Tag Archive: women




Today we rise.


No more hiding in the shadows,


of culture,

creed,

tradition.




No more silent complicity,

disingenuous arguments,

hypocritical pretences,

shabby excuses for the actions of men,



brutal,
vulgar,
coarse,
obscene,
murderous,
abusive men.




Today, we rise,

as one.




Today the change starts,

with me,

within me.




With you.

Within you.




Today WE Rise!








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she walks alone









she walks alone.

barefoot in the paddies of rice,


breaking her back for some precious grains.





she walks alone,


in jo’burg town, with a black eye,


abused by him the previous painful night.





she walks alone,


in the streets of neon hazed manila,



along the decaying hedges of rotten london,



on the crowded pavements of lonesome new delhi,



across the rolling plains of the vast bounteous pampas,



over the winding back-ways of the sloping and grimy favelas,



on the glittering pavements of sickeningly ostentatious jeddah,




through the blindingly false boulevards of that sad los angeles town.





she walks alone,


bearing the burden of mother and daughter,


of cook and sweeper,


of wife and mistress,


and always inhumane mans punching-bag.





she walks alone,


through your streets and mine,


standing up as she is beaten down,


loving a lot as the bruises on her face turn purple,



feeding the little ones with morsels of hastily cooked beans.





she walks alone,


in factories and in mills and in buses,


in schools and in brothels and in horrific places in-between.




she walks alone,


staying alive on the alms of the ‘charitable’,


violated by those who from the pulpit preach.





she walks alone,


my sister and yours,


my mother and yours too,


my lover and your beloved as well.





she walks alone,


caged by society in its invisible prison,


a slave of norms and culture and religion and caste.





she walks alone,


but she is the conscience of me and you,


screaming at us silently in hunger and despair.





she walks alone,


and though fearful of all you callous men she may seem,


be warned that she shall not be this alone,


she too dreams and thinks and believes,


she too needs and wants and loves and weeps,


in the silent night of complacency,

while impotent mankind sleeps,


she too is rising and in rising she will slay,


the beasts that in your men’s hearts prowl and lay.




she too will demand her rightful place,



for every mother, sister, daughter, wife, lover,



has a real, human face.







​Today we rise.


No more hiding in the shadows,


of culture,

creed,

tradition.


No more silent complicity,


defensive arguments,

sickening pretences,

shabby excuses,


for the actions of men,


brutal and coarse and vulgar and obscene and murderous and abusive men.


Today, we rise,


as one.


Today the change starts,


with me,

within me.


with you.

within you.



Today we rise.

​thanking all at Conceit Magazine for having me on the cover of the January/February/March 2017 Issue.

Volume 7, Number 71.

Thank you, Editor Perry Terrell!
Conceit Magazine, 

Perry Terrell, Editor,

P.O. Box 884223,

San Francisco, CA,

94188-4223


conceitmagazine@yahoo.com

​she walks alone,


barefoot in the paddies of rice,


breaking her back for some precious grains.


she walks alone,


in jo’burg town, with a black eye,


smacked around by him the previous painful night.


she walks alone,


in the streets of neon hazed manila,

in the villages and in the small towns,


along the pristine hedges of rotten london,


on the crowded pavements of lonesome new delhi,

in the alleyways of twisted and rotten karachi,


across the rolling plains of the vast bounteous pampas,


over the winding back-ways of the sloping and grimy favelas,


on the glittering pavements of rich and sweetly-scented sick jeddah,


through the blindingly false boulevards of that sad los angeles town.


she walks alone,


bearing the burden of mother and daughter

of cook and sweeper and wife and mistress and punching-bag,


she walks alone,


through your streets and mine,


standing up as she is beaten more down,


loving a little as the bruises on her face turn purple,


feeding the little ones with morsels of hastily cooked beans.


she walks alone,


in factories and in mills and in buses,


in schools and in brothels and in places in-between.


she walks alone,


staying alive on the alms of the ‘charitable’,


violated by those who from the pulpit preach.


she walks alone,


my sister and yours,


my mother and yours too,


my lover and your beloved as well.


she walks alone,


caged by society in its invisible prison,


a slave of norms and culture and religion and caste,


she walks alone,


but she is the conscience of me and you,


screaming at us silently in hunger and despair,


she walks alone,


and though fearful of you men she may seem,


be warned that she may not forever be this alone,


for she too dreams and thinks and believes,


for she too needs and wants and loves and weeps,


in the silent night of complacency while impotent mankind sleeps,


and she too will rise and in rising slay,


the beasts that in your callous hearts prowl and lay,


and she too will demand her rightful place,


for every mother and sister and lover and daughter has a real, human face …

I am …

​I am the water coursing through the veins of these lands.

