The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

No Country for Old Women

posted by Donna Henes

by Mary Saracino

Howling from the mountaintops
wailing from the riverbanks
scooping the moon into their waning wombs
the old women know that lies kill,
distortions maim, hope isn’t enough to feed starving
babies, school the ignorant, put and end to war.

Like Furies, the old ones rise,
clench their furious fists against the blazing sun;
like Harpies they roar, casting dire warnings
upon the winds of change; soothsaying Sibyls
decipher omens, portend the future, speak in baffling koans.

With dakini wisdom they cut through
illusion, vote in primaries, attend caucuses,
raise their voices against power, shatter
the corrupted ceilings that chafe the crowns
of their wizened heads.

The wandering Maenads cry: “This is no country
for old women.”

Medea calls down her midnight powers,
prays for revolution, strengthens the tired tongues
of memory. Eloquence isn’t enough to heal
a wounded country; sequined celebrities
can’t mend a nation’s odiferous past. Kali avenges
her sisters, the long-patient Queens & Crones,
Maidens & Mothers. The forgotten ones
wait and watch and warn: “Beware the hubris
of ages. Beware the greedy hand that grabs the golden fleece.”
* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Mad

posted by Donna Henes

I am mad. No, that doesn’t begin to describe it. I am pissed. I am angry. I am irate. I am incensed. I am enraged. I am livid. I am FURIOUS.

“All men are created equal,” states the Declaration of Independence. From the very beginning, women were denied equality in this country. It has taken over two centuries for women to win the right to vote, to have alleged protection under the law, to earn 77 cents on the dollar that men are paid, and to gain control over our own bodies and destinies.

And now, nearly 250 years later, we are seeing our rights being stripped away, one by one, by mean-sprited misogenistic right wing religious super- conservatives.

Several new state laws dictate that before a woman can get an abortion, she must (without her consent) be subjected to an internal sonogram by means of shoving an apparatus into her vagina and up to her uterus. I don’t know about you, but I call this RAPE. Legislated, officially sanctioned rape.

Rationalizing his state-sponsored bill mandating vaginal probes, Virginia Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert declared that women already consented to being “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.”

A parallel rule would be that if a man wants a prescription for Viagra, he must undergo an anal probe or an electric shock to his penis to see whether he really can’t get it up. As if this would ever in a million years happen.

While Virginia is pushing legal personhood recognition for an unferilized egg, women, the creators and bearers of eggs are being denied our personhood. This is really scary, like something out of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

In a review, Kathleen A. Cameron describes the book as “a vision of a fictional theocratic regime that reduces the value of women to reproductive commodities. This depiction is a disturbingly accurate account of the status of women in the Middle East and other parts of the world, [but worse,] in many ways it reflects political, legal, and cultural doctrines, ideologies, and practices [right here] in the U.S.”

All this talk by the Christian Taliban about fighting Iran is such a complete farce. Why not just make it official and join them in Holy Sharia Brotherhood?

When Congress recently held hearings on birth control, the panel of invited experts giving testimony consisted of five male religious leaders.

To her credit, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) loudly demanded, “Where are the women?” before she and several other democrats stormed out of the hearings. This, I believe was a tactical mistake. Better they should have stayed and created a rumpus.

The one proposed woman witness in favor of subsidized birth control, a third year law student at a Catholic University, was ruled to be “not appropriate and qualified.” by GOP Chairman Darrell Issa who defended the exclusion of a woman from his all-male panel on contraception.

But the outage didn’t stop there. Rush Limbaugh then excoriated her on national radio:

“What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. [. . .]

If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

But while Congress keeps trying to defund contraception, Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) has proposed a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

Can this war against women get any worse? Oh, yes! Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids’ preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.

Wisconsin just passed a law to repeal the Equal Pay Enforcement Act for women. The shocker? The bill to repeal was authored and sponsored by a woman: Rep. Michelle Litjens, R-Oshkosh.

Another female turncoat collaborator with the enemy of women is journalist Liz Trotta, who, in a Fox News report on sexual abuse of women serving in the military, asked “Well, what did they expect?”

That same old outrage of blaming rape on the victim. Unlike short skirts and revealing blouses, combat fatigues are hardly alluring. So according to her, the mere fact of having breasts is invitation and excuse enough for molestation. Maybe we should bind our breasts. And our feet, too.

A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to “accuser.” But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain “victims.”

Are you angry enough yet? You’ve heard the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Well, ladies, it is time for some serious fury! Protest the war on women.

The Queen proclaims, “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!” (The little ones they think with.

Half the population of this country are women, and we will not be sent back to the Dark Ages, and we will not be denied our rights.
- Carolyn Maloney

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Saving Mother Earth

posted by Donna Henes

A poem by Mary Saracino

Mary Saracino is a novelist, poet and memoir-writer who lives in Denver , Colorado. This compassionate and articulate sister Queen calls herself Queen Mary Immaculata.

