Let’s Go Find the Women History Hides

Following the Crow Song

19060108_10211924738286748_4037967534773894514_nLast weekend Jackie French mesmerised and intrigued Booklinks members and the public by speaking about the women history hides to raise money for an upcoming Symposium on literature and writing centres.  This is my account of listening to her talk.

It was a shocking morning, hearing all about stabbings in London.  I could scarcely keep the tears from rolling down my face.  Oh what are we doing – humanity?  I wasn’t sure if I could leave the house, and if just a day of meditation and prayers, or a solitary walk in nature, might be the way to go.   That’s my sensitive poet’s heart; I am sure a lot of other’s people’s hearts were breaking too.

But I gave myself a stern talking to, Jackie French one of my all time favourite authors was in town, and was going to give a talk.  ‘Get on that bus June and go be with…

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For Tahirih

Megslossnavylblue2

“And the skies that breathe navy blue”

In Faith

Be a hollow reed
Waiting for melodies
And the notes that breathe skies
And the skies that breathe navy blue
And the navy blue that breathes sea
And the sea the breathes woman
And the woman that breathes of your unveiling and peeling away
That skin of your ego loosening and falling
The cocoon the morn
In Badasht last century
The morn.

By June Perkins

Recently I have been enjoying discussions with Baha’i writers and artists online.
I asked an abstract specialist Meg Sloss how she would illustrate this poem and she sent me the above image.
Thanks Meg. You can find more of Meg’s abstracts on at this link MEG’S ABSTRACTS

Another friend in that same group as suggested making the above poem into a dance, which really has me thinking. I’d love to have a dancer interpret this and then film it. So many creative ideas, hoping I will get around to doing them all.

You can find out more about Tahirih here.

Tahirih’s Story

In Faith

Wrote this poem for Tahirih, one of the letters of the living, many years ago

World Citizen Dreaming

one more leaf

For Tahirih the poetess

In Faith
Be a hollow reed
Waiting for melodies
And the notes that breathe skies
And the skies that breathe navy blue
And the navy blue that breathes sea
And the sea the breathes woman
And the woman that breathes of your unveiling and peeling away
That skin of your ego loosening and falling
The cocoon the morn
In Badasht last century
The morn.

(c) June Perkins

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Here is a Feather

To continue the theme of women’s empowerment here is a poem from the Ripple Poetry site.

Ripple Poetry

Here is a feather for flight
To strengthen your wings
To put the world right

Take this peace feather
For all of life’s weather
Add to it
more for your wings.

Who are the women you treasure?
Who helped you into the sky?

Speak to them, pray for them,
Work with them
Strengthen them then,

Give them a feather of peace.
Give them a feather of joy.

Give them a feather for flight.

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved.

Written for International Women’s Day.

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Empowerment of Women: Miracle Monday 2

Women center in Sharga
Umaid- Flickr Creative Commons – Photo by Albert González Farran

 

Women – when strengthened can do so much.  There  are miracles I see in my mother’s life and my own and in the global world of women that bear testament to this.

When my mother was a child, she was the caretaker of the pigs.  She had to feed them and fatten them up for the village and then let go.  But she was destined to leave her village in Papua New Guinea for a very different future life journey, first to go to a mission school, and then to do nursing, and finally to move to Australia with her Australian husband and here have many occupations and three children.  I didn’t grow up to be a caretaker of the pigs.

This is an historical miracle, in the sense that my dear parents chose not to see colour, background, experience as limiting their love for each other.  They were brought together by his desire to travel and  understand the world (his father was an Esperantist) and her family’s desire to see their daughter educated.  They met and then had me in Papua New Guinea and my brothers in Australia. She traveled away from, family, village, country for love and went through homesickness that only now I begin to understand.

One sad thing is that my mother has never learnt to drive. They didn’t have a car when she grew up, or a culture of going for a licence.  She tried a few times when she first came to Australia, but never quite made it.  So the next miracle was that finally her daughter, me, with the help of the Farmer’s Wife went for a licence.  I thought of my Bubu (grandmother) in her village and my Mum and I was determined to learn to drive and break new ground for my daughter.

My Mum was so proud of me! More proud of me than anything I had ever done, I think.

What does driving for a woman today mean?   The same things it means for a man? Independence to go where and when you need to, more job opportunities, the ability to go for certain jobs, a way to assist one’s family when they are in trouble.

To be a migrant woman without a licence was so hard for my Mum. I think compassionately of women coming to Australia without them and of women still in need of their freedom of transport.  Nevertheless I am still very proud of my Mum, who has raised goods much needed by hospitals and sent countless things home to villages and family.  She has never forgotten the place that raised her.

Now for global women miracles.  Women across the world are doing similar things.  They are taking their place in governing their countries and in ‘non-traditional’ work places.

In places torn apart by war and famine their role has become integral in the recovery, healing and economic viability of their nations.  I am particularly impressed by the women of the Sudan.

After a twenty two year conflict, which severely impacted everyone, but especially women,  the United Nations reports that great improvements have been made through strengthening the opportunities and education for women.

Women Holding Registration Cards
NonViolentPeaceForce- Creative Commons

Women gained the right to vote in 1964. They now have 25% representation in all sectors, part of a peace agreement and over 90% of women in rural areas are in the workforce.

I find it interesting that when there is massive killing in a country, and women make up the majority of the population they must be strengthened for the society to function well.  It is something that everyone can see and of course it has happened in places other than the Sudan.

What a miracle it must seem after so many years to see women have opportunity, input and not be subject to the vulnerabilities that wars bring.

What’s your miracle for women’s equality?  Have you seen one in everyday life, or on the news recently?  

By June Perkins