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

It’s Time, Women

It’s time to resurrect
our confidence,
recapture the sensitivity
of intuitive knowing,
acknowledge the power
of our resiliency;
we are women
merciful companions
healers attending
Divinity’s passage,
peace-seekers
directing life’s journey.

Too long have we equated
self-esteem with
patriarchal agendas,
disappointed with
our inability to meet
media standards,
blamed ourselves
for divorce,
disease,
staying home
to raise the children.

It’s time to honour
our strength, restore
feminine worth,
align our resources,
we are iron grace,
mindful caregivers,
mate with intention,
our vulnerability,
our sensuality,
aspects of intrinsic
wisdom, we are
keepers of the dream
beings steeped
in mystery:
it is time.

(This poem originally appeared October, 2017.  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?)

adversity · creativity · mental-health · poetry · Uncategorized · women's issues · writing

Dear Sylvia Plath (Response to Apprehensions)

Please let me preface with a confession –
I am not familiar with your work.
It is not oversight on my part, rather
a deliberate avoidance – you see,
I too have faced the brand of madness
that drove you to your death, have
feared that any intimacy we might share
would stir my own apprehensions.

Indeed, I understand all too well
the presence of walls,
have believed in the power of sky,
the promise of green, found faith in angels –
nature my solace – realized too young
that the sun’s brilliance, that my brilliance
cannot be sustained by the innocence of white –
bleeds at the fate of indifferent stars.

I understand how gray seeps in,
tears away at the illusions,
entraps us –
how the past stalks, spirals
threatens to suck us in, and how
having lost my own connection to birds and trees,
wonderment sours.

It is the fate of women
born into patriarchal times,
that the blood of our menses
should colour our fists –
our fury as potent as a paper bag –
how can we not feel terror
when we worship a God
whose religion disparages our gender?

I have faced the inevitability of black –
what once brought solace having lost
its definition, unidentifiable –
have faced mortality, the cold blank
stares of death still haunting –
I am the one who has passed you by –
afraid to linger too long in your words,
have woefully overlooked
the merit of a sympathetic read.

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(Today’s prompt is to write a response to a poem by Sylvia Plath.)

abuse · culture · media · poetry · women's issues

Can We Talk About It?

As mothers, who are concerned,
as sons, who are seeking guidance,
as daughters, for whom our fears mount?

I don’t have the answers, maybe
not even the beginning of a response,
but I’m trying to get through to some level

of sensibility, need to know what it takes
to instill respect, to restore reverence for
all that in is feminine; seems we are numbed

lulled into complacency, brainwashed by
a consumer-driven machine that pumps
out sexuality as entertainment, infiltrates

our collective psyche, equates exploitation
with attainment, debasement with reward;
are we so desensitized as to not recognize

that merely turning off the television, or
ignoring the images in the check out line
still amounts to complicity; what amount

of surgical intervention is required to
eradicate this societal disease; restore
compassion and caring to our culture?
(This poem, inspired by a series of dreams, responds to the The Daily Post prompt: conversation.)

 

 

aging · culture · poetry · women's issues

An Aged Feminist Perspective

I am teacher, tending to
budding feminists – persecuted
for their giftedness, depravity
a stink that trails them – defined
by sanitary napkin advertisements,
comfort ridiculed; I falter, my own
rage stifling responsibility…

I am grandmother, overseeing
the growth of a new era, promoting
autonomy, watch as dependence
settles in, how we whitewash human
depravity and forget the babies –
desperate for what?  Am at wit’s end
protesting the depths of society’s fall.

I am crone, observer of young
women, whose ambitions rise,
yet, in face of injustice, are quieted,
we are untrained at cleansing
the excrement of humiliation,
have too long borne obligation
as a demonstration of our fitness,
cling to a losing illusion of control.

culture · poetry · spirituality · women's issues

It’s Time, Women

It’s time to resurrect
our confidence,
recapture the sensitivity
of intuitive knowing,
acknowledge the power
of our resiliency;
we are women
merciful companions
healers attending
Divinity’s passage,
peace-seekers
directing life’s journey.

Too long have we equated
self-esteem with
patriarchal agendas,
disappointed with
our inability to meet
media standards,
blamed ourselves
for divorce,
disease,
staying home
to raise the children.

It’s time to honour
our strength, restore
feminine worth,
align our resources,
we are iron grace,
mindful caregivers,
mate with intention,
our vulnerability,
our sensuality,
aspects of intrinsic
wisdom, we are
keepers of the dream
beings steeped
in mystery:
it is time.
(Image artist: Shikha Agnihotri Pandey )

 

 

disability · expression · mental-health · poetry · women's issues · writing

Dear Charlotte Perkins Gilman

(This is a repost of one of my personal favourites.  Check out a live performance of this poem.)

One Woman's Quest

I have examined your wallpaper,
discussed the scholarly attributes
of shades of yellow, traced the edges
of your unravelling with my mind,
argued the merits of Gothic horror;

marvelled at the brilliance of wording,
the courage to define the nature of
feminine madness, the boldness to
highlight inequalities long before the
establishment of a Person’s Act.

Forgive me, but I need to set aside
this keyboard for a moment, for I tire
easily, am suffering from an exhaustion
that is systemic and calls for elimination
of all stimulus in favour of rest, you see

I share your sentence of confinement,
isolated to a room with windows, my
mind wandering to ancestral gardens,
contemplating shadows and movement
cognizant of underlying forces, creeping.

My husband has just left, dear man, having
checked on me, taking on my burden,
concerned that I am not sleeping at night
thinks that by reading and rereading…

View original post 195 more words

life · Love · media · poetry · recovery · relationships · women's issues

Wayward Daughter

Back and forth I travel searching
for her – retrace every bend, curve,
detour – back to the water, the sand,
the beach where I lost her; haunted by

those velvet brown eyes – bedroom eyes,
they told her, men with greedy loins,
calculating – I lost her to the lure of
alcohol, to the pounding beat of drums,

in those smoky corners so far removed
from the purity of her dreams….
it’s been an arduous journey, some days
so lost in the daze of forgetting; I cycle

back, memories of manhood exposed,
egos craving stroking, how she learned
what men wanted, learned to numb
the disappointment with fast-talk

and all-nighters, suppressed tears,
discovered that words hold no promise,
and water is deep, and going within
is a dark, foreboding place, and worth

is shrouded by the shame of discovering
that even the father she adored was not
as she’d thought, and that this primal
urge she felt for mating was a trap

designed to eradicate her beauty, not
enhance it…I need to find her, hold
her afloat in sacred waters, help her feel
the healing light of a thousand women’s

hearts all bleeding as one, all warped
by the same convoluted messages
about womanhood – that lust is sinful
and copulation a man’s domain, and

that in order to be espoused she must
forego her own nature, tame the wild,
settle for loss of control…but as much
as I travel these lonely roads, I cannot

find her, the traces of her innocence
washed away by the tides, lines now
on my aged face…if you see her, please
hold her close, protect her from beasts,

hold her until the beauty of her being
is a solid knowing, and the shame has
been vanquished; and that being a vessel
for man’s release is not her only purpose.