aging · creativity · culture · poetry · relationships · women's issues · writing

Sky-Suited

Do fiddle together, they say,
as if man lust were in want

when his smooth, cool music
fingers my girly drives
are I ugly – not gorgeous?

Some waxy, like rust,
saying one of thousand

not sad, but like rain
are sky-suited.

(Fridays are Magnetic Poetry day.  Play online. Image from personal collection.)

culture · poetry · women's issues · writing

Hardly Justice

An innocent sip
too late
awareness dawns –
spiked!
Nausea rolls in
room spins
assailant offers
a hand, a ride,
the regal miss
shakes her head
wobbles, hand
held out warns
to no avail –
vomit sprays
victorious spew
depraved perp’s
plot thwarted.

(Unfortunately based on a true story. Even though she and her friends watched each other’s drinks, the bartender was in on the ploy. Thank God my daughter escaped further harm. Women shouldn’t have to worry about this on a night out.

Written for dVerse pub where De Jackson is hosting with the prompt ‘spike’. Also linking up with Ragtag Community – spray; and Fandango – regal.)

life · poetry · women's issues

The Key

Found a key
stashed away
forgotten

origin unknown
purpose equally
mysterious

an inkling
seeping regret –
too late

realization
dawns –
I’m the keeper

and the treasure –
hold the power,
except

No one told me.

Gave it all away

Found a key
stashed away
lock long broken.

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(This poem was inspired by the image Hélène supplied for her What Do You See? challenge.  The poem was having difficulty forming itself, but when I saw Reena’s image for her Exploration Challenge, the pieces fell together.  Thank you both for prodding my muse.)

Family · LGBQT · life · memoir · poetry · relationships · women's issues · writing

A 60’s Childhood

Formative years were more destruct
than construct; contradictions riddled

the foundation of our familial structure:
one man tyrannized five females while

in the news, women marched for equality;
called the likes of him a male chauvinist.

Aunt drove a forklift truck, looked like a man,
chalked one up for women’s liberation, didn’t

talk about her sexuality; shadow of illegality
hovering around her – no one dared to ask.

At nine, I questioned the fairness of being
born a girl in a man’s world, felt impassioned

by feminist cries, yet feared my mom would
leave the nest, abandon baking, domestics;

leave us to fend for ourselves – the warm waft
of fresh-baked goods greeting us each day, gone.

Watched my sisters flaunt their womanly ways
for virile young men who flocked to see bikini

clad bodies, ripe and tanned by the sun – who
was reducing whom to sex objects? And when

my mother’s family came to visit, why were the
men’s hands so invasive, their tongues equally

misplaced, and was this what women in the streets
were crying out against? I wanted to be free, explore

my future prospects – open road ahead – but Mother
said boys will be boys, and men don’t like smart

women, and better to drop out of school at sixteen,
get a secretarial job, and be ready when your prince

arrives – so I rebelled, cut my hair, flaunted my
intelligence, spoke up about inconsistencies,

such as why is a God a He, and why Aunt didn’t
ever date – did feminist mean celibate? and why

when women were so oppressed and men had
all the power, did my father wish he could be one?

Formative years more destruct than construct;
a deviate imprint tainting normalcy’s prospects.

(A 60’s Childhood first appeared here in September, 2016.  My challenge this week is story.  Click on the link to join in.  Computer is currently in the shop – so I have set this post up in advance.  Sorry if it takes me a bit to get back to you. Image from personal collection.)

creativity · culture · poetry · Rants · women's issues · writing

Invisible Forces

What ideology is this –
the feminine clothed in conservatism,
carting creatures whose nature is wild –
are we to believe women, too, are tractable,
or that girls should aspire to control
their beastly selves, become pets
for mass consumerism?

Glances say it all –
the inability to face the authors
of this myth – subdued by shame,
powerlessness, or conditioned politeness –
do not be fooled; there is more to this story –
it may be invisible, we may all pretend
it does not exist, or downplay its significance –
but one day, rage will have its say.

