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SHE IS LIFE AND SHE IS DEATH by Mariann Martland

Embracing every part of ourselves can sometimes seem impossible…

It can bring about feelings that in themselves contradict each other, fighting for so much space in us that it can often be easier to push them all away or to hide them deep within us.

As I am working through a painfully eye-opening process of dealing with parts of my life, of my childhood, of myself that I would mostly prefer never to face, I have been struck by how many of my own feelings, needs, personality traits and experiences embody such huge contradictions. 

There are times when I find I need to hide, to pretend that I am a much more straightforward human being, keeping it all together in a linear 'normal' way of living. But there are other times when I have no choice but to recognize that I am made up of a billion individual nuances and contradictions that make me who I am! And lately, there are even occasional, brief moments when I feel like I can begin to embrace each and every beautifully ugly part of myself. I am working to make these moments much more frequent.

She is Life and She is Death

She is a visionary in her dreams, blind in her waking.

She is an innocent criminal and a sinful saint.

She fights for her life to move closer to death
And succumbs to her dying so she can continue living.

She is a contradicted emotion wrapped in verified numb feeling.

She stares up to her eyes before pulling her gaze down to the heavens.

She soars and she sinks,

She heals and she breaks,

She releases and she holds.

Every shade of dull grey and all blackened dye of the rainbow paint her world in illuminating technicolor.

She flies through her grave as she buries herself in the sky,

Creating fiction in fact, reality in imagination.

She is now and she is then.

She is a mirror of doubt and a reflection of faith,

Giving order to war and mayhem to peace.

She loves too fiercely and hates too gently.
She displays parody in her tragedy and sobriety in her farce.

She is a cowardly vixen of fearless reclusion,

Hearing wisdom in youth and ignorance in maturity.

She is night and she is day.

She is a grounded raven and a lion taking flight,

Dancing through her grief, mourning her delight.
She is less and she is more.

She is empty and she is whole.

She embodies tactless grace and divides unforgiving mercy,
Dying as she lives and living as she dies.

She is crazily sane and lucidly obscure.

She falls together and she rises apart,

Engaged to the stars and estranged from the moon.

She is all holy destruction and each depraved creation.

She is light and she is dark,

Connecting with the earth and detaching from her world.

She succeeds as she fails and loses as she wins.
She bravely battles and shamelessly surrenders.

She is life and she is death.
She is nothing and she is the universe.

Mariann Martland is discovering a voice in her life through words, poetry, art, inspiration and healing. She is learning the difference between enforced silence in the despair of loneliness and chosen silence in the beauty of solitude; how silence can create both pain and peace. She is beginning to find her voice and share her truth. She would love to connect with you on Twitter, or Facebook and on her blog ‘The Power of Silence’.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 


  1. This deeply touched me. I love the contradiction that is the truth. It is so raw and beautiful. Thank you, Laura xo


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