A single day in April isn’t enough
to honor our Mother, save the planet
that is her body, restore her ocean womb,
revitalize the atrophied arms and legs
of her continents, remove the smog
from her pristine lungs, replenish all that’s
depleted by the lust for profit
over prosperity. Human hearts so greedy
for commerce they call deforestation progress,
think cloning is a medical advancement,
see artificial life as the wave of the future,
as if civilization can only advance
by killing or dismemberment,
by acquisition or annihilation.

How to survive a world of paper or plastic,
hybrid or gas-guzzler,
genetically altered seeds,
cloned cows, chemical poisons in the water,
run-off from the mouths of politicians
who think global warming is good for business.

What’s to be gained when
globalization soils our souls,
breeds a false sense of interconnection,
feigns compassion predicated on
corporate exploitation, skimming money
off the backs of underpaid workers,
trafficking in human life, in weapons
of destruction, raping the land of its bounty,
the rivers of their life-sustaining powers,
denying whole nations their dignity and worth.

That’s no way to treat our Mother,
no way to save our planet,
no way to mend our broken spirits,
no way to change the world.

 

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

The Legend of Sta. Procrastinata

posted by Donna Henes

I received this gem via email almost ten years ago. I immediately tracked down the source, obtained permission, and arranged to print it in the next issue of Always in Season, which went out of print in 2006. As it turned out, it was bumped for space and placed into the basket of ideas accumulating for the following edition. This same sequence of events has persisted ever since — put off to the future again and again and yet again. Herewith (finally) is 

The Legend of Sta. Procrastinata

By Elizabeth McLachlan

The story of Sta. Procrastinata is difficult to reconstruct: only one copy of her vita survives, and that in sorry shape. For many years it was kept in the library of a convent not far from Assisi, and after it fell out of the ambry during an earthquake, the precentor neglected for so long to replace it that it suffered considerable damage from damp and rats, leaving the text difficult to decipher and riddled with lacunae.

It would seem, however, that Procrastinata lived in the time of Diocletian, and was condemned by that emperor to horrible tortures as a result of her having neglected, once too often, to pay tribute to the divine emperor. Diocletian, however, preoccupied with more serious offenders, postponed the signing of a series of minor edicts, including Procrastinata’s death warrant, and it lay for so long in his in-casket that the writing became abraded by the frequent shuffling of old papyri: eventually it fell entirely off his to-do list.

Procrastinata therefore languished in prison; as the years went by, her jailer kept meaning to enquire as to her intended fate, but kept putting it off. Finally he, too, became so accustomed to ignoring her that he neglected to provide her with food and drink; she expired, not by a terrible martyrdom on the wheel or in the teeth of lions, but from old age and starvation. (She contributed to her own fate by putting off any form of protest, as involving too much effort and unlikely to accomplish anything.)

Some time later, Procrastinata’s daughter, Festina Lente, who had kept meaning to seek and rescue her mother, if possible, but somehow never found the time, was vouchsafed a vision of her mother hanging around outside the gates of Heaven. St. Peter apparently was always too busy with something else to get around to letting her in. (“What’s another day in eternity?”). Sometime after that, however, he neglected to lock the pearly gates and Procrastinata, by this time cured of her proclivity for putting things off, immediately eeled into Paradise.

Many generations thereafter, in about 1963, the Church got around to canonizing her, and one day soon, when someone has time, she will be added to the official Calendar of Saints, although that will be difficult as the author of her vitae omitted to note the actual date of her death. In the meantime, she is venerated (when they remember) by devotees of the art of procrastination, and invoked by those who suffer its consequences, though the latter, of course, know better than to expect instant results.

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Previous Posts

No Country for Old Women
by Mary Saracino Howling from the mountaintops wailing from the riverbanks scooping the moon into their waning wombs the old women know that lies kill, distortions maim, hope isn’t enough to feed starving babies, school the ignorant, put and end to war. Like Furies, the old ones rise,

posted 6:00:38am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Mad
I am mad. No, that doesn’t begin to describe it. I am pissed. I am angry. I am irate. I am incensed. I am enraged. I am livid. I am FURIOUS. “All men are created equal,” states the Declaration of Independence. From the very beginning, women were denied equality in this country. It has taken

posted 6:00:45am Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Saving Mother Earth
A poem by Mary Saracino Mary Saracino is a novelist, poet and memoir-writer who lives in Denver , Colorado. This compassionate and articulate sister Queen calls herself Queen Mary Immaculata. A single day in April isn’t enough to honor our Mother, save the planet that is her body, rest

posted 6:00:13am Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

The Legend of Sta. Procrastinata
I received this gem via email almost ten years ago. I immediately tracked down the source, obtained permission, and arranged to print it in the next issue of Always in Season, which went out of print in 2006. As it turned out, it was bumped for space and placed into the basket of ideas accumulating

posted 6:00:37am Feb. 20, 2015 | read full post »

In the Dark
Simple as it may seem, when the lights go out, we simply lose our bearings. The density of the dark makes it impossible for us to fix our positions anymore. We find ourselves alone in the universe, untethered and unprepared. The blackness of lightlessness leaves us no internal compass by which to tr

posted 6:00:37am Feb. 18, 2015 | read full post »


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