(Written for the dVerse pub, hosted tonight by Merril, with the theme: invisible.  My poem is a reaction to the featured image, offered up as a prompt by Willow Poetry for her weekly challenge:  What Do You See?)

Love · poetry · relationships · women's issues

Regrets

When love,
open-eyed
and uplifting
appeared

she shuddered,
withdrew,
Shame’s shadow
casting putrid
projections

fear and uncertainty
cloaked her, masked
desire as repulsion –
wore her tragedy
as identity – could not

make the leap –
would choose, instead,
a legacy of abuse –
reaffirming the guilt
and self-loathing

Never could forget
the time that love
showed up –
opened-eyed
and uplifting.

(VJ’s weekly Challenge is shadows)

creativity · Family · Humour · poetry · women's issues · writing

Freak Show’s in Town

Come one! Come all!
Step right up folks!
See the amazing,
one-of-a-kind,
baby-juggling
woman!

Come see this matron
turned tigress!
Witness how the weaker sex
transforms into a powerhouse
of resourcefulness –
a magnificent multi-tasker!
You will not believe your eyes!

These are no ordinary
babies, Ladies and Gentleman!
See the menacing three-year-old
who looks like an angel but
has the mind of a devil!
Look upon the smallest child –
only months old, but with lungs
that will shatter glass.
Be awed by the gigantic
boy baby, youngest of them all,
whose appetite is insatiable.

Step right up folks!
Watch as this extra-
ordinary woman
breast-feeds two babies
and prepares supplemental formula
all whilst reading to the third!

Behold how she balances
two baby carriers
while strapping
a toddler into
her car seat!

Marvel over how
she shops for groceries –
a impossible feat!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Tremble as she manoeuvres
her two-carted entourage
through people-ridden aisles,
list firmly gripped between
her teeth, while emitting
a constant stream of baby talk,
keeping the trying toddler
on a verbal leash.

Sigh with relief
as silence settles
over the household
and our heroine falls
into a deep, exhausted sleep.
Be terrified as she awakens
with a start, suddenly realizing
she has abandoned her boy-child,
in her vehicle, overnight!

You will be amazed!
You will be inspired!
You will be horrified!

Step right up,
Ladies and Gentleman!
This is a one-of-a-kind,
never-seen-anything-like-it
attraction, guaranteed
to entertain!

Catch it here, live!
Twenty-four/ seven,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
No two shows are alike!
Step right up folks!
Admission is free!

(Sarah S. is hosting dVerse Poetics with the theme “Come to the Circus”.  I wrote this poem in April of 2016 when dreams of parenting three small children – and an oversized boy-child – kept haunting me.)

blogging · creativity · culture · Family · poetry · women's issues

A Mother Seldom Asks

Where does a woman store her dreams
while children need chauffeuring
and parents’ health is in decline?

What goal does she dare strive for,
that won’t supersede obligation,
nor tax already waning energy?

Why is it that her efforts –
exceeding expectations –
often fail, demanding more?

How does she keep hope alive
when illness usurps functioning
and the off-ramp is miles behind?

Who will carry her when winter’s grasp
makes passage undependable, and
she has no choice but to surrender?

(V.J.’s challenge this week is questions.)

adversity · Family · life · poetry · relationships · women's issues

A Mother Asks

How to receive a child
whose untimely arrival
serves only to punctuate
existing turmoil; whose
cries further entrap
a despondent mother…

How to love a child
who differs markedly
from gifted sons
from idyllic daughters
bears only resemblance
to the crime’s perpetrator

a child who lacks
the finesse so carefully
imbued in siblings –
fiery eyes and attitude,
preferring solitude of nature
to niceties of family life

How to guide this child,
this symbol of a past best left
behind, this burgeoning woman
defying all expectations –
this enigmatic burden?

(Follow up to this poem is:  A Child Responds)