#WhiteRibbonDay #Orangetheworld #16days International Day To End Violence Against Women. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about this issue. Please include a short third person bio

THAT’S HIM IN THE RAIN


he is coming my way
his breath is a train
whistling down the hills
where the girls plough
their fields and scatter
their blood and recycle
their peoples stockpiling
their sheds with scythes
and strong scissors stirring
water with their hands
producing no children
for years I must disappear
and find these girls with
strong scissors for little
hands he is lashing through
the trees a small man but
unaware of his size like a
very small dog like a Punch
puppeting me with a stick
but today an angry horse my
bruise-horse with whips when
I ride him his flanks hum
the hair on them stands up
I know the power in him
I breathe I breathe him in
he shrinks when he shouts
to the smallest fairyfly
so small he lives in my skin
his hooves are heartbeats
his heart is a black mark
I cannot cannot cross it out

-Natalie Crick

A LION OF A MAN


After visiting the zoo with Tony
I found a reddish hair,

marking my white jumper.
I knew the hair was his;

all of him was bound
in it’s taught fibres,

the brittle splits
of his manifestation,

the rouge kink
of his manner when angered.

I did not disturb the hair
for fear it would curl and snap.

It was like being alone in a room
with the sleeping lion.

-Natalie Crick

Bruised

A broken heart is not always a thousand shards
of shattered glass scattered across the floor.
Sometimes it’s the stomach-clenching twist and wrench
of a powerful fist squeezing, crushing, gripping tightly round
in a choking caress; sometimes it’s gallons of warmth
gushing past the twisted blade of a stealth assault.
Sometimes it’s a shy blossoming beneath the skin, ripening
gloriously in the tainted sunshine of another’s gaze:
slowly, in the wrappings of intimacy cultivated, the full bloom
lovingly perpetuated beyond itself, insinuated into memory
that throbs in the darkness for relief – but only complete
when the hand that soothingly strokes and traces each petal’s outline
proudly defines with rigid, gouging fingers the signing of
their autograph; like pressing into the softness of a bruise on a peach.

-Wendy Humphries

Never Again

You were my prince
loving and kind
you caressed my body
also my mind

You were my lover
soul mate and friend
there when I hurt
ready to mend

Suddenly one day
a new you appeared
no longer my shining knight
but one to be feared

Hands no longer caressed
instead rolled up tight
my body your aim
as I faced my plight

My skeletal framework
left stained black and blue
you promised – never again
but that wasn’t true

You’d kneel on the floor
and weep your sorrow
I believed and trusted you
then re-lived – tomorrow

My abdomen swollen
your feet made their aim
I was your target
then you wept with shame

Scalding hot water
as I was flung in the bath
you said you were sorry
but enough was enough

It couldn’t go on
I couldn’t take any more
at night whilst you slept
I crept out of the door

Decades have past
since you lashed out that pain
I vowed then that night–
Never again.

– Patricia M Osborne

Ink

Like a squid I squirt ink filigreed words on virgin paper
the rhubarb lips that stained with blood, salted by tears
as you peeled me layer by layer till nothing was left of my core
controlled, loved, abused and shaken by last the vestiges of
love that you promised that I hoped for as years left their bruises
pomegranate to singed brown, patterns that laced my body
caged like the slave girl who dared to fall in love with a prince
Anar, the Persian fruit of love, transformed to the fruit of the dead
of Hades, like Persephone, the underworld beckons me.

Glossary: Anar is the Persian name for pomegranate.

-Leela Soma

Three Lions 11 July 2021

The first time in 55 years
I keep the supply of beer coming
cold, not cool, as he likes it

Losing puts him in a bad mood
in the debris of my life
sometimes I win, mostly I lose

From the kitchen, his reddening face
the pile of cans, like a mini citadel
grows on the coffee table

The pizza isn’t right
Undercooked he says
not enough pepperoni

After extra time it’s penalties
he’s on the edge of his seat
then it’s all over

The cans kicked off the table
I hope you’re happy
you Welsh bitch

The crunch of fist on cheekbone
a penalty he doesn’t miss

Published in the September 2021 issue of Yggdrasill.

