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DELTAWOMEN MAGAZINE

JUNE 2013


OPENING NOTE


Editor’s Note

I always thought that here at DeltaWomen, we never believe in boundaries, limits or barriers but leafing through the submissions we received for the June Issue, I realized DeltaWomen staff, friends and family believe in one limit and that is Hate! Yes, We don’t hate. We love. Getting to know our contributors, I realized that we all despise the very same thing: Hate. This issue is dedicated to each and every person at DeltaWomen who fights against hate and discrimination. Elaheh Zohrevandi

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THE DIARIES ROOM – HEARING OTHER VOICES


L A Í Z E “ L ÄY E H ” C Â N D I DA

The Diaries Room – Hearing Other Voices Dear Sisters, How're you doing? Oh, like always I want to share my stories with you. However, I bring something new. In a certain night, I decided to open other women's virtual diaries. Sometimes we write too much and say nothing. In this case, a couple of words revealed how linked we are in this world. One more time, oneness changes my structure.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. It's the only thing that ever has.” 
 Margaret Mead

The first diary I read was Shantelle's. She suffered a lot with something that damaged her son and her younger sister. She teaches us to keep our mind open and keep having faith not to fall into traps; she wants justice and a happy ending for other families. The second diary I opened was Shelly's. She's a very confused teenager who wishes to have fun with her family. In this lady's opinion, she wasn't warned about the dangerous and delicious 4


phase of life she was entering. She has no idea what she'll do

Will her plan B work? She doesn't have one. Neither a plan

now, because she's confused about her next minute of exis-

B, nor plans C, D, E, F or G!

tence.

The last diary I read before sleeping was Gordana's. She's

Loviisa's diary is a call for action: she protests the death of

brokenhearted: she wants somebody to make her happy, not

her friend, questions about how real is her country and call

only to kiss, take pictures or show the guy off, like a medal.

for a less mute voice. She wants a more feminine leadership

The one she thought that could complete her now acts like a

in the world. By the way, which woman doesn't want to be

stranger. He just looks for her when he needs something.

heard? Any sister wants to see women being the same they

That's exactly her breaking point. She's very afraid of com-

were ages ago?

mitting the same mistakes, but she wants someone holding

Aurora, on the other hand, needs a less manipulated reality,

her.

but how? She says individualism and luxury are her worst vil-

When will the day come for these women? When will the day

lains. Real luxury, she says, consists in having time, happiness

come for us? I think we have something from these 7 charac-

and peace. Based on all these reflections, she lost motivation

ters inside of us. Although some of them are afraid of sur-

to study, but she wants it back.

prises and life's traps, they aren't afraid to feel. They aren't

Maddalena's diary is a love declaration... to her routine. One

afraid of living one day after another.

day, she woke up decided to be in shape, but she has con-

I'm incapable to teach you how to give a painless step for-

science of how hard is keeping a promise like this alive. She

ward or how to fight for something you believe for a long

writes hopeful of doing something. Is she doing everything

time. Love your enemies. Even if you have chances to fall,

she proposed herself to do?

fight. Leave your safety zone and take some risks, if you

Gertie, back from 6 months of hard work at school, asks her

believe in what you're doing. Go ahead; open your wings and

audience about what to do if she puts herself in risk for chas-

fly, sisters! See you soon.

ing her dreams. She's desperate because her plan A failed. 5


Kirthi Jayakumar

I AM WHO I AM, ACCEPT ME AS YOU FIND ME “Ugly.” “Retard.” “Nerd.” “Wipe your face off the earth with acid, I’ll even pay for the acid.” “Loser.” “Fat pig.” I heard it all the time: whether while walking down the hallways, or sitting inside class, skimming through a textbook, while eating a snack, or even while just sitting quietly while waiting for a ride to get back home.


K I RT H I JAYA K U M A R

I am who I am, accept me as you find me This is just the tip of the iceberg: the huge, glacial edifice of hostility and astute hatred ran far deeper, all through High School and College. It didn’t matter what I did – or didn’t do – I was me, and that was immensely difficult for so many people around me to accept. I set out with my ambitions, I had my dreams. But to them, I was nothing more than a joke, a stimulus for cruel laughter and insults. To them, my ambition was not supposed to be ❖

What is not easy, is being at the receiving end.

What is normal anyway?

anything besides trying to be invisible, if the earth below didn’t do me a favour by caving in and swallowing me whole. Their logic is simple: “If you are radically different, I love you because you are radically different. But if you are ordinary, I

If you can’t say something nice, just don’t say anything.

hate you.” It is easy to throw these adjectives. It is very easy to sit on that side and pass judgment. It is totally easy to say that someone is 7


ugly, or that someone is a “retard”, or that someone is a loser.

that the other is “not normal”? Wait – what is normal any-

Very, very easy. It is very easy to string two harsh words to-

way? If they are the “norm”, I’m so glad to be the exception.

gether and stamp it on someone’s forehead, branding them

Words are destructive, so terribly destructive that they can

forever.

leave you crushed under their power. We forget that words

But what is not easy, is being at the receiving end.

are not just a means of communication: but become a verbali-

For the one that gets called these unsavoury things, the one

zation of our thoughts. We forget that words are not just cal-

that grows up trying to hide or trying to get lost in the crowd

lous utterances that one forgets like yesterday’s news, but are

in the hallway of a High School or College, the one that tries

etched in the hearts and minds of the one hearing them.

