Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother Famine (in Recognition of Eve Ensler)

You were lost to me before I was born. When the ram’s horn blew and the temple walls came tumbling down over my head, stone by stone, at Jericho. I lost you when I ran into the forest, frightened and longing to see your pale face reflected under leaves, in between rocks, your smile of courage egging me on. I lost you when little girls were made to lie beneath the rude soldiers rescuing them, or the sweaty uncles petting them, or the firm young brothers forcing the soft ones with songs on their tongues. You were lost to me when the first midwife was throttled and drowned, when they began to round up the healer women, looking for the devil’s teats on our bodies, then lit the bonfires.

I lost you before the Peloponesian Wars, lost you again when the Mongolian hordes rode their rough ponies through, lost you when the blue-tiled walls of Mikonos were razed by Greek soldiers. Your body bruised and buried, encased in the bogs, your memory and stories erased by Deuteronomy, by Hammurabai, by Zeus. You reign now only as a faint shadow in the moon, but even there, re-named Old Man, until archeologists unearthed your wide hips and round belly, bringer of rains, harvest, and safe berth.

Give us this day our daily bread, and let us eat, remembering. Instead, our female children starve themselves bone-thin to repudiate your flesh, we slice it out of our bodies, we hide it in our fat, we choke ourselves and vomit, re-enact that first shame under the Tree, when making a human form, the labour it entails and the blood that comes with each moon became a curse.

Oh let me rekindle that fierce mother love– and weep for the mother slayers. Can I shield my daughter from the truth that she is powerful and because of that she may be killed? This is your secret, the power of birth and the real miracle of blood turning into milk (not water into wine). We, who rely on these first stories to understand our place in the world, have had a bone stuck in our throats or should I say an apple core, for a very long time.

Give me back my mother love, my rising star, my Venus, the sun’s circle of life: let the man in the sky stop building missiles and fighter F14 jets for South Korea, Pakistan, Israel and South Africa, let the Old Man in the US Senate hear the voices of the women. Let the African governments hear the voices of their raped and damaged daughters.

Let the Lebanese women rise, let the Pakistani women rise, let the Afghan women, the Chechen women, the Colombian women, the Rwandan women, the Venezuelan women, the Chinese women, the Uzbekistani women, the Congolese women, let the women in the veil, the women in purdah, the women stoned to death, the women doused with kerosene for their dowry, the women thrown down wells for honour, the women sliced open and sewn shut, the women interred, let all the women remember you.

Your light was not always this dim.


**Please read Eve Ensler's speech to Canadian Parliament about the rape of the women in Congo. "Until The Violence Stops: How Canada Can Help End The Use Of Sexual Violence As A Weapon In War."

Read Eve's speech to the Canadian Parliament at:

taken from V-Day Newsletter, May 14, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poem for Middle Aged Women

Cross Currents
by Noelle Sickels

The moon's choreography
is less reliable now.
Unlike the obedient tides
my body chooses its own tempo,
sways out of rhythm
then drifts in step again
for a measure or two.

It surprises my attention.
I had forgotten this last bend
in the yawing currents;
Did not expect as much drama
as at the beginning,
when childhood washed away
like an unguarded doll
at the water's edge;
Or in the middle,
when all of me swelled
with the briny broth
of a stranger's life.
Now again, I search the mirror,
hunt for how my face reveals
the changing course within.

People say I do not look my age,
as if I'd won a prize.
They say I am too young
to parenthesize the moon.
I can not always say I do not like
what people say;
Do not, some days want
to conjour back the blood,
rejoin the familiar round.
Do not, like a lone sailor
in a cloud-thick night,
long to drop anchor
and forget the creaking tiller
the unknown destination
the shape of undreamt shores.

found in Claiming the Spirit Within
a sourcebook of women's poetry
ed by Marilyn Sewell

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Julien somersaults onto my lap, Caitlin drums
in the dark basement. I fear for
their lithe bodies
that jump & fall, bounce back,
and blithely go,
while lightning strikes the ground
around them.

Today I feel like a motherless child.
My hips are creaky as an old door.
Where do you go, when you're only lonely,
curled up on your bed
with an ancient urge
to suck your thumb?

I was mothered, and also abandoned.
Now I mother me,
and God mothers me
& I am not alone.

(I wish my children faith in that kind of power,
in the face of winds that devour.)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mother Love

“If it is in a woman’s nature to nurture then she must nourish herself.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh