Still I Rise: IWD 2018, Anthology of Poems

Reading Time: 33 minutes

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018, Different Truths Poets present an anthology of poems, celebrating the woman, in paroxysms of emotions, enigmatic and multilayered, like her persona. Thirty-eight poets, from around the world, contributed a poem each, as part of the Special Feature, exclusively for Different Truths.  


  1. prelude

they want

a package

nicely wrapped

pleasing to look at

fluid and graceful in motion

surprises underneath

to be revealed


they want

they say so




the curve of the spine

the lift of the neck


I am female; your gender, your life, are your own; I do not define you

like you, I define myself — with choices and actions

…across the ages, I have had sisters

whose choices have been taken from them

… if my choice to act is taken from me

I will choose another response

 — alive inside, where you cannot follow  …  ever

 … so much, which could have been, lost …


they want

you want


I want

conjugation of a verb

conjugal… verbs…

next to each other,

they exist


but unique

©Michele Baron


  1. Bacha Posh

Free myself of isolation chains 

all obscurity surrounding my mind

the walls that deny existence

open now the entrances of liberty

let me be a self beyond the curtains

that blinds all light, dampening the spirit,

for a bird is about to die!

I will gladly hide my soft curves

while the fresh air hits my face 

with the flavor of danger

the sting of manhood

ruling the world.


*bacha posh – dressed up and disguised as a boy.

Refers to a cultural practice in which a daughter is sent off into the world as one of the boys.

©Luz María López


  1. Destiny

I am dying inside

Slowly, silently

The lights switch off

Darkening one corner, then another

One piece at a time

The web of scar tissue,

Creeping further, covering more.


The ache, intrinsic,

Seeping deeper

My bones melt.

What ails me, what hurts?


The questions tumble

The tears spill,

The wet tracks…silent answers

In a language familiar…yet not.


Subtle slights fight inattention

For their day in the sun

And I am no more

Just a shadow

That waits for a drop of sunshine

To unfurl, to claim

That which is my destiny.

©Harshali Singh


  1. Me

My worth

Is not in your eyes,

But in my own glance,

And it’s more important to know

If I find myself


My identity

Is not in being

Connected to you,

But in being myself

And in your accepting me

The way I am!

My love

Is not in my body,

But in my soul,

And before I can learn

To love you,

I have to learn

To love myself

Fully and completely!

© Neelam Saxena Chandra


  1. Black Drops

She can still see you

her dreamed world

in which

she gave up dreams for love.

and now?

On her cheeks,

like rain

run down

the black drops of ink –

the rain of the soul.

with tears she wanted

To drown out her longings,

but she is unable to lose the memories.

like a camel with its water,

and so she –

carries the weight of the past.

©Eliza Segiet
Translated by Artur Komoter


  1. Woman

She is a woman 

And able to do any task 

Cooking cleaning laundering 


Taking care of her children 

A single mother 

By choice 

Taking care of her aged parents 

Walks and talks fast 

To the point 

As she is on a schedule

Wanting to show the world 

She can successfully.

Then why the world 

Looks down on him?

She is a woman of courage

Strength, vigor, and compassion.

For God’s sake 

Leave her alone 

To live the way she wants!

She is strong enough 

To shoulder all 

What she has to 

And does with a smile 

And gratitude to God 

For making her strong 

And sufficient.

She has no complaints 

Walks with her head held high 

Ignoring the remarks 


She is a woman 

To be adored 

To be respected 

To be loved!

©Sarala Balachandran 


  1. Forever Free

Tonight my Womb died

Shrunken shrivelled corpse

And all the flowers died within me.

My womb and the flowers decomposed together

Letting out one silent yelp

And a rotten stench…


Tonight I liberated myself

From every bond that held me dear

Now I had no fear 

To march ahead 

I am a tree trunk made of deadwood

My leaves are shed


When you killed my girl in my womb

I vowed not to die but to march ahead

Beyond fear beyond care beyond one’s self

To set her soul free


May my Girl live forever in me

©Ipsita Ganguli  


  1. For Sale – A Poem 

(From a Dalit woman)

I eat rats

and my skin is tawny;

I hold you gasping

in between my thighs, shrieking

till a dead woman;

My cheeks are hollow,

my eyes bulge

I wear the kohl of cremation

the water resides in me,

yet my breasts dry from a menstrual pause

I abjure, the mockery

on my itchy skin, age-old

I eat rats

My skin creases, there’s a

story behind my sagging breasts

stories that sob in my vagina, the effortless ones

to wallow in your lust and dust scraped effigies

there’s no blood on bridal beds for me

I am sentenced for life

these blank and ugly blotches

on my skin, are a concession to

the caste I wear, the skin I bleed.

©Deeya Bhattacharya


  1. The Immaculate Widow

Doused fire – singed pyre

Within; yet to be seen.

Draped in white, the yards trail behind

Pristine yarns, ballads of woven hymns

Embrace slender, supple spirits

moonlit silver arms

Look not yonder, commands stoic,

The ghat – the mute witness – to residue burn

Frolicking are the ones

Whose whites glow, laced with reds

Gold resplendent!

Caught amidst turmeric and penitence – an adieu, shouldn’t it suffice?!

Pacing footsteps on cold stone walls

drawn along verisimilitude halls

There’s the well for one to dwell –

feelings multitude!

How else does one dunk the bucket and pull out one’s self!

Alas! White, I don

Untouched? Unscathed?

By whose norms one contemplates alone

Sudden so stark

Ebbed and surged with the mighty pall

Stowaway memories on fraying shelves

Pull up the garb

Cover sanity with grace, utter not; utter disgrace!

Lost cause on an emotionless refrain

When did Gardenia lose essence?

She retrospects

Such fondness for the Jasmine trails on tresses

Tonsured perfection now instead

Eyes weary dare not ask

Hidden gold in lemon blooms

The breeze carries the fragrance next door


While White remains in a silent uproar

Why now to voice a thought?

