I was a mountain by Melita White

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1:19am
The conscious avoidance of sleep to delay the dreams to stave off morning which is always hardest
Dreams will come and last night they were good and then bad and I woke to spontaneous tears on sore sleepy eyeballs dry then hot and wet but scratchy from salt and then swelling and bursting from pain and then freezing cold from the ice laid upon them
When I was six I yelled and screamed with righteousness at the malign mistress of maltreatment and punched and hit indiscriminately all manner of things with my pillow and the rage and pain burst out like lava from a fissure that needed so much to crack open and my mother was afraid of me in that moment and though the lesson did not teach her anything (she was immune) I learnt there was power in my truth and in my rage
I was a mountain
To freeze is not to escape but is to survive temporarily
A fawn is a baby deer but it also means to play along so someone doesn’t kill you
To flee is to run away from danger and escape
And to be able to fight and win — what a dream and privilege that would be
That poem I wrote the day after I escaped, its aftershock I felt this morning
My heart was coming with pain
My oil-smothered-kohl-smudged skin no barrier to the infiltration of my pores still open to your black air
The murmurs that catch my breath today are my heart still trembling, still alive like a tiny frail bird with hollow bones beating her wings inside my chest cavity
My lungs feel stressed from trying to resist your molecules entering my atmosphere — thank god I know how to breathe, I’ve been doing it my whole life
But does the bird know how to fly away?
My six year old awoke this morning and her rage was amplified so hard by life that the walls pulsed, the glass throbbed and the wood thumped in sympathy
I will give you a thumping my father said to my brother
It was a threat to behave better like your hands near my throat were a suggestion of death, of the end you wished for me, a reminder to never step out of line
But I didn’t step — I fucking ran
I fled and didn’t look back but crescent moon talons drenched in glitter paint dragged me back to your veiled love nest
You need your playthings: your dead mice to poke your fingers at once you’ve snuffed out their lives
I heard your nervous snivelling, the moan you had about your loss (you lost a good one) and then you chuckled with glee because by golly it’s good to be bad isn’t it, oh it feels so good to take what you want and to leave a big nasty stain, a foul taste on the tongue, so good to cut off a limb, and to waste a life is the ultimate win for you
Half-dead half-here half-there
Demi-moon demi-monde demi-year
Brain semi-strong semi-fucked bisected violently
You are so strong you said so let me push a little further just to make sure
It’s hard to remember it’s all gone — thank Christ — save in my head and in the photos and promos and videos online
And in the soundtrack your chuckles echo off the walls of my memory and the sounds of coming too and the fucking in the dark when I couldn’t see your face just feel the hardness inside me of your hot cock and your cold heart simultaneously probing my innards
And in my face you shove your refusal to anchor roots to seek out moisture, your refusal to grow branches, twigs and leaves to feed fresh air to your surroundings
Instead, you pillage then burn the whole fucking village down
Tectonic plates thrust magma skywards out into the light
It forms a mountain
Poems infiltrate the water supply like truth serum so the liars are exposed and the ghosts of the villagers that you murdered stand around your house banging loudly on pots and pans to draw attention and to shame you
Charivari, the rough music of justice
Groundwater toxins buckle epidermis of earth which pops with stochastic rhythm driven nonsensical with algorithms forming sharp little mountains everywhere the music is heard
The anvil of avoidance presses down firmly, suppresses pain and signals that really should be listened to
The rough music of justice will be heard and it will make tall mountains
Were there always two of you? Split-self, split-egg, two-face, twin-set?
I remember the many facile pointless lessons reiterated yet not learnt
Like trying to convey something to a naughty alien child who could only speak Middle English, studied while time travelling to my planet in the 14th Century
So fucking close that the syllables sound somewhat right but make no sense
The dissonance so loud that the difference tones buzzed my eardrums and my filled my brain with hot fuzz like lava
And the mountains swelled and popped up randomly on the surface of my mind
And I became one
I became a mountain

Melita White is founder and writer of the blog Feminist Confessional, a space that features feminist poetry, essays and personal pieces in a confessional style, with a focus on the MeToo movement. She is a composer and musician and loves making all kinds of things. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com

Predator by Melita White

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A smile that’s too large
A look in the eye
Too intense, unblinking
The predator spots his prey
You
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
No
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:

No

Melita White is founder and writer of the blog Feminist Confessional, a space that features feminist poetry, essays and personal pieces in a confessional style, with a focus on the MeToo movement. She is a composer and musician and loves making all kinds of things. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com

Heal her by Melita White

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Hollow clavicle seared with hot poker
Let the sun shine and hear her sing
Pain that aches like an unmet heart
Part the clouds and paint her sky blue
Void like the arms of an empty hug
Fill them with flesh and please let it care
Hunger like the itch of an attention junkie
Feed her with love may it nourish anew
The sorrowful swoop of a downwards brushstroke
Turn it upside down and make her smile
A big fat blank where the future once was
Rewrite it loud in clean clear letters
The promise of a fuck refused yet wanted
Dance instead and hold her hands tight
Lust for the breast like a needy newborn
Whisper a lullaby to soothe her soft soul

Melita White is founder and writer of the blog Feminist Confessional, a space that features feminist poetry, essays and personal pieces in a confessional style, with a focus on the MeToo movement. She is a composer and musician and loves making all kinds of things. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com

Living Dead Girl – M. Robbins

LivingDeadGirl6-1142x706Sleep is nothing more then a far off dream
So here I lay resting or so it would seem
As ashes fall from heavens face
I realize now that I’m in a 6×6 space

A daily reminder of the four walls
A daily reminder of those harassing calls
A daily reminder of how I’m trapped
A daily reminder of how people don’t see I’m handicapped

Life was never fair
Yet it use to be easy to bare
Once upon a time ago I use to care
Now all I do is mumble and stare
Once again into the dark
Once again to unleash the maddening lark

No room for compromise
Because in truth you speak lies
I no longer need fear
Nor do I shed that tear

You no longer rule this world
Go head let your lip curl
No surprise I became the living dead girl

© 2018 by M. Robbins

To see her website The Lost Voice of a Lark  and read more of Robbins Poetry go here

That woman is me

The 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.

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