Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Out of This Dull World"

This poem came out of the April 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alatefeline. It also fills the "fish out of water" square in my 4-1-16 card for the Archetypal Characters Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.


"Out of This Dull World"


There are layers upon layers
of reality, like leaves in a book.

There are worlds within worlds,
like a set of nesting dolls.

There is the cold grey world
of rules and obligations and
all the painful practicalities of life.

There is the bright fey world
of music and dancing and laughter
and everything that fairies love.

Who told you that you couldn't go?

Who said it was impossible
to slip out of this dull world
and step into Fairyland?

Someone told you fairytales
when you were little, when it was
acceptable to believe in magic.

And then someone told you lies,
said that those things were
only for little children.

There are grownups in Fairyland.

Where else would the changelings
come from, the fairy-children
left in mortal cradles?

There are minstrels and poets
gleaned from dreamy hillsides
and swept inside to perform
for the fairy court.

Who told you grownups can't go?
Was it the same person who told you
that grownups don't cry or blush or
clap their hands when they're happy?

Someone told you lies.

Someone said those things,
but you don't have to believe them.

You don't, because you know the truth,
and it's right there in the fairytales.

The fairies are like you.

They look different and
talk funny and dress in ways
that boring people think are silly.

Some of them have bodies
that don't work quite right
or have distorted shapes.

They spin and dance
and clap their hands.

They weep at weddings and
christenings, laugh at funerals,
get all the social things wrong.

They have their own ways
of doing things and everything
must be done just so.

They are passionately fond
of things -- music or sweet food,
animals, sparkly things, perfume,
or one particular type of flower.

They are filled with amazing knowledge
of the obscure and the arcane, yet
they don't know the everyday things.

They don't like being stared at,
though, and they can turn cruel
at a moment's provocation.

They are powerful, too, in ways
that you have never learned
but could perhaps become.

They won't tolerate abuse, not even
from someone who "loves" them.

Why would they turn you away?

You are like the fairies.

It is said that some changelings
survive and grow up, who may even
have families, and thus there are
humans with fairy heritage.

They are the mad poets
and the wandering minstrels,
the strange children who grow into
eccentric adults, the fish out of water,
the ones who never seem to fit in.

But there's a place.
There is.

If you can find the way,
you can come home to the place
you've never known but always
dreaming of belonging.

The keyhole is through the green light,
the key is a four-leaved clover,
the door is a mushroom ring --

oh, there are many ways,
told over in many tales,
like blazons along a trail.

Who told you that you couldn't go?

They lied, they lied to you,
just like they lied when they said
you were bad and wrong and broken
and good girls good boys grownups
don't do things like that.

So what you do is up to you.

Follow the sound of fey laughter
and you'll find the other changelings.

Follow the lights, and you'll find
the road to Fairyland.

You can pipe with the wind
and dance with the fairies, and
no one will say it's wicked or weird
because they're all singing and
clapping right alongside you.

It's true, what the fairytales said,
and you know it in your bones.

You don't have to stay with
people who say they love you
and then hit you, who never seem
to understand you, who say that
it's wrong to be what you are.

You can go.

You can slip out of this dull world
into the magical realm that lies
over the bridge, under the hill.

So come away, come away, to the Fey.

* * *

Notes:

Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
-- William Butler Yeats, "The Land of Heart's Desire," 1894

Fairies appear throughout folklore. Among the most popular are stories about a fairy bride, who behaves in unconventional ways and will leave if her husband mistreats her. Changelings also appear in many tales. Fairies may be distinguished from humans via their strange habits or appearances, such as obsessive counting. If provoked, they are formidable enemies.

The autism spectrum comes with a wide range of traits, which may be somewhat different in girls than the more commonly described boys. Now look at how much overlap there is between fairies and neurovariant humans -- quite a lot, really.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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