Scattered about are the jasmine buds

Devoid of henna – now in plain

Palms awash – saffron in milky stain 

©Devika Raghave


  1. A Dreamscape of Sugar Coated Concerns

Amidst the heat and weight of lauding

Glories of Women’s Day;

Contemporary realities of life

It’s unchanging configurations

Of thought, emotion, sound, and word

Remain muzzled beyond repair.

The painted girl at the till

Accoutered in smart black trousers

Fitted blue shirt and cherry pink lips

Smiles dully at the customers arriving late

Buying frenzy of clothes and accessories follows

She could never afford to wear

Her salary having too many claimants

Wiping lipstick, heavy makeup, untying styled hair

Cinderella dons her ordinary shalwar suit

A late shift followed by a long commute 

She cooks and cleans for a family 

Full of quarrel and scorn.

The faded child bride

Heavily pregnant with the third

Leaves her two infants

Unattended on the sand pile

Two tall rows of bricks on her head

She squints at the high rise building taking shape

Reaching the summit

She shies away from the clutches of the hirsute overseer 

A salty trickle wets her cheeks

Unable to dream the impossibility

Of a safe home of her own.

With such knotted skeins in life

These women on the margin

Go unheard, unseen

The sugar coated concerns

Pushing boundaries on red-tape files

Without meaning, what they should mean!

©Mamta Joshi  


  1. And I Testify


Whither away all the trees once they hibernate in water

and your heart withers away,

the heartbeat pendent on the highest offshoot…



When the eyes of the sky fall into the water

I came to know that green is more akin to the pain than the black

and that unforgiveness was what was oozing out of that crock

I counted how many times the scorpion whirled towards the ashes

inside the circle of scarlet flame



The golden daffodil under the naked tree

the purple hyacinth falling out of my hair,

the lace on the weaving loom,

would it know how hard it is to be cleansed from the scarlet?

while carrying the fire in your palm…



Here I am,

in the shadow of your countenance

in the silence of flowing nothingness


And I testify

that the cracks in my walls

can only be plastered with solitude



And now-

one must die like a dead tree leaning on a river bank,

close to heavens, far away from you


One must die…

 ©Nevin Koçoğlu


  1. She: a dilemma/a solution

Those thousand existing twinges

Her irresistible giggles redressed.

An affable warmth roused, with

Blazes of her eyes

In the total chaos, in endless havoc

Her perfervid self-rested…

She possessed a soul that ran

Deeper than a black hole..

The heiress of a priceless heart

Inheriting a cosmos of her own.

She stopped for everyone

But waited for none

As simple as an understanding

As complex as a paradox

….The World wasn’t ready for her…! 

©Monika Ajay Kaul  


  1. Middle East


It lulls the history on its feet since it gave birth to it,

it combs louse from its hair with human ribs



Skirts of the cities are scattered by desert winds

over stone courtyards, mosques, ancient squares,

vaulted streets which always lead to one another

A smell of ground coffee, spice, and gunpowder

roasts on same coals:

sands cover the blood, but cannot wash…



Names of God written to the desert

are savagery, ignorance

Children are born and die

famine is their destiny, diarrhea is their fate:

grudge does not make a wish…



In the desert night

cold, belief and family consensus

warm up backing in one another:

even if they are killed, Bedouin felt

does not penetrate blood …



The women are bought and sold

in exchange for a camel

They are circumcised from life:

their faces are tattooed to men,

hearts are harvester… 

©Hilal Karahan


  1. Then, Why?

Sometimes in my father’s garden 

I am a charming flower

Nurtured with lots of love and care.


Sometimes I’m a sister,

Sometimes a loving daughter,


Sometimes I am a wife 

And a caring mother,

Love my family more than any other.


Then why this gender inequality

Why this dominating gesture?

Have you justified

Have you thought ever?


Why this domestic violence,

The curse-like dowry by some 

Inhuman-like creature?


Wake up! O, woman!

Know thyself and your nature,

Patience and tolerance are your

Utmost power, don’t let it be exploited

By some other.


Stand upright and get ready to fight.

To live an independent life is your right.

©Sumana Bhattacharjee  


  1. Bounded Freedom

Which attire to wear? Today, I am being celebrated,

The day is a sunny one, the skies so deep

The clouds so milky!


Why, if I could, I would have sat on the green grass 

In a shady spot somewhere on the slopes of a mountain

And I would have indulged in loosening up my tight armor

So as to be myself for a while;

A child mesmerised by the gurgling of river water

A child enchanted by the freshness of the soil

A child ecstatic at the imagined shapes of clouds

A child connected to the soul of the Universe

A child, simply!


But since the society has its eyes glued on me,

 I have to stand by my wardrobe

And choose which attire to wear

For even if, on this day, I am being celebrated,

I have to hide my real self

Yes, I have to show that I am strong,

having no needs, ready to abide,

To fight even and to be a painting hung on a wall

Meant to be admired by one and all!


Even in this advanced age,

I feel not free to be

Rather, I feel that I have to show

Yes, show that I have no tears when I cry in hiding

Show that I am not weak when fear rules over me each night

Show that I am confident when I am ridden with anxiety

Show that I only have to give when I am, in fact, thirsty

Show that I am fierce when I crave to act as per my softness

Show that I am abiding when I only wish to tolerate with a smile!


Which attire to wear? Wish I not to attract sinful glances over me

Wish I not to seem too sissy, wish I not to seem slutty

How to abide, how to breathe, how to thrive, when

During my celebrated day, I feel not free to be the woman that I am!

