Poetry Call!

Poetry opportunity!

This is a call for poems by women for a celebration of International Women’s Day 2020.We are seeking poetry from international poets as part of the first Festival of Women’s Voices to be held in Great Torrington, Devon, UK. There will be a range of workshops and performances during the festival, including poetry, movement, and listening, along with talks from inspirational women who have overcome adversity to find their own voices.

As part of the festival, we want to showcase women’s voices round the world. We are seeking poems on the theme of “Finding a voice”. Poems should be under 30 lines. All poems will be displayed in the venue – our beautifully restored Town and Community Hall, which dates back to 1861 -the photograph above is taken from the North Devon Gazette. We will also be putting together an anthology from poems received from around the world, and poems produced in the festival workshops.

I hope you feel inspired to contribute to this amazing event!

Please send your poems as a Word attachment to womensvoices@outlook.com, along with a brief biography. You are welcome to send a poem that has been published on line before, but if you want to be part of the anthology, please make sure we have the right to publish it. All rights will remain with you.

The closing date for submissions is 31 December 2019.

I’m really looking forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to share this post.


The traveller.

I wonder where it is you’re going now?

Do you fly to the sun, or seek the cold?

You’ve learned to carry your own roots around

in your backpack, that one with the rainbow –

it’s fading now. That pack is growing old. 

I’ve watched you fill it up, packing it tight

with clothes and books and boots and things you might

need one day. Empty, then fill it again,

because you want to, but can’t travel light.

Those heavy roots will not be cut. Your pain. 

This is for two dVerse prompts – it’s dizain month, and I’ve used the theme of movement from Amaya’s Tuesday prompt.

Going somewhere – poem for dVerse

All those cheap metaphors –
the road, the river

the road as if we’re heading somewhere burning fuel
not just circling spiralling burning time, but look –
we have direction

the river as if we’ll reach carried thoughtless
some open ocean see the sunlight on the water
wide armed
rough waved

and yet we circle round the stone steps up and down


waiting to dissolve us
in its swirling waters

fingerprint swirl thumbprint on the clouds
in the great sea

and all the while
we are spinning
out and away

seductive entropy

Amaya is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we are looking at movement – our own movements, population movements, wherever the prompt takes us.

First landing

The first night in orbit, I dreamt I was the moon. I dreamt that the beings down there – and what would they be? Would they be recognisable as life? – gazed up and saw my face, cold and white and beautiful, and worshipped me.

I didn’t tell the rest of the crew about my dream, but I carried it with me through the days that followed, as we scanned the landscape below us, looking for variations in temperature, in colour; mapping oceans and continents. I carried it with me as I put on my spacesuit and strapped myself into the pod that would take us down there, to see it all for ourselves.

As I stepped from the pod, I looked up. The ship was there, reassuring, glowing. Not a moon, but a new star in an alien sky. Who else had seen it?

My offering for the Prosery prompt at dVerse. I’m hosting there tonight. Our prompt phrase is “I dreamt I was the moon”, from Full Moon by Alice Oswald.

Saying goodbye – Prosery for dVerse

That morning we dressed in our finest clothes to say goodbye. Four children – our brightest, bravest, strongest – were leaving us.

My daughter hugged me tightly before she went. I held back my tears. How could I cry when her face was so full of hope? She was going to the City.

Nobody knows what happens there. There are stories – strange, or brilliant, or terrible – but no-one ever leaves, only the blank faced soldiers who come for our children. All we see are the lights in the distance.

That night, I dreamt I was the moon, watching them make their way down stony paths, a trickle of people, joining other, until they made a torrent heading towards the great gates of the city. Like the moon, I could watch them, but I couldn’t call to them. I was trapped in my own silence.

My second piece for the dVerse Prosery prompt. I’m hosting, so I did have advance warning!

Rook – dizain for dVerse.

Suddenly the rooks rose up together

No reason I could see – no sudden sound,

No swift hawk or lightning change of weather –

For a few moments, they all circled round,

But did they seek the sky, or fear the ground?

Then they broke up, went off in twos and threes,

Companionable birds, shooting the breeze,

Leaving me wondering what I’d just seen:

That swirl of wings, lifting above the trees,

Briefly together, and then flying free.

A second dizain for Rosemary at dVerse.

Summer rain – dizain for dVerse

I’d half forgotten the sound of the rain
falling from leaf to leaf down to the clay,
but listen, here it comes, falling again –
after these days of still blue skies, trees sway
and the rain dances like a child at play,
and suddenly the world is coloured green,
the roses waken from their summer dream –
as rain falls, slakes the dry soil, gives relief,
the world is freshly made and freshly clean,
the summer’s dust is washed from every leaf.

This is my first dizain for the dVerse form for all for July. I have to say that 10 syllables is quite uncomfortable for me. It’s quite a long line, yet not quite long enough…I like the rhyme scheme, though, and I think I might get the hang of it be the end of the month. Rosemary Nissen Wade is out host for this month, and gives a lovely explanation of the dizain and some great examples.


The thing I fear is the silence:
when the buzzing stops
because there are no more bees –
the belly hum buzz
that dances from nectar to nectar

the silence that falls
when the sun goes down
and the birds quieten

a reminder that there could be
a world without a blackbird
calling tumbling notes
from a sleek throat,
without rook
gently reminding rook
that they are friends,
without skylark promising
joy effortless

and the silence of sea water
grown sluggish
half plastic
holding death afloat
silver belly turned
towards a yellow sky

and the silence of a forest
where every tree
is just a dream.

Anmol (HA) is hosting at dVerse tonight, and asks us to write a poem about the climate crisis.

Sun in July- quadrille for dVerse

Gobstopper sun
rolling sticky down the sky
hot lemon

wayside sprinkled – tiny suns –
piss-scald suns –
tooth-leafed, bright-maned

and the light too heavy
to move quickly
just honey sticky smear
slowly spilling
under the door
through every crack
can’t keep it out

A quadrille for dVerse – our word tonight is “sun”, and a quadrille is a poem of 44 words, including the prompt word. Grace is hosting tonight.