to meld into the background so they look nothing more at-

Words. See the power that the five letters have together? If

tractive than a wallflower, it is always an uphill climb. For

you can’t say something nice, just don’t say anything. That

years, they hear the same thing. And that is laid over them

doesn’t mean you should keep criticism or disappointment to

like dollops of thick cream, until it becomes one with their

yourself – speak it out – but don’t go out of your way to mess

skin. When they want to try something they think they’re

a person up.

good at, the words they heard thrown against them will swill

I leave you with Lloyd Jones’ line from Mister Pip. “I am who

about in their heads. And so they’ll lie down until the feeling

I am, accept me as you find me.”, and this beautiful video of

of wanting to give something a shot, goes away. Trusted

Shane Kozcyn’s speech at a TED talk. If this doesn’t make

friends will feel seem like mythical creatures, when people are

you think, you need help.

nice it will feel like they are doing you a favour – or worse

http://www.ted.com/talks/shane_koyczan_to_this_day_for_

still, like they are being nice to get something out of you.

the_bullied_and_beautiful.html?source=facebook#.UT1Bq3

Bullying scars. And indefinitely. What gives anyone the right

hMFmJ.facebook

to brand another person? What gives one the authority to make another look small? Why, really? What lets one decide 8


Winner of Poem Competition

The Age of Rape By Mohammed R. Monifi


MOHAMMED R. MONIFI

The Age of Rape The air of winter heated by spring sun. The sky is completely clear, without clouds. Noisily walking, makes me frightened when running. The dew as a baby on the leaves cracked again, By the new born winds, the sister of hurricane. When the sun grows smaller; it fades away. When the sun grows bigger; it fades away. This olive tree watered by the dew of mourning. Beneath it, the four girl are sitting talking. Come my reader! Listen to their poignant words, Fed from the blood of suffering, the desperate cries at the night. "I want to talk first, please everyone, hear." As you see, I am an African girl, slave, neglected. This is not my story; it is my sister's life. This is my story; I am a woman too. One day. She went alone. Telling me Bye. 10


The streets were empty, no breath breaks the silence. A group of men appeared as hungry hyenas from Savanna. Seven men snatched her away, by a van. She was alone, we're not with her, she's powerless. She couldn't fight, I still hear her screams. My sister was torn, her limps everywhere by a knife. They assuage the beasts within them. They gathered to quench their thirst by a lonely girl. When you drink the can of cola, you throw it away. I am afraid to walk alone, I am happy with we. I gather with you, my new sisters, to lament her. If she were alive, the story would be terrifying. Oh I forget. I want to tell the fear before the end. Getting back from the cemetery. Man is near me. We're alone. The loneliness is the magnet of men. The vampire sees the blood; his fang getting longer. The men sees the women; their arms getting longer. To catch me strongly, to caress my chest. "Come my baby. I am the hero. I am hero of Harlequin. Let the romance writers write our narratives in this street." Baby in the songs. Baby in soap opera. Baby in streets. Women are not any more. Baby will be more. 11


The universe is of men and us , babies. That is here, and mine, but it is ours. Now, I will hear, let your lips clear." The winds are moving away, the leaves rustling. As if they are arguing ; they retell the fear. Dear sister, we're with you, fear will be no more. We see a pain in your face. Is this a scar?! Oh. Karina. Tells us. Let your stored pain out of your mouth. "What can I tell, the story of Andrea froze my mouth. My eyes are melted, my heart still beating up." Dear sister, we're with you . fear will be no more. "My words are born of agony, and ceaseless suffering. I live in India, ubiquitous in the media. About women killed and raped every minute passing. The driver told me get in, the road is a long way. I was so tired. To be carried is a good chance. I thought I towards home. I was towards his instead. He pulled me violently, I struggled and ran away. Yet four men other pursued me and pulled me away Their place is like forest: full of wild hungry animals. One of them rip my clothes, and hold me tight. The night got darker, the owls start howling. 12


The fears, inside me, seemed to be adult. They threw me down in the street, cut my face with knife. If I told somebody, my head would be cut off." Oh Dear, don't worry we with you forever. Why are you so sad? You seem to be ‌ Your face looks pale, your eyes about to wail. Your tears as crystal, will clean the past seen. Wail! "Two stories I heard, mine will be the third. I was a child walking around the green, lonely garden. I was thirteen years old, thirteen years of innocence. A handsome boy I met; my body annoyed by his hands. To my friend's house went, I found him there bent. Come my dear. I will show you the beautiful, he said. In the lonely room, he cuffed my mouth , made me fainted. Then there is a being moving inside me. I carry the life. Alone I was wailing, he hit me down. That life has gone, l 'm still alive. They create the condom to hide their crime. To enjoy whenever they want, no other tracks they got." Are you pregnant? " No, he wore a condom." You were mother: you were thirteen' A child carried a child. A child rape a child. 13


" You are not alone. We are with you". The land of Pharaohs , the land of two wonders of world. You are from Egypt. You are an African woman. You with us, tell us your life, your death. Let the words , the injured, raped, cut words born out. Speak, let feminists hear the fourth woman. " I was a teacher, teaching the males of the males While I was writing on the board, the student closed the door The others cornered me. They were strong enough to catch me. My clothes torn, my skin bruised, if I move, I will be killed They make me bent, stretched on the school desk. They started to create the romance imagined at night. That is the end of innocence . Even the "child" is a male. They called me. At his office with those male children. " you are A whore, you're A pitch, spoiling my students", said he. I was alone, I cannot speak, I was helpless If the dead could speak, I would speak up at that moment." However, you speak aloud, we here hear your voice. Have you ever heard a woman raping a man? The man sucks. Even the child is not away from him. The child and the woman are the babies of the song they sing. The Ice Age has terminated. Will the Rape Age be ended? 14


Fernanda Matricardi

FIGHT FOR IT Women working as house employees in riches's families homes is common around cities in Brazil. This labor is a legacy of slave culture, as the country had experienced in the past. Therefore, there is a marginalization of this working class, as if it was not worthy. Nowadays there are some work rights these people have, but it remains undervalued. Until now...


