Silhouette- Sabrina Escorcio

She came into the earth
between pillars of freedom
and oppression.
Her incompatible hosts,
were stubborn bones
softened only by fate.

Claiming her burden
head first amidst thighs
damp with promise,
and blush stained bed sheets
that swaddled an imperfect future.
Mother, delivering wisdom,
and purging past,
with each painful groan.

Their silent heritage broken
as the meek battle cry
left fluid filled lungs,
breathing life into a stale room.
A frightened young woman,
now matriarch, cradles hope
between trembling hands
for the first time.

What is the shape of bravery?
A strong chiseled jaw gifted at birth.
A mothers distended belly
at nine months.
The curve of a woman’s
engorged breasts desperate to feed.

Or is it simply,
the silhouette of new mother
embracing her infant.

© Sabrina Escorcio
July 2018

Heritage Series

Dedicated to my mother and daughter.


Sabrina was born to Italian Catholic immigrant parents in the beautiful Niagara region in Ontario, Canada. Surrounded by nature and raised on a self-sustaining farm, nature and faith are two predominant themes often appearing in her work. She grew up with a love for nature, the dramatic arts, music, as well as books and literature. After years of journaling Sabrina came to know poetry, as an adult this became an avenue of self-expression during a time of personal strife. This hunger for poetry was insatiable, leading her to scour second hand book stores for more inspiration. There she found classic authors such as Percy Shelley, Tennyson, and Sylvia Plath, as well as many obscure poets; She began to transform her journaling into the realm of confessional poetry. One of her favourite pieces is titled “Dark Pines Under Water” written by the Canadian poet Gwendolyn Mac Ewen. Sabrina hopes to feature her poetry in print one day, she can also be found on Tumblr as http://brie-writes.tumblr.com .

Introducing New Collective Member Sabrina Escorcio – We Are Of The Women

 

We are of the women
that came before us
whose bare soles bled like hell
that our souls might fair well,
gave birth to our freedom
mourning the death of their own.

Delivered us
from the womb of poverty
unto fertile soil of a new country,
Terra Firma waiting to be tilled
hydrated by immortal tears
swallowed over one thousand years.

They spoke in whispers,
when spoken to by men,
as scream decayed to sighs
tucked well out of sight
mortal sins not owned, sheltered
left to repent to envious men
behind a veil of hypocrisy.

The only evidence of sacrifice;
marks stretched in brail across skin
an unwritten story, so ours begins.

© Sabrina Escorcio
May 2018

Heritage Series


Sabrina was born to Italian Catholic immigrant parents in the beautiful Niagara region in Ontario, Canada. Surrounded by nature and raised on a self-sustaining farm, nature and faith are two predominant themes often appearing in her work. She grew up with a love for nature, the dramatic arts, music, as well as books and literature. After years of journaling Sabrina came to know poetry, as an adult this became an avenue of self-expression during a time of personal strife. This hunger for poetry was insatiable, leading her to scour second hand book stores for more inspiration. There she found classic authors such as Percy Shelley, Tennyson, and Sylvia Plath, as well as many obscure poets; She began to transform her journaling into the realm of confessional poetry. One of her favourite pieces is titled “Dark Pines Under Water” written by the Canadian poet Gwendolyn Mac Ewen. Sabrina hopes to feature her poetry in print one day.  You can read more of her writing on WordPress and she can also be found on Tumblr as http://brie-writes.tumblr.com .

Shining Through — Sarah Doughty

“I was made to rise above your labels.
Because like the sun, I was always
meant to shine through the dark.”

Savages. That’s what I call them. The ones that believe they can do anything and no one can stop them. The ones that think they have power. They are the ones that cause havoc. They try to break us, just for the pleasure of knowing they can.

But we are too strong for that. We were made to rise above them. Because the sun needs a place to shine through their darkness.

Maybe that’s why, deep down, they fear us. Maybe, that’s why they want to dominate us.

Maybe, that’s why they like to put labels on us. To make them feel superior.

Let them. We know where the power really is. And they can never take it from us.

We are made of survival.

© Sarah Doughty

Maybe that’s why
they label us as witches.


[Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Instagram, and add her on Goodreads.]

Sexual Exploitation — One Pamela Pusumane

I never knew this body would be such a burden

A subject of many tragedies and a let down to the world.

To God. To man. To myself.

I never knew my existence would be a never-ending sacrifice

In between war zones, conflict, inside homes. Isn’t the body at war with itself?

I never knew this body would be a burden.

A body whipped into submission with tongue lashes

As I’m molded into what everyone wants, but never what I want.

How hard is it to be whole in a world on a mission

Of picking you apart and selecting pieces of you but never the whole of you.

I never knew this body would be a burden. An everyday contradiction.

This body has mastered the art of not being enough and has multiplied to please.

To be objectified and put on sale. Sometimes not considered human

Until and unless the blood in my veins flows in rhythm with another beating heart.

Who can own me, the whole of me, and never feel entitled? God already failed at that.

I never knew this body would be such a burden.

I never knew holy books would be chains holding me down.

I didn’t know that in this script, I’m the villain who messes the world for everyone.

It’s safe to say my punishment will be an everyday ritual.

I have seen all monsters in my lifetime, what’s new?

I know every waking day that I will be a continuous apology

An almost. Good enough for the next lover

That breaks into this fragile, weak, invisible body.

