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.

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

Somebody – by HLR

Stumbling out of the pub last night we heard the helicopter before we saw it. “Air ambulance,” he said. “Trouble in someone’s home tonight,” I replied.

Then, first thing this morning, the news:
A few doors down from the house where I grew up.
Mass brawl turned into knife fight.
3 men stabbed.
2 in hospital.
1 dead.

The street where I learned to ride a bike,
where I used to play football
with the other neighbourhood kids,
where I used to climb the trees,
where I had my first kiss
is now a crime scene.

Murder inquiry. Police cordons. Forensic tents.
The street that held so many innocent
childhood memories now runs red
with the blood of three young men.

Immediately, panic. “Please God, let it not be somebody I know.” Panic, panic, panic, thinking of the people I know who live around there who would likely be involved in such a thing. There are many names running through my mind, too many. But no confirmed names. So we all keep praying: please please please don’t be someone I know.

Text to my brother: are you alive???

The rumour mill starts up. Gossip. Nosy neighbours. Twatter. Somebody who knows someone who knows someone that was or was not there or was nearby or heard something or spoke to a copper or knows a guy that knows another guy who heard something somewhere from somebody.

Text from my brother: yah just seen the news. way too close to home man

The story changes every 2 minutes. “Foreigners.” “Domestic incident.” “Polish.” “GMG.” “Drug dispute.” “Blacks.” Whole human lives and a world of misery reduced to a word or two. Still we wait for names and pray to a God that clearly isn’t here.

Text from B: Very sad. house has been taped off back garden has blood everywhere waiting for the forensic people to come out let you know if I find out anything

Text from J: Fukin terrible mate. Streets aint safe anywhere anymore. Waitin on names to come out hopefully not anyone we know

Text from M: omg do we know them? jesus this horrendous !!! RIP.

Text from D: Just heard on radio, bloody hell. It wasn’t outside the pub was it? x

Text from S: ive herd 10 diffrent stories! better not be anyone we fukin kno xxx

Text from F: Sad news about our street. What is wrong with the world 😥 Hope you’re keeping well babe, must meet soon, it’s been aaages! ❤

Then, news from a reliable source. “Not from round here.” “No one we know.” “Not one of ours.” Relief. Sick relief. Cruel relief. Shameful relief. Inappropriate relief. Insensitive relief. Somebody died last night but not someone we know. Thank you, God. Shameful relief, but relief nonetheless.

Then, anger. Somebody died last night. What the fuck are we going to do about this? How do we stop this? Where are the police? Where is Sadiq Khan? What on earth are politicians doing about this? When are judges going to start giving hard sentences? When are prisons going to become less like hotels and more like hell? How many more people have to die before something changes? When will this stop?

I fear that knife crime in London
will only cease to be a problem
once everybody has been
stabbed to death.

The heavens have opened over north London.
The rain has come to wash the blood away.
Another day, another slain by a blade.
The forecast for tomorrow: more of the same.

HLR is a 20-something writer of creative non-fiction, mainly short prose and poetry. She writes about challenging subjects such as mental illness, addiction, suicide and grief with an injection of sardonic British droll—a style acquired through years of mental angst and too much time spent in the pub. Perpetually on the verge of either a breakdown or a breakthrough (sometimes both) HLR was born and raised in north London, and is yet to escape. A list of previous publications can be found here.

Find more of HLR’s fabulous and powerful writing here on her webpage and with the writing collective Hijacked Amygdala  here

til Death – by HLR

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1. It looked like the scene of a crime and I suppose it was:
manufactured by a fucked-up mentality and fuelled by pity,
it was a crime against sanity, a crime of stupidity,
and now I’m gonna have to serve my time until one of us dies.

2. I’m stuck to you with claret glue but you are bad bad bad news.
I’m bad news too but you think I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
That’s just one of the reasons why it was a fucking stupid thing to do.

3. Your dark red dabs remain underneath the fresh magnolia paint and I had to throw your jumper and my t-shirt away. It was a good idea at the time: the unification of two bedlamites, the formation of an everlasting alliance between the perpetually misunderstood, but the knife in the drawer and the scar across my palm reminds me that you do me far more harm than good. Blood smeared on our faces like war-paint and Eminem elected as our patron saint, how we laughed and thought we’d finally found our place in the world: together, against it.

4. “Dream Team, baby.” “Nightmare Pair, baby.”

5. Now that we are family, bound by loyalty, I can’t get rid of you. Well, I can. We always said we’d go out on the blades of glory and this is definitely gonna end badly. You think you’re Sid but, trust me, it’s more likely that you’ll end up like Nancy. Ah, God: it would be way too easy.

6. The problem with a blood pact
is that you can’t take it back:
you’ve got me as a friend
’til the bitter, twisted end.

HLR is a 20-something writer of creative non-fiction, mainly short prose and poetry. She writes about challenging subjects such as mental illness, addiction, suicide and grief with an injection of sardonic British droll—a style acquired through years of mental angst and too much time spent in the pub. Perpetually on the verge of either a breakdown or a breakthrough (sometimes both) HLR was born and raised in north London, and is yet to escape. A list of previous publications can be found here.

Find more of HLR’s fabulous and powerful writing here on her webpage and with the writing collective Hijacked Amygdala  here