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About Mystic Poetry and the Goddess

As devotees of the Goddess we are natural mystics:
- mys·ti·cal (mst-kl) adj.
1. Of or having a spiritual reality or import not apparent to the intelligence or senses.
2. Of, relating to, or stemming from direct communion with ultimate reality.

Little survives of the ancient sacred or mystical poetry dedicated to the Goddess. The reasons for this are complex. The violence of patriarchy, with its fear of the power of the Goddess, overtly and covertly repressed the creativity of women. In many cultures women were not taught to read or write. Women's mysteries were living aural traditions. As devotees of the Goddess were killed off, the aural poetry and tradition died with them. With the development of the printing press, sacred texts became fixed and controllable "Law" — immutable, the word of God become fact — and anything else became false prophesy/heresy.

It is important that, as Goddess women, we start to collect and celebrate poetry dedicated to Her. It's time to proclaim and celebrate the mystical poets living in our hearts and our living rooms.

Poetry is a magnificent tool for women to begin understanding and reclaiming ourselves as mystics. The mystic knows she is one with all and seeks knowledge in order to deepen her understanding of the nature of everything — a characteristic practice of Goddess women. We are all born mystics, and the mystical temperament is like other universal human abilities: if nurtured, it thrives, but for hundreds of years it has been denied and demonized in girls and women. Goddess traditions can feed this mystical temperament, because they encourage creativity of the spirit and call us to deep understanding of the nature of the world around us.

Poetry is one of the ways we can come close to communicating the awe, humility and reverence necessary for keeping our magic focused in the Mystery, not the self. Reading sacred poetry can open the doors of your mind and your heart. Mystical poets put into words how they experience the Divine. Mystical poets are magical poets; their words cause alchemical reactions that can bring us closer to our truth. This is poetry where Goddess is found not only in ritual or the natural world, but in our daily experience and our relationships with the people around us.

About the Poetry Editor
As a working-class Irish girl, I didn't exactly grow up with a literary background. In our house we were never exposed to poetry, unless it was the words to one of my Father's favorite folk songs. In fact, a childhood brain injury made traditionally taught English Literature classes very difficult for me. However, one of the ways my brain compensates for the frontal lobe injury is to find the rhythms, feel the heartbeat in everyday life or a piece of writing. This gives me an innate ability to read and understand poetry. If you like, I'm wired to be a poet and to appreciate poetry.

I could write passable poems before I could successfully write prose. In my early twenties I started performing poetry in pubs and bars, and for a couple of years I was probably the most well-known dyke poet in London. It was my mission to seduce women (in more ways than one) who would never consider reading a poem or buying a book of poetry.

Since that time I have been published in international collections with poets like Judy Grahn, Pat Parker and Adrienne Rich. I have also had poetry published in women's journals around the country, in web-publications, and in a number of self-published chapbooks.

In graduate school I discovered the Sufi poets and the mystical poet in myself. My serious study of poetry and the mystical aspects of poetry began. I took a doctoral class in mystical poetry, which ultimately became the basis of my graduate thesis, Mystical Poets Don't Have to Be Dead Poets. I edited a collection of mystical poetry, a poetic conversation between famous poets — most of them dead — and the poetic responses to their work from the members of the class, who were very much alive. The resulting book reveals the potential of reading and writing mystical poetry as a form of spiritual practice. Based on this, I have been negotiating with a publisher for a book based on the power of words in magic and the use of mystical poetry as a magical practice.

About Poetry in MatriFocus
My vision for poetry in MatriFocus is the poetry of encounter: poetry that tells of the quest to unveil the face of the Goddess, poetry that expresses union with the Divine. It is poetry of gratitude, ecstatic praise; poetry as a bow to life, calling us to attend to the details, warning us of the dangers of religious dogma and rigid belief systems.

It is not anthropocentric; it is animistic, calling us to see Her in nature, the earth, the cosmos and ourselves and to acknowledge our common heritage as stardust. It is not about redemption, saving souls, but about saving the universe within and without. It is mystical poetry.

May we continue to grow as the wheel turns and may we find poetry to bring the Goddess forth in our daily lives.

Boye

Poetry Submission Guidelines
We publish poems by invitation only (we solicit submissions). However, if you know of a poet whose work you feel should be considered for MatriFocus, please send a short sample or details of where to see her work, including a way to contact her, by email to sufiboye <at> sbcglobal.net.

Poets invited to submit poetry for consideration are asked to keep these guidelines in mind:

  • We're interested in publishing work that is woman-, Goddess-, life- and earth-positive, focused on these, and otherwise topically appropriate.
  • We accept previously published poetry, but you must own the publishing rights or provide written permission from your publisher. Electronic submissions are encouraged.
  • We accept one to five poems for consideration, any style or form. The internet reader tends to prefer bites rather than tomes, so we prefer poems to be less than two pages long.
  • We follow these deadlines for poetry submissions:
  • Publication Dates
     
    Submission Deadlines
    Samhain -- November 1
    <<<
    Lammas -- August 2
    Imbolc -- February 2
    <<<
    Samhain -- November 1
    Beltane -- May 1
    <<<
    Imbolc -- February 2
    Lammas -- August 2
    <<<
    Beltane -- May 1
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