©Anoucheka Gangabissoon


  1. Paragon of Love

Women love to see a man’s soft, sensitive side

As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,

The smile that proves the parent to a sigh

The quietest need, by sun and candlelight

We’ve walked on this earth many times together

Age makes us translucent; it is too wide-awake,

Woman’s love entices all

Let us fill the earth with the fragrance of love

Something not everyone knows – how to love

It is the only thing that makes sense

Women are the paragon of love and power;

Like lightning’s that precede the mighty storm.

©Dr. Brajesh Kumar Gupta “Mewadev”


17. Right from the Womb!

I am unwanted right from the womb

Disparaged for my gender

Born by chance and undesirable by will

Tagged as an albatross to humanity

Discriminated for the attributes that make me, me


Over generations, I had to prove my worth

But still, I am not the loved one

Again and again, I’m killed in the womb

Suffocated to death

Seldom given a chance

To catch a glimpse of the heart that yearned to see me born


For she was burnt for bearing one

Coercing her, want me no more

For she foresees the pathetic situation I would be in

Cursing the day she bore me and me born

But, would this all change for good

Not peripherally but deep down


Pray the day comes when I am not loathed as a piece of meat

Or despised as a vulnerable and a recessive trait

But accepted as a human and not identified by my gender

For I want neither to be superior nor dominant, but a human first


I want humankind to look at me and wonder

And to ponder if it was the right thing, whatever they did and do

For I cannot forget or forgive, the gruesome atrocities

That scarred my existence for decades

Why do they forget where they come from?

The humiliation the womb has to bear, to bear

Does it even matter to humankind, what it feels like not to matter anymore?

And to be called a petticoat or a skirt all the more?

©Sailasree Potay

18. Her Melancholic Tale

Under the night sky with fluorescent heavenly bodies

Poignantly, she tells her tale

The tale which only I could perceive with ear 

An excruciating one, which unveils the world around 

Peeping through the window,

Saw tiny tots romping  with glittered silica  

Agonizingly said, – why can’t she?

The morning  hours with loud vociferation

Of temple’s edification  allure  her

Even les enfant  with barefoot and uncombed hair go

Agonizingly said – why can’t she?

At sweet sixteen she wore  the veil

And the Vermilion bangles 

Standing in front of a mirror, 

She glimpses  herself  as crowned czarina 

But those foggy nights 

Made her image to despair

And suddenly fell the crown down 

Foggy nights with dewdrops of dowry 

Shove her to enslave in her own realm 

Her  harrowing tale made me cry inside the dark

Am the ephemera of my mom’s womb 

I crave to stop  those scary scissors 

To oust me from my unborn home

©Priyanka Priyadarshini


19. Ananku

Femininity that goes unaccepted, remains unforgiving

vengeance of Kamakhya in the month of Ashaad 

The Brahmaputra devoid of ichor 

corroding muliebrity till it shrivels into a vestigial flicker

Decades later, when lovers celebrate your womanhood

you fail to find beauty in yourself 

no matter how long you gaze at the mirror

reflecting your glistening nakedness

after vigor of copulation

Half-hearted attempts to love what you could not accept

do nothing to assuage the annihilation 

you fostered in the pit of your womb 

sown by the discontent of your mother at your birth

reiterated into a receptacle of guilt

that outweighs rings of smoke you blow

by rolling joints of any self-esteem accrued

despite waging an endless war with hirsutism

We don’t always get to choose our battles

certainly not those that start with 

a blade wedged against our necks 

but end them we must, with Shakti striding atop

Femininity that goes unaccepted remains unforgiving

©Nalini Priyadarshni


20. Mothers of the world

When I was a little girl, wearing frocks of lace,

My mother infused in me, love and grace.

When I grew up to be a mother,

Tried to bring, Love and laughter on my daughter’s platter.

Now as a grandmother, I try

To bring courage, compassion in my grandchild.

How many hats do we often doff

As daughter, sister, wife, grandmother and more.

The beauty that I behold now, close to my heart,

Is that of my mother, crossing eight decades and eight springs.

With her toothless smile and dim lit eyes,

Wobbling with a stick, taking tiny steps,

So dependent for all her basic needs.

Waiting…waiting and waiting, silently

When her prodigy finds time in busy schedules.

She is not just my mother,

But an epitome of all mothers in the world,

In their twilight years…calling a cuckoos song!

Who shall now become the beacon of strength?

A pillar of strength to assure and hold their hands!

Believe it or not; they are the sunshine and goldmines,  

That the fabric of society, today stays intact.

Today they are here, tomorrow will be gone

So here’s a salute to all the mothers in their twilight years,

Salute to that woman who educates the society,

Salute to that womb that gives birth to the girl child,

Salute to the girl child that grows,

To shower love to humanity,

And the world to evolve.

©Kiren Babal


21. A Unique Creation

She is the incarnation

Of beauty and to her nation

Ascends to the destination;

No doubt, a unique creation

Of God, in jubilation.


A woman is the loveliest flower

Decorated in our delightful bower

Sprinkling everywhere the sweet scent shower

Standing against the time’s power

With strength in an unfavorable hour.


Having strong will in her heart

With zeal and pride for her part

Facing the tempest’s strike she converts

Into greenery the panting desert

Defeating it in its dangerous sport.


With her knowledge great

To our hearts she emancipates

From time’s unbearable weight

Keeping our path straight

To the Goal Ultimate.

©Alok Mishra


22. The Woman in Me

I asked the woman in you and me

What makes the contentment of thee

Your soul deeper than the depth of the ocean

Your tolerance, Wider and

Higher than space not in motion

You have treasured the beauty

Forever brimmed with duties

You are the unarmed warrior

Made by God the saviour

You take sufferings and pain

Yet all your sacrifices in vain

I asked the woman in me

What makes you tolerate

the humiliation

the devastation

She smiles with the tears

Winning all the fears

And says

My loving lord

Has bestowed in me

His divine blessings of love  

Forgiveness and  compassion


To make this world living

Full of passion.

