International Women’s Day in Poetry


Ashley Blanton, Mammary

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. In celebration, here are a few lines each from the solo poetry features of a baker’s dozen (13, as in 2013) of our international women! A tapas feast, a virtual banquet.

Please click each poet’s name to read more of her work. And please also visit our Women in History feature, which also celebrates March as Women’s History Month in the USA. Collage art by Ashley Blanton, Mammary and Membrane.


Paulette Beete

(from “The Rising”)

The women gathered. The priests were gone and the temple was bitter with corpses. Still the women gathered. Still the women wrenched the heads from the doves in the traditional way. I wonder if the birds wept.

Kate Bernadette Benedict

(from “The Benefit”)

Doors open at eight but don’t come early,
there will be confidences.
Take your place between Diana and Monroe.

Lauren Camp

(from “African Curry”)

After twenty years, I ask you to tell me how to live, then trace your answer
into my pocket. At the restaurant, you rub my questions in our braided hands
as I slurp your words, all smoke and ginger.

Emari DiGiorgio

(from “Women in their Twenties”)

A few offer themselves up to be eaten.
We are all hungry.

Peg Duthie

(from “Every Angel is Terrifying”)

They are merely moons. Among the things
they cannot do: stanch blood, skin hares,
turn monsters back into the men they were.

Michaela A. Gabriel

(from “029 Copper (Cu) – The day I fell in love with a mirror”)

I invoked Aphrodite. The alchemists. Someone to blind me. With beauty. Science. Trickery. That other face wouldn’t let me avert my eyes.

Carolyn Sheehan Gandouin

(from “Pounding the Spices”)

I am pounding spices
in a marble mortar.
The pestle warms the grip
of my hand.

Rose Hunter

(from “Santa Barbara:”)

I went through there once
on the train. It was shimmering
palace and palm and
bright and jutting and
I wanted to stop; why didn’t I?
Why don’t we stop?

Jill Khoury

(from “Whip”)

You will teach them holy mysteries:
how death chases sex, how joy rides fright
like an unwanted suitor, keeps calling and calling,
and will not take his leave.

Ren Powell

(from “D.L.D. Confers with the Alienist”)

Thea, goddess of sight
floats beside me
blindly tapping my thigh

Nic Sebastian

(from “the wanderers’ blessing”)

they bless each other silently
through bitter winds:

may your name be removed
from the list of foreigners

Sarah J. Sloat

(from “Pococurante”)

No rain came and only the hardiest would live.
I played nature’s yes man; it said starve
and by god I nearly did,

my kerchief flapping half-heartedly
in the weak-tea wind, letting the sun
settle everything.

Nicolette Wong

( from “Hinamatsuri [The Doll’s Festival]”)

Sleep tight, my daughter, in the sheaf boat floating down the river. Remember the whirring spring on the day you were born, and my warmth around you rising on its crests. To guard your breakage I buried my comb in the paddy, safe from the country’s razing yaw.

Ashley Blanton, Membrane

Please click on the artist’s name for more collage work by Ashley Blanton.