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

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: her.red.pen.wordsmithing@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