F E R NA N DA M AT R I C A R D I

Fight for it The Brazilian government approved a new law by april of this year. This law guarantees domestic workers the same rights as other workers. It is a giant achievement for them. By it, some rights includes: maximum work hours journey, payment for overtime worked, compensation for unfair dismissal, establishment of basic salary, 13ยบ salary, vacation of 30 days, 120 days for pregnancy and retirement.

It is a big step for recognition of women that work very hard and does the job nobody wants to do, like clean the bathroom. Furthermore, all of them have their own lives, their own children, their own house to care and, most of time, leave this things alone to take care of unknown person's house and child. So, by doing this, Brazilians walk toward the more developed countries in this aspect and encourage women from those countries that don't have similar recognition to fight for it.

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M AYA A N G E L O U

Woman Work I've got the children to tend
 The clothes to mend
 The floor to mop
 The food to shop
 Then the chicken to fry
 The baby to dry
 I got company to feed
 The garden to weed
 I've got shirts to press
 The tots to dress
 The can to be cut
 I gotta clean up this hut
 Then see about the sick
 And the cotton to pick.


Fall softly, dewdrops
 And cool my brow again.
 
 Storm, blow me from here
 With your fiercest wind
 Let me float across the sky
 'Til I can rest again.
 
 Fall gently, snowflakes
 Cover me with white
 Cold icy kisses and
 Let me rest tonight.
 
 Sun, rain, curving sky
 Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
 Star shine, moon glow
 You're all that I can call my own.


 Shine on me, sunshine
 Rain on me, rain


17


Paromita Bardoloi

FIRST CIRCLE Father hits mother, Mother goes to kitchen to cook.

Daughter watches, Hits the doll mockingly, plays again.

First circle of wrong lessons, “Violence is okay.�


Aswathy Mariyam Mathew

THE DAY At the age of seven, during my school vacation I used to look at my friend’s mother who bathed her, towel dried her hair and fed her. At the age of seventeen, I used to look at my friends who were going to their home every weekend to enjoy home food. Now at the age of twenty seven, I look at the parcels that my friends receive from their mothers. I always wanted Love – Love of a mother.


Scenario – 1

Scenario – 2

A seven year old girl rode her bicycle and reached her friend’s house. In front of their house they had plenty of plants with white flowers. My friend’s mother was lean with long black hair and had a fair complexion. She used to make tasty food for my friend and oiled her hair. I keenly observed all those processes. No one was there to feed me. I had my food on my own. Most of the time rice slipped out from my little fingers. No one had ever oiled my hair. No one was there to correct my Homework. My grandmother brought me up in my aunt’s house. Once, my aunty was making an omelette for her kids. I too was there in the kitchen looking at what she was making with an egg. She suddenly turned to me and asked “Why don’t you ask your mother to make it for you?” According to me, that led to the First World War in my life. My grandmother overheard that and started fighting with my aunty. Moral of the lesson – Never look at anyone when they make food for their children. Gradually I started seeing a dream, a lean, fair lady with long black hair comes and says that she is my mother and we walk together talking and laughing in between white Lilly flowers covered with fragrance for miles and miles. I started waiting for that particular day. The day, I find the love of my mother.

At the age of seventeen, I was in a convent hostel to do my Bachelor Degree. Every week end my friends in hostel went to their homes to see their parents. I looked at them through the window of my room. I had no place to go. No one was there to make home food for me. Loneliness was my only companion during weekends. When I had fever in the hostel, no one was there to check my temperature and to give medicines. At that period of my life I started writing poems. In one poem I even wrote “I am dead, my eyes are closed But my heart is still beating to see my mother” One of my friends felt bad seeing my condition. Once she took me to her home. Her home was two hours away from my hostel. It was in a village. I travelled through the forest and among the mountains. We reached there by late evening. Her home was ten minutes away from the bus stop. It was drizzling and I didn’t mind to open an umbrella. We walked through the paddy fields hearing the croaking frogs and chirping birds. Through the rain drops I figured out that someone was standing at the gate. Darkness and raindrops made my vision unclear but I got an idea that it was my friend’s mother. When I reached near her, she hugged me. For the first time in my life I felt the warmth of a hug. My eyes welled up with tears. But the rain helped me to hide my tears. That night I got homely food, homely affection and a 20


perfect sleep. Slowly the dream visited me where “a lean, fair lady with long black hair comes and says that she is my mother and we walk together talking and laughing in between white Lilly flowers covered with fragrance for miles and miles.” I started waiting for that particular day. The day, I find the love of my mother.

