An Anthology of Poems Celebrating Womanhood

Reading Time: 33 minutes

We are pleased to present An Anthology of Poems Celebrating Womanhood, as part of the International Women’s Day (IWD) Theme that we, in Different Truths are featuring, spread over three days, between March 6 and 8, 2017.

Poems may be likened to a mother. It is perhaps the purest form of creative expression. Take any literature, in any language of the world, poems always precede prose. Women represent the tender, gentle, practical, no nonsense, the fierce as Shakti. She represents the world of emotions to each one of us.

We hope that these poems would inspire, make you ponder and think about the many hues and shades of the feminine principle, which has rightly been called Prakriti (Nature). The Earth, as mother, represents fertility and bounty. It is linked with the wellbeing and prosperity of life. It represents procreation and recreation in all its complexities.

We present 38 poems, by as many poets, from around the world, celebrating the paroxysms of emotions about various aspects of womanhood.

Happy Reading!

#1. Interrupted Girls

Amid homely dwellings
Prayers rooting all possible consolation
Inescapably turn into a collective amnesia.

Girls sentenced before the cold stares
Of men claiming the right to own their bodies
Bravely survive one more breath
Always bifurcated between the memory of laughter
And the numbness of senses interrupted.

Perhaps in the morning, before the vertigo of the tweets,
They figured themselves metamorphosed.

Frightened they open their eyes to look at each other
Yet another exile awaits, a new outrage or the crying
Of a newborn that never felt dear while nestled
In their wombs.

to be hurled into gaps,
Barely attaining to decide where to step,
Recalling the times in which a book was all possible freedom
And every dream nested between chants and
A new floral printed dress.

Now deified forces dishonor their souls
Erase all sort of conceived magic
Disposed of them as if worthless
Never remembering the sanctified moment
In which they were born.

Which god gave them the right to steal lives?
One created in their crazy minds to justify bondage?
Heavenly justice is so far away
And time elapses as if nonexistent…!

©Luz María López


#2. She

She blazes like a luminous moon
Irradiating the world she revolves around

She is the baby girl who twirls her doting dad
Around her little finger, lisping love words in his ears
She pirouettes in her frilly pink dress, the cherubic little miss

The studious schoolgirl next reading till late at night
She is a wizard with computers deftly solving physics problems
While trying out her mama’s high heels and lipstick like a clown

She is her own woman soon
Who will not bow to patronising male superiority
Highest scorer in her business classes
Debating and declaiming with panache
Sassy young dreamer with a cocky gait and stance

Eve teasers give her a wide berth for her judo chops she flaunts
Whenever a roadside Romeo decides to whistle and ogle
Her jeans may be frayed and faded, her brain is razor sharp
She won’t forget a kindness but if you try and act smart
Remember her karate black belt is adorning the showcase at home

The CEO of the biggest corporate houses
juggling motherhood and foreign tours
Eating at the classiest eating houses the world has ever known
She cooks only if she wants to for her husband does it better!

Her clear eyes speak volumes of the superior soul she harbors
Her gym trained body well toned doesn’t need any godfathers
She is the female of the species and is deadlier than the male
Rudyard Kipling knew her, she won’t waste  breath on discussions
Going straight for the kill is what she does instinctively.

I am trying desperately to be like her
For I am also my own woman.

©Lily Swarn


#3. Proud of My Lady’s Empowerment

I always decry patriarchal hegemony.
I often condemn it and I love my family.
I save the honour of my daughter and wife.
I take pride and my tiny family is my life.

My wife and I go for our work together.
We return home evening with no bother.
My wife serves me a cup of tea.
And she goes to the kitchen for dinner ready.

She being damned tired comes to my side.
I then want to play with her cold blood.
She reluctantly responds to my passion.
Unwillingly she enters into my mansion.

She is my honour, she works in an office.
She takes care of me when tea I relish.
She hands over me her salary payment.
She obediently enjoys her role dominant.

In the weekend I toss my foot fingers.
She returns home buying morning vegetables.
She loves me for my late dawn lazing.
So am I happy, to me, it is for her loving.

One evening what happens, you know?
She is sick, from the office she takes a day off.
But the dusting of my room she alone makes.
For this gesture, to her, my head simply bows.

So I feel elevated for my lady’s due right!
I always allow her to exercise her might!
To my wife, I have my huge commitment!
So am I happy with my wife’s empowerment!

©Basudeb Chakraborti


#4. Shards

Shards – all around
Vermillion splattered ground
I gather it gently and watch my palms

Destitute – feelings generated
Years of lame excuses
I gather my thoughts and cradle it in my arms

Suppressed – anger in disbelief
Snatched away from me, my gullibility
I gather the map of my journey in order to set me free

Exasperated – at remaining unknown
Self- oblation, rage burning aeons
I gather the embers and fan them to remain

Perish – I must not
Poised calm and sedate
Ornamented for each night’s regrets
I gather you in my thoughts and bid thee goodnight!

Offerings – to my God
My secluded piety
Forgiveness I beg in order to retain my sanity
I gather my prayers scattered about in disgrace

Surrender – unto you
Unto desires and passion felt
I gather my broken courage
In a state of despair

Pity me not
For I fraught to survive
The servile human, craving to arise
I gather my shards of passionate respite!!

