Seasonal Salon

Five Haiku in the Poem of a Nightmare

Haiku #1
schoolyard bully rules
secret elephants dancing
long warm Winter looms


Nightmare #1
individual freedoms - bounce checks on the balance of social justice – investment in privilege disguised as parental choice vouchers – protectionism and market forces with the power to make America what it once was

back to the good old days of dust bowls and chemical clouds – back to a time when the only entitlements were bootstraps and the dream

back to the romance of smog orange sunsets – topless mountains and freshly buried black streams - famished industrialists using Pinkerton negotiators to batter the unions – using black and brown skinned workers to cross picket lines

the new president promises the great America - of no healthcare – no condoms or sex education – no abortions – no stem cells - no welfare – more prisons and weapons instead

back to the time of liberty – less government - less social responsibility - a time when foetuses have more rights than women and living children – a time of free speech not hate speech– less pressure to be politically correct – no need to practise respect – less corporate accountability – more bankruptcies – more debt - less us – more me


Haiku #2
four million women
weather witches keep us dry
Winter feeds the Spring


Nightmare #2
in a new group of friends - my people - you know - feminists fringy queers - a woman asks me if I want to be called “Ma’am or Sir” - I understand she’s trying to be inclusive - practising sensitivity - I used to do the same - earned the same CEU’s - taught those classes to seminary students and social workers

I find the best defence against this kind of ignorance from straight people - is being at peace in the security of my womanhood - I’ve worked a long time to master ambivalent responses - to this type of inquiry from cashiers or kids at work - as I float toward the brutal insignificance of an old lady in the world - in straight society - despite wearing a shirt and tie - I am rarely called Sir these days - I am finally being recognized as a woman

I am more likely to be questioned amongst “my people” - it is in my community - my cultural home for over thirty years - where my version of womynness is questioned - it’s as if we’ve looped back to drinking the binary gender cool-aid - seems we have regressed to the thinking error - that butch women must want to be men - regenerating the culture of butch girls as dangerous unnatural beings – who need to be fixed

I wonder if all shifts toward equality and inclusivity for minorities - reduce the rights of those considered privileged - those who have had what others did not

why does this new inclusiveness - this new equality feel like loss for me? 

is it part of that Universal Law? - you know - the one that says every decision that births a new world murders another - every new life comes from a death - every gain requires a loss – and at the very least a resilience for change - the willingness to have faith through the grief of discovering my reality is not truth

being angry all the time wears holes in my resilience - low resilience feeds apathy and emotional impotence - our world is upsidedownsidewaysinsideout - fear redefines equanimity


Haiku #3
early flowers bloom
we choose what makes us happy
the earth needs to freeze


Nightmare #3
remember the good old days - when we would put up signs in public bathrooms to protect butch girls – to protect us from the humiliating looks - the door-checking-back-steps - the predator accusations

I read declarations from my sisters about the need to protect girls and women - from people who are not like us – from men – while here in Texas - the new government is introducing legislation to protect women in public bathrooms - the law says – we must use the room that corresponds to the sex we were assigned at birth – I wonder - does that mean it is illegal for women to use the gents - no matter how long the queue for the ladies - what about festivals or concerts? - do butch girls need to carry birth certificates when we travel – to avoid arrest by a zealot sheriffs?

I think we are regressing as a society – and a movement - when radical feminists agree with gender conformity legislation designed by misogynists who hate us - the world is getting more upsidedowninsideout – and it scares me

in this turned about world grief shoots sideways – slides into depression – searches for meaning – for someone to blame - obsessive news and Facebook feeds – sleepless twilights roll into looping nightmares – we wobble along an old growth beam between Pollyanna and hopelessness - ignorance and addiction – news- adrenalin- food - a little something to take the edge off


Haiku #4
personal freedoms
we cling to rights and claim Truth
early Spring brings floods


Nightmare #4
when we work with the wisdom of dreams - nightmares always bring the most important messages – messages so vital they are sent in a form we are unlikely to forget - the American Dream has become the American Nightmare – in our dream Mr T is the demon tyrant

we-the-people voted and drew the King of Swords reversed – the patriarchal reset button – change to the status quo neatly presented in self-made plastic wrap - imprinted with old-man-tales like -

“You are either for us or against us”

“We need more law and order to defeat rampaging traitors”

“The police don’t shoot law abiding citizens”

“Immigrants are criminals”

“Muslims are terrorists”

“Watch out for the Jew bankers”

“Make America great again”

stranger danger mentality pouring into our water supply - hissing into kindergarten air ducts - drilling into our corn fields- “what about us!” can be a cry for justice - social change - or a xenophobic call to arms

what if this dream is a call by the Mother - to recognize this demon in ourselves? – because all humans defend false beliefs – even witches and radical feminists

if we deny our capacity for tyranny - we will be unable to recognize her dressed up as our fear-inspired-morality – or our need for revenge – or our insistence on individual rights and freedoms – I believe any revolution unaware of this insight - is destined to become the shadow of the society - it sought to replace


Haiku #5
a binding spell cast
she plants a new moon garden
these herbs grow through drought


Nightmare #5
I ask myself if I am willing to sacrifice my anger on the altar of righteous indignation – am I the kind of woman who signs up for the Resistance? – what would push me over the edge – make the risk worth the price? - or will I be the one alone - with no one left to stand up for me?

I am secretly afraid I will procrastinate myself into collaboration – if I do - how long will my white privilege override my deviancy and protect my immigration status?

I find myself back here once again - my vulnerabilities growing under my bed – I call on Durga to lead me into this labyrinth of secrets and shame - then back out into the world with clarity – I cleanse and purify myself of Kings and shadows – theirs and mine – I plant the seeds of Her will - fertilize the soil with the ashes

I have to remember to stop and write my dreams when the whispering voices are clear - because the whispers and dreams are stardust lost on the breeze – you know everything on earth was once part of a star - and it’s no secret to those who know and love me - I do so hate missing an opportunity to look wise



Rev. Nano Boye Nagle MLA is a poet, an actor, a Guardian and a Minister. She offers individual spiritual coaching and teaches classes to women all over the country. She lives in Austin with her love Sally Jeaux.

Category: Spring Equinox 2017