ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the November 21, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "queerplatonic" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Cody. It belongs to the series Feathered Nests, which you can find via my Serial Poetry page.


"The Purest Love"


A few days after the incident,
Dr. Ogden went to check on Trell.

The little faeder was still ensconced
in Seriit's territory, and had built -- or
had built for him -- one of the lean-tos
that the Fifers liked, with a clever roof
that could tilt in either direction
to block the changing winds.

"How are you doing?"
Dr. Ogden asked him.
"Do you like it here?
Have your friends
come to visit you?"

"It's nice," Trell said.
"Most of my friends have
visited. I kind of like Seriit.
He's ... different."

"It's all right, Trell,"
Seriit called. "Everyone
knows that I'm a pervert."

He hadn't lowered his voice at all.

"Your people seem pretty tolerant,"
Dr. Ogden said. "I haven't heard
of any sexual prejudices yet."

"I don't like topping other males,"
Seriit said. "I only enjoy females."

Dr. Ogden looked around, and
sure enough, the pale-ruffed males
he'd seen earlier were still around.
"Yet you have several beth males,
who I'm given to understand
are somewhat in demand."

"Wheef doesn't like bottoming
or topping with other males either,"
Seriit said, pointing his beak at one of
the beths. "Thoot and Dree are happy
doing each other. We all put on a show
to get the females in the mood, of course."

"I'm glad you've all found something
that works for you," Dr. Ogden said.

No wonder shy, traumatized Trell
had taken refuge here. He wouldn't
feel as threatened by an aleph
who didn't desire other males.

"We have," Seriit said. "I like
having male friends who don't
expect things I can't give. Besides,
the females don't care what we do with
each other, just as long as I'm gentle
with the beths and faeders and we're
willing to dance for them now and then."

"Friendship is the purest love,"
Dr. Ogden said. "It is the highest
form of love where nothing is asked for,
no condition, where one simply enjoys giving."

"Yes," said Seriit. "That is how I feel."

"Trell? Have you made any new friends
since you came here?" asked Dr. Ogden.

"Maybe," said Trell. "It's hard for me
to tell. I feel less wind-tossed, though."

"That's good," said Seriit. "You're safe
here; nobody will bother you in my territory.
Give yourself time and your body will
learn what 'safe' feels like to you."

That was excellent advice.

Then something else caught his eye,
a small aleph gathering up stones nearby.
"What's he doing this close?" Dr. Ogden said.

"Oh, that's my new neighbor Tseep,"
said Seriit. "He fledged out looking like
a beth, but apparently he's an aleph.
Did you know that could happen?"

"I know of a similar condition in
humans, called gender dysphoria,"
said Dr. Ogden. "It's upsetting, but
quite treatable with modern medicine."

"I've heard that it's unnatural, but well,
look at him," Seriit said. "Tseep may be
as skittish as a leaf in the wind, but he
seems a lot happier than he used to be."

"It's natural, all right," said Dr. Ogden.
"Some animal species have members who
act like the opposite sex, too, so I imagine
that the pattern is universal, or nearly so."

"Interesting," Seriit said. "Anyway,
a lot of unusual people wash up at
this end of the beach, so I gave him
a bit of space to keep the other alephs
from trying to peck him to pieces."

"That was kind of you," said Dr. Ogden.
"I know how competitive your people
can be, though. Is that safe for you?"

Seriit fluffed his dark glossy ruff
and trilled a laugh. "I may be
a pervert, but the Wind has
blessed me with big muscles.
I can hold my own -- and his."

Maybe there was more than
one reason for Trell to feel
comfortable under Seriit's wing.

* * *

Notes:

Dr. Ellis Ogden -- a human man

Trell -- a faeder male with a history of abuse. He came from another colony that doesn't treat its faeders as well, and he's struggling to adapt to his new home.

Seriit -- an aleph male who takes the unusual step of not posturing to attract attention and thereby coaxes Trell into his territory.

Tseep -- a Fifer with the plumage of a beth male who feels like an aleph male.

* * *

"Friendship is the purest love. It is the highest form of Love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving."
-- Osho

A lean-to is typically made with a roof slanting in one direction. If you want a fire, build the lean-to so wind blows sideways through it to carry the smoke away. If you don't need a fire, however, you can build a lean-to which blocks the wind. Fifers make a long roof which pivots between the two upright posts. This way they can tilt the roof in response to changing conditions to block sea breezes by day and land breezes at night.

Gender dysphoria is the distress felt when subjective gender and physical sex do not match. There are ways to cope with it and support a friend who has it. In a nutshell, be yourself, let other people be themselves, and don't worry about the shape of anyone's crotch unless you plan to make direct contact with it.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 03:28 am (UTC)
mama_kestrel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mama_kestrel
>>In a nutshell, be yourself, let other people be themselves, and don't worry about the shape of anyone's crotch unless you plan to make direct contact with it.<<

I think that may be the clearest statement of how to live with other people I've seen in a long time!

