Stuff We’re Made Of

Rainbows and wishes
wings we give daughters

Little girl dreams destined
to hit walls – shortsighted

these laws of oppression –
for sweetness of youth
does not equate with folly

Women are warriors,
our rage underestimated.

(Tuesdays I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Image my own)

Perfect

I’m being a good girl, Dad
Staying out of sight
Keeping my needs to a minimum
Promise I don’t cry, Dad.

I’m being a good wife, Dad
Cooking all his favourites
Letting him walk ahead
Never uttering a peep, Dad

I’m a perfect background wife, Dad
Just like you taught me; just like Mom
Only no one has to hit me to make me
behave, Dad; I learned it good from you.

(Image my own)

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.)

Displaced in Patriarchy

Long since
dawn’s early
observation,
have witnessed
patriarchy’s
inequalities

first hand
second hand

lack a solution,
short of vengeance –
perpetrate rather
than end the cycle
of crime –

no place
to call home.

(Image from personal collection.)

 

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?)

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.

napo2018button1

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

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.)