©Devika Raghave


#5. Women Born Different

From Pleasure to Pain, we are born women
How unwomanly! We let men discuss us often
As sobriquet hangs from the masculine code piece!
Have we really tried fighting this injustice?
From Sita to Draupadi, from Shakuntala to Savitri
The unfair submission, same male chauvinistic story
I pity and decry the Reading, mythology, and history!
Women&’s sacrifices are the story of their glory!
Nothing has changed much over the past
We grow in a family as a part; yet set apart
With the physical changes in juvenescence
Taught to feel inferior, opt silent acquiescence
Taught, women are born to fulfill masculine demands
Follow a ‘Man’ and ‘Man Made’ societal commands
All womanly comeliness has hidden in robes and raiment
In confines, to be showcased to her man’s amusement!
I don’t believe belonging to this submissive class
Since long got accustomed to abuses and cuss.
No endearing élan, not one among Sita- Savitri clan
But a woman full of grace, equivalent to any man,
Not a mere sweet face, waiting for a score
A woman of substance, I deserve more, much more.

©Nandita Samanta


#6. Come, the Immaculate Damsel

Come, the immaculate damsel
I’ll  decorate you
I’ll  make you a ten-handed deity.
I want to give you in one hand
One basket of rose for real lovers.
In another hand a flute for tuning sweet songs for a cultured society…
In one hand an encyclopedia of the world for every student…
In other hand chess board for good politicians.

In one hand a computer for a good communicative world…
In another hand a gold spoon for a golden future.
In one hand a plough for cultivating good crops…
In another hand an axe for cutting woods.
In one hand the seeds of a dream for sowing in every mind…
But another hand will be free for making a bond of friendship.

Come, the immaculate damsel
I’ll decorate you
I’ll power you like a deity of love.
Me, a poet called by man…
Basically, I’m a man of this modern era who wants to love truly.
Come, the immaculate damsel
I’ll make you a ten- handed deity.

©Shyamal Kumar Majumder


#7. A Shared World for all

Say, does the world need to start rotating in a clockwise direction
For it to revere its daughters and acknowledge them as Queens?
After all, are daughters not needed to sustain it?
Why I believe that the very soul of Earth is in itself, a woman
A motherly, warm and tolerant one
With a heart as big as the entire universe put up together
Yet, it so happens that her daughters
Get killed as soon as they spawn
Or, if they escape Death’s clutches, they
Get trafficked into sexual slavery in return for money, or, they
Get sold into forced marriages for the sake of familial accommodation
Or even made to work like maids in their own parental homes
While being pressured to being socially perfect,
As per a set of already chosen stereotypes, simply
Because, being daughters, they just have to be abused and imposed upon!

Mind you, the daughters of Earth are not fallen
The daughters of the Earth have been created to sustain the sons
As jolly and faithful companions
As supports of strength and scaffolds of stability
As the vessels carrying their mysterious feminine power
The power able to invoke the celestials to insert a soul
In the piece of flesh growing in them!

The daughters of the Earth, though, have awakened
No more, no more, no more of having to be socially acceptable!
Why, if the sons can claim the world is theirs
Pray, the daughters do remind them, that
The world belongs to naught
All that breathe must breathe out their last breath
But, as with the sons, on equal grounds,
Without them, life would not be any more!

©Anoucheka Gangabissoon


#8. A 21st Century Woman I am

Worship me not as a symbol of sacrifice
Happy I’m to enjoy my peaceful life,
And in the open air, I want to breathe and survive.

I’m a lover, mother, sister, and wife
Don’t treat me only as a woman
I don’t want to be compared with man
I want to live like an independent human.

I’m an entity who can choose right or wrong
I want to consider myself as one bold and strong.

I’m an individual who has some thought
Remember I’m not Goddess you are not God!

If you want from me fidelity and any respect
O dear the very same I can expect.

Please don’t show sympathy
I need huge love and little empathy.

Don’t call me please weaker sex
I love myself and my nameless grace.

Against all injustice of the society, I protest
With all my rights I want to live my best.
Indeed it’s your choice how you call me
Haughty, daring, caring, a feminist or great.

©Sumana Bhattacharjee


#9. Don’t Tell me

Don’t tell me of lover’s vows,
drops of blood on rivals’ blades,
poems have sung in lofty praise
of women’s cuckoo-haunted glades.

Don’t tell me of Laura’s sisters
lying embalmed in doleful sonnets,
proudly dreaming of eternity
trapped in the widows’ bonnets.

I see them at the heaven’s gates,
hairs raised in a fragrant breeze,
the bars of gold render cold
the skeletal shape of Penelope.

I can see the weaver’s loom,
the lonely bed, unlettered days,
folds of sari heaped on floors
in shining halls of a princely palace.

I see her breasts dripping milk
in memory of her son in battle
killed like a poor calf
under hooves of raging cattle.

Barred behind the epic names,
terza rima, rhyme royal,
lie Lucrece’s battered body,
Draupadi’s thighs, Helen’s all.

©Tirthankar Das Purkayastha


#10. My Requests and my Dreams

When I was a child,
you often gifted me dolls,
Now, that I’m a teenager,
you often buy me
the latest bangles,
the shiny earrings,
the fashionable dresses,
You instilled in me motherhood and
wifehood at even a very young age

Maa I don’t deny
my feminine functions,
but please Maa,
no longer gift me
superficial ornaments
for my birthdays,
I’m comfortable in
my practical tops
and blue jeans

Maa, please buy me
books – Classics, contemporaries,
books of Literature, Science,
books of History, Psychology.
books of Spirituality, Philosophy
All I wish is to
broaden my knowledge,
develop a logical, analytical mind,
speak aloud my views fearlessly

All that I wish is to be
a cultivated, intellectual woman,
a profound woman of true dignity.

