WORD is a force and within its etymology, has a force as mysterious and mythical as the cycles of life presented in a woman’s body. Womanhood is a tribe with two sides that push and pull, drawing in and drawing out to balance between the physical and the ethereal. A woman is a S/WORD, slashing self-preservation to indulge creation into the path of continuity. Her voice is a lullaby that soothes kings before they wear crowns of authority and high handedness. Her voice of a weeping window burying her soldier sons. She is the hearth that feeds life a protective shell to glimpse its first experience of all earthly journeys. To discount a woman is to discount nature’s benevolence in its ever giving nurture. To disparage a woman is to spit at the hand of creation that give so much grace to a creature that births itself and other. In cerebrating womanhood, great poetry was birthed. No one can judge the emotions and wisdom within the words neither can accurate value be stamped authoritatively upon any piece, for all without fail deliver a universal truth about the plight of women in their journey of holding their divine portion in sustaining and carrying on the mantle of living. Great voices that speak ‘womalingo’ from WOWAWORDS recent entries delivered from their hearts and to other hearts. Ten pieces that speak as internationally as music does in its varied tones, tunes and crescendos from Caroline Akui of Kenya, Nelani Goonawardena from India and Anya Wikramanayake
Sri Lanka, Colombo. COVER PHOTO CREDIT to Catherine Magodo-Mutukwa. Together We Rise –( Blurb by August Edition Guest Editor , Nancy Ndeke).
The Higher Ground
They call it High End for a reason:
Because being there gives you the upper hand
By building your house on the rock
And not a castle in the air
You make sure that your dreams are not
founded on sand
And this, right here, is the Promised Land:
A portal, an interstice, an aperture
Everything that troubles us in the lowlands
And the flatlands
The quicksand and the Badlands
Dissolves up here, in the purer air
I remember everything you have ever said
And the times and dates of every day we met
You told me this, and I could not match you
Word for word, moment for moment
To me it is like a lovely blurring dream
A veil which makes the world more bearable
A garment too costly in every seam
Which your generosity alone makes wearable
Each moment is all I can bear or inhabit:
confined in its contained space
I can float between all the extremes
that exhaust me so
Out of time’s strict specifications
One each instant, and the limits pressing in
A small distance away from you
A stone’s throw
THE KNOCKED UP EXPRESS
I met you at the end the gestation trip, at the birth station
Having been on board the Pregnancy Express for nine months, in continuous motion
I was worried and anxious, as I painfully waited, amid other labourers’ commotion
Who were also, impatiently, waiting for their special deliveries, as they paced up and down.
I couldn’t wait to meet you, I knew you were coming, way back at conception!
God knows, I could have missed you altogether, Had I taken a train at contraception
It would have been sad, if any technical issues with the knocked up express, because then
You wouldn’t have made it, to the end of gestation
I had heard, of people who chose the abortion destination
I couldn’t let you get off at termination stop, or we never would’ve met, at delivery station
You made a grand entrance! Testing your lungs, you let out a scream
That for a moment made everything, go in slow motion
I held you so tenderly, in my arms overcome with emotion
And just like, set off to another, life journey, we hopped in another train
But this time you were accompanied by mom
©️ C Akui 2020/07/12
Come in, take a seat
Let me make you a cuppa tea
I know how you like it
A mug of safety in the sisterhood
Brewed without judgement
Two sugars of support
With some conversation milk that uplifts
Cream cake of good ideas on the side
Maybe some readymade savoury idea
From the feminist bakery
On the how, and where to access to opportunity
We can look up some recipes if you like
To add to your menu, customise to your like
I will make myself one while am at it
Here you go, careful it might be hot
No rush, we’ve got time for a hearty chat
©️ C Akui 2020/06/24
HELP ME RISE
What am I worth?
How can you tell my worth?
Is it by the number of beasts that bought me?
Or how many children I can birth?
Am I worth my strength?
How much land I can till, by noon?
Or the sex of children I can birth?
What is my worth?
How quickly I respond
When you call me?
Or how tasty the food I cook for you?
Maybe my worth
Is decided by how good
I am in bed
And how well I can please you
Tell me how you decide my worth?
Is it how much crap I can take and not complain?
Be still, and grateful I have you?
Is it how much of myself I give up, pleasing you?
