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In our Poem Suites, we bring together the voices of emerging and established poets exploring a common theme. In today’s Poem Suite, two poets explore fracturing, fragmentation and “shards” from feminist perspectives.
By Leah Ware
Gluing the pieces together,
One by one, the mirrors go down
Along the lines traced boldly by
Isaiah Zagar, my mentor and friend
In the flow, I’ve watched him
Big ego, yes, but a visionary too
A man of peace and pieces
Who shattered and returned
His own first mosaic
Way back when
He was a young man run ragged
Next we choose our tile shards,
Reused, donated, created materials
Broken and neglected, all are welcome
As we place shiny white next to deep brown and tawny gold
Some red and blue, too
There is a place for every piece in our mural
Cut marble next to kindergarten creations
We fit them lovingly side by side
And let to dry
Day two is the mixing day
Making mud pie, icing the cake
In glorious cement dyed pink, yellow, blue, green
Confections of a mad man’s imaging
In buckets we bring our offering
The true glue that unites and binds
With each smosh and wipe between the tiles
We feel the happening
We see the transformation
From bits to whole
What was thrown away, broken, unwanted stuff
Becomes jewels, stars, notes of unique
In a back ally
Some side street unloved till now
And at end of day, there is something there
That wasn’t there before
Joy! Delight! Amazement!
Some magic descended on this
Lonely place and left
It’s indelible, shimmering trace
By L Malik
I think I’m a bad activist because I suck
at project management.
My mind is calmest in the chaos of kids and cooking so maybe
I should just do what I do well.
My friends beseech Egypt not to
execute 500 prisoners in one fell swoop even as I
broadcast the minutiae of my children’s daily diet.
In middle age
the honeycomb of my own mind, I think, has fused at the frontlines of the battles that chose me.
Like a femur worn through, neither my consciousness nor my conscience can withstand the
gross weight of the world.
Riddled with those fault lines
I am stronger than ever before and
when I break
the stubborn shards that spring apart
may make useful handtools for those who come behind me.
L Malik is a Toronto-based feminist writer of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East African heritage. Her work has appeared in rabble.ca, The New Quarterly and and The Islamic Monthly. She blogs on feminist parenting at livefromthepinkwars.wordpress.com.
Leah Ware is a creative spirit with a deep interest in writing, painting, sculpting and dancing. Raised with strong female role-models in the feminist movement, she likes to see the problems of the world as solvable through a focus on unity and solidarity. Professionally, she is a librarian who writes about the things that move her most: love, connection with the other, and understanding ourselves and the human condition. She took creative writing classes in college and now writes for her own self-expression. She has one poem published in an anthology, Forgotten Memories, put out by Poetry.com.