When I Get Angry

Alma Ortman
2 min readJul 16, 2022
Photo by Alma Ortman

When I Get Angry
I don’t know what to do.
And so I burn up and out:
BURN like a giant ball of fire
ready to take everything —
everything —
down in my blaze —
until I burn so big that
it all burns down
and I get to
thank you.

Thank you.

No, really — a thank you that is so sincere:
A thank you that has nothing to do with
forgiveness or amends
or even understanding.
A thank you begun by earth’s reminder to root.
A thank you inspired by the way soil
interrupts my blood, my scream,
my fall, the
old conflicts and cultures I came with
and a thank you to body,
this body — oh my god, this vessel
I’m spending this LIFE in! —

(She actually is a lot of fun…
thank god she’s drawn to joy and adventure
and seeks beauty and pleasure,
and animals like her
and she defaults to sweetness
and humor — so sweet,
Even now as she’s holding herself from collapse
by burning so big and right and fierce
and getting from anger
to: thank you!)

Thank you for this pain.
Welcome back to this pain.
I almost forgot the gift that rage likes to pull:
this always out there gratitude for
the only way I get through — the only way
I’ve ever gotten through — is by expansion,
each time liberated more underneath
and remembering this ancient girl’s heart
and holding it with so much damn open


to keep it growing and growing and growing
until it’s stretching me wide, bright, clear;
Open-eyed braided wisdom
living with our tears,
honoring the pain that others’ eyes
aren’t primed to see
and whose hearts can never carry —
a phoenix rising from the ash,
a whale breaking through ocean
into sky,
rising and falling
again and again
and again
and again.
© 2022 Alma Ortman. All Rights Reserved



Alma Ortman

Mindful poet & lifelong learner. Musings on belonging, authentic connection, joy, spirit, body, nature, inner work, vulnerability, self-love, fierce compassion