Who decides my worth?
Why am I responsible for your choices?
Why does society excuse you?
And blame me for a mess made by you?
What is my worth?
When you take away my choices
And society uploads you?
Say am lazy and ask why I undermine you?
What am I, really, worth?
When I have been to school
But you still call me a fool
Putting me down how is it cool
Can you see my worth?
If you see a human in me?
Value my worth, if, you see a sister
See in me a mother maybe a daughter
I know, I am worth
A lot more than I get credit for
And I know there’s no you
Can you learn to see my worth?
Treat me as am supposed to
Value me and know my worth
See and treat me NOT as an object
Acknowledge and value my worth
We’ll all be better for it
I take everyone with me when I rise
See and encourage my strength as I rise
We are strong!
When am strong!
Don’t hold me down, help me rise!
I promise it’s worth it!
©️ C. Akui 2020
Fears of becoming a mother.
Oh the fears of the most rewarding endeavor- motherhood.
to care, to nurture,
mere understatements of the
jobs a mother holds.
Fear? To become a mother
to my own child, or anyone’s child,
Or my child’s, child,
I cannot just be understanding,
For I must be strong and daring.
I must carry the fire that
Every great woman should carry in their soul.
I cannot just hold my baby,
I must carry their potential.
I must ignite the light
To their life’s desire.
That the torch I carry
The torch that’s passed down
From mother to child,
Will simply be too scary a task
To drop the torch and get burnt
Burnt up and too hurt to heal.
What if I can’t heal myself
To nurture my child?
For I cannot
Be a better,
or as good a mother,
As my mother was to me.
As she passed the light
Anya Wikramanayake , I’m almost 19 years old young woman living in Colombo , I have been writing ever since I was 12 years old.I write what I like and what I feel .I write to express and I share and hope other humans in the world find it all relatable.
nothing to say.
When it’s over,
It’s best to say
has already been said.
And cannot be unsaid.
Something, always comes out of
When there is
Nothing to say,
You feel you have to
the wrong thing.
Anything is the
It’s best, not t
SHE IS WISDOM
She conceives it in the depth of her womb
From inception to incubation
Each second numbered, calculated to the trimester
Preparing for the birth of a new generation
In her very mind resides the basic foundation and the necessary nuggets
To instill, inspire, equip, encourage them
For a better, brighter, fruitful future
Her name is wisdom and her strides pronounce peace
Her heart of gold oozes compassion, kindness and love
With her hands she keeps all safe from harm
With her strong back she bears their every burden
She is the fire, destroying each evil while keeping the weak and weary warm
You will be wise to keep her close,
Even closer never lose her hold
You will be inspired at her feet
Her whispers are worth beckoning
Because she is the answer in times of confusion
Her soft tongue breathes life in their last breath
Wisdom and power are in her crown
She is the one who will bring the world to one,
United together through love.
Unity, Love, Peace, Wisdom
Her tears flow from her heart
Bleeding for the injustice of the oppressed
Daily the poor are exploited
For nothing more than a piece of bread
Yet she stands firmly
She lays her life for their happiness
For she understands they too are human
And have rights of passage to all good things
Many have labeled her
Too emotional and physically weak
Her judgement is biased they say
Because she thinks with her heart
Yet this is her secret reservoir for strength
There she draws her courage,
Her core beats rhythmically with the unmistakable Chorus of love.
She takes in all that life throw her path
Yet she keeps not silent when her own is mistreated
Even when they gag her, confining her voice
Her low murmurs are louder than their loudest laughs.
Wisdom has taught her everything she knows
Every human life matters and should matter to all
Even when pain, ridicule and torture was the order of the day
Wisdom still flows in the thickest doses
Her prayer, that someone somewhere somehow
Finds her, finds wisdom!
The Iron Glass
She is like a glass of iron and steel,
Always strong yet fragile,
She is the propelling power behind,
All the blossoming and bouncing lives.
With her hands her house stands
The community is glued together by her selfless love,
She doesn’t waver;nor does she chicken out,
Whatever she puts her hands on becomes alive.
Her name is woman; strong minded is the woman,
Taking risks to mould, build and rekindle,
The dying she revives
And a smile is all she cares to bring the desperate.
Being a mother is the biggest pride, her joy,
She brings new life, and conquers black darkness,
Her courage fights the foe and brings deliverance,
Lives are sustained by her boldness.