©Aarti Mittal

23. Hide and Seek

In the darkness, his fingers can see.

They fast track the hidden skin.

They pose and fly and fly and pose

like a very busy bee.


With unquenchable hunger, they rummage

under the blankets for an oasis to drink.


Their thirst ends when they get as hot as matches lit.

They obey nothing but the flesh. Delusions grow big!


An old new game: The awakening of the sleeping bud

or simply the new version of bedtime hide and seek.


A stallion with no bit traverses the meadow nightly.

And a butterfly whose flight is cut short.

Over a lava river, her wings will fall.


Tomorrow we will play more, daddy exhausted grins.

Tomorrow we will play when mom is asleep.


The girl inside me is torn to pieces.


How much more will be broken before the break of dawn?


A scream clogs her throat.


There is no one, no place to go.

The silent scream echoes in her bedroom,

It echoes in the closed windows, in the distance,


it is carried by the wind.

It echoes in the hopelessness and hollowness

in this busy modern world.


Can you not hear her cry for help?


It echoes, echoes all over the world and deep inside me!

© Zulma Quinones Senati


24. Burning Issue


A gullible girl.

She firmly stands at the time 

when life seems the futile whirl.

Her agile eyes shine

like a seashell pearl.

The Coral reef of warm sea 

like her lips smiles.

Smiles, after seeing 

some known & unknown faces. 

She feels herself 

with a glimpse of joy.

But an unexpected fear exists.

Her expectancy of faith diminishes.

Diminishes, from the brutal society 

if just for a while.

Suddenly, I stop my muse 

to work on the same –

Why some of the girls become a puppet 

of cruel hands??

©Durgesh Verma


25. Proud to be a Woman

By wrapping my depressions in an envelope,

 I sent it to the sky to find my creator…

The wish was, at least, He should read what a woman thinks

This waiting for His reply was not at all painful,

I was satisfied by my action, that I could raise my voice.


In the womb of gliding moments, 

Over the blank canvas that He gifted,

I am rewriting the history

Of our all hidden achievement.


I swear, 

Besides us, the woman,

Earth would not be earth,

Love would not be love, 

Relations would not be relations.


I am proud to be a woman

©Sarojini Pattayat

26. A woman in a Cell

What’s hot?

A bare belly or the short dress

Whom do you call hot, I ask truly?

Retired arms click ‘sexy’ without even conversing

Did you read her, from her shaped belly?

Or did you just imagine her with you?

What’s natural for you when you feel nothing.

You just see the small part of her entirety

Did you dance with her to drink the tunes?

Or did you just slice your thoughts into the part called ‘hot’?

Tick tick tick, muscles seldom relax after seeing her

Reluctantly they step on a mature arm but get scared

Scared of the how similarly a mature and young mind thinks

As if the picture is meant to feel the desire of lust

Did you pluck a rose for her?

Did you read a story to her in a silent library?

Did you walk miles with her towards the setting sun?

Did you thrill her by singing your mother’s song?

Did you solve for her the puzzles, invisible in the picture?

Did you stop her from stepping in wrong arms?

Did you click the same words with a hot cup of tea?

Did you slide off the lust to show your love?

Then what makes you feel that you have the word ‘hot’

In your scattered vocabulary?

Several lenses mould together to make her a voice of femininity

And you figure out the revealing part synonymous with ‘hot’

Should I laugh at the scarcity of your education?

Or should I feel pity for the face that you bear now?

©Kabir Deb


27. Dear Woman

When will you break your silence

When can we hear the story

Of your unthinkable journey

Of the things you’ve seen,

Of the winds that have blown

Dear woman!

When will we hear your tale,

The secret of your magic game

The shape of a daughter and then of sister

The shape of wife and then of mom

And then again completely formless

Dear woman!

How much we want to hear your magic

How much we want to read your poetry

How much we want to see your dance

Please reveal to us the story

The secret of your private art


Epitomised love and beauty

Made for us to be adored

Many days they shine for us

But too often they’re ignored

The more we let them in our heart

The more we open our mind

The more love in our life

All of us will find    




28. An Ode to Womaniya


I will not conform to your ideals

I am a married woman

But I love ogling at good looking men

I love my drinks when they are mixed well

And I love riding a Harley!


I will not conform to your ideals

I am a mother of two

But I enjoy my sexuality and my desires

And express them the way I want to

I love my body, stretch marks, scars and moles


I will not conform to your ideals

I am a working woman

But I enjoy housekeeping too

I do it not because I’m a woman

But because I’m proud of my home


I will not conform to your ideals

I am a wife

But I will decide when someone can touch me

Caress me and make love to me

And I will do it on my terms


I will not conform to your ideals

I am a daughter and a daughter in law

But I will not give in to everyone’s whims and fancies

I will stay firm in my choices

And I will do it out of respect for myself


I will not conform to your ideals

I am a sister and a sister in law

But I will not be bullied

I will speak my mind openly

And I will not give a fuck if you disagree


I will not conform to your ideals

I am a woman

I cannot be expected to fit

I have way too many hands

And way too many heads

I am a woman

And hence I cannot conform

I am gentle, yet strong, at will and might

I am quiet, yet my voice can reach across oceans

I am meek, yet I can stand my ground

I am warm, yet I can freeze hell over

I am calm, yet I can be the tempest

I am soft, yet I can plough a field

I am a woman and I cannot fit into any ideal!



29. Woman

Yes, I can be Sati,

I can be Sita too!

But only and only if I want to be,

Not when you dictate the terms to me!

And why should you?

You do not own me

For I am my own master you see,

Uniquely created by the creator,

Not to be shackled,

Nor fettered

By you or your societal norms,

Problems! You are welcome to stay with them,

Ah! Let me tell you that I have problems too,

Problems with the way you look at me,

Drool and salivate at my physique,

I have a problem when you have a problem with my mini skirt,

Or my drinks; or even if I at times flirt!