I am the fire rising from the bowels of the earth.

I am the drumbeat of a new today.

I am the nail in the coffin of patriarchy.

I am the power searing the eyes of those who choose not to see.

I am a billion sighs sighing no more.

I am the stand that I make.


I am my sisters.


I am hope.


I am Woman.



( with thanks to Maya Angelou )

International Womens Day

She Walks Alone …

she walks alone,
barefoot in the paddies of rice,

breaking her back for some precious grains.

she walks alone,

in jo’burg town, with a black eye,

smacked around by him the previous painful night.

she walks alone,

in the streets of neon hazed manila,

along the pristine hedges of rotten london,

on the crowded pavements of lonesome new delhi,

across the rolling plains of the vast bounteous pampas,

over the winding back-ways of the sloping and grimy favelas,

on the glittering pavements of rich and sweetly-scented jeddah,

through the blindingly false boulevards of that sad los angeles town.

she walks alone,

bearing the burden of mother and daughter
of cook and sweeper and wife and mistress and punching-bag,

she walks alone,

through your streets and mine,

standing up as she is beaten more down,

loving a little as the bruises on her face turn purple,

feeding the little ones with morsels of hastily cooked beans.

she walks alone,

in factories and in mills and in buses,

in schools and in brothels and in places in-between.

she walks alone,

staying alive on the alms of the ‘charitable’,

violated by those who from the pulpit preach.

she walks alone,

my sister and yours,

my mother and yours too,

my lover and your beloved as well.

she walks alone,

caged by society in its invisible prison,

a slave of norms and culture and religion and caste,

she walks alone,

but she is the conscience of me and you,

screaming at us silently in hunger and despair,

she walks alone,

and though fearful of you men she may seem,

be warned that she may not forever be this alone,

for she too dreams and thinks and believes,

for she too needs and wants and loves and weeps,

in the silent night of complacency while impotent mankind sleeps,

and she too will rise and in rising slay,

the beasts that in your callous hearts prowl and lay,

and she too will demand her rightful place,

for every mother and sister and lover and daughter has a real, human face …

on apathy: “I don’t Care”

I Don’t Care

image

I don’t care,
if you’re battered black and blue,

I don’t care,
just as long as I can drink and screw.

I don’t care,
if you’ve lost your damn job,

I don’t care,
you’re just a kernel off the cob.

I don’t care,
when I see you begging in the street,

I don’t care,
I get to suckle on capitalism’s raw teat.

I don’t care,
about the elderly, the poor, or the weak,

I don’t care,
if the earth will be inherited by the meek.

I don’t care,
if the climate is warming, I’m so much cooler,

I don’t care,
in my penthouse I’m the boss, the only ruler.

I don’t care,
for those rolling for scraps in the muck,

I don’t care,

I really don’t care, cos’ I don’t give a fuck.

image

inspired by Bob Geldof’s “The Great Song of Indifference”

For Men Everywhere …

For Men Everywhere …

Stop! Listen! Think! Act!

Stop!

Stop the abuse!

Of grand-daughters,
colleagues,
daughters,
girlfriends,
partners,
mothers,
sisters,
nieces,
wives,

all women.

Listen!

Listen to the voices!

Of grand-daughters,
colleagues,
daughters,
girlfriends,
partners,
mothers,
sisters,
nieces,
wives,

all women.

Think!

Think of how you treat,

grand-daughters,
colleagues,
daughters,
girlfriends,
partners,
mothers,
sisters,
nieces,
wives,

all women.

Act!

Act now to change yourself!

Stop! Listen! Think! Act!

The violence,
the abuse,
the rape,

stops when you stop,

the violence,
the abuse,
the rape.

Stop! Listen! Think! Act!

The violence,
the abuse,
the rape,

is perpetrated by,

grand-fathers,
colleagues,
boyfriends,
husbands,
nephews,
brothers,
partners,
fathers,
uncles,

men,

all men.

Stop! Listen! Think! Act!

The violence,
the abuse,
the rape,

stops when us men stop,

The violence,
the abuse,
the rape,

today, now.

Stop! Listen! Think! Act!

The Markets Are Down 2% …

Banish the hubris,

Toss away the choice words,

Spoken by rotten, broken tongues.

Silence the chorus of appalled shock.

