Amazing Women

One thing you may have gathered from me by now is my distinct passion for working with women, particularly in ways that enhance our lives together. Sometimes in my work I encounter a bit of trepidation because people think I may be anti-male. It seems an unfair correlation in my own mind to think that maybe because I work with women that I don't like men. Let me be clear. I love men. I have been one of those extremely fortunate women who has been surrounded by men who not only respect women but also honor and appreciate and cherish women. So I'm saying this because on occasion I hear the voice of someone profound and I am forced to take a step back and ponder their presence.

I've never been a connoisseur of poetry but at a retreat about two years ago I heard this poem, read aloud by the author, and was awestruck. It's called Hurricane Voices. I prefaced the poem with the comments above about men because I want to be certain that the profundity of this poem is not that men have done bad things, truly, we all have things to answer for. What struck me about this poem is the drawing together of women as sisters. I think in our own history women have perhaps been cruelest to one another. This is a voice that says it's time for that to stop. It's time to come together and take back our own voices and join them together to do something amazing. The author is Nadine Wolf Budbill she is a powerful and inspiring woman who is making her own profound changes in the world, you can see what I mean at With her permission I share her poem with you.

HURRICANE VOICES by nadine wolf budbill

audre lorde said: your silence will not protect you
so we are mending the pathways between lungs, throat, mouth, voice

sonia sanchez said: we need your hurricane voices
so we speak syllables of sound pounding harder than rage-full fists
gonna take this hurricane voice
these tornado words
gonna take this room full of girls
sisters united
this is not the time for silence

we must speak
when boys dominate sports fields, public spaces, and classrooms
when videos games, tv, movies and magazines make women into sexual objects
use women’s bodies to sell products
when you are harassed, whistled at, stared at
when a girl or woman you know is raped
when you are sad and angry
when you are inspired
when our country promotes violence to solve problems
and you know there’s gotta be a better way
when you think you have the answer
when you think you might be wrong
when every 7 seconds a woman is beaten by her partner or boyfriend
when men create weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological weapons
when god is always called he and it was all eve’s fault
when racism divides us, privileging some at the expense of others
when you know deep down that things just aren’t right

we must speak louder than the pages of cosmo and seventeen
louder than budweiser ads and maybeline
take your body back
rip it from the hands of corporate executives gettin’ rich off our own self hate
listen to your sisters’ stories
they are more your own than you know
say i got your back girl
rather than talkin’ behind them
grow gardens of wild flowers in your mind
plant seeds of rebellion in your throat
sow visions of justice in your heart
fill your lungs with the capacity to breathe life back into your wounded places
set a fire of action in your belly
tie comfortable shoes onto your feet
infuse your legs with the power to run, kick and dance
wipe the clouds of other people’s perceptions from your eyes
so that you may see your own truth
feed your soul daily with doses of your own love

so we speak syllables of sound
pounding harder than rage-full fists
gonna take this hurricane voice
these tornado words
gonna take this room full of girls
sisters united
this is not the time for silence
because your silence will not protect you

and sometimes actions are louder than words
you don’t need to open your mouth to make the biggest sound
and sometimes our voices are screams articulated
through poetry or sports or music or movement
and sometimes it is a statement shot through loud music with the tv on during math class, in the cafeteria or at the dinner table

we need your hurricane voices
it’s gonna take the power of this room full of girls
with rebellion in your throats
justice in your hearts
fire in your bellies
and the strength of your own love in your soul

Enough said.


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