Joan of Arc is one of my two patron saints, the other being Saint Ceclia, so there is much in her that I look up to and admire. It was a pleasure to pen a poem for a contest in her honor. Here is my entry, in it I tried to get inside her head and think as she. I came to realize, she was a complicated soul born in a sadly intolerant age that did not understand her. She struggled against more than foes on a battlefield, and this poem shows the depths of her struggles for equality and acceptance. A cause I myself fight and strive for, in my own way.
- Joan of Arc’s Whisper -
I need not a single gender to define me!
It is a maid I am, aye, but so much more.
My steel must be as sharp as any man’s,
My voice a cry to battle for God to hear…
And oh, such visions do mine eyes see!
I have stepped beyond constraint’s door.
And ere time runs the course of its’ sands,
I will take the field, of death to bring near.
I relish it not, but who else can stand tall?
No man, nor woman, hath seen as I hath.
Whether in skirts or mail, I shall deliver…
The will of God: which, I ever held dear.
Let them call me witch before I shall fall!
It is they who judge me that fall to wrath.
Let God’s arrows be in my slung quiver!
It is my enemies who hath cause to fear.
I will face my foes whether on the field…
Or in the courts of kings cunningly cruel!
They see in me, either a male or a female,
But I am like the angels; I define myself.
How many times must my enemy yield?
The mores of this age, written by a fool!
They long to shape me, or see me to fail.
Even the Dauphin with all of his wealth…
But I shape my destiny, under my God,
And the whispers of angels guide me so.
It is not for men to judge me, or my will…
For, by that will, I serve a higher calling.
Why must men look at me so very odd?
Because they cannot make me bow low!
All they know is the craft, of how to kill.
But, when I battle, they find it appalling?
Michael, the warrior angel, I am as thee,
As much as the more passive Gabriel…
But angels are not masculine or feminine.
Nor am I and for this I am so despised!
In another age mayhap I would be free,
Not told that I am going to burn in Hell.
Is being myself so wickedly awful a sin?
Too much, is normality imposed, prized!
But, what are the norms in time of war?
In an age of battles that hath not end…
Must women wait to be raped or slain?
I will bring the battle to the brutish ones.
Because I am neither lady nor whore…
But an angel, which God doth so send,
To end the endless cycle of harsh pain!
Men will not end war by their accord…
Kingdoms rise and fall like burnt wood.
No forest will bloom, nor children sing,
Unless, I can teach men to respect life!
Would that I need not take up sword…
But I must, because no one else could,
And still, a measure of healing so bring.
I must be a warrior, in an age of strife…
To heal the land, to heal mankind also!
My white armor will shine not of metal,
But of my spirit: and thus so of Heaven.
I will be hated, by the wicked, entirely!
My foes gather, seeking to bring woe…
And I go forth to give them their battle.
I whisper, the names of angels, seven!
The righteous will see my soul’s dignity.