A particular day like that someone knocked on my door. When I opened the door, I couldn’t believe myself. My mother. All my questions are answered now. We talked for hours, the grievances, the agony, the pain that held in my heart for years. She oiled my hair, made tasty food for me and fed me. We went out and had a great shopping. She played with me over the phone acting like she was talking with me for hours, the most thing I envied at my friends. We had dinner together, hugged each other and slept. The perfect day! The day I have dreamt for years. The day I will cherish till my end.

Scenario – 3 At the age of twenty seven, I am in an apartment in the U.S. I am a home maker now. The first thing I can see from my apartment is the highway. Cars are going like bullets fired from a gun. Here it is winter now. Most of the places are covered in snow. Trees are naked. Beginning of the winter itself, migration birds have flown away. Here most of my friends spend their time over phone. Daily they talk with their parents for hours. Web chat with parents is also an important part of their life. During their birthdays and wedding anniversaries they get heavy parcels by courier from their parents. The parcel contains colourful ethnic dresses, delicious snacks and household utensils that are unavailable in the U.S. When they talk about their loving family for hours, especially in the places where I cannot escape like in a car or me as a guest in their place, I feel like the oxygen I am breathing is reducing. My feeling epitomises when they talk about their loving mother who has taken care of them during their delivery time. I know that they are neither seeing my silence nor my unshed tears. Days and months went like that.

Suddenly I woke up from my sleep. Was that a dream? I couldn’t believe it. I looked out with a plain face. Spring has come. New green leaves have made the trees more beautiful and the migration birds are back. Do migration birds possess memories? I don’t know. I possess my dreams rather than my memories. I went out for an evening walk. Sun seems to be more beautiful today. It is surrounded by red and pink clouds. White flowers on the trees have an ash shadow now as if it’s hiding some secret dreams. Whole nature seemed to be like a silhouette, the trees, the birds and the sun. Suddenly out of the clouds “a lean, fair lady with long black hair comes and says that she is my mother and we walk together talking and laughing in between white Lilly flowers covered with fragrance for miles and miles.” I started waiting for that particular day. The day, I find the love of my mother. 21


FEEL SMART AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART


NATA L I A G Ó M E Z

Feel Smart And Follow Your Heart Beyond the noise coming from the crowds and the confusing

it intuition: as the knowledge obtained neither by reason nor

sounds we hear day by day, deep inside us there’s this little

by perception but instinctive, which guides us beyond the

voice telling us what to do or how to act in certain situations.

logic and translate our decisions into pure heart determina-

This might be the reason that explains why mothers find out

tions, sometimes hard to perceive even harder to obey.

what is going on with their kids, when we know our friend is

This slight but powerful voice doesn’t come as a gleam, some-

not having a good time or despite what people say, we just

times takes time to listen it clear while we go through some

keep going against the stream convinced we are just doing

feelings such as curiosity, hunches, hesitation, even doubt and

the right thing.

fear, especially in situations when everything even our mind is

Innumerable times, life is not about to be rational and meas-

cloudy and blurry with any close exit.

ure every step, life is about to follow that mysterious “mini

Understand intuition’s language is about to be sure about

us” inside that makes us unique, that give that special touch

what we are, where we have come so far and trust in our-

to our gender. Some people name it as “sixth sense” but I call 23


selves: no matter what the consequences will be, because we

big changes in the world turning intuition from an invisible

are strong enough to face whatever we have chosen. The key

sense into a voice heard by crowds. Simple mothers, wives,

is stop pretending we can control everything but be ready

mates and friends who said yes to that voice with a little help

and believe we are going through it, believe you are capable

from vocation and passion together demanded and keep de-

and strong to bring down any wall blocking your journey. As

manding for a better place to live.

I’ve read lately: “Intuition is the highest form of intelligence,

Then stop and think, nothing makes you different from the

transcending all kind of abilities and skills. Silvia Clare”

ones who are already making the difference, we don’t need to

So that’s all! Don’t try to answer all the questions, the best de-

suffer in order to make big changes, is enough to let yourself

cision is let it go and just do what you feel you should do,

be guided by that wise inner voice and find the happiness

sometimes the best decisions aren’t into the easiest way, in-

within you to spread it to your beloved and surrounding ones.

stead they could be such a long and painful process which cer-

So never mind strategies and rigorous mental structures, this

tainly will finish someday, of course! Not without leaving

time give the chance to your intuition be the guide through

some experiences turned into a treasured wise knowledge… I

your current situation. Once you let yourself listen carefully,

remember my grandmother used to say: “The devil is wise

spontaneously you become a new dynamics developer instru-

not for being devil but for all his years”.

ment who injects love and joy to our hopeless planet. Your

Influential, Nobel winners, saints, queens, heroines and mil-

time is now!

lions of women around the world have contributed to make 24


Denise Falcone

ROME-THE CITY OF VISIBLE HISTORY “Rome - the city of visible history, where the past of a whole hemisphere seems moving in funeral procession with strange ancestral images and trophies gathered from afar.�

George Elliot

This story has won DeltaWomen Magazine 2013 Prose Competition


D E N I S E FA L C O N E

Rome- The City of Visible History The blooms on the roof across the way pulled her out to her own small balcony to stand there and inhale. If she pressed herself against the mauve stone, she could see the River Tiber winding its way through the city like a sleeping giant.

a television crew’s set-up of big lights on leggy tripods, a sensation of pins and needles began to take over her body. She wrote a review about this artist’s work a long time ago: Although Ms. Gomez’s paintings provoke, I wonder if underneath all the angry daubing, can she finally come to terms with her shipwrecked childhood already and tap into the gentler, more classical force of her talent underneath all the juvenile rebellion? We might all be happier.

