Poems (PG rated)

When you are a woman like me (a poem)

When you are woman like me
you have a lot of enemies
When you are a woman like me

When you are a woman like me
People don’t like you
They exclude you
They laugh about you
They try to “get you” but they don’t
When you are a woman like me

When you are women who is honest
People are infuriated by you
When you tell it straight down the line
They want nothing to do with you
They censor you
They want you to go away
Turn a blind eye
When you are a woman like me

Does freedom even exist?
We have been sold an expensive myth
Like soldiers at war they want us to march
They want to shout us the orders
Then they wonder why we bark
It isn’t a male or female thing
It’s the structures, it’s their ways
When you are woman like me

But I’m done with charades
I won’t sacrifice myself
Just to play the stupid game
If they want to come for me let them come
I’d rather pay than play the game
With tears in my eyes
I’ll stand strong and tall
And mightier than all of this
Because I am a woman like me
I will be a woman like me
No way they’ll tear me down
I am a woman like me

First published on Medium

By |2019-06-24T18:23:03+10:00June 24th, 2019|Poems (PG rated)|0 Comments

Mothers are supposed to (a poem)

Mothers are supposed to be caring
Mothers are supposed to cook
Mothers are supposed to nurture
Mothers are supposed to clean
Mothers are supposed to pick up the kids
Mothers are supposed to protect
Mothers are supposed to comfort
Mothers are supposed to help kids with homework
Mothers are supposed to be proud
Mothers are supposed to put everything above their children
Mothers are supposed to put looking after their children above work
Mothers are supposed to be married
Mothers are supposed to be married to men that provide so they can achieve the above
Mothers are not supposed to leave their children for more than a few hours or a day
Mothers are supposed to work only if they have no choice other than to work
Mothers should only work the hours required to make ends meet
Mothers are not supposed to travel for work and leave their children in the care of others
Mothers are not supposed to pursue dreams if it means leaving their children in the care of others
Mothers are supposed to physically always be there for their children
Mothers are supposed to just be mothers
Mothers are supposed to sacrifice themselves for their children
Mothers are supposed to act like mothers
Mothers have responsibilities
Mothers who do not take on their responsibilities are selfish mothers
Mothers who don’t act like mothers are bad mothers
Mothers who don’t act like mothers are bad mothers
Mothers who do not act like mothers don’t love their children
Mothers who have a break down because they can’t cope with all this shit don’t love their children
The world looks at women who are mothers through the judgmental lens of ‘mother’
The world looks at women who are mothers not as women but as mothers
The world dictates what I can and can’t do based on me being a mother
I am not acting responsibly unless I’m acting like a mother
I birthed a child and the world chains me to the word ‘mother’
The world tells my child I am not a good mother
The world tells my child I am not a good mother
Other women tell my child I am not a good mother
This is what one deals with daily when they are a mother

First published on Medium

By |2019-06-24T18:18:35+10:00June 17th, 2019|Poems (PG rated)|0 Comments

How we have learned to be away from one another (a poem)

It was excruciating at the start

You had barely stopped nursing at my breast
You cried for me when I was away from you,
you cried for your dad when you were away from him,
I’d go from one embrace to the next
searching for love like yours,
Have a breakdown every time –
The pain was so bad I wanted to die,
like ripping your foetus from my womb

It was very difficult at the start

But tears dry over time, my baby, don’t they?
Scars scab
Only we know what it’s like,
to have to force your mind to stop thinking about cuddling
to have to force your mind to stop thinking about laughing together
to have to force your mind to stop worrying if you’re okay without me
It’s easier not to think about it and keep busy until next time
Try and finish all the work and chores before next time

But our weekly reunions, they are like fireworks in the sky!
We shut out the world and hold on tight
We’ve only got a few more days of our special time
Before we have to break away again
It goes so fast, where has it gone?
Just one more day, life, just one more day, time
Our hearts, sewn together so tight
Unstitching is painful and takes time

But tears dry over time, don’t they, my tween?
Sewing skills are mastered
No longer a baby anymore,
you’re starting to set up your own life now
Friends and boys and school and fun
We are like besties now
We talk about everything
Our dreams and our fears,
Our hopes and our sorrows,
I get to travel more now that you’re older
I get to pursue my career and my dreams
We Skype every day and chat and laugh and
say how much we miss each other
You say that I’m cute and that I inspire you
& that you’ll be just fine, not to worry