-Annest Gwilym

TRIGGER WARNING
THIS WILL BE A DIFFICULT READ FOR SOME THAT MAY FIND THESE PIECES DISTURBING.

*****
Tears Of A God

My son’s eyes are ice.
I have seen this look before.

He lugs my dog Sheba by her mane,
hauls her along the floor

a piece of meat, slopping over gunnels
in an abattoir, blood down the drains.

Her paws scratch and scrape
he dumps her at my feet.

Bite its ear!
I shake my head.

If it’s done wrong, and it has
bite its ear. I shake my head

mumble
Done nothing wrong.

Eh! Speak up woman!
It ‘aint done nothing wrong. Jack!

Fine rain falls through grey skies
in the pub yard, and a yellow

fluid flows out from under the dog.
Dirty bitch!

He kicks Sheba in her side.
She whimpers, puts her head

pleadingly on the black shiny
surface of my court shoes.

I‘ll do it then!
Snatches her up

by the scruff
Getting a dog

and not bringing it up right.
Stupid cow!

He snaps at the silk of her ear.
She yelps. I cry.

Stupid sodding cow!
He slaps me hard

across my face. I feel
his gold rings on my cheek.

Stop whimpering!
Pushes me up against

the wet wall. His cold eyes
up close make me shiver.

One hand on my throat,
the other points at her. I mumble.

Not again Jack. Please.
My legs have gone.

Treat the bitch right
and it’ll treat you right.

Sheba inches against the wall,
low and hung back like the grey clouds.

Jack lets me fall. The pub door slams
Sheba, up on her legs again,

licks my face, lays down by my side
puts her head on my black court shoes.

Her neck is warm. My back hurts.
They call the rain the “Tears of a God”

First published in “Degenerates for Peace, Domestic Abuse edition, 2017”

Bios And Link

-Patricia M Osborne

is married with grown-up children and grandchildren. In 2019 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing (University of Brighton).

Patricia is a published novelist, poet and short fiction writer. She has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Poetry pamphlets, Taxus Baccata and The Montefiore Bride were published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2020 and co-authored poetry pamphlet Sherry & Sparkly to be published December 2021 by The Hedgehog Poetry Press.

She has a successful blog at Whitewingsbooks.com featuring other writers. When Patricia isn’t working on her own writing, she enjoys sharing her knowledge, acting as a mentor to fellow writers.

Signed copies available on website:

https://whitewingsbooks.com/shop/

-Annest Gwilym

Author of two books of poetry: Surfacing (2018) and What the Owl Taught Me (2020), both published by Lapwing Poetry. What the Owl Taught Me was Poetry Kit’s Book of the Month in June 2020 and one of North of Oxford’s summer reading recommendations in 2020. Annest has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, both online and in print, and placed in several writing competitions, winning one. She was the editor of the webzine Nine Muses Poetry from 2018-2020. She is a nominee for Best of the Net 2021. Twitter: @AnnestGwilym

-Wendy Humphries

is a cat-loving wife, mother and English teacher who enjoys grappling with language and all of its glorious possibilities. She fiercely believes that words have power and should be used with care, always.

-Natalie Crick

has poems published in The Poetry Review,The Moth, New Welsh Review and elsewhere. She is studying for an MPhil in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Last year one of Natalie’s poems was commended in the Verve Poetry Festival Competition 2020 on the theme of diversity and awarded second prize in the Newcastle Poetry Competition 2020. 

One of her poems received a special mention by judge Ilya Kaminsky in the Poetry London Prize 2020. This year a poem was highly commended in the Folklore Poetry Prize, highly commended in the Wales Poetry Award and she received a nomination for The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Natalie is co-founder / poetry editor of a small literary press based in Newcastle and Prague, Fragmented Voices.

Twitter: @PoetryNatalie 

Instagram: natalieiswriting999

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