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Special Feature: Honoring Women



March 8 is International Women's Day and the entire month of March is International Women's History month. The center of interest for 2024 is "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress" - the focus is making determined efforts to eliminate economic disempowerment and progress toward an effectual and influential crusade to "inspire inclusion", which is the theme for this auspicious and global observance.


We offered writers in our Facebook group, three prompts to choose from, the first prompt: "Celebrating Strength" and resilience of women in the face of adversity, the second prompt, "Sisterhood", honoring the bonds of support, however, it did not receive a response and the third challenged poets to write about the "Unsung She-Roes", recognizing often overlooked or recognized contributions of women in various roles, whether helping in the workforce, or at home, or in volunteer, or as an advocate or in the fields of war and conflict. Although one from each entry was to be chosen, we feature 13 magnificently inclusive poems from poets of different backgrounds, both men and women and their compassionate, steadfast poetic thoughts honoring the prowess of women even during times of experiences, determination, empowerment, survival and struggle.


 












"THE WOMAN THAT I AM"


The Woman I see

Is the Woman I am

(Mirrors do not lie.)

Cosmetics do when aptly applied

But not these nerves deny.


Age is just a factor,

Like Depth, Breadth, or even Height,

But the Woman who fights

The odds - is, and will be...I.


The Woman I see

Is the Woman I am.

Bravely struggling, even laughing,

Crying over the years

Yet, gracefully so, is aging.


The Woman I see is now me.

She has come a long, long way

From that child, they once knew,

From that girl, I saw

On that truthful mirror long ago.


© MARIA EVELYN QUILLA SOLETA

Philippines


 

"FURY AND FLAME"


In the gorge where the twin rivers meet

Fury and flame got caught up in the mirage of her soul

Bloodthirsty, at the tomb of the fallen gods

Divine mercy of novena,

She's awakened from slumbers of the forgotten

Eyes of a serpent Eophis

The air has made the silky hair kiss her face

Gliding through with mare of Absolom

'Ride with me, Andalusia, for the might and power are in you'

Adorn with vengeance, bow and sword

A heavenly phenomenal, not less than heaven.


© SHEILA ANN

Malaysia


 

"STRENGTH"


Nana Byrne

Lost her mother

Aged eleven

Shipped off to Sheffield

Soon after

Back in Dublin she met

James Byrne

She had thirteen children

Four were miscarriages

Three were cot deaths

Her eldest daughter died

Aged seventeen

Her only sibling died young

Nana had many illnesses

During her life

In her sixties

She became a widow

Lost her sight

Her home

She still loved to sing

What gave her strength

Her unwavering faith in God.


© BERNADETTE O' REILLY

Dublin, Ireland


 

"A WOMAN WITH THOUSAND IDENTITY"


From Adam's ribs, she was taken

Formed with undeniable beauty

Embedded with abundant strength

A heart as big as the universe

Wider than the ocean of understanding

Her wisdom emanates from her face

Burning and glowing

Like a candle in the dark.


Her amazing hands are peculiar,

rough and calloused.

It can cure sickness with her touch

And soothe the weary heart of a child.

Her gentle stroke at night

Can bring you to a slumber and dream

Only with her hands, you can trust

Your crying heart is in pain.


Her steadfastness knows no boundaries

It encompasses every soul in her life

Leaving herself oblivious, unbothered

Forgetting every inch of her beauty.

She is the mirror of every strength

A reflection of stamina and grace

A backbone of every weakness

A strength of everyone's failure.


She is the shield of every storm

A blanket of comfort

An angel in disguise

She is your laughter

A clown in your heart

An armor in every war

Peacemaker in every fight

She is the woman of thousand identity.


© DOLO REZ

Philippines


 

"WOE MAN"


A modern soul in an old-world gaze

A woman navigating life's complex maze

Tech-savvy mind, digital native graces

Balancing tradition and fast-paced races.


She tweets her thoughts, lives in podcast

Coherence of time and memories that last

In the digital age, she's a vintage soul

An age-old charm in a modern role.


She wears stardust in her digital face

But craves the warmth of antique embrace.

Her playlist echoes old tunes so sweet

In a modern world, her heart finds its beat.


Smartphones in hand and word she sends

A modern woman, her prowess transcends

In pixels and pages, her advocacy unfold

A modern spirit with an old soul's hold.


In the face of storms, women stand tall

Brave spirits, they never fall

Through adversity and trials they stride

A strength within that can't be denied.


Dance with grace through life's tempest

Facing challenges with heart that jest

Clothed by courage like a fierce flame

In every setback she found no shame.


With wisdom's touch she navigates

Through the darkest hours she illuminates

A tapestry of resilience she weaves

Unbowed like the ocean's constant heave.


So here's to the women, bold and free,

An ode to their enduring, boundless beauty

An inclusion to a timeless song

Like a distant music that echoes along.


