A Rose with Thorns is still a Rose


A rose with thorns

is still a rose.

A wild rose.

I gave up my rose,

She was not good enough,

pure enough, loving enough…

Never Enough.


A rose with thorns

gets angry, strikes out

(sometimes unfairly)

gets caught by extremes,

forgives, has to find her way

back to some place

in the middle.


A rose with thorns

loves fiercely and deeply.


twist her love

until it becomes a weapon.

Scorn is the sword

that pierces her heart.


The rose with thorns

finds dignity in endurance.

Bones hollow out,

muscles tighten –

spirit and soul flee

a tormented  body.

Joy becomes memory.

Survival becomes all.


Winged Spirit hovers.

Earth Soul mourns.

Innocence is dead.

Thorns become spears, forked tongues,

the fiery Serpent rises…

A rose with thorns

is still a rose, ( a flaming rose)…

After all.


Photo credit: wikimedia commons rosa rugosa


( 2/ 25 -26/ 2016)


The Rose with Thorns – Working notes

I have always loved wild Rugosa roses more than any other and each spring I gather the fragrant blossoms to put in small vases and often dry some petals for sachets. I have used the rose hips to make jam and dried the orange hips for tea. These wild roses have one characteristic that makes them hard to pick. They have very thorny stems.

Recently I was writing about the fairy tale “Rose Red and Rose White” who live with their mother in the forest. Rose White was very sweet and pure and helped her mother around the house. Rose Red loved the wild places and spent all her time outdoors. There is no masculine force in the story until a big bear comes to spend the winter with the little family. The mother is wise enough to know what her daughters are missing…positive instinctual masculine energy that needs to be integrated into the female psyche… She allows the bear to spend nights lying on the hearth and naturally the bear transforms into  a prince and eventually marries Rose White and his brother, (another prince) marries Rose Red.  A marriage of the masculine to the feminine forces in the psyche allows a woman to become whole. Unfortunately the culture continues to tell the story as if it is a tale of literal marriage. This is especially damaging to young girls who are still learning to give away their personal power as I once did to meet cultural expectations.

As a child/adolescent/young adult I  aspired to be pure and good like Rose White to please my mother. Unfortunately I had the wrong temperament. I also aspired to be some kind of unearthly Madonna. (As a small child I was inexorably drawn to Mary although I was not a Catholic and knew nothing about her – what I see now is that Mary was the first goddess to “live” through me).

In reality I was birthed into fire, feared it, and was consumed by it. Fire pulled me out of a body that I was ashamed to be born into. I learned too late that the legacy of fear of abandonment and inherited sexual shame is to abandon ones body … Abandonment came to the surface to be dealt with, the deep dark root of shame stayed hidden. Untouched, the root grew. At 70 the dark man still waits on the threshold of night to strike through my dreams. On the outside neighboring bullies and cowards hide in the shadows, tell lies, and use mechanical eyes to spy on me. I have had these bullies as neighbors for 12 years and they never give up their harassment tactics. A friend of mine asked me the other day why would these people care what I do – a good question that I cannot answer beyond saying that these people are predators that have no lives of their own. If I liked them at all I would pity them.

Accepting that “I am a rose with thorns” has been a life long process and now being one feels just right! It’s good to have thorns. In fact it is great to have thorns! How can I use my thorns to protect myself from bullying and harassment?

This is the question I posed to myself as I wrote the poem. The poem gave me the answer I needed: I allow my instincts to lead (someone in me knows just what to do) as the Serpent of Wisdom rises in all her fiery power. I thought of the myth of Demeter and Persephone, a myth that has been so important to me, one that has helped me accept who I am on a Soul level. Persephone is considered to be a Serpent Goddess in some Greek mythology, and the Serpent Goddess of Crete is also seen as a symbol of female power. Even Mary has serpents at her feet! Serpents represent the life force, and the power of renewal in Nature. I wed Her in myself at 39 by acquiring and wearing a golden serpent ring while making a commitment to stay with and honor my own process. At 70 I still wear this ring and I continue to make this promise…

Yesterday “Spirit” arrived as three female cardinals who came at dusk. “She” was with me.

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