I was a mountain by Melita White

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One day, when I was six, I became a mountain
It was the day I yelled and screamed with righteousness into thick air, the air my only witness, while I sat on my bed’s soft bedrock
And with my pillow I swiped at that air, at the bed, at the enemy sitting next to me — her name was Injustice
And the rage burst out like lava from a fissure that needed so much to crack open and Injustice was afraid of me and though the lesson did not teach her anything I learnt there was power in truth and in my anger
I was a mountain

To freeze is not to escape but is to survive by staying still
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

The quake I felt once I’d escaped, its aftershocks I felt again
My heart was coming loud with aches
Thrashed heavy like the pillow you used to suffocate
The murmurs that catch upon my breath
Are the beating wings of the bird trapped in my chest
While she’s learning to fly she remembers to sing
And the frozen fawn she flees the scene

My six year old awoke this morning, her rage 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 on my throat were a suggestion of death
The fawn froze
Half-dead half-here half-there
Brain bisected violently, hurtling towards life and death simultaneously
You refuse to give life, to grow branches and shoot out twigs and new leaves
Your roots stay stuck in your concrete pot, demand that others tend without taking
A puppet ruler, a tin-pot dictator — you fail to give even air

And yet we write — our words don’t flee, they stand and fight
Poems infiltrate the water supply like truth serum
Liars are exposed
The ghosts of those you murdered stand outside your house banging loudly on pots and pans
Charivari, the rough music of justice, the just music of shame
Groundwater toxins vibrate in time, buckle epidermis of earth which pops with stochastic rhythm driven nonsensical by algorithms forming sharp little mountains everywhere the music is heard
The anvil of avoidance presses down firmly, suppressing pain and signals that should be voiced
The pressure exerted here will form a mountain over there
The rough music of justice will be heard and it will make tall mountains

I remember the facile pointless lessons repeated to you yet not learnt
Like discussing morality with a naughty child in an alien dialect
Your tongue so close to my own, the timbre alike but the words made no sense
The dissonance so loud that the difference tones buzzed my eardrums and 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 — again
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

Women and Children – Kristiana Reed

Women and Children

What had been a clutter of china and tinkling of stainless steel on unfinished breakfasts, became a hush as my ears attuned to the conversation beside me.

Two women. Huddled around a low pine table, their faces bent inward, listening intently. The steam from their coffees wistfully evaporating as they sunk into worn chairs, coffee shop chic. From a distance, the man two tables away for instance, they may have appeared as mothers, sisters or daughters with a moment to spare, to share. Two escape artists who had stolen away from the circus of finger painting and unmade beds. The assumption grounded in the laughter lines and exposed roots. An assumption dressed in coffee coloured fog.

In fact sitting there, with hands clasped around steamy ceramic or raised in quiet gesticulation, were two women. Two women – fiery, tempered by the ‘selfish’ desire to live as women. Not mothers. Not sisters. Not daughters. Just women. One who regrets her decision to settle. One who was working through a divorce. One who equated children with kittens and puppies. One who refused to live vicariously when she could live. One who favoured two steps forward in the workplace, rather than two steps back.

Yet, children were always on their mind, on their lips, on their hips. As I lifted the cup I was cradling to sip, ante-natal classes, school gates and extra-curricular clubs were described as the working mother’s Inferno. Two women. Who felt like outsiders. The clothes pegs left forlorn in wet grass. Soggy and damp. Too slippery to be of any use. Two women. Cast aside by frowns and pursed lips reeking of nappy cream.

On a frosty December morning, I was made aware of these two women who echoed a passive chorus of many more. Two women. Who wanted to be known by name and not by the power between their thighs.

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Kristiana Reed juggles writing and teaching English; in both vocations she endeavours to remind people of their self worth and how dazzlingly beautiful the world can be.

You can read more of Kristiana’s writing at My Screaming Twenties

Image: pinterest

Ways of surviving

Image result for vintage photos black and white
I want to offer my body
petals of seduction,
curved and surviving
into the madhouse of sickness
to the surviving lotus.
I may not scream as icicles of tears,
with hallow bites of you clinging my wrist,
Engines of ruffled sleeps,
constant pain and pool of madness,
I want to offer my naked eye
hanging blurred stiff body-
to the callous of falling bodies.
you & your sickened friend,
your friend & your shimmering body joints,
You see, my body became a home of insanity,
with ashes, leftovers,
clocks of loose time.
You see, i have been there,
dripping like cold blood.
And, i sniff and hurt more and more.

MVS