Being her is priceless,her sacrifices timeless,
To conquer, yes! Conquer all the pains,
And see the dream fulfilled,
Of building yet another life.
For she is a woman
WOMAWORDS AUGUST EDITION Guest Editor
Nancy Ndeke is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, hybrid essays, reviews, commentary and memoir. Ndeke is widely published with four collection of her full writings Soliama Legacy, Lola- Logue , Musical Poesy and May the Force be With you. She has recently collaborated with a Scotland-based Writer and Musical Artist, Dr. Gameli Tordzro of Glasgow University on the Poetry Collection Mazungumzo ya Shairi, and also co-authored the poetry anthology , I was lost but now am found with USA Poet Renee Drummond -Brown . She contributes her writings to the Atunis Galaxy Poetry ( Belgium), TUJIPANGE AFRICA( Kenya, USA), Ramingo Porch, Africa Writers Caravan , WOMAWORD Literary Press, BeZine for Arts and Humanities( USA), Andinkra Links 5, Wild Fire Publication, Williwash Press, The poet by day webzine, Writers Escape at Poetry, Different Truths, ARCS PROSE POETRY. Nancy Ndeke also works as a literary arts consultant, copyeditor and Writers’ Clinics Moderator.
WOMAWORDS PROJECTS CURATOR
Mbizo CHIRASHA ,Freedom of Speech Fellow to PEN- Zentrum Deutschland,Germany. Alumni of the International Human Rights Arts Festival in New-York, USA.Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie. Globally Certified Arts Mediums Curator and Influencer. Internationally Published Page and Spoken Word Poet. Writer in Residence. Arts for Human Rights Catalyst. Core Team Member of the Bezine Arts and Humanities Project. His illustrious poetry , hybrid writings , political commentary ,short fiction , book reviews and Arts Features are published in more than 400 spaces notably the Monk Arts and Soul in Magazine in United Kingdom. Atunis Poetry.com in Belgium. Demer press poetry series in Netherlands. World Poetry Almanac in Mongolia.Poesia journal inSlovenia. Bezine Arts and Humanities Webzine in USA. The Poet a Day in Brooklyn ,USA. Litnet Writers Journal in South Africa. African Crayons in Nigeria. Poetry Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Pulp-pit USA.the FictionalCafe international Journal , Texas USA. Best New African Poetry series in Zimbabwe, Zimbolicious Poetry Collections in Zimbabwe. Co-edited Street Voices International Publications with Andreas Weiland in Germany.Co-Edited Silent Voices Anthology, a Tribute to Chinua Achebe. Co-Edited the Corpses of Unity,solidarity collection to victimized Cameroonians with Nsah Mala. Curated and Edited the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry ,Inside Digraceland speaking poetic truth to the Mugabe regime and other bad regimes. He owns the Time of the Poet blog zine ,MIOMBOPUBLISHING that published the #GlobalCallforPeaceProject titled the Second of EARTH is Peace.A LETTER to the PRESIDENT his experimental resistance poetry collection was released in August 2019 by Mwanaka and Media Publishing.. Co- Authored Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi with Sweta Vikram in India. Good Morning President his first poetry collection was published in 2011 by Zimbabwean published based in United Kingdom, Diaspora Publishers.COVID 19 Satansdeadly fart is forthcoming. Chirasha is Founder and the Chief Editor of Brave Voices Poetry Journal, https://bravevoicespress.home.blog/
WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS- A Trendsetting Digital Arts Culture Thicket archiving creative resilience and artistic excellence. It is a platform to exhibit women of literary arts prowess and revolutionary sister comrades defying ugly odds of barbarism , chauvinism and savagery to positively change their communities through artistic resistance , to right the wrong perceptions as they carry the torchlight to stardom. WOMAWORDS is Haven of Head -busting Short Fiction . Nerve -Shredding Poetry And Mind -Blowing ARTISTIC Profiles* -Authored and Curated by 2020 Freedom of Speech/Literary Arts Activism Culture Fellow at PEN-Zentrum Deutschland, Germany, Award Winning Poet , Widely Published Essayist Writer , Creative Arts Activism IDEAS Curator and Literary Arts Projects Diplomatie,MBIZO CHIRASHA