That woman is me

OC_vanishing1sThe woman sat flaccid-bottomed on bath lip

squash of emotions beneath sturdy hips

pieces of her, no-one ever sees

water on full, hitting porcelain as drums beaten to recall

steam filling small room, obscuring

her grave emptying breasts as they urge to droop lower in hour

whisper of a nipple, against empty arms

when was the last time? She felt hands on her

lifting drummed grief within, recoiling of sadness for

blur and smooth music of touch?

Is she still a woman able to appeal?

or become the damp drying of paper walls

pealing and perishing with carved silence

and who would caress the broken parts of her

with equal ardor? Not minding

how her stomach rounded and slid

slightly sideways in its phantom gelatin mold

where the folds of her neck roosted

her opening legs a trust, erased

for she holds within herself an

eternity of scolds and loose threads

disliking the belch of flesh around her thighs

or the downward pull of stretched skin

marking its silver lines across her

like marauding seafarers

she is told she is beautiful

by those who over-use the word and

glut on dispelling fears like caged witches given

their freedom

but in her heart of hearts

where rosy trace of girlhood is long swept and vanquished

and mirrors are to be run past and shunned

the puckering of her forehead, and thin skinned clavical

knows the real scales of her drying self-hood curling inward

in its invariable regret

she is not the smooth melatonin

goddess of her dreams nor even young enough to stop

another heart with any part of her

physic movement or grace

yet she possesses still

a smile, pulled from depths, capable of

illuminating others darkness

and when she is not

angered by slouch of age and

hours spent hunched over making

worlds with words

withering in slow motion on the vine

of her choices and that stayed

moment she quit opening for sunlight

she remembers the fleet-footed

girl of yesterday, taken in the arms of those

who would give her ease from solitude

in their reverence of her youth

though, it is not now, now she is alone

the bath filling high and her wish

to step into hot water and be absorbed by fantasy

to be touched again in feelings now stored away

only taken out briefly when facing herself and

the strange quality of her diminishing reflection

a voice within

rarely permitted to verbalize

the absence and loneliness of her skin

for if it could speak

surely those words would, catch the damp of her

ardor and unsaid want and cry out

oh just once more! Let me feel the rounding

desire we take for granted in youth

a touch through time, relieving ache

of years spent sleeping, back to the wall

hands beneath pillows, unwanted in disappearing skin

the burning of such need

a fire beneath closed eyes

seeking refuge in other worlds

where you are as you were

and have always been

devoured by your passion

the feeling of you inside, reminding us both

of life abundant

without loathing nor reducing

that woman

reaching out

is me

Do You Even Know What You’re Worth? – Marvlyn Vincent

You’re here,

You were placed on this earth,

Yes I admit,

Sometimes,

Being here hurts,

Life can be rough

Existence means pain,

Instead of the sunshine,

We’re showered by rain,

We’re losing our minds,

We’re going insane,

But what if we choose to acknowledge our pain,

Embrace our circumstances,

Bathe in the rain,

Somehow,

That simple truth, could lessen that pain,

We learn to do that,

Over and over,

Again and again,

Now the tides are turning,

Our minds slowing

We’re no longer running,

Wait,

Hold up,

I feel something,

Is it appreciation?

Or self deprecation?

Oh wait,

No,

Play that feeling again,

Just a little,

no ……we want more,

For what we’re feeling,

We must be sure,

Our minds are twisted,

Confidence depleted,

We must dig deep,

Reach in,

Pull ourselves together,

For we are so much more,

Than our brother’s keeper,

You can’t measure our worth

Cause we’re priceless,

And We’ll hold on to  that belief,

From now on regardless.

Marvlyn Vincent was born and raised in the Caribbean. She migrated to the United States more than a decade ago, not just in search of a better life, but also to literally save her life. As a child Marvlyn started writing poetry as an escape from the horrors of her reality, but also as an outlet for her pain. This was her way of sharing the things that she could not speak about. Today she still write about her past experiences, however, she’s also developed her writing to include the resolution that has gotten her through the hard times. Marvlyn runs the Harmony Place helping people with trauma and PTSD.

Writers/Artists Wanted for Upcoming Brave and Reckless Prompt Themes – Christine E. Ray

I am quite enamored with the response my daily writing prompts for Brave and Reckless have generated.  I am getting to know new writers, reading great writing, and being creatively inspired myself.

