Introducing the “I Knew. . .” Response Collaboration

Seeing them all (all so far) in one place like this gives me such a smile and feeling of Pride. I love being a part of this. ❤

A Global Divergent Literary Collective

Being a member of a writing collective has many benefits. One of these perks is the opportunity to write with other amazing writers, which is both creatively stimulating and challenges us to write our best work.  Collaborations are something we do very well at Sudden Denouement and we have some very exciting collaborations coming up for our readers in August in honor of reaching our second anniversary on WordPress.

Many of our collaborations are planned but sometimes the most amazing things can happen organically among writers. Earlier this week,  Kindra M. Austin wrote a piece for Blood Into Ink, which inspired Aurora Phoenix to write a response poem for Whisper and the Roar, which then inspired a group of really talented writers to keep writing.  The Editors at Sudden Denouement think that this informal collaboration is something really special and we would like to share this group of powerful poems…

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I Know My Worth- Devereaux Frazier

Devereaux Frazier on Whisper and Roar

Whisper and the Roar

I know my worth
Are you sure about that 
They ask me in the twilight hours
Caressing the vain sense and sensibilities
Of someone already caught in the eye
Storms vast, lighting strikes wide and deadly
The waves toss my hapless soul overboard
And plunge me deep into the abyss of sorrows
But alas, they are not my own
Not mine to keep
Just bitter tales of man and woman
Too deep in love to remain apart
When the fates have aligned they should
Swords run through aghast faces
Spears pluck the youth from their mothers
And leave carcasses piled high to heaven
Are you sure you know your worth 
When everyone around you is bleeding
And everything is choking on the blood
Not of their own, and not of yours
But of their forefathers, and all their mistakes
How blessed can life truly be when pain
Is served for…

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There Were Things I Did Not Know – Lois E. Linkens

Lois E. Linkens on Whisper and Roar

Whisper and the Roar

 

There were things I did not know (could not know).
There were words I was yet to write, a still
Small voice, yet to claim. ‘Tis life’s greatest thrill,
To light an unknown match, and watch it glow.
I would do great things. I would swing my feet
O’er fences, walls, tall gates to walk amid
The places I had never seen, and bid
Farewell to my young self, to future meet.
Places that could hold me fast, scoop me out
And fill me with their beads, their jasmine ways.
Here comes tomorrow in its dusky haze.
I have seen the future; she’s ours to sprout.
Where so much is known today, I decree
To stay a great surprise, most so to me.

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I Knew My Faults-Sarah Doughty

Sarah Doughty on Whisper and Roar

Whisper and the Roar

“I knew my faults.
And they always stared

back at me in the mirror.”

As long as I can remember, I knew my faults. They were engraved in my flesh, repeated so often that even I saw nothing else. I knew every one. Believed every one. I was every one.
I knew my faults when I was toddling around, learning how to speak, how to walk, how to cower.
I knew my faults when I began school. How I wasn’t smart enough, not social enough. How I was a target in school. And at night.
I knew my faults in the dark. I learned my best to do what was required of me, but I was never quite good enough. I knew what my hands needed to do, how my lips should stay soft, or how my hips were supposed to move with the right timing. After awhile, I knew…

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I knew my invisibility- Candice Louisa Daquin

Candice, Warrioress, Shieldmaiden, My Sword Sister ❤

Whisper and the Roar

I knew my invisibility when
the lady next to my mother in the nursing ward
took me in her arms out of pity
for there was nobody there who cared
to rock a crying child , who was not wanted
by hedonists who erred in pregnancy

I knew my invisibility when
my mother tucked  bus ticket in her blouse
kissed me goodnight for the final time
explaining she needed to get out and breathe
did not remember to keep the door ajar
and the night vanquished me in her absence

I knew my invisibility when
my father silently resented single-parenting
did not pick me up outside the school gates
the boys in the projects threw stones and jeered
shouted “show me your stinking snatch, bitch”
until I learned to climb trees and wait and wait and wait

I knew my invisibility when
my grandfather told me to sit on his…

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I Knew My Purpose-Rachel Finch

Whisper and the Roar

open_bird_wing_by_dawnallynnstock-dawnallynnstock-deviantart-com.jpg
I knew my purpose
when little legs were
thrust apart,
foreign hands moulding my body
into a better fit for themselves,
shaping my form and my future.
I knew my purpose when they
took their turns and the skin on
my face didn’t burn beneath the salt,
but soaked it into every pore with a
remembering.
I knew my purpose when the
bruises painted my inner thighs
and even my silent lips couldn’t
hide the gospel.
I knew my purpose when the tears fell and
only the birds were listening.
Shades of hurt patterned my flesh and I was
already living in the knowing.
I would grow wings and beat them to the
sound of every whimper of a sister
and I would turn the betrayal into a war cry
for peace and justice

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I Knew My Fate-1Wise Woman

Whisper and the Roar

images.jpg

I knew my fate when

Enraged voices penetrate

Vulnerable

Eyes closed tight

Dreaming of locks

Picked and set free

I knew my fate when

Words embedded

Forever me

Followed by scenes

Violent

Seen and unseen

I knew my fate when

Heart carried weight

Haunted

Day and night

Searching for savior

Bury the burden

I knew my fate when

Reflection revealed

Strength intrinsic

Click

An open door

Running no more


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I Knew My Stature – Aurora Phoenix

Whisper and the Roar

I knew my stature when I was a shrinking violet

wilting wallflower

hangdog hanging in the corner of the gym

stewing in the stench of pubescent sweat

and hurricanic hormonal surges

a bit too fleet of mind

and broad of hip

to be asked to dance.

I knew my stature when I was a shriveling teen

angularly angling

for acceptance in the seat of those size 4 jeans

gaunt of cheek and lean on ease

I nibbled on the knowledge

skinny girls get dated

while I wasted wishing away.

I knew my stature when I was a curvaceous coed

unholstering my sexuality

like the black market weapon it was

filed down and ripe for the bidding

overpowered and unequipped for battled

shooting myself in the foot

greenhorn that I was.

I knew my stature when I was a birthing Bessie

nursing wet and dry

bequeather of sustenance and succor

repository…

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I knew my lesson-Megha Sood

Whisper and the Roar

max-jakob-beer-562013-unsplash (1)

I knew my lesson

when your touch left the scar

again and again on

my suppurating skin

and you remain unscathed

and free

I knew my lesson

when crying under the

covers and

keeping those lips pursed

made no difference to your

ignorant smirk and

your bouts of glee

I knew my lesson

when I tried to please you

and kept crushing my own

desires

losing the tourniquet to

set myself-free

I knew my lesson

when I had to choose between

the dream

and the rancid choices

you gallantly offered me

I knew my lesson

when  in the relationship

I ended my self

trying to ignite the love in “we”

Photo by Max-Jakob Beer on Unsplash

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I Knew My Name- Christine Ray

Whisper and the Roar

I knew my name
when grown men
called me ‘honey’
fondled my braids
and pulled my
10-year old body
stiff with resistance
onto their hard laps

I knew my name
when the male high school teacher
called me “sweetie”
and told me not to worry about
the 70 on my exam
because girls don’t need
an A in chemistry
to be a good wife and mother

I knew my name
when the teenage boys
called me ‘ice queen’
‘cock tease’
when I didn’t want their
sloppy tongues down my throat
their rough hands
on my budding breasts

I knew my name
when men followed me
down the street
called me ‘bitch’
‘fucking dyke’
when I wouldn’t smile
or say thank you
to their declarations
of lewd things
they would do to me
once we were alone

I knew my name
when my children
called me ‘mommy’
389 times a day

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