A heart-wrenching poem about radioactive racism and the long quest for peace and justice, written and spoken by ICAN campaigner Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner of the Marshall Islands, where the United States conducted 67 nuclear test explosions. Produced by PREL, written by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (www.facebook.com/kathyjetnilkijiner) and directed by Dan Lin (www.facebook.com/danlinphotography)
I honour and respect the work of Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, especially in her campaigns for justice in the Pacific Islands. This is a powerful message that needs to be shared. Please share.
*A heart felt gratitude for those kind words from those of you (my readers) that enquired about my health. I am on the mend. I have been going under some major changes personally, spiritually and health-wise. I was surprised by my doctor asking me if I was hearing voices. I walked away a few days ago wondering, what if I said “yes – all my life”. In my culture, you need those “voices” to guide you – it’s your intuition but we see them also as our ancestors and guides. But there are those “voices” that we need to be aware of as well. Such an interesting topic to discuss further at some stage. I would be grateful to hear your thoughts on the matter.
The winner was Vivi Baker with her poem on The Murder of Women. I was unable to contact Ms Baker for her permission to publish her poem, that’s why this post is late, but Jenny Campbell gave me her poem to share. I hope you like it. Congratulations to both women poets who will now enter the Australian national finals.
I wanted an image to go with Jenny’s poem and there was so many to choose from, but I thought this one was appropriate. It was one of the many Trump images on Digital Arts UK – following his election last year.
A Pink Bundle with Price Tag is a poem I wrote about an incident that occurred some 20 odd years ago. I was trying to write my exercise in a prose form (for my Creative Writing Workshop), and after much confusion, I had gone down this path with the exercise, so I just went with the flow. With 700 odd words later, I told the whole story in a poem, by accident. I spoke with the workshop facilitator and confused her too, but she has forgiven me, she said. I think it’s because she wants to hear the rest of the story tomorrow. This is the opening of the story and hopefully, it will be part of my collection of poems and short stories book later. I hope you like it.
A Pink Bundle with Price Tag – Poem
JK. Leahy Memoir
The house was low, a brown brick hole with blue shades.
Through the open windows, the inside was newborn stained.
A littered table of copious nappies and toys in rainbow frame.
On a ruffled bed, a small centre-piece, wrapped in a pink bundle.
Outside, my aunt sweats on a hardened dry brown lawn.
Desperate time calls for a monsoon, but none had come.
The sward had suffered Port Moresby’s arid time.
Aunt had waited to have babies, years these many,
that patience had become her virtue and time, her company.
Upon reaching the other side, body shivers in cold
Darkness encloses, waters still
Life pushes back against the will
The shadow arrives and becomes me
My life has come to decease for now
In a fleeting glance I see my daughters and son
The grand children and friends
My heart swells in love and happiness
What a legacy I have constructed
Living on, the beauty of life and its greatness
Unto him I will see – the final release lifts me
I drift to the heavens, where my final resting place
Written in loving memory of Mum Kathy by Joycelin K Leahy. (copyright)
Sunday March 29th 2015.
For a woman who was beautiful in and out. My friend Belinda’s mother Kathy Moeder who died peacefully after illness. We buried her today in Brisbane after a wonderful funeral where there was sadness and pain, but many stories of Kathy’s life with happiness, humour and celebration. Kathy Moeder believed in love, family, rights and safety of others. She was a Peace and Women’s advocate and a dedicated Christian. She was truly loved.
To celebrate us, the women of the world today (March 8th), I share words of a great poet, Maya Angelou. I would like to pay tribute to the phenomenal women (pictured below) that raised me, and whose blood flow in my vein.
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
That’s me. Maya Angelou