I’m in a bit of a swirl,
processing how all
of a sudden I find myself
in this good thing
with delicious you…
Can you go buy me cigarettes
She rasps from the dark cocoon of wherever she is with her demons
On the mattress on my bedroom floor
I take my school uniform off and change into civvies
Put on some mascara so the 7/11 guy will sell to me
Come back with the goods
She’s still there
Deep in her turmoil
But also she sees me
As I bring her lighter
I was raped
She drops it
Like a bowling ball through a glass table
My feet beneath.
I feel the impact
On my childhood
On my innocence
On my place as her daughter
As she discloses
For the first time in her life
Nearly fifty years old
Her vast history of horrific sexual assault
In graphic detail
Of the violence
Of the humiliation
Of the insidious threats to silence her
A suite of stories
That I now see as almost universally thematic for so many women
But her first telling
Was my first hearing
And already I had my own
Tucked away inside so many poky corners of my soul
She draws on her dart
Exhaling putrid smoke
Into my asthmatic face
She’s feeling that relief
Of no longer carrying it alone
My feet feel the bruise of the bowling ball impact
My soul is writhing with the discomfort of being made the listener
She looks at my face
Hers switches up and she blinks
Dons the facade of adult
You’d better put your uniform on and get to school
My girlfriend says she wants
to get a truck
and line them up
and run them over
... that could be good...
...but what of the seeds they’ve dropped?
the seeds just like the ones from which they grew
and so much unpaid rent.
What of this invasive weed?
The weed that leads Prime Ministers
to describe women as “finding ourselves in vulnerable situations”
The weed that means that when women demand - request - suggest safety,
Men get angry.
Not all men.
There are men like native plants, unobtrusive, growing well, supporting an ecology of healthy growth in the recovering, adapting rainforest of the truth of human nature.
Create a nursery!
Support these plants to propagate and flourish!
Let the birds spread their seed, shitting indiscriminately over
And Backyards the world over.
Let the feminist men multiply.
Let the weeds be made redundant
by the fabulous and unapologetic spread of sweet grevillia!
The age of the dominance of
It was never ok to rub that on your cousin as she slept.
Today’s date is 12-02-2021
So tidy 💝
I appreciate this.
Velvet cushions surround me
In shades of blue and gold
Why would I wish to
Leave this nest?
I am held here.
The tea is hot and near.
My body is comfortable.
I can feel the softness
and after a while
It is safe for me to breathe deeply
with my eyes open.
breathing in I calm my body
breathing out I smile
dwelling in the present moment
I know that I am safe
This nest that is my refuge
where rest wraps herself
Away fall the strains
as I willingly unbind myself
from the chains of mental anguish
I am safe now.
What incredible hard work it has taken
How vague and mysterious this statement
The “incredible hard work” was done
For fuck’s sake Fuckers, it was ME!!!
I am the one who has worked
Worked to repair the smashing
of an exquisitely perfect spirit
There is an outraged little girl inside me
SCREAMING in resistance
That it is absolute bullshit
Or anybody else
Should’ve EVER have to use
their precious life energy
to tidy up the abhorrent, intolerable,
by selfish oppressors
to acknowledge the gift
of being invited
to learn my strength
is not available to me today.
I wanted that strength
to live a full and beautiful life
a life that showcased and celebrated
the world-changing brilliance
that I was born with
That strength was my birthright
And look now.
Look how I have to draw on it instead
to rewire my brain
into being able to believe
that it is safe for me
to get out of bed.
I rise and surge.
I rise and surge and triumph.
Might get dressed soon...
A boy whose mother has died is calling me Mummy
He has done for months
But now that she is gone, I feel the weight of this differently
Life is teaching me that to be as kind as possible is all there is
Everything else takes care of itself after that
I cry, often
International Women’s Day
💜right to vote
💜access to education
💚freedom to marry who I choose, and to not marry at all
💚freedom to work
💜ability to gather with other women
💚daughters being raised in a time when they know their voices are powerful
💚freedom to dress as I choose
💜feminist allies of all genders
💚fire in my belly
💜certainty that we will continue to be part of more and more positive change until systems operate from a basis of true equality for all people all over the world
💚ultimate mother, our planet Earth
💜great fortune at living in a time when so much hard work has already been done to make it possible for me to list all these things safely
💚privilege, and my awareness that I can use it to bust oppression
Attend your local IWD Rally! Gather in solidarity to celebrate and agitate!
Yes, girls are coming out of the woods
And women are talking
To each other
And women listen well
And women believe each other
And women strengthen each other, with utterances of “I see you”, whispered through tears, as soft, hard-worked hands hold each other in loving solidarity
Women are talking, telling our stories, sharing our truths, as the relief of being heard and held trickles streams pours out of us, taking form as words, laughter, snot, yawns, and swearing – lots of swearing
The words are not pretty, the stories are not pleasing, the strength is not something that comes out of a jar of protein powder or a superfood capsule.
Gritty and real and hot – a strength earned
Earned by staying
By staying with ourselves in the darkness. By staying upright in the cyclonic winds of life and other people’s bullshit.
By staying true to the path of liberation laid out before us; without seeking slumber on the velvet lounge of “someone else will fix this”.
Staying tethered to Gaia’s ever loving support through the sinewy tap root that comes straight out the bottom of our pelvic bowl.
Staying anchored to the highest star above, feeding from the limitless stream of white light.
Staying in the process of our stories swirling through us, rebuilding our cells into new, stronger, wiser, same as before women.
We are not obedient. We are not subservient. We are not controllable.
And we make no apology.
We do not allow the shame of others to isolate us into silence. We do not protect those who have wronged us and our children. We do not complicitly uphold the structures of oppression.
Watch as they tumble down.
Watch as the dust rises.
Watch as the footprints of mothers, sisters, daughters, girlfriends, grandmothers, allies, and sons appear in their multitudes.
And listen. Listen as the whisper builds.
It’s the sound of power surging towards a better world for all. For our children yet to come, for our precious planet. For ourselves.
The Women are talking
– after Tishani Doshi Read her here ❤️