To steady the pendulum

To steady the pendulum

swinging in the dark,
left to right,
I cannot see my own direction.

disillusioned-
unsure of what’s reality,
unsure of me.

dysphoric,
but of what?
who knows,
who needs to know.

maybe, of me, you see,
of me and who I’ll be.

and one day
I’ll know
that I was just for show
and I can be,
truthfully,
the one my heart does know.

Lauren Curr

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Inked

inked

I trace the draft of
the story you planned to write-
in pencil-
but you wanted it in pen.
maybe I did too.
but I knew life could be brighter
if only you wait.

so waiting is what I did,
afraid you might let go-
if I were too fast or slow-
but no- together,
we took the ink
and brushed the page
with a feathered quill,

and together,
we wrote our story
in permanent ink,
the cursive letters
joining words, alike
to the way our hands
connect. eternally.

with the quill, we
write our story into
motion, and the ink
flows free, creating something
beautiful, even in
the stains left

as the ink blots,
as the heart’s passions explode.
art. the smudged
blends into the paper,
the other threads of the tale
to create our own
kind of beautiful.

Lauren Curr

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Dear Present Me, you have done nothing wrong

I am sharing this not only to vent my frustrations but also with the aim to prove to myself and others that blatant harassment comes in many forms, and that if you feel that somebody is crossing a line, its important to listen to that…

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Anna Cowan, Girls Against

I first met Anna at a training day for Sexpression, a club which trains volunteers to teach sexual education to teenagers at local secondary schools. When I introduced myself to…

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Dear Past Me, take your time

You are not the only one who distrusts and resents that part of their body. When you enter a relationship, you will find it impossible to have sex, and you will feel futile and unloveable as a result…

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Is it flirting or stalking?

Last year I spent a portion of my gap year in Pakistan. One day I attended a lecture on Jinnah, the founder of the nation. I remember shivering in the…

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Jane’s return

Jane’s return. ‘Do not struggle so,’ I have been told, and then felt Angered and afraid Of chains and of nets.Now I have returned to youof my own free will…

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Womanhood

Womanhood

My long hair is the hood of womanhood
A waterfall of compliments and male validation, a crown
You see me in the street and know i am a girl
If i shaved my head would i be a strong woman
Or an unwoman
Red riding hood becomes the wolf

Lilah Hyman

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Little Delhi Girl

Little Delhi Girl

A little girl skipped into the road during a red light
No older than four
Bare feet pattering against dusty tarmac

What if it turns green?
What if the cars don’t see her?

Smiling, as vibrant as Delhi itself
Child of the city

The traffic her playground
One note her prize

Lilah Hyman

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Unstring my wings

Unstring my wings.

Pretty little thing – doe eyes, gentle smile –
These things you call me and it’s sweet for a while,

Until they wrap up my wings in tangled twine,
Restrain me from nature and you think that it’s fine.

I have brittle bones and one word could break them into pieces for you to collect:
When this started, I could not expect

To be taken for a thing for you to call yours,
Take me from the moors and keep me indoors –

Babe, I just want to be free
And maybe that means that this isn’t meant to be.

Though tonight I won’t sleep a wink
For all this thinking, and overthinking,

I know it’s for the best.
You – you have put my heart to the test

And I am sick of making revisions
To fit into your future visions

Of a white picket fence life,
For I was not meant to be a wife,

Not really. I was meant to be a wild thing,
Running through forests, free to unstring

My wings and let them fly.

Rhi Henry

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Washing

Washing.

Heart beat pumping aching shoulders into motion
Coarse fabric beneath tired hands
The wail of an infant ringing in her ears

She places a detergent capsule in the machine, shuts it and moves the knob to 40 degrees mixed load.

Lilah Hyman

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Why religion hates women every month

I’m in a beautiful jewellery store in Jaipur. The shopkeeper’s intensity and way of speaking would make an excellent chat show host. He tells me that because my name is Lilah and i am born on the 14th of April i should buy a clear amethyst pendant…

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