‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’: A Shield Maiden Collaboration

1Wise-Woman

Her words, her will, her worth
Trampled and trodden
Forgotten
But for her
Flickering light
Fueled by ferocity
Molded with might
Courage compiled
Resilience reconciled
Wolves wryly grin
Circling again
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Christine Ray

She was told little girls
should be seen, not heard
but silence was suffocating
truth twisted in her stomach
razor sharp
when her voice finally rose
from a whisper
to a roar
they tried to drown her out
their indignation a cacophony
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Aurora Phoenix

her initial protestations
propelled by burning bile
bubbling pique
in a voice squeaky
with disuse
were dubbed whining
she scrubbed corrosion
from rusted tongue
flexed, strengthening
articulate exclamation
strident
castrating
they proclaimed her
nevertheless, she persisted

 

Kindra M. Austin

Disregard your heart, they said
Faith is for the fools
Chasing gold; bold are the weak
Dream seekers
Dreams don’t raise children
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Sarah Doughty

Silence was her solace,
the stillness of the night,
the calm before the storm.
Her voice, long since stifled.
Her body, long since defiled.
But they never broke her spirit.
Nevertheless, she persisted.


 

[‘Shield Maiden‘ is the name adopted by these wonderful women, who are also members of Blood Into Ink Click their names for more information on the individual writers.]

Glass and Thorns – Christine Ray

hysteria (1)
Betrayal is an inside job
wrecked by muscle and
joints
neurons and
neurotransmitters
mitochondrial mutiny
lays waste
to formerly silver tongue
now struggling to find words
that used to flow like
ink through fountain pen
fatigue hangs round neck
chain woven of boulders, glass shards &
thorns
muscle spasms contort me
into balloon animal shapes
so alien, so grotesque
that they frighten the village children
like the pick axe
I plant above right eye
in hopes of blessed relief
don’t mind the blood
it’s barely an inconvenience
during insomnic ruminations
about long dormant-mutations
coded in DNA turned
time bombs
that ripped through my life
casualty count still being assessed
by medics in white coats
who write cryptic words
on shiny clipboards
while I bleed


 

[Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.]

‘Recombinant Selves’ – A Collaborative of 11 writers

We inherit

The wordless cry

Of all our former

Selves (CER)

 

They layer themselves

upon us

ragged cloaks

of the homeless

dragging

at our heels (AP)

 

Dusk takes one last breath

Swallowing golden specks of us

Scattered among the detritus

No light reflects

From such depths

We are the chosen (1W-W)

 

We stumble against starless darkness

searching for one truth (KMA)

 

Layer by layer, I am revealed.

The reflection looking back at me

isn’t one I recognize.

Will there be anything

worth remembering,

when I’m gone? (SD)

 

Fragmented remnants

permeate our evolution

ill-fated to dissonance

a dichotomy of our

recombinant selves (AGD)

 

Searching for a candle in the abyss,

A hope to hold onto,

To chalk sweaty palms

Gripping a frayed rope.

tearing tender flesh,

Climbing toward salvation (JWL)

 

But the stars have fallen, smashed diamonds

of our shattered images, and the lost cry

who am I? In tune with our hearts.(A)

 

Through telescopes

we focus on a point

All else is irrelevant

From the bottom of a well

our vision is limited

All else is a mystery (WC)

 

The mysterious property

of my ancestors

the progeny of dusk

I am prodigy or effigy

What I ought to be

or another misstep in

my fragile history (OP)

 

Our former

Selves

Cry:

Look

Their

inheritance! (SFF)


 

Writers:

1Wise-Woman

A.G. Diedericks

Allie

Kindra M. Austin

Ward Clever

Sarah Doughty

Stephen F. Fuller

John W. Leys

Aurora Phoenix

Olde Punk

Christine E. Ray

Sudden Denouement on Pinterest

pinterest-logo

As part of our attempt to expand our social media footprint we have expanded into Pinterest.  Take a few moments to check out and follow our new Pinterest account! The goal is to utilize media outlets to highlight the extraordinary work of all the SD writers and to direct traffic back to the SD site.

We have individual folders for the writers listed and continue to add new boards.

 

 

Cat Nap

by Lois Linkens and Christine Ray

catnap

 

sleep stalks me, finds me an easy target

slinks in to drag me under, into the depths
where unknown dangers lurk in my unconscious
what murkiness lies behind my drooping lashes,
what shadows hide between each whistling breath?
what sharpness snuggles buried
among the feathers in my pillow,
what traps will soon ensnare
and dangle me, just feet from death?

they hook me, by the ankle
and suspend me from the tree of dreams,
around which serpents rattle, tigers prowl,
insects scuttle, poisonous, foul.
blood rushing to my head
cheeks flushed
heart thundering
as i dangle helpless

great cats bat their armored paws
at my flailing hair
like beggars round a campfire.
their claws pull and snag –
draw drops of blood
that quench night blooming jasmine
waiting below

i wake with a start. temples throb and pulse,
the bed is dry as my parched throat, blankets cold.
perhaps a girl
can be herself without the hair of fairytales.

 

 

Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and we ask you to take a second to look at more of her wonderful work, lois e.linkens

Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.

 

Raven – Christine Ray

 

It starts as tightness
tingling
across bare shoulder blades
becomes an itch
I can’t quite reach
stretch my spine sinuous
slow
vertebrae by vertebrae
long for a shot of whiskey
or three
liquid gold disinhibition I can blame
for the reckless choice
I am about to make
I finally let go
tightly coiled control
gasp with relief
as I finally unleash the darkness
onyx feathers rip
sharp and true through the flesh of my back
talons shoot from fingertips
toes
bones burned hollow
by demon fire dwelling in my belly
exquisite pain of rebirth
brings me briefly to my knees
I arise something new
wipe the blood from my mouth
spread fledging wings
and with the lift of the north wind
I claim the night sky
mine


[ Welcome back, Christine Ray! When not running around pretending she is Wonder Woman, Christine Ray can be found writing for Brave and Reckless. You can also find her at Blood Into Ink, Whisper and the Roar, and Go Dog Go Cafe. ]

Lilith-Christine Ray

You look at my nakedness

and call me Eve

name my sins

Disobedience

Greed

as you take the apple willingly

from my hand

But I am no Eve

offering temptation of the tree of knowledge’s sweet fruit

serpent wrapped around the branch above my head

 

I am Lilith

the first

shaped of the same dirt

as Adam

so the legend goes

But I am not of dirt

but of fire

His equal

unbending

headstrong

refusing to lie beneath him

in supplication

 

Society names my sin

calls me

Whore

Temptress

Sorceress

Demon

accuses me of

vexing the sons of men

with lustful dreams

leading them to defile themselves

as though it matters to me

where their seed is spilled

 

I will travel the ancient ways

clothed only in my dark tresses

my alabaster skin

don a crown of rose and poppy

their scent filling the air

I will take back this night

shape its darkness with my hands

make it blaze with stars and moonlight

create a road for my daughters and sisters

to follow home


When not running around pretending she is Wonder Woman, Christine Ray can be found writing for Brave and Reckless and passing herself off as a managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Whisper & the Roar and Secret First Draft.

She is also an aspiring badass.