kim – very nice to have the encouragement. These are all works in progress but we shouldn’t be ashamed to show our working out!

Comments are closed.

Information

This entry was posted on April 6, 2012 by in Readings and writings, Writing exercises and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: