I H e a r d / Y o u S a y


Photo by Greg Rakozy


I heard you say

that a circle of people

each owning their story

is a cauldron,

a vast pot

birthing magic.

I heard you say we live in a time of witch-hunts.

I heard you say it’s been lasting

a really long time.

I heard you say that if a ring of magic makers

each acknowledge each other’s lived experience

then powerful spells of love and survival

are cast for years to come.

I heard you say you are exhausted

of defending your own lived experience –

that is to say,

your existence –

and sometimes you’d like someone else to wave a magic wand

and do it for you

for a change.

I heard some of you say

you want to speak up

for those who are tired

of defending their lives

and the stakes

are high

but you are afraid you don’t have the right.

I heard some of you say you are sick of people speaking for you.

I saw,

like looking at my reflection

in a giant pot of water,

our lips chant together

that there is a difference between speaking up because someone else is incapable

and speaking out

because our blood is boiling,

we are on fire,

because when we see our loved ones dragged over the coals

it burns us up inside.

I’ve heard enough people  –

and I especially keep hearing women say this –

I’ve heard enough people to form a coven

say that you are unsure if you should speak;


enough human beings

to form a holy gathering of lovers

of the earth and stars

wonder aloud if your own earthen kettle body

has a right

to boil water into sound,

and to shine;

wonder if you have anything to say

or if you speak too often

and say too much

too loudly

and each time you asked

I saw listeners lean in,

each one place their ear towards your mouth

to receive every word.

I saw, on your lowered face, the reflection

of everyone who had turned away,

who had covered their ears, who had,

in your eyes,

diminished your meaning.

For everyone who told you to stop speaking,

I heard people asking you to recognize

those of us who need to hear

what you want to say,

who are longing to be

your sorcerer’s apprentice.

I’ve heard a handful of you willing to say

something happened to you so painful

that you don’t relate to anyone else.

Each time,

I heard someone else


“Me too.”

I heard you wonder if your story is too painful for other people to even hear.

I heard you say you’ve been shut down too many times already.

I heard you answer,

Then we will remember we have each other to turn to,

and the open air to exit into,

that if it hurts to hear I know it hurts to say.

Like a strong iron basin,

we will trust in our resilience,

knowing we were built to hold hot water.

I heard you say you’re still not sure what happened to you

or you’re doubting where you are right now

or you don’t know where you are headed.

In those moments I got to witness

you in the process of collecting information

as the ingredients to a very strong potion

and I would happily follow you

through the forest

of the rest of your life,

watch you gathering

this healing tonic

and then

I would coven up with you.

I heard one of you literally say

the witches were burnt

and you are one of them.

I heard you declare you are still alive


it hurts;

and that your words are an enchanted mirror that speaks truth to power

and when you last held up that reflection

to those around you

you were called a heretic and you did not feel safe.

I heard you say,

you are churning your anger and frustration

into love and care

including for yourself

and learning new incantations

so that when you next deliver

your reflections

you are not going to be burned this time.

I heard you say

that gratitude

is acknowledgement of your needs that have been met,

that a list of our needs fulfilled

forms a protection spell

that guards against hopelessness

and opens secret portals

to possibility.

I heard you say that you include yourself

in your list of gratitude

as a reminder

that you possess power

to give yourself what you need.

I’ve heard some of your voices stay quiet

and gentle

and necessary

as water

pouring into a vast pot.

I saw you stir the pot

And make magic.

2 thoughts on “I H e a r d / Y o u S a y

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