On this eve of the solstice, two thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight torches representing the number of years since the city was founded were going to be lit along its rubbish strewn banks. She caught sight of her daughter in her room draping herself in colors before a full-length mirror.

Allegra Gomez, a walrus now in late middle age, was basking in the limelight ready to give her take on Rome’s special, special night.

“Mommy, you have to come! We’re going to wake up the river!”

In her mind she returned to that day back in the States when it was her turn to cover an exhibit in the ballroom of that exhausted firetrap that stuck it out in calling itself a “landmark hotel.” She remembered desperately needing some air.

She loathed public events like the plague. And on having to slow down to an obnoxious crawl for the curious to gape at

26


“Where are you going?” begged the dim-witted cretin assigned to be her slave for the day.

She posed cross-legged yoga style in her old paisley bikini and loads of beaded necklaces. After smashing her cigarette in the ashtray provided by an attendant, despite her mother’s pleas to stop smoking so much, her parents watched with bug-eyed disbelief as she curved her arm up like a snake to commence with her lecture.

Outside on the veranda she drew hard on the last drag of her cigarette and braced herself as a younger Gomez and her entourage spilled out of a beat-up local taxi. “Who the hell are you to analyze my work, you moronic flea?”

“See? See how leaving the hair in the armpit softens the line of the female torso? It’s more pure this way, don’t you agree?”

“Curse your work, Allegra.” Gomez had that glazed-over look of a maniac as she padded towards her across the lawn. The sides of her cockroach colored overcoat flapped like a pair of wings until she landed to kiss her hard on the mouth like a lover. It tasted sweet was all she could think of, similar to the fly she swallowed during a discussion with her mother on one of their Caribbean winter holidays.

At once in his head her father began to calculate the cost of her share of the trip. Some boys with thick pubescent voices gathered around to inquire if she was from Europe. Her mother qualified the whole thing as utterly ridiculous and advised her belle cygnet not to join them for dinner or anything else until she shaved or wore something with sleeves.

“Mother, why do we need cloth napkins at breakfast?” “Because it makes our vacation better, dear.”

An assortment of chatty children waded out to launch a fleet of candles. They sailed them under the radiant dome of the Vatican, which warded over everything like a king, nearby and in the distance.

It makes your vacation better. Daddy doesn’t give a shit and I....Ach! Ach! Fuck! I think I just ate a fly!” Later that day she let them brainwash her into toasting drinks while lounging around the pool.

Shirtless Japanese drummers were beating as if their life depended on it. A tight-faced American movie star couple

‘To your glamorous new career!” 27


maneuvered along arm in arm pretending not to want any attention. A helmeted cyclist poked his bike a couple of inches at a time through the crushing and jolting mass. Chanters, magicians, and practically everyone and his cousin came to be infatuated and to rekindle their relationship to the river.

go amiss, he descended from his sacred perch to blow all the lights out. Benedictus. The cool liquid of a profound spirit poured over her. “I want you to know something,” she began with eyes closed, “not a day has passed that I haven’t thought about you.”

She saw him standing with a group of friends at the foot of the stairs, appearing nearly a foot taller than she remembered. Had he always been so bald?

The stranger dripping water on her brow from a nearly empty water bottle switched his expression from concern to bright amusement until she grabbed his favorite soccer jersey with her white-knuckled fist and pulled him down towards her.

One of those who could never resist the pull of his heart into callous self-obsession, “that woman over there is lovely, isn’t she?” - he worked hard to play the fool. Compassionately aware how he stoked his fire in a desperately lonely place, she hung on for longer than she should have. Unbeknownst to him, she always understood the way to move forward.

“You bastard!” “Lady, I don’t know what you are talking about! You fainted!”

He’s here in Rome. Under no circumstances must she let on anything out of the ordinary. Pop a mint in her mouth, straighten her skirt borrowed from her daughter’s closet, and counterfeit another confidence, although lately the weight of doing that was starting to get on her nerves.

The place of the night before appeared desolate now that everyone had gone home. There was no change in the river whatsoever. While holding herself back from weeping for a world devoid of miracles, she saw a child with a stick picking up pieces of trash and stuffing them into a bag.

A benevolent god of winds perched above it all was miffed about how at her age she still faked it. In sensing things could 28


LONGING


A S WAT H Y M A R I YA M M AT H E W

Longing I can’t walk anymore, my feet are bleeding

I preserve love! The real love!

The path is full of thorns and twigs

Come fast and make my life worthy

I can’t cry anymore, I can’t search anymore

My eyes are becoming black and heart into grey

I can hear the hoot of a horse,

Because I am holding this pain for long

But I know that you will not come on a horse Stars are twinkling looking at me

I need resurrection

Are they showing the right path to me?

Resurrection of true love and life

Oh! No! I don’t need their help anymore

I need glow in my eyes and happiness in my heart

I have done with my trials

I can see your shadow

Now it’s the time for redemption

But you are not there Where did you go leaving your shadow?

