A collection of poetry from Women’s Honi

Read the poetry featured in this year's Women's Honi.

Art by Ranuka Tandan.

Portrait of a Daydream
by Laura de Feyter

I wonder how it feels
To exist constantly in the shadowy painting of reality
To know only workload, work stress, heart ache –
(the primary hues of the every day)

I try to untangle the strings
tethering me to the colourful release
lights flashing inside my mind
in the land where I am still queen
Where there need be no king, and I rule with dreams –

And bring myself
back down
To the misted illustration hovering outside my head
Where I am still the citizen of a stolen country
Where reality is still there every timeI wake.

Sometimes my mind flickers and folds in between the layers
and my feet falter, unsure of which colour terrain
they dare to believe.

the strings tangle themselves, too close
To separate with flawed fingers
And I choke
Trying to bite off the knots with my teeth.
They are wrapped around my neck now, pulling me in
Till reality grows dim

My eyes are entranced as
The artworks plait themselves together in a cacophony of colours
Dancing to a lullaby which dulls the creeping ache
and breathes the blackness of primary colours away,
till my kingdom is a distant memory
where the tide flows backwards, and the
sea is painted too high
for me to swim in it.

Now, I choose the sand.

Still, it seems -I will always be a painter
in the artwork of dreams.

Iced Tea
by Raz Badiyan (@rbwords)

Nothing screams ‘yearning’ like a half finished cup of tea
  left for the morning.
Staring at curtains and blank walls until it got cold.
Too cold to drink.
A cup half full with mind empty of everything but you; a soft silhouette
above my head.
I can’t help but cry.

The Space Around These Words
by Claire Ollivain

is where you’ll find me, quiet.
I am the air and you do not see me;
I am the roots of your lungs, giving
you the redness of blood,
and the green veins of leaves.
I am liquid, and bleed past borders;
those wounds you call reason.

Words that mean nothing
without the space in-between.
No photograph could pin down
the air that ‘great’ men breathed –
& even I
Could not see nor hear myself
in the mirror they called I
if it meant I’d become a letter too.

There’s no translating the howl of ancient wind; her anger
and irrational power
you tried to make still.
She will haunt you, return
your last breath
back to air, back to the space around these words –

My Mother Says
by Raz Badiyan

خود‭ ‬جوانی‭ ‬خوشگل

My mother says “youth, in itself, is beauty”
at the time of day where the sun does not cast its shadow.
She does not see the creases in my eyes;
There is more dark than light on either side,
The folds in my heart and the holes in the sky.
They pile up like clothes on chairs and dust on my bed
And I circle around them like I have nothing to hide.
I hide my face behind my hands until they say,
“Give us a smile”, and after I tell you what I do
To be beautifulI won’t be smiling and neither will you.

Filed under: