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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

Special Feature: Honoring Women
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