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Six Poems by Linda M. Crate

all your salty seas 

you can die mad

that i never let you in

because i could sense

your darkness

from a mile away,

knew your kindness was a lie;

you're that fake kind of nice

that oozes and froths with a malice


i have learned to always trust my instincts

they don't lie to me the way people do,

and i am not sorry for locking you out;

i deserve peace

and i promise you will ascertain all the

wickedness you've given to break others

back tenfold—

and if i am lucky the universe will let me watch as you

unravel and unfurl against yourself and all of your salty seas.

won't be quiet 

i am the crows that you despise,

the moon that you ignore;

amber light dancing through the trees

with a soft magic—

i am the babbling of creeks,

the red of red capped mushrooms,

i am the ocean, 

and the forest fire,

the mudslide,

and the tornado;

i'm also a soft and gentle breeze 

the scent of magnolias on a spring day

and the scent of autumn leaves in fall—

how i treat you depends on what you are to me,

come throwing your stones and weilding 

your swords to break me;

then you'll meet all the monsters behind my 

wrath and rage and you will learn they are numerous—

all my life people have told me who i got to be,

but they didn't reckon i already knew;

i do—

& you will not destroy me or my magic,

my story is mine to tell and i will not let my voice

slip into the void simply because you've told me to be quiet.

my knees won't bend 

you want me to be a statue,

beautiful and soulful yet without words;

don't want me to speak the many

fountains of my truths—

you insult my intelligence,

and my years of education;

you don't both understanding the language

of my soul or the mythology of my bones

yet think you have me figured out

think i will simply succumb 

and bow to you—

but you're no god, 

you'll find that my knees won't bend;

i'll lash out with all of my thorns

because those who harm me will never taste

the sweet fruits of the harvest of my heart—

i don't owe you anything for existing,

won't give you my silence nor my time 

or my energy;

i am who i am

take it or leave it.

is there anything truly kind?

nature doesn't judge me for who i am

she accepts every part of me

others judge me for,

but she has rainbows in her clouds

that sing in concert with the rainbow of my heart;

she knows both light and darkness just like i do—

we both have softness and hardness,

pretty flowers and sharp thorns;

but she never hates me for being who i am

or expressing myself

she accepts me as i am—

what a pity my own kind cannot,

they call us humankind but is there anything

truly kind about some of you?

the sword that cuts you down

i would be lucky

had i default


like some of you,

but not all of us do;

i have been told that i am 

disgusting and i have 

been called slurs—

more fortunate than some of my

other brothers and sisters in the community,

but if your nature is cruel and callous and hateful;

if you cannot lend sympathy to anyone that is

anything and anyone different than you

i don't want your kindness because it is merely a lie—

when you see your moment to strike like a snake,

i will be the sword that cuts you down

because i am done with all of this hate.

ignorance over understanding 

if it is in your nature

to hate

please stay

away from me

i have a heart full of love,

but it also has thorns and thistles

and my tongue can be a sharp sword;

i will not hesitate to cut down


who would tell me or my community who they

can and cannot be—

we're not here for your entertainment 

nor are we here so you can oppress us,

and i am exhausted of all these people

trying to claim oppression

without knowing what it is;

straight is the default

you were not discriminated against 

because you are straight so you don't get

a flag or a parade or a seat at the table

if you choose ignorance over understanding.


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