If you are free to do as you will,

Do not you see that so am I

Being a woman does not make me any less,

In fact, I am much more,

Much more than just this body, the boobs or vagina,

I am the woman who has stepped forward,

Reached the moon and the stars,

I am the queen who creates and can also destroy,

Remember, I am the mother who brings you forth into this world,

So let me be, just let me be,

Do not penetrate deep into me, do not hurt me more,

Lest I pick up the cudgels for myself

And you are then transformed into dust, just mere dust!

©Madhumita Bhattacharjee Nayyar


30. Womanhood

Waving gracefully with wanton winds, her sails drape her womanhood, as she nurtures love, braving tempests that rattle her engorged bosom,

On and on she buoys herself with relentless tides of moons, waxing and waning with seasons that leave her ageless, in a polarized chasm,

Mermaid bewitching she floats a dream in the eyes of Kings and beggars alike who desire to crown her and later dethrone her resilience, with their patriarchal dictum,

A vessel sleek is she cutting through choppy seas, leaving a wake of constructive chaos creating gems in depths of oceans you cannot fathom,

Nestling an entire earth in a creative saga oh woman, never to be drowned, auctioned, beached in the whirlwinds of the microcosm or the microcosm.

Hovering over creation she drones a hymn of a universal hum in a language transcending realms of disparity, beyond a schism,

Outshining every star on the horizon there she stands triumphant like a beacon, letting light pass through her heart prism,

Outpouring like a fountainhead her emotions rule her in vibrant colours, as she paints her life with spontaneous enthusiasm,

Drowning all her pride she swallows grief and injustice caused to her till like a tectonic plate she shifts, her sob causing a quake in a spasm.

©Geethanjali Dilip


31. A Far Cry!

Woman’s Day.

Is that a statement of a state of affairs?

Or a questioning cry that wails about the hypocrisy of human nature?

Every moment makes me feel less of a woman,

More of a prey that vultures brutally wish to feed upon.

Every walk outside, an open invitation to molestation of my insides.

My emotions ramble on, muttering, grumbling, lamenting,

Pleading for justice in an unjust world.

Know not which yuga we reside now in (does it even make a difference?).

All I can call it is The Dark Age where the womb is torn apart

To satiate lust, where a woman no longer a mother, sister, wife

But a creature, an unending black hole taking in hurt, savagery, strife.

Draupadi, Sita happened not very long ago it seems.

Their modern-day versions play the same roles again and again.

No girl child safe to celebrate a day just for her breed, her gender.

Broadmindedness of lifestyle today performs an autocorrect

Of thoughts, perception, of interpretation of life itself.

What seemed a value, a principle restricted to word on paper.

Sex no longer a beautiful union, a breeze that slaps gently against your face.

Semen balloons used today to celebrate.


Woman’s Day.

A misleading expression.

A slander to womanhood!

©Shail Raghuvanshi


32. A Woman is a Flower

A woman is a flower

To be watered only with

Tender hands of affection

She is the soft dew

 Of dawn’s promises

A woman is a blessing

Rich with the assurance

Of procreation

A woman is a sweetness

Filled with the alluring

Charms of giggles

A woman is all it takes

To know love

A woman is all it takes

To know heaven…

©Edidiong Bassey


33. Deflowered


And her little hands again banged

on my car window.

She had the bunch of flowers still

clutched close to her heart.

And just the other day you bought

those wildflowers from her.

Softly touched my blushed skin

with their stalks.

She was happy too.

She had smiled at the money earned.

I smiled too, for the love

your flowers brought.

A whiff of fragrance.

It again wafted through the north wind today.

I rolled the windows down as my car came to a halt.

She stretched her hands out, looking for you.

Her smile vanished.

The seat by me was empty.

Her eyes met my vacant ones.

She tore the petals, her head bowed.

A teardrop trickled down on my lap

Where you had put the wildflowers

that day and made love!

©Saheli Mitra


34. Doppelgänger

I often have a dream

            of a woman in white

            with yellow flowers  in her hair

I think they’re daisies or sunflowers

            I don’t know for sure


she stands atop a mountain

            or is it a hill? I’ve no idea




sway at her feet

            she walks the edge, her arms stretched


            a ballerina taking centre stage

for a final swansong


I think I know her, but I’m not sure

            her eyes are the same as mine

            I think, or am I mistaken?

I stand rooted

            my petrified arm dying to 



hold on

to her

            or myself, I don’t know.

© Rita Bhattacharjee




35. Tattoo


I went with my daughter to get 

her a tattoo for a present.

She chose a rising wave

breaking free of a box…

and I thought that’s great, 

because you know, mostly 

men get to ride the waves 

oblivious that women are drowning 

in work and housework, and

children and parents. 

Things that have a strong emotional undertow

 just pull you in. I felt every scrape 

of the needle on her tender, 

translucent skin, searching her

face carefully for pain,

ready to kill the tattoo artist if he made a mistake

stepping out to hyperventilate

smoke a strained cigarette, 

fervently praying that SHE 

breaks all the boxes, that she 

rides the surf better than I did.


I try to think what tattoo would 

hold meaning for me, if I could 

let a needle draw my faith upon 

my body. I’d probably get Kali,

broad hipped, wild-haired, wide 

bottomed the way real Goddesses

are, with a wheatish complexion,

but not at all homely.

I’d like to have her

dancing upon my wrist, 

laughing the way a Goddess laughs

when she has killed all her demons.

A beer in one hand,

brandishing  a ladle in the other, 

fingers of the third prancing across 

a keyboard to write a song.

A gun in the fourth just to be safe

but held out of the way of harm. 

In her fifth hand, I’d have a bar of vanilla soap, 

and of course, a book of stories 

in the sixth hand, for in the end

 we are all just stories.