I know that I treasure my feelings

I will wait for you till you come

The feelings I have got for my loved ones

Holding your shadow and hope in my heart

I keep it inside my heart and clasp it

Will wait for you till my end

What I preserve is precious, the most precious

Will wait for you till my end…

30


Carolyn Cornthwaite

CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS The third time he came back was easier. She hadn’t told anyone – not even Deanna – that they had separated, so accepting him back was strangely straightforward. As ever, the hardest part was the bedroom routine; not the emotional proximity of sharing a bed (after 26 years she had no inhibitions) but the physical annoyance of another’s presence. The tossing, groaning, the wakeful breathing (all of which she ignored) was now a total distraction from her own, restful sleep.

This Story has won the second place in DeltaWomen Magazine 2013 Prose Competition


She’d been washing the dishes when he’d telephoned; Thursday morning (day before pay-day) and asked if he could call in. Said they needed to chat. It was no surprise; each separation shorter than the last. The lure of his other woman, the expectation – tall, blonde, bigger breasted and ten years younger – all fell to nothing each time he moved in. Meals out, cinema, wine-bars – the excitement soon fades without the danger – and, once ensconced in her lair, the passion fades. Not knowing when you’ll next meet is so much more exciting than the perpetual waking and looking at your lover without their glory – hair knotted and lank, make-up smudged, yesterday’s breath sullying the kiss.

for a wind farm. She knew the plastic of the bar stools (cheap, nasty) – his choice – made you sweat, leaving your legs clammy and your mind conscious of the imprint you would leave on rising and the knowledge of his potential discomfort cheered her. So they stayed there, she topping up the coffee, trying to remain impervious to his emotion. ‘You’ve got to believe me Lees,’ his voice shaking, on the verge of tears – good at his tears, ‘there isn’t a moment when I haven’t thought – known – that I’ve got it wrong.’ Funny how now, after 26 years, his shortening of her name hits a nerve. She tried to cast her mind back, to recall at which point she’d started to despise the pointless contraction. Each time he said it, lingered over the s, the whine of his voice increased. As though his entire remorse was piled in to that final consonant. And she wanted to correct him – Lisa – admonish him but then he was crying. Tears actually falling on the counter – for don’t men always seem worse in tears?

So she’d agreed – again – to talk.

He was early, ten minutes, and she wished she’d gone out, changed the locks, made some small stance – just to prove a point. She watched him shuffle up the path – rounded shoulders, awkward gait – as if he could prove his guilt through the speed with which he reached their – her – door.

He had been the same the other times. A broken man. Adamant he’d made the biggest mistake of his life. How many times can you make the biggest mistake of your life?

She made coffee in silence, offering him only a seat at the kitchen island, like a less-than-welcome guest. It was where she seated the insurance salesman and that tedious woman from down the road – the one who’d wanted her to put a poster in her front window decrying the council plans

The first time he’d come back, Lisa had been moved by his grief. Unnerved. His emotion raw, dangerous; and taking him 32


back had seemed a given. In fact she was pleased to emerge victorious. That weekend they had gone shopping, hand-inhand, like teenagers. She’d probably gripped a little too tightly, especially near the fish counter where Mrs Daly from number 17 had quizzed them for an age and visiting her mother, trying to ignore the curl of her lip as she passed him his coffee, had jarred but, all in all, it was not so bad.

he’d made the biggest mistake of his life. Two months later he was gone.

She’d been thinking about how easy these transitions were whilst she shopped, alone, that Saturday. Even the sleeping together (although inconvenient) was straightforward; as if, after twenty six years their bodies and their lives were somehow unavoidably destined for one another and, all transgressions aside, there was no splitting them.

That time he’d stayed six months before she’d caught him staring out of the window after receiving a text. She had known before she grabbed his phone that his heart was elsewhere although she wasn’t prepared for what she’d seen.

She was thinking about this when she’d pushed the trolley into the stack of Special Offer wine, so that the whole stack went flying – bottle by bottle. She noticed the red wine stains on her tights a fraction before she understood what she had done – as if time had been warped, wine splashing her tights before the bottles smashed – one against the other and all over the floor.

She’d left the house in tears, sought support at Deanna’s, described the message through choked sobs and vowed this was the end. They’d stayed up all night drinking and next morning she’d had the hangover from hell as she returned home on a therapeutic exploration of his work wardrobe – complete with black marker pen and scissors.

She was just beginning to think about what she should do next – had bent down to pick up one rather large offending piece of green bottle, only to be admonished by the growing crowd who told her to mind her fingers – when the store manager appeared. She would not have known he was the manager but for his badge which proclaimed the fact, him being so young looking – barely even shaving – and this made her realise she was getting old. Soon she would be telling peo-

The second time he came back was two days before New Year. He’d skipped the kitchen truth telling, dragged her straight to the bedroom to demonstrate his love for her. Afterwards, lying in the early winter dusk, she’d wondered what it all meant. The sanctity of marriage, for better or worse? He’d chosen that moment to open up. Told her that Christmas had made him realise how important their love was, that 33


ple how young the police were getting or moaning that her doctor was barely out of nappies.

‘Please, don’t feel a fool.’ It was a simple statement and, taken word-for-word, it sounded inane, the kind of thing every store manager would say.

Despite his youth – or because of – he was very reassuring. Told her that it didn’t matter, of course she mustn’t pay for it, was there anywhere she was hurt? He noticed her tights and insisted that she take a pair from the clothing section, with his compliments – was she sure that they couldn’t do anything else for her?