I long knew that this body was a pit stop destination

for sex, marriage, fun, and distraction, but never more. I mean, how best do you say exploitation?

© One Pamela Pusumane

Bio: One Pamela Pusumane is a young creative writer an poet from Botswana who is passionate about writing pieces that push the boundaries and get people talking about the things we tend to shy away from in our daily lives. She is currently pursuing her BA(Hon) Social Sciences undergraduate degree at the African Leadership University in Mauritius. You can also find her work on Instagram, Facebook, and Hello Poetry.

Domestic Abuse — One Pamela Pusumane

I have never been good with emotions but I’m an artist with fists.

Sometimes I prefer beating myself up with a bottle

Because Mommy said that’s how you make beautiful canvases.

She would say, “Life ain’t a fairytale,” because someone

has to do the dirty work of mining the pixie dust.

On nights where I became a home for dear mother

She would tell me how pixie dust was made out of

broken dreams, hearts, homes, and all that God did not deem worthy.

From that day on, I have mastered the skill of hiding bruises.

Being black and blue means you’re closer to being ash. Pixie dust.

I have come to accept that my lover’s hands are like a boomerang

Always thrown in my face and quick to come back

Because that is how God answers her prayers.

Quick, and with such passion for those whom she loves.

Her love needed to be seen, to be felt. I mean, how do you get someone to believe?

Mommy says I need to be strong and strong people must be tested.

She says God forgives, so must we, for days on end. We must love as if we don’t hate.

She says this with tears in her eyes as if God will flood the earth again.

As if life would hang its gloves and her fists would not feel a bit heavier every day.

We both needed saving but our screams were not loud enough to break glass

houses.

I have never known what love is but I have felt her.

On days where she wanted to take me to the grave with her.

But I knew how to hide the blue and black away.

I learned how to smile because the world won’t bury a smiling corpse.

And I refuse to be turned into pixie dust.

© One Pamela Pusumane

Bio: One Pamela Pusumane is a young creative writer an poet from Botswana who is passionate about writing pieces that push the boundaries and get people talking about the things we tend to shy away from in our daily lives. She is currently pursuing her BA(Hon) Social Sciences undergraduate degree at the African Leadership University in Mauritius. You can also find her work on Instagram, Facebook, and Hello Poetry.

Extended Week — Special Call for Submissions: Exploitation of Women

The Whisper and the Roar Collective is extending submissions for one final week covering all areas of the global exploitation of women, from May 27th to June 2nd. We are accepting poetry, prose, fiction, personal narratives, and essays on these topics from around the globe. We are looking for writing that makes us feel, makes us think, that moves us. 

The categories we are seeking include:

Domestic Violence
Sexual Exploitation
Female Infanticide
Rape
Acid Attacks
Child Marriage

To Submit:

  • Send up to 3 pieces of original writing in either PDF or Word document 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 brief biography that includes a link to your website/social media site where readers can go to read more of your writing.
  • You are welcome to attach a suggested image for each piece of writing that you submit
  • Send submissions to christine.e.ray@gmail.com

Please share this call for submissions.

Down – Deveraux Frazier

Down
Down
Down
Deep into the darkness we go
Depths uncharted but by one
Death discharged into the youngest one
Down
Into the valleys we praise the one light
Down
Into the dungeons we sing our names
The last trinket of humanity remains
In souls that were pure and sane
Down
We become human no more
The key to our paradise is just a door
For lust to be ejected and erected
Down
Go our heads, hands, and feet
Offset by the blood and tears going up
On and on go turned on males
But down goes our daughters
Down to our wives
Down to mothers

Down goes their cry of agony tonight

Pour a little oil
The pour a lot
The anguish of their tears matters not
Do it for the culture
Do it for the vultures
The predators on back pages
And the scum of Hollywood stages
Chain them up, beat them down
Parade them in front of the media moguls
Nobody ever asks about sudden interruptions
Or slanted eyes
Painted to be portraits of innocence and care
Wages might be the thing least fair
In the face of the abuse, forced to refute
It’s a fair ride they bought too many tickets for
Once you step in, nobody’s opening the door
It’s the women, it’s the children
Inside the buildings, outside on set

There’s poison in our icons they don’t regret

For my sister
Who I will not name
Whosoever knows this darling beauty
Knows she needs not the identification of man
To be
For our names are simply markers
Of one miniature trait of identity
And hers spans the infinite depths
Relegating everything I think about her
To one, six letter word is folly and crude
She is a leader, now rather than soon
But I would be remiss if I forget her victimhood
How she too suffered inscrutable pain
Of being exposed at such a young age
Not of her own fault, nor of her own will
It amazes me still how some can will action
In a time when the masses only react
I wish I had acted
But I’m not sure I’d be writing this to you

© Devereaux Frazier


Devereaux Frazier is a teen poet and writer from Baltimore, Maryland. He’s been published twelve times on SpillWords, with “Pleadings Against The Preposterous” being nominated for Publication Of the Month of May. He’s also been published five times on TeenInk, with “Less Than Human” being published in the October 2016 edition of their magazine. He placed second in Blood Into Ink’s January #MeToo writing contest. Literary Arts Review has published three of his poems as well. In addition to being a guest barista for Go Dog Go Cafe and member of The Writing Hour, he runs his own poetry blog, which was voted best of 2017 by Kendall Person of The Neighborhood.

Snapchat and Instagram: @devverroh
Blog: marylandpoetblog.wordpress.com