you’ve not stepped well
enough to excuse
those you would rescue
so comes the swarm
more harm for harm
by pain, by wrath
by maiden Mathilde
by loss, rebirth
by mother Myrtha
Justice wrought and polished keen
by talons, fangs, and Faery Queen
I haven’t written in verse in a long while. And I don’t consider the above a very good poem, whether that’s for devotionals or spellcasting. Last week I felt another bout of rage at everything from early memories of family dysfunction to capitalism. When I scribbled the poem, the rage dissipated. I’ve read some contradictory things about how to manage anger: that it worsens with repression, or that it’s performative so learning how to express anger then incites it. It’s probably going to be too contextual, whether interrupting someone’s process for the sake of a complacent and serene environment or calling something out as aggressive, oppressive, and influential to a toxic degree.
A few changes: Princess Bathilde becomes Mathilde, Giselle’s beleaguered mother Bertha becomes Myrtha. The cast comes off to me as soft around the edges, with the named characters serving as nodes of distinction. So, my headcanon that I’m applying made Queen Myrtha out as some form of Giselle’s grieving mother. The princess hunter Bathilde (that is, Bathilde is both a princess and a hunter, not a hunter of princesses) takes on some aspects of Matilda from Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name, and Matilda from The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds.
Canon Queen Myrtha herself (the Faery Queen) diverged into my headcanon by getting on board with causes other than the fall of the patriarchy. This, I discovered in one of those Quests during writing with touchbacks to other Quest levels that I think there should be a word for.
When the horde had vanished over the horizon, Giselle appeared in misty forested Erstvale to remind me that there’s more to life than curses. I’d always had very little patience for her platitudes. Something specific she said was interesting, which was really a contradiction of the personal being political. “You’re a cause to the Queen, not a person,” Giselle said. “They don’t care about your perspective or what you want to make happen. They only think they do.”
So if Queen Myrtha’s movement comes back to maul me, Giselle can laugh and say she told me so?
“Of course not,” she said, “You can try to cut me off as a weakness, but forgiving is just what I am.”
But the first thing was to wait and see if anything even actually happens, other than Guisers coming into the surreal who had previously been conceptual or wispily/flatly otherreal…although that’s been interesting, too.