Shred the sermons,

Burn down the gory edifices:

The churches, mosques, temples,

And the muted Gods they mock.

Drain the sewage.

Flush away the insidious odour,

Seeping up from malls, homes, carnivals.

Put it in a closet and weld the key in the lock.

Shut it all off.

Turn out the lights.

Pull the damned plug …

… but hold on to that blue-chip stock

She Walks Alone …

She Walks Alone …

she walks alone,

barefoot in the paddies of rice,

breaking her back for some precious grains.

she walks alone,

in jo’burg town, with a black eye,

smacked around by him the previous painful night.

she walks alone,

in the streets of neon hazed manila,

along the pristine hedges of rotten london,

on the crowded pavements of lonesome new delhi,

across the rolling plains of the vast bounteous pampas,

over the winding back-ways of the sloping and grimy favelas,

on the glittering pavements of rich and sweetly-scented jeddah,

through the blindingly false boulevards of that sad los angeles town.

she walks alone,

bearing the burden of mother and daughter
of cook and sweeper and wife and mistress and punching-bag,

she walks alone,

through your streets and mine,

standing up as she is beaten more down,

loving a little as the bruises on her face turn purple,

feeding the little ones with morsels of hastily cooked beans.

she walks alone,

in factories and in mills and in buses,

in schools and in brothels and in places in-between.

she walks alone,

staying alive on the alms of the ‘charitable’,

violated by those who from the pulpit preach.

she walks alone,

my sister and yours,

my mother and yours too,

my lover and your beloved as well.

she walks alone,

caged by society in its invisible prison,

a slave of norms and culture and religion and caste,

she walks alone,

but she is the conscience of me and you,

screaming at us silently in hunger and despair,

she walks alone,

and though fearful of you men she may seem,

be warned that she may not forever be this alone,

for she too dreams and thinks and believes,

for she too needs and wants and loves and weeps,

in the silent night of complacency while impotent mankind sleeps,

and she too will rise and in rising slay,

the beasts that in your callous hearts prowl and lay,

and she too will demand her rightful place,

for every mother and sister and lover and daughter has a real, human face …

For Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892 – 1984)

when,

the hushed rage of prejudice rejoices in triumphant pomp and hateful ceremony,

and,

the silent dagger of complicit racism plunges deep into the soul of a world bereft of hope,

and,

the long knife of embraced apathy twists and turns,

then,

perhaps we’ll open our opaque eyes,

and perhaps then we’ll open our sewed-up mouths,

and perhaps only then will we whimper in mock shock and startled surprise,

for,

the festering hate that spirals around us,

in the fertile minds of quasi-religious bigotry,

is unafraid,

and speaks in the loudest baritone.

2.

Yet,

we accept,

we acquiesce,

we wish it all away,

but,

there will come that time when the lines are drawn,

when the purest hearts of silently smiling bigotry will hold the world in their sway,

with their cherubic, agreeable arguments sprinkled with pieces of fact that will kill, rape, pillage, and slay…

what then,

I ask,

will we do that day?

          _____________

” … First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me … ” – Pastor Martin Niemoller

The Women

The Women

(for the countless women, names unknown, who bore the brunt of Apartheid, and who fought the racist system at great cost to themselves and their families, and for my mother, Zubeida Moolla)

Pregnant, your husband on the run,
your daughter, a child, a few years old,

they hauled you in, these brutish men,
into the bowels of Apartheid’s racist hell.

They wanted information, you gave them nothing,
these savage men, who skin happened to be lighter,

and white was right in South Africa back then,

but, you did not cower, you stood resolute,

you, my mother, faced them down, their power,
their ‘racial superiority’, their taunts, their threats.

You, my mother, would not, could not break,

You stood firm, you stood tall.

You, like the countless mothers did not break, did not fall.

You told me many things, of the pains, the struggles,

the scraping for scraps, the desolation of separation
from your beloved Tasneem and your beloved Azad,

my elder sister and brother, whom I could not grow
up with, your beloved children separated by time, by place,

by monstrous Apartheid, by brutish men,
whose skin just happened to be lighter.

You told me many things, as I grew older,
of the years in exile, of the winters that grew ever colder.

You were a fighter, for a just cause,
like countless other South African women,

you sacrificed much, you suffered the pangs,
of memories that cut into your bone, your marrow,

you resisted a system, an ideology, brutal and callous and narrow.

Yes, you lived to see freedom arrive, yet you suffered still,
a family torn apart, and struggling to rebuild a life,

all the while, nursing a void, that nothing could ever fill.

