Charivari, a poem for chaotic times

One of my favourites, the epic, slam-style, prose poem Charivari, is about chaos, control and oppression and finding justice through speaking out and being heard. Charivari becomes increasingly relevant as the chaos of 2020 progresses.

If you’d like to read it instead/as well, click here. Please turn on auto-captions in the settings menu in YouTube if you’d like to watch the video with captions.



A smile that’s too large
A look in the eye
Too intense, unblinking
The predator spots his prey
A shifty glance sideways
Evasive, furtive
A question ignored
Or answered too late
That too-soon bonding
With sickly sweet compliments
So many superlatives
And nothing adds up
None of his story
Avoidance, so much
His responses don’t fit
You know it, you do
Now trust it, trust you
And if you’re not sure
Just wait, you’ll see
Something will happen
A sign, an event
This thing will make sense
Of all of your doubts
And heed it you must
For it’s the sign you were right all along
And this is the lesson
It is the great learning
The one that you weren’t taught when young
Leaving you open and prey to all
But especially open to those who profess
To like you the most, to like you the best
And offer the loveliest love of your life
You’re so hungry for love and esteem from without
That you’re open to strife
For you don’t know the feeling of love from within
Or even the sense of a self or desire
You’re lost and need good people to teach you
And bolster your spirit
And he’s not it
He’s not even close
And you know that he’s not
As does he, but by golly you look so tasty and he wants to gobble you up, doesn’t he?

But you’re safe now for you know it’s ok both to feel and to say:


mother wound by Melita White

mother wound, a sestina, published on Whisper and The Roar

Whisper and the Roar

These thoughts of you
are thorns that return,
stick in and make me bleed
With skin pricked open
I can almost feel
but without you, I cannot speak

The times we speak
go best when you
make me swallow the shame you feel
You always return
unzip me open
unloose my vessels to bleed

You love my lunar bleed
Feign interest while I speak
Your fingers prise me open,
prepare the path for you
Ease your snug return
inside where you can feel

When you are fed you feel
and from my wound milk bleeds
And there your mouth returns
Your milk-stained beard does speak
It seems that you are only you
when you eat me open

It is only to you I can open
It is only with you I can feel
It is only with you I become you
It is only for you I bleed
It is…

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