Poetry

pray, church, kneeling

TO LOSE A CHILD

Today a mother buried a child.
Sitting in the rows behind her
In the church,
I watch her;
Straight back.
Head covered.
Blank face.
Dignified sadness that she carries.

As person after person
Speak words of comfort,
I wonder if it reaches her
Or
If the umbrella of grief is so
Overwhelmingly broad,
That nothing can penetrate it.

Today a mother said goodbye
To her child;
An unnatural and unreal occurrence.
The small precious box on display
Holding everything that she holds dear.
And as I sit behind her,
Head bowed,
Hair undone
And tear-stained face
I cry the tears that this mother
No longer can.

a book, rose, heart

AM I NEXT?

Your smile and your smirk are the same to me.

I can’t see the difference between your sharp navy suit and your blue working overalls.

Your soft touch is just as violent as your fist to my jaw.

Every day I wake up and I ask myself #AmInext?

Black, White, Coloured;

Your sense of entitlement and abuse know no race, creed or colour.

The weight of death tip the scale when it comes to the worth of my life.

I’m no longer sad.

I am pissed!

I’ve had enough!

We have had enough.

It’s enough!

I’m tired of being afraid of making eye contact with men, thinking that if I don’t look at them, they won’t see me.

I’m tired of being afraid while standing in a public place,

Not knowing who is about to haunt me, stalk me or hurt me.

I’m tired of sitting on the bus or waiting for a taxi and wondering; did this man just come back from raping a woman?

Did this man just murder my sister?

Am I next?

Bank teller.

Post office clerk.

Businessman.

Father.

Uncle.

Son.

Rapist.

Murderer.

Criminal.

I no longer know the difference.

I’m tired of being distrustful of all men because of the faults of a few.

I’m tired of feeling like it’s my fault.

It’s not chivalry that’s dead.

It’s me.

I am dead.

Every year gender-based violence and femicide has a different face,

I can’t help but wonder, am I next?

Letting in the light, mental wellness anthology

LETTING IN THE LIGHT – REVIEW

I have to admit, it took me a while to really sit down and read this book. I think mostly because of the subject of the book; mental wellness or if you like mental health. It shouldn’t be surprising that so many of us suffer with some form of mental terror; depression, anxiety and sometimes we deal with feelings, thoughts and situations that can’t be described. When I started reading Letting In The Light; I felt a sense of coming home, a feeling of being welcomed into someone’s heart with open arms.

The foreword by Pick Me Up Poetry founder, Webster Chagonda encompasses this feeling so well;

“Remember, darkness will always make way for the day, and wherever
your mind may lead you, I hope these poems become your place of
refuge.”

It’s difficult for me to tell which one of the poems are my favourite; there are pieces of each poem that speak directly to me.

They are all relatable and also somewhat confrontational but quite necessary,

“A fleeting moment of peace

as you cease to wonder when the next red drought will dry out this puddle

And if you won’t have drowned in the depth of your head until then”

girl, sitting, jetty

When I read through the poems, I realised that so many people understand the feelings and circumstances around one topic. I felt safe reading it and saying to myself, “It’s okay to feel this way”

It truly is a stunning body of work with a beautiful use of words, descriptive methods and metaphors. It is almost as if what you’re reading is being carved on your skin. That is how deep the words go.

“Everywhere you walk, you will be a constellation of footsteps”

The anthology sheds light on all the parts of your life that is affected by depression; your mind, body, soul, family, friends and your career an daily life.

“I am ready to recite myself into existence. I am ready to tell anxiety a prophecy even though I sometimes don’t believe”

I want to encourage you to get this book. The words will speak to us all differently and once you get into it, you’ll realise its not just a book you can read once off. You can always go back and remind yourself that you are not alone in your darkness when you feel overwhelmed.

I was bound by the plight of life and could not get away. I was blinded by the pain of this fight and could not see my way but I heard Hope’s gentle whistle and Joy’s hearty squeal, gently fanning the embers of my heart”

tree, nature, wood

Well done to all the poets who contributed their words, feelings and experiences to this book. Thank you for being brave and baring it all on the pages.

Congratulations to the publishers, Chasing Dreams Publishing and everyone who worked to put this amazing body of work together.