©Vatsala Radhakeesoon


#11. Red World

She fears now when she spreads her world,
As her world is not free.
They see her as a land for cultivation
With their nails as instruments for ploughing
Ploughing their unmasked heinous faces.
Lips hardly touches her body
As lips are the symbol of love,
And creates a mark where she will dance.
They now bite her with their unsterilized teeth.
And create a mark where her world shrinks.
Fear has knocked her down many times.
Down beneath her feet,
In a place where hell also tries to repel her,
As she tries to rise,
Heaven says her to stay away.
As his purity lies in the hands of believers.
Believers of a ghost,
Who never taught us anything.
Yet we believe him/her as a teacher.
Absurdity for her as reached his peak,
Peak from where her world is dark,
With quakes so fierce that even the believers of the subconscious island.
Jump in the water because of fear.
Water whose corpuscles made her red,
Red for her once symbolised fear,
She used to run away when red used to knock her door.
To let her exit,
Now for that same person,
Red is her world where millions of man are dying,
And she is rising from the water,
Just like the sun rises with red shades in the sky.

©Kabir Deb


#12. My Sweet November

My sweet November
You are the reason behind my delicate blushes and sly smiles
Which my girlfriends hardly fail to notice and gossip
All they want to know is the mystery behind it
Why would I share, why would I disclose
The precious reason of my happiness

My sweet November
You are the reason I wanted to live life fully,
Maybe for a moment or for eternity
Whatever is in my destiny

My sweet November
Words fall short to convey how elevated I feel
I don’t know why we were destined to meet
You were a blessing and made my life possible

My sweet November
But for now I have to let you go
Not that I want to but because I have to
For you to grow and succeed
And to cherish the beautiful life ahead

My Sweet November
It is adios from me
Until our paths cross again
Maybe for a moment or for eternity
Whatever is in my destiny

©Sailasree Potay


#13. I am a Woman, and yes, it’s a Mistake

How dare I stay out late when animals roam? Lash us, not them.

How dare I speak of my opinion when we are inferiors? Disown us, not them.

How dare I visit a temple when we bleed? Unholy us, not them.

How dare I wear revealing dresses when we know they get carried away? Stop us, not them.

How dare I want to pursue studies when we are but only child producing machines? Shatter our dreams, not theirs.

How dare I chose to be different when we are unwanted? Dispose of us, not them.

How dare I stand for myself when I am a woman? Punish us, not them.

How dare I strive to live when we are but a burden? Kill us, not them.

I am a woman, and yes, this is a mistake.

©Nayonika Sen


#14. Women and Wombs in Patriarchy

A soot-blackened goddess suffered on the silver screen-
A victim of her father’s foul will and husband’s free will.
Daksha turned her away, and Shiva burned her,
And your devotion grew as Dakshayani suffered,
And in suffering, you saw the goal of female existence.
It takes a goddess for you to forgive soot-blackness.
In me, you need an aquiline nose with a diamond stud
And sub-tropical- gene-defying rose-apple cheeks.
Yet you see in me but a womb and a hymen
Reserved strictly for your son and at his asking.
That day, when my baby niece played the velociraptor
And banged her head laughingly into my waist,
You screeched in horror, pulled the child away,
Soothing her with a blond doll, liberating me from her clutches
And shackling me in a more gory grasp when you said,
Don’t spoil your uterus before it’s been of any use.
An unused commodity in your eyes. A thing that becomes me.
With you, it comes with many tags-
Pristine, ready, fertile- limiting me, defining me.
You decide for whom it shall be used,
And anyone it can be, anyone of your whim,
Of any pretentions, with a well-sounding name
And a half-decent eye, and an army of cousins to leave
A debris on my dinner table, and an income you need not blush for.
An unused thing for anybody’s ready claim. Anyone, except mine.
And then you get to revel and liken me to
The soot-blackened goddess
When you see me suffer.

©Sindhuja Veeraragavan


#15. Why?

three sparklers,
burning with joy and love
three little flames
radiating innocent smiles
three trusting sprites
unaware of the evil
that snuffed them out
forever darkening
their parents’ lives
the festival of lights
jauntily traipsed in
deafening fanfare
drummed out
the feeble echoes
of strangulated screams…
brightly burning lamps
dwarfed the dying embers
of petrified, glazed eyes…
striking rangolis
blanched the blood
splattered by fiends
sick to their souls ~
who else would
silence forever
sinless little ones
ignorant of the words
rape and murder?
they were aged ten, seven and five

©Shernaz Wadia


#16. That Nameless Woman

On empowerment
In impeccable jargon
Fluent and convincing promises
Routine rhetoric unfolds
On a day set aside for women the world over
A disparate story lashes on
Not far away from there
In a dingy windowless room
With sleep deprived body
A broken child-woman
Submits to yet another customer
To anaesthetise the pain
Her eyes rivet to a recent past
A grimy beggar child
Smiling in rags
Hopping carefree
From one train compartment to another
A team of uniformed men
Handed her to the children’s home
For improving her lot
Darkness became her enemy
Groping and probing hands
Smothered all cries
Her convulsive sobs remained unheard
Years hinged on hope
The knight in shining armour never came
Only pimps and buyers
Her shame erased and forgotten

