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Period. Let Its Vastness Be Undisguised

‘How can you stop something that is so flowing. That feels so real?’ We proudly present a breathtaking and striking poem by Dutch Christel Janssen (portrait above) from Hawaï, about passing on period shame. Generation after generation.


Let its vastness be undisguised
Not the way my mother presented it
Not the way, the little box appeared
White little mouses with blue tales
Knowing somehow, somehow that there was a mystery behind it
A big mystery that I would love
If only I could let myself feel

But I was twelve and blinded
And mouth was shut
And questions were buried
Hidden behind walls
In cabinets, closets, and bathrooms
‘It is your period, Christel’
The word even worse in Dutch
Ongesteld, meaning: not well
Your constitution not where it should be
Like a terrible mistake the gods made
And left a door open
A door that lets the moon leak
another bag of bloody tears
A pool of blood making men afraid to the bone

Nadya got her Period today
‘Did you prepare her?’ I asked her mother
‘Did you do an initiation?’
‘Have a big party in red?’
‘Celebrate creation?
‘No… I didn’t’ she said
kept her mouth shut
And showed her the tampons locked away in the little closet
The beginning of the skeletons that will grow there
Pushed behind the curtain of taboo
Like her mother did
Like all our mothers did
How generation after generation did
This initiation
While body knows so well

What do we tell?
What do we tell our children?
A cycle governed by its own wounds
How to flow this crimson?
These mountains of depth
This innocence?

Today It slipped out of her
Staining pants and skirts and sheets
It keeps returning
It comes without a warning sign
Blood speaks
Funky and fresh
Brown and slow, fiery and fluid
Making insides burst out
Moonlight magic over sheets, and car seats
Leave a forever stain on carpet

What to name it?
Something holy?
The war between your legs?
I want to bleed
Bleed, bleed, on everything
To let the world know
Write it and
Scrape it on every man’s body forever

Many things start with a name
We came from somewhere and everything does
And this was Period
A name that suggests the end
That suggests stopping
How can you stop something that is so flowing
That feels so real?
Let her be and love her
A voice from inside coming out
That wants nothing but an inevitable flow

How do I prepare my own daughter?
This ruby red flow
Coming out of solitude
Let her be and love her
This prehistoric animal
coming abrupt and unannounced
that demands:
Honor all the women that came before
The cycle of Love has breathed new life into Nadya
Let its vastness become undisguised

About the autor
Christel Janssen (1969, The Netherlands) is a writer, Qi gong teacher, speaker and acupuncturist. ‘An inner call pulled me one day to Hawaï and I decided to follow that voice.’ Now she’s dedicaded to inspiring others to listen to their inner voice. In 2005 she founded the Virtual School for Spontaneous Movement, a place to learn and play with intuitive abilities through live conference calls and retreats on the island of Kauai. Her memoir Forty-Nine Days a Sensuous Journey in the Modern Afterlife is available via Amazon and More of her poetry can be found on Medium.

More poetry?
Poem in praise of menstruation
The Period Poem 
Menstruation un Basho poetry

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Shen Schol

Shen Schol

nice to meet you, happy face

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