I stunned someone at a restaurant years ago, when my son was at the "point and ask" stage. Asked (loudly, of course) if the person at the next table was a boy or a girl, I glanced over and responded "I don't know, sweetie. But it really doesn't matter. They look nice, don't you think?" I got the most astonished look and smile, followed by a whispered "thank you". To this day I actually don't know what gender they identified as. I was surprised by how much it bothered me to be unable to figure it out, but that wasn't their problem, it was and is mine, and I kept it strictly to myself.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-21 04:37 pm (UTC)
thnidu: Lucy bright and bold. Lucida Bright font, boldface: backslash, small-o, slash: YAY!! (yay)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Bravo!

curiosity, accuracy, and compassion

Date: 2018-07-04 11:32 pm (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
>> [My child] asked if the person at the next table was a boy or a girl[.] I glanced over and responded "I don't know, sweetie. But it really doesn't matter. They look nice, don't you think?" <<

I am imagining that long-ago person as someone much like Halley Finn, whom I think would be grateful for your response, especially the second and third parts of it.

No gender pronouns were harmed in the construction of this comment. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 04:14 am (UTC)
acelightning: Vulcan IDIC symbol - "Infinite Diversity in Infinited Combinations" (IDIC)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
I've always felt that treating a person as whatever they say they are (and using whatever pronouns they prefer) is no more than common politeness. (I may have private doubts about someone who self-identifies as a wolf, or a unicorn, or Thorin Oakenshield, or Saint Mary of Egypt... but it's not my place, and none of my business, to tell them what they are.)

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-01-20 05:19 am (UTC)
acelightning: dragon-winged fae handling lightning in winter forest (lightning fae)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
I have a very dear friend who is a Dragon. When I first met him, he was still in college, and when he mentioned his, I was thinking "yeah, yeah, Otherkin - gimme a break!" But he asked me to teach him more about magick than he'd been able to get from books, and I agreed - he's naturally good at it. And the first time he really cut loose with his powers, I Saw his Dragon form superimposed on his human body! So I give everybody the benefit of the doubt, now.

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-01-20 11:23 am (UTC)
acelightning: naked fat woman asleep on a sofa (fat nude)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
I seem to be constrained to a humanoid form, although by now I'm thoroughly used to it. Most of my "esoteric" skills seem to be related to machinery, rather than biological or crypto-biological beings.

My friend's "hoard" is his collection of extremely interesting people who are his friends, which includes me :-)

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-01-20 10:50 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
The hardware's human, the firmware.. eh.. but the software's not human. Yeah, I know that situation.

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-01-20 11:26 am (UTC)
acelightning: the international symbol for radiation, in original colors (magenta/yellow) (radiation)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
You "know" him - [personal profile] kythrain a/k/a [personal profile] seadragon. He's a nuclear power tech on an aircraft carrier in the US Navy.

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-01-20 11:35 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Oh right! Yeah, he's not the only one I know of like that but he's definitely a prime example. I've not met him IRL, but just from what he's written I could well believe his body language would be all wolf.. well, wolf trying to run on human hardware.

It happens... life is by no means as neat as people would like.

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-01-20 11:54 am (UTC)
acelightning: Vulcan IDIC symbol - "Infinite Diversity in Infinited Combinations" (IDIC)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
"Dragon trying to run on human hardware" is very close to how he described it to me at first. I remember one time he experienced a minor injury to his shoulder while doing martial arts... and later, when he tried to "fly" in his Dragon form on the astral, he couldn't, because his wing hurt! By now, though, he's managed to integrate his software into his hardware quite thoroughly.

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-01-21 05:25 am (UTC)
acelightning: naked fat woman asleep on a sofa (fat nude)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
Sheesh - it's awkward enough with a purely humanoid shape! ;-)

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-06-24 05:39 am (UTC)
technoshaman: (technopagan)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Oh, shi..... you just made a LOT of things make sense. I'd already figured some of it out - this very night, even - but think about it. Damask? Are a hypervisor, and Ham and Clement and Maisie are "virtual machines". And there can be scheduling contention. and and and and...

As above, so below, just like they taught me so many years ago.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 01:10 pm (UTC)
readera: This is a recolor of Botan from Yu Yu Hakusho. She has blue hair and is wearing a pink kimono and is standing on a forested path. (Default)
From: [personal profile] readera
Seriit's group seems nice. Genderqueer aliens woohoo! Poor Trell, it gets better. I am enjoying all the new Feathered Nest stories. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 06:46 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
Oh, yay, I'm glad Trell is doing okay! It looks like he picked the exact right place to land.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-22 08:28 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
Cute, cute, cute! I'm glad Trell is doing okay now. Seriit seems like a kind person, and sometimes you need someone with respect for diversity /and/ muscles. *s*

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