©Mamta Joshi


#17. Her Stiff Body

Her stiff body sleeps
The loudspeakers pulsate and roar
Championing the cause of AIDS and sex-workers
The audience partake of the pretensions at daytime
Theories suffer amnesia in the luminous night.
The beautiful creation that universe has rhymed,
A woman is a story that needs to be defined.
Journey of her life that starts with your name,
she is a daughter that always enhance your fame.
With a pinch of insanity and a fist of sensibility,
she plays as a sister that preserve your dignity.
Move to an unknown town with a changed surname,
she is a daughter-in- law that ignores all of her pains.
With a composed smile instead of a hundred sacrifice,
she adorns as a wife who never leaves your side.
The rain of love and a wave of care,
she plays as a mother who is a divine creature.
Still thrashed and crushed on the roads and lanes,
she is just a fruitful tree from which everyone gains.
With hidden desires and devoid of expectations,
she smiles courageously with all bruises and liaisons.
Soft at heart with the soul well refined,
she is an untold story that has been defined.

©Lata Rathore


#18. Paperback Fiction

Government forms tell half-truths
after putting down the surname
your father bequeathed
where is the line for
the maternal legacy
that outlines you,
find the invisible checkbox
untagging you as his
possessive pronoun
they omit equal rights
for other halves to fill
the dash after
husband of_________
his-and-her hyphenation
is a squeeze, falling
off the page
like a maiden name
appellation options fail
to reveal our
millennial tattoos
instead of square-pegging
us in roundly hole roles
of Mrs, or miss
the human being,
sexing our thumbprints
beyond self-recognition.

©Mrinalini Harchandrai


#19. I Have Been

I have been
if what appears smudged
contours on canvas
at peripherals of
what we see
what we hear
and often mute at
my absence is not
precious or
haunting silence
only is deafening
only removing the vacuum
only a bigger truth.

©Neelam Dadhwal


#20. 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 a mirror
reflecting your glistening nakedness
after vigor of copulation
Half-hearted attempts to love what you could not accept
does nothing to assuage the annihilation
you fostered in the pit of your womb
sowed 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


#21. Idol

The Idol maker stood admiring her creation.
Gifting it with sensitivity, perfectly in sublimation.
Putting her aloft on the pedestal
Adorning her with life’s festivals.

She stood strong for many a season
Till Time took its toll to test her vision.
She lost her way somewhere
Cracks developed everywhere.

Her inherent enemy grew within
Cankerous hollow gradually set in
Clouded her spirit in broken bits
Till she became an image split.

Losing herself in dusty mundane
Unconscious she lay in ignominious lane
A pall of gloom blocked her way
Puppeteers pulled her strings making her sway.

Broken and shattered, quartered and bartered
In ruinous disrepute, she lay battered
Till her soul sparked the fire
She rose to fight the demons without tire.

Inching her way to reclaim what was once hers.
Challenging the mighty to stop the farce.
Her half she desired nothing more
To soar freely and reach her shore.

The battle has continued for many an eon.
Hurdles riddled steps before conquering bastion.
Paradoxical her journey has always been
Plummeting to depths, to rise again

Mobilizing the force within her
Energised to regain what is rightfully hers

©Sudeshna Mukherjee


#22. We are our Worst Enemy

We are critical and vicious with our own sex.
There will be many who protest that this statement is sexist and chauvinistic.
We are as bad as men when it comes to discrimination.
Could it be the inherent patriarchal view of things
That we need to be bullied and discriminated?
How do we fight inequality,
If we ourselves continue to propagate gender injustice?
We internalize too much what others might say
Causing trouble to ourselves than anything else can
Men, on the other hand, believe in practicality
We tend to be the worst judges
Unfair to ourselves, feeling guilty for things not having worked right
Constantly apologising for our actions
Why are we counting someone else’s blessings and sorrows
Meddling into issues that do not concern us?
Is it insecurity and anxiety that trouble us so?
Can we just introspect for a while rather than retrospect?
Can we be enviable, not envious
Destroying undercurrents of meanness and negativity that plague our gender?

©Runa Srivastava


#23. Echo of the Epicentre

The sizzling voice from the epicenter whispers –
May I earn a smile?  only a smile
A smile that gives a choice,
to live and love, to fly or swim,
Choice to earn fame, to summon the dawn,
to be pregnant or to be my own self,
Choice to lend my skill,  to express my agony,
Choice to be secured, to vibrate my ambitions
desires to be a virgin or a mother.
My existence is the thunder of Nature,
I am not a slave- slave of rituals,
superstitions, communalism, and vandalisms.
I am the soul of Draupadi, the smile of Malala,
the hallmark of a lover and the blanket on a beggar
The orchestrated music of peace, a healer
The cosmic transmitter, a phoenix,
reborn with honour and valour.
My womb is never ever for bloodshed
The uterus that creates and never destroys –
You may dig a pit, keep me underground
may burn my wax clad or dissect my flesh and blood
Still then– — I am a wonder woman, a thunder woman.
My tears and blood will inscribe
The epitaph of kindness.
I am the lady with the lamp healing in the battlefield.
May I earn a smile and may I be surrogated
to give birth to peace and love
Forever and ever?

©Swapna Behera


#24. Renewed Shakti

No more trapping within your narrow walls
No more abuse, bullying and constant brawls
No more sufferings and quarrels of hate
No more false promises of love as bait
No more taking me on ride of quiescence
That never saw the sun in all these years.

