"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Time to Scream

We have remained silent,
lounging in our attitude
of non involvement,
while atrocity has carved
its initials into the women of the world.

We cry when our feelings are hurt,
drink bitter tea and vomit disdain
on any listening ear.

“Woe is me” has become the accepted
mantra of the self- consumed living
in a narcissistic universe.

Where was our outcry when a young woman
was shot by the Taliban for demanding
her right to receive an education?

Across the world isn’t on our sidewalk,
yet it is the horror knocking at the front door
praying compassion and change will answer it.

The neighbor’s wall vibrates with violence,
but we only use our tongues for gossip.
We retreat into our insulation thinking
her pain is not our problem.

If not now, when will we speak?
When will we raise our voices
for more than an affront to
our selfish sensibilities?

It is time to scream, to send up a unified cry,
to rattle the cage of complacency
we have sequestered ourselves in,
because women are dying from our silence.


©Susie Clevenger 2013

March has been set aside by Woman Scream International Poetry Festival as the month to raise awareness through poetry about violence against women.

Woman Scream states their mission is to honor women and create a conscious calling against women’s violence for a culture of peace and to take self-esteem messages to women through artistic expression and poetry.

Violence against women is a personal issue for me. I am a sexual abuse survivor and have known two precious young women who were murdered.  It is cause I am very passionate about.

Today at Real Toads we are participating through our poetry in Woman Scream.


Kerry O'Connor said...

Your spoken voice adds tremendous weight to your words. I doubt anyone could listen without feeling the urgency of your message.

...atrocity has carved
its initials into the women...

This is so powerful, Susie. Thank you for spear-heading the Woman Scream initiative on Real Toads.

Heaven said...

I listened to your read, and your passion for this cause stands out. It's true that we have remained silent for so long and a lot of our sisters have paid for it dearly with their lives ~

Thanks for the meaningful prompt Susie ~

Susan said...

O, "atrocity has carved its initials into the women of the world." Powerfully rendered.

I speak and scream, I am not complacent, but I am afraid to open my door more. AND it amazes me that women who have been carved dare to go back like Harriet Tubman to lead more to freedom. I am grateful to them.

Mixi said...

Women are dying from our silence.

This is the biggest truth that needs to be accepted and acknowledged and acted upon. Who will speak for them if not us, members of a so-called educated, civilized, progressive, modern society?

This is absolutely the need of the hour Susie. Well said.

Emma Major said...

it's true, it's hard to make a move but as I have recently experienced, it's worth the risk to save someone in need

Marian said...

susie, wow, this is so powerful, it should be read by everyone. everyone.

Mary said...

You have definitely made a strong case for raising our unified voices...beginning with the 'neighbor's wall' next door. We should never turn a blind eye to violence near or far.

Fireblossom said...

I saw where women in Afghanistan literally risk their lives in order to write poetry. That's both completely insane (that they have to take such a risk in order to express themselves) and magnificently brave.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A fabulous write, Susie. Really really good! If not now, when? So many centuries of this........

Peggy said...

Oh ouch, yes. Women are dying from our silence. Scream and scream and scream, please!!

Kim Nelson said...

You've added a strong voice to the many, Susie.

Poet Laundry said...

Such a strong voice on this issue Susie. A call to action so fantastically delivered. Great prompt, thank you for doing it.

Chhavi Vatwani said...

I like
"We cry when our feelings are hurt,
drink bitter tea and vomit disdain
on any listening ear."

Every woman is us, and if we don't cry out for ourselves, who will?

manicddaily said...

You are right. I wonder if you have seen that documentary Half the Sky. It is really wonderful - by Nicholas Kristof and his wife - Cheryl Wudann, I think is her name. You would enjoy. No, enjoy is not the word. It is very good. k.

Ellecee said...

Gritty and powerful, Susie, we need to hear words like this. I have screamed loudly in the past, worked with abused women and children,,,,now I am older and my actions are quieter but no less real,,,

Ella said...

I too liked how you did this:
""We cry when our feelings are hurt,
drink bitter tea and vomit disdain
on any listening ear."

Bravo Susie for bringing this up as a prompt! I, too am grateful for those souls, who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms, we do have.

Thank you Susie! We can do more...

razzamadazzle said...

Your passion truly comes through. You've written a very powerful poem for the cause.

Heidi said...

This is kick-ass Susie!

Wolfsrosebud said...

so felt your compassion

ayala said...

It is time to scream for all our sisters! A good and important write!

jane hewey said...

powerful. well-crafted, poetically. I especially heard your "rattle the cage of complacency"
In my heart, I know this is how we can help. By writing, sharing information, and SCREAMING.

Brian Miller said...

indicting poem...wow...really strong voice in this susie...some fav lines...

Across the world isn’t on our sidewalk,
yet it is the horror knocking at the front door

we dont think about it when it is a world away but in the end we are all human...and when one suffers we all do...or should...

Kelvin S.M. said...

...women are dying from our silence --- sadly, most often than not, it happens... excellently voiced out... now time for you, all, to draw the line... smiles...

Laurie Kolp said...

So powerful, Susie... yes, we must scream rather than use our tongues for gossip.

Margaret said...

while atrocity has carved
its initials into the women of the world.

WHY is it a shame to point a finger, why is it "embarrassing" to tell everyone what a horrible man did? Crazy, and I hope the "shame" can some day be placed where it belongs ... on the offending man.

Nadia said...

Wow! Your poetry is so powerful, Susie and it gives me something to aspire to. Thank you for sharing about Woman Scream because I wouldn't have known about it otherwise.

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