I give this book a 10/10!

violence against women, domestic, abuse

FOR THE WOMEN WHO CRIED

IT IS TIME


Tears cocoon fear
in the eyes of our girls
who were raised to conform
to the double standards set
who stalk the streets we walk
while chanting prayers
to reach home safely
It is time to undress
the targets from our bodies
we are not wounds
begging for attention
we are women
who demand the luxury
that safety has become
seeking justice for our sisters
who turned into statistics
The revolution we require
will not arise from complacency
it is time to raise our voices
and end the silence
it is time to stop
gender-based violence

clock, alarm, alarm clock

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH


The warrior bleeds
in every woman who fought
and cried and died beneath an armour
of battle scars after begging
for the basic human rights
she was denied
Carrying strength like a weapon
she faced oppression
injustice and men
without a moral compass
until her sword became the honour
they could not steal
Why are we quiet
when our warriors are bleeding
enough is enough
there must be a peak
in our silence
SCREAM
SCREAM
I stand together with
the women who fought
and the women who cried
the women who begged
and the women who died

eye, tear, cry

ABOUT THE POET – EKTA SOMERA

Ekta Somera is the author of Made in Poetry, a collection of poetry and prose. She is a part-time criminology major and a full-time visionary leader. From writing and reviewing books to hosting a radio show and making a difference, she fulfils her passion to inspire young people through various youth initiatives and community service.

Ekta lives by the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
Hardcopies of Made in Poetry are available in South Africa, WhatsApp 067 909 1057 to order a copy at R280 with delivery.

Ekta with her book, “Made In Poetry”


The ebook is available on Kindle and Amazon worldwide at the cost of $4.99 

You can find Ekta here:

TWITTER: @madeinpoetry

INSTAGRAM: @ektasomera

Ekta’s poetry anthology

I AM HER

I stare at her in the dirty mirror on the wall

She stares back at me, all the cracks showing

Unwilling to smile

Asking me questions with her eyes.

She looks tired

She feels exhausted

Her body is in pain

Her back hurts.

Her eyebrows are untamed

I should do something about that,

I think.

What about the hair, it’s so dry and unmanageable

We should cut it,

I say

“No”
 I hear a whisper

The breeze floats through the open window

Strands of hair dances as it does

The sun frames me with a golden light

Almost angelic if I didn’t know better

Mmm, that felt nice, we both think.

I’m not that pretty,

I sigh

A bit on the bland side

You’re beautiful

I look away from the mirror

And inhale.

She exhales

We’re staring at one another

Through purpled framed specs

I’m tired” I think

I know” she whispers back

I arch my back in cat-like stretch

Feeling the muscles in the lower back

Tensing as I do.

She inhales

I exhale

I lift a cup of tea to my lips

Not too sweet

A bit cold

I lick my lips to taste

What are we going to do?”

I ask

We carry on

She replies

I move my hair from right to left

Feeling the texture

Dry, yes

But still beautiful.

A smile touches my lips

I look in the mirror hanging on the wall

You’re strong

She says

I hesitate

The eyes that stare back at me

Look hopeless

Deep set and underlined with shadows

As if years of sleep have been lost

And years of tears have been shed

You’re strong

She says again

Say it

I inhale

I exhale

I fix my hair

And straighten my clothes

I am strong

I whisper

This body is merely a vessel

Your spirit is flourishing

She becomes louder

I can feel her banging on the walls on the inside of my head

And my heart.

I inhale

I exhale

For every one thing that I find is wrong with me

There are ten more things that are right with me
.”

I hear myself say.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inhale.

Exhale.

I am strong.

I am beautiful.

I am capable.

I am

Her.

sequoia, forest, redwood

EVERGREEN

Tall and strong my soul
Is firmly planted in the soil
On which you stand.
Green and lush my leaves
Dance to Mother Nature’s lullaby
As I feed the meagre creature that
Scurries on the surface of the earth,
While you produce pulp and paper for
Your fiction.
Speak to me! I live!
As I give you the very breath of life
You breathe.
Lavender and lilies and olives and willows
Placed here by Him who reigns
Higher than my majestic reach.
And even when the winds blow and the
Seas are rampant
I know that my soul in the soil
Is evergreen.
Evergreen.
Evergreen.

baby feet, heart, love

OH BABY!

Little one,
From the womb whence you came,
Only to be discarded on the side of the road.
Oh, baby!
Wrapped in plastic,
Near the stench of a filthy rubbish bin.
Accompanied not by warm hands and inviting smiles,
Instead, you’re surrounded by
Rotten food and hungry wolves.


Oh, baby!
Your cries drown out the screams
As she forces you out,
Two months premature.
She doesn’t want to remember
the day that you were created
in a night of heated passion.
Your sweet face and soft skin
Make her skin crawl.


