Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Mary Silwance’

Forgive me, Mother a Lamentation — By Mary Silwance

Because I want

I dominate

 

take without need

devour without hunger

guzzle without thirst

 

pretty houses

pretty things

pretty self

yielding You made ugly

for my pretties.

 

Yet on the altar of reckoning,

knife point of my own extinction,

You will ask me

 

Why do I

drown Your waters

 

slash Your forests

choke the air

Your very breath?

 

How will I answer?

 

Forgive me, Mother

 

for I wage holocaust

on Your handiwork

 

eviscerate Your contours

for coal

 

mainline Your veins and

arteries with my hubris

 

cram Your nostrils and mouth

with CAFOs until Your lungs explode

 

rape You

in order to Google you

seed Your womb

with my refuse

then sodomize Your children

for oil

 

Forgive me, Mother.

 

I am soft and spoiled

rotten with excess,

putrid even to my pretty self

 

I do not notice

salmon and swallowtail

glow in reverence of You,

rhino and orangutan

nuzzle You with affection

 

ginseng and goldenrod

exult Your essence

 

sea lion and snow leopard

pay homage to You

 

pine and sequoia’s

fragrant gratitude of You

 

before

 

I sacrifice them

on the altar

of the American Dream.

~ Mary Silwance

 

Mary Silwance is an environmentalist, gardener and mother. She served as poetry co-editor for Kansas City Voices and is a member of the Kansas City Writers Group. Her work has appeared in Konza Journal, Descansos, Heartland: Poems, Sequestrum, Well Versed, Rock Springs Review and her blog, tonicwild.

 

Guest Editor Maril Crabtree’s latest poetry collection, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark, is a 2018 Notable Kansas Book selection. In addition to three published chapbooks, her work has appeared in Canyon Voices, Main Street Rag, Coal City Review, I-70 Review, Earth’s Daughters, and others.

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Eve — By Mary Silwance

I

 

That on the eve of

her birthday she requests

for her eyebrows to be done

explaining other girls

do it, have been doing it

 

so my mother

 

with a French-tipped nail

slowly trails

my daughter’s brow

and colluding

offers

 

a rite of passage

and I wonder

 

into what.

 

II

 

That on the eve of

her birthday she asks

and I am thrust

into adolescent self alteration parading the catwalk,

masquerading the minefield

of female rites of passage,

into the cult of blind self-consciousness

clambering up the Sisyphean slope

of the unattainable oasis

the backlit mirage of perfection.

 

When did she start dissecting her (whole) self

into pieces (of self) and render them

unacceptable?

Where will the lines of her newly shaped brows take her?

nose job, boob job, hair job, lip jobs above and below

we decry FGM at the hands of mothers and aunties

across the sea

yet practice our own mutilation at the hands of mothers and aunties

right here

 

III

 

That on the eve of

her birthday she asks

for her eyebrows to be done

explaining other girls

do it, have been doing it

 

so I

 

trail my soil-stained hands

along her pristine face

and offer

 

your brows are perfect as they are

on your perfect as it is face your

perfect as it is you

and for the long

moment of your being

you will remain glorious

 

and

 

colluding

let us

move the needle

not to you but from you

to excise the lie

and

right the passage.

~ Mary Silwance

Mary Silwance is an environmental educator and activist who blogs at Tonic Wild and cofounded One Less Pipeline. She is a mother of three and a gardener who aspires to having goats, bees and chickens. Her work has been published in Syracuse Cultural Workers Datebook, Konza Journal, Descansos and Sequestrum.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of two dozen books, including, most recently, Miriam’s Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, a collection of embodied poetry. . Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads writing and singing retreats. 

The Disappeared — By Mary Silwance

term to describe

people erased

for existing

against the grain–

 

the disappeared

 

gone

not like the rapture

not from natural causes diseases accidents age

but deleted

 

the disappeared

 

aborted

long after birth

tossed into

the garbage bin

behind history books

 

the disappeared

 

expunged

blue contacts over brown seeing

flat iron over kinky locks

jeans over galabaya*

Irish Spring over cumin and garlic

the letters of your name

syllables of you

forever on papers

rearranged to match

a stranger in a strange land’s ear
the disappeared

~ Mary Silwance

*flowing gown worn by Middle Easterners

Mary Silwance is an environmental educator and activist who blogs at Tonic Wild and founded One Less Pipeline. She is a mother of three and a gardener who aspires to having goats, bees and chickens. Her work has been published in Syracuse Cultural Workers Datebook, Konza Journal, Descansos and Sequestrum.

 

Guest Editor Maril Crabtree holds B.A, M.A., and J.D. degrees from the University of Kansas and has taught French, English, therapeutic writing, yoga, and sustainable living. Her poetry, short stories, and essays have been published in numerous journals, along with three chapbooks. Her full-length collection, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark, will be published in August, 2017.

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