The doomed bridge – Pallavi

We crossed that bridge as five
But only mother and I survived
Your father and brothers will be back, she wiped her tears and said.
I know this was a lie, for her eyes flickered with remorse and dread
In a fleeting moment,
My identity changed from a boy to what they called a refugee.
Mother said it meant we were people with no guarantees.
no guarantee to shelter, food or drink.
no guarantee to life or new beginnings.
Can we go back? I pleaded.
Back to where? she snapped.
The bridge is broken, our home is gone.
What’s left is us and us alone.
Then almost trying to mend my bereaved soul, she hugged me tight.
And once again lied,
I will always be by your side.

Photo by Steph Lord-Wetherington https://www.lordywilder.com/bw-photography


Things which get my endorphins pumping – my kids (mom of two), coffee (green tea just doesn’t do), writing (find it a cathartic release), dancing (absolutely, first love it remains), reading (with or without coffee), working out (with my husband as my buddy).

You can read more of my writing at Curating Thoughts

Oranges are not the only fruit – Saarah Choudhury

 


Poet. World traveller. Moved from England to Cambodia. Might stay there. Not sure.

You can read more of Saarah’s writing at eastwest_nomad 

Men explain things to me – Megha Sood

The sharp wind
grazes and cuts my tongue
/razor-sharp/
like your disagreement towards
how I live my life
your pointy misconceptions
about how it has been traded for various things
to give you little pleasures
as the expense of my happiness

the black metallic taste
of my unspoken truths
sits at the back of my throat
mulling in obsidian time
resting precariously on my forked tongue
slithering and infusing that deep
the sense of fear in the roots of your hair
as they stand the back of your neck

I fear the day when my shredded truth
will drip and taints your soul
your pristine soul,
and your rambunctious gesture of owning everything
will crumble like a house of cards
in your phony wonderland

your ramshackle leash around my neck
hasn’t choked me enough
to knock out the wind
out of my chest
those broken rods of resilience
though pounded a million times
with your sheer ignorance
hasn’t given it yet

You,
with a smirk on your face
think I have caged my heart
but instead, I have given it an armor
a valiant shield,
against your vulture beak
as it tries fervently to preen the truth
from the depth of my soul
my bones rattle in a symphony
with crimson rage.
when men explain things to me.

 


 

Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a contributing member at Free Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madmen, Sudden Denouement, Whisper and the Roar, GoDogGoCafe and Poetry editor at Ariel Chart. Over 300+ works in journals including Better than Starbucks, FIVE:2: ONE, KOAN, Kissing Dynamite, Mojave Heart Review, Adelaide, Foliate Oak. Visitant Lit, Quail Bell, Dime show review, etc. and works featured/upcoming in 20 other print anthologies by the US, Australian, and Canadian Press. Two-time State-level winner of the NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness) NJ Poetry Contest 2018/2019.National level poetry finalist in Poetry Matters Prize 2019. Poetry selected multiple times for Genre Night reading by Jersey City Writers group and events sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs. She blogs at https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16.

My body is not an apology – Megha Sood

This body–
my body is not an apology
it’s a prayer
Forgiveness wrapped in the filigrees end of my skin
frayed at the ends
battered for so long
by your pointy convictions
and cookie-cutter rules which try
to shape and mold this body along

My body is not an apology
it doesn’t desire to fit in a frame
mapped inch by inch
else they are ashamed
My body is not an apology
its a roar, a declaration
an unapologetic
unabashed
straight truth in your face
a war cry,
a deafening scream from the silence

My body is not an apology
this body will not be mapped
a benchmark for beauty,
an attempt to hide the crows-feet
or the spider veins
from your vile eyes
and your forked tongue

My body is not an apology
but a safe haven
an epitome of affection,
a metaphor for crimson love
which flows in my veins for years to come

My body is not an apology
It’s an eye of the storm
a dance of destruction,
safe haven for life
forgiveness in disguise

With love neatly folded in the wrinkles of skin
warmth oozing from every pore of my skin
a lesson etched in very single crows feet
forgiveness written through every inch of my spider veins
this body is not an apology–
but a profound lesson
a triumphant proclamation;
An unfettered declaration.


Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a contributing member at Free Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madmen, Sudden Denouement, Whisper and the Roar, GoDogGoCafe and Poetry editor at Ariel Chart. Over 300+ works in journals including Better than Starbucks, FIVE:2: ONE, KOAN, Kissing Dynamite, Mojave Heart Review, Adelaide, Foliate Oak. Visitant Lit, Quail Bell, Dime show review, etc. and works featured/upcoming in 20 other print anthologies by the US, Australian, and Canadian Press. Two-time State-level winner of the NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness) NJ Poetry Contest 2018/2019.National level poetry finalist in Poetry Matters Prize 2019. Poetry selected multiple times for Genre Night reading by Jersey City Writers group and events sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs. She blogs at https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16.

How to be a woman? – Megha Sood

There are rules to be followed
guidelines to be remembered
regulations to be followed
to the T.

before I can call myself a woman
a lady like appearance–
an ever-present grin on my face
smiling from ear to ear,
just to ease you into the life
as you please.

I should bow down in obedience
should never raise my voice
walk with the stoop of discipline
and eat with your hand.
With the freedom, you have handed me on the plate
Like I was the chosen one, you see

Oh! that skirt is a little shorter than we expected
see it clearly fails to keep those lurking demon
inside their skin.
Now, you have shown them
too much flesh
now they will come out
will rip you into shreds
and devour your soul from within.

“I told you” they will say
keep your voice down
the patriarchy can’t handle you pitch
they are tone-deaf to your songs of freedom
every war cry of yours
is not more than a mere screech

Give in to the fear of those jackals
those protectors lurking in the dark
they are the guardians,
the unabashed kings
of this society.

So next time the world tries to
teach me how to be a women
/an epitome of grace and elegance/
they should come and witness the scars
I bore on my body.

and the glow I carry
which can put their
thousand suns to shame
a sight their shameful eyes
can’t bear to see.


Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a contributing member at Free Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madmen, Sudden Denouement, Whisper and the Roar, GoDogGoCafe and Poetry editor at Ariel Chart. Over 300+ works in journals including Better than Starbucks, FIVE:2: ONE, KOAN, Kissing Dynamite, Mojave Heart Review, Adelaide, Foliate Oak. Visitant Lit, Quail Bell, Dime show review, etc. and works featured/upcoming in 20 other print anthologies by the US, Australian, and Canadian Press. Two-time State-level winner of the NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness) NJ Poetry Contest 2018/2019.National level poetry finalist in Poetry Matters Prize 2019. Poetry selected multiple times for Genre Night reading by Jersey City Writers group and events sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs. She blogs at https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16.

Don’t Tell Me I’m Not Woman – Kindra M. Austin

Within my womb cells divide,
and fuse.
Brain grows. Heart grows.
Lungs grow.
Eyes, ears, mouth, and nerves
all form inside my sacred space.
Man is formed in womankind.
Are you not my child?
Did you not thrive
at my breast?

Ain’t I a woman?
Surely Jesus hears my woes.
Ain’t I a woman, daughter of Eve?
Jesus
wasn’t a white man with
bright blue eyes.
Ain’t I a woman, one of His flock?

Don’t dare tell me I am not Woman.

I am Woman.

I am Woman.

I am Woman.


Kindra M. Austin is an author, editor, and micro-publisher from Chesaning, Michigan, USA. Her debut novel was published in April, 2017. To date, Austin has published two poetry books (Constant Muses, and TWELVE, rated five stars by Readers’ Favorite), a novel (Magpie in August), and one novella (For You, Rowena). She is currently working on a second novel (Royce with the Rose Gold Hair) to be released in early 2020.

You can read more of her writing at KINDRA M. AUSTIN and MORBID CORVID