Monday, 17 July 2017

With today's stunning poem, "Gender Veils: Moth Women" by Nina Rubinstein Alonso, Writing In A Woman's Voice will take a vacation until July 30, 2017.  Happy days to all.


Gender Veils: Moth Women     

by Nina Rubinstein Alonso


1. Veils

First time Tangier           
women in black veils                                      
wrapped like moths at night 

wings stuck to our front door
chill November signals winter
or something else meaning unclear 

tubes of dark cloth with
women folded inside
walking fear

because our voices
vibrate high notes judged 
unconvincing meaning female

wrapped in satin shawls
lower the tone try to understand
pressure of gender generations  

no school no vote own no   
property even babies belong to            
‘him’—father brother husband

holy books distort dogma
pulled down from infinite source
as if divine wears gender.


2. Ropes

Woman in a Persian garden
arms chained to a blooming tree

no dancing nymph
no swirl of drapery

she screams she cries            
who wouldn’t go mad 

wearing cuffs of gold or iron
caged prisoner wrists

can’t move
can’t try can’t attempt

let rules from ancient days
bend before my axe.


3. Earth Woman Sky              
                                              
She draws moth wings
dark shapes                                             
luna six spot                        
burnet grey dagger

emperor gum
blotched emerald                  
silver vagabond                   
teardrop orchid

adders mouth
adam and eve                      
fairy slipper name after name
lifting moth woman 
             
bent over hair nailed to the ground
cut free will she stand       
are her legs strong enough                     
can earth wings fly?


4.  Noises of leaden prayer

In the brass heat of day
wrapped women
fear men
carrying weapons  

fear change
I’m one spy of many                        
writing underground pages              
whispering under my veil   
                           
pouring light                
generations forward                
we’ll get shot at 
bleed explanations

before brutes  
hearts nailed tight
as if belief makes                 
violence holy

supposedly sacred
banners wave
fraud as truth 
lies insist

trying to shout us down
with noise of funerals
undulant thunder
of leaden prayer.