I suppose I, as a writer can be ignorant and forget how empowering and therapeutic being able to write is and how creative it is. This is is something that every woman should be able to access. I saw the results of the works of creativity in every face at ‘Behind the mask’ exhibition this today.
The exhibition was led by a passionate presentation by the highly charismatic Sharon Marsden from verd de gris
I spent most of my time in tears. All masks shed to connect with British white and British Muslim woman through the medium of poetry, their personal words and singing. Yes, what a strange bonding power it is to want to join in and sing with strangers.
All connected by our desire to be unburdened, it released even me from my cage. Today, I flew high and found my voice intermingled amongst a collective . I didn’t need to say a word. Someone already had and I identified completely. I had a taste of the 12-week journey these highly courageous women have been through. It reminds me of my own journey in life as a woman. I’m not alone. We are not alone. As painful as some of these emotions were to witness and experience the exhibition left on a high – I was carried away with a powerful gust of optimism and newfound courage to carry on in my own journey in life.
All faiths, all ages, all complex woman with the desire to be free from pain and to be free to show their real face and not wait for the words of acceptance . The message I took away is this:
This is me! take me or leave. I will not hide behind any more masks for you or anyone.
Here is my crane symbol to remind me that I too can be that bird that ‘flies to the heavens’
The crane is a popular symbol in Asian culture, and the practice of folding paper cranes for good fortune, healing, happiness, and success was popularized by Sadako Sasaki, a young victim of the radiation from the Hiroshima disaster. Chains of paper cranes, often numbering a thousand in total, are given as offerings at temples and shrines. The crane is also perceived as a bird capable of flying to the very heavens, and is said to have borne spirits of the deceased there upon its back. In ancient China, the crane was used as the symbol of highest-ranking officials.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Wellness/Environment/Galleries/A-Spiritual-Field-Guide-to-Birds.aspx?p=6#JvmBs22BfFs8PL8B.99
Caged Bird Excerpt
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
Female empowerment is continuing well into 2016. NEW RECRUITS NEEDED FOR THE NEXT BEHIND THE MASK COMING SOON!
I have also been moved to boldly upload my first video blog. What better inspiration than to speak with female empowerment. Seven minutes long but no apologies for what comes from the heart.
When the flowers stood still
My heart ❤️ skipped a beat
Because I thought by the grace of God I knew better.
The winter disarmed me with a smile, I was suddenly subdued.
Momentarily I knew my panic attacks were an illusion
A mind convinced I would die as a strumpet without learning how to be astute.
I couldn’t be a pale white whore for the others to flagellate me.
Keep me in line with further a duty
Because I know my experience wasn’t to be an accordion.
To the whims of those who asked me to be a subordinate
For a season
My tears wouldn’t be known
My tears wouldn’t be recognised
Unless I said NO.
Freed from the shackles
A feminine bitch called crazy and intense
I believe that I was one of the few…
One more month and I would blossom from the weed who knew how to decipher the language lost in translation to her tribe that all wouldn’t always be askew.
One reason passes quicker than one can muster
Bide your time to break free from the shackles
The time the birds will come back to us in due time.
Your soul will find the strength to be reborn by winters ❄️ rebirth the sounds of baby sheep, foals, kids,
All will be reborn renewed
First appearances people see the peak of an iceberg
I’m frosty, aloof and alas, on occasion I am mean.
If a person wishes to explore more of my make up they’ll find layered depths of frenetic intensity.
I have secrets of a history spanning over decades often feeling I’ve lived for centuries.
Am I immortal?
I’m merely human, don’t you see?
Occasionally, my demeanour melts at the sight of past enemies.
I’ve learned to be durable
Have the strength to endure a life span of over three decades.
An incredible feat, don’t you agree?
When poorly I’m cold
Under the sunshine, I bask in the glory
Honoured to feel;
Honoured to acknowledge I too have victories.
Oft I catch people off guard with bursting shouts, Look at my glee!
Inner confidence harks, Don’t underestimate me!
Many moon cycles left behind in the dark.
Startled by spring to be reborn
Nature is cruel
Thoughts of how can I summon up the will to carry on?
Life drags on a lit cigarette hope rapidly distinguishes
The light I can barely see.
Life stamp me out,
a frazzled repressive voice alien to the world.
This is how I feel!
A weedy, nondescript Daisy,
If it turns a head to the sunshine I bloom into a true flower
Wild and untameable.
I was born to be free
I wasn’t born to conform to the expectations of some society.
Fall – leaves turn shades of browns and greens.
my heart dips and I don’t feel that same sense of summer’s beams.
Alone. I look to my left. Creativity shines- glitter, stilettos- latex, white faux fur coats. All legs.