She smiled then, the first one in an age, she could feel it creasing her face and – perhaps? – adding a sparkle to her eye. Walking into her house that evening she was surprised at how empty it felt, given that she’d agreed – of course she’d agreed – for him to come back she would have expected it to feel more like home again. She noted his best shoes under the hall table – already settled – and his sports jacket hanging on the rack.

The cool air stung as she walked outside. Her bag was heavy and, realising that she couldn’t remember where she had parked, she put it on the floor whilst she tried to dredge up the memory – attempted to see further into her past than that enormous crash. It was then that she heard a voice, recognised it before she turned – even his voice sounded youthful, lacking in the authority that a managerial post required. She found herself wondering how he led his staff.

She put the bag of shopping on the island, looked across at the barstool where he’d been sitting not three nights before. Only three nights and already it felt like a lifetime. Funny how quickly she could forget his infidelity. She knew that, if asked, she would say they were shortly going to be celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary, she wouldn’t knock off the months – how many months? – they’d spent apart.

‘You left this behind, Ma’am.’ She looked at her hat, remembered taking it off in his office as she tried to clean herself and calm her nerves.

Twenty seven years.

‘Oh, thank you – really you’ve all been so kind and I feel such a fool.’

Does it matter how many times he’s been unfaithful? How many times he’s been with another? And what of all the other years – was he unfaithful then too? 34


She holds her hat in her hand, notices that it’s stained a deep red on the front – how did it splash so high? – wonders if it will clean.

watches as she cooks, tells her about the office – their plans for expansion, the major deal that he accomplished. ‘We’ll be secure for ever now Lees, no worries, just me and you. I reckon if all goes to plan you could look at retiring early you know. Like a year or so from now. Or just go parttime – think how great that would be?’

The bar is crowded but she’s glad of the anonymity. He passes her red wine, his fingertips brushing against hers. A fleeting glance and yet she feels his feathery touch deep within her. She wonders if he can feel it too, can he sense her heart racing? Feel the heat that burns her neck? Is he aware of the dampness in the small of her back. She tries not to shake as he proposes a toast. Forty-nine years old and yet nights out like this make her feel like a teenager again.

She smiles at him, not the big toothy grin that she uses at weekends but the small one, the one that she knows accentuates the growing thinness of her lips. She smiles at him and wonders if he will go completely bald. ‘Part-time? Perhaps I’d get bored?’ It’s not really a question. She grabs a cloth, wipes the oil splashes from around the side of the hob.

The day after he takes her to the seaside. Wraps his arm around her waist as he buys candy-floss and sticks of rock. There’s a music in the way that he laughs and, watching him now, she realises that his eyes crease when he smiles and, rather than aging him, it makes him look soft and understanding.

‘No – I mean it would take some getting used to but you know – you wouldn’t be running around frazzled, cooking, trying to clean at the weekends or whenever you have a spare five minutes. You could start baking your own bread again.’ And now she’s scrubbing at the oil splats and wondering where her wine glass is and how much red wine it will take to block out his fantasies.

Things return to normality. Weekdays are as usual – work, home, cook, clean. Sometimes she’ll try to strike up a conversation with him. Try not to notice the bald patch – spreading – that shines in the kitchen lights. He drinks his wine,

Most evenings they don’t talk so much. At the weekends she makes an effort. Wears new clothes, spends a bit longer with her make-up. Talks about fun things. 35


Apart from breakfast (which she doesn’t care too much for lately) meals are mostly eaten out. Fish and chips eaten directly from the paper, cuddled up on a bench overlooking the sea. She tingles as he rubs his shoulder against hers. The press of his thigh against hers reminds her of other times – private times –transports her to her youth.

Yet this time his face is different. As though he had never heard them himself before. She notes that his top lip is trembling.

She remembers walks in the park, kissing under the streetlight – back jammed uncomfortably against the steel – lying on the grass in the park in the fading dusk of spring. The smell of new grass, the feel of damp soil just edging its way into her jeans.

He’s shaking his head, she knows he’s going to cry but hopes he won’t – doesn’t think she can cope if he does. These conversations are old hat now, there’s been so many but if he were to cry this time…

‘I’ve met someone – someone younger – I know, that sounds ridiculous – has to sound ridiculous – but that’s how it is and…’

‘And these past months, I’ve felt younger and… and I’ve realised that there is something more to life. Don’t you understand? Haven’t you felt it too?’

It’s funny how much of life is forgotten when marriage takes over.

Now his head is in his hands and he’s bawling up his insides and she wonders – but pushes it to the back of her mind – if she’s done the right thing.

She knows the speech by heart now, sitting perched on the end of her barstool. Trying to look him in the eye rather than stare at his bald patch. Surely it’s not bigger again?

But then she’s holding her hat, the one with the red wine stain, and looking at the care label. She can still see his phone number, right where he’d written it in blue ball point and his spidery handwriting.

‘It’s not working – I really wanted it to – but it isn’t.’

The first time his words had seemed to fill the kitchen – it’s always in the kitchen – bouncing off the walls and coming back to land somewhere on the island so that each time she chops veg, prepares meat, packs her lunch for work she sees them written there – etched in the wood.

36

Call me?