My skin still bleeds from scars you had inflicted
My bones from your perversion still creak
Have learned lessons the hard way being battered
Now found new sun dawn for me that matters
Free from the suffocating life I led
Delayed realisation of a Shakti misled

A woman true of mettle, sound, strong sans fears
Free to live life to fullest whom none sneers
Hope this insight comes to all women
To relegate sadists from their domain

@Sunila Khemchandani


#25. Fanciful Farce

What I fancy
is what I do not have
all stored in drowning drains of desires
floating in brittle baskets of my brain.
Residing within me,
they cannot survive without me;
die disillusioned sometimes
strangulated by the frivolity of my wants.
What I fancy –
too fanciful beyond imagination.
No wonder, I lose my desires to eternity,
buoyant specs of dust
let loose in the horizon;
illegitimate wishes
undeserving of my stature,
burn forever in the glistening whirlpool of creation.

©Shail Raghuvanshi


#26. Still the Woman I am

I am not of the same type as you
We never match
That makes me a misfit, an ugly patch
Come on, bring all that vile
Still the woman I am
I will always smile

All those rules of your book, I do not follow
Those rules are sheer fears, no logic just shallow
I will define my rules, humanity my style
Come on, show me your truth, be hostile
Still the woman I am
I will always smile

Must I depend upon a man?
To be safe, to survive
Confined, coy, pretty
Your perfect kind of life
Is that all there is to life?
Duty, honor, fake obligation
When will life be seen as a celebration?
Does my freedom threaten the virile?
Go sulk, try to cage me all this while
Still the woman I am
I will always smile

©Meenakshi Singh


#27. The Quest

I walk this path
Alone and within
This long, winding sojourn
Into the debris,
my whim …
There is Light
Shadows brief
As I trudge, along
This, craven deep
As I start to falter
A hand reaches out
Bringing me back
on this path of choice
There are footsteps
Alongside mine
Some continue with me, some left behind
Treasured all …
For their kind

©Harshali Singh


#28. Woman’s Way

I’m a woman, I stride deeper and deeper
Beyond the outer crust
Layers of depth to her thoughts and feelings
The only woman on earth moves through the world
And write the words that would inspire
let your brilliance shine through,
Always reaching through the openings
You need no latest fashion,
For clearing out this ugly mess
Resisting not her many womanly charms
Go out into the world to seek, recognized as your own,
It’s the day you’re okay
a little bit of comfort and reassurance at the time
Free from all the pain and anguish
Seemingly translucent to tantalize your imagination
Seem to have life all worked out,
This is the Woman’s way; to the stranger who has loved you
With dreams, and goals, and teams.
©Dr. Brajesh Gupta


#29. I am Different

You said all along
I was different
I knew since my birth
I was not like him.
I was different.
Different attire
Different decorum
Different playthings
Different school
Only, the books were the same.

They chose to ignore
That I knew as much as him
And more.
More I am capable of doing
More of absorbing all that is done unto me.
He knows not
Who but gives only a seed
The soil, the water, the nourishment all mine
And he claims to own the fruit once it is ripe.

I am different
So he lusts for me
Lip-smacking savoury flesh I am to him
A boxing-sack to punch
A tool to flash his power over me
Just because I am not like him
I am different.

But he forgets
The books he has read
I have read too
The world as much his as mine
I am me just as he is he
‘I too call myself I.’

©Madhumita Ghosh


#30. Liberation

Aurora has fallen. I hear footsteps.
Penumbra weakens, bombinates grow loud.
Laughter. Comment. Suggestion.
I walk faster.

Leave me, please.
I flutter my moist eyelashes.

His repugnant tongue raids my mouth,
I aquiver. I plead.
Nomming my flaccid breasts,
he pushes hard into me.
I scowl as my orifice bleeds.

Who is he?
Remember that wink, that whistle, or that lopsided grin?
He is my husband, my uncle, my friend.
He is every man I meet.
He exists in myriad, arranged like a Syzygy;
undressing me I head
eating me up…
I’m not a piece of flesh, I mouth.

I gaze into my mirror.
I’m shattered.
Too thin. Too dusky.
Be a sub, they howled.
Don’t laugh aloud.
Cover yourself; learn manners
and, what not?

Friends, cousins, strangers-
I call out to everyone. Stop!
My soul is ethereal and amorphous.
It is dauntless.
It is a warrior.
Every day I defeat a million-
once again.
I feel liberated.

©Atika Srivastava


 #31. The Dark Shades of Life

The dark shades of life…I let transform as love and light.
One of the pages..of my diary…Dedicated to all the women of the world!
Our Birthright–“Happiness”
Music mingled with love, vibrates the body for a while,
Enlivens the mind, of the burdens, caused heavily, as clouds about to rain;
Reclining on the couch, my mind takes a backward leap;
Into the childhood existence; Those whims and fancies, laughter and giggles,
Being an apple of an eye, of parents special.
As I come out of the reverie; T’was but a blessed past.
My hands flung in the air, as for a moment say…
Oh! Please, don’t go my reverie…Stay for a while…
Give me life…Energy divine!
But no it’s just a mirage…I take a sigh,
Clear the lump of my throat.
My body listless, eyes shut, like a corpse,
Lingered along the couch,…In the darkness, of life.
Then something flashed, in that ‘Turiya’ state;
Neither asleep nor awake.
A dazzling hand pulling me up,
drenched in the pit, of dungeons dark;
From darkness to light, sailing the clouds,
Then released, into the ocean of light.
Every cell of my body basking, reviving
Reverberating slowly, with renewed zeal of life.
Till date, I hold this anchor tight!
As I swim the journey of life;
The Maxim upheld for all the struggles…This too shall pass!
The bright light of yonder, ever there…
With its extended hand, to sail us through,
Into the warm sunlight of hope, mystically true,
To create a history, with a winning smile.
Coz happiness is Our Birthright!
©Kiren Babal


#32. God is a Woman

God is a woman. It is her fertile
Womb that bore creation
Look in the closet of her eyes
You will see compassion
She shoulders great burdens with humility, gentility, and regality
Her comeliness dazzles like wild hibiscuses clothe the savannah with radiance and glee

They say a woman is weak,
But, was it not on her golden laps
Those men first learned how to
Dream dreams of tomorrow?
Was it not her invigorating breast
That fed men with brawn enough
To fight the many battles of living?

