|Painting by Arna Baartz|
People always say,
'Uhhhnnn. Why didn't she leave that dude if he was beating her?
They don't tell you
that it takes her whole life
& she's still trying to give her life to her mom in honor.
This isn't a negotiation.
If violence comes up,
Just drop it.
Just drop your life
& leave it behind
Don't take that.
They don't tell you
You can't run your whole life
Someday you'll be blamed for it
MRA's do say that sometimes,
It's casually that blatant.
They don't tell you she's already been working on her mom's & her gramma's trauma for getting slapped in the mouth for holding her worth to his ego.
'Some people just like that.'
I will define myself.
& one day my story won't scare the shit out of me because my environment won't reflect that.
I am mirroring you society.
Who's the villain now?!
I'm speakin to patterns as reflection
& yes the time it takes to observe is valid.
Slow that business,
You are not the industry.
You are also this rock & tree.
Take responsibility each moment
Hyper awareness is endurance of the elements of wilderness
inside and outside of us.
Just watch your focus
Keep it grounded through the hounding.
We're actually together in this.
I have been polite for too long
This rudeness is a service.
I used to fuck this son of a race car driver entitled kinda dude.
& was my sister as well in genuine moments.
But the first time he saw me naked he noticed some pimples on my butt
& he wrote a poem about it.
Saying how beautiful I was with little speckles of nutrient deficiencies on my behind.
Saying how he'd love to massage the toxins out of me
& I realized how on an auctioning block I live.
Later he tried to choke the toxins out of me, then scare the toxins out of me with a knife
Displacing significant responsibility for the why the toxins were in me to begin with.
I tried to homestead with these older white hippies 'like me'
& they weren't sure.
One of the elder matriarchs of nor cal new age mothering checked my tongue when I got to her farm. Like a goat.
She didn't have much feedback and sorta stared blankly like I wasn't of value.
We weren’t bad to you
what are you talking about
These are ancestor settlers y'all.
This is our legacy
of the auctioning block
folding in on us
As it has been the whole time.
My brain is scaring.
Yes it is building just like the muscles in my fascia.
White supremacy is the only contrary brain damage.
It's rancid culture.
All else is fertile organic evolution of a being.
Masculinity mother our self.
-Lesley 'Orion' Johnson, a selection from the upcoming Girl God anthology, Single Mothers Speak on Patriarchy
Lesley 'Orion' Johnson is a forest Valkyrie from upstate New York, the Finger Lakes region of the Oneida & Onondaga people. The youngest of 8 children, Orion joined the military due to economic reasons out of high school and became a Mental Health Technician for 7 years. She served in Missouri, Texas and South Carolina working in most genres of mental health primarily focusing on PTSD treatment. She developed a complex lens for interpreting and integrating how our culture approaches emotional wellness. After her service, Orion shifted her trajectory attending college, working in non-profit around anti-oppression dynamics and grassroots organizing in anti-police brutality, prisoner support work & solidarity with native and undocumented folks in Colorado. She also organized collective houses to facilitate communal emotional wellness networks. She is a mother of a fella named Jordan and she moved from city environments to raising her little one with the wild places. She has explored wilderness from Colorado to Northern California and Southern Oregon.
Orion deeply values the wisdom of the land and her innate femme-ness. Currently she roams settler occupied 'Oregon' & 'Northern California' researching wild foods, class dynamics, concepts of shelter and wealth and the impact of settler people on indigenous culture. Orion is a poet and a visual artist and she focuses her art on honoring the feminine and conveying the contrast between the wild and civilization.
Orion witnesses her body as a map of the land and navigates her work from that place. She is guided by wild mushrooms and the seasonal cycle of processing acorns. She reinvents ownership with exosexual tenacity. She views our species as capable of harmony in the circle of life. She is a huntress of cosmic intuition and blunt realness. Her diet & physical health routine is survival on the fringes of capitalism.