Kali would hold up one hand in warning, 

or perhaps just to hail a

cab, and the last would be kept free

for caresses and comfort,  

This would be ME, who has 

killed all her demons, 

she who scoffs at all the petty lures 

of insecure Gods,

she who is done with meting out

justice, and now wants to 

let the wind dance in her silvered hair.

©Payal Talreja

36. Woman’s Vital

Far from weak, she barges ahead with strength

Not as a ship caught in a storm that would struggle

But as a star in the darkness at length

Amidst daily chores that seem a juggle


Kids robbing most hours, she complains not a bit

Unceasing her focus on family,

At home a master, at a job she submits

Dynamic, seems like robot accomplished


As king treats her man pleasing him no end

Dazzling beside her spouse, swanlike beauty

Intelligent, inspiring she contends

Exceptional, vital, she stands mighty


Efficient in all fields, in air, sea, land 

These days, in world affairs, sense her presence, 

Deserves special respect each woman

The world would cease to exist in her absence

©Sunila Khemchandani



  1. The Unapologetic Dance

    Sometimes she gets scared,

    Of the erupting lava of truth,

    Gushing out of her being,

    The threatening burst,

    Collapsing the rigid structures around,


    And she shudders and stops,

    To avoid the fingers pointed,

    Covers herself with every possible layer,

    Silence, Submission, Subjugation,

    To alienate from Chameleons,

    Who distort everything that’s good,

    She ever believed in,

    That world of intellectual hypocrites,


    She sneaks into alternate realm,

    A world of her love,

    Where they say what they feel,

    Then and there,

    All travel light,

    They dance and yes they fight,

    A world of absolute nakedness,

    Where there aren’t any veils,

    An ecstatic tribe celebrating the now,

    A world where they don’t measure,

    Her worth, her big trunk,

    Where they don’t measure,

    The length of her skirt,

    Her claim to be an heir,

    The days, years and her lifetime,

    Where she flows careless being a waterfall,

    Not knowing which river she merges into,

    She just flows and dances,

    Ecstatic, being unapologetic.

©Meenakshi M. Singh



  1. Women


In the bargain of life, it’s their lot to give,

And yet be grateful for being allowed to live;

For the female foetus dies before birth

And the girl child quietly fades from earth.

As a mother, mistress, wife, and maid,

For the pleasure of man, she’s made.

From acid attacks, stalking, and rape

How do these hapless victims escape?

Many a Gayatri, Gunjan, Gauri

Have been sacrificed for dowry.

With her man, she toils and earns

Yet, for spending power, she yearns

Nutrition for childbearing she needs,

Yet, the choicest meal, to him she feeds;

A barren woman they quickly replace

For, many are waiting to take her place. 

And if daughters are all, that she delivers

In disgrace, she hides, cowers and quivers

Each breath is beholden to his breath.

For a widow’s life is worse than death

What amazes is, the acceptance of might,

The reluctance to rebel put up a fight.

But women, by and large, have no choice,

For those like me, who raise their voice

To question mothers-in-law and misters,

Fare worse than their submissive sisters.

But the last ounce of strength I’ll gather,

And whip the horses of my will to lather.

If I can light a flame in but one woman

I’ll consider my work on this earth, done;

For when I falter and fall, others will rise

To carry my torch, towards a new sunrise.

©Amrinder Bajaj


©Different Truths Poets
Michele Baron, world-traveler/Fulbright Scholar presently living in Kyrgyzstan, published A Modest Menu: Poverty, Hunger and Food Security, in Poetry and Prose, in 2015. A World Bank/Urgent Evoke-2010 top-ten-finalist, she develops outreach projects, writes poetry, prose, and non-fiction, is an active musician, painter, artist and “full-time” mother of three school-aged children. She has a self-illustrated book The Dreaming Rugs awaiting publication.


Luz Maria Lopez a published poet, narrator, translator, editor of four international anthologies and advocate. Luz María López’s poetry has been translated into many languages and published in world-renowned literary magazines and books. She leads the “World Poetic Front Defending Women’s Rights” (WM) and is Intercontinental Director for World Festival of Poetry (WFP-CED). She is an international traveller participating in many Poetry Festivals and Literary Congresses. Received the Khatak Literary Award 2017. She is the editor of “An Anthology of Poems on Autism Awareness” (Different Truths). She is from Puerto Rico, The Caribbean Island.


Harshali Singh is a New Delhi based Member Judge at the Consumer Forum, an avid reader and a passionate Painter. Her Book ‘A Window to Her Dreams’ was launched in 2016. She has also been featured and interviewed by various e-magazines. Her poem and story were also published in the recent edition of ‘Unbound’ magazine. She is a trained Occupational Therapist from the Institute of The Physically Handicapped. She, as a teacher trainer conducts workshops to enhance proficiency in advanced teaching methodologies.


Neelam Chandra is an author of thirty-three books, is a record holder with the Limca Book of Records for being the author having the highest number of publications in a year in English and Hindi (2015). She works as Joint Secretary (U.P.S.C.).She has won an award in a poetry contest by American Embassy, Premchand award by Ministry of Railways, Rabindranath Tagore international poetry award, Freedom award by Radio city for her lyrics. She was listed in the Forbes list as one of the most popular seventy-eight authors in the country in 2014.


Eliza Segiet,  a Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, she completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. Her published poetry collections include Love Affair with Oneself; (2103), Thought Mirages (2014), Clearances (2015), Cloudiness (2016) and tandem (2017).


Sarala Balachandran was working with an import-export organisation in the administrative department for 38 years. She retired eleven years back. Married, with two sons aged 43 and 36, she took interest in writing recently. She writes free verses.



Ipsita Ganguli, a Hotelier by profession who believes in offering memories to her guests~and the charm of being a tiny part of the stories of their lives. A student of the myriad experiences that life holds out and believing that there is never any stop to learning. Above all, A people’s person relishing a connect with a variety of lives. Ipsita writes because She Must. Because there is no other way for her.