A woman is a love, her radiance
Like the glorious sun gives life
A woman is a bliss, her eyes lights
The golden path to heaven
God is a woman, the world
Revolves around her heartbeats

@Edidiong Etukudoh


#33. Lake Vostok

under a rock bed of ice
the last frontier of amphibians
and mermaids hooking-up, maybe to other pulsating ecosystems.
This coldest place on earth is not easy to plumb —
its skin stark; body cold; water white
discovered by ice-piercing aerial radar surveys.

They say it has to be a longing for the supernatural
that kept this lake buried for 15 million years under a train station.

Pristine water reserve, schmoosed
by a network of rivers subglacial.

Ice world.

Today, we have found her reservoir of resilience,
preserve of rebel.
Faith against all obstacles.
Of the life she carries, microbial
despite high pressure, constant cold,
low nutrient, high oxygen, and absolutely no sun
under thick sheets, sealed and insulated in total darkness
like a potent self-belief system – latent survival instinct

a lake holding comportment, grace, court,
with naked experience and
and enormous wisdom.

 [To all the strong women I know and I am yet to know]
©Rochelle Potkar


#34. When Evening Creeps

When evening creeps
and birds return to the nest,
She looks at the sky
to judge her fate.

How the life begins
and where is its end,
Brooding in her thought
she gets no crack to mend.

In the ominous light
she searches her doom,
Arguing with own mind
she strengthens her norm.

Can I ever be perfect?
She thoughts again,
Her shattered hope blooms
with little pain.

She gathers her moments
and schedules them,
To create her own world
within a tight frame.

For all anguish, she sheds
tear in leisure,
For all joy she share
her pleasure with other.

She knows her script
and usual style,
Nothing to worry she swears
with a glossy smile.

It is not too late, again she says,
With hopes and dreams, she resumes her days.

©Sarojini Pattayat


#35. Adimaya

Man’s double standards, woman idolised and yet enslaved to do his bidding,
Devi and daasi two sides of the same coin!
It is time for a change.
Caesar’s wife – why should she be above reproach?
A beautiful woman is not a ‘trophy’ to fight over!
How many women widowed for that one Helen of Troy?!
This Raavan dahan is only a spectacle!
Sita will fight her own battles,
Save her honour,
Emasculate the dirty minds, then only will man respect her firm ‘no’.
These nuts and their nuts,
Sita will ask Mother Earth to bury alive!
A woman, the female entity, the Primordial Being, above the Trinity!
Wake up!
Man, her progeny, recognised her unique powers  of creation,
Jealous, feeling inadequate,
Systematically poisoned her mind against herself and other womenfolk,
Thoughts of pure and impure, denying her true knowledge,
Has tried to subjugate her in all religions, all societies,
One who bit her tail now is slowly awakening to her kundalini powers,
Before long, she will not need man to procreate,
Woman, awaken, respect and exercise your Shakti!

©Pratima Apte


#36. The ‘Shebang’!

Ablaze and aglow ‘She’ was like
   a radiant Sun; all-watching eye…
Bathing Them in warm glow
   yet couldn’t be seen eye to eye…!

A Turquoise Wonder. She kept in her heart
   shielding an endless expanse of life…
She crashed and shattered at the shore
   still no regret…no wonder every while …!

She churned like a Silver-sequin Star
   yet glinted in a trancing way…
A dying-fire blinked at Them;
  embellishing the inky veil of the Sky..!

Crafted as a Snowflake; so intricately
   Surmise, before you lay a finger on…
Delicate is she will melt and evanesce
   in a bind; before it’s too late…!

Like blessed and revered Raindrops
  She could make the souls play…
Singing at the door and window panes
  washing and smudging the troubles away..!

Ah! Like a fresh breeze, she slipped
  through the spaces and leeways…
Flying away the swathes of dusty corners
  breathing aliveness in wailers’ way…!

She dwelled beyond the bounds of boundaries…
All she carried ‘The Shebang’ in her arms !!

©Monika Ajay Kaul


#37. The Intrepid Woman

A little girl I was, but I grew up too soon
Between ‘Beware of strangers’; and touches bad
Being born a girl didn’t seem a boon
I was warned that every second man was a cad.
Even as I grew, the world was changing fast
Marriage followed; the wonder of being a bride
Alas, those joyful days did not last!
I held my daughter and bitterly cried.
My husband and his parents did all change track
As more daughters followed, little pieces of my heart!
I plodded on to ensure nothing they did lack,
Mother and father, I did play my part.
However, the day came when I had to make a choice
I stood up on my own and my suitcase did pack,
My love for my daughters made me find my voice
I told my husband I wouldn’t be back!
I found myself a job in a nursery school,
Determined to give my daughters a good life,
Seeing my strength, he realised he had been a fool,
An errant husband finally came back to his wife!