WOMEN’S WORK


F U RQA N A H M E D

Women’s Work Work manipulated issues in the global world, could be more

women’s to be an equal part in their society. In South Africa

sever than could control any other. Women’s word different

and Asian states (Pakistan, Maldives etc.) don’t want to give a

from men’s, they have more works but they are alone because

chance for promote their selves in their society for improve

of waiting someone who love her by his soul, and could be

their skills and share their knowledge and technology with

more difficult for women to cover their tears against the hu-

others. Women’s can be an hard work which can control the

manitarian violence that ahead with them. Women’s now a

society by their finger moves & could be an great inspiration

days, can work as a president in such states( India, Sonia Gan-

in the society for the world. In today’s world women than the

dhi), secretary of state( U.S, Hillary Clinton), and women’s

past world women, there could be more difference to watch

also work for the peace in the world ( Aung Sang Suu Kyi).

that never be fulfill because of culture and technology and

The women can work for the world, but the world on the be-

knowledge make the bridge for not to come back but just to

half also want more than that from them. On the regards of

go forward.

their works for control on human rights violation in different

Women’s can be a great source for the knowledge in the fu-

regions. In the 20th century, the women can be an important

ture, because today’s women can work more than any other

actor could be supposed an important factor for the society.

human being. Naturally, women’s, girls, mom and grand

Most industrial and developed states could emerged their

mom in all these phases women manage their selves in an in38


digenous conditions because of their patients, kindness, and

In today’s word, women’s strength in school, college’s and uni-

braveness. No doubt, Women’s are strong but they also weak

versities are more than boys in all over the world. Radically

according to their relationship, but after passing the time

changes in the education field effected the population

women of the society more supreme in nature, on some cases

growth, and it also effect on social phase. Circumstances of

started in different parts of the world. Female gender should

women’s right developed after the violent in the world against

be located very politely, respectfully. Women’s and man’s are

women. Women’s also help as a house wife by doing job to

together make a young that will be an asset for world. It will

continue support her home neither it’ll be no time for the rest

be possible if the women didn’t locate her child carefully and

for her but she want herself a good housewife. According to

take care of their children’s. About the asset Sonia Gandhi

the present men’s thought, their wives should be beautiful,

head of the Indian state. She had an ability to run a state, so

clever, charming and more than she will survive in the bad

Indian people’s elected her as a president of India. After time

circumstance that will be appear on them. Women’s are like

Aung Sand Suu Kyi, she is the head of the democratic party

ray’s of light, a shadow, and a good example for patients .

in Burma, and she had exiled so many years but she continue

Women’s as a sister, a good supporter for her home in the ab-

her works for the peace in the world, on the behalf of her

sence of mom. And women word is a respectful name for the

work she rewarded many awards in the past. Women’s sup-

whole word that should be locate as a great respect for man’s

posed to be a light in the man’s life, because female do every-

not to control on the women’s life. This should be suppose for

thing that man’s want it. But rather on the good for their

all over the world women’s as an un-respectful manner.

child’s or their owns. Women’s can do more work for their society to control peace, stability, equality and humanitarian violence.

39


Daniela Silva

ISSUES: DISTRIBUTING THE NEWS How to filter the accumulation of information we receive on a daily basis?

Knowledge is different from information. First, it has a set of data about a particular subject. These analyzed data become information, and finally, once filtered this information, turn it into knowledge.


Our brain is faced with different types of information. Infor-

story, our achievements, our obstacles will really define who

mation that needs to be edited and reedited until becoming

we will be in this world, and what will be the mark we leave

the knowledge that we need so much in our lives. To have

where we pass.

meaning, knowledge must be related to our reality with our

There are two ways of looking at life: it sees gray, cloudy and

worldview.

lifeless; see colorful the life. Choose therefore the life and live

life and be the change that you want in the world!

Knowledge can be understood as what we get in the

books, classes and relationships. Having an understanding of

Some say that life is made of pages, but the truth is that each

what is happening around us, the individual develops a more

phase experienced in our childhood or youth, become issues

critical posture in the society of which we are part.

that give rise to experience that, when queried with prudence

has the power to guide us, in no more hurt. For this reason,

However, for there to be a management of this knowl-

edge, it is necessary that this knowledge be multiplied, distrib-

we must distribute the issues in the form of news of our lives,

uted, and ultimately to be shared and disseminated, becomes

to take love and hope to those in need.

news.

The news comes into our lives to inform us, to form us

as citizens that we are, to put us in social groups, but mainly to make us into life, allowing each person to build opinions, values and beliefs.

However, the way news is distributed and how you re-

ceive will contribute to your growth and development, because there is a big difference between news and catastrophe, pain and hope, courage and fear. The way we report our life 41


CREDITS


Š 2013 DeltaWomen (NGO) All Rights Reserved. xliii


Staff and Contributors

CEO

Contributors

Elsie Reed

Laíze “Läyeh” Cândida Kirthi Jayakumar Mohammed R. Monifi

Editors

Fernanda Matricardi

Elaheh Zohrevandi

Paromita Bardoloi

Kirthi Jayakumar

Aswathy Mariyam Mathew

Photographers

Natalia Gómez

Effat Allahyari

Denise Falcone

Marjan Seyedan

Carolyn Cornthwaite

Cover Art

Furqan ahmed Daniela Silva

Aref Roodbari Shamiri

xliv


Call For Submissions Send Your Submissions to: elahehzohrevandi@me.com

Upcoming Themes: July: The Spot August: Culture September: War and Peace 1st Deadline: mid-July 2nd Deadline: September 1st

45

Deltawomen Magazine June 2013 Issue  

I always thought that here at DeltaWomen, we never believe in boundaries, limits or barriers but leafing through the submissions we received...

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