Deeya Bhattacharya was born at Durgapur, West Bengal, and did her PG in English Literature and a Graduate in Education from the University of Burdwan. Her poems and articles have appeared in several National and International journals, websites, E-zine, besides several anthologies. Member of Poets International, She has read her poetry at quite a few fests. She teaches English and Poetry at a State Government High School.


Mamta Joshi did her post graduation in History from the University of Allahabad. She writes short stories, reflective essays, prose pieces on everyday life in national dailies and international e-magazines. She writes with equal ease in Hindi. For over two decades, as a teacher of English in college section at SMC, Allahabad, she has been interacting with young minds, understanding their pulse and in turn being savvy on technology, fitness, fashion, humour and rumour too.


Nevin Koçoğlu is a Turkish poet , journalist , human rights and environmental activist. Lives in Ankara , the capital of Turkey. Graduated from Public administration. Currently studying Sociology , also the owner of the Vahittin Bozgeyik poems price. Owner of three books with poems translated in many languages. Took parts in international festivals and in poetry presentations. Poems has been published in international anthologies, also for many years working on building village libraries around the country.


Monika Ajay Kaul was born in the Breathtakingly Beautiful Vale of Kashmir, she had her schooling done there. A Post-Graduate in Business Management from New Delhi, an Academician by profession.She is passionate about writing poetry and short stories. An avid reader, mostly biographies and autobiographies of World Artists and Writers. Currently a full-time toiling mother. Besides writing, she is a painter too. Giving wings to her imagination through Beautiful Colors and Wuthering Words. As she has rightly put it into words, “Give wings to your imagination..and let your ingenuity fly..!”


Hilal Karahan is a Turkish poetess, writer, translator, mother and medical doctor (1977, Gaziantep/Turkey). Her professional poems, stories, interviews, articles about poetry have been published in various national and international poetry-culture- literature magazines since 2000. She has joined to many collective books, bilingual poetry almanacks and found in organizing committee of international poetry festivals. Her poems and selected poetry books were translated into many languages.


Sumana Bhattacharjee is an English poetry writer from Kolkata. She born and brought up in city Kolkata. She graduated from Calcutta University with honours in Bengali Literature and completed Secretarial Practice under G.T.T.I. She worked as an office assistant in a Private Ltd.Co. Right now she is working as an administrator of 3 online poetry group and she is a founder of a group. Her poems have been published in several anthologies and blogs. Some of her poems have been translated into Spanish. Poetry and music are her ultimate passion.


Anoucheka Gangabissoon is a primary school educator in Mauritius.She writes poems and short stories on a wide range of subjects.She publishes regularly on online poetry sites and manages her own poetry blog.She has published a collection of poems in print, in her country, titled “Awakened Fancies.”


Dr. Gupta has mentored many and also assisted many in unleashing his creative potential. Through his talks, seminar presentations, creativity workshops and personal interactions, he has popularized many new concepts in management and leadership. Some of his articles publish in “We The Power” and “Green Plant” magazines. His thesis on “Treatment And Glorification Of Love And Sex In The Novels Of D. H. Lawrence”. His first book of poetry “The Rain” has published by Onlinegatha Publication of Lucknow.


Sailasree Potay is an educationist. She loves travelling and adventure with friends. Loves to read and meet people to understand their struggles and successes, which she truly cherishes. It helps her to better herself. Above all blessed to be a woman, a mother of two loving children and a partner to a loving man, who dares to show her the mirror.


Priyanka Priyadarshini is a poet from Odisha.



Nalini Priyadarshni is the author of Doppelganger in My House (2016) and co-author of Lines across Oceans (2015).Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and international anthologies. Her forthcoming publications include ‘Sacred Women in the Anti-violence movement: Anthology’, Caged Bird Magazine and ‘Your One Phone Call’.


A Graduate in Psychology (Hons), Kiren Babal has a flair for writing both in English and Hindi. She has dabbled many a shade with creativity. Be it doing plays in AIR, teaching in schools, theatre, writing scripts, short stories for children etc, the focus remained in keeping her hobbies alive. To her credit, she has 13 children books, Five Anthologies in English poetry.


Born in India in 1981, an award-winning poet, Alok Mishra has been writing poems since a very young age. He is a teacher by profession. He loves to write poems replete with divinity and romance.



Aarti Mittal is a homemaker. She is passionate about teaching in school, as she loves being with children.She loves to live and write simply. A simple person with simple thoughts and words, her religion and caste are humanity, love, and compassion.



Zulma I Quiñones Senati was born in Yauco, Puerto Rico. He studied at the Catholic University of Ponce, Puerto Rico, where he completed his Bachelor of Education in 1970.


Durgesh Verma is working with the NGO, ‘Sparsh…Touching Lives’, at Varanasi, as a president. This year, he has participated in national workshops on ‘Role of Higher Education in the Development of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship in India’ in Institute of Management Studies & ‘Development Dialogue 2016’ in Swatantrata Bhawan Auditorium, B.H.U., Varanasi. His compositions are published in the USA, Canada and Australia.


Saroji Pattaya is passionate about writing. In her leisure, she loves to read and write poetry and short story. She has published poems in Odia language in publications called Barshare” and Haji jaithiba jhia”.  “Anterleena” a  Odia movie on autism has been made on the basis of her short story. She is now working on a fantasy novel in English and Odia. She is shortly going to publish[Self publishing] her first book of poems in English. She received ‘Sudhansu Mohan Puraskara’ ]Rajdhani Book Fair Award during the year 2011, for ‘Barshare’.


Kabir Deb was born in Haflong and completed my schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Karimganj. After that completed his Graduation and Masters from Assam University, Assam. Poetry has been his passion and a hobby from his childhood. He wants to change the society with the power of poetry. He believes that society can destroy the most destructive force in the society and create a better tomorrow.


