Featured Post: My mother’s secret garden – Judy Swann

How round your name is, Miriam, mira
your tulip, calla, daisy, comfrey crown,
your knobby peach pulsing light like Hera,
its surfeit a challenge to all the known nouns,
the globe of its strange normalcy, the sound
of roundness, of gladness and how I crave things round

And black, like this starless wakefulness,
this distant indigo idea bearing on me
and my shadowy memory’s vastness, where your playfulness
cups the black depths of me, the sweet
black plums from the world before I was born
and the lilac unicorns of black-red morning glories

and the black grapes from this volcano-made ground
where the soil illuminates and sends me round.

Judy Swann is a poet and essayist. Her work includes Fool (Kelsay Books, 2019) and Stickman (John Young, 2019). She lives in Ithaca, NY and is rewriting Boethius’s Consolation as a feminist utopia. See her other work at judith marie brugger swann.

Featured Post: In Search of My Mother’s Garden – Georgiann Carlson

I won’t go in search of my Mother’s garden
I already know what I’ll find there
struggling to survive
amid the stranglehold of weeds
flowers watered with her tears
and fed with her broken heart
the sun blocked
by my father
who never once
thought of anyone but himself
cheating every chance he got
while she planted bulb
after bulb
singing to them
hoping that the new flowers
would somehow
knowing they
never had a chance

I always hoped that
my Mother had a
Secret Garden
one my father
couldn’t destroy
one where flowers grew
with wild abandon
colors so bright
she had to shade her eyes
just to look at them
I wish she had a garden
like that
a Secret Garden
filled with beauty
that he
could never touch


I’m an artist, a writer, a vegetarian, an animal rights activist, and quite a few other things as well. I love books, cats, philosophy, good conversation, Chicago and the arts. So my blog is full of bits and pieces but it’s the bits and pieces that make life interesting to me. You can read more of my writing at Rethinking Life

Featured Post: Behind Garden Walls – Heather Carr-Rowe

life began protected
in our mother’s gardens
and as time would have
we ventured forth
nurtured by dreams
of butter cups and lady slippers
carried like winged seeds on a breeze
in search of the meadows
but no one spoke of
garden walls and the weeds
deeply rooted in our society
that bloodied our hands
as we grasped and ripped
at the thistles,
at the vines
strangling our sister flowers,
keeping us tamed,
keeping us planted
within the ancient masonry
of a well organized garden

©Heather Carr-Rowe

I am a tree lover living on the prairies. My poetry is often inspired by my passion for nature, the environment and current affairs. You can read more of my writing at my blog – Sgeoil

Featured Post: In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens – Tamara Fricke

I am fluid in these moments
neither masculine nor feminine
neither hero nor victim
neither camera nor film
and in them I can finally breathe
deeply, fulfillingly
at ease even in the cacophony
of technicolored swirls.

This should not imply disaffection
with the wake-a-day world
my role, my gender, my sex
more that these roots never
took kindly to pots and seek
ranging fields to spread my leaves.

To believe humanisticly
that form follows function
is to believe we can be
cut into the same cloth
or that dough dies
without the cutter.

We are evolving, like a waltz
we step back before forth
too slowly to save every shoot,
not always in perfect time,
so I will hold tender dreams
as ever searching
for mother’s garden.

Tamara Fricke is the 2010 co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award of the Academy of American Poets and is previously published by The Lyon Review, Meat for Tea, Attack Bear Press Poetry Vending Machine, Whisper and the Roar, We Will Not Be Silenced, and has been included in a number of compilations.  Her poetry chapbook Our Requiem was released in 2014.  She lives in Springfield, MA, with an ungrateful cat, where she writes grants professionally.

Featured Post: I Remember the Mother – Deanna Raymond

I remember my Mother
As I knew her, I a child of the 70’s
She- Mother Wild, Mother Earth
I remember her digging and planting
In a deep squat
Hovering over rich turned earth
Creating garden beds resplendent
With vibrant colors, textures, tumbles of flowers
And scents that to this day
Speak of home
I remember my sister and I traipsing after her
A cat or two, and a dog in tow
Learning all the things that the cool woods
Open field, under brush, briars and pond’s edge
Could yield as food or medicine
Mullen oil for ear aches, jewel weed for poison ivy
Fiddle heads, blueberries, mulberries
Elderberry and sumac made into jam- the most brilliant
Jewel taste on the tongue
Blackberries staining our fingers and mouths
Boiling them to make dark amethyst jams
Or baked into pies that taste like mother’s love
She was my Mother Wolf
My Wildling Woman
My true North and connection to the divine

But time passed
And some things have changed
Age heralds in fear where fearless once stood
Pain becomes the slippery slope to sedentary, to insular
The Mother Goddess glimmers through some times
And her eyes sparkle remembering
But her days in a squat
Turning the earth
Or wandering forests stalking the wild sustenance
Are past.
I feel that as daughters
We find ourselves in search our Mother’s gardens again as we age
Where her fingernails were crescent mooned with rich soil
And spider webs and morning dew clung to her long hair
Where her bosom smelled of roses when you snuggled into her
As she sang in birdsong to teach you the language of flight
Where for a time you had common ground literally and figuratively
Where she taught you to stand tall and ferocious
Among the jasmine and false indigo
And HOWL in all your glorious female child divine
At the rising full moon.

I a single Mom of two teenage boys, a massage therapist and physical therapy assistant living in New England. I have been writing poetry and journaling stream of thought since I was a young girl. Writing has always been therapeutic and at times life-saving for me. Bleeding ink onto paper has been as natural and important as breathing. In my late 40’s I begin to consider sharing my writing and publishing. I have always been so grateful for other authors and being able to see that I am not alone in my struggles along my path in this world. I hope my writing can give others the same lift, hope, sense of belonging.

Find me on Facebook at: Darker Rooms and DeeRay

Featured Post: In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens – Christine E. Ray

dear mother
you hid your heart
behind stone walls
and locked gates
a secret garden
you never invited me
into for tea
glimpses of daisies
black-eyes Susans
lily of the valley
stolen through
cast iron posts
while standing on

dear grandmother
you gave your love
more easily
my constant gardener
tending to hearth
to home
your summer arms filled
with purple and white lilacs
large blooms of hydrangea
the air around you
fragrant with wisteria

I have planted a garden
of a different kind
syllables and words
buried deep in the rich soil
of wistfulness
and loss
and longing
I have gradually cut back the
allowing sunlight
and a generous watering of tears
to bathe the seedlings
in hopes that my children
will reap their own truths
from all that we have sown

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens

Throughout the month of August, Christine will be providing a daily writing prompt based on the title of a seminal feminist book. These are designed to inspire you to write a poem, prose piece, or a piece of flash fiction in 30 minutes or less.

The only rule is that you use the book title as your piece title OR integrate all the words in the title into your piece somehow

If you would like to have your piece considered for publication on Brave and Reckless and Whisper and the Roar, email your prompt inspired pieces to Christine at her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com.

You can also participate on Facebook by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #FeministBookChallenge
  • #braveandreckless66

or on Instagram by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #FeministBookChallenge
  • @christabelle1966

You can also share your response pieces in the comments below the Daily Prompt.

In Search of Our Mothers Gardens