Backwards . . .

it must be a dream . . .
or time-machine . . .
or machinations of an addled brain.

Used to be a woman’s road
to pregnancy and through pregnancy
was determined by men.
Their genitalia and their laws.
Used to be coat hangers
bloodied in cavities,
did more than hang up coats.

It’s not a dream . . .
or time machine . . .
or my septuagenarian brain.
Once again, a woman’s body
her insides, her uterus
are ruled by men.
Their genitalia and their laws.

Victorious Tanka

Caught in his maelstrom
she survived a winter’s tale.
Fighting against his  
blizzard of heartless demands,
she left when the crocus bloomed.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, Ingrid asks us to consider the bard, William Shakespeare. We may choose a title from a list she gives us, a partial list of his plays. I’ve included A Winter’s Tale within my poem

Also, off-prompt today for NAPOWRIMO, Day 26.

Tanka: A poetic form of 5 lines with the following syllabic requirement: 5-7-5-7-7. Image from


Ah men, the bane of women,
amen. We pray, we sing this hymn,
that we be not prey to him.
Man’s heart can be but steel,
thieves striving to steal
hour after hour,
our rights to our very selves,
rites that celebrate our being.

Would that we remain on course
coarse not as his ways claim.
We weigh our choices wisely
for we are not poor in intellect.
Pour not your wiles on us sirs,
while we know our truths.
Your heels shall not tread in judgment
for we know only compassion heals.

Tears shall be shed in any decision
for we are caring women, all dear,
not deer caught in your short-sited scope.
And so I repeat to you this hour,
our voices, our bodies,
our strength is in togetherness.
Amen I say to you.
Ah men, we pray they listen.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse where today, Merril asks us to think about using an echo technique in our poetry…or to write somehow about the idea of echo. I’ve used homophones to echo sounds….two words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. There are 12 homophones here. Two use one word as a plural (wiles and and while; ways and weigh). Can you find the other 10? Photo from the Womens’ March in Boston, the day after President Trump’s inauguration. I was there with my daughter.

Not Your Toymaker’s Daughter

I prefer to live outside the box.
I am not a jack.

I won’t jump at your desire.
I am not a puppet.  Or a toy.
I am more like a cat.

Independent with nine lives.
And trust me,
none of them are yours.


De is hosting dVerse today, asking us to use the word “box” in a Quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Image from WikiCommons: 1863 Harpers from Thomas Nast.

What’s your history?

Adam and Eve’s tale
created a history.
Two genders. Two roles.
From prehistoric eras
came seminal works,
histrionic characters
assigned to mankind.
Hissy fits to machismo.
Words whimpered wrongly,
like hysterical mis-spelled.
Time now to accept
the herculean tough task.
Too often not heard
unless we are herd, enmasse.
Cherish who we are.
Do not say female or male,
women versus men.
We shall march a million strong,
support each other.
Our bodies, our minds, our love.
Together we can, we will.


Gayle hosts dVerse today and asks us to write a CHOKA: an unrhymed poem with lines that alternate 5 and 7 syllables, ending with two 7 syllable lines. A new form for me…and quite a challenge to make the sense of the poem be the reader’s main focus rather than the framework of the 5-7-5-7-5-etc-7-7 syllable requirement. Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time.
Two explanatory notes for the poem: 1) I’ve always been interested in semantics and the power of language; applauding the movement to more inclusive language as in “fire fighter” rather than “fireman” and “work hours” rather than “man hours.” Many changes like these have concretized in our language over the years and, I believe, affected perception. This poem looks at the place of gender specific words within words. Note the italics. There are many many more one could use. I find it an interesting exercise. 2) Jan 21, 2016 is the Women’s March on Washington with simultaneous similar events around the country. My daughter and I shall attend the one in Boston. Hence the reference at the end of the poem. I should add ,persons of both gender/sex are highly encouraged to attend these events!