It’s Rag Week (a poem about periods)

Here’s a poem about periods. Women who are close tend to synchronise their menstrual cycles. This got me thinking that, perhaps it could end up with the whole town being synchronised, and perhaps it could be a bit like the old tradition in northern English towns, known as ‘wakes week’, when all the factories in a town would shut for the same week in the summer and everyone would go on holiday together.

It’s Rag Week

Close the town.
The girls are all on.
Shut everything down.
We’re synchronised.
It’s time for
a free period.

Mums and daughters, 
and their best friends,
and their mums and their sisters and their best friends,
and their daughters and sisters and their best friends,
and on and on.
We’re all on.
Purely by proximity, 
we’re all synced up,
linked by the blood,
by bonds of love,
by floating pheromones,
moon and tides
of life.
It’s time to hide,
but in plain sight.

Put up the red tent.
Close the town.
Shut down.
We’re all on it together:
not wakes week,
but sleeps week.
Press the snooze button.
Send the guys to buy
chocolate in bulk.
Let’s all

make a mighty blanket fort,
surround the town 
in eiderdown,
snuggle up to read.
Red sisters bleed
and take it easy.
All across the town
we’re downing tools
it’s rag week.

©️Janey Colbourne 2018

Love Is Not

love is not 

love is not possession
love is not obsession
nor is it dissolution
of the self except in fleeting
moments of passion

love is not fixing
love is not needy 
love is not forcing
unwanted gifts
or demanding reciprocity 

love is not being half
nor dependency
love is no debt 
nor a prison of
all consuming exclusivity

love is not prostration 
not hero worship
love is not idle flattery
love is not expectation 
nor promises that are fantasy

love is not helpless
nor is it blind 
love is not the feeling
without the work
love is not loss of identity 

if you think that’s what love is
then I do not love you

©️janey colbourne 2018

Disability Self-Advocacy #spokenword

Disability Self-Advocacy

Disability does not equate with inability.
I may have days when I’m feeling off,
but don’t write off my capability.
I’ll decide how much I can do.
I know what I need, so listen up.

I’m no candidate for infantilisation,
not even with cognitive difficulties.
Yes, I may need consideration,
and, at times, accommodations.
I have my limits and vulnerabilities.

But I have a strength you cannot conceive.
Don’t be deceived by my outer appearance,
overlaid with your preconceived notions.
Conversely, some disabilities are invisible,
so trust me when I say what’s feasible.

Respect is due for my endurance.
I need just a little patience from you.
Don’t add to my work the sufferance
of your patronising, desperate,
blindly disempowering ignorance.

©️Janey Colbourne 2018

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Advice to my daughter on long-term relationships

You’re going to meet people in life that blow your mind. Even when you think you’ve met your ‘one true love’, even if you’re happily married, you’ll meet people that amaze you, that you could fall in love with, and you’ll question yourself. Of course there’s no such thing as the ‘one true love’. There are many amazing and beautiful people in the world. That doesn’t take away the depth and importance of the love you have. When you choose to stay because you love them, and you want to create a happy life together, that’s the ‘one true love’. It’s the action, not the person. It’s the choice you make, the effort it takes to stick by them through temptation.

Of course other relationship choices are valid—serial monogamy and polyamory—as long as they are practiced with full consent and mutual respect. But if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, don’t be shocked when you are tempted by others. It’s human nature. We can’t help our feelings, only what actions we take. Think carefully about what feels right. Don’t take hasty action. See how your feelings progress. And remember that friendship is also a beautiful thing. Once you have come to terms with the fact that you can’t consummate all loves in the flesh, there are many ways to share experience and enjoy each other. And those kinds of love can be lasting and deep too.

©️Janey Colbourne 2018

Living in the Anthropocene (a poem) #natureculture #naturenarratives

Living in the Anthropocene

Welcome to the Anthropocene.
We’re living in the Human Age, they say,
since the evidence of our activity,
will be visible in the geology.

When they dig through the dirt,
what will they reveal?
The materials we made for posterity,
the ones that keep for near eternity.

It seems to be a seam of polypropylene,
strata from the Age of Plastic.
Never mind the Anthropocene,
we are living in the Plastocene.

©️Janey Colbourne 2018

I know in reality we are living in the Anthropocene. Our geological impact goes way beyond plastics. But I couldn’t resist this word play.

Thank you for following my blog. All likes, shares and comments are appreciated. If you would like to support me further to continue in this work by making a one-off donation securely via PayPal, please click here and accept my undying gratitude.