Oh, baby!
She blames you for the loss of his love
And punishes you,
Gets rid of you,
Like yesterday’s trash.
A one night stand,
Mistaken for a love of a lifetime,
Resulting in 9 months of responsibility.
A lifetime responsibility.


Oh, baby!
Your little body; hands and feet,
Blue in the cold night,
Unaware of the love that awaits you
From a barren mother who craves you
Who wishes for you,
Prays for you.
Your sweet scent,
Your ten fingers and
Ten toes.
Oh, sweetheart
Covered in blood,
The only tie to your previous life,
Is the cord that binds itself around your tiny
Neck.


Oh, baby!
Please hold on!
Someone is coming.
Oh, baby!
You are wanted
and needed.
You are a source of joy and laughter.
Your precious life is a gift from the heavens.
Oh, baby!
Please hold on!
That yellowed grass patch might be your beginning
But
It is certainly not your end.



flower, rose, love

DEAR MOTHER

I often think of the days that I use to perch on your lap
And grab you around your neck
And kiss your aging cheeks.


I often wonder if I will ever be able to do that again.
The chasm between us seems to have become so relentless
That I often wonder if we’ll ever be able to cross it.


Mother, ma as I know you,
I sometimes think back to when we use to be
Best friends, I was the envy of my siblings
As you always had my back.
Now I look back and see the strays of memories
We have left behind.


I see you, you’re getting older.
You have a limp
And the 60 years that our Father has granted you
Is starting to show.


I remember watching you sit
At the window in our small flat
Writing down random numbers;
Maybe it was the dates of the births of all your children,
Even the ones you never saw growing up.
Or maybe how many times your heart was broken.
Or was it the number of times you cried?


Now you don’t count anymore,
You just stare ahead, waiting for the
End of each day.
Maybe the dates and numbers and opportunities
That you never had have all lost their meaning.


You turned into a sad and helpless creature
Right before my eyes
It made me feel sad and helpless for
Not knowing how to reach out.


Dear mother,
My arrogance and pride has prevented me
From coming to you and telling you
That I miss your bear-like embrace.
It has put a wall up in the
Middle of our home
As we pass one another
During the day
Like strangers at night.


We hardly say a word to another
And when we do, its
Laced with irritations and criticism.


Mother, I am sorry
For being too big for my shoes and
Forgetting that you too
Are leaving shoes that no one
Will ever be able to fill.

eye, creative, galaxy

FOR THE CREATIVES

This is for the creatives.

The musicians.

The writers and poets.

The painters and artists.

For the ideas that grow in your mind. the struggle between real and imaginary.

For the passion that feeds your soul and the constant hive of activity in your head and the familiar itch of your hand for a pen.

For being misunderstood and for being seen as strange, odd or weird..

This is for you, sitting in a dark room painting pictures with your words.

This for you, playing your acoustic to a melody only you can hear.

This is for you, creating images no one can understand.

This is for you.

The creators of visual chemistry.

The designers of untold stories.

The architects of new worlds.

This is for you.

For seeing beauty in disaster and finding treasures in rubble.

For losing sleep while others are dreaming about your words and humming your tunes in their slumber.

Creatives,

We are the source of life behind someone’s smile.

We are the trigger of a memory behind someone’s tears.

We are the bond between separated lovers.

And the force that binds a mother to her child.

We are everywhere.

Creatives,

This is for you.

For the daydreams and nightmares that are the seed of your art.

For the pain you turn into beauty.

For thriving on the misery of rejection and making it your conquered mountain.

For the bravery you possess to share your truth.

This is for you.

candle, light, candlelight, death, loss,

DEATH. AN UNINVITED GUEST.

Death doesn’t rest. It’s relentless in its pursuits. It has an insatiable hunger that is never satisfied. It is quick, you don’t see it coming even when you are expecting it and even when you’ve experienced it before, it still hits you like a ton of bricks every single time it crosses your path.

We say life is short; knowing that death doesn’t time its arrival. It’s an uninvited guest. The one you ignore when it’s knocking at your door.

The one whose calls you avoid and pretend doesn’t exist.

But it’s there.

It’s always there.

It feeds on your tears and leaves no time for grief before the next loss.

It’s like rolling thunder and unceasing rain.

Death doesn’t rest or becomes tired. It doesn’t need to take a break.

Death needs no invitation and it doesn’t need a seat at the table.

It simply shows up,

and commands an audience.