There Is Strength in Our Stories: I have been broken many times before – Tianna G. Hansen

I am not fragile, but I have been
broken many times before. I have
shattered in a million pieces
un-fix-able,
yet still risen from
the debris, rubble pile of
disgrace and shame, silenced
to keep the truth from bubbling
out of my lips like acid, spat in faces
of my attackers, those who have instilled
this shame, my rapist who never saw the
truth, neglected tears streaming
down my face. neglected my
body, my soul, my self;
made me feel I am
nothing.
no-thing.


Tianna G. Hansen has been writing her whole life. She founded and is Editor-in-Chief of Rhythm & Bones Press, a small press focused on the idea of healing through writing. She believes there is always something beautiful to be found in the darkest moments. Her work has been published widely in many forms; find it at CreativeTianna.com, follow her on Facebook @tiannaghansen / Twitter @tiannag92 / Instagram @tgghansen24. “Undone, Still Whole” is her debut collection.

There is Strength in Our Stories: Market Penetration – Tamara Fricke

Selling old wares
in a new bar
he saunters towards
a woman sitting alone.

She refuses to
acknowledge the approach
to his buddies he proclaims,
“She’s a dyke.”

Her lover returns
and takes her hand
as she kisses red satin.


Jack-of-all-trades, master of a few, Tamara resides in Springfield, MA with a rather ungrateful cat.

Final Call For Submissions: This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry By Women Smitten with Women

Indie Blu(e) Publishing will be accepting submissions of poetry and art for This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry by Women Smitten with Women until midnight on Sunday, June 30th. This Anthology will celebrate love, attachments, and attraction between women.

  • The maximum number of pieces for submission per writer/artist is FIVE (5).
  • Writing can be uploaded as a Word or PDF attachment. If you are submitting a graphic poetry meme, the meme must be accompanied by the text in Word or PDF version.
  • Artwork submitted for the Anthology must be able to be reproduced clearly in black and white.
  • You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider non- acceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.
  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.
  • Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2019 through Submittable. There is no charge for submission.

This is a project fueled by passion, not profit. Indie Blu(e) Publishing will only charge a few dollars above the publishing cost to keep the Anthology as affordable as possible.

All contributors will receive a PDF copy of the book.

Questions? Contact Candice at candicedaquin@gmail.com.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Concealed – aj forrester

Dry grass taller than me, color of my naked skin,
waves in the wind,
slices like razors on my limbs
scarred from climbing the camphor trees

trembling, lying helpless
on a bed of dirt and mud,
briars peppering my ankles
sting, leaving tiny drops of blood
like no see ums

grass like bars of a cell
pinned down like a fish being scaled

I recall the Hotwheels
I had the Ford
you had the Porsche
little metal shapes flipping and crashing

Grass, still, drowns out my little voice.


Amanda J. Forrester received her MFA from the University of Tampa. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Azahares Spanish Language Literary Magazine, Pink Panther Magazine, Collective Unrest, Trailer Park Quarterly, and other anthologies and journals. Follow her @ajforrester75

There Is Strength in Our Stories: You Stole Nothing – Taylor Warner

There’s a few things I’d like to know
As I seem to have missed something
Since when does opening your apartment door
Mean opening your legs?
Since when does comforting someone
Mean they can make themselves comfortable
Inside of you?
As if my body has a doormat that reads:
Permission to Enter
I want to know when my voice became nothing but noise
You can just muffle out with your own moans
When did I lose the property rights
To my own body?
You know, I’ve told myself so many lies
And I’ve drank myself blind
To the point that I questioned if this happened at all
Because my heart was trying to make excuses for you
Convincing me it was my fault, to shake it off and move on
But nothing is more real than remembering how it feels
To be treated like you are a mere body
Like your heartbeat doesn’t exist at all
And I know you think you stole something from me that dark evening
But let me tell you with one million percent certainty
You turned woman into warrior
You made me smarter and love harder
You may have broken my spirit
You may have ripped more than my clothes
But you lost this war
Because my soul is still whole.

You….
You stole nothing at all.


Taylor was born a Texan but now roams the world writing her truths and finding peace in the small things. Taylor began writing poetry at the early age of 8 and her words have been the one constant in her life through everything. Taylor writes her truths. The raw, the beautiful, the obscene. She hopes to heal others through her stories as she heals herself. You can find more of her @commasandcuriosity.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Crushed Petals – Kelly Glover

Women are silent flowers
Prettiest when quiet
We do not wilt
When they crush our petals
Strip our leaves

Our divine feminine roots
Remain and regenerate
Exquisite thorns sharpen

We are walking targets
With bullseye breasts
Shot with shame
From the moment of fertility

The blood of life
Natural as breath
Yet taboo table talk

Be a beauty, wear lipstick
Just not that particular shade
Of sunburnt whore

Look nice, paint your nails
But not the same dark red
That will stain his sheets
When he’s had his way with you

Why don’t we report our rapes
Our assaults
Our complaints
Flowers don’t speak
When bees steal their pollen

As the last blooms are spent
A new season buds
We are flooded
Drowning in courage and confidence

Flowers look best in a bouquet
The more we gather
The more beautiful we become
Holding up each other
By our weakest branches

The blooms are getting louder
As the shame falls away
The roses have found their voices
Briars surround all our choices


Kelly Glover is a single mother of three living in her hometown of Greensboro, NC. Her poetry and prose deal with the darker aspects of life that everyone goes through, but few are willing to talk about. Her first book of poetry, “The Light of My Dark” is available on Amazon. Kelly’s work can also be found in various online literary journals and anthologies.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Phoenix – Nikki Marrone

I was told to wait,
For a man to come my way.
The one who would wear the crown,
And ride the golden mare.
Whose stare would have me enamoured for a lifetime.
A man so great I would prostrate myself on an altar of “love.”
Devote myself to deities of death and destruction.
Find joy in the cleansing fire of chaos and crumbling brick of derelict foundations.
They never stopped to warn me of false prophets.
Those who never learnt the difference between taking and giving.
Who think no means convince me.
Who take your reluctance for lack of conviction.
They soothe salt-licked wounds at the fire inside of you.
Abuse the privilege of your kindness,
While you learn the mantras of their madness.
Map scar to scar;
Until their songs of sadness,
Become the lullabies that soothe your own neurosis.
You will try to tame them.
Be the eye in the centre of the storm,
Or the milk in their veins.
But you are no antidote
No cleansing liquid
You are nothing but matter but what matters most is you.

So do not worship at the feet of those that kick you down.
Stand upon your ankles and wait for you to stand.
Do not seek comfort from the hands that hurt you.
That stained you black and blue.
Instead rise from the ashes of your grave
To be reborn,
Like leaves burnt bare for the fallen.
Striped back like the bones in shattered ribcages,
Air torn straight from the lungs,
Drowning on dry land.
Because you are not weak for needing trigger warnings.
Not damaged.
Not broken.
Not used.
Not a victim.

You do not stay for the ones who love you,
If you no longer love yourself.


Nikki Marrone is a poet, photographer, artist and traveller. When she’s not wandering around the world documenting her adventures, she splits her time between performing, running events and workshop leading. She is the winner of multiple Poetry Slams and has featured at various spoken word nights and festivals around the world.  Her work has taken her to some amazing places and she has been involved in some great projects.