Preyed

 

Whispers penetrate flesh walls,
secrets resound like a melody
within the temple of mind.

A church choir of boys
sing Latin,
a tongue they never understood,
yet made beautiful in spite.

An angelic host of innocence,
perched in perfect rows;
perverse men licking dry lips
conduct harmony, as
chorus echoes in rounds
confined by marble stone
laid by hypocritical hands.

In time holy walls stand,
coffers full and overflowing
while souls remain empty.

Yet pride crumbles the benevolent,
corrupt tongues stumble awkwardly
over the dulled ivory teeth of time.

Stained glass fragments let in truth,
rays of light stream through darkness
reflecting a shattered faith sanctuary
built upon broken bones of man.

 

©Sabrina Escorcio
September 2017

Photo Credit, Sam Webber illustration for “the Priest That Preyed” – New York Times

 

Sexual Exploitation — One Pamela Pusumane

I never knew this body would be such a burden

A subject of many tragedies and a let down to the world.

To God. To man. To myself.

I never knew my existence would be a never-ending sacrifice

In between war zones, conflict, inside homes. Isn’t the body at war with itself?

I never knew this body would be a burden.

A body whipped into submission with tongue lashes

As I’m molded into what everyone wants, but never what I want.

How hard is it to be whole in a world on a mission

Of picking you apart and selecting pieces of you but never the whole of you.

I never knew this body would be a burden. An everyday contradiction.

This body has mastered the art of not being enough and has multiplied to please.

To be objectified and put on sale. Sometimes not considered human

Until and unless the blood in my veins flows in rhythm with another beating heart.

Who can own me, the whole of me, and never feel entitled? God already failed at that.

I never knew this body would be such a burden.

I never knew holy books would be chains holding me down.

I didn’t know that in this script, I’m the villain who messes the world for everyone.

It’s safe to say my punishment will be an everyday ritual.

I have seen all monsters in my lifetime, what’s new?

I know every waking day that I will be a continuous apology

An almost. Good enough for the next lover

That breaks into this fragile, weak, invisible body.

I long knew that this body was a pit stop destination

for sex, marriage, fun, and distraction, but never more. I mean, how best do you say exploitation?

© One Pamela Pusumane

Bio: One Pamela Pusumane is a young creative writer an poet from Botswana who is passionate about writing pieces that push the boundaries and get people talking about the things we tend to shy away from in our daily lives. She is currently pursuing her BA(Hon) Social Sciences undergraduate degree at the African Leadership University in Mauritius. You can also find her work on Instagram, Facebook, and Hello Poetry.

Final Goodbye-Megha Sood

This poem is part of the series on the Global Exploitation of Women.

This poem is based on the social evil of Child marriage where a young child (usually a girl below the age of fifteen) is married to an adult man. This poem encompasses the feeling of that child bride being devoured by this evil.

Gender inequality, social norms, perceived low status of girls, poverty, lack of education, safety concerns about girl children and control over sexuality are considered to be reasons for the prevalence of child marriages. Girl children in rural areas are more affected than their urban counterparts.

Child marriage is prohibited in India as per the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 but as other social evil, it still continues to exist in the rural areas due to poverty and lack of awareness.

Child-Brides.jpg

That streak of vermilion
donning her forehead
and parting her hair
has forever
created a big chasm
an unending abyss between
her marigold colored dreams
and her
pain stricken future;

A joyous day,
a celebration for everyone
is met with the
dichotomous truth
her mourning heart
is hiding
behind her;

Incessant sobbing
the giving away
and atoning of his sons
by his father
seems to her like
getting rid of her,
a sin to be burdened with
a love so meager;

Her mother fails the
a feeble attempt
to stifle her emotions
and
wears an empty smile
dispensing all the lessons
of life to her
in last few moments of her freedom
an effort, too futile;

She feels no joy
in being stripped
from boxes of dollies
and few broken toys
fear and agony have
rolled into a
single emotions
when they waved
that “little bride”
a goodbye.

Picture credit: Google.com

Brave-Megha Sood

This poem is part of the series on the Global Exploitation of Women.

This post is an ode to the strong, fierce women who are survivors of acid attacks. They go through immense physical and emotional pain but still manage to rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

Approximately 1,500 acid attacks are recorded worldwide annually. But globally, 80 percent of acid attack victims are women and girls. Acid violence is categorized as a form of gender-based violence because gendered roles and hierarchies within families and society not only motivate perpetrators to commit the crime but also provide them with a sense of impunity.T he idea of this evil is not to kill but to disfigure the women.
I salute to all such woman, who after going through a life-altering incident has never backed down, never given up and showed the world the real strength of a fighting soul.
” He has changed my face, not my heart. He has burned my face , not my dreams”
   –Laxmi Agarwal, acid attack survivor
 
acidesurvivor

She is fierce, brave

Braving the world

Facing the wrath

atoning sins of her ancestors

 

Living  a misogynistic truth

Pushing through the hurdles of the society

blending in the traditions

Standing tall in the face of the lies

 

She is ignoring all the scars

on her face, on her soul

every pore of her body emanates her glow

She is strong enough for every slap now

She can smile through her pain now

 

You can drag her through the mud and slick

You can scrape her knees and make her bleed

You can make her scream till she chokes

But you can’t make her hide

the face which glows.

