#16DaysOfAction on Domestic Abuse : Special Feature on poet Sage Ravenwood. These are all Sage’s words. She tells her own story.

Even though I freely talk about my domestic abuse, it’s still a hard subject to broach. First, it’s important to acknowledge my story isn’t everyone’s experience.

I was abused at an early age from the time I was 9 until I found the courage to leave home at 16. Mentally I was made to feel less than and worthless. A lot of the mental juggernaut was from my mother’s religious hypocrisy believing I deserved to be punished for my hearing loss (I wasn’t deaf yet), even though she herself was hard of hearing. She turned a blind eye to everything that happened to me, deeming it god’s will.

My stepfather was the penetrator of sexual and violent abuse. I outed that abuse in my poem ’When Hunger’ published by Temz Review ( https://www.thetemzreview.com/sage-ravenwood.html ).

When Hunger

I Hunger by Sage Ravenwood

Growing up this was the only kind of love I knew. I never escaped when I left home. There was always an abuser. If not violent, mentally degrading. Human beings tend to seek out the familiar. My normal was a far cry from anything safe or loving.

I Only Know After

That whole look what you made
me do, girl, bitch, your fault,
trifecta after. The before
there are too many reasons for.
That holier than thou drumbeat
against a wall, rabbit quick;

Gaping hole fist sized, skull sized,
never quite body bag size after.
Split lip, puffer fish (you look fine),
I can’t even see blood gorged eye,
you’re a bruise eater after.
That cracked bone, indigo
finger print body canvas after.

Get it yet? Hush, Mr. Policeman,
stop asking. I don’t know why.
That whole knowledge
is power, save my ass knowing.
Better remember quick like,
those rabid sucker punches,
face palming, gripping your face
after. Too soon after.

That pink water, creeping crimson
river; is that blood, glass,
flesh, what even after.
The over, done, finite, muted,
can’t feel my body, exasperated
I’m still here after.
Holy damn, I’m smiling,
the mirror is lying.

Quiet now, we’re not done after.
Bruised thighs, take a lick, a knee.
And I still don’t know
what the hell, I did after.
Glanced sideways, spoke too soon,
breathed wrong. Bloody bubble snort.
How many five fingered discounts
Before the cracks let the light out after?

Six Years Haunted by Sage RavenswoodShatter by Sage Ravenswood

I knew how to survive inside the violence, a fist said love. My poem ’Sparsely Decorate’ tells the story of my awakening. I was more concerned with saving a tree than I was for my own life. Sometimes it’s the strangest things that breakthrough. It took a year after that incident to walk away to begin the journey of healing. I believe it’s also why I rescue, saving animals is another form of trying to save myself.

Sparsely Decorate

She was evergreen, coniferous, Douglas Fir in
appearance. As real as could be, to a heart who

loved the forest deep – untouched. Wire branched
soft pricking needle spread tipped like an open

hand delicately waiting to be held. Built level by
level into her mountainous 7ft girth. See how

she now lies beaten, felled, stomped to pieces;
abandoned/trashed amid shattered ornaments.

Much like a woman bloodied and bruised beyond
pain. There lies childhood and every inescapable

holiday dread. How does a babe birthed on this
day, save a wretched tree, when home

is where pain gets swept up in broken shards?
This is how: twist the branch arms tenderly like

a child playing doctor with wire and duct-tape.
Branch by branch love/care, speak softly to the

wounds, build her from root to trunk, strengthen
from the base up until she can once again stand

on her own. Sparsely decorate with parts of
us left unbroken; shining half lit brightly into

the night once again. This is how we survive
our broken places.

I have days, I still fear looking in the mirror horrified at what I might see, no matter how much time has passed since the broken bones, the full-body bruising, and the bloody remnant of who I was. Moreover, like most victims – I still blame myself for everything, my childhood, my desperation for love at any cost, my disability, even my indigenous blood.

Sage Ravenwood

is a deaf Cherokee woman living in upstate NY with her two rescue dogs, Bjarki and Yazhi, and her one-eyed cat Max. Her work can be found in Glass Poetry Press – Poets Resist. She is an outspoken advocate against animal cruelty and domestic violence. 

“Happy Birthday Twice”, a Pandemitime Poem and Three Images by Lynne Sachs

IceFloe Press

“Happy Birthday Twice” – A Pandemitime Poem

October 4, 2020

Stretched time
Maya and Noa home
our two daughters in their beds

again
Here there all at once. Child and adult.
Temporal inversions.

Inside this terrifying middle
eating Mark’s slow dinners slowly
Warm bread, just ripe fruit
delivered by a woman with her own daughters
sleeping in their own beds.

Revisiting each day of an opening act
March 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Friday the 13th
Where I was intending to be and where I was.

Narrative of an unwinding.
The city is ours.
The city owns us.
56 days in captivity so far.
My father calls it the Velcro padlock.
Fear
the only real authority —
when to stay and when to go.

Pages I’ve read as a measure of time
almonds eaten,
cleaning surfaces
cleaning again
bleach and more bleach
again

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Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 9

Eat The Storms

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 31st October 2020 and I was joined by poets Ness Owen, Lynn Valentine, Roger Hare and Sarah-Jane Crowson. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Ness Owen is on Twitter at @ness_owen and her collection Mamiaith is published by Arachne Press…

Lynn Valentine is on Twitter at @dizzylynn and you can read more of her work here…

https://www.highlandlit.com/lynn-valentine

Roger Hare is on Twitter at @RogerHare6 and you can read more of Roger’s work here…

Sarah-Jane Crowson is on Twitter at @sarahjfc and her website is…

Welcome

Jane Dougherty’s new collection is available from Amazon here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

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Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 10

Eat The Storms

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 07th November 2020 and I was joined by poets Eileen Carney Hulme, Karen Mooney, David L O’Nan and Liam Porter. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Eileen Carney Hulme is on Twitter at @strokingtheair and her collections include The space between the Rain and Stroking the Air….

https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/ech-tsm/4589983025

Karen Mooney is on Twitter at @1karenmooney and can also be found at @LisburnReads and @northernvisions. Her collection Penned In is available at The Hedgehog Poetry Press…

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/product-category/for-sale/hoglets/karren-mooney/

David L O’Nan is on Twitter at @DavidLONan1. His upcoming collection will be called New Disease Streets and you can find him also at @feversof and also on Fevers of the Mind Poetry here…

https://feversofthemind.wordpress.com/

Find him on Amazon here…

Fevers of the Mind Submission Call from David… I…

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Mamiaith by Ness Owen

Eat The Storms

‘Begin with fearlessness…’ from the poem How to Begin

Mamiaith by Ness Owen

There is a deep sense of loss in the opening poem to Ness Owen’s Mamiaith (Welsh for Mother Tongue) but it is delicately laid down with a hope for rebirth; a memory planted within the roots so we can look out the window at the end of each day and remember where to blow those goodnight kisses. As we read further and deeper though, we can see that it is not only a hope that has been planted, but an exploration that has begun of the very land where we have our roots, the connection of soil and soul. We start out by opening up to the lessons of the ground beneath us and later, as we near the end, when the birds look down upon us, there is a sense of freedom in their flight.
Simple…

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Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 11

Eat The Storms

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 14th November 2020 and I was joined by poets Attracta Fahy, David Ralph Lewis and Glen Wilson. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Attracta Fahy is on Instagram at @AttractaFahy and her book Dinner in the Fields is published by Fly on the Wall Press and available here…

https://www.flyonthewallpress.co.uk/product-page/dinner-in-the-fields-by-attracta-fahy

David Ralph Lewis is on Twitter at @davidralphlewis and his website where you can buy Refraction is…

https://www.davidralphlewis.co.uk/

David’s collection Our Voices in the Chaos is published by Selcouth Station and can be purchased here…

https://www.selcouthstation.com/product-page/our-voices-in-the-chaos

Glen Wilson is on Twitter at @glenhswilson and can be found at his website…

https://glenwilsonpoetry.wordpress.com/

Glen’s collection An Experience on the Tongue is published by Doire Press and can be bought here…

https://www.doirepress.com/rapidcartpro/index.php?product/page/108/An+Experience+on+the+Tongue

My debut collection Eat the Storms is…

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Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 12

Eat The Storms

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 21st November 2020 and I was joined by poets Jude Marr, Darren J Beaney, Elisabeth Horan and Brian McManus. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Jude Marr is on Instagram at @JudeMarr1 with a book out now entitled We Know Each Other By Our Wounds published by Animal Heart Press and available here…

https://www.animalheartpress.net/p/purchase-we-know-each-other-by-our.html

and you can find Jude Marr also here…

http://judemarr.com/

Darren J Beaney is on Twitter at @DJ_Be_An and at @DragonfliesSW and his website…

http://djbeaney.wordpress.com

You can find DragonFlies Spoken Word on Facebook here…

https://www.facebook.com/FlightoftheDragonfly/

Darren’s collection Honey Dew will be released on 8th December from The Hedgehog Poetry Press

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/

Elisabeth Horan is on Twitter at @ehoranpoet and can be found at her website…

https://www.ehoranpoet.com/

And you can find Elisabeth…

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The Woman With An Owl Tattoo – Anne Walsh Donnelly

Eat The Storms

Anne Walsh Donnelly opens her chapbook The Woman with an Owl Tattoo, published by Fly on the Wall Press, with the no-holes barred, blaring, bold Guide to Becoming a Writer, a poem that documents a life in change, in search, in turmoil, in the depths of despair, indivisible from the pen. And we instantly know we don’t want this collection to end.
Death comes early to this collection, by the second poem in fact, limp body floating face down in the pond. The owl, who once watched the wife watch the husband sleeping, didn’t make it. The timer now ticks for that wife to decide her own fate.
What follows is an often comical, always honest account of how we ignore what we don’t yet understand, kiss things to distract us, perfectly documented in the poem History of My Sexual Encounters, speak vows that will only bury us and ignore…

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Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 13

Eat The Storms

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 28th November 2020 and I was joined by poets Merril D. Smith, Serge Neptune, Kari Flickinger, Annick Yerem. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Merril D Smith is on Instagram at @merril_mds and you can find Merril on WordPress with linbks to here books here…

https://merrildsmith.com/

Serge Neptune is on Twitter at @mermanpoet and his book is published by Broken Sleep Books and available here…

https://www.brokensleepbooks.com/product-page/serge-neptune-these-queer-merboys

ElisaKari Flickinger is on Twitter at @KariFlickinger and can be found at her website…

And you can find her collection at Femme Salve Books…

Annick Yerem is on Twitter as @missyerem and you can also find her at her blog…

https://missyerem.wordpress.com/

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available…

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