I salute you, mother, as I salute the nameless mothers,

the countless sisters, daughters, women of this land,
who fought, sacrificing it all for taking a moral stand.

I salute you, my mother, and though you have passed,
your body interred in your beloved South African soil,

you shall remain, within me, an ever-present reminder,

of the cost of freedom, the struggles, the hunger, the toil.

I salute you!

(for the brave women of South Africa, of all colours,
who fought against racial discrimination and Apartheid)

Mora Piya Ghar Aaya (My Beloved Has Returned Home)

|
|

Autumn:

the leaves fell, as you left, a bleak chill wafting across the barren space within my being,
you left, taking your smile and mine,

my smile rests with you still, leaving a void impossible to fill.

|
|

Winter:

pangs of longing consumed me, my only company in the frigid nights,
my tears remain frozen, within,

unable to fall from my broken eyes, as I searched the depths of the cold, harsh skies.

|
|

Spring:

birds returned home, though you did not, and I felt soothing rebirth all around,
memories of you began blazing, their embers stoked,

and at last the tears rolled, like ink on this blank notebook, my whole being pined for you, my very self in anguish silently shook.

|
|

Summer:

alive I felt again, the promise of the coming cooling rain, easing the heat of desire,
yet the furnace slowly raged inside, your absence tearing into me, shattering my nights, my longing for you soaring unfettered across the skies,

dancing on clouds, blissfully free,

|
|

Monsoons:

heaven itself opened, the deluge an unending dream,
rain falling all around, mingling with my flowing tears,

and then I saw you, you returned, and I embraced you, never wishing to let you go,

and though I may wear the mask of the clown,

if you were to leave again,

my very soul, would quietly slip away, and in the monsoon rains, I would gratefully drown.

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scribblerofverses@gmail.com

Violence against Women

(the following had to be written. the savage gang-rape in Delhi, India screams at our collective complicity by our silence and by our inaction)

MAN,
cowardly, brutal,
puffed-up on conceit,
self-assuredly bigoted,
as dead as stone,
stripped of all humaneness,
down to the bone.

MAN,
you kill, molest,
you batter, and you smile,
you smile,
when you hear the bones, the lives, the dignity shatter.

MAN,
you lie, humiliate,
You rape, and you laugh as a complicit society condones your escape.

MAN,
you have escaped,
too many times to say,

‘Man’,
that means you too, brother,
and you too father,
son, lover, singer, farmer, poet, thief, doctor, chef, engineer and the rest of you polite people,

you and your wretched array.

MAN,
stand up and stop the abuse now!

MAN,
your shameful hands need cleansing,

your soiled conscience is reeking,

of your manliness.

MAN,
stand up and stop the abuse!

MAN,
stand up! speak! Act,

for once,
put your testosterone to less harmful use,

lest your dwindlng humanity to the gutter,

you are prepared,

to forever lose

She Walks Alone

she walks alone

barefoot in the paddies of rice

breaking her back for some precious grains

she walks alone

in jo’burg town with a black eye

smacked around by him the previous painful night

she walks alone

in the streets of neon hazed manila

along the pristine hedges of rotten London

on the crowded pavements of lonesome New Delhi

across the rolling plains of the vast bounteous pampas

over the winding back-ways of the sloping and grimy favelas

on the glittering pavements of rich and sweetly-scented Jeddah

through the blindingly false boulevards of that sad Los Angeles town

she walks alone

bearing the burden of mother and daughter

of cook and sweeper and wife and mistress and punching-bag

she walks alone

through your streets and mine

standing up as she is beaten more down

loving a little as the bruises on her face turn purple

feeding the little ones with morsels of hastily cooked beans

she walks alone

in factories and in mills and in buses

in schools and in brothels and in place in-between

she walks alone

staying alive on the alms of the rich

violated by those who from the pulpit preach

she walks alone

my sister and yours

my mother and yours too

my lover and your beloved as well

she walks alone

caged by society in its invisible prison

a slave of norms and culture and religion and caste

she walks alone

but she is the conscience of me and you

screaming at us silently in hunger and despair

she walks alone

and though fearful of you men she may seem

be warned that she may not forever be this alone

for she too dreams and thinks and believes

for she too needs and wants and loves and weeps

in the silent night of complacency while impotent mankind sleeps

and she too will rise and in rising slay

the beasts that in your callous hearts prowl and lay

and she too will demand her rightful place

for every mother and sister and lover and daughter has a real face

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