What is a Goddess?

marilyn-monroe-50s-16It is said that the goddess
Sported itchy scabby legs
Darkly shadowed armpits
And an oil-stained skirt

Her hair a straw halo
Much darker at the roots
Her face flatly bland
Until she donned her mask

The goddess wasn’t real
A stranger to herself
She primped and she posed
A performance switched on Read more

Advertisements

New anthologies We Will Not Be Silenced and You Are Not Your Rape give voice to survivors of sexual assault

I’m very pleased to announce that I’m a contributing writer in both of these necessary and timely anthologies, both recently published in print and e-book. Two of my poems can be found in We Will Not Be Silenced, published by Indie Blu(e), and my creative nonfiction piece Not Quite Here Yet is in You Are Not Your Rape, published by Rhythm & Bones Press.

Both anthologies give a vital voice to survivors of sexual assault and include poetry, creative nonfiction, essays and artworks. Proceeds and royalties from each anthology benefit a number of organisations that support survivors of sexual assault, abuse, harassment and trauma. Click on the links above for more information and to purchase.

Mad woman soothsayer

Mad woman soothsayer
says not much
thinks she speaks truth
but chain-vomits nervous
words like wasps
buzzing with angry self-righteousness
while in reality
they ask only of each other
Who do we attack?
Where is our home?
and
How do we protect the queen?

(and they seek out sugar to sweeten the deal)

Cold in the earth (after Emily Brontë)

The bare walls of her body ooze breath of cold
trapping the bones in
soft cocoon of damp flesh where the
air reeks of sodden earth —
She moans with mute numbness and
counts to fifteen
heavy with blubber she is wild
yet dead like all the Decembers
and all their frosts from
ages past until now, those
icicle mornings that turn grass blades brown
and cover the hills
with a ghostly hue and have
long since melted
into
the spring


A Golden Shovel poem based on two lines from Emily Brontë’s poem Remembrance:

Cold in the earth — and fifteen wild Decembers
From those brown hills have melted into spring:

this is what the bleeding is like

 

blood
when you’re woken by
a womb that’s burning
that’s twisting and screaming
and you tell yourself:
go back to sleep
but the pain keeps you up
apart from one moment
when you drift off and dream
of a blonde, kind stranger
who gives you warm praise
and asks you how
you made the tea
and as you write down the recipe
in pencil on paper
three teaspoons of tea
and one of sugar
a hot pulsing pang
wakes you again
and you drag your dead weight
out of the bed
exhaustedly urgent
while consciousness makes
the pain much worse Read more

(like he says)

question-1243504_640.png

What if I am beautiful (like he says)?
And my body is lovely (like he says)?
And sexy too (like he says)?
Gorgeous (like he says)?

What if I my curves are just the right size (like he says)?
And are in just the right place (like he says)?
What if I am amazing (like he says)?
And clever (like he says)?

What if he really does love me (like he says on the phone and in texts and emails and when he’s leaving the bathroom after we’ve shared a shower and he thinks I can’t hear him, and when I leave him at night to go home)?

What would it mean? Read more

When you are a woman in the country by Melita White

My first post on the wonderful feminist poetry collective Whisper and the Roar. I’m so honoured and excited to be part of this wonderful collective.

Whisper and the Roar

When you are a woman in the country
You should be careful to not look like a woman
You should not wear pink
That colour of women
When you go to collect your mail
From the letterbox on the main road
As the trucks whizz by at 100km per hour
And the men leer
Out of open windows
Sometimes waving, sometimes just looking
You’d better hope your titties don’t poke out
From beneath your top either
And give the game away
It’s best to wear drab baggy clothes
A hat
Dark glasses
And keep your head down
Hoist your shoulders up round your neck
And swagger a bit
You might fool them that way
And when you duck down that country lane
On foot, crying when it’s raining
Because you had a fight with your boyfriend
Whatever you do
Don’t shake the hand of the man in the pick-up truck

View original post 265 more words

Amphibian

Why can’t she recognise love, or
is she primed to reject it? She wonders why she does
this when she thirsts for connection; the
one thing she needs like land
beneath her feet. She wants to lean
into love, let it weigh her down,
to fix it in place and to
let it lift
her and lower her again, to baptise her in the
cool, cleansing sea. Read more

Rapunzel

braidMy golden braid
Sweeps against my rump
This built-in rope
A symbol of mother
Though it sprouts from my crown
It weighs heavily
She would never let me cut the ties
Could I hang myself with it?

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair

Three braided strands: me, him, other
Me, father, mother
Three strands distinct
Yet interwoven
Fastened together
As if in marriage
Interminable bonds
If I untie the braid
Will I cease to exist?

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair Read more

Atomic

With you there is no grey
nor is there black or white
There is only the elemental
eternal combustion
Where fission becomes fusion
becomes fission again
But energy is constant
no matter the state
of togetherness
or not
of our atoms Read more