Poetry by Julene Tripp Weaver: Wise Women Herbal Tradition Self-Care Quest

Poetry by Julene Tripp Weaver: Wise Women Herbal Tradition Self-Care Quest

Wise Women Herbal Tradition Self-Care Quest

Blind-sided, I stop to hold myself still.
Despite the dark I trust and dance
in unknown waters with slowed-down 
movement, arms stretched, a leggings-day,
comfort in a field seeking what soothes
this frayed nervous system. Start with a 
ceramic cup to wrap my hands around—
chai, to boost clarity and insight, stop 
absorb the heat, acknowledge this time 
is the only time despite the stress-hum 
the high-strung eruptions in the world.
I feel my toes, walk onward and listen.
Tree ghosts answer my invisible 
questions that float in dark hollows.

Questions that float in dark hollows—
recessed knowledge of herbs in my cells
what works well within this body.
Brushing against oats I hear their whisper
an ancient wise call from work-horses
whose steady nerves pulled their weight
consistent strength from what they ate.
There is a wise woman inside. She
understands the nutrition of ritual, 
what the plants provide, how they give back 
what they take from this earth, how minerals
infuse health through preparation,
prevent illness long before it starts. She’s on
a pilgrimage to heal without regret.

A pilgrimage to heal without regret
I flutter forward, rustling leaves 
offer answers on this golden path.
I taste and harvest bountiful weeds
from nature’s wild space, I glow
in sunlight. Give thanks to each cutting,
leave the mother—the tallest ancestor—
say a prayer, bestow my gratitude.
This is time away from busy, time-in
to find myself and my ally plants 
to sustain this life into the future.
This quiet where fairies dance and sing
secrets revealed: willow is strongest
during a storm, a twig of willow falls.

During a storm a twig of willow falls
chewing it my headache disappears
ancient ritual of my grandmother, 
passed on stories from childhood—
how do I know—time is universal. 
We carry our history in our bones
and mouth, that oral cavity canal—
throat to sphincter—secrets of the body
formulated into science, foxglove
killed a man, speeded up his heart
now we have Digitalis, careful,
do not confuse foxglove with comfrey,
that boneknit plant that weaves together
any broken bone from its poultice.

Any broken bone from its poultice
comfrey will heal like a dream—
miracle plant that scares people.
Wise women have never been afraid,
their antidotal evidence is strong.
Lost in skepticism, it’s hard facing
those with so much authority, backed up
with research from what they stole.
Sensitive in the fray of rules 
and regulations, many knocked down
frightening reality in a world
where people suffer too long, despite
the allies they could use to heal.
Blind-sided, I stop to hold myself still.