Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I Am A Woman Drawn...



East, to European fairytales where ancient landscapes echo strange spirits and spells. I feel a kinship with that impossible magic that casts its shadow over reality and summons the curious whims of our imagination. Lately, I have found something beautiful, something haunting in the character of the Sz├ępasszony. She is known as the "fair lady" in Hungarian folklore. She is described as a woman with long hair, who can appear either naked or in a white dress. Like literary fairies, she can transform herself, appearing with a hoof, or in animal form, or in the form of a lover. She can also become invisible and is always dangerous.
Her fatality is
legendary, yet I believe there can be a vulnerable side to her character. Though destined by fate to haunt and steal love from her victims, she may harbor a need to become genuine, to shed her fabled self and define her own position in life.


Even in the real world, we are often labeled by other people's perception of us. They see what they want to see and place certain traits on our behavior and thoughts. It is a matter of assumption and we are left to defend our inviduality, our right to be an original being. Perhaps, this is what I found when writing the poem --

Sz├ępasszony...

on nights when dampness

tangles her stars

in a net of mist, you have

called me this --


Long-haired lady

who comes to your arms

bare and rubbing her hoof

against your shin.


Before you turned down the sheets,

I had been running as a doe

so pale and swift,

I matched storm water rushing

over woodland stones.


You know the old

storytellers of Magyar

call me mercurial, snatching

the moment's glitter and making

a man think its gold will linger


beyond night into countless days.

They warn I am fickle

and spin love from the spider's silk.


But I say my fingers

have never touched her spindled tongue

nor has my own

shimmered with lies


Szepasszony,

these soft syllables may sprout

suspicon, but I blossom fair.

My hands, Dear Love,

stay in your hands

and abandon time to a low


moon resting

on the shoulder blade of change.

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