Rina is an accomplished graphic designer with a strong knowledge of Adobe software, visual communication, multimedia scripting, human-computer interface, and also the knowledge of 3D animation and production techniques. Creative, resourceful and flexible, able to adapt to changing priorities and maintain a positive attitude and strong work ethic. Passionate about art, not only practising it but also spreading, appreciating, and learning it. She is currently situated in Singapore.


Meenakshi Giridhar is a Bangalore based poet.



Madhumita Bhattacharjee Nayyar writes in Hindi and English. A poet, blogger, life-skill counsellor, healer, a social commentator, she works with women and children. She started her career with the media, moving on to the perfumes and cosmetics sector. She wrote and edited for the MEA, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, and various other Universities.Her works have been published in various national and international magazines, newspapers, web magazines, journals, anthologies. She is an avid animal lover too.


Geethanjali Dilip celebrates life through her soul’s expression in poetry. Her first published anthology is ‘Between Moms and Sons’ co-authored with Aakash Sagar. She contributes poems to many online pages and communities on Facebook. Her pages on Facebook are Alcove ATMA and Geethatmaa. She heads Zone Francophone, a French Coaching/ Teaching centre at Salem, India.


Shail Raghuvanshi is a freelance writer, editor, content writer, book reviewer and poet. A postgraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, she has 20 years of writing experience in newspaper, magazine, radio, television and the internet. Her poems, short stories and articles have been published in leading magazines, journals and e-books apart from featuring in anthologies. A daughter, a wife and a mother, she is the eternal optimist. Faith, friendship and family make her life complete.


Edidiong Bassey is a Nigerian.A Lawyer, Poet, Writer and Teacher.He believes in using literature(poetry) as a tool of social engineering. He is the author of ” Unbound Echoes”, a collection of poems and has contributed to some journals and anthologies of poetry amongst whom is ” A BOUQUET OF VERSE” volume 3.


Saheli Mitra is a journalist, blogger and internationally published poet and author. She is co-partner and founder of Talespin Media. Her poems have been published in several national and international printed and online anthologies. Her debut novel Lost Words was an Amazon bestseller. Her shorts stories have featured in printed collections like “Half Baked Love” and “Knitted Narratives”. She primarily writes on women issues. She also runs her Nature Group called “To Trees with Love”.


Rita Bhattacharjee is a communications consultant with extensive experience in managing corporate and internal communications for companies across diverse industries, including non-profit organizations. She is the co-founder of Mission Arogya and Arogya HomeCare and has recently relocated from the US to India to channel her skills towards social entrepreneurship to increase awareness and reduce disparity in public health.She also writes poetry, some of which have been published in reputed international journals.


Businesswoman, curator of handlooms, poet, writer, and erstwhile doctor. Payal Talreja practices everything except her involuntary ‘profession’. She claims that words chose her and are now her weapon of choice because an activist born will stay silent for no man. A wanderer, a voyager, she’s happy to slum it or luxuriate in any life experience. She crafts poems and fiercely feminist essays and will assume her ‘Chandi’ avatar to ‘write’ any wrong.


Sunila Khemchandani, a double graduate from India, now based in the Canary Islands, has several poems published in international English anthologies like Synthesis – Duet Anthology, Umbilical Cords, Aquarelle -Wall 6, Selfhood, etc. Her poems have been highly recommended. She’s a winner of the Reuel International prize for Writing and Literature, 2016, for fiction and best annual poet, 2008, in Her anthology, ‘The Virtual Reality’ with seven poets awaits its release.


Meenakshi M. Singh is an author of three books Soulful Symphony, Aawaz and I am Enough. She is also the founder of creativeHappiness and SheTheShakti Inc. – Woman Empowerment Center, an IT professional, theater actress, mentor, mother of twin daughters and a home maker. She is conferred with the much reputed Karamveer Chakra Award, REX Global Fellowship, Magicka Women’s Achiever’s Award, Pride of Women Award by the Aagaman Group and the SashaktNari Parishad — Pride of Nation Award for her contribution.


#DifferentTruthsPoem #Poems #Verse #Anthology #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2018 #DifferentTruths

Lily Swarn, Shail Raghuvanshi, Anoucheka Gangabissoon, Dr. Chandra Prakash Sharma, Alok Mishra, Vatsala Radhakeesoon, Luz Maria Lopez, Basudeb Chakraborti, Devika Raghave, Nandita Samanta, Shyamal Kumar Majumder, Sumana Bhattacharjee, Dr.Tithankar Das Purokasyatha, Kabir Deb, Sailasree Potay, Nayonika Sen, Sindhuja Veeraraghavan, Shernaz Wadia, Mamta Joshi, Lata Rathore, Mrinalani Harchandrai, Neelam Dadhwal, Nalini Priyadarshani, Sudeshna Mukherjee, Runa Srivastava. Swapna Behra, Sunila Khemchandani, Menakshi M. Singh, Harshali Singh, Dr. Brajesh Gupta, Aika Srivastava, Kiren Babal, Edidiong Bassey, Rochelle Potkar, Sarojini Pattayat, Pratima Apte, Monika Ajay Kaul, Roula Pollard, Nancy Ndeke, Virginia Jasmin Pasalo, Ibrahim Honjo, Hector “Che” Cruz-Lopez, Shameena Abdurahiman, Lotusgirl (Geethanjali Dilip), Sheikha. A, Elvira Lobo, Aarti Mittal, Chhavi Mehra, Anita Sahoo, Durgesh Verma, Aparajita Dutta, Tribhawan Kaul, Amit Shankar Saha, Rajul Tiwari, Michele Baron, Elsy Satheesan, John Fingleton, Pramila Khadoon, Neelam Saxena Chandra, Nilakshi Roy, Swapna Jha, Sarika Sarkar Das