Upon Rising: Poems Call Out by Margot Van Sluytman

Moderator’s Note: Margot reads each of her poems aloud. They can be heard through the links in the titles.

“And what then is poetry?” We ask this time and time and time again. And poetry HERself answers. SHE needs no descriptor. Mimetic sagacity spells HER clarity.
Dreams be Fed

I am a body that remembers

The joys of falling into hues of

Brilliant blues and greens.

I am a soul that trades in
Cinnamon and spices.

Elevating chance.
Caressing mystery.
I am a will that conceives fat
Ebullient Moon as
Golden Goddess. Divine.

SHE who feeds our dreams.
SHE who teaches us

To tend our fires.
©Margot Van Sluytman

Continue reading “Upon Rising: Poems Call Out by Margot Van Sluytman”

Crow and the Pornographic Gaze by Sara Wright

Once she believed that
it was her fault
they came on to her,
that she owed them
They owned her?
Secretly the
girl was pleased
because any kind of attention
was better than none,
or being so “different” –
stitched into an Indian skin.

She was a pretty shell,
an abandoned spiral
worn down by waves –
assaulted from within
by the pornographic gaze.
How she hated being young.

Continue reading “Crow and the Pornographic Gaze by Sara Wright”

Beth March and the Courage of the Gentle Giver by Cathleen F

As someone who spent my prepubescent years watching director Gillian Armstrong’s “Little Women”, I was eager to see Greta Gerwig’s newly released version. Previously unexplored contours of each character, and of my changed perceptions, were made visible through this iteration. The most difficult and touching part of the film that lingers with me is the story of Beth, pianist and caretaker. Beth’s untimely death brings grief into the center of the March family narrative, and Gerwig’s portrayal brought up grief in me about my experiences with invisibility as a paced introvert in a culture that celebrates speed and extroversion.

I grew up wanting to be like Jo March, the outspoken, reactive protagonist. Jo was the rebel, the obvious feminist, and, mostly importantly to me, the brave one. Beth seemed to me to be boring, relegated to a life at home, bound by illness and a preoccupation with the needs of neighbors. Her steadiness looked to me like obedience; she could not fight away the disease that eventually killed her, and I wished to be everything besides her, the introvert who observed and cared and loved music and then died. As I grew into my own introverted, observant, caregiving tendencies, I began to wonder if I had been tricked by my culture, by my upbringing, to think I was Beth when I was really Jo! While social pressures certainly influenced my personality, as they do for us all, I didn’t want to believe that perhaps I was growing into my natural temperament, endowed by the Universe, expressed in my mind and body. As a woman in the 21st century, as a feminist, I was supposed to be like Jo, not the way I was (am). To have a deliberate or tender nature was, in my subconscious perception, to betray the spontaneous, assertive natures of those more worthwhile feminists who got things done. Continue reading “Beth March and the Courage of the Gentle Giver by Cathleen F”

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