Like a string of pearls flung across a room, a musky scent wafts across my midst.
Temptations persist. Glamour. Warmth is all I seek. Summer, why do you have to be so cruel?
I know if I cross over to the other side – I’ll be feeling the warmth – it will be pimped out inbox ring styles – I won’t have time to dodge the fists.
My body will burn up an exotic shade of hues. I will have no rest.
Hell is the other side of Summers gluttonous jazz bassline.
One hit. One vein. Blood – artificial nirvana could infiltrate my being.
I won’t have to think of the biting cold that is ringing in my ears. Muffled will be the ice cone, frozen on the edge of my nose. It doesn’t matter who sees that I have been seen.
Bus shelters full, spikes erect from the corporate underground – I can’t sit down. I know it takes fewer muscles to smile than frown.
Energy is all I have to see me through this cycle of undomesticated abuse. October may be Domestic abuse awareness month.
If I hadn’t left my keeper, I would still have a roof over my head.
I would still be touched.
Better the devil you know – I know every one of his moves. I know when to dissociate –
detach my mind
from my body.
Floating above the marital, martial art stylised bed – I see myself and that devil I married, grabbing folds of my skin. He doesn’t notice the smell of the new conditioner I bought at Asda or how soft the sheets feel now they have been newly spun.
Dryer. I’m dry. He doesn’t notice the lack of moisture. He doesn’t notice that all of that fluid has shot up to my eyeballs. I refuse to let them free flow – I am not her. I’m floating.
Fly on the wall. Caught up in a spiders web. I have to watch. It doesn’t matter if I have a crick in my neck – oh hang on a minute is he choking me?
Leftover food languishing in the sink drain. He switched the waste disposal on to automatic.
Arrested, I am back in bed, under him. Time to vogue with my lips and give him a little pucker.
These white sheets have turned red in his need to let off steam. I come out in blisters hovering underneath his vapour.
Turn my neck – feels like I need a box of throat lozenges for having to get all deep throat.
5 am flashing in stimulant green.
I’m 5 months pregnant. I am going to be late.
Grab the nearest decent clothes. Pull-on my Adidas trainers. Scrape my hair up into a ponytail.
Finally the motivation to go on the run. I don’t have to time myself. I know his schedule well.
An Olympic torch passes into my hand. I’m running for freedom. Liberty is my destination.
I can start over.
Spring – blues, violets, colours in a perfect union – uncompressed. Naturally dressed.
For the first time in months, I feel like I belong. I too am a medley of colours. I blend in.
Natures milkshake collects in my breasts – 4 months to go until I give birth to a miracle of pure life.
Not branded a colour – just innocence – a chance to see a light – work on my soul and tackle it all. This is the only cure.
I am no Killer.
Life goes in cycles. It passes by fast. There are no traffic jams when you have to pick up your feet and walk.
Eyes cast down, belly protruding.
Christian volunteers crouch down next to me- hand me a card.
Die and be reborn.
They can help me. I just have to give my old life to our saviour. I’ve never met him but he sounds
Forgiving, comforting, caressing- a handwash with extra Aloe vera – calming properties.
All I have to do is offer my unborn child to him and I can enter paradise with the rest of my weary comrades.
Eyes raise up to the bitter sky. I’ve always thought whatever is up there twinkling and winking down at me is having a far better time than me.
My unborn deserves a place in heaven. Earth only promises scars and wild jungle roots to keep it grounded to the spot.
The ultimate sacrifice.
Did I fold in with this cult out of cowardice?
I will drink my poison.
Maybe this winter I will be reunited with the one that let out a sudden cry.
Lead me not into temptation. I lie down, no need to be afraid, child. I close my eyes and sigh.
Hope is my last premise.
* Inspired by domestic violence awareness month*
HERE IS A LINK TO A POST I WROTE,ON 11TH MAY 2016 , ABOUT MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES IN A D.V. RELATIONSHIP , TO RAISE DOMESTIC ABUSE AWARENESS IN MY COMMUNITY AND SOCIETY.
CLICK ON THE PINK HIGHLIGHTED LINK BELOW
*photo credit Rhode Island Francesca Woodman, Benjamin Moore *
She didn’t know it then
she knew now.
Woken up with on a loop blasting around her mind in surreal sound-
the Russian bass choir chanting in all surround.
An apt app unconsciousness knew her well.
A year ago, life had been different.
Mirthful, optimistic playful
Now, rooted to the spot with foliage, branches, lush leaves taking in the vagabonds seeking shelter.
Lost souls in need hidden by darkness
these nomadic souls plotting their next move.
Time for souls to gather there their thoughts
the continued search of their dreams and pursuits.
