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Poem: "Hallowing" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Hallowing"
This poem was prompted by kestrels_nest.  It also fills the #13 Consummate slot in the Rainbowfic Sunlight list.  This poem belongs to the series Path of the Paladins.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them. The rate is $.50/line, so $5 will reveal 10 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses.
So far sponsors include: kestrels_nest, janetmiles, general fund, mdlbear

FULLY FUNDED
136 lines, Buy It Now = $68
Amount donated = $20.50
Verses posted = 18 of 27

Amount remaining to fund fully = $22.50
Amount needed to fund next verse = $1.50
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $3.50


Warning: This poem deals with recovery from rape/PTSD, including some parts that suck extra much on account of the survivor being a goddess.  It is positive unto itself, but the background may be more than some readers wish to deal with.  There is no Magical Healing C*** of any kind in this poem, just a good support network, a well-designed ritual, and some nonsexual loving touch.


Hallowing


Gailah had lived with defilement
for so long that it had become a part of her.
She was no mortal to throw it off
in a matter of months or even years,
for the memory of a goddess
was a thing of sand and amber.
It had taken her decades
to reach a point where she believed
that she might somehow get clean again.

It was Syvera the lady of beasts
who first noticed the change.
She went to Diawn, god of plants,
to ask what healing might be had from them,
for the mind of a goddess would not
so easily mend itself.
Together they did the research
and devised a spell that would help.

Then they approached Gailah,
who was dear to both of them,
and let her know of the hallowing spell
they had created between them.

Gailah agreed to go with them
to a hidden holy place within the woods
in search of what healing might be found.

Gailah disrobed slowly,
slipping the white gown
from her shaky shoulders,
for this was the first time in years
that she had shown her nude form
to anyone willingly.

She stepped into the silvery pool
and let the water hide her body.

Then Syvera and Diawn
joined Gailah in the pool.
They came to her quietly, softly,
to consummate the healing
with gentle touches.

"This is your body,"
said Syvera.
"Your body belongs to you."
She dampened Gailah's fair skin
with soft cloths and clear water.

"This is your mind,"
said Diawn.
"Your mind belongs to you."
He soaped Gailah with fluffy suds
that smelled of healing herbs.

"You are the lady of peace,"
Syvera reminded Gailah
as the two of them scrubbed her clean.
"No one can take that from you,"
Diawn said firmly.

"Gorrein did,"
said Gailah.

"He had no right
to any of what he took,"
said Syvera.
"He has no idea
what to do with it either,"
said Diawn.

The surface of the pool
shimmered with soap and magic,
images of the followers
of Gailah and Gorrein
appearing only to pop with the bubbles.

It could not be argued
even by his own devotees
that Gorrein had any ability
to manage the sphere of peace.

Gailah's followers went right on doing the work
even though, technically, it was
no longer theirs to do.

Gailah chuckled a little
at some of the mishaps
as the unfamiliar sphere
rolled around unattended and thus
cost Gorrein one follower after another,
bumped off his track of terror and war
by hidden inclinations toward decency.

"I don't think he's noticed yet, do you?"
Syvera said with a smirk.
"Definitely not," Diawn agreed.
"I wonder how long it will take him to realize
how many devotees he's losing, and why."

A faint rustle of undergrowth
heralded the arrival of the unicorns.
Syvera called them to her
with a whistle sweet as a spring breeze.

They came, moon-silver and sun-gilt,
their horns gleaming in the forest shadows.
The unicorns knelt at the edge of the pool
to bless the bright water with their horns,
numinous light spilling out to chase away
the last of the soap and the shame.

Gailah discovered that
defilement was mortal,
something that could die,
something that could be killed,
left to soak into the forest soil
and rot away into the leafmould
to nourish new life some day.

Syvera smiled at her unicorns,
petting their radiant coats
as they came to nuzzle her palms
with their velvety noses.

Diawn smiled at the flowers
that sprang up around their cloven hooves,
growing with the speed of magic
here in the presence of the unicorns
and several divine beings.

Syvera and Diawn helped Gailah
step out of the pool.
They dried her with warm thick towels
and tucked up the damp tumble of her hair.
They dressed her in a fresh gown
the pale green of new spring leaves.

They touched her tenderly, reverently,
letting their hands whisper to her skin
how much they cared for her.
They kissed her, too,
soft brush of lips on lips.

Gailah kissed them back, a little,
only a little because she was not yet
ready for anything more than this.
She let them touch her
and leaned into their warm hands,
her skin beginning to remember
what it was to be touched with love.

The hallowing had done its work;
the ritual had given them a chance
to consummate the healing
with this gentle acceptance.

It was not an end to all trouble,
but it was the beginning  of the end,
a vital step out of the darkness into light,
and for that they all felt grateful.

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Current Mood: busy busy

11 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: April 18th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Gailah chuckled a little
at some of the mishaps
as the unfamiliar sphere
rolled around unattended and thus
cost Gorrein one follower after another,
bumped off his track of terror and war
by hidden inclinations toward decency.


Heh heh heh. "Hidden inclinations toward decency." I like that.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 18th, 2013 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

Very few people are 100% good or evil. Most will gravitate to service that matches their prevailing traits. But if you mix up the content of the affinities on the other side -- well, uncontrolled variables are pesky, aren't they?

I've been laughing over this ever since I wrote it.
mdlbear From: mdlbear Date: April 21st, 2013 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just gave you a $25 donation, to finish this one and put a little back into the general fund. I just finished rereading "Path of the Paladins", and finding a few I missed and several I didn't remember well enough.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 21st, 2013 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

W00T!

Thank you. I have posted the last verses of this poem. I'll post a poll shortly so folks can decide which of the remaining poems they want to open -- any of the three would release at least once verse.
mdlbear From: mdlbear Date: April 22nd, 2013 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: W00T!

She let them touch her
and leaned into their warm hands,
her skin beginning to remember
what it was to be touched with love.


Mmmmm, yes.


ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 22nd, 2013 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: W00T!

I'm glad this worked for you.
From: technoshaman Date: April 23rd, 2013 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
funny-strange... this too was satisfying, but somehow _not as deep_ as "An Impetuous Presence"...

Perhaps it is different healing I need.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 23rd, 2013 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

I suspect it's a matter of different needs. Some folks have experienced a very strong resonance with "Hallowing" and felt the ritual on a very visceral level. Some don't seem to connect with Johan at all. Gailah and Johan have had quit different -- though related -- experiences and I think that influences who feels drawn to their plot threads.
From: pinkrangerv Date: April 17th, 2015 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Defilement was mortal. Yes. I liked this, it resonates with me. Sometimes you feel defiled even when you've done nothing wrong, because of what someone else did--that it can die, can become part of life's cycle, is a beautiful concept.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 17th, 2015 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> Defilement was mortal. Yes. I liked this, it resonates with me. <<

Yay! I'm glad I worked for you.

>> Sometimes you feel defiled even when you've done nothing wrong, because of what someone else did <<

Defilement and shame and blame are all different things. People often feel dirty and damaged by other people's misdeeds, so they need ways to deal with that.

>> that it can die, can become part of life's cycle, is a beautiful concept.<<

Ritual, storytelling, and community support can all help.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 13th, 2018 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely. Healing is easiest when it's not done alone.
11 comments or Leave a comment