For International Women’s Day

I was driving up to Dublin yesterday, and got a message from Naomi Sturdy with a question, which turned into a prompt. Naomi had the idea in the morning to do a special episode of her podcast, Heart of the Matter, gathering advice for younger women from women in her circle of friends, colleagues and confidantes. As I drove, words started arriving and forming into a poem. I pulled in, began to catch them, and later, as the full moon rose, the rest landed.

Naomi spent this morning gathering the messages from these women, and compiling them in this beautiful episode of her podcast, to which I was delighted to contributed alongside this circle of women, who are sharing their wise words and wise ways.

Thank you Naomi for your own service and gift.

You can listen to the episode here:

And my own poem, is here:

International Women’s Day.

That our bodies are our bodies.
That power comes from within our blood, our bones, our inherent belonging.
That our wombs are bedrock from the original place.
That our cycles have the cosmos in them, and the earth’s entire spin.
That when we say peace, we mean for men too.

Because when a woman says there has been a breach of her sovereignty, she is still, most likely, playing it down.
Because when the system is at war with the feminine, the system is at war with itself.
Because we do not need to apologise for the shape of our natural.
Because violence has no place on cheekbones, or homes, or the dreams of a young girl longing to fulfil herself.
Because our grandmothers, and theirs, and theirs, beared too much of the weight.
Because silence is rarely a solution.

Until our hands be recognised as healing things.
Until our voices have equal place at the highest tables.
Until our right to choice is but a given.
Until our gender does not dictate our pay, our position, or our possibilities.
Until the laws enshrine it so.

For our gift is in our forgiveness and our rage.
For our hope can heal the many broken things.
For our circles can protect the mystery in the middle.
For our love is the inheritance we offer the earth.
For our breath is the life we breathe for each other.

It’s all, after all, sacred ground,
and we, after all, are calling each other

7 March 2002.