Her Light Burns Brightly

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Strong, resilient, like no other
Fighter, defender, lover, mother,
Teacher, leader, inspiration,
Backbone of a generation.
Of a kind, yet individual,
Shrugging off the chains residual
That remain from eons past,
Smashing ceilings made of glass.
She honours mothers, sisters, aunts,
Who fought to give her every chance
To vote, to lead, to work, to win,
To overcome history’s sins.
Her light burns brightly: in her wake
Are those she has inspired to take
The future into their own hands,
On their own terms, not those of man.

©2017 Joanne Van Leerdam

Her Light Shines Brightly
#WomensHistoryMonth #womenshistory

‘Her Light Shines Brightly’ is one of the poems about women and their experiences collected in Stained Glass by Joanne Van Leerdam

Her Light Burns Brightly

In honour of International Women’s Day, This poem pays tribute to all the women in history who paved the way for women today to enjoy the freedoms and rights that we do.

Image of Millicent Fawcett by dimitrisvetsikas1969 on Pixabay

Her Light Burns Brightly

Strong, resilient, like no other
Fighter, defender, lover, mother,
Teacher, leader, inspiration,
Backbone of a generation.
Of a kind, yet individual,
Shrugging off the chains residual
That remain from eons past,
Smashing ceilings made of glass.
She honours mothers, sisters, aunts,
Who fought to give her every chance
To vote, to lead, to work, to win,
To overcome history’s sins.
Her light burns brightly: in her wake
Are those she has inspired to take
The future into their own hands,
On their own terms, not those of man.

ⓒ2016 Joanne Van Leerdam

In celebration of all women on International Women’s Day: Her Light Burns Brightly by @jvlpoet
#poetry #poetrylovers #InternationalWomensDay #WomensHistory

This poem appears in the collection titled ‘Stained Glass’, dedicated to the strength and resilience of women.

The Artist

The Artists Plain

Pictures splash furiously onto each page,
Images shaped with both light and shade,
Memories and thoughts, things she wished she had said,

Emotions and fears that had never been shared.

Some pages were dark, some filled with desire,
Yet others glowed with heaven’s own fire;
Some scenes that exposed the true hearts of men,

Were blotched by tears she had shed over them.

Some pictures were smudged, some faded with time,
Others vivid with colour, rhythm and rhyme.
Some portraits brought pleasure, some caused her pain

That she had hoped she might never feel again.

And the truth looked directly back into her eyes,
Its gaze unashamed, its candour undisguised,
For what she had thought had been fiction’s domain

Was staring at her and speaking her name.

The shock of enlightenment jolted her soul –
Each page revealed truths that had never been told;
Every fiction created as part of her art

Had been drawn from the depths of her world-weary heart.

©2016 Joanne Van Leerdam

The Artist is one of my favourite poems from ‘Leaf’.

I was inspired to write it by my friend Nicky, who is an incredibly gifted

Leaf 2nd Ed Title Only copyartist. On looking at one of her paintings, I commented that I wished I could do what she did.
She said, “You do. You just do it with words.”

 

Leaf is available in your favourite digital bookstore or in paperback.

Late Fall.

Given that ‘New Horizons’ just won first place for Short Story in the Summer Indie Book Awards,  I thought I would share a story from that book this week. 

I hope you enjoy it! 

2015-10-21-09-26-38.jpg

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“I’m fine,” she lied.

So he left, not worried at all.

And she stayed, as she always had.

She had always wished he would touch her face gently, or hold her hand, and say he’d be back as soon as he could be. She longed to hear him tell her that there was nowhere else he would rather be than with her. She wanted him to hold her close when the nights were long and lonely. She craved for him to love her the way he had promised to, all those years ago.

But her hopes had faded with her memories of their happiness. For all she remembered of those times, it could have been someone else in the faded pictures in the album that she knew by heart, but could no longer bear to open.

A wedding dress. A baby’s first steps. A smiling couple in front of a small house in the suburbs. A schoolboy. A graduation. Another wedding dress.

The only thing that mattered anymore was the baby, and he was long gone, a grown man living on the other side of the country, pursuing his own hopes and dreams.

Probably for the best, she thought. No point in him knowing what my life has become. Just let him be happy.

What she wanted now was to be somewhere – someone – else.  It almost didn’t matter where, or who. Those things are not so important to someone who has almost entirely forgotten who she used to be.

She gazed at the leaves falling in the yard, flurries of colour falling to the ground, skittering playfully in the breeze.

So free. So beautiful. I wonder how they know when it’s time to fall.

Then she realised: they just do. It just happens.

She  turned away from the window and went to the closet. She took out a suitcase and began to fill it with her things. She was preparing to leap from her tree and fly to another place.

She was afraid of falling; she was afraid of the wind.

But she was more afraid of staying where she was and ceasing to exist at all.

©2016 Joanne Van Leerdam

Promo New Horizons Cover eBook new with SIBA badge

 

‘Late Fall’ appears in New Horizons.
Find out more at www.jvlpoet.com/books

 

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