In a burst of inspiration, I have put together the prompts for the next two months.  August’s theme will be Feminist Book Titles and September will be Lesbian Book Titles.  I realize that these may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but know that I very carefully chose titles that I thought could be creatively inspiring to anyone.  You certainly don’t need to be a feminist or a lesbian to participate, but if you don’t believe that women are human beings who deserve basic human right I doubt you would be following Whisper and the Roar.

In any case, I would like to take things up a notch for August and September.  I am hoping that some of you might be willing to take on one of these future prompts and submit a prompt-inspired piece for publishing on Brave and Reckless (and quite likely Whisper and the Roar) when the prompt goes live to inspire other writers.

The only rules are: 1) that you use the book title as your piece title OR that you integrate all the words in the title into your piece somehow. Poetry, prose, short fiction, and art are all welcome; 2) you send your piece to me (her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com) in advance; and, 3) your piece gets published on Brave and Reckless before you share it anywhere else.

If you are intrigued, see the prompt lists below and let me know whether you are interested. I am hoping that every prompt will be covered by at least one writer- if one speaks to you, please let me know:

Feminist Book Title Challenge – August 2019

1. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
2. When God Was a Woman – Merlin Stone
3. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Wolf
4. Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay
5. Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit
6. Sister Outsider – Audre Lorde
7. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
8. This Bridge Called My Back – Cherrie Moraga (Editor) & Gloria Anzaldua (Editor)
9. In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens – Alice Walker
10. The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan
11. The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir
12. The Body Is Not an Apology – Sonya Renee Taylor
13. The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
14. The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Gilman
15. We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
16. The Awakening – Kate Chopin
17. The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
18. The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf
19. Ain’t I a Woman? – Bell Hooks
20. Women Who Run With Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estés
21. Backlash – Susan Faludi
22. Against Our Will – Susan Brownmiller
23. The witch doesn’t burn in this one – amanda lovelace
24. The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston
25. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
26. How To Be A Woman – Caitlin Moran
27. Girl Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen
28. Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman – Lindy West
29. What We’re Told Not To Talk About – Nimiko Ali
30. Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and other lies – Scarlett Curtis
31. she must be mad – Charly Cox

Lesbian Book Title Challenge- September 2019

1. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
2. Rubyfruit Jungle – Rita Mae Brown
3. Desert of the Heart – Jane Rule
4. Happy Endings Are All Alike – Sandra Scoppettone
5. Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters
6. The Price of Salt – Patricia Highsmith
7. The Well of Loneliness – Radclyffe Hall
8. The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Emily M. Danforth
9. Stone Butch Blues – Leslie Feinberg
10. The Gravity Between Us – Georgia Beers
11. Curious Wine – Katherine V. Forrest
12. Her Name in the Sky – Kelly Quindlen
13. Crush – Jane Futcher
14. SKIM – Mariko Tamiki/Jillian Tamiki
15. The Girls in 3B – Valerie Taylor
16. Orlando – Virginia Wolf
17. Fun Home – Allison Bechdel
18. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
19. BODYMAP – Leah Piepzna-Samarasinha
20. Kissing the Witch – Emma Donoghue
21. The One Hundred Nights of Hero – Isabel Greenberg
22. Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta
23. Keeping You a Secret – Julie Anne Peters
24. Ash – Melinda Lo
25. The Wanderground by Sally Miller Gearhart
26. The Space Between – Michelle L. Teichman
27. Here Comes the Sun – Nicole Dennis-Benn
28. The Truth That Never Hurts – Barbara Smith
29. Juliet Takes a Breath – Gabby Rivera
30. If You Could Be Mine – Sara Farizan

Witch – Christine Ray

the god-fearing men
who wish to tie us
to stakes
sew lions on their standards
to give them courage
play at soldier
like little boys
carrying pointy sticks
and bibles
in their self-righteous hands
hypocrites
who lust for the maiden
revere the mother
deathly fear the crone
we are all faces
of the triple goddess
we worship her
by the light of the moon
we are the witches
the keepers of wisdom
who pass down the lore
of our foremothers
we remember
and honor
the magic in the earth
the power in our blood
granddaughters
of the women
your grandfathers
could not burn

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

Inspired by Tish Thawer’s Quote: ‘We are the granddaughters of the witches they weren’t able to burn.’

