Don’t hide behind a hashtag. Be the change you want to see. Support your fellow women. Believe them when they tell you a man you know has molested them. Don’t belittle them in response. Don’t tell them that’s just how it is. Don’t be a silent victim, speak up if you have been harassed. Teach your children to have self-respect and voices of their own. Raise your sons to be feminists and your daughters to be respectful to them in return. Don’t expect women to be better than men. We are not. We are just as flawed. Don’t call yourself goddess or a queen. We are all humans. Just imagine if men called themselves gods and kings. Don’t call other women bitches just because they disagree with you. Don’t sell yourself short for a relationship. Don’t objectify other women or reduce them to their looks. As an artist, create the content that you miss. Write female leads without abuse. Don’t tell their stories in relation to a man but let them be strong for themselves. Don’t support violence. Don’t promote, condone or further it on stage or screen. Don’t be a part of what in real life you oppose. Take responsibility for your actions. Simply practice what you preach.
matching my mood
mumbling surrounds me
while I eat my food
no solace, no quiet
just voices and rain
tear drops on a window
soothing my pain
I’ve always been the intellectual type
with a slight touch of squee
but all I see these days are swaying hips
and my heart skips a beat
not for some strange allure or sass
but for the memory of you
and the future that I longed to have
when my mind met yours
and with one look you lit my soul
Hope is a glass half full wishing for a refill while being trapped in an entity that’s easily broken, its shattered remnants piercing your heart with fragments of dreams long crushed, scarring your soul if you don’t find the essence of your one true love.
Two days of summer this year. August 30 and finally a clear blue, no clouds anywhere to be seen except those plane-painted lines up high in the azure. To say this year so far has left me unscarred, my soul untainted, my heart intact would be a lie, but through my tears I’m finally able to embrace my blessings. No need to count them really because for every blow I took, a gift was there to help me breathe, so they were plenty. I just had to see them through the mist of heartache, rage and longing. My favorite season blown away by wind, the heat I need to make it through a long gray winter washed away by storms and heavy rains – the weather matching my mood so painfully, my life, my situation. Or was my mood inflicted on me by a sun just smiling in absentia, depriving me of energy and warmth? On the days that counted she was always there, however, shining through a cloud-cluttered sky. And although my skin’s still pale, my heart still bleeding from every dream that burst this year making my smile look crushed, these two days of summer have lifted my spirits and patched me up. With autumn fast approaching, I hope this vigor, verve and and vim will last.
When he comes home, she’s half asleep on an empty couch. Her favorite show runs on TV, she hardly hears his keys turn in the lock. Shoes in hand, he’s on his toes, careful not to wake her up. He hangs his coat, grabs her glass and finishes a sandwich she has left for him. Resting next to her, he gently pulls her head onto his lap. He seems exhausted, melancholy in that way of his. She is too sleepy to open her eyes and ask how late it is.
“Is that when Perry loses his case?” He points the glass towards the screen. She nods her head and mumbles a yes. He loves the show, knows all her favorite scenes. She loves his scent surrounding her again, the silence that’s only comfortable with him. She feels his fingers drawing lines and circles on her skin. Perry’s voice a familiar soundtrack to their novelty routine. His fingers toy with her hair, her cheek, the lobe of her ear. “I missed you.” She feels he means much more than that. Her heart is pounding loudly in her chest. She knows she loves him, can’t bring herself to say the words. She pulls him down, her kiss is tender, resting her case with a gasp instead.
She is leaning against the door frame as her eyes scan the room. Postcards on the walls, a painting of a lighthouse on an ocean shore. No evidence of the people in his life. He is sitting at the kitchen table, skimming the morning paper, a cup of coffee in his hands. His face looks scruffy, he hasn’t shaved, his eyes alert, a playful smile turning into a frown at the corner of his mouth. It is strange for her to see him so early in the morning. His kitchen is organized like so many things in his life. Sandy colors, blueish tones – it’s like taking a trip to the sea up north. He can’t hide his origin.
“Breakfast?” He looks up from his paper and points to a pan of scrambled eggs. She nods, although it’s too early for her to take a bite. For him she doesn’t mind getting up at 6 a.m. He smiles, sees the lines around her eyes and hands his lover his cup of coffee. “Good morning, baby.”
She stifles a yawn, it tells him enough. He didn’t mean to wake her up. She nods her head again, reluctant to tell him that his sheets were cold and empty, that she missed his presence and his touch. Like him, she doesn’t talk much in the morning but welcomes his embrace. He doesn’t mind, enjoys his paper and her head leaning against his chest. It’s 6:30 when he gets up to leave.
“Go back to bed,” he laughs and locks his coffee-soaked lips with hers, sleepy and soft. She closes her eyes and makes him stay five minutes longer, her body pressed against his, her arms flung around his neck. 6:35, he has to go, his voice is low, he almost whispers. Another kiss, his arms still tugged around her waist, another minute and off he goes, leaving that taste in her mouth for more of him.
The green of your eyes
Haunting me at night
Piercing vitality in my soul
Lips, narrow but full
Forming words of promise
In ears that are mine and privy to you
My heart, beating like drums
Envelops what makes you my vice
Capturing the essence of you
I love you
For reasons only known to myself
I long for you
With thoughts only vivid to me
Perfect, with flaws
Pretty and pure
Your soul connecting with mine
My heartbeat following yours
You own me
Delusion turning into trust
Images forming into what is real
Happiness, a smile
And what you give me
Is more than hope
I owe you who I am
Freedom and truth
Laughter and tears
Protection and light
I saw her in my dreams today – her hair was curly and blond, her eyes blue with a touch of petrol green. She was only three and oh so beautiful. I saw my little daughter, felt her name so gentle on my lips, her laughter warm and comfortable in my heart.
I was having tea with my muse who is very real, of flesh and blood, and so alive her smile is bubbling over. In my dream, I visited her home, shared stories with her about our work, our lives, the faith that holds us both together. I listened to her as she told me about her family, of the many changes she has faced in her life. I felt like her grand-daughter for a moment, reminded of the last time I truly felt like coming home – before my grandma had died so many years ago.
I moved my hand over my belly, so round and firm, felt another life growing inside of me while my daughter was running around the coffee table, her laughter bubbly, like my muse’s, when I softly shouted her name.
I woke, moments later, full of hope, humbled, cushioned; my heart bursting over with love and trust. I closed my eyes and saw her again, my little girl, heard the echo of her voice as I chased after her in the backyard of a welcoming home. Too fast for me to catch, she stayed with me in my mind, lively and innocent in the presence of my muse. Together, they smiled at me and I felt whole, blessed to have that image, that afterglow of something real and fresh – it gave me faith again in what comes next.
For years, religion used to be that phantom pain of something she seemed to lack without knowing. An unknown factor, unconsciously covered by an odd interest in literature and superstition, a source of comfort that made her whole like nothing else. It was a wave of grief that triggered it all, a feeling of loss and depletion, draining her at the height of a busy life. A craving for completion and answers about family, love and the meaning of life.
What she didn’t expect was to find a home, for her heart and soul, a place of solace and gradual delight, expressed through words that give her hope in a world without rites. It isn’t easy to understand it all, the heritage and scriptures, the daily impact on her life. A discovery sparked by a side note in an article about a woman she already loved when she was young, she found insight and inspiration, feels humbled now and blessed. Inquisitiveness and education, creativity and kindness, her faith a continued journey to the lost wisdom of her childhood days.