Picture credit: Google.com

 

Lucky-Megha Sood

This poem is part of the series on the Global Exploitation of Women.

  1. Rape is a severely under-reported crime with surveys showing dark figures of up to 91.6% going unreported.
  2. A United Nations statistical report compiled from government sources showed that more than 250,000 cases of rape or attempted rape were recorded by police annually. The reported data covered 65 countries.
  3. 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
  4. Every 98 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.

I have seen how the definition of this heinous act has degraded over the years. Initially, just being raped was a taint to someone soul and body and now as the humanity degrades further and flushes the morals down the drain even more, just being alive after being raped is considered “lucky”. So where are we heading?

 

You are broken and
crumbled in thousand pieces
You try to lift with
your tiny finger
the shreds cutting
and piercing
your deep
yellow heart
devoid of any pain
as the eyes gazes
from emptiness to nothing
As you pick up the pieces
And suck the pain
With blood dripping from your soul
your body turned inside out
shamelessly they took
the white soul
and stained it with
their tainted emotions
you let them have you
your eyes pried open
A witness to the living death
and the gore
they had you
they devoured
every shred of your living life
With blood dripping
going down the drain
you are lucky to have
the last gasp of breath
left inside you
you were lucky
they left the last
fragment of soul in you
you were lucky
you were pardoned
after being raped
Mercilessly.

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

United States National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline

Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. More details here

A cry for life-Megha Sood

This poem is part of the series on the Global Exploitation of Women.

The deliberate killing of a newborn female child is called female infanticide.

  • Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) stated that female infanticide for son preference due to a variety of reasons is a worldwide phenomenon with 1.5 million female fetuses being aborted every year.
  • These measures of the governments have not been fully successful because of the easy access to ultrasonography and weak law enforcement
  • The patriarchal nature of our society has caused this evil to continue for centuries.According to a report published in India Today, nearly 2500 cases of female foeticide or female infanticide take place in the state of Rajasthan every day.

 


I was conceived as a hope
tethered to the
strings of life
gave my mother,
two heartbeats
a moment so precious
so divine.

An unbridled joy
roaming around as a stardust
handpicked you from million
was excited to the core
about the new home
I was getting in.

A mixture of anxiety and happiness
crept in
the moment you
saw me
a speck of life
You fed me and took care of me
while my body
took form and felt alive

I waited those nine months
to be in the arms of
my creator, my father
carried in the womb
and floating in the love
of my mother

As the days grew near
the time flew by
the day finally came
the moment
so serene
so sublime

My arms stretched and ached
to be held by you
in your deep embrace
your face turned yellow
and full of disgust
when you saw my face

You were ashamed
of my existence
my few minutes of feeble breath
brought you disgrace

The softness on
your soul
felt bereft
of peace and warmth
Clouded by the patriarchy
rules of the society
you just wanted me gone

I was snatched from the womb
the cord of life snipped
born as a gender
not chosen as a boon
My cries and screams
were stifled
I was numbed to the core
too early, too soon

Those fingers I longed to clutch
by my little bony self
those fleshy fingers
were busy scraping
the earth in the backyard
getting ready
for my burial.

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

The Corporate Men- Valerie Hathaway

The corporate men were sitting at a table

Talking about how to use social media

To bring more youths to their ‘business’

Yet locking out all the women

I rolled my eyes but thought yes,

Yes, that would happen here

 

There are many brainwashed men here

By politics and political churches

And young women are told to be silent

And subservient to the men

Yet many would go into science

Be excellent scientists, if you will

 

Dragged by their parents against their will

Become an engineer until you have babies

Then throw your degrees out with the diapers

Learn how to make a juicy pot roast

Where the meat falls apart like your dreams

Yes, you are smart but you’re a mother now

 

Yet the tides are turning at the edges now

They don’t want to be the servants

They want to become the goddesses

They want their careers without the kids

They want to serve more than the men

And the brainwashed men don’t understand

 

Until they are empty, they will then understand

When all that is left is ego and martinis

They will bemoan and be told, “We told you so,

Women are not to be trusted, but subdued”

And the next rape will come and the next

Until the women rise and say “Enough!”

 

We’re tired of not being pretty enough

We’re tired of not being good enough

We’re tired of playing by your rules:

Be the Mother and then be a sex object

Come with us or go without, either way

We’re not walking down this road again

 

You shoot us in the classrooms again

You run us over with cars again

You throw bombs in concerts again

You drop bombs in cities again

And what purpose does that serve?

Hide your body in your clothes, you say

 

Don’t show your shoulders in school, you say

Don’t bare your soul to the world

By mountain and field you rape the world

And leave us in hills of trash

Buy the makeup, buy the heels, buy the dress

But don’t blame us for pinning you down

 

Because corporate men will put you down

Boys will be boys–and assault you again

Until you rise up and show some free will

 

Image courtesy of Google

© 2018 Valerie Hathaway


Valerie Hathaway is a middle-aged disabled veteran. She writes poems about mental illness, body positivity, and the transition into midlife and beyond. She is currently posting her work at www.utawena.com and on her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/vahathaway/). She is also writing a book of poems concerning middle age. She is a Creative Writing major at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.

When not writing Valerie looks for clothes that fit her plus-size body, enjoys witty dialogue with her adult daughter, and watches vet shows with her husband. Originally from Oregon, she now lives in Ohio with her family and two cats that are also middle-aged (in cat years).