Women: Past, Present, Future

 

He never saw her / A hidden figure

though there she was / in plain sight

his property, to do his bidding /  a body, with a brain though

she smiled meekly, got his coffee before he asked / she could outthink him any day

he glared when she dared to speak or dream / she wanted to learn all she could

he told her to sit down and be quiet /  so she persisted

he put his hands up her skirt and laughed /  and she tried to resist

he beat her / she fought back when she could

he told her he was in charge / she tried to change the system

men were always at the top / she educated her daughters and her sons

the world depended on it /  they had to be bold for change

iwd2012

 

A cleave poem for International Women’s Day 2017. The theme for 2017 is “be bold for change.” A cleave poem is three poems in one–left side, right side, and the full lines.

Today’s Google Doodle was a slide show featuring women of diverse backgrounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Those Left Behind

viktar_smatau%cc%86_1994_farewell

Viktar Smataŭ , “Farewell,” [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

He was gone /  She watched his ship vanish, incandescent

No trace left/ gone, an unmarked path to undiscovered territory

A journey of miles / a journey of years

Across indigo seas, uncharted  / amidst radiant spheres, unknown

Would she ever see his smile? / would she hear his voice again?

She felt no sense of wonder for his voyage/  she felt only fear and regret

As she bid him farewell / as she watched the trail of light in the sky disappear

 

This is a cleave poem (the left side is one poem, the right side is another, and both parts form a third poem. This is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Challenge. The prompt words were:

Gone/Sense/Trace/Voice/Path

atlantis_taking_off_on_sts-27

By NASA, Space Shuttle Atlantis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

If Not Happily Ever After

 

 

The soothsayer paused, not wanting to say / I was a princess,

watching, and on edge because / once upon a time

people demanded proof / there was magic

no more razzle dazzle now / now I live

like Sleeping Beauty       / on the streets

awakened with a kiss      / and hoping to score

a bit of bliss, if not happily ever after / just one good dream, till tomorrow

 

This poem is in response to Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.  The prompt words were

Watch/Edge/Proof/Pause/Sooth

I wrote a cleave poem. The left side is one poem, the right side is another poem, and both sides read together form a third poem.

 

 

Flickering Star

 

Treasures locked away/ the vastness of space

deep inside her brain/ is a tempting mystery

little understood/ how to solve the puzzles

past, present, and future mingle/ and how do we know what tense to use

as the bright star flickers and becomes a black hole / we see the light only after it’s gone

 

This is a cleave poem in response to Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt.

 

This week’s words are: Tempt/Treasure/Tense/Vast/ Lock

A cleave poem is three poems. Each side is a separate poem, but together they form another poem. I can’t seem to format this correctly, so the last two lines on the right carry over to the next line.

 

 

 

 

Falling Rocks

PIA17089-MarsMoons-PhobosPassesDeimos

Phobos passing in front of Deimos, By NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Universal truths in space, / on earth

matter collides/ fear and terror

create new worlds/  bodies lost, crashing

of giant rocks/ bombed to submission

slowly falling/ shattered bones

hit the ground/ held there for a moment

drift, buried/ look, see this, a testament

absorbed/ blink and they are gone forever

 

When I was listening to the radio this morning I heard about the horrible car bombing in Baghdad and also a story about the two moons of Mars. It struck me how violent the universe is, and we humans make it worse.

The two moons of Mars are Phobos (panic/fear) and Deimos (terror/dread). They were named after the sons of Ares, Greek god of war. His Roman name was Mars.

You can read about the moons of Mars here. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gift

She was gifted / like a piece of clothing

a favor /  worn and tossed

a debt paid / mended

by caregivers without love / raised and lowered

to fulfill an obligation/ a hemline, inconsequential,

no more dreaming / she existed and cried for her childhood gone

life without meaning/ her tears fell to the ground

smothered joy /  and vanished

 

This is a cleave poem in response to the Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt #42,

using these words: Meaning/Raise/Cry/Dream/Ground

I was inspired , if that is the word, by this recent story. And by all of the women and children throughout time who have been kidnapped, enslaved, trafficked, considered spoils of war, or “gifted” to others.

 

 

The Gown

It sat in the attic for years/ she unwrapped the box, anticipating

fabric, now ivory-yellow, and elastic crunchy with age / the gown

her mother had helped her choose it/ known from photographs

she had felt like a Renaissance lady/ slightly off-kilter

memories of a day long ago/ thoughts of the day to come

I give you my love, he said/  waiting for the moment

a vow made/ love ever after

for a man and a woman/ a daughter, now a wife

Love is love/ Love is love

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Brides and sisters

 

Marian Beaman of Plain and Fancy Girl wrote about a dress she had with a secret. You can read about it here. She challenged me to use the word “dress” as a writing prompt. I took the challenge, changed dress to gown, and wrote a cleave poem. Each side is a separate poem, and read together, there’s a third poem. My older daughter wore what had been my wedding gown when she married her wife almost two years ago. It’s now “our gown.” On their wedding days, both daughters wore the same necklace I wore when I got married.

The Messages

JTF Guantanamo Sailor Sends a Message in a Bottle

After tossing several messages in bottles out to sea over the years as an outlet for his thoughts and feelings, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Delacruz received a response. Delacruz, a culinary specialist at Joint Task Force Guantanamo, shared his experience with this method of communication, Dec. 1.

 

I am lost/ Where are you, cast away by currents?

alone, washed ashore/ After the ship sank

carried by the waves/  I searched for you

this island is not placid/ amid the debris

detritus mars the beach/ ethereal flakes of life floating

among the meandering silver fish/ glinting in the sunlight

in water, salty as my tears as I cry for you/ sending a message, of hope?

please find me / Do not forget me, love

© Merril D. Smith 2016

 

This is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge.  This week the challenge was the photograph above and/or these words: ethereal, placid, meander, forget, silver. I wrote a cleave poem. Each side is a complete poem, but the full lines read together also make a poem. So, three poems in all.

Immutable Tears

Odilon_Redon_-_Tears_(Les_Pleurs)_-_Google_Art_Project

 

A god deposed /  do the tears flow from your eyes?

Head resting on the ground / sorrow at our parting?

No more adoration/  the heat of passion is now cool indifference, but

Feeling sadness for what will never be/ feeling sadness for what was

Your perspective has changed / you head toward the distant horizon, considering

You look toward clouds charcoal-hued/ stormy-browed

Like dark feathers stealing across the sky / full of thunder

And cry immutable tears/ without hope

 

This is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge. This week Jane asked us to use the charcoal drawing above (“Tears” by Odilon Redon) and all or some of these words: tears, horizon, fly, hue, stealing. I wrote a cleave poem: each side is a discrete poem, but the two sides can also be read together–so three poems in all.