©Deepti Menon


#38. We, Women of Enlightenment!

Do you wake up early morning at the door of patience
collecting blessings, the brighter parts
of the sky, parts of yourself,
to protect your family, children, the natural world
do you start the day afresh?
Do you discover values from the depth of visible world
Do you pray to divine power, to guard your mind and heart?
Does your heart blossoms time, time for awakening
does spring bloom visions? Are the four season colors
fully aware of your truth? Have you opened fear to the light?
Does your mind’s light begin from an ancient source
to “ Know yourself”?
Are you brave during the storms of life?
Do you stare at calmness with a flame on your eyes?
What spring water keeps your hope blooming
as if, eternity reigns over present time?
Do you open a door into the Universe
to contain all with Love
truth growing eternal truth?

Together, we keep awareness high at the City of patience!
Mother, your love rays brought me up, I respect your love.
Daughter, future mother of wisdom, I love you like immensity.
Husband, do our bonds of unity speak to time with joy and love?
Son, the brightness of my eyes, I brought you up only for Peace!
Sisters, we have grown stronger through enlightenment.
Our Love increase world-love…
yes, we wake up every morning at the door of hope, awaiting change
awakened by Peace
and love?

©Roula Pollard

©Different Truth Poets

Photos from the internet.

#BeBoldForChange #IWD2017 #Poems #InternationalWomansDay #Women #Life #AnthologyForIWD #DifferentTruths

Luz María López is a published poet, narrator, translator, editor and advocate. She leads the “World Poetic Front Defending Women’s Rights” (WM). Has contributed academic articles and essays about psycho-social aspects of the genre that are published in several periodicals, magazines and the web. Holds degrees in Psychology and Science and is a Certified Conflict Resolution Mediator. She is an international traveler and nurtures multicultural brotherhood (sisterhood). Luz Maria is from Puerto Rico, Caribbean island.

Lily Swarn has published English poems in three anthologies. She was awarded Reuel international prize for poetry 2016. A postgraduate in English from Punjab University, she was awarded a gold medal for best all-round student and academics. She edited her college magazine and wrote middles for newspapers. Poetry blossomed after her young son’s sudden demise. She writes in Hindi and English. Hailing from a defense family, she is settled in Chandigarh.

Basudeb Chakraborti is a retired professor of English and Faculty Dean, University of Kalyani. He founded the Department of English in Sikkim Central University (2013). He taught in the USA and India. He wrote more than 100 articles in different literary journals in India and abroad. Among his books, Thomas Hardy’s View of Happiness, Some Problems of Translation: A Study of Tagore’s Red Oleanders, Indian Partition Fiction in English and in English Translation, etc.

Devika Raghave is a freelance writer and a hobbyist- travel photojournalist. She is a die hard foodie, who loves driving to destinations given a choice! She often delves into poetry. Presently she is based in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.


Nandita Samanta is a science graduate and an ex-Biology teacher; a trilingual poet (English /Hindi/Bengali), short story writer, painter and a dancer. Born in West Bengal, a resident of Salt Lake, Kolkata. Nandita spent her childhood in different states. It enriched her literary journey. Her writings are published in various international and national anthologies, magazines, webzines, newspapers, and journals. She writes on vivid themes, based on her observations on life, love, ambition, nature, culture, folklore, mythology, etc.

Shyamal Kumar Majumder, a poet from Bangladesh writes poems and short stories in English and Bengali languages. His poems have been published  in different anthologies in different countries like India, America and Canada. He also writes in different E-magazines. He is very active in different literary groups of Facebook.Professionaly he is a reputed physician. He works culturally for peace and fraternity all over the world. He is an active member of World Union Of Poets (WUP).

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.”

Sumana Bhattacharjee is an English poetry writer from 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.  Her poems have been published in several anthologies. Some of her poems have been translated into Spanish. Poetry and music are her ultimate passion.

Dr.Tithankar Das Purokasyatha (b. 1956) is a Professor of English at Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, India. He has so far published three books of poetry in Bengali and many scholarly articles in academic journals. His translations of poems by Sunil Gangopadhyay have been published, with the poet’s approval, in South Asian Review and Indian Literature, a Sahitya Akademi journal. He has been regularly publishing poetry in all the leading journals of West Bengal.

Born in Mauritius, in1977, Vatsala Radhakeesoon has had a keen interest in poetry writing since a very young age. Her poems have been featured in local and international newspapers, magazines, journals and anthologies. Her first poetry book ‘When Solitude Speaks’ was published in 2013 with the approval of the Ministry of Arts and Culture (Mauritius). She is currently self-employed and continues to write poems in English, French, Kreyol, and Hindi.

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.

Sailasree Potay is an educationist. She loves travelling and adventure. 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.

Nayonika Sen is a first-year, B.Tech. student in Bangalore.



Sindhuja Veeraraghavan works at the Institut français India. She is a translator and a compulsive polyglot. Her passions include poetry, elephants, Carnatic music, violins, and history.


To Shernaz Wadia, reading and writing poems has been one of the means to embark on an inward journey. She hopes her words will bring peace, hope, and light into dark corners. Her poems have been published in many e-journals and anthologies. She has published her own book of poems “Whispers of the Soul” and another titled “Tapestry Poetry – A Fusion of Two Minds” with her poetry partner Avril Meallem.

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.

Lata Rathore works in the postal department. She is a post graduated in public administration from I.G.N.O.U. She believes that words act as a mirror for our thoughts. She writes poems in Hindi too.


