Mystical Sister; A Poem by Rachel Marsh
Lucy Stein, Women under the sea (2021), Wax resist, acrylic, poster paint, oil and Sennelier pastel on linen. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich.
A word from Rachel:
People know about the ancient legends of sirens and harpies as being dangerous to men and luring them to their deaths, but a less known part of this legend is that sirens and harpies are supporters of women and are full of love and desire for them. A book I own on myths and legends states that they can be ‘mystical sisters’ of women, encouraging them to live their best lives. I thought this poem I wrote fit in well with Lucy Stein’s ‘female gaze’ in Wet Room and her own mention of these fabulous, mythical creatures.
She signifies danger and death to men, but to women
she is a sister, an angel, a mother, protector.
A guardian of female souls.
She sings to us not with doom, but with love.
A mystical sister, a heavenly, welcome visitor.
If you call to her, she will answer you.
She belongs to the ocean, wild shores and the sky.
She speaks through the waves and a bird’s soulful cry.
A mermaid, a sea bird, a shape-shifting spirit.
Her vibrations move through your skull.
You sense her in your bones, but she would never crush them
or consume you. She does the opposite – she lifts you.
She cares for you, and she wants you to fly.
She has no wish for you to die. She remembers the bond
of this relationship bound from an ancient time.
She does not desire your blood or death. She is no threat
to us. She would never drown you or turn you into stone.
Her strength and courage pulse through your veins.
Immortal goddess of water, air, and time. I see her.
Moonlight drips from her wings, long silver talons glint.
They could slice open human skin with one touch,
but they disappear. Soft feathers hold us in the sweetest embrace.
The fire of the earth blazes in her colour changing eyes.
She ignites hidden dreams and urges you to rise.
Her words echo through the tides. Ripples of sound
become louder. She shouts! For the right to be safe, to be heard,
that our education should never be decided by men alone.
She casts her gaze over the world. She can see
women still denied their rights, girls denied their schools
in countries where only men can make the rules.
She orders us to unite, to protest, to continue the fight.
I burn and rage with them. I will use my voice
for all women to possess their freedom and choice.
So I love the thought of you, a magical, mystical sister.
A female goddess who strives for our truth.
Supporter of women and all that we do.
Words by Rachel Marsh
Posted by Max Mowbray on Wednesday 30 March 2022