Womanhood, Sketch #4

“The soul is a perspective that pushes us to go deeper and see further and live wilder. It’s what drives our imagination to flesh out our raw experience, transforming that chaotic stuff into rich storylines that animate our love of life. With the gently propulsive force of the soul, we probe beyond the surface level of things, working to find
the hidden meaning and truer feeling.”
~ Rob Brezsny, author/astrologist

the women of the Earth
are giving birth
to what we know
of our human family;
to what we know
of our reality.

they are carrying
water for miles
perfectly balanced
on top of ebony heads.

women with cuts on their fingers
work for hours
in sweat shops
being paid pennies
for repetitive work —
buttons on shirts,
soles on shoes,
electronic parts
painstakingly put together…
painstakingly put together…
painstakingly put together…

in the deserts of Africa
women slowly walk in front
of a line of bouncing and smiling men
who flash their teeth,
eyes careening left to right;
and they chose one of them
as their partner
based on this rhythmic display
of masculinity and beauty.

women get their clits cut out
by their mothers.

women wait calmly in temples
as their consort approaches for tea,
who bows reverently at her feet.

women are beaten
for loving women.
women are stoned
for not wearing veils.
women speak to crowds
about love and forgiveness.

women work in offices,
wearing suits.
women turn somersaults
in circuses
and bend backwards
to touch their heads
to their heels.

women spit at other women.
women breast-feed
the next generation.
women give their babies formula
from factories.

women put their bodies
in front of heavy machinery
to stop the cutting down
of an old growth tree.

women gather on hilltops
for the full moon.

women cover their faces
with petroleum-based
beauty products.
women look into mirrors
and ask ‘why me?’
women count the years
and wince;
some women celebrate.

women massage out
the pain in bodies.
women gather roots
and leaves for healing.
women serve food
to bellies that are never full.

women are wed to men.
women are wed to women.
women decide not to marry.
women run from relationships.
women forever seek the world for their lover.

women walk into courtrooms
to demand human dignity.
women say no to war.
women say yes to war
by keeping the wheels
working and turning.

women stay up at night
writing down their thoughts.
women work three jobs
with two kids waiting at home.

women dig in the earth
to uncover remains of
full-bodied clay sculptures
only to realize that
women were revered
at one time.

women hate other women
for being pretty.
women won’t feed themselves
and they become thin and frail.

women stand on street corners
with needle marks on their arms.
women toast martinis
to a successful investment.
women run for political offices.

women tend butter lamps
in the evening.
women save seeds
to be planted next year.

women bury themselves
in stuff.
women break down
walls around the heart
while crying out “ENOUGH!”

women are reluctant to leave comfort.
women want change.

women sing songs of comfort as
their beloved dies.
women watch as the sun goes down.

women wait for the right moment.
women whisper to each other
that the time is near.

women wonder
what it means to be
a woman.

and yet women know
that if we are brave enough —
we will let her find out
who she really is.

January 3, 2011 — the fourth poem in a series of poems around…you guessed it…womanhood…

Womanhood, Sketch #3
Womanhood, Sketch #2
Womanhood, Sketch #1

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