© FLOYD GALE CABUS

Philippines


 

"WHO I AM!"


When I wear jeans

I am called wanderer

And wearing scarf -

Club me backward!


Who am I

I talk to some stranger

And they think it's my crudity;

And offering prayers

Club me narrowminded !


Who am I

When I laugh openly

It reflects my selfishness

And caged inside

Among the sighs and sobs

Earns me the lady of manner!


I exhort from one and all

Monsters -

Who make me suspicious in my own eyes

And for others

Why should I bother to know

Who actually I am!


© AASIA MAJEED

Pakistan


 

"UNTITLED"


The Palestinian women day

is screaming in night of Gaza.

The mothers are crying every day.

Here, every day is going to rain the game of death.

We are celebrating the woman day.

Innocent children are shy.

We are celebrating the woman day.

The children, like women and flowers are scared every day.

We are celebrating the woman day.

From what hearts, I say, my lovely mother

congratulated you on a woman day.

We are celebrating the woman day.


© IMRAN KASHMIRI

Pakistan


 

"I WILL RISE AGAIN"


In the face of adversity, I will rise again,

By strength and grace, God will heal my pain.

Never giving up on challenges is my slogan,

I will break all the barriers, I'm a brave woman!


I will move forward with passion and courage,

I won't care about the things that discourage,

God will pave my way as a guide to progress,

One day I will surely climb the ladder of success!


My dreams give me a spark to touch the sky,

To achieve my life's purpose, I will always try,

I will always stand firm in the face of difficulties,

For me, God will open doors to new opportunities!


No matter how many storms come to divert me,

They can't stop me from writing a success story!


© DEEPTI SHAKYA

India













"UNSUNG SHE'ROES"


A nervous teenaged girl became a

Powerful homemaker and also

a teacher to supply her miserable

family, who never supported her!


An insecure victim of molestation

stood up for herself to become a

nurse and educated her only child

without her husband's support!


A time and uneducated lady who

was abandoned by her children

is happily living a splendid life at

old age home with her new friends!


A meek and nervous woman in her 50's

came to the streets due to her drunkard

and jobless husband but managed to

reach the shore with her children, boldly!


A humble mother with her modest knowledge

became a fearless chef to support her kids

and shared few morsels of food with

people just like her, struggling to keep up!


Women are born to be warriors who march

fearlessly with a daring passion towards

their determination, undoubtedly, to prove

that she's forgiving and loving as a Mother Earth!!


© SONAL RAO

India


 

"REFLECTION"


I look into the mirror and see...

a woman with wings to fly and soar high,

a wife who has expectations like the sky,

a daughter who is a ticket to paradise,

a mother who is ocean of loyalty and sacrifice,

a sister who stands by you without even asking,

a worker adept at multitasking.


© RAFIYA SAYEED

Jammu and Kashmir, India


 

"ABOUT THEM"


They are heroes

As well as men

Having a strong resilience

In being Mothers, Wives,

Pilots, Firefighters, Doctors

Or even being soldiers.

They are sensitive but also powerful

Never saying no to challenges

They can prove that no matter

What sex we have

We can still be great

And we can prove solidarity.

Facing danger needs courage

And humanity towards people.

Cheers to them!

High heels and a good punch work together!


© BOGDANA GAGEANU

Romania


 

"HEROINE OF JIU"

(Poem dedicated to Ecaterina Teodoroiu - 1)


Fearless as a lioness,

Strong as a she-wolf,

You encouraged the soldiers

To protect their Country from enemies.

Despite the war wounds,

You return to the battlefield

More determined than ever

To carry on the mission

To protect the Holy Garden

Until you were stabbed

By the cruel fate.

Many years passed since then,

But your big heart of gold is still beating,

Your heroic sacrifice, your noble deeds

Are proofs of the intelligent strong woman.


© GHEORGHE LAURA

Romania


Notes:

1 - Ecaterina Teodoroiu (January 15, 1894 - September 3, 1917) was a Romanian woman who fought on the front and died in World War I. She's regarded as a heroine of Romania.


Source: (Wikipedia)


 

"I AM A WOMAN"


I am a woman with flesh and blood

not made for your extreme lust


I have emotions, I have dreams

O would it be that you don't forget

that I am also a human just as you


If only my purpose in life

if only my role in the society

had you realized!


Desires of thirsty eyes

Parched due to the tears of blood

O would it be that you don't forget

Much do I suffer, I am a woman

a human, just as you.


A graveyard this world would be

without me, do not crush me to death

Walking skeletons you would be

Quest for my soul, so pure

Why, o why you ignore!


Let us both live and love

try to win my heart, my core

that is my real grace

would it be that you are

virtuous and sincere

since I am a woman

with flesh and blood.


© AASIA MAJEED

Pakistan







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