& I know this, I know

Because we’ve learned to be away from one another

Photo Passionate Tongues Poetry Reading, 2013. Photo Michael Reynolds

By |2019-05-31T09:40:42+10:00May 12th, 2019|Poems (PG rated), Uncategorized|0 Comments

Poem for Aiia

Aiia, I keeping hearing your head hit the pavement,
down by the mouth of Latrobe,
where the muzzas and the wogs
get their uni degrees

I keep hearing your head hit hard
You were on the phone to your sis,
If only she could have reached through the line
to strangle him
punch him
stop him
I hear her screams from Palestine:
Bring me sister’s body to me!
Bring her home to me now!

I’d sacrifice knowing your name and your joyous face
just to have you carry on living life like you were,
making the most of all it had to offer you,
being ambitious, reaching for your dreams
riding the ride of life with a smile

Your dreams are our sadnesses now
Your hopes, our heartbreak
Your safety, our nightmare

I always tell the ones who come here
wide-eyed and bedazzled by the fruits of Australian opportunity:
Do not be deceived by what you see
There is a bloody history here
Years and years of corrupt policy,
of sexism, racism and misogyny
There is danger in the night
Take care, stay close to others
Be wary, there is danger in the night

I wish I could have told you, Aiia
Maybe then, just maybe, I would not know your name
I wish it was safer for you, that murder did not roam in our place
Instead, I keep hearing your head hit the pavement
Aiia, I wish I did not have to write this poem
I wish I did not know your name

Image by Brendan Bonsack

By |2019-01-22T18:02:39+10:00January 20th, 2019|Poems (PG rated)|0 Comments

Why don’t you piss in my mouth? / Γιατί δε μου κατουράς μέσα στο στόμα? (poem)

This poem is response to the product “Body Jane” which received EU funding. The product can be purchased as a drink bottle or a urinal. You can read more about it here in English or Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες κάντε κλικ εδώ here in Greek. This isn’t the first time this has happened. In 2012, a Sydney restaurant had urinals shaped like women’s mouths however complaints had them removed. From what I can see, “Body Jane” is still available.

This poem was written in Cyprus. After I spend some time in Cyprus my thoughts become Greek-Cypriot and so my poetry begins to come out in this language. I find this very interesting! Anyway, here we go. Thanks to Andreas Kyriakou for the translation which we did together.

(English version below)

Γιατί δε μου κατουράς μέσα στο στόμα?
Δεν είναι έτσι που θέλεις;
Για σένα είναι επιτρεπτό
γιατι διστάζεις τότε;
Τα λόγια μου τα θεωρείς γέλια
Το σωμα μου σκεύος ηδονής
Αλλά εγώ απαγορεύεται
Αλλά εγώ απαγορεύεται
Αλλά εγώ απαγορεύεται να την νιώσω,
Αλλιώς είμαι τσούλα

Θεωρείς τα λόγια μου γελοία,
Έτσι δεν είναι?
Για σένα δεν είμαι ούτε καν άνθρωπος
Πρέπει να είμαι χαζή
Πως μπορώ να είμαι έξυπνη αφού σε χρειάζομαι
να με καθοδηγάς κρατώντας μου το χέρι?

Πάρε το μπουκάλι με τα ούρα σου
Αυτό που έβαλες στο σώμα μου
Και πάρε το μαζί σου στα μπαράκια και πιες το σαν βότκα
Είναι δικό σου, όχι δικό μου
Αυτό σου αξίζει
Έτσι δεν είναι φαλλοκράτη μου?
Μωρό μου
Μωρο μου
Μωράκι μου

Στην υγειά σου!

Why don’t you piss in my mouth?
Isn’t that what you want to do?
You have the power to do it, so why not?
My words are a joke to you,
my body only for your pleasure
But I am not allowed to feel none
But I am not allowed to feel none
But I am not allowed to feel none
& if I do I am a slut

You laugh at my words, don’t you?
I must be sub-human to you
I must be dumb
How could I possibly be smart
when I need you to guide me
and tell me what to do?

Take the pee you placed in my body
out dancing for the night
& drink it like vodka
It is yours, not mine to take
That is what you deserve,
my patriarchy
my baby
baby, baby

Cheers!

By |2018-10-08T09:17:28+10:00October 7th, 2018|Poems (PG rated)|4 Comments