Commentary and Philosophy Poetry posted March 1, 2023 Chapters: -1- 2... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Protection and self-compassion.

A chapter in the book Songs of Recovery

The Shelter of Thorns

by K. Olsen

No Rules Poetry Contest Contest Winner 

No one asks the rose why it has thorns,
nor honey bees why they wield a sting,
nor oysters why they wrap pearls around pain.
All these things exist in nature,
not as malice, but the result of circumstance,
and so surely it follows:
it is natural to wish for safety.

So why do we scorn people for their boundaries
or tell them they are unreasonable,
when anger walls away their hurt?
Why tell ourselves that we are ugly
for our scars and our defenses
rather than seeing the brambles for what they are:
a consequence of all the little nicks and cuts,
a tool against the dangers we have known,
the opalescent shield we coat threats in?

We should remember too, the beauty here
is not in spite of the harsher parts;
instead, it is sheltered and completed by them.
Not: a rose, but wreathed in sharp brambles—
Instead: a bloom uplifted by its thorns.
Not: a sweetness, but with a venomed sting—
Instead: a diligent guardian of the hive.
Not: a pearl, but inside lies the ugly grit—
Instead: beauty crafted from suffering.

We are roses and honeybees and oysters
making our way in the world,
and so we should make space to understand
the shelter of thorns, the protection of stings,
and remember that even pain and hurt
can be healed by surrounding with growth—
without guilt or shame.

For us, as all things, it is natural to wish for safety.

No Rules Poetry Contest
Contest Winner
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2023. K. Olsen All rights reserved.
K. Olsen has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.