Forlorn found herself lost in her own shades of solitude.
She was alone. Tucked up in her double bed -a pattern of flowers – all Huey reds and purples.
Forlorn – wrapped up in a ditzy forlorn pattern matched her current mental state.
She could feel the bubbling creeping up to death by poison ivy- curling it’s away from the roots of her feet upwards.
It would not stop until she was mummified into silence.
She knew it wanted to make sure her mouth, eyes & nose covered in bondage to the soil solidly planted her roots.
One day she had an epiphany.
Moments of clarity were few.
A possibility to be something purposeful meaningful for her.
She had given life sustained it for those souls.
Yet she was weary, ageing.
Before she was forced to put down roots in an abode that spoke in foreign serpentine tongues;
Forlorn had forgotten she used to be a road runner girl.
A girl was taken by flights of fancy on a whim.
Ready to outrun her nemesis wanting to keep her hostage in a place she knew she didn’t belong.
An elder had kept her close to her.
Fearful to let her be free
To be whatever She wanted to be.
She begged her ancestors to rouse the beasts of deforestation to seize her keeper.
she could get a clean break – start over.
Feel movement not in height but in fluidity.
Nostalgic fragments of past it feelings -fragments
a pair of wings
A pair of arms
Even a pair of legs again.
Seasons passed still, she lay rooted to this spot. Full and plumaged as ever.
Ready to entice wanderers to seek shelter for without telling her a reason.
She fidgeted, yawned, stretched willing pine bristles to deter these unwanted vagrants.
Her heart had almost given up. She had succumbed to what she supposed was her last winter.
One eve she looked at the bees collecting sweet nectar for the unseen Gods.
Forlorn conceived a sapling of hope
Mental Rummaging a sense of Deja Vu.
I know it’s here’- impatient, sighing.
A piece of technology from the world she was once a part of.
A means of magic.
A way to communicate her distress.
Tangled hands finally caught the pointed end of a carved, wooden wand.
Slim, compact light.
Her true form to be again.
Stretching open her eyeballs could be made simpler if she had the eyelashes to wipe away the moss interfering with her vision to flee..
Diminished another sense
She would forget who she was
what she wanted to be
She drifted into a frightful sleep.
A woodpecker hammered a hole of her bleak existence.
The start of her new life was in a gestation period of fewer than 12 hours!
How did I sleep for so long? Christ! berating her herself under the twilight
Suddenly a swarm, around her were a fleet of fireflies.
One eyeball strained
and out into focus confirmed her impending anxiousness starting to emit it’s familiar disparate gas into her trunk form.
The final place she held on to her liberty – her mind.
Thoughts ploughed at her – like a farmer attacking a poorly harvested crop.
Not fit for tendering
Nor the soft touch of her keeper.
She fought with all might
Absorbed more -light, water, words…
The elder’s I told you so voice pulled her back into the darkness of her gloom.
Just like a car needs fuel to keep going so does the body need food… photosynthesize.
Try and be what you are destined to be. A tree.
Blasting those voices back into the void from whence it had snatched out
Reaching over – without much of a search
Rustled her leaves -A call out for new bosom firefly friends.
A loud moan persisted from her innermost pit.
Hunger to be free in the form she still chose to be.
Chronic cramp. If only for the longing desire she had for her legs or wings to ease the pain of being motionless.
It wasn’t enough that she contributed towards sustaining other life species.
This stagnant obsession never seeing a sunrise from another part of the world again.
She looked down at her well-worn form.
How hard can it be to throw herself back to a time when she had legs?
a moments thought yanked her back like leashed like a dog to this home she felt no affinity .
Forlorn inhaled the scented berries, unravelling the mask of sight at the ivy,
A glimpse an assortment of psychedelic fleurs initiating that it was time to wake up.
One more push, one more fight.
Forlorn no more she’d set herself free.
If I could make an incision in my heart let my true feelings secrete
Reveal the true blood count I’d weep if we were to part.
If I stole your vision your very own sight – just one eyeball
to entice me to reveal how I love your ambition
your sexual prowess
I’d leave you sightless
Selfish -a crime with a sentence of life
no bail – a sin too priceless
I could impart with an auger in flight
Wing of the mystic
Would you send me letters written in pen ink well spilling out-
all of your feelings like tweed drapery drawn with bejewelled tie backs?
Is it wrong for me to want a piece of you or to borrow one fo your senses
prove I am sentient being ?
love you with my outer demeanour frozen in a stony glare
turned askance over my cold shoulder – drive you to break your sobriety – pour yourself a whisky – hold the ice.
To prove I dress in reptile attire –
Too afraid to entice you
Afraid you’d flee from a shy girl vulnerable to rejection
from the love of my life?