Mrinalini Harchandrai is an independent copywriter and visiting faculty at Ecole Intuit Lab, Mumbai. In the past, she has worked full time for print and online publications On private commission, she has written the biography an Indo-Tanzanian freedom fighter. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in both Indian and international platforms. Her poems have also featured in a visual art show entitled Breaking Ranks at the Headlands Centre for the Arts, San Francisco.

Neelam Dadhwal is a poet from Chandigarh, India. She has recently authored, ‘Footprints’, which deals with aspects of womanhood. Her poems have been published in Readomania, Indian Poetry Review, Literary Yard, Kritya, Muse India. The Unknown Pen and anthologies on women international, peace and humanity. She blogs at Prism of Joy.

Nalini Priyadarshini 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’.

Sudeshna Mukherjee was born in Kolkata but grew up in the beautiful Jharkhand (Ranchi) and it was here that she learned to admire and appreciate Nature. Educated at Loreto Convent and St Xavier’s College, she majored in Economics. She always contributed articles and stories for magazines. Post marriage she moved to Mumbai, a cultural melting pot – here she observed, absorbed and assimilated.

Runa Srivastava is a postgraduate from Calcutta University and also pursued research for a few years in the field of genetic engineering. She ventured into the world of poetry writing very recently, writing haikus, tankas, and sonnets. She is also a lover of nature and a keen photographer. She is widely travelled and has lived. An army wife. she moved to Kolkata, where she resides here with her two daughters.

Swapna Behera is a bilingual poet from Odisha, India. Her poems, articles and short stories have been widely published in various leading national and international journals, anthologies, newspapers and e-zines. She has penned an Odia short story book and an Odia poetry book. She has also been conferred the prestigious International Poesis Award of Honor as a Jury Member at the 2nd Bharat Award for Literature.

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.

Shail Raghuvanshi is a freelance writer, editor, content writer, book reviewer, and poet. A post graduate 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.

Meenakshi M. Singh is an author of three books Soulful Symphony, Aawaz, and I am Enough. She is also the founder of Creative Happiness and She TheShakti Inc. – Woman Empowerment Center, an IT professional, theater actress, mentor, mother of twin daughters and a homemaker. She was conferred with the 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 the Nation Award.

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.  Her poem and stories were also published in the recent edition of ‘Unbound’ magazine. She is a trained Occupational Therapist from the Institute of The Physically Handicapped.

Dr. Brajesh Gupta has mentored many and also assisted many in unleashing their creative potentials.  Some of his articles were published in reputed magazines. His thesis is on “Treatment And Glorification Of Love And Sex In The Novels Of D. H. Lawrence”. His first book of poetry is “The Rain”.

Professor Dr. Madhumita Ghosh is also a poet and editor. Her poems have been widely published in print, e-books, journals and magazines all over the world. She has authored four poetry books titled  Madhumita presently has a novel and a book of short stories are in the pipeline.

Atika Srivastava is currently doing her post graduation from the University of Allahabad. Unpredictable and spontaneous; she loves painting, singing, and dancing though her skills in these areas are pretty dubious. She has a plethora of favorite authors. Her eyes hurt at the sight of healthy food. She can be kept alive on chocolates for decades. She cannot make her day without her mom and library.

A Graduate in Psychology (Hons.), Kiren Babal has a flair for writing both in English and Hindi. She has dabbled 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. She has 13 children books and five Anthologies in English poetry.

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.

Rochelle Potkar authored  ‘The Arithmetic of breasts and other stories’ and ‘Four Degrees of Separation’, She is an alumna of Iowa’s International Writing Program, 2015. She read her poetry at several festivals in Mumbai, Goa, Hyderabad, Chennai, Agartala, and Iowa. She is the winner of the 2016 Open Road Review short story contest, ‘The Leaves of the Deodar’. She is the 2017 recipient of the Charles Wallace writer’s fellowship, Stirling.

Sarojini Pattayat, in her leisure, loves to read and write poetry and short story. She has published poems in Odia language.  “Anterleena” an  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 will soon publish her first book of poems in English. She received ‘Sudhansu Mohan Puraskara’, Rajdhani Book Fair Award, in 2011, for ‘Barshare’.

Pratima Apte has an English (Hons.) graduate of IP College, Delhi University. She is a homemaker, but words are her world. She is grateful to Different Truths, Hall of Poets and The Significant League for featuring her poems and writes.


Born in Kashmir, Monika Ajay Kaul, is an MBA from New Delhi, an Academician by profession.  She is passionate about writing poetry and short stories. Currently a full-time toiling mother. Besides writing, she is a painter too. 


Deepti Menon has always loved the written word, be it in the form of short stories, poems or humorous articles. She is the author of three books. Her first book was ‘Arms and the Woman’ which took a light-hearted look at the life of an Army wife, while her next offering was Deeparadhana, a book of poems. ‘Shadow in the Mirror’, published by Readomania, is her latest book.

Roula Pollard, Greek poet, writer, playwright, translator, literary promoter, broadcaster, Poetry festival organizer, has published three collections of Poetry and is included in international anthologies. She co-operates with Universities regarding literary and social projects. Roula studied Archaeology at Athens and obtained an M.A. in Classics, at Leeds. Lived in England for 25 years, was a lecturer of Modern Greek language and Civilization at Wakefield College. She promoted top English and Greek poets and participated in prestigious English and Greek Poetry festivals.


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