Silent Forest – by Rachael Ikins

Prelude:
I’ve had the rending grief,
chopped-off hair, bloody scratches.
Nausea, insomnia. Yes.
I have visited that forest.
This one is silent.

1.
Grief is a young woman on her horse. Shadowing me through trees. No matter how fast I snap my head around, I cannot see her.

Yoked to Summer, garden weeds, pests, harvest, I plod through July.
Huzzah each blossom—bud to husk. My heart isn’t in it.
I flinch beneath sun’s
relentless brilliance.

I want Autumn, leaf piles to hush highway’s yawn as it stretches and pops, Monday mornings.
Leave me alone
in the woods
to listen for those muffled hoofbeats.

I want cold and snow, a trail to follow early evenings.
When I can sneak out of the house, into birdless quiet.

Snow, so I can find those footprints,
See her profile, shout some soundless plea. “Go away!”
See

her turn her head.
She says, “I haven’t
forgotten you.”

2.
My kettle screams,
the dogs bark at squirrels.
Rush-hour streams the highway. Grief is a shadow,
a girl, her horse,
following
me.

Copyright Rachael Ikins. 2019. Read more by Rachael here

Rachael Ikins is a powerhouse of creativity as well as Associate Editor at Clare Songbirds Publishing House in Auburn NY https://www.claresongbirdspub.com/shop/featured-authors/rachael-ikins/2018 Ikins is an Independent Book Award winner (poetry), 2013, 2018 CNY Book Award nominee, 2016, 2018 Pushcart nominee

Www.writerraebeth.wordpress.com 

https://m.facebook.com/RachaelIkinsPoetryandBooks/

@poetreeinmoshun on Instagram
@writerraebeth on Tumblr
@nestl493 on Twitter

How to join Whisper & the Roar or submit guest writing

Are you a fan of exceptional writing? Are you a writer of poetry, prose and micro fiction?  Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Whisper and the Roar is currently recruiting new Collective Members as well as guest writers and putting the call out for previous Whisper writers to submit again

Submission Guidelines for Whisper and the Roar:

  • Send a short piece (poetry or prosetry) of your original writing (PDF or Word) attached to an email that includes your real name as well as the name you publish your writing under.  Although we prefer previously unpublished work, we will consider published work as long as it has ONLY been published on a blog. You must own the rights to any work you submit to Whisper and the Roar
  • Include a very short biography that includes a link to your website/social media site where readers can go to read more of your writing.
  • Please attach a suggested image for each piece of writing that you submit
  • Understand that you will not be paid for your submission. We are a small collective, and can only offer support in building your platform and showing your work to our own audience. This also includes promotion on our Facebook page.
  • Allow up to 2-4 weeks for a response.
  • Send submissions with Whisper and the Roar in the subject line to: candicedaquin@gmail.com 

We are looking for top caliber submissions that can stand up with our Whisper and the Roar regular contributors. If you are not familiar with Whisper and the Roar, please visit the site. If you have written for us before, please get in touch, we value our former authors.

What does it mean to become a member of Whisper and the Roar Literary Collective?

Collective members are asked to:

  • submit one piece of original writing a month for publication on W&R
  • reblog their W&R pieces to their individual blog/social media site
  • respond to reader comments on their W&R posts
  • Show their support for other W&R Collective members by visiting the site regularly, reading other writer’s work and liking and commenting as they are so moved.

 

Queen Lilith – by Jay-lyn Doerksen

Sitting
legs swinging
devilish grin upon my lips.
Taunting
teasing
peeking over bared shoulder
eyes daring you
warning you
do not come so close.
Glimmer of seduction
blood red lips
shimmy of slender hips.
Come hither.
Come crawling
between my breasts
my legs
feel the heat arising.
Arms around
whispers in your ear
pulling you close my dear.
Mocking laughter begins to swirl
madness resounds.
Echoes in a never ending chasm
free fall
no net to stop your descent.
You will find yourself bound
chained
my slave
my thrall
tears fall from your eyes
drip from your chin.
You are mine
never will you win.
I personify
temptation
desire
seduction.
I am the dream
lingering in your mind
not quite awake
not quite asleep
at your throat
you will feel my teeth.
Not a tale told by religion
to keep all safe.
This is the story of my life.
©July 12/19
Picture via Pinterest
To read more of Jay-lyn Doerksen’s work please go to her WordPress Site here