Maid, Mother, Crone, Other : POEMS

“At her first bleeding a woman meets her power.
During her bleeding years she practices it.
At menopause she becomes it.”
Traditional Native American saying


Maid, Mother, Crone, Other –
This title has sat for so long in my consciousness it feels almost like a mantra. The three stages of a woman’s life, plus that nefarious “other” that as women we are destined from birth. All four at times used against us, but by reclaiming them, by owning them, we can harness that power. We are taking it back.
Sometimes I have taken these words literally and temporally (the maid poems were all written before I had children), sometimes they are labels to explore a general concept.


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“Maid” either the time from birth to fertility/ menarche, or, from menarche to pregnancy. And a term used to hurt and label women who are older and single. Here you will find poems about what it feels like to be a child, making mistakes, learning about the world and loving the people around you.

“Mother” most obviously the phase of life where we bear children, but what if we don’t? What about women (born or identified) who do not birth offspring? For me Mother is a much larger concept of a phase categorised by our starting to bear fruit of various kinds. I am not a gardener but it feels to me like caring for a shrub. You need to prune or else the bush grows rag-tag and the flowers and fruit will be small and weak. Pruning is painful, we are cutting parts of us away after all. Whenever we bring something forth, something we love and have laboured over, a meal, a hand-made gift, a poem, a child, this is being a mother. And I have laboured over the poems in this section, both in the writing and in the experiences gathered.

“Crone” perhaps the most offensive of the three (unsurprisingly, as she is the most powerful). The woman who has ceased to bleed, who has gone through the threshold of menopause and into the beyond. What is a crone if not an old shrivelled woman, invisible to all apart from those who cross her, who she then curses. A horrible reminder that we are not immortal and one day we too will shrivel and then die? Or, is she a wise woman, with knowledge and experience gained over years of learning and creating? Through the process of editing and growing will never be done I feel this is our most powerful phase where we can find our deepest self knowledge. In this section are poems about growing older and of supporting at births, something that I have been truly privileged to experience through my doula work, and traditionally a role of the wise woman/ crone.

And what of “Other”. The other is everything which is not the thing, the outside, the shadow, the woman, the minority. For me and many this can be read as all experience outside of white middle-class straight cis-male point of view. Of course this is simplistic, but it is this sense of being outside, of being not the centre that forms part of my truth as a woman. The poems here are SPECIFICS.

I hope that you enjoy what you find here. Some of the poems work best on the page, some are better read aloud. If you would like to hear me reading them you can find that on my YouTube channel.

View/ Buy Maid, Mother, Crone, Other on Amazon UK paperback and kindle editions available

View/ Buy Maid, Mother, Crone, Other on Amazon US paperback and kindle editions available

also available via Amazon world-wide (check your local store), and Book Depository.

Waking Mama Luna: Timeless Tales of Woman, Nature & Soul

A collection of short stories – each a treasure in its own right – packed with wisdom and a haunting otherworldly sense. Deceptively simply written these tales and their truths will lodge in your memory and tug at your heart.

Lucy Pearce, author, Reaching for the Moon and Moon Time.

1

“Look at the moon!” the younger girl said, her bright green eyes wide with awe.

The sky was full of her, round and whole, shining down on them.

“What do you think the moon is?” asked the other.

“I don’t know. But she’s beautiful.”

“She is beautiful… and wise too,” came a voice from behind them.

Over forest floor, sea-washed beach and mountain pass, in worlds very like our own… these are stories for women on the cusp: girls becoming women; women becoming mothers; mothers becoming wise women. Each tale connects us with the motherline: daughter; mother; grandmother. They speak of what it feels like to be a woman; how we are powerful, how we can cope with loss and grief, and how we can